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:
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.