Originally published on Feb 22, 2017, writer Adam Wieser divulges the complex history of the Magnus system, known as the headquarters to the controversial ship manufacturer, Drake Interplanetary. Despite its ideal location in the large trade lane between Sol and Terra, Magnus thrives as a dangerous frontier system.
Hello and welcome to another edition of Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy. My name’s Adam Wieser; I’m Associate Writer at Cloud Imperium Games based here in the Los Angeles office. For those of you who have never seen the show before, this is a chance for a member of the Lore team to sit down and give you a guided tour of one of the hundred systems you’ll be in Star Citizen or Squadron 42. Just a chance for us to show the depth that we’re giving to the history and the astronomy that goes into everything that we’re doing here.
So today we’re going to an interesting system for a handful of reasons, kind of a contradictory system too in a few ways that we’ll be discussing. It’s a system that’s in a fantastic location, but it has a terrible reputation. It’s also probably today best known as the home world for the headquarters of Drake Interplanetary, today we’re going to go off, and we’re going to visit the Magnus system.
So, we’re just going to go into the search bar here, type in Magnus and let’s just zoom right over and let’s see where we’re at. Now when I say it’s in a great location, it’s because when we go to this big level here, you’re going to see exactly what I mean.
We’re going to turn on large jump points. It’s got three jump point connections which are very important. You’ve got one to Ellis, you’ve got one to Stanton which you’re already familiar with playing the Persistent Universe and going to Port Olisar. Then it’s got a medium jump point here connection to Terra but the reason why this is such an important and great location to be in is if I drop off the medium jump point, we just focus on that, you’ll see that Magnus is right in the heart of the large jump point run between Sol and the Terra system.
So, there’s a lot of shipments that will be going through here which makes you think this would be a very important system or could be a very economically strong system considering its location to Stanton, Terra, Ellis, and everything else that’s on this path there.
For years now, for a century and a half, this system has mainly almost been known as a dangerous frontier system. One of the official slogans for the system is ‘Magnus on the edge of the unknown’ even though here it is right between two of the most important systems in the UEE.
As we go into Magnus, again it’s strange that it’s a frontier system considering where it’s located, but one of the reasons for that is because it has a convoluted history.
When it was first discovered the UPE took a great interest in it in 2499. The system was first discovered, so it’s been around for a little over 450 plus years, but when we first came about it, the government was interested in it because of the star at the center here.
Now if we zoom on in this is a main sequence K-type star also known as an orange dwarf, and even today scientists like to focus on these stars as being a potential home for extraterrestrials, for alien life forms. The reason is that these stars are very stable. They have an extended life period even compared to the sun at the center of the Sol system.
These stars, the K-types live for about 15-30 billion years on average while our sun lasts closer to 10 billion years. It’s here for a long time which means there’s a chance for life to develop, it’s also smaller, it’s cooler, it’s less luminous. This one in particular, the luminosity is like .34 points to what Sol is. If our sun is one, this is .34 luminosity when it’s gets compared to that.
K-type stars like this also emit less ultraviolet radiation which is another characteristic of star systems where life can flourish.
Unfortunately, when the government started to look at the wider Magnus system even with this promising star at the center they did not find life. They found three planets, only one of them Borea, which we’ll get to in a little bit was even habitable for us. It needed to be terraformed, but it still had the potential to be habitable. That said, the UPE still decided to hold onto the system because of a handful of factors.
The first being right here, Magnus I. Now this is described as a small, rocky planet. It doesn’t have an atmosphere but what it did have were tons of valuable minerals and this kind of got the government’s interest.
So, the make up the minerals that they were starting to pull off this planet has led scientists to believe that it’s just not another small, rocky world. That this is potentially a Chthonian planet. Now Chthonian planets are interesting because they are former gas giants or in this case most likely a hot Jupiter that was within the frost line of this system and the orbit migrated in until it got stuck here close to the sun. Now when it got this close to the sun, basically the heat burned off the gasses outer layer of the planet just leaving the rocky core at the center.
This process is known as a hydrodynamic escape which would have led to this mineral rich core of this former Jupiter sitting here at Magnus I at the center of this system next to the sun.
That was one of the reasons they decided to hold onto this system. The second was because Borea could be terraformed and that happened pretty much right away. As they started to dig into it a little bit, they realized there’s no life here but we could still make something of it. It’s a terrestrial, rocky planet with a number of different climates locations on it. So they began the terraforming process in 2533 and they decided to leave this as a military classified system. So, not a lot of extra foot traffic or ship traffic, excuse me, could kind flow through this system.
Now the rest of this, if we just back out of here for a second. When we talk about the history of the Magnus system, we’re talking about Borea. We’re talking about this second planet here, and there is a third one out on the fringes here. This is Magnus III; it’s a super-Jupiter with a beautiful multicolored atmosphere to it and some rumors that pirates kind of like to collect in the Lagrange point there for little pirate meetups. That’s the standard stuff here for this system.
When we’re talking about Magnus, we’re talking about Borea and what has happened here over the subsequent centuries. So in 2533, the UPE starts to terraform this system, and as soon as it’s habitable, they begin to move people in to turn it into the Navy shipyard for the UPE Navy at the time. So they’re building ships here, they’re bringing in people to populate these factories, and it’s going great. It’s kicking off; it’s like a good 50-60 years of straight boom where this is the center of ship building for the Navy.
As the years kind of went on obviously the people were coming in, they were starting to have kids; a natural home grown population started to emerge on Borea. Even though it was still pretty contained because again it’s military classified, so you’re not just getting people flying in from all over the place. You have to be selected to come here and settle down.
