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The Mod Journal ([personal profile] spaceshipit) wrote in [community profile] driftfleet_ooc2017-04-14 12:01 am

April/May System

By the end of the second week, the rumors slowly begin to fade away. No new ones seem to appear, and the old ones are left to linger or be forgotten. But now after a long journey through the depths of space, the Marsiva finally reaches orbit of a new system.

→ The fleet will be in this star system from 4/14 to 5/31.
→ There will be no mod-hosted plots or mod-posted mingles until 5/5 (besides the general system one), when a new story plot will be announced.

ETA -> Mingle is here!

The Corbius System.
The Corbius system is a rather barren system. Orbiting a blue giant, there are only a few gas planets and a single rocky planet to be found, none of them habitable. As the fleet scans the system, they’ll note that the only signs of life are coming from the asteroid belt that lies between the rocky planet and its gas planet siblings.

As they fly closer to the asteroid belt, they will find not only is it full of life, but it’s quite bustling. Ships are constantly jetting in and out of asteroids, and the ships will be hailed instructing that if they wish to dock, they need to fly into one of the many massive holes that have been carved into the asteroids.

The Belt.
an underground city

Once the ships fly into one of these holes, they’ll find a docking station for an entire settlement that’s been constructed inside the asteroid. According to the locals (orange-hued humans mostly, with a few alien species here and there), back when they were colonizing this system, they weren’t able to procure enough terraforming materials to terraform an entire planet after a vital shipment never arrived. So the settlers decided to use the much smaller asteroids in the system’s asteroid belt and terraform them instead after carving out their insides. Over the course of many years, these asteroid settlements have grown in number, and now hundreds of them can be found throughout the entire belt. Some are massive, the size of dwarf planets, while others are no more than a dozen miles large.

Life in the Belt differs from asteroid to asteroid. The Belt is run rather akin to a city-state model: larger asteroids tend to govern themselves and nearby smaller asteroids, while some asteroids have barely an established government at all. Thus, depending on where you land, the laws can range from extremely rigid and extensive, to moderate laws, to nearly entirely lawless.

Several of the larger asteroids are densely packed cities carved out of rock, with every bit of space devoted to fitting in as many people as possible. Meanwhile, the smaller ones are much sparser, full of farms and/or wildlife that’s long adapted to cave living. Mining facilities can be found in the newest settled asteroids, where they are still carving out the insides and working on the terraforming process.

Most of the asteroids have no real means of natural light, so instead they are lit either by artificial light, or bioluminescent plants. The extremely affluent asteroids have managed to carve out rotating sunshields that allow them to have natural light and a more natural day/night cycle.

Points of Interest.

There are many, many asteroids worth visiting throughout the belt, and they range from wide open spaces (within the confines of a gigantic rock, anyway), to tightly packed and massive, bustling cities. Players are free to explore to their heart's content, and may assume any setup from "underground " metropolis, to sprawling farmland, to tightly-packed mining operations. Take the following well-known asteroids, for example:

Telluria - Easily the busiest, most frequently visited asteroid in the system, Telluria is a majestic sight to behold. The city sits within the walls of a massively sized asteroid, and spans within the entirety of it, from the core to the very outer edges. It is multi-layered, architecturally brilliant, and culturally fast-paced and intense. People come here to experience "big city life," and they get it easily one hundred times over. Not only is Telluria incredibly large, it is also known to be luxurious - perhaps obscenely so! The cost of food is high, the cost of living is higher, and as the local saying goes, "you may as well pay simply to exist in Telluria!" You will not want to come here without a substantial amount of credits, dear Fleeters - or, if you're looking to make a substantial amount of credits, perhaps you'd be willing to tolerate working in the tourism and hospitality industry long enough to snag a paycheck or two.

Meston - If you’re looking for a cheaper getaway than Telluria, Meston is a good place to visit. While there’s a moderate sized urban area in this asteroid, most of the place has been converted into farms and/or designated wildlife zones. Even the urban parts have a more natural look to them, with their buildings designed to look like they are coming out of the sides of the asteroids. This is a good place if you want to stock up on some more natural resources, or just find a cheaper place to hang your hat without getting shot. The only downside is that in order to keep a semblance of peace, the local authority here tend to be overzealous with their laws. Hunting without a permit, littering, swearing too loudly, or even cutting in line can be enough to earn someone a hefty fine or even an evening spent in a jail cell.

Vingloria - The largest of the pioneering asteroids, Vingloria is still fairly untamed and contains a lot of empty, unclaimed land. Not all of that land is usable for farmland, crops, and whatever else-- though as it turns out, the minerals here are coveted in other places. There’s a compound found in some of the rock that, when broken down, is just as good for plants as soil (as long as water is added). But the biggest draw to this lawless land are the precious metal deposits. There can still be gold rushes in the nth century, it seems! The rough and tumble culture also leads to some incredibly large and occasionally violent organized crime, some of which terrorizes the farmers and laypeople on a regular basis. The only real law of the place is don’t mess with whatever group or person has laid claim to that stretch of asteroid. Normal tourists are encouraged to stay away, but entrepreneurs and those of unsavory occupations will find themselves right at home.

