Rockets and Mayhem!

Yami Belt Colony – Garai

QuadrantIII
BearingYamuna -22º
Mean Orbital Distance:382 M km
Days to Orbit:1201
Mean Radius:474 km
Surface Area:2,830,000 km2
Base Temperature9.6° C
Seasonal Variation:18.3° C (High), 0.8° C (Low)
Average Precipitation19 cm
Significant Imports:Industrial Materials, Metals, Textiles
Significant Exports:Machinery, Consumer Items

Notes

Authority: Church, Industrial Outpost

The Yami Belt

Average Orbital distance:375 million km(min. 355 million km, max. 390 million km)
Average Days to orbit:1178
Average Radius:450 km for inhabited worlds and outposts
Average Base Temperature:5.2° C
Average Seasonal Variation:23.2° C (High), -10.8° C (Low)
Average Annual Precipitation:25 cm
Significant Imports:Minerals (4 MMT), Consumer Items and Organics (3 MMT each)
Significant Exports:Metals (10.5 MMT), Machinery (7.5 MMT)

Yami is populated with military outposts, commercial outposts, and the casteless free people of the Janya.

These are the three primary political factions in the Yami Belt:

  • Provincial worlds are allied with the Solar Kingdom, and have political representation in Parliament
  • Independent worlds are the mostly Outcaste City-States that do business with the Kingdom, but are not a part of it
  • Outlaw worlds explicitly prohibit the Solar Navy from their aerospace, and correspondingly enjoy an attitude verging from apathy to hostility (depending on the circumstances).

Of the Provincial worlds, primary are the quadrant capitals of the Belt: Narmada, Kalindi, Yamuna, and Sabarmati.

Most legendary of the Outlaw worlds is the Free City of Hanuruha, and the pirate fleet that defends it. That the Solar Navy has been unable to locate the Free City is an ongoing source of embarrassment to the Kingdoms.

Quadrant I – Narmada Capital

  • Gomati
  • Tungabjadra

Quadrant II – Kalindi Capital

  • Dahisar
  • Indravati

Quadrant III – Yamuna Capital

Quadrant IV – Sabarmati Capital

  • Damodar
  • Dras
  • Shingo

Abhva Pretya (“Hungry Ghosts”)

The Abhva (“The Enemy”, “Void Devils”) are the inhabitants of Planet X, which orbits the secondary Mitran sun, Yama. They worship a dark entity known as the Adversary, and are the terror of Janya and Kravyad alike. The eccentric orbit of Yama brings them close enough to engage open warfare every seven to eight centuries, when they cross the void of space to ravage, locust like, among the bountiful worlds of the system’s brighter primary star, Surya.

The Pretya (Hungry Ghosts) are the drone or worker class of these reptilian hive-minded races. These humanoids resemble gaunt and desiccated corpses; with large black eyes, corded muscles, and mottled grayish green skin. Some are augmented with the bizarre necro-tech of their Asuri masters, but for the most part they go without.

Worse yet, the Pretya are partially creatures of dark energy, with different parts of their body phasing in and out of this reality and any given point. To the Janya who can perceive the mystical emanations of the fifth world, the Pretya are cloaked in swirling darkness. This intangibility has historically best been addressed at close range – with melee weapons.

VM-Pretya

Janya Religion

The Janya believe in a dualistic cosmology, with an uncreated center of benevolent light (Uhuru Medhā) as the source that is all that is wise and good; as well as an uncreated center of malevolent darkness (the Adversary) as the source of all that is wicked and depraved. Both are alike in their vast (all though not omnipotent) power, and each are served by emanations of their being (by which their incomprehensible true natures may begin to be known). These seven emanations of light are known as “Greater Celestials “, and have specific dominion in the physical universe:

  • Arament (of the tattva of stone and soil)
  • Marut (of the tattva of plant life)
  • Matas (of the tattva of animal life)
  • Rana Taws (of the tattva of civilization)
  • Rtam (of the tattva of fire)
  • Sarvatāt (of the tattva of water)
  • Vatya (of the tattva of the sky and wind)

These correspond to the three domains of Janya Sādhanā, with the Elementalists serving Rtam, Vatya, Arament, and Sarvatāt; the Vivacists serving Matas and Marut; and the Spiritualists of the Cleric caste serving Rana Taws. All, of course, worship Uhuru Medhā the creator, although the precise interpretation of virtue varies.

