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A system’s place in the galaxy affects life in a big way. The closer one lives to the center of Olaxis the more likely that person is to have the resources they need but the more crowded the cities become and the more likely one is to experience war. The closer to the edge one lives the less resources are available and the more danger that person faces from monsters, pirates, and the Burn.
The most desirable systems in Olaxis are in the galaxy’s center lobe far from the Burn. This point is constantly redefined, since the Burn doesn’t consume the galaxy evenly. The current Heartworlds were established just 30 years after the Burn rushed forward suddenly on one side of the galaxy. What were once poor farming and drilling planets are now beset with wealthy people and overguilds setting up temporary structures and landing their ships. No one sets up in any one place for too long, lest the Burn come for them.
Small battles break out for control of the various systems at the center of the galaxy. The laborers who live in the Heartworlds find themselves forced to choose sides in conflicts and are sometimes left with craters instead of homes. On the other hand, the influx of the wealthy means there are opportunities to make extra cash providing goods and services. Life in the Heartworlds can be lucrative, provided conflict is avoided.
The Heartworlds are home to systems with cosmopolitan cultures and democratic governments. With so many species living so close together, a blending of cultures is inevitable and inspiring. The Heartworlds boast the latest in unique cuisine, fashion, art, and more. The lobe is densely populated and constantly shifting. There are places initially ruled by a monarch or that have only members of one species, but they don’t stay that way for long.
The following places are important in the Heartworlds, but they aren’t the only places that make up the lobe.
The Midbelt systems sit between the Ghost Belt and Heartworlds. It is a tremendous struggle to get resources to the populace here on account of the threat of rioting, crime, and pirate raids.
Most people who live in the Midbelt don’t have the means or will to fight their way to the Heartworlds. They’re just getting by. Many can still earn some sort of legal living, but a lawful life is not as lucrative as the criminal opportunities that seep into the region from the Ghost Belt. The overguilds still have a presence in the Midbelt, but despite claims to the contrary, they only look after their patrons and members.
The Midbelt has a wide range of cultures and governments spread out over small settlements. There are a few cities within this region, though even those are less densely populated than the crowded megalopolises of the Heartworlds. Some cultures are homogeneous or even isolationist, while others are mosaics of various traditions and styles.
The following places are important in the Midbelt, but they aren’t the only places that make up the lobe.
The Alliance of Relief and Conservation (or ARC) maintains a headquarters in a massive abandoned plasma mine on Yvlen III. What began as a refugee camp has become a full-fledged city thanks to the number of adventurers who come through the place to work for ARC. The refugees from systems swallowed by the Burn are Tsela’s citizens, selling food, drink, lodging, repairs, and equipment to travelers. Many of these established citizens spare what they can to the new refugees who arrive at the place almost daily via ARC transports.
The upper levels of the mine make up the main portion of the city, which is run by the Council of Seven, who the citizens vote for annually in heated elections. ARC is content to let the refugees run the city, though they are prepared to step-in and help defend the place, should someone come for its resources. While there are occasional battles with pirates, no serious threat has come to the city yet.
The Council of Seven acts as judge and jury for those who break the basic laws of Tsela, which are simple edicts, such as, “Do not steal,” “Kill only to defend your life or the lives of others,” and so on. When a law is broken, the Council sometimes calls on adventurers to investigate crimes, capture the accused, or gather evidence, especially if the accused is an outsider. The city has a contract with the Senchal Overguild, but the council has found adventurers are often more likely to trust their own than an overguild member.
In the upper levels adventurers find the goods and services Tsela has to offer as well as employment. Plenty of merchants requiring an escort come through the place. Anyone willing to work pro bono finds many of Tsela’s new and old refugees are desperate for someone to scour the galaxy for lost family members, friends, and important objects or records.
There’s no shortage of work in the lower levels either, where ARC plans their missions, collects historical records, and keeps a menagerie of organisms. Adventurers often come here seeking to join ARC’s next quest or to check their vast databases for information.
All but criminals, heroes, and the hopeless abandoned the Ghost Belt. An expanse of lawless, sparsely populated places adjacent to the Burn, this lobe’s systems hide monsters and illegal enterprises. Those willing to contend with the Ghost Belt’s inhabitants must also face bizarre hazards caused by the lobe’s proximity to the Burn.
The terrestrial bodies of the lobe are perilous, as is simply traveling the region. Any vessel moving through the Ghost Belt should be wary of pirate boarding parties, space-based monsters, and cosmic perils.
While menace looms over the Ghost Belt, the lobe is not without the innocent and heroic. There are those without the means to leave the lobe, hiding and hoping for rescue. Others come or stay in the Ghost Belt by choice, fighting against its monsters and saving lives, or searching for a way to stop the end of the universe.
The Ghost Belt’s systems are often sparsely populated (if at all) and have no laws other than the vague moods of the occasional criminal tyrant. Life for most in the Ghost Belt is about survival or profit and nothing else.
The following places are important in the Ghost Belt, but they aren’t the only places that make up the lobe.
Olaxis is enormous. Even though the galaxy is shrinking, there are still unexplored areas of it. Exploring the unknown is an opportunity for profit and adventure, for who knows what wonders, horrors, treasures, revelations, and more could be found in these areas?