Due to the lack of natural lighting, most of the plant species have either evolved or been engineered to be bioluminescent.Glowing trees can be found all along walkways, parks, and any place that nature has spread. Ferns, mosses, and funguses can also be found growing robustly in the rocky outcroppings. Occasionally you’ll find ponds and lakes through the landscape, but be careful if you go swimming- it’s extremely dark and these are made of regular water.

The animals too have adapted to the cave-like living of these biomes. Moles of various sizes can be found digging through the earth, and worms aren’t in short supply. While there are no flying bird species, bats fill the void by being so numerous they might as well be pigeons. If you’re looking for something meaty to hunt, a popular creature is the ung, which looks like a large hairless rabbit. But be cautious on your hunts, as there are predators that have adapted to look like and be as durable as the rocks that surround them.

For those looking for something more cultivated, the beautiful and relaxing rock gardens are a wonderful attraction. More often found in less densely populated areas, these rock gardens feature sprawling landscapes of colorful rock, with sparse bioluminescent plant life to help light the path. Many are accompanied with quality waterscapes: serene waterfalls, running rivers, or even miniature shallow ponds can be found. Larger establishments may offer relaxation and meditation groups that gather regularly to clear their minds surrounded by such beauty. Still other establishments may even be attached to daytime spas - enjoy a pampering massage and let your worries melt away as you relax amongst the stones by the waterfall.

Unsurprisingly, the typical cuisine here consists of foods that can be grown in a cave-like environment. The dishes are chock full of mushrooms, root vegetables (beets, potatoes, tubers, etc), and various types of mosses. If you need meat, the most common type is ung meat, which tastes rather leathery and tough, but it’s pretty good fried or as jerky. Someone interested in having cuisine that requires a sun to grow can be found in the restaurants of Telluria, but be prepared to pay a very high price for your meal.

If you’re looking for drinks, there are bars to be found in any of the asteroids. They range from high end clubs on the high rises of Telluria, to the extreme dive bars of Vingloria. Liquors are typically made out of the root vegetables, so prepared for lots of types of vodkas and similar drinks. Fancier drinks can be found in Telluria, but again, it will cost you. If you’re more in drugs, certain species of mosses can be grounded up to form an array of different drugs, but these have varying levels of legality depending on where you go.

With so many asteroids to visit, of course there's also plenty of shopping opportunities available! Styles and aesthetics of course tend to vary between asteroids, but there is one recurring theme throughout the entire belt: their love of music! Rock music. Most clothing and accessory options are very heavily influenced by music and what all the best musicians and bands are wearing lately. You might find something like this appeals to you, or maybe you want something darker? The possibilities are endless, ranging from understated, to more elaborate, to very much in-your-face. For those who want to keep it simple, it’s easy enough to grab T-shirts with names of bands you have probably never heard of - either because you’re simply a visitor in this system, or because they’re so totally underground. You’ll know the difference when some locals notice your shirt, and then brag about being into them before they were cool and popular and like seriously sold out, okay.

You will also find a very unique sort of pet for sale around these parts... pet rocks! Yes, rocks. No, we aren't kidding! Rocks make wonderful pets. They come in all shapes, sizes, types, and styles. Some are crystalline and beautiful, others are more rounded and simple with the potential to be painted or decorated. They're cheap, they don't require food or water, and they're very attractive! Clearly, a rock is the perfect pet for anyone! But are they alive? Well, maybe. You see, some pet rock owners have sworn they've seen their pets moving! It's very slow, and usually, owners don't catch their pet rock actually moving, they simply swear it was on the left side of the table a moment ago, only to look again to find it on the right side of the table. You might even notice your own pet rock moving!!! People might think you're crazy if you tell them, but you know what you saw! ... Right?

The architecture of each asteroid varies depending on its main trade. While richer ones like Telluria have been able to build up and out with sleek high rises and layers of civilization, others are simpler. The buildings are all made of stone, crystal, and metal. Paint (and sometimes the bricks, too) are made luminescent by the raw materials used to make them, that way people can see where they’re going.

There are quite a few options for those who decide they want to stay somewhere that isn’t their ships. Staying in Telluria is perhaps the most comfortable, though it’s also the most expensive. The most expensive layer sits on the top of the city and boasts an incredible view of the asteroid below, whose lights appear as stars. There is still a good view on the more moderately-priced layers but the bioluminescent sky is blocked by structures and it also smells a bit like burnt oil outside. The other asteroids vary from typical hotel-like accommodations to bed-and-breakfast places. The poorest asteroids may offer you a room in the farmhouse and ask that you help with feeding the tallbird or milking livestock as part of the agreement. Even if you disagree, you’ll find it hard to say no when the bats screech incessantly outside your window at four in the morning.

