Formerly military, currently militant
Uqbar’s lifeless – for the most part. Some of the planet’s spectacular ravines have been roofed over and pressurised, creating a few habitable zones. The planet’s atmosphere is thin and unbreathable – it’s mostly argon – and lights up with astounding flares and aurorae as radiation from the collapsed translight corridors wash across the sky. Uqbar was initially established as a refuelling point and anchorage for Combine naval vessels, as the planet’s right on top of a naturally-occuring translight junction.
During the Mohilar War, Uqbar became a strategic chokepoint. Uqbar Anchorage became a major military base, and was outfitted with huge anti-ship cannons to counter any attempts to invade the system. Instead of invading, though, the enemy somehow collapsed the translight corridors, isolating Themis and cutting Uqbar off from its supply lines. It also bombarded Uqbar with damaging meson shrapnel, damaging life support systems and disrupting military research even in the shielded laboratories deep beneath the surface.
Uqbar’s commander, General Gatar, looked to the nearby planet of Themis Prime for needed supplies, but Themis had collapsed into anarchy. After a few failed attempts to prop up a civilian government, Gatar resorted to brutality and martial law, deploying the military against the criminal syndicates and taking the supplies needed by force. This won Gatar the undying loyalty of many of his followers, especially the new-forged Cybe units stationed at Uqbar.
After Recontact, the Combine investigated Gatar’s stewardship of the Uqbar Anchorage; it was widely rumoured that the judiciary was going to recommend that Gatar be court-martialed and tried for war crimes. Indeed, a special military legate was en route to the Themis system to carry out an investigation into Gatar, but the legate’s transport mysteriously vanished en route. Officially, Gatar’s retired, but most of his former troops still venerate him as their unquestionable leader, and he’s making connections with Bleedist groups across the cluster.
Uqbar Anchorage: A massive and decaying military base, slowly being decommissioned – or looted by black-market salvage teams.
Guns of Uqbar: Huge – and still functional – anti-ship weapons, the biggest guns ever built by the Combine.
Chasma: The largest of the habitable domes of Uqbar, home to thousands of military and research personnel.
The High Range: A region of the planet inhabited by Cybes, who can survive on the airless surface.
Pathfinder Station: Researchers examining the problem of rebuilding the translight corridors.
Factions & Powers
Gatar’s Loyalists: Ex-military cult venerating a bitter and mercurial Tavak general who believes he was unjustly blamed for the failings of others, and remains paranoid about the Durugh presence on Goliath.
Cybe Tribes: Eccentric Cybes who never got a chance to fight in the war – and now are searching for meaning and purpose in their transformed lives. Led by the philosophic Zero, who strives to bring her followers out of Gatar’s self-destructive orbit.
Pathfinder Office: Combine explorers and engineers, overseen by the Balla Silverwind, an adrenaline-junkie explorer, and ndoalite L’grn, a nervous and easily blackmailed physicist.
Shuttle Guild: Heavily involved in illegal salvage and weapons dealing.
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.