A Guide to the Authority I: The Lay of the Land

The Authority of Stars is comprised of nine habitable planets (as well as numerous stations, moons and artificial worlds) spread across seven systems:

 

Sol (Authority controlled; predominantly human):

Earth (planet) – The homeworld is revered by humanity, and has long been protected within a network of defensive ships and platforms know as the Earth Defence System should it ever come under attack. On the surface however much of the planet is in disrepair, caught in a cultural and technological time warp that stems directly from environmental and cultural heritage laws designed to keep the planet preserved.

Mars (planet) – Now resembling Earth due to hundreds of years of steady terraformation, Mars has become the seat of the Authority’s military presence in Sol as well as having several massive civilian cities as well. The mostly deserted wastelands are populated by feudal tribes and nomads that descended from the very first settlers.

Titan (moon) – Has a very small population that live mainly in underground arcologies.

Lelantos (garden world) – A marvel of engineering, Lelantos is a hexagonal lattice of artificial landscape curled into a sphere and pinned to a huge mass core that forms its centre. Though the world is small, the tubular nature of the lattice allows people to live both on the outside and inside of its circumference. In orbit around Saturn.

Ulysses (garden world) – [mentioned in passing only, i.e. I have no idea what it’s like yet]

Astraea (station) – The home of hi-tech mercenary organisation Libra. The station is fully moveable, highly militarised, and serves as both their living quarters, training ground, and research facility.

MCS Sol (station) – A huge and sentient bowl-shaped station designed to send and receive ships to and from other systems.

 

Barnard’s Star (Authority controlled; predominantly human):

Hestia (planet) – Named after the Greek Goddess of fire and the hearth. An Earth-like planet that is mostly desert around its equator with icy tundra to the north and south. Due to its large size and density it has a deadly high gravity which has to be counterbalanced using enormous underground graviton manipulation plates. As a result only small portions of the planet are safe to unprotected humans.

Halcyon (moon) – A small and barren place not unlike Earth’s moon dotted with enormous bio domes. Originally designed as temporary housing for workers during the early stages of Hestia’s terraformation, the domes have long since been converted into pleasure homes for the rich and famous.

Icarus (station) – A civilian station, the main purpose of which is to harness energy from the dying star. Twinned with Daedalus.

Daedalus (station) – A civilian station, the main purpose of which is to harness energy from the dying star. Twinned with Icarus.

MCS Barnard’s Star (station) – A huge and sentient station designed to send and receive ships to and from other systems.

 

Alpha Centauri (Authority controlled; predominantly human):

Hephaestus (planet) – Named after the Greek God of fire, blacksmiths and craftsmanship. This planet was originally too close to Alpha Centauri to be habitable, but when it was analysed to be incredibly rich in minerals it was dragged into an orbit that would support human life (using several large mass cores that would remain in orbit as moons) and slowly terraformed over a period of several centuries. It is a mild/cold temperate climate with 92% of its surface being land. Imported fauna does not thrive well due to a lack of water and natural topsoil. Most of the planet is dull, dry, and rocky, with the main source of oxygen producing plant life being grasses, mosses and lichens.

Cronus (planet) – Named after the Greek Titan. A planet in the early stages of terraformation with a very low population due to its current volatile climate and weather. All above ground settlements are covered with high-powered non-Newtonian shielding, and travel between them is by high-speed underground train only. To step outside means almost certain death. Has a large ethnic Chinese population who dominate the planet’s economy.

Demeter (garden world) – Named after the Greek Goddess of Corn and Agriculture. Demeter is widely regarded as the most pleasant place in the system, attracting retirees, holidaymakers, and students. It’s a squat cylindrical structure that gently rotates in order to simulate an Earth-like gravity around the inside surface area. Both ends are plugged with ‘end caps’ that hold the central pillar in place, a narrow cylindrical structure that runs directly down the centre of Demeter and provides the inside walls with weather as well as processing the atmosphere and simulating night and day.

MCS Alpha Centauri (station) – A huge and sentient disc-shaped station designed to send and receive ships to and from other systems. Is held in permanent stasis within one of Demeter’s end caps.

