On the orders of my king I have taken pen in hand to describe the
various planets of the silver Millennium for our diplomatic corps. Note
that this is an overview of the planets as I have experienced them and
should not be construed to be the be-all end-all source of information.
People across this solar-system can be unpredictable no matter what
their origin. As this document contains views that are critical of some
of our neighbors, care should be taken that it does not go outside of
One cannot write a treatise on the Silver Millennium without first mentioning the political entity that preceded it: The Golden Imperium. The Golden Imperium arose as a natural result of the discovery of the ancient wonders and the colonization of the planets. The Great Portal provided access to the other worlds and it was natural that after using the knowledge gained from the Great Library to unite Earth, the rest of the colonies on the planets should stand under the same banner as well. During the Golden Imperium, the arts, science and trade flourished. True, sometimes the government was heavy handed, and tales of repression of the Church of Fire were not unfounded but most people were content under Earth's rule.
Then came the Slavers, a race of reptilian monsters that crushed the Golden Imperium under their heel. They were of similar technical level as ourselves but as humanity knew no outside threats, we were unprepared and fell into bondage. Curiously, the Artifacts of the Ancients would not work for the Slavers and would cease to function if one of their kind so much as approached. For a thousand years they ruled us and we lived at their behest and died at their whim. Toward the last century of that dark time, a mage on the Moon, Serenity was her name, crafted a plan to free humanity from their reptile masters. Two others played a major role in her strategy, the Earth Admiral Farr, and the Martian Heiropant of the Church of Fire (She gave up her name when she took her title.) It took great planning and decades of preparation but at last the desperate bid was made. Using hoarded weapons, the people of Earth rose up and captured many slaver ships. Hundreds were taken, but these were but a fraction of the Slaver navy.
Breaking for the Moon, the ships converged on the Lunar capital city and Earth forces captured it. This would have been a hollow victory were the simple liberation of two human cites their only goal, for even then the Slavers were massing to crush the rebellion. To the Lizard's surprise the human forces retreated from the Moon taking with them the ancient Artifact, The God Chamber. The God Chamber could affect reality within its bounds but such changes were limited to inside the enclosure. As soon as the chamber opened, things within would revert to normal. To the Lizards, such a thing was completely useless, why would the Terrains spend so many lives to obtain it?
Desperately fighting their way past the Slaver armada and at great cost, ships manned by the people of Earth brought the artifact to the capital city of the kingdom of Mu: Ton-lo. There, they took the God Chamber to the Great Portal, Earth's artifact of the Ancients, and prepared another surprise for the Lizards. Seemingly from nowhere, a vast, rag-tag army came out of the countryside and converged on the alien gateway. Thinking the crazy humans were preparing for a final battle, the Slavers massed their forces for a counterattack. Before they could strike, however, the army, the mages, and the God Chamber vanished into the Great Portal.
They instantly reappeared outside the Martian capital city of Sandbartan. The Slaver forces holding the city there were quickly swamped under the press of so many human soldiers. Following the Moon mage's and Heiropant's instructions, the God Chamber was placed into the Eternal Fire, Mars' artifact of the Ancients. The timing of humanities actions were flawless for the Martian windy season began, shrouding the city in a sandstorm. The high winds and blinding sands prevented the Slavers from using their navy in the fight. Sensing some danger, the Slavers sent every soldier they had into the battle and for three days, the men of Earth and Mars threw themselves before the Slaver guns.
At the end of the third day, all their sacrifice came to fruition. The God Chamber of the Moon was reforged into the Silver Crystal:The Ginzuishou. Turning the artifact inside out, the Mages of the moon changed it so it could affect the reality of the outside world. The first act of Serenity was to bind the royal house of Mars to the magic of the Eternal Fire. Drawing upon the mystic energies of the artifact of the Ancients, the first Senshi, Mars, came into being.
Joining the men of Earth who fought the Slavers on the Plain of Blood, Mars turned the tide of battle. Under cover of the storms, the planet Mars was the first to see the light of freedom. Then, manning the grounded Slaver ships, the Earth armies, under Admiral Farr, took Serenity throughout the planets, creating the Senshi and driving out the Slavers.
In order they were, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Pluto, Nemesis, Mercury, and Venus. Finally, after a long and costly voyage, the remnants of the human fleet gathered to liberate Earth. The Slavers had abandoned the Moon and made Earth their final and most powerful stronghold. The Lizards had not been idle while their erstwhile slaves broke their chains, however; they amassed all their soldiers, all their weapons, all their ships in defense of their prize. Below, five billion souls cried out to the heavens for succor and the Senshi, now known as the Sailor Senshi because of the human fleet that carried them, answered the call.
For months, battles raged across the face of the Earth claiming Slaver, soldier and civilian alike. For it's freedom, Earth paid a terrible cost to throw off the Slaver's yoke. The last battle was at the city of Ton-lo, home of the Great Portal. The Slavers had defended it quite fiercely from the start of the fight, probably fearing humanity would add yet another magical soldier to oppose them. Wisely, the leaders of the campaign decided to free the rest of Earth first and thus gain strength of numbers for the final assault.
With all nine Sailor Senshi in the fight and the combined forces of the rest of Earth, the results were a foregone conclusion: the Slavers were overthrown and destroyed. The Lizards, however, had one final trick up their sleeve.
