Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cheese Covered Planet

Politics
Cheese covered Planet has attracted a large population of Flesh 7, a "race" of cyborgs who consider the odd cheese-like soil of the planet a delicacy.
The governing body of Cheese Covered Planet is the Cheese Covered Planet Cheese Syndicate, hereafter known as the CCPCS. Their primary objective is protecting the massive profits they make exporting cheese to Flesh 7 settlements around the Galaxy, so it’s a little strange that they are the closest thing the Flesh 7 have to a racial government. As cyborgs, Flesh 7 don't need to eat to live, but they consider the pleasures of the Flesh important to their mental well-being. If they don't take joy in their organic parts, they might as well be robots.
The CCPCS ruthlessly protects  their business interests
The Black Cheese Club is either a parasitic criminal organization, or a deniable subsidiary of the CCPCS, depending on who you ask. Many law enforcement agents across the galaxy are loathe to talk about it, if only because they feel stupid discussing a powerful cheese smuggling operation. The black Cheese Club deals in cheeses that have properties so strange and dangerous, the CCPCS refuses to acknowledge their existence.



Ecology

The dominant flora are the milk trees, so named because of the creamy sap they leak during weeping season. This goo pools on the forest floor, where it nurtures a complex community of biota. The resulting "cheese" is more like loam than any human foodstuff, but Flesh 7 love the ecological diversity and the mineral content.
Much of the dry land on Cheese Covered Planet is taken up by cheese farms. Carefully managed forests of cheese trees surround small farming communities. This idyllic landscape is more dangerous than it seems though. At night, large mole-like predators emerge from the cheese and hunt anything that smells edible. These "cheese moles" are vital  for the microbial ecosystem that makes the cheese, so they are allowed free range. Every community has a "mole-watch" system, of some design or another. Occasionally there are holes in the surveillance.
 Along the coasts, you can find salt water cheese marshes, large flat expanses where reed-like milk tree flourish. Salt cheese is an acquired taste among the Flesh 7, due to its high salt content and sea shells. Still, there is enough of a market for it that cheese harvesters will brave the monster infested coast. There is a semi-aquatic relative of the cheese mole that is both fast and clever. Sea moles are found of traps and ambushes. Attempts at communication have so far proven futile.
The two largest settlements are built on and under the crashed alien space ships. The area around the ships are the oldest cheese forests, and home to some of the rarest cheeses. Information control around these cities are tight, as the CCPCS has many secrets it wishes to protect, chief of which are the presence of dangerous cheese creatures. Resembling a living hunk of molten cheese, these ooze -like super-organisms are colonies of remarkable biota, similar but more advanced than the ones that make the ordinary cheese. They periodically squeeze out of vents in the spaceships, and go own to wreak havoc in the city before they are contained. The entrances to the ships are heavily guarded . There are rumors that groups of outsiders are sometimes permitted inside, but even the name of the department that authorizes such trips is classified. In unassailable criminal logic, there must be something really valuable inside if they go to such great lengths to keep people out. 
Space
The CCPCS is found of hiring mercenaries to handle system security. Currently, Dame Alg of the Order of the Silent Sun has the job.

The two crashed craft on the planet's surface could possibly be bastard in origin; they share some surface level design sensibilities, though they could just as easily be successor bastards, from the period immediately after the disappearance of the original bastards. Roughly spherical with a "skirt" around their equators, they resemble old fashioned flying saucers. One of the ships is stuck into the ground at an angle,  creating an overhang in which Shadowed City is built. The other is buried up to the skirt in cheese. This craft is home to Ship City. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

The planet Dirt


Dirt is the ancestral home land of the human race. Humans have been through several cycles of golden and dark ages, the last major fall wiping out most records of their history. Dirt is a deeply damaged planet, bearing the scars of multiple wars and disasters.

