The star of Mu Draconis lies is at the border of several large star-faring empires each claiming some right to the planet but most unable to back up their claim and take full control.
Al Raqis orbits Lo Parabirra, one of the binary pair of stars in the Mu Draconis stellar region. As a result, Al Raqis is a dry and hostile environment. Water is almost as precious as the planet’s most sought-after mineral, Raqismanna, colloquially known as “the spice.”
Independent prospectors search for spice while factions compete for control of planetary and off world trade. Political and economic competition sometimes flares into open warfare all under the watchful eye of natives who want Al Raqis for Al Raqians.
The major political and social powers on Al Raqis are the Great Houses. These powerful corporate noble families obsess over economic dominance of interstellar commerce to finance their private troops, luxurious living, and ambitions to power. Each House has private armies and large off-world holdings including other planets.
- Captial City and Seat of Government
- Spice Refinary, Main Landing Pads, Industrial Area, Military Baes & Desert
Desert Basin East
- Spice Fields, Military Bases
- Spice Fields, Military Bases
- Native Lands, Military Bases
- Military Bases, Native People Free Proctorate
- Remote Area Former Home of Botany Bay Colony
While the world is claimed by the a vast empire, nominal system goverance is by a bicarmal legislature. The two council system consists of the Laandstrat and Beit Dawla. Adminstrative oversite of Imperial facilites in the system is the perview of an appointed Constible. The Magistrate is the appointed leader of theLaandstrat.
Off World InfluencesEdit
Private Military Companies
Starborn vs Desert DewellerEdit
Desert Born or Desen
Tribal nomadic peoples who know how to survive in the desert. The desert born are the original deep colonists from earth that settled Al Raqis 175 generations past. The Concordia lost control of the planet during "The Middle Troubles” and contact was restored during the reign of Emperor Costimathe. Unfortunately, the rediscovery of the planet came after the discovery of Al Raqis by other seeded empires. The result being multiple claims to the planet and its inhabitants.
According to local urban legends, the natives were a persecuted people moving from world to world over the centuries, until they finally found a planet nobody wanted. They are tough, leathery, they smell bad, and travel light, most natives are adept fighters.
Roles in the Desert Born include but are NOT limited to:
* Consulari /Ambassador
* War Master /General
* Trade Master / Spice Master
* Master Assassin / Spy
* Desert Wanderer
• The Desert / Water •
The climate is hot and dry. Subfreezing temperatures occurs only at the poles where surface temperatures are usually below the water freezing point. Nights are cool. While there has been no rain in recorded history, water can be "harvested" from the air in dew collectors and people might find traces of subsurface water. Many native plant and animal species have developed mechanisms for capturing and storing moisture from the air.
• Blood Feud •
A formal and highly ritualized feud or vendetta declared between two Noble Great Houses, The rules of Blood Feud were laid down primarily with the purpose of sparing the innocent bystanders who might otherwise be slaughtered in a Great House -to- Great House confrontation.
• Companions •
Companions are part of the social elite, often accompanying the wealthy and powerful. There is considerable ritual and ceremony surrounding their services, which appear to extend beyond sex to nurturing psychological and emotional well-being. Contracting with a Companion earns the client 'an evening of pleasure' that goes far beyond the sexual encounter. A Companion is trained to listen, to entertain, to soothe, and even to offer advice, for they are well-versed on any variety of subjects from politics to the economy. A Companion knows traditional and contemporary dance. They are skilled musicians, schooled in literature, and stay current with all significant newsworthy events. They have a high degree of empathy and are trained in psychology, so they can understand their client's needs.
• Chief Magistrate •
The magistrate is the chief political, judicial and administrative officer and is the highest government officer with executive powers on Al Raqis. The Magistrate runs the Al Raqis Court and presides over all matters of law.
• Great House Legislature •
The Legislature unified representatives of all Great Houses, creating a check against the power of the Emperor. It is the assembly of all the nobles in the Imperium, representing Houses Great or Minor. It serves as a deliberative body for the debate and adjudication of disputes or presumed violations of agreements. In exceptional cases the legislature might intrude itself into a quarrel if one of the parties violated some fundamental provision of interplanetary law.
• Great Houses •
Great houses are hereditary corporate families, often related to the emperor. At their best the Great Houses were a workable form of government, providing guidance for the populace, economic welfare, justice, protection from government bullying, security, selflessness, and a sense of community. At their worst Great Houses represented arrogance, privilege, selfishness, greed, lust for power, repression, military adventurism, political plotting, and at times a blatant neglect for the rights or the wishes of the populations they governed. Most of the Houses used a centralized form of governance, based on the hereditary or elected leader, a council consisting of advisers and the commanders of the private armies.