Serenity was in the midst of binding the magic of the Great Portal to the royal houses of Earth when they struck. A wave of death magic, unleashed from a magical artifact of the Slavers, slew all within the city of Ton-lo. Serenity, the High Priestess, the Admiral, the Sailor-Senshi, the great army of Earth, the entire city was killed. All that lived and breathed within the magnificent city died.
A period of chaos thus ensued as humanity sought to recover from this devastating blow. Some princes of Earth sought to gain control of the Silver Crystal and the transformation wands, but the surviving members of ruling houses of Mu returned them to their rightful owners. For their part in restoring these magical artifacts to the planets, the houses of Mu gained great respect throughout the solar system that they enjoy today.
Though she was only a child of fourteen when she received the Crystal, Serenity the second rose to great prominence and the Silver Millennium prospered under her rule. It was decided that the four inner Senshi, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter would forever afterward compose the bodyguard of the Moon Queen and the Silver Crystal. The five outer Senshi, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, Pluto, and Nemesis would guard the entire solar system against threats from without, such as the Slavers. Finally, the Earth remained balkanized but formed a loose confederation under the directorship of the Kings and Queens of Mu. Thereafter, Mother Earth has provided support for her children, but they do not listen to us as they once did.
To this day, the magic of the Great Portal remains scattered across the Earth. It still operates as a gateway, but there is no champion that shares its power like a senshi. No one noble house has a monopoly on it, though champions with great magical might like the Guardians, arise now and again. None of these, however, can match the power of even the least of the Senshi. Perhaps one day, when the Earth is united, Senshi Earth will come into being and join her sisters in the solar system.
Largest of all the planets, Jupiter is the frontier of human exploration despite its location as the fifth planet out. That is because of the myriad of floating islands that are scattered throughout the clouds of the gas giant provide undiscovered territory larger than the surface of thousands of Earths. The floating islands appear to be the remnants of a shell that once encased the whole of Jupiter and contained the gasses within. The large, flat pieces of the shell with no protective walls are wastelands blasted clean by the winds of Jupiter that are more powerful than any hurricane of Earth. Since it was destroyed by pressures from within, a small percentage of the shell fragments are bowl shaped and provide protection from the ravening winds of the gas giant. The ancients apparently provided some sort of hidden life support such as air-stones that function when not subject to the scouring air currents. In these oasis of shelter, life has taken hold in fierce abundance.
Some of these islands hold environments totally alien to anything we have seen. Others have plants and creatures native to Earth sprinkled amongst the strange flora and fauna. The most settled of these island-continents (and many of the shell fragments are larger than all the landmasses of Earth combined) is New Atlantis, where there are mostly earth creatures with but a sprinkling of animals from elsewhere (such as the Jabberwocky). How these plants and animals got here is another mystery the ancients have left us. They certainly didn't arrive under their own power and the gasses outside the oasises are deadly poisonous. Some cross pollination occurs, however when the islands come into contact with one another, so many species can be scattered across many of the floating islands.
Jupiter is so far from the sun that you would think it to be very dim and gloomy below the clouds but you are mistaken. Some energy, some power emanating from the surface of the floating islands charges the clouds providing bright light every hour of the day. It takes most visitors many weeks to get into the 'day' and 'night' cycles the Jovians denote by the change in color of the sky when different color bands of clouds pass overhead. This vast frontier has led to a can-do, pioneer spirit amongst the Jovians. Many challenges are laid before the inhabitants of the fifth planet but they meet them head on and with great gusto. Something about the world makes you feel alive and bursting with vitality. Perhaps this is a product of the natural setting or an effect of living on the surface of one of the Ancient's artifacts. Regardless, the Jovians are quite energetic in most physical pursuits. Because the planet offers such a wealth of living space there is almost never a conflict over resources. If you don't like your neighbors, you move or they move or, if you don't like anybody, whole islands are yours for the taking.
Perhaps it is an effect of the environment or the constant light keeping people awake all night but most Jovian families tend to be large. The typical couple will have anywhere from four to eight children with twelve or more not unusual. These large families come together for mutual protection and support into large, extended families or clans. Each clan, usually centers around a charismatic patriarch or matriarch who provides leadership and direction. Usually a clan numbers into the thousands with the largest and current planetary leaders, the MakoCloud clan, numbering into the tens of thousands.
Because of this strong association with family, Jovians are very close knit within their own group but very uncomfortable outside their clan. They tend to gravitate towards groups because of the hostile environment of Jupiter. There are many wild creatures that are quite unafraid of man happy to make a meal of the lone Jovian. It is only the foolish or powerful who go it alone on Jupiter. Now, if you prove yourself a friend to them, they will sometimes make you an honorary clan member. This is a lifetime commitment to the clan where you come to their aid and they to yours.
Since the world is a layer of soil over a shell created by the Ancients you would expect mining to be impossible but it is actually the exact opposite. Numerous meteorites rich in iron and other minerals have impacted the shell and have left large deposits on the surface for the taking. The only thing that prevents aggressive exploitation of these resources is the lack of any fossil fuels to refine them, wood fires just do not burn hot enough to do the job and the damp climate prevents the large scale production of charcoal. These deposits do, however, provide a basis of trade with Earth for finished metals and manufactured goods. If the Jovians ever develop a means of using these natural resources on their own they will quickly outstrip Earth in power and prestige. Wonder: The Spire of Jupiter.
Jutting from the remnants of the shell that once covered the planet is the Spire. It is an artifact of the Ancients that dwarfs all the others in its tremendous size. It protrudes above the clouds from the eye of a massive red hurricane and extends thousands of thousands of miles into the void. The spire is so completely black that it reflects no light at all. The surface of the spire, from its needle sharp tip to it's base, wider in circumference than the Earth, is smooth and hard and completely impenetrable. The base rests on the largest remnant of the shell that who's exact dimensions have yet to be mapped out. The exact purpose of the spire is unknown and remains a mystery to this day, however scholars speculate that it was some sort of weapon. We know this because we have discovered a complex of buildings, completely empty, that suggest some sort of control room. Lesser Wonders: Needle ships.
While not a wonder, the Needle ships need to be mentioned under this general heading of ancient artifacts. Scattered across the shell are many covered berths some contain a single, one man ship (I hesitate to use the word man because they were obviously built to carry an Ancient pilot.) These ships are shaped like a long thin cone about fifty feet in length and an eight foot diameter base. They too are completely black and resistant to damage, but not indestructible like a true wonder. Each ship is capable of fantastic acceleration and deceleration and can fire a single bolt of energy of great destructive power. Fortunately for Earth, these ships are short ranged and can only travel a few hundred thousand miles from the surface of Jupiter. After expending their energy, they automatically return to their berth and cannot be moved for over three days. << How was the planet affected during the Fall:
The force that held back the pressures of the gas giant were disrupted subjecting the floating islands to sudden, incredible pressure and winds. All were crushed or swept away within moments. Fate of the people at the time of the Fall: Killed almost at once. Like Venus, a few that were in ships in orbit managed to make it to Mars and join the exodus. >> Name of the Younger Senshi at the time of the Fall: Juno Fate of the Younger Senshi: Died at Silver Millennium Name of the Moon Cat: Isis, Female. Fate of the Moon Cat: Killed, probably, with the people of the planet. Appropriate adjective and collective noun: Jovan, Jovans
One word describes both the planet and the people and the planet Saturn: scary. From telescopes the colorful rings and bands of clouds that stripe the planet look beautiful. As one draws closer, though, the sheer alieness of the Saturn is frightening. Even from orbit, the ringed planet exudes a feeling of dread that is almost palpable. It's almost as if the thing was ripped out of some nightmare and plopped down in the midst of our system.
The wonder of Saturn, and the living space for most Saturnians is it's innermost ring: A solid band of steel of the ancients that encircles the whole planet. It appears to be a flat band of metal that executes a half twist before the ends join together. If one could live long enough you could walk on the surface you would wind up on the other side of the band.
It is covered by a life supporting envelope of air within which a thin layer of water covers the surface of the ring. Saturn, in the depths of space, is one long big gloomy swamp. Low trees, similar in nature to the Jovian Iron Oak provide shelter and a dry place to live for the Saturnians. Most living is done in platforms in the branches above the swamp but, here and there are dry places that form the heart of their cities.
The Saturnian economy is supported by their exports of rare herbs and drugs extracted from plants of the swamp that occur nowhere else in the solar system. They use these items to sparing trade with their neighbors for what they cannot produce themselves. The rare Saturnian cypress also provides decent woods for ship building and the Saturnians are the only people capable of maintaining a navy. They do so, not to project a presence in planetary politics, (they couldn't care less) but for self-defence from pirates. One thing they do prize is their privacy.
Unlike the other planets, the Saturnians are not ruled by a king or queen but instead, live under a meritocracy. The limit of one's advancement is set by one's ability. The government has three branches, war, interior and justice. The leader, Chief Director, is the chief executive chosen from the highest office of one of the three ministries. Having no fixed term, the Chief Director retires after he or she no longer meets the expectations of themselves or their followers. Unlike the other senshi who have the power bestowed upon them by blood, the saturn power seems to find its avatar on its own. Typically she is the daughter of one of the high ministers or other.
As a people they seem to be cold and aloof, not in a way that is prideful but as if any opinion other than their own doesn't really matter that much. This would make for a very haughty people except they are some of the most self-critical, analytical, human beings to ever exist. Failure because of some weakness is sometimes reason for suicide and such an act is considered laudable as the highest form of self criticism.
I would say they are trying for sainthood but that would imply that their chief virtue was love; instead, it is honesty. Honesty with themselves and with the outside world. That virtue and personal perfection, not necessarily in the physical sense, are their highest goals. Several times in the recent past, the Saturnians have been called in to decide disputes because of this reputation for honesty. Their justice system is somewhat harsh in its punishments but the application of that law is scrupulously fair. Many other monarchies across the solar system have emulated the codes and systems of saturn in their own judicial codes.
That is not to say that Saturnians are cruel and without emotion, its just they are terribly reserved and not prone to extremes. They handle many things in a rational, logical way. If you break through this shell of control, however they are people of extreme volatility. When they love it is an affair of great passion, when they hate it is a war of extermination. One is best advised to act as reserved as they when dealing with them. Wonder: Ring of Infinity
On a scale of construction that only the Ancients could conceive is the innermost ring of Saturn. A band of steel that seems to defy logic by having only one side. The purpose of the ring remains a mystery as of this writing. The metal it is composed of is indestructible (to human means at any rate) and completely stable. Measurements taken of it indicate it is the same width for its entire length. Other than the slight twist that it executes as the ends join there is no warping or stretching. There is some undefined effect that prevents any of the surrounding debris that form Saturn's other rings from striking it, even when purposefully aimed at it. (As some pirates found to their dismay when an extortion scheme went awry.)