For the most part, the Orthodox Spiritualists of the Janya believe that Sādhanā are supernatural abilities, extrinsic to individuals and granted by the Radiant Celestials.  Radical Utopians of the Outcaste class, however, believe that Sādhanā are psychic phenomena intrinsic to the conscious mind. The debate is far from settled.

Generally, the Janya attempt to live in accordance with the Three Virtues: Right Thoughts, Right Words, and Right Actions. In addition to the evidence provided by the working of these emanation to direct physical effect, the Cleric caste has rituals by which they claim to know the will of the seven emanations (although not of the Creator herself).

Janya theosophy accounts for the existence of seven dark emanations of the Adversary, as well. The negative energies wielded by the Abhva tend to reinforce, if not confirm, these beliefs.

inquisition 3

Episode Four: Epilogue

The details vary, but the broad outlines are the same across the prisoners. They were taken by the Abhva (Pretya and Makara) in transit between worlds, or on sparsely settled outpost colonies. These prisoners survived being taken (many did not, and many more were consumed in spirit or flesh by the Abhva along the way). They were kept in barely livable conditions but at least they were mostly kept together. Until they were separated, and those who were strong enough to work were sent to Ice Station Zebra.

Possibly relevant details about the big picture:

  • There were occasional sightings of “Administrators”, tall figures in cloaks and masks, whom the Makara deferred to.
  • The Pretya seemed to ignore the Administrators for the most part, but then gain the Pretya seemed to mostly ignore the living, when they weren’t trying to devour them.
  • The Makara definitely have a spoken language.
  • The Pretya listen to the Makara, but don’t speak
  • There weren’t any Kravyad in the group of prisoners, just Janya Artisans and Outcastes.
  • Some of the Janya insist they heard the Kravyad language being spoken during transit, but not once they arrived at the mines.
  • Somebody prepared the mines for the prisoners to work here, and it doesn’t seem like it was the Abhva. And it doesn’t seem like it was all that recent, either,
  • There were less than a dozen Makara, more than a score of Pretya, and an Administrator controlling about twice as many Janya working a uranium mine. Once a week, an Abhva cargo vessel showed up to take the extracted uranium ore from the tunnels.
  • Needless to say, most of the surviving Janya are in pretty poor health.

The Orthodox Church of Uhuru Medhā

At the top rank of political power in the Solar Kingdoms is the Thearch of Mitrakam, the Prophet of the Faith. In a constitutional monarchy, that would be the equivalent of the monarchy. Since the Kingdoms are a theocracy, the head of state is an elected member of the Orthodox Church of Uhuru Medhā (the state religion).

Divisions in the Church

The Unification Path, the least controversial option, has the greatest number of adherents (55% or more of the members of the faith). Their Path-Mark is a circle (o).

The Primal Path, which focuses on the revealed truth of all seven Emanations, but with a focus on the common and hidden apocrypha from Rtam, Vatya, Arament, and Sarvatāt (the elemental domains). Their Path-Mark is a carat (^).

The Somatic Path, which focuses on the revealed truth of all seven Emanations, but with a focus on the common and hidden apocrypha from Marut and Matas (of the Vivacism domains). Their Path-Mark is a horizontal line (-).

The Radiant Path, which focuses on the revealed truth of all seven Emanations, but with a focus on the common and hidden apocrypha of Rana Taws (of the Spiritualist domain). Their Path-Mark is a crossed horizontal and vertical line (+).

All of those are open to any caste of Janya, although there are undoubtedly Paths more stereotypical for each caste. For the most part, Outcaste and Kravyad are welcome in the Unification Path, although they do not traditionally adorn their foreheads with Path-Marks.

For the Cleric Caste, there are additionally Active and Passive schools of each Path, reflecting both martial / evangelist and study / meditation traditions.

The Radiant Celestials

316180818The celestials are the “emanations of light” that serve the ineffable Uhuru Medhā. There are seven “Greater Celestials” that interfere directly with the Janya and their environment, as well as a host of lesser Celestials who are less invested in the success of the Janya. Celestials are essentially non-corporeal beings of spirit (shakti), although there are some Savant theosophers who theorize that the Celestials are also associated with stellar masses, or collections of them. The Janya Cleric Caste can commune directly, if inefficiently, with the Celestials, and may extend that communion to most Janya.

  • Arament (of the tattva of stone and soil)
  • Marut (of the tattva of plant life)
  • Matas (of the tattva of animal life)
  • Rana Taws (of the tattva of civilization)
  • Rtam (of the tattva of fire)
  • Sarvatāt (of the tattva of water)
  • Vatya (of the tattva of the sky and wind)

Episode Four, Session Five

Scene Nine (for real this time): Ice Stations Zebra. Bitterly cold, with occasional blinding snow storms. Daylight.

The Sulas Tine, privateer corvette that serves as ship’s boat to the Parindra II has ferried a small assault team to the surface of the planet, Captain Chabra at the helm. The assault team consists of Captain Chabra, Gunnery Chief Mala, Engineering Chief Vãhakah, the new Bosun of the ship Saiful Kaffir, and a handful of Janya Outcaste brawlers from Mahanadi currently between refinery assignments. A member of the navigation crew from the Parindra II is piloting the corvette, and the captain leaves a series of timed instructions for the pilot.

Captain Chabra insists on accompanying the team, having a particularly vivid vision of the catastrophe that awaits if he doesn’t. Chief Vãhakah is being brought along because of zher engineering background and Savant physique, with the expectation that zhe can help with security systems and pacifying any resistance. Chief Vãhakah and the Bosun have shipsuits and meteor pistols, the brawlers have shipsuits and dazers. Chief Mala has his paired dazers, and a civilian grade hardsuit.

Captain Chabra leads the assault team himself, sneaking their way through the hills surrounding the location identified from orbit most likely to be the prison camp. The team arrives at the area designated “Landing Zones One and Two”. It’s twenty-five meters wide and a few hundred meters long, generally running magnetic northeast to southwest. In the southwest corner (LZ2) are four hardened (open) hangars. Inside each is a Chekhov class orbital interceptor in good condition. They aren’t occupied or spun up, but look as though they could be in fairly short order.

To the west, across an open and clear space, the bunker entrance to the underground building complex designated Bunker B. To the south, across an even further space, Bunker A. Bunker B is closer, so the team moves that way, swiftly and silently. Two industrial sized reinforced doors block access to the complex, but Chief Mala makes short work of the mechanical controls.

The doors retract sideways into the front of the entrance. Inside, a five meter wide hemispherical tunnel that extends downwards at a fifteen degree angle. There are a series of flickering grim  actinic lights illuminating the path downwards. There is an alcove immediately to the side of the entrance, with a rotating amber light indicating the doors are open. There are also monochrome monitors of the external cameras outside the bunkers and the landing zone. Everyone hustles in, Chief Mala operates the controls, the doors close (and the amber flashing light deactivates).

Per the plan left with the corvette, it clears the hills between the landing site and the prison site, and opens up on the vault doors of Bunker A (to the south of the tunnels the assault team is currently occupying). They rush down the inclined tunnel, hoping any resistance will be distracted by the explosions echoing through the complex. Sure enough, by the time they encounter the Makara heavyweights who serves as wardens, the assault team makes a bold attack and renders them unconscious and bleeding.

Further down the tunnels, Pretya overseers are supervising the enslaved Janya mining crews. Used to dealing with the helpless Janya captives, they provide little enough resistance to the determined assault team. Once the Pretya are disabled, forty or more Janya prisoners are liberated for the tunnel complex.

As the Sulas Tine rockets through the atmosphere to dock with the Parindra II, the first of the Solar Navy Third Quadrant Fleet begins to arrive in orbit…

The Janya People

The Janya (“Janes”, pejoratively) are the civilized folk of the Solar System. They possess art, culture, science, as well as a supernatural rapport with vastly powerful beings of energy (which is the basis of their theosophy). They have spread throughout the system, colonizing as they go. An immigrant species, the Janya are not, in fact, native to Mitra.

At the physiological level, there are several different genetic expressions on Janya heredity. All are essentially interfertile with each other, although offspring are always of one of the existing castes (there are no hybrid or partial caste Janya).