 

Wolf 359 (Authority controlled; predominantly synthetic):

Ámmos (planet) – Greek for ‘Sand’. A large sandy planet inhabited by synthkind. The gravity is over three times that of Earth, with an un-breathable atmosphere and temperatures of less than -150 degrees centigrade. Contains several large synth cities and mining facilities.

Ocean I (orbital network) – A network of over fifteen hundred tiny moonlets orbiting a mass core in tandem. Each moonlet is connected to its direct neighbours using colossal nets of fibresteel cabling, and travel between them is facilitated using high-speed elevators and miniature MCS.

Sky I (orbital network) – A near carbon copy of Ocean I. Houses the system’s most crucial technologies as well as their Navy.

Earth II (orbital network) – The largest of Wolf 359’s orbital networks. Comprised of only a thousand or so moonlets, but said moonlets are of a much greater size. Visitors to the system are received here.

MCS Wolf 359 (station) – A huge station designed to send and receive ships to and from other systems. Rather than being sentient in its own right this particular MCS is controlled by a governing body of AIs.

 

Lalande 21185 (Authority controlled; predominantly synthetic):

Home I (orbital network) – The largest of all orbital networks; unique in the sense that the moonlets are arranged in a much flatter, spiralling, almost galaxial manner rather than in a more typical spherical shape. Most of the moonlets are uninhabitable to human beings due to cold and lack of atmosphere.

Home II (orbital network) – The smallest of all known orbital networks. Comprised mainly of servers, storage devices and military hardware, allowing synthkind to inhabit a digital plane of existence should they choose to. No accommodation is available to visiting humans.

MCS Lalande 21185 (station) – A huge station designed to send and receive ships to and from other systems. Rather than being sentient in its own right this particular MCS is controlled by a governing body of AIs.

 

Procyon (self-governed; predominantly human):

Juturna (planet) – Named after the Roman Goddess of wells, lakes and springs. A true paradise of lakes and hills, with moderate temperatures everywhere but on the equator and the poles. They have extreme heat and cold respectively. Much of the planet’s surface is covered in reddish vegetation and animal life genetically engineered to thrive under the powerful glare of Procyon A, though a few sub-continents of traditional terrestrial forest thrive in some of the more sheltered temperate zones.

Antevorte (planet) – Named after the Roman Goddess of the future. A mountainous and snowy planet with a large tropical continent around two-thirds of its equator. Most settlements in the snowy regions are underground or built mobile atop great hovering ships, with the tropical continent being where the young, old and infirm can live in relative safety. Much of the planet is under the control of the Chalice, an extremely powerful self-replicating synthetic entity.

Hemera (planet) – A Jupiter-sized gas giant of similar composition.

Furina (moon) – This small but well developed moon is in orbit around Antevorte and acts as a haven for criminals from all walks of life. Completely lawless and unpoliced by either Authority forces or Sonata.

MCS Procyon (station) – Home to the only true Authority presence in the whole system. Travel from Procyon to elsewhere in the Authority is strictly regulated in order to keep the Chalice localised to just the one system.

 

Sirius (self-governed; predominantly human)

Libertas (planet) – Named after the Roman Goddess of freedom. An incredibly unpleasant planet of radioactive storms and sulphurous seas, all settlements are built deep into mountains or deep underground. Despite the hardships created by the planet’s climate the people are strong, resilient, and independent. The entire planet is governed by a single mostly benevolent Empire that enforces its rule using superior technology and when necessary extreme violence.

Orcus (moon) – Named after the Roman God of death and the underworld. A moon whose orbit dictates that it never faces Sirius and is therefore always in darkness, illuminated only by Libertas.

Coelus (moon) – Named after the Roman God of the sky. Largely populated by runaways and exiles, its irregular shape means that it has an unstable atmosphere and is therefore prone to storms and high winds. Only a handful of settlements are safe enough to dwell in all year round.

MCS Sirius (station) – A huge and sentient station designed to send and receive ships to and from other systems. Is protected by a flotilla of Authority ships (which comprise the Authority’s only sustained presence in all of Sirius).

One thought on “A Guide to the Authority I: The Lay of the Land

  1. Isabel Delcourt-Couto

    Great information. It gives us an insigh into the realm of Authority of The Stars. Wished this information was published so we can enjoy and have a better undestanding when we read the books.

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