Physically, the ring is inert but mystically it is alive. It holds some attractive power to those who decide to make it their home. Some indefinable quality draws people to the mysterious ring. Why they are so drawn, none can say, but the call of the ring cannot be denied.
The Senshi Saturn has a distinct, continuous personality that is constant from life to life. This personality merges to some degree with each new Saturn, but remains separate at the same time. The personality retains memory from one life to the next, and tends to take the long-term view of things. One consequence of this is that there can only be one Senshi Saturn at a time. The previous one must vacate the office before a new Saturn appears. This is usually through the death of the previous Saturn, but there is at least one case of the Saturn spirit withdrawing from a living host in order to move on.
The origins of the Saturn spirit are debatable. The only one who would know for sure is Saturn herself, and she's not talking. << How was the planet affected during the "Fall": It's hard to say exactly how the ring was affected during the fall because no one ever returned. In my second incarnation nothing was ever heard from the inhabitants of Saturn. Not even from those who inhabited the Saturnian moons made it to safety on another planet. I would think that they are dead but there is something about the ring that suggests differently. Fate of the people at the time of the Fall: Impossible to say, nothing was ever heard from them and modern day science cannot see the ring. >> Name of the Younger Senshi at the time of the Fall: ? Fate of the Younger Senshi: ? Name of the Moon Cat: Arachne (female) Fate of the Moon Cat: Unknown, However, I do know he was on the ring at the time of the fall. Notes on the Moon Cat: Wild, willful persian. Considered a sexual predator by the other female cats. Had a kitten by Aries at one point. Appropriate adjective and collective noun: Saturn, Saturnian (Saturnites?)
The planet and the people of Uranus make their own way through the solar system on their own terms. The planet spins on its axis sideways to the plain of the ecliptic as if it were ignorant of the laws of celestial mechanics or just didn't care what the other planets were doing. The Urainians are the same way, scandalously disregarding convention entirely. This is probably because, of all the people of the solar system, they are the richest. Most of their everyday needs can be satisfied by the Ancient wonder (detailed below) so all they want for is amusement. To that end they are the chief consumers of entertainment. Those that say the Venusians are decadent haven't met the Uranians.
Like all the people of the gas giant worlds, the Uranians live on the wonder of the Ancients for their world. In this case it is the Shell, so named because it reminds one of the inside of a turtle's shell. Access to the Shell is via two means, the Great Portal as already detailed, and the Vortex of Uranus. The Vortex is a cyclone of gasses that begins at the north pole of Uranus and plunges into the heart of the planet. The narrow end terminates at the "mouth" of the Shell. This freak of weather is probably accomplished in the same way Venus is made habitable; it is obviously not natural.
The "mouth" can also somehow can sense what ships are to be admitted and which to be refused. Not too long ago a group of pirates were almost completely obliterated when they tried to gain entrance to raid Uranus and the mouth would not open. Then they foolishly fired upon the Shell, not only did it have absolutely no effect on the wonder (all the wonders are completely invulnerable to human weapons) the Vortex moved and swept all but one of them away.
Inside the Shell one is seized by a feeling of closeness no matter what size the chamber one finds oneself in. A warm comforting presence that seems to hang on you like a familiar old cloak. For this reason, Uranians are the most reluctant of travellers. When they do go abroad, they like to stay in enclosed spaces or underground if possible.
The Shell provides sustenance to the Uranian's via replication chambers scattered throughout the interior. Anything placed within one of these one-meter diameter chambers is copied, even the most complex Lunan clock is recreated down to the tiniest gear. There are limits on the chambers, however. No living creature can be replicated, the chambers just will not do it. Certain things, like water, can be produced in whatever quantity desired. Simple foods such as grain or beans, take longer and can be generated in amounts sufficient to feed Uranus' large population. Wood, leather, cloth and nonmetallic objects take longer but no one on Uranus lacks for a pair of shoes. Metal is harder to replicate; the rarer it is, the longer it takes to produce and the chamber is unusable for other things until it completes the copying process. All of the chambers are tied together so if one is trying to replicate a gold bar, for instance it would take the same amount of time even if you divided the bar up into portions and put it into more than one chamber. Metal objects can also take a varying amount of time to create, sometimes it can be done instantly other times the same object can take weeks. This unpredictability has driven the Uranians to trade other items for metals. Given this, we have hypothesized that all of the chambers seem to draw from a common source where water is plentiful and gold is rare. <<I can guess that the shell was somehow extracting these elements from the surrounding atmospheric layers of Uranus.>>
This is not a self-perpetuating system, however as the copies are imperfect, the more complex the original the more flawed the copy. Foodstuffs produced in this way are more bland and less nutritional, the aforementioned clock loses time, medicines so replicated are completely ineffective. Copies of copies are even worse with the results becoming more and more simplified. If nothing else, the Urainians must venture outside their world for items to copy.
Another amazing thing the Shell can do is to create ice ships. By merely touching a globular protuberance in the mouth chamber and expressing the desire for a ship, the Shell begins construction of a hull made of ice. The end product can then be equipped with drive stones and air stones to make a quite serviceable ship. Now, as long as the ice ship stays beyond the orbit of Jupiter such a vessel can remain in operation for many months. The closer one goes to the sun, obviously, the shorter the ship's lifespan.