One of the people that kind of grew up on Borea at this time was a woman by the name of Ozell Kruger and coming from this very blue-collar industrial labor force that was very prominent there at this time. She started a custom machine part shop here and called it a name you’re probably familiar with Kruger Intergalactic.
Kruger Intergalactic has recently made the foray into doing ships and other items like this but back when they first started they just made very specific for larger manufacturers. This was ideal when you’re here working with the Navy building these ships and these other larger ship companies. Maybe it’s easier for Kruger to actually make some small parts right here on the planet so that way it relieves the stress on some of these bigger conglomerates. It’s also a great way for Kruger to get their name out there and to work with some of these empire wide companies and they were able to do this because their stuff was so precise and done so well. They make everything from the firing pins that are in the Behring P8AR which is a ballistic rifle used by the UEE Marines.
Like I said, this was all well and good until about the mid 27th century. Around the mid-2600’s a lot of stuff has happened and one of the things the UEE government at the time decided to do was to move the ship manufacturing away from Borea and into the Killian system.
When they did this, they killed the entire economy of the Borea planet cause that’s really what they had there. People fled the system in droves because there weren’t a lot of other industries there and the population dwindled. Some reports have it down to less than 100,000 people living on this planet about this time.
Again there were a lot of factors here that led to the shipyards moving away from Borea; this is the middle of the 27th century, the first Tevarin has come to an end. Messer has ascended, there are all these other factors that play into it, but Borea bore the brunt of that decision.
Somebody who benefited from that decision was Kruger Intergalactic, and that’s part of the reason why you even know their name because as the ship manufacturers, as these industrial powers left to go to Killian there was all this excess space and high-tech equipment that they could buy up cheap and expand into.
They could also afford at this point to get some very highly skilled workers to come in and work for them. While the rest of the economy suffered Kruger Intergalactic prospered at this time and got growing and became a more and more respectable name. Now, remember it’s still military classified at this time, so no new people are coming on in until 2751 when the military finally decides to get rid of the military classification for Magnus and let people enter.
Now, remember that at the beginning I told you that Magnus even though it was kind of in the center of things it was still considered a frontier system? Well, this is part of the reason why. Even though it was discovered 450 plus years ago, it had its land rush, its first chance for the common citizens and civilians of the UEE to come flooding in 2751. So, in that regard that’s how the frontier spirit here has persisted in this system.
When they opened up the system and people finally start coming in, it becomes a bit more rough and tumble. People are rushing in to get land, there’s not a lot of natural industry there so people have to be creative as to how to generate their income. This unfortunately became a problem for Kruger Intergalactic because they quickly realized as piracy, as outlaws, as illegal activity increased in the system, that they were systematically spending more and more with each budget on mercenaries protecting their shipments leaving the system and that was starting to draw concern.
Eventually, in 2785, a Kruger shipment of vital components that was intended for RSI gets hijacked in this system, and it causes a major disruption to RSI’s production supply chain. This is bad business all around because not only did they have to remake the parts but it throws a wrench in everything, and it makes RSI realize that they need to diversify their production facility so this won’t happen again.
It becomes such an issue that the one thing that the Magnus system could be proud of, Kruger Intergalactic, they finally decide they need to move, and they pick up, and they go to the Castra system because there was plenty of cheap land, great supply routes, and it was just safer in general.
So once again come 2785, all of the sudden there’s even less about Borea and the Magnus system to be proud of. This malaise went on for a while but again this is a very resilient, blue collar industrial planet, it’s been what it’s always been and out of the ashes came this little company that was fighting for basically the chance for a military contract.
That company was called Drake Interplanetary and what they had was an idea for a ship that could be highly modifiable and modular so that it could be easy to repair and cheap to make, and be perfect for the UEE. Unfortunately, that ship, the Cutlass, which is getting a revamp by Josh Coons right now and looking fantastic, that ship did not win the military contract. It instead went to a ship which is all but forgotten since then, and it is now the Cutlass was then basically changed and directed towards the civilian market.
Once again the shipyard leaving, Kruger Intergalactic leaving left a lot of skilled workers, left a lot of machinery, left a lot of production spaces there and available which Drake Interplanetary has since has moved in, taken over, and turned into the company you know so well. That makes the Caterpillar, that makes the Cutlass, which makes the Buccaneer, a lot of these great ships. Some that you can even already fly when you go to Port Olisar.
So, it still the home of Drake Interplanetary, stuff has gotten better. Them bringing the industry there definitely improved stuff within the system but it’s still far from safe.
The capital of Borea is a town called Newcastle, but people aren’t allowed to land at Newcastle right now because of an attempted assassination of the governor’s council there. This happened a few years ago and ever since that incursion they’ve decided it’s better to direct all space-bound traffic to Odessa which is where Drake Interplanetary and Kruger Intergalactic were headquartered or where they still have their main headquarters being.
Just an also fun little interesting note, the speaker of the UEE Senate, Marshall Madrigal is from Borea here in the Magnus system as is the famed musician who disappeared, Gal Dougan was also first born here on Borea in the Magnus system
So, there you go. There is a quick introduction to the Magnus system, again a three-planet system here with most of the main action happening here on Borea. Very important part of the empire that this is located right on some main trade route between Sol and the Terra system and it’s not the best place to visit if you’re not careful. So just keep that in mind if you feel like going to visit the Drake Interplanetary headquarters, thanks for watching today getting to learn a little bit more about the Magnus system. I’m Adam Wieser, thanks for joining us for this installment of Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy.