Monday, October 25, 2010

Interlude - Outpost: Wake

Wake is a series of planets in the Winterscale's Realm sub-sector, named after its spectacular planetary architecture. Legend has it that the planets within this system were transformed with a mega-invasive crystalline growth from a cosmic anomaly known as the Ravager. Hence, the system's name - Wake - for it is said to live in the "Wake of the Ravager". (Bonus points to anyone who knows the reference I made here.)

A view of Wake and its largest planet - Sirocco ; many of its moons bear the mark of the Ravager

Wake has an importance second only to Footfall in the Koronus Expanse. Its importance is due primarily to the fact that it forms a gateway into Winterscale's Realm, the most settled, colonized, and frequented sub-sector within the Expanse. The most travelled and well-known warp routes all pass through Wake. It is a strategic place to stop off for supplies as one travels further into the Expanse.

Wake's unusual crystalline structures also provide the system with a vast wealth of minerals. Everything from water, to silicon, to quartz, to galluim can be found here in abundance. The Wake system is constantly being mined for its resources by countless mining vessels and exploratory ships. The thousand thousand mining claims made all over the system are cause for numerous battles and fights over territory in this outpost on the frontier.

Wake's sun is called Mercurial, due to its flickering and erratic luminescence, particularly notable at a distance. It is an approximately the same size and age of Sol, the Terran sun. However, one would never know by looking at it. The star is surrounded by a thick mass of crystals which distorts the star's light, constantly refracting it. Now and then, solar flares from Mercurial will set the cloud of crystal fragments alight, causing dramatic light shows across its surface and throughout the Wake system. This thick cloud of crystals is constantly replenished by the planets that rotate around Mercurial.

The each of Wake's planets feature massive crystals, most of which are size of continents. These crystals jut out of the system's planets constantly shed shards and fragments. Many of these crystal spines have their own atmospheres. Some even have their own ecosystems and weather patterns. As each planet rotates, it continually flings fragments of these crystals into space. Some are as small as grains of sand, others as large as cities. As the system continues to age, it is predicted that eventually the planets of Wake will resume their spherical shape, casting off the excess crystals over the course of aeons.

The political seat of Wake is Spire - a large spaceport and community located at one of the tips of the smaller crystalline spines of Wake's largest planet - Sirocco. Spire is a built on top of a crystal spine of obsidian, one of Spire's larger exports.

The outskirts of Spire - the city itself sits at the tip of an obsidian crystal.

Spire itself is a city crafted primarily from the obsidian around it. Most of the city's architecture was constructed to mimic the surrounding landscape. This unusual construction makes it a darkly glittering city with buildings made from hollowed out obsidian spines mixed in with buildings made to look like obsidian spires. Dancing all over them are thousands of holographic advertisements and messages. As a frontier city, Spire is a city where anything and everything is bought and traded.

The Governor's Palace on Spire

Notable is Spire's high population of cultists. These pilgrims have come mainly from the Calixis Sector seeking refuge from religious persecution. All of these cults are Cults to the Emperor as Chaos cults and the like are not tolerated. However, here in the far reaches of the Koronus Expanse, a cult to the Emperor which does not share the precise teachings of the Ecclesiarchy need not draw the raised eyebrows of the public or worse...the examinations of an Inquisitor.

Above Spire is its all-important outport, a vast array of small space stations which provide a place to dock for the hundreds of ships which come to Spire on a daily basis. Repairs and maintenance is performed at the outport, far above the frontier mega-city.

The political head of Spire is Governess Ophelia Winterscale, cousin to Calligos Winterscale. As the political head of one of the most important ports in all of the Koronus Expanse, Ophelia Winterscale wields tremendous political power. Ophelia is known for her unassuming and informal manner. She does not tend to dress or speak the part of a noble and even prefers to conduct meetings in Low Gothic if allowed.

One of Wake's four planets - Cyclops - with its moons

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