Ashen Stars Station Duty – Themis Prime

Themis Prime

Heavily Populated, Bitterly Divided


Many worlds can support life; few allow it to thrive. Themis Prime was one of the rare eden of the Bleed, a world with a biosphere requiring only minor tweaks compatible with most of the major Combine species. Humans, Balla and Tavak all settled on this world, united by the ideal of building the Combine in miniature. The humans mostly clustered along the shores of the northern continent, settling the fertile river valleys and forested hills. The Balla preferred the islands that spangled the glittering equatorial ocean. The Tavak preferred the plains of the southern continent, and built monasteries in the mountains. All three species came together in the cities – Landing, New Olympus, Minoa and Dawn.

When the Mohilar War began, Themis took refugees from many neighbouring systems. It seemed like an ideal place for those fleeing war to congregate – plenty of room, no need for life support, and easy access via translight corridors. Ship after ship arrived in orbit, a constant stream of shuttles and orbital transports bringing the desperate and terrified down to the groaning surface.

Two simultaneous catastrophes brought ruin to Themis, in a period referred to locally as The Blight. The first was the destruction of the trans light corridors, stranding the refugee ships and cutting the system off from its supply routes. The second was an outbreak of a native Themisian fungus that devastated the food stocks, pushing the colony to the brink of starvation. While the viroware tweaks needed to allow the consumption of Themisian-grown food are very simple, there were no mass-manufacturing facilities for the viromods in the system, forcing people to rely on expensive purifiers or on packaged rations. The government collapsed, replaced by warring criminal syndicates that took control of the remaining food supply. This chaos lasted for months, until the military base on the nearby planet Uqbar imposed martial law from orbit – by blasting the city of Landing, targeting ‘criminal strongholds’.

Today, Themis is a broken world, a planet of sprawling cities built from prefab housing modules and salvaged chunks of spaceship, a planet of fortified villages amid the wilderness, an Eden stripped of innocence.

Key Locations

New Olympus: Chaotic, violent capital city; a mix of the Combine-era high-tech and the cobbled-together.

Landing Scars: Section of a city bombed from orbit; seared craters, dangerous scavengers.

Highlands: Human & kch-thk villages in the half-tamed wilderness; frontier towns in need of a sheriff.

Isles of the Balla: Archipelego of small islands in a blue ocean; lots and lots of hidden coves and other hiding places.  

Southern Escarpment: Harsh, rocky near-desert oddly similar to the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in California.

Factions & Powers

President Videt & the Reform Party: Recently installed civilian government, seen as puppets of the Recontact Authority. President Videt, a Tavak, is eager to find some way to demonstrate her independence from the Combine interlopers.

Gordon Fest & the TFT: The former civilian government, utterly and absurdly corrupt – but eager to return to power. Oily Ex-President Fest could possibly be persuaded to work with the Lasers as an informant on the criminal syndicates – if it benefits his political ambitions.

Kt’Lar Clar: Kch-thk hive that turned to crime in the chaotic days of the Blight. There are persistent rumours that they overcame their genetic barrier on consuming sentients; certainly, the kch-thk violently eliminated many of their rivals as they sought to control the dwindling food supply. The head of the clan is the kck-thk Godmother, Kt’lr.

Shuttle Guild: As the orbital refugee ships were a vital source of high-tech components and replacement parts when the system was cut off, the shuttles and their pilots became indispensable. The Guild started out as a union negotiating for better pay and conditions, but later branched into crime, skimming off the most expensive components for sale on the black market. The guild’s leader is the Cybe ex-fighter-pilot U-Ice-937, but the Guild is dominated by Tavak pilots.

Buratha Ring: The Buratha Ring is an interstellar criminal organisation, operating throughout the Bleed, and dealing mostly in illegal viroware. When the Blight hit, the Buratha were the first to take control of the food stocks – leading some to speculate that they engineered the Blight. The local Buratha leader is the human Turen Grissom.

Balla Sirens: While the Balla stayed clear of the gang wars, there are rumours of Balla pirates raiding coastal communities, and using their inhuman beauty to hypnotise victims to compliance.

Ashen Stars is a gritty space opera game where freelance troubleshooters solve mysteries, fix thorny problems, and explore strange corners of space — all on a contract basis. The game includes streamlined rules for space combat, 14 different types of ship, a rogues’ gallery of NPC threats and hostile species, and a short adventure to get you started. Purchase Ashen Stars in PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

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