The Uranian economy is based largely in trading simple, copy items for more complex ones. A common example would be, sugar for Saturnian medicines or alcohol for Jovian leathers. One section of the shell is suitable for farming and it provides the base agricultural items for copying. Inside this section, which is a lot warmer than the rest of the shell, many exotic fruits and vegetables are cultivated. From these small farms spring the whole of the Uranian economy. Among these farms are some of the best vineyards in the solar system. Their wines are renowned and even the copies of certain vintages demand a good price.
Naturally enough, these landholders are the leaders of Uranian society as they produce the originals from which copies are made. They are quite a libertine government though, using a bureaucracy that still lingers from the days of the Golden Imperium to regulate them, the use of the replication chambers is open to all. A strict accounting of the time used is kept by the bureaucracy, though, and the laws are rigorously enforced to prevent excessive use of them. Each year, every Uranian is allotted a certain amount of time to use the replicators. As long as they have time remaining, they can produce almost anything they want. If time runs out and the unlucky Uranian cannot support himself he must work on one of the farms until next year when he will hopefully be wiser in his use of replicator time.
This has resulted in a society of leisure that engages in all sorts of pursuits with a heavy emphasis on entertainment. The Uranians seem to be less caught up in sport as Venusians but still enjoy participating in many activities. Though less devoted to the strict sciences as the Mercurians, the Uranians are quite adept in the fields of philosophy and history. What they do excel in is the arts and entertainment. Since they have so much free time available they are somewhat jaded in the field of entertainment; Having seen so much already, they are always trying new things, things that most of the populace of the solar system would find quite shocking. Having visited Uranus, I can say that their playwrights explore many themes quite explicitly and some scenes of the plays I have taken in have no place in this document.
This decadence has not left all the Uranians soft, however. Their wealth allows them to explore many options to their lives that are closed to their poorer planetary neighbors. Some Uranians, for instance, started a trading company for their own amusement and discovered that they enjoyed making money so much that it grew into a planet spanning empire that rivals some of the great shipping houses of the moon. Some of the best poets, musicians, philosophers, and scientists spring from this planet. These are the exceptions, however, the general mass is a lot less ambitious and content to lay back and enjoy the pleasures provided to them by the wonder of the Ancients. Wonder: The Shell
Like all the peoples of the gas giant worlds, Uranians make their home on the wonder of the ancient. In this case it is The Shell. It is so called because it resembles a turtle's shell as seen from the inside. It is impossible to say what the Shell looks like from the outside because the only portion visible is the "mouth" at the terminus of the vortex. The inside of the shell is divided into many smaller chambers who's original purpose we can only guess at. They range in size to the one just inside the mouth, about three high five wide by twenty long to ones no larger than your fist scattered throughout the inside.
Interconnecting these chambers is a vast network of tunnels and tubes that also range in size from the huge to the tiny. Access to these chambers are provided by circular doors that look and act similarly to the iris in one's eye. Even the "mouth" is constructed like this for an opening over three miles across. These doors sense the presence of someone outside them and open to permit admission. There are several, though, that do not open for anyone since their discovery back in the Golden Imperium. Teleportation fails inside the shell so whatever is behind them remains a mystery to this day.
The Shell is composed of a hard, horn-like material that is stronger than steel. It ranges in color from black to ivory white. Illumination is provided by softly glowing globes and tubes on the ceilings and walls of the chambers and tunnels. These lights seem to have a sense of when something is moving within them and light up as they are needed.
The shell also has an odd "feeling" to it as though it were somehow alive. This is a comforting presence that permeates the atmosphere making one feel at home or as if part of a greater whole. The source of this feeling is unknown but it is pleasant to think that a planet welcomes your presence. << How was the planet affected during the "Fall":
I recall a tale from my fifth incarnation that tells of a people who fell from the sky in ships of ice. They came from a place which was swallowed by a whirlpool and they were the last survivors. From this I gather that at least one Uranian ice ship managed to make it to Earth and that the vortex somehow closed up. Modern day telescopes show no sign of the vortex so all I can say is that the Shell was buried in the depths of Uranus with no access. >> Fate of the people at the time of the Fall: Impossible to say, the Shell was hidden by the gas giant in Silver Millennium days. Name of the Younger Senshi at the time of the Fall: ? Fate of the Younger Senshi: Outside the system at the time of the Fall. Returned later to the dead system. Was still caught up in Queen Serenity's spell upon her eventual death. Name of the Moon Cat: Apollo (Male) Fate of the Moon Cat:
Outside the system at the time of the Fall. Was forcibly placed in a Sleep Module by Uranus and left on the Moon. Appropriate adjective and collective noun: Uranian, Uranians
Neptunians on the whole are a sensitive lot. While not as shy as the mercurians they are retiring. They are a bit insular but not as clannish as the Jovians. They also make the best musicians in the solar system. Given that they are exposed to the music of the celestial spheres since birth, that's hardly surprising. Neptunians are quiet people and quite introspective. When you are talking to them they have this terrible habit of staring off into space as though they were listening to something only they can hear. Occasionally they will laugh or smile at this "something" leaving most people to dismiss them as mad. This probably has to do with where they live and the awareness that their environment gives them.
