Sunday, 31 July 2011

Gazolan Subsector #4 – Dealing with Randomness

Gamelea and Gazolan Subsectors
Heaven and Earth is a mighty programme for generating systems and sectors and I have used it to sketch out the subsectors of my Sector that I never got around to mapping back in the day. I used it again to map out Gazolan Subsector for me when I decided that I needed to take a closer look at this region of space. Then, when I sat down to look at the UWPs for Gazolan Subsector, I experienced the same feeling of “blurg” that I experience whenever I look at any of the OTU Sector maps and their endless lists of UWPs – basically, I feel no connection with these strings of numbers.

For me, part of the fun of system and subsector creation is the story telling that goes along with it. A vocal portion of Traveller players/referees moan and whinge about the “inaccuracies” of Traveller world generation and “how is it that a billion people live on an airless rock while a garden world a parsec away has a population of a couple of hundred people?” My answer is, “So, how is that? Tell me the story of settlement of this region of space. Tell me of the hopes and dreams of the people who came to this place, or evolved out of the mud of this place, and I’ll tell you why these people are here”.

So, I sat down and rolled my own UWPs, and here they are:

Hex No.PlanetUPPBasesPBGTrade

Looking at what I came up with, my heart sank. The story is that Gazolan was a rich subsector – that’s why Kolin I pushed into that part of space, even against opposition - and here I was rolling up Poor worlds, and Low Tech worlds, and crappy starports and next to no bases - almost time to dump the home rolls and go back to Heaven and Earth. And then it struck me, Gazolan was a rich subsector in the time of Kolin I, some five hundred years ago. It has also been fought over in various civil wars and border wars since then.

Looking at the systems that make up the new and extended Julnar Reach, I was struck by the number of Poor worlds, especially towards the Rimward end of the constellation. Kerak (1922) and Tulvan (2021) in Gamelea Subsector are already noted as economically depressed worlds, due to the Odinite mines paying out in the 1090’s. Perhaps Zekhiipkuka (2020) and Karpathurnal (2120) in Gazolan were also depressed mining worlds? Giirmuum (2319), a Rich world, and Julnar (1823), a High Tech world, dominate the economy of the Reach, with Tech Level 15 Julnar taking the economic lead over Tech Level 11 Giirmuum.

Suddenly, the columns of numbers I had rolled up were beginning to tell me a story, and it looked like that it might be a different one to what I had been expecting.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Gazolan Subsector #3 – The Reach that Ate the Main

Gazolan Subsector and surroundsBack in Accidents in Astrography: Gamelea Subsector #2, I indicated that the Kerak and Tulvan systems in Gamelea Subsector were part of the Julnar Reach, a broken reach that extends into Lymethius Subsector. Looking at the freshly generated map for Gazolan Subsector, I see that Kerak (1922) and Tulvan (2021) are actually the Rimward extensions of the seven-system Main (G). I toyed with the idea of including Main (G) in the Julnar Reach, but then decided against it. The stars of the Julnar Reach will all have the same proper motion and inclination to the Galactic plane which, in spite of the Jump-2 gap between Julnar and Por’via, will indicate that they are all members of the same group. I have yet to decide whether Run (H) in Daltharmai Subsector is also part of the Julanr Reach

So, Kerak and Tulvan are now members of Main (G), which links them culturally to Rimward Gazolan as is evident by the fact that Cassingal – a dialect of Gazolan Imperial Basic - is spoken on both worlds as well as along Main (G). At the moment, I’m mulling over whether to merge the mapMap of the Border Worlds
I created for the BurrowWolf webcomic with the existing maps. Doing so will introduce two new systems to the Gamelea/Gazolan Subsector border area; Acorlis V at 1822 and Shinurii at 1720. Shinurii does not cause any problems and expands Run (F) by a system but Acorlis V, on the other hand, links Julnar and Leminkainen to the Main (G) and effectively writes the Julnar Reach out of the story.

As an alternative, and just to show what coming back to a problem after a couple of weeks can do, if Main (G) and the Julnar Reach do merge with the addition of Acorlis V, an idea that I discounted above, there is no reason why Main (G) should not become the Julnar Reach. This would create a ten-system constellation stretching from Leminkainen in Gamelea Subsector to the system at 2319 in Gazolan Subsector.

Gamelea and Gazolan Subsectors

Julnar, itself, is the homeworld of the Julnari Minor Race who, in 1109, enjoy a high tech TL15 society on their water world. Their population isn’t very large, though, numbering only some 830, 000 natives in 1109. For the Reach to be named for the system, there is the implication that either the system’s culture dominates the constellation, or the system is associated with some astronomical feature that makes the constellation recognisable.

Oloro is the native language of the Julnari, though Cassingal, an Imperial Basic dialect, is the dominant language of the Julnar Reach. I did have some early thoughts about the Julnari perhaps having a pocket Empire that was absorbed by Imperial expansion but I think that whatever influence the Julnari may have had along the Reach has waned and that lower tech, but higher population worlds elsewhere now dominate commerce and culture in the Reach. At present, my thinking is that some feature either in or near the Julnar system is sufficiently detectable at distance to have leant its name to the constellation.