If you’re looking for a fast way to enjoy the expensive and luxurious parts of the Belt, one of the quickest way to do that is to form a band! No, really. Entertainment is in high demand in many parts of the belt, and there’s nothing more that these rock dwellers love than a good rock concert from a out-of-system band. Being willing to perform (and not being bad at it) is a surefire way to earn you free passes to nice lodging, food, and supplies.

However if you aren’t musically inclined, there’s other types of work to be found. Employers are always looking for miners in the asteroids still being settled, and there’s lots of delivery jobs to be had between the different asteroids. There are plenty of service industry jobs as well. Crafting items can earn you some nice credits, especially if you make musical instruments. Some asteroids may even pay for any fighting-sort to help take out rocky predators or outlaws.

For those not worried about the law, there’s a lucrative black market to be found throughout the system, and they are always in need of delivery folks and bodyguards. Smuggling resources and other goods from one asteroid to the next is a popular trade. Just maybe don’t ask too many questions.

Those from some periods of Earth may know of a fun sport known as minigolf, crazy golf, or putt-putt. Here in the Corbius asteroid belt, this mini-sport is very popular, and it’s colloquially known as stalagolf. It's essentially played much like mini-golf, but you use a stalagmite instead of a golf club. There are many, many stalagolf courses scattered throughout the belt, and they range from fun, family-oriented fun establishments to crazy, competitive courses meant for enthusiasts. Some courses boast natural obstacles, such as one famous (or infamous, to some) course on the asteroid Kalcatta that lies in a depleted-then-abandoned mine shaft. Other courses are completely man-made.

Not exciting enough for you? Try some driving - off-roader tyle! Equivalent to off-road capable or all-terrain motor vehicles, some of the more spacious asteroids use four-wheeled units to get from place to place while also hauling large loads for crop deliveries or mining operations. Of course, more adventurous citizens have adopted smaller, quicker all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and those with the desire to drive long after the beaten path has ended will certainly enjoy off-roading adventures. Take a chance and drive out over the wild, possibly lawless terrain, or visit a park where off-roaders can enjoy established off-road "paths", or round and uneven tracks for races. Some parks routinely host exhibitions and trick shows for famous ATV drivers to show off their skills - fast spins, wild jumps, and even daredevil-ish stunts that send them soaring up ramps and over volunteers lying underneath the path. Flaming hoops may also be involved. And of course, if you choose to go for a drive yourself, please wear a helmet - safety first, and it’s the law in some asteroids!

Music and art both heavily influence the vast array of cultures found in the Corbius asteroid belt, so of course, both are everywhere. Spend your days listening to bands play in the streets, or visiting a splendid array of art museums and galleries, then spend your nights at concerts ranging from small, intimate coffee shop gatherings to huge shows that sell out entire amphitheaters. Night clubs in urban asteroids are nothing to sneeze at either, with music selections from a variety of genres. None of the songs played will be familiar to the fleet, unless they are a band that plays tunes heard on other worlds.

Beautiful exhibits featuring the works of local and/or famous, influential artists can be found all over. Street art is also very common, though the legality of it differs from asteroid to asteroid. As a result, some cities are painted and decorated by anyone and everyone - while others may only have cheap, illegal graffiti that will probably soon be removed by government workers.

There are endless opportunities to get involved in the music or the art scene here. Instruments are high in demand and always for sale somewhere - as are art supplies, of all sorts. Want to keep up with the latest artsy trends? Sculpting is universally pretty popular, but if you really want to impress the crowd and be hip to the now, you might notice the latest trend of a preference for water-based paints. Pigments are made from various minerals, making for impressive color variety. Thematically, the people of Corbius seem to center their work around the skies, the stars, and the heavens, idealizing and romanticizing travel amongst the stars, finding freedom in the in-between. "Sky pirates" make quite a few appearances in more well-known works.

Notably in the art scene, a very recent trend is quickly gaining momentum, thanks to their interactions with the Dasioe (being trade partners and all). It involves some kind of hideously neon pink bird-type creatures with long legs and necks, and curved beaks. Throughout the fleet’s stay, they seem to be appear more and more in the backgrounds of paintings, fashion, and even mentioned in song lyrics. How curious….

ETA: Sorry this wasn't included before, but a big thank you to Alice for the suggestion of bioluminscent plants! It was a lot of fun thinking those ups!

The fleet will be in this system from 4/14 until 5/31. For the first few weeks, there are no planned events so feel free to do as you’d like. In May, there will be an event post with additional information so keep your eyes peeled for that!

And as always, if you have any questions about anything above, feel free to ask in the QUESTIONS section in the comments!