Neptunians live on the outside of the smaller of two silver, bowl-shaped dishes that make up the wonder of the Ancients for their world. The wonder consists of two almost hemispherical bowls in orbit about the sun in the shadow of the gas giant. The bowls face away from the sun with the smaller bowl at the focal point of the larger. The light of the stars are focused on the outside of the smaller bowl and it is under this light that the Neptunians live. You would think that starlight would be too dim and weak to provide enough heat to live by but such is the vast size of the outer dish that enough is gathered to make the outside of the inner bowl a tropical paradise. Remember that when I say "smaller bowl" I'm speaking in terms of the Ancients. The calculated surface area of the outside of the "smaller" bowl is three times that of Earth. The rest of the wonder is uninhabitable being about the temperature of frozen air.
The people of Neptune live by farming and harvesting the plant life that flourishes under the light of many suns. Low trees, unsuitable for shipbuilding provide enough timber for modest dwellings, though the scale is much smaller than those of earth. The plants that grow on Neptune are not particularly rare or valuable so they do not provide much of an impetus for trade though they have species of fruits and vegetables unique to their world. What really fuels the Neptunian economy, however, are their travelling musicians and their tourist trade.
Neptunian musicians are by far the best in the solar system. They have an awareness of harmony about them that simply makes them better. That is not to say that they cannot be surpassed by great musicians of another planet it is just that their world provides them with a large head start, listening, as they are, to the music of the stars. Many come there to study music and they say they hear "the sound" too. However, having stayed there for some time I have never heard it myself and I suspect that many of those who profess they do are lying.
Given their native talent, they find a ready market for their craft on their neighboring planet Uranus. The two planets are deeply intertwined by ties of trade and culture. The thing about Neptunian musicians is they usually do not settle on other worlds. They tour about for the financial rewards and then return home with their earnings. This is, because they say, that you can't really hear "the sound" anywhere else in the solar system. "The sound" of Neptune has been compared to "the presence" on Uranus by both planets inhabitants they all agree, however, that both are different.
This awareness of "the sound" has sparked a flourishing tourist industry for Neptune. Merchants, nobles, and many a famous musician from across the solar system come to Neptune to take in "the sound" at one of the many spas. (It doesn't hurt that many of the visiting musicians and singers perform spontaneous musical sessions there.) Because of this cross pollination of talent, Neptune has become the focal point for musical culture in the solar system and many movements and trends begin there. Wonder: The Ear
Like all the wonders, the Ear is completely indestructible. The polished inner surface of the big and little dishes are mirror bright and completely smooth. The outer surfaces have a texture that is rough to the touch and are a black color that absorbs all light. An envelope of air covers the Ear although only the outer surface of the smaller dish is warm enough for human habitation. Particulate matter, swept up from its passage through space, has accumulated on the outer surface of the lesser dish and it is on this soil that the Neptunian plants grow.
The curious thing about the ear is that it always points to one particular direction in the sky. No matter where it is in its orbit, the ear always faces the same area. An area somewhere to the "north" and "east" above the ecliptic. The odd thing is, that there is nothing in that part of space. It is a complete void. The ear appears to listen to nothing. << How was the planet affected during the "Fall": No word was ever heard from the Neptunians. Since Neptune has no moons there were no people of that system that were not living on the wonder at the time. No survivors made it back so I guess they perished in the void after their life support eventually ran out. Fate of the people at the time of the Fall: Unknown. Probably died when life support failed. >> Name of the Younger Senshi at the time of the Fall: ? Fate of the Younger Senshi: Outside the system at the time of the Fall. Returned later to the dead system. Was still caught up in Queen Serenity's spell upon her eventual death. Name of the Moon Cat: Selene (female) Fate of the Moon Cat: Outside the system at the time of the Fall. Was forcibly placed in a Sleep Module by Uranus and left on the Moon. Appropriate adjective and collective noun: ? (Neptunan?, Neptunian)
A lot of people see the Plutonians as mysterious and unpredictable, but once you get to know them they are quite plain and direct. It is just a matter of throwing everything you think about immediacy and the passage of time and looking at things completely differently. To them, time is a bit of a joke played on us by God and the Plutonians are in on it. It is not uncommon for them to watch their planetary neighbors scurrying about and smile indulgently.
In every endeavor, bar none, the Plutonians take the long view. They are well known for their patience and will sometimes just stand there for hours and do nothing. When you ask them why they say "the time was not right." They can act with urgency if the need arises. I helped them dig some of their fellows out of a collapsed building once and they were quite capable of working rapidly. They were, however, very deliberate in their actions.
The population of pluto is rather small as the distant world is a cold chunk of rock and ice. Food can be found in the form of a large single celled creature called a <SOMENAME> that creeps over the ices and draws sustenance from chemicals in the ices. This is supplemented by foodstuffs imported from other planets. To pay for these imports the Plutonians engage in the activity of investment banking which they are very good at. Though not evident by their simple lifestyles, I believe that the Plutonians have the highest income per capita in the solar system. In keeping with their mysterious nature, they keep their money hidden. They prefer a simple asthicism and decorate their homes of stone accordingly.
Their conservatism and long ranged thinking really pays off in these sort of ventures. If a Plutonian gives you investment advice, take it. Just don't expect to get rich quick. In thirty or forty years you might have more wealth than the king of Uranus, but in the meantime people other than Plutonians will hop about anxiously as their money just sits there.