Ruling polity and other factions

Until about 60 years ago, the Dirt was ruled by the technocrat kings, despots who used their monopoly on ancient technology to dominate the few remaining human arcologies. Their reign came to an end with the rise of the prophetess Apple, who came preaching the end of Dirt. She believes that one day Dirt will be destroyed and that the only hope for the human race is to settle other planets. With her followers she overthrew the technocrats and synthesized a single rational technological praxis out of their disparate and cultish knowledge bases . Now, Dirt is ruled by the Seeder Initiative, a group that approaches human colonization with a religious Zeal. Just as autocratic as their predecessors, the Seeders use mass surveillance and draconian law enforcement to hold onto power.     
The arcologies of Dirt have been economically depressed by the polices of the Seeder Initiative, leading to an increase in crime. The most powerful organized crime syndicate is the Old Guard, a collection of minor science priests and flunkies of the Technocrat Kings who survived the purges of the Seeders, along with disenfranchised youth who are young enough to romanticize the old regime. Currently not powerful to threaten revolution, the Old Guard mostly sticks to old fashioned protection rackets and contraband dealing.
The Mu-Boll are bobble-head humanoids with a possible relation to humanity. The Seeders have entered into an optimistic partnership and sold them Dirt's moon, Satellite; more specifically, they've sold it to Happy Hominid Habitats, a powerful new corporate polity. Mu-Boll tend to avoid the blighted surface unless they have important business there. Instead, they can be found in the thousands of new habitats they've helped the seeders build in Dirt orbit. They're currently hallowing Satellite out in order to use it as a giant habitat. Tensions between humans and Mu-Boll can be high, as Mu-Boll have taken to eating lab grown human meat.

 Ecology

The biosphere of Dirt is old and scarred. The boom/bust cycle humanity has gone through means that in several points in history, the ecosystem of Dirt was controlled by sapient life, then allowed to go feral, resulting in flora and fauna nastier and more dangerous than normal wild evolution. The disaster blasted landscapes of Dirt are hard scrabble places, where organisms have to contend with all sorts of pollution.
The Great Trash Reef is an impressive structure in Dirt's oceans. Composed of billions of tiny bio-mechanical creatures, it process the great quantities of refuse into the basis for a robotic food chain. The shear variety of garbage mankind has produced during their time on Dirt has given the inhabitants of the reef a wide range of powers and abilities, though they are poorly understood, as any probes or vessels that approach are turned into scrap and assimilated into the reef. Thankfully, if there is a machine intelligence behind the reef, it’s an unambitious one, as the reef grows little year by year. 
Kud if a form of fast growing algae that dominates flat landscapes. This thick green fuzz covers a vast plain on one of Dirt's continents. Other flora  that tries to grow in the Kud Plains is smothered under the green carpet. Few animals eat Kud, as it has a foul taste. The major exception are the  giant snails that lick the kud off of rocks. The snails are in turn preyed upon by snot weasels, which burrow into the snails, as well as anything else that doesn't run away fast enough. There are rumors of snail riding pigmies, but that probably isn't true.
There are about a dozen abandoned  arcologies on Dirt. Some were sacked and ruined during Apple's rebellion; others fell victim to mismanagement  by the Technocrats. Without human intervention, the normal arcology biome spirals out of control. Mold quickly takes over the interior, and the normal vermin and scavengers grow in size. These city fauna are especially dangerous, as they have little fear of mankind. Arcologies are rich in useful materials and loot from the previous inhabitants. Scavenging in abandoned arcologies is against Seeder law, but the ban is seldom enforced, as the Seeders have other priorities.


Orbit, system, and Bastard connections

In contrast to the blighted and depressed surface of Dirt, the space around Dirt is teeming with industry. The Seeder Initiative channels the wealth of its extra solar colonies and its technical expertise into the habitat ring around Dirt. Gleaming shipyards make colony ships and warships to protect them
 No direct connection to the bastards is noticeable in the Dirt system, but there are persistent rumors of so called impossible objects. These ancient devices are said to have truly wondrous functions and properties. They were the prized possessions of the Technocrat kings, and now they are jealously guarded by the Seeders. Of course, actual descriptions of the objects are hard to come by, leaving most to believe that they are merely stories. Still, treasure hunters continue to scour the surface of Dirt looking for lost objects.

Nearby telluric planets War and Love are used by the Seeder Initiative as testing grounds for colony designs and experimental technology. The system has four giant planets, all of which have been colonized by the mysterious gas-bag civilization, which is currently on good terms with the Seeders. The closest planet to the sun, messenger, is a Gnomic planet, having been taken over by robots of unknown origin. The seeders are treating them with caution, as they don't want to provoke an unnecessary conflict.