Originally published on April 26, 2016 as a segment of Around the Verse #2.25: In our third episode, Writer William Weisbaum from the CIG Lore Team explores the Elysium System.
LOREMAKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: ELYSIUM
Hello and welcome to another edition of Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’m your host for today, Will Weissbaum, Senior Writer, here at CIG in beautiful sunny Los Angeles, California. On today’s episode we’ll be taking a look at Elysium, which is a fantastic system for all its history. Let’s go take a look at it now.
So we are starting off on Earth. This beautiful blue marble we all call home, but not for much longer as we’re going to expand out through the stars. [whispering] Let’s go . . to Elysium. How about that? Magic. So it is a five planet system that was discovered way back in November 15, 2541. And what was so noteworthy about this system upon it’s discovery was that it was inhabited. It was not an empty system. We quickly learned that there was another space faring race called the Tevarin living on Elysium IV or as they called it Kaleeth [pronounced Kay-lith] or Kaleeth [pronounced Kay-leeth]. Depending on whether you want to use the right or incorrect pronunciation.
So the UPE, the United Planets of Earth, the government at the time were very excited to discover a whole new race. They were spacefaring technology wise but not as quite as advanced as us humans. And we thought it was a great opportunity to expand our reach and incorporate an entirely new alien species into our civilization.
Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out that way, because the Tevarin attacked us. They wanted what we had and it was a full all out war, our first interspecies war, and it was terrible, but what came out of it was the rise of a young Colonel Ivar Messer who rose through the ranks and became the hero of the war at the famous Battle of Idris IV where he managed to turn the tide of the offensive and really stick it to those Tevarin. Even though the Tevarin weren’t as technologically advanced as we were, they were brilliant strategists and were able to hold out much longer than anyone thought, even taking over human systems and driving our forces back.
So, by the end of these four years we were able to conquer them. We sent them fleeing out into the verse, hiding in various places in Banu and Xi’An space. So after that moment, we started colonizing and terraforming worlds that were formerly part of the Tevarin Empire were now part of the human empire, as Ivar Messer had now become the Imperator and had transformed the United Planets of Earth eventually into the United Empire of Earth.
Now, everything seemed to be going well as humans settled into Elysium until around 2603 when the Tevarin returned with a vengeance and they had a new leader.They had a new leader called Corath’Thal, who was dead set on reclaiming the Tevarin homeworld for his people. He burned a path through the stars fighting his way towards Elysium. There was in Centauri the famous Battle of Centauri where Squadron 42 had their first major victory ever in shutting down the Tevarin offensive after a grueling seven years of fighting. Rather than accept the defeat, the Tevarin pushed through the jump in Centauri and fought their way towards their home planet knowing that it was a doomed effort until they finally turned down their shields.
Oh, oops that was Nul. They did not . . they did not go to Nul. [laughs] However, they did go to Elysium where eventually they turned off their shields and crash landed onto the planet burning up in the skies of Elysium IV which some of you may have seen in the famous painting that commemorated the moment that was called, ‘Tears of Fire’. Some of you may have seen the famous moment of the ships crash into the planet’s atmosphere burning up in the famous painting, ‘Tears of Fire’ that commemorated this historic moment. So after the Second Tevarin War, the Tevarin were pretty much shattered and humanity was kind enough to offer them a place amongst us as a subjugated people which catches up to 2610.
So that’s a little bit of the back story that marks Elysium. Let’s go now and start looking at the system itself. Currently it’s got four known jump points: one between Elysium and Centauri, another between Elysium and Leir, an Elysium – Idris jump point, and an Elysium – Vanguard jump point. It’s a little bit telling about how this system works. The Vanguard one of course is Vanduul space, which is a threatening area.
Centauri itself is a pretty happening system. It’s home to MISC So, there’s a lot of business traffic that flows through there. In Leir, Leir is kind of an outsider system home, in fact, to the Outsiders, so traffic to there is a little bit odd to say the least. And finally, there’s Idris which still is trying to regain its footing after the Battle of Idris IV which left it terribly scared. So, a medium amount of traffic heading in and out of this system, which is, Elysium today is still trying to find it’s footing in the Empire, it’s known mostly for it’s historical significance but it’s trying to forge ahead and define itself in the world of 2946.
So let’s look at the sun now, so the Elysium star is an F-Type main sequence star, it’s 1-to-1.4 times the mass of our sun with a white-to-yellow light. It burns hotter and faster than our sun, so it’s going to give it a little bit of a shorter lifespan than you would expect for a system but of course a shorter lifespan in terms of the galaxy is still billions and billions of years – 2-to-4 billions to be precise, or unprecise as I gave a range of numbers, instead of a exact one.