Luckily for the Plutonians, the Ancients left behind a means of heating their cold homes of stone. A large cache of devices that resemble large lanterns was found in one of the caves that surround the Timegate. These devices can provide heat for the largest of homes, pulling in cold air and spewing out hot. Like all ancient devices, they burn no fuel and produce no waste. It was from the sale of a few of these valuable artifacts that Pluto gained the capital to launch their investment ventures. Wonder: The Time Gate
Almost nothing descriptive of the wonder of Pluto can be written because not much is known. During the Golden Imperium, there were tales of a few people who ventured into the gate never to return. To prevent any abuse of its power, the High Emperor ruled that the gate be sealed and none should ever be allowed admission. It was thus guarded until the arrival of the Slavers, whereupon it ceased to function until the establishment of the Silver Millennium.
Since then, we have learned a few things from the senshi Pluto's that have retired from their post. Those who entered before the gate was sealed destroyed themselves with paradox. Since we are inside the timestream we do not see the effects of these paradoxes and everything seems normal. Hints have been dropped that the appearance of the Slavers may have been the result of one such paradox.
To clarify my point, I use the following example. Say I went into the gate to prevent the death of my wife and succeeded. Now my past self has no reason to venture to the Timegate and save her since she is alive. If I do not make sure that my previous self completes the cycle then a paradox occurs. It is then that reality fills in this gap by itself. The results can be small: I am never born to cause the paradox and my wife's life is changed so that she never needs saving. Or it can be large: an earthquake wipes out our entire nation so that there is no one alive to cause the paradox situation in the first place.
Because of this, the use of the Timegate should not even be contemplated. The Senshi Pluto's stand guard at the gate and only occasionally interfere with the affairs of the solar system. When they do deign to leave their post for whatever reason, know that the circumstances are most dire. << How was the planet affected during the "Fall": I would expect that the Air stones and heaters that made life possible on that planed ceased to function after their internal power ran out. Fate of the people at the time of the Fall: I would think that events were so unexpected that even the farseeing Plutonians were caught unawares. Given that, I do not think they had time to escape. >> Name of the Younger Senshi at the time of the Fall: Meiou Setsuna Fate of the Younger Senshi:
She was outside the time-stream at the time of the fall and was probably unaffected. The Pluto today is thus the same incarnation from back then. Name of the Moon Cat: None. Fate of the Moon Cat: N/A. Appropriate adjective and collective noun: Plutonian, Plutonians
Nemesis proper is not a planet but a dark sun with a system of planets around it. The sun glows a barely visible red and puts out only a small amount of heat compared to Sol at the center of our solar system. The really mind boggling thing about the Nemesis system is the wonder of the Ancients. On a scale that dwarfs even the spire of Jupiter or the Ring of Infinity is the Tunnel of Winds of Nemesis. The four planets, are all in the same orbit transfixed like beads on a string by a square shaped tunnel. Inside the tunnel are two layers of wind, the upper one flows east to west and the lower one flows west to east. It is by way of the Tunnel of Winds that the inhabitants of Nemesis traverse the spaces between the worlds.
The four worlds, or "Four Sisters" as the Nemesians call the four planets, are fixed in position orbiting the dim sun. The planets obviously do not rotate and always present one face to the sun. The opposite face is cold and dark with temperatures plunging to arctic conditions on the far side. Still, the presence of the dim sun keep those warmer than the icy wastes of Pluto. This intermix of hot and cold on the same planet results in terrible frequent storms on each planet of the Nemesis system. Still, this has served to only make the Nemesians tough and independent.
The plant life of Nemesis (when I use that term I obviously mean the Four Sisters collectively and not the black sun) is very dark in coloration, mostly in pigments of red to black. Many of them are edible and are easy to cultivate and farming is prevalent all over Nemesis. Strange species of animals inhabit each of these worlds. While there is some cross pollination among the smaller creatures that venture into the tunnels, each world has widely varying animal life.
Metals are rare on Nemesis with few deposits close to the surface and almost none very rich. To fill the void caused by the lack of metals, the Nemesians use crystals instead of metals. Necessity has made them quite skilled at growing and shaping faced minerals to substitute for the dearth of metals. They have even made some surprising replacements that out perform their metal counterparts. Nemesian obsidian knives are sharper than steel and hold their edge for years, and a crystal plow is almost as good as it's iron counterpart. Still, metal traders from earth, did a brisk business on Nemesis. << Announcing the "Name the Four Sisters" contest. Yes that's right ladies and gentlemen, if you give us a name for one of the planets and we use it in the compendium you could win these valuable prizes: *Dimensional travel fare to SME studios. (Yes, just *to*. Getting back is your problem.) *A chance for a role as an extra in the upcoming Tmask Fanfic. (That life draining stuff is all just special effects, trust us.) *Autograph sessions with your favorite SME characters and Zoalords. *A date with Margrave of Dark Kingdom Renegades (You've just got to sign this *little* piece of paper first.) Enter today...>>
While the Tunnel provides a means of contact between the planets and a bit of unity between the disparate people of the Four Sisters, there is still quite a lot of internal strife. This is generally not expressed in open warfare, though. Fighting on a planetary scale happened once in the past and the resulting destruction made the houses forswear war as a means of settling their differences. Now this competition between peoples is more along the lines of acquisition, control and political maneuvering. These activities, (which can include the rare assassination or maiming of a rival) are collectively termed, "The Game of Houses."
