Friday, 4 June 2010

Accidents in Astrography: Nolgor Subsector #1

Nolgor Subsector
From Gilanda and Canblyne in Gamelea Subsector, the Nolgor Run crosses Nolgor Subsector from Xcothal to Shenn and Lotarf, skirting the Rimward edge of the J-3, or Canblyne, Rift. Astrographically, Nolgor Subsector is fragmented and resource-poor. The Nolgor Run, which should have become a major trade route enhancing the economic development of the subsector, has instead become a dismal tour of a series of Non-Industrial and Agricultural worlds with moribund economies.

After serving as a forward base during the Rimward Wars of the late 7th Century, Nolgor Subsector stagnated as the colonies further rimward in the Imperial-controlled Coreward half of Gazul Subsector developed and prospered. Home to a native Minor Race, a transplanted Minor Race, a regressed human colony, and an Imperial Prison Planet, Nolgor Subsector has never lost that feeling of being a wild frontier. This is in spite of being surrounded by more economically successful, and politically stable, Imperial subsectors.

The crustacean-like Zoni Minor Race of Lur proved incredibly difficult for the Imperial authorities in Nolgor Subsector to deal with. Alternatively neutral and hostile, the Zoni consumed a disproportionate amount of subsector resources in containment and pacification efforts, none of which proved effective in the long run. Even Admiral Kranan hault-Lernester’s famous ‘Pounding of Lur’, during his ‘March to the Rimward Border’ campaign in the early part of the Sarkul Wars, only bought a century of respite from Zoni raids. And this was after hault-Lernester had systematically destroyed every single shipyard and ship repair facility in the Lur system, and then bombed every heavy industrial site on the planet. This on-going commitment to contain the Zoni became a serious drain on the economies of the Imperial planets of the subsector, hampering efforts to stimulate trade and technological development, while political mismanagement heightened resentment at the planetary level.

The saurianoid Tsalur of Xcothal acknowledge that they are not natives of the world they currently call their own, and that they have lost all records of where their homeworld might be. They appear to have been settled on Xcothal by the Thongaloras Empire over a thousand years ago and survived the fall of that empire as well as the subsequent turbulent centuries prior to the arrival of the Imperium in the RimWorlds in the early 6th Century. With a fierce warrior culture, the Tsalur respect strong leadership and will willingly follow even non-Tsalur if they demonstrate this quality. This has lead some xeno-anthropologists to theorise that the Tsalur were culturally manipulated to fill some form of slave-warrior niche within Thongaloras society, and that this imprinting still survives some 900 years after the imprinting society vanished from the Galactic stage.

Little is known of the Shenni of Shenn apart from the fact that they are humanoid and have a fighting caste that wears chitin-like armour and serve the Theocrats of Lotarf with fanatical loyalty. Within the last decade or so it has become apparent that the Shenni are actually a Zoni Hive that established itself on Shenn nearly a thousand years ago, and who were subverted by early members of the Order of Saint Belesarn of Lotarf some four hundred years later.

Fingalna is the homeworld of the Visi, a regressed Human colony. Sometimes known as the Aulteltec, the Visi seem to have appeared in the RimWorlds during the Late Thongaloras Empire, perhaps aboard Long Night period sublight ships. On the dozen or so planets where Aulteltec settlements have been identified, they are characterised by the existence of massive stone step pyramid structures in the centre of settlement areas. Fingalna is the only known planet where Aulteltec culture has survived as a living entity.

Political fragmentation during the 11th Century caused the Voivodate of Naos VI and its colony of Slepnir to refuse to acknowledge the subsector leadership of the House Ulanor Dukes of Nolgor. At a stroke, nine and a half billion sophonts and the subsector’s only industrial world were removed from the moribund economy, plunging the subsector into economic depression. When the Theocracy of Lotarf, with its daughter worlds of Shenn and Thrisk, followed suit, only 135 million sophonts on 13 worlds still remained Imperial citizens, under one and a half percent of the subsector’s population of 9.8 billion.