Roles in a Great House include but are NOT limited to:
* Duke/Duchess, Marquess/Marchioness, Earl/Countess, Baron/Baroness
* War Master/General
* Trade Master / Spice Master
* Master Assassin / Spy
• Great House Charters •
The Al Raqis Court renews Great house contracts on a quarterly basis. Great Houses are required to present what they have accomplished in the last quarter and describe some of their plans for the coming months. New Great Houses may apply for a contract and replace an under performing house thereby gaining Great House status. This process is designed to give factions RP goals, allow new factions into the system and to allow for the natural and inevitable ebb and flow of players into the region. Please refer to the Great House Contract Renewal note card located in the Al Raqis Library for details.
• Highport •
An exo-atmospheric, pressurized, high orbital docking station administered by a Great House for public use. The Al Raqis Magistrate commissioned this station for cargo loading and starships too large for docking ground-side, at the low-port. There is a 40% fuel savings when docking at the Highport, as well as substantilly less wear and tear on ships reducing maintenance costs. Captains docking at the high port may rent a landing pad which comes with a small cabin office. The administering Great House gets ½ of rental income.
•Khayal Alramady, or Alramady for short •
This term means gray wolves. As natives of Al Raqis they are supremely adapted to this desert environment. Although they began as a force that defended Freemen interests the Khayal Alramady is now a smuggler/pirate organization.
• Lowport •
The main landing area and transfer station for the transport of passengers and cargo. It has seven public landing pads with easy access to Great House Warehouses. The Lowport is administered by a Great House for public use. Starship captains may rent a landing pad for a period of one day to a week. Ships exceeding 100 displacement tons are forbidden in the low-port. The administering Great House gets ½ of rental income.
• Miner's Guild •
A guild is an association of a particular trade. On Al Raqis the primary organization is the Spice Miners Guild, known colloquially as the Spicers. This Guild tries to create better working conditions for miners while organizing and controlling spice miners to manipulate the price and availability of raqismannah.
• Minor Houses •
Minor Houses grow from the local populace over the centuries, accumulating wealth and, thus, power in their local political arenas. Houses Minor may aspire to Great House status and plot to buy/marry/earn both the status and the fiefs that go with the status.
• Raqismannah •
Colloquially known as "the spice", “mannah” or “mana”. A complex biopolymer originating only on Al Raqis. So far, the biologically active portion of spice resists isolation. Many believe biological action of microscopic organisms in the sands create it. These properties of Raqismannah can increase the life span two to four times that of normal, depending on the age at which the user starts using spice, as well as size of the dose. The spice interacts with immunizing T-cells, making spice takers immune to most bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral agents of disease. The spice-modified T-cells recognize changes which occur in body cells because of ageing or malignant transformation and rapidly remove those cells. Taking in spice also gives an immunity to many common poisons. It is addictive and withdrawal is fatal.
• Rumor Crystals •
Green crystals scattered around the region that represent “”The general gossiping public.” Or any number of street contacts a player may have. The rumour crystals store and spread rumours. Estate managers moderate these rumours, ensuring all rumours are suitable for Al Raqis and potentially useful for role-play.
• Seeq •
A Freemen desert settlement. In the native language a Seeq is defined as a "place of assembly in time of danger." Because the Freemen lived so long in peril, the term came by general usage to designate any cave warren inhabited by one of their tribal communities.
• Shai Dood •
Giant worms that roam the desert sands. Off world translations list “Shai” to mean “eternal” and “Dood” to mean “worm.”
• Sand Filters or “the Nose Hose” •
A small, tubular object used on Al Raqis to help prevent loss of body moisture. The filter catches and directs all the air breathed out from the lungs, with its moisture, into a desert survival suit’s moisture recovery filters. The roughness of the plug causes sores at the cheek at first and eventually leaves a tell-tale scar, marking desert born and those who spend long times with them.
Al Raqis “Customs”
(remember that customs can be followed or broken. There will be RP consequences for breaking customs)
1) Address the leaders of Great Houses by the courtesy titles of Lord or Lady. Failure to use a courtesy titles may cause an insult, depending on the noble or their staff.
2) The law forbids openly displaying weapons in the settlement, landing pads, and high port by any citizen other than Police or Great House Security. Citizens may apply at the Magistrates Office for weapon licenses.
3) Custom forbids off-worlders from traveling south of Al Raqis City.
4) The desert worms, called Shai Dood by the desert born, are deadly and can attack without provocation. Off-worlders should avoid all contact with them.
5) Military personnel are expected to adhere to military discipline,
6) Non-human players "may" be considered by other players as genetic experiments and/or lesser citizens. This is not a Star Trek sim and as such it is realistic to play the fact that humans tend not to deal with difference well.
7) To give water means respect and loyalty. To do so without sincerity is an affront to the Desert Born.