The nobles of the four sisters engage in this pursuit of power while most of the day to day governing is left to the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is insulated from the game because it is necessary to keep things running and cannot be disrupted by power seeking. The bureaucracy is similar in nature to the meritocracy of Saturn with advancement based on ability. Though the nobles are technically higher in rank than any minister in the bureaucracy they defer to them because otherwise they could find their requisitions and orders, misplaced.
Up until seven years ago, the ruling family that managed to keep the rest in line by straddling the division between bureaucracy and noble house was the Ancient Ring clan, (so called because they had holdings on all the sisters around the entrances to the Tunnel of Wind). Most frequently, it was their noble house in which the mark of senshi Nemesis appeared. Though they were not universally recognized as the ruling house of Nemesis, they managed to stay on top for over four hundred years and looked to have a lock on their position.
It was their chef rivals, the Black Moon house, who broke the rules of the Game of Houses and usurped their power. In a particularly unfortunate turn of events, the Black Moon house had all four of the sister avatars (explained below) appear in their family. They also forged an alliance with a demon prince and propagated his worship in return for knowledge of death magic. Biding their time, they waited until senshi Nemesis was away and attacked. Breaking the traditions and treaties of no open violence and physically attacked the Ancient Ring holdings and retainers. Caught by surprise many of the house were unprepared and a great slaughter ensued.
By the time she returned, all senshi Nemesis could do was provide cover as the remnants of her house retreated towards the only planet that could protect them: Earth. Encountering the patrol frigate "H.M.S. Valiant" the survivors of the coup asked for and were granted asylum. Perusers from Nemesis then arrived and demanded that the refugees be turned over to them. The captain of the Valiant categorically refused. He, his command crew and most of the royal house of Nemesis, including senshi Nemesis were slain by a demon priestess using death magic.
Here is where my personal history affects that of planetary politics. I was but a humble farspeaker officer aboard the Valiant when command fell to me. After getting the only survivor of the attack to safety: princess Valorie I then assembled a platoon of marines below decks. I led a surprise boarding of the Nemesian ship by traversing the undersides of the ships hulls, momentarily exposing ourselves to the void. Surprising the Nemesians we took their ship by force of arms, killing the high priestess in the process. (I later found out she was the matriarch of the Black Moon family as well. Her loss was quite a blow to their house.)
After landfall had been made and the refugees provided for, the Nemesian usurpers demanded the return of the exiles and myself for wrongfully killing their leader. In response to this, King Arturo not only refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Nemesian government, but promoted my undeserving self to the high position of Guardian of Earth and decorated me with the Order of the Rose. Not only that he renamed the new H.M.S. Dreadnought the H.M.S. Nemesis and made me her captain. My job is to make a visible presence of myself and remind the Nemesians that Earth does not accept their revolution.
Furious at the rebuff, the Nemesians broke all contact and declared all treaties with earth to be null and void. Thereafter all citizens of Terra were given three days to leave or face execution. An embargo was also placed on all earth goods and trade between the two worlds stopped. Since that time they are extremely antagonistic towards Earth and oppose us at every opportunity. They do not engage us in open warfare as that would be a losing proposition for them but nor do we have the power to oust them from power. As of this writing, we are waiting for the other planets to quit sitting on their hands and do something. Wonder: The Tunnel of Wind.
The tunnel binds the four worlds and their peoples of this system together. It provides a highway from one world to another with both large and small entrances to it scattered about the points of entry and exit. Inside, the tunnel there is gravity only at the outer edges so it is possible to jump free into the winds. Using one's arms and legs to steer, it is possible to 'fly' the tunnel in a complete orbit around the dark star. As the Tunnel of Wind is transparent, it is possible to see the stars as you fly the ring. Having experienced this incredible thrill, I can say that it is worth the long trip out to Nemesis to experience. As a rite of passage, many young Nemesians must make the flight at least once before they are considered adults.
The true purpose of the Tunnel remains a mystery to this day. Other than fixing the orbit of the four sisters, it seems to have no other purpose. Another mystery is the crystal towers, one for each of the sisters, that exist on the innermost point of each planet. These towers have some connection that is unexplained to this day with one of the inner planet's wonders. We know this because an avatar of the crystal tower arises from the populace of each world. This avatar gains some measure of power from the tower like a lesser senshi, though they do not need a transformation wand to serve as a key to their full potential. << How was the planet affected during the "Fall": Since we had no contact with Nemesis, it is hard to say how it was affected. Given that Nemesis is a system with its own sun, I would say that it is still habitable. Fate of the people at the time of the Fall: Though there was probably some disruption, they probably survived. They did not depend on ancient devices for life support. The Tunnel of Wind might have stopped functioning though, isolating the worlds from one another. >> Name of the Younger Senshi at the time of the Fall: Lady Valorie. Fate of the Younger Senshi: Died at Silver Millennium Name of the Moon Cat: Rudra (male) Fate of the Moon Cat: Was among the few Nemesian expatriates that decided to return to Nemesis with the death of Valorie. Notes on the Moon Cat: Cold, logical. Appropriate adjective and collective noun: Nemesian, Nemesians (Nemesonian?), Nemesites