Now, next up, moving away from the star is, we have, Elysium I, which is kind of a cool planet in itself, in that it is a hot Jupiter, in classification known as a migrating gas giant which was believed to have been formed in the outer reaches of the system and then migrated inwards sweeping up loose planets and stuff in it’s path until it settled in very close to the star itself, only about .1au away. This means that its surface gas is very hot, creating a lot of wind surfing around it and a very even surface temperature. So it’ll be interesting trying to fly there to harvest things because of its proximity to the sun.
From Elysium I, we’re going to head on out to Elysium II, which is a coreless planet – coreless doesn’t mean that it’s hollow on the inside, it means that it just doesn’t have a magnetic core so it’s all throughout without a spinning coil like Earth has, which means it’s kind of like a dead lifeless rock in the system floating around. Some mining to be done there, but it still hasn’t been heavily developed yet.
Its surface is heavily impacted by craters which have led many scientists to speculate that there was some significantly large impact in its past but the Tevarin don’t indicate anything during their time and scientists are still trying to work out exactly what happened through research.
So, heading out from Elysium II, we’re going to head over to Vosca, Elysium III, which is a desert planet, which is really cool, when we took over this system from the Tevarin, this world was pretty much left alone, it was desert, arid, really warm, very little water, and it seems that the Tevarin did not have terraforming technology like we did. So when the UEE took over, one of the things they did was terraform the planet.
Now, a lot its surface is sparsely inhabited. Still, even though it’s terraformed, it’s still very rough place to live, very little when it comes in terms of water, there is some water mining at the polar caps but they are pretty small, a lot of the water has to be either shipped in on haulers or from water harvesting units that are scattered throughout the desert.
One of the major landing zones on the planet is Rez’s Landing which is an arcology built by Rehari Inc. used to mine some of the resources in the planet. It’s been digging itself deeper and deeper, as the years goes it struggles to find more and more resources, more and more resources to harvest. It is represented in the Senate, so… Even though it’s sparsely populated, it does have representation in the Senate.
Moving on from this desert world, we’re going to head probably to the highlight of the system which is Jalan. Now, Jalan is formerly for the Tevarin, Kaleeth, it was their homeworld and to date it probably houses more Tevarin architecture and historical sites than any other planet in the system.
Big part of this is doing to the Tevarin Purge where after the Second Tevarin War, a lot of the remaining Tevarin sought to free themselves from their connection to their past that had failed them so much. And a lot of these important sites were destroyed by the Tevarin themselves. However, because Jalan was in human control at the time, a lot of these sites were preserved for future generations to appreciate.
The main city on Jalan, is the capital, Gemma, which hosts a major temple upon a mount which from searching through the Tevarin records we know they chose the site because of its strategic importance – that it was well fortified and easy to defend rather than any kind of beautiful vista or religious significance.
The temple is a Rijora temple, which was the battle religion of the Tevarin. It’s a major tourist site today, and a lot of preservation efforts are currently going on to save the Tevarin artifacts from being destroyed just from ship traffic and people walking around so there’s a major effort right now to conserve the site.
Even though it goes against kind of one of the major industries on Gemma, which is tourism – so trying to balance those two is an issue that’s going on. Landing in Gemma will appear different than landing in other worlds, because the landing port is designed to blend into the Tevarin architecture – so that’s kinda neat.
One of the major things that you might have been reading about recently is the upcoming election on Jalan IV – a Senate seat – the election is coming up on May 3rd, so debates are starting to heat up across the Spectrum as people decide which candidate to support – of note is the fact that it’s the first Tevarin running to be senator, Suj Kossi and he is an ex-military man, served in the Navy, and he has the criminal background himself before he earned citizenship – so he’s offering a lot of hope out there for the Tevarin for bettering their lives in the UEE. A lot of people are still holding grudges against those two wars, so it’ll be interesting to see whether he’s able to gain a seat or not. He is a Centralist and has a lot core beliefs and believes in the strength of the military and in the Central Government.
He’s going against two other candidates – one Sakae Marigold, who’s more of a Transitionalist and is looking to curtail military spending in light of the new war with the Vanduul and really focus in on rebuilding the social structures that are needed. There’s a lot of unemployment and poverty going on Jalan as the system itself hasn’t really struck it’s economy foothold yet – outside of its Tevarin artifacts and tourism.
The third candidate is Gabrielle Gracián who is a Centralist, she served on the Governor’s Council for a while and has the backing of the current administration. A little people, a lot of people are a little bit wary of electing her because they fear that it’ll be a return to the norm – but she has a lot of experience whereas the other two candidates don’t as much.
So moving on from Jalan, we’re going to head way out 12.6au out to Elysium V, which is a dwarf planet lurking way out in the stretches of the system and it is a small rocky body. So there you are. That is the Elysium system and I hope I was able to enlighten you on some of its finer points today – in that you enjoyed taking this Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy journey with me. Thank you so much.