Mustered Out on Regina
Uerzthu Library Data
Affiliation: Vargr – Independent
Planetary details: Starport class B, Good Quality Installation. Refined Fuel is available, as is annual maintenance overhaul. A shipyard capable of building non-starships is present.
Small-sized world. (Moon of the gas giant, Uerzthu Delta)
World diameter is 3000 miles (4800 km).
Atmosphere: Very thin, tainted
3 billion inhabitants
Civil Service Bureaucracy
Law Level 6: All firearms except shotguns are prohibited.
Tech Level C: Imperial Average
Trade Classifications: High Population, Industrial
Summary: Blade Runner-esque crowded sweatshop eco-disaster world.
Uerzthu is one of the few worlds in Spurl subsector to have an atmosphere – but only just. Even when the planet was a virgin one, the atmosphere was very thin and the majority of the planet is unbearably hot for most of the year.
Uerzthu was one of the first of the worlds in Spurl subsector to be inhabited during the Diaspora due to its abundance of all necessary raw materials including oil, coal and iron ore. This led to the world becoming one of the industrial powerhouses not only of Spurl subsector, but all of Gvurddon sector. The relative wealth of the world and its requirement for more labour to work in its many factories led to rapid population growth plus immigration, which has led to Uerzthu becoming one of the most populous worlds in the sector.
Uerzthu is a completely capitalist society. The corporations active on the planet are all-important and responsible for all major decision-making. Although, in true Vargr fashion, there is a lot of rivalry between the corporations, the charismatic individuals running them and who are the major shareholders realize that open hostilities between corporations is bad for business and so tend to wage their battles on the markets and by means of industrial espionage rather than having all out combat.
Government of the world is supposedly a Civil Service Bureaucracy. In reality though, each of the key areas in the government is auctioned off every three years with the positions going to the highest bidders, which are then filled by Emissaries loyal to their corporations.
Through a combination of the heavily industrialized nature of the planet, plus the fact that it is the corporations making all decisions affecting the world, over the centuries, Uerzthu became an ecological disaster area as the many factories pumped out their effluent into the rivers, lakes and seas, and smokestacks polluted the atmosphere as well. The result of all this unchecked activity is that Uerzthu is pretty much a dead world now; the seas are stagnant, foul-smelling cesspools and the air is filled with a permanent semi-toxic smog, which can prove fatal for anyone breathing it for more than a few years.
Rather than trying to fix the ecological problems, the corporations realized that they could use it to their advantage. They each built large arcologies to house their workers. This was not through any corporate responsibility though. As the rest of the planet became uninhabitable outside the arcologies, it meant that workers were tied to jobs which came with accommodation provided. The corporations then acted as a cartel to reduce wages until they reached a stage where workers were being paid a pittance, thus increasing the corporations’ profits tremendously.
Having now completely ruined the planet and cramming the population together as tightly as they could in ugly arcologies, the owners and major shareholders in the corporations decided that they didn’t really want among their workers any more on the disgusting planet. As a result, they moved into space as soon as they achieved the technology able to do so.
With Uerzthu having such high temperatures, most of the population of the world clustered around the two poles where temperatures were at least bearable for most of the year. This led to corporations banding together depending on which hemispheres they were based in, with both the northerners and southerners having their own starports.
This rivalry continued with the race to build orbital cities, so now there are large ones over both of the poles. All of the significant corporations on Uerzthu have their headquarters in one of these two orbital cities, imaginatively called SouthUp and NorthUp. Both of these orbital cities are very pleasant places to live and it is the ambition of every ‘Downer’ to get to move to one of them. This provides a major incentive to all company employees to be productive in the hope that he can move himself and his family to his corporation’s head office in the orbital city. Prices of goods and accommodation in the orbital cities are, not surprisingly, incredibly expensive.
As neither NorthUp or SouthUp could agree as to the location for the government offices, they came to a compromise and built a completely new small, orbital city just for government offices which orbits the equator. Known locally as MidUp, access to this city is restricted and entry is allowed only to those who have acquired a permit.
Uerzthu has always had an intense rivalry with Dhaengae just three parsecs away as both of them are heavily industrialized worlds with similar sized populations and tech levels. Corporations from the two worlds compete all of the time for export markets which leads to constant trade wars. On several occasions, the trade wars have reached such levels that the two worlds have almost been at war with one another. Both worlds have built up quite sizable Navies to protect themselves from any aggression from the other. But currently, both worlds are content to remain in a Cold War situation.
Uerzthu has bigger problems to deal with at the moment though in terms of the threat from Rukh. Currently, Uerzthu is still independent and is not part of the Anti-Rukh Alliance, despite the constant lobbying of the Alliance to get Uerzthu to join them as Uerzthu’s Navy is substantially bigger than all six members of the Alliance’s joint Navies combined. There is great debate among the corporations running Uerzthu as to whether the world should join the Alliance or not. Currently a majority of the corporations. including the electronics company which bought the Minister of Defense position want to remain independent as they know that it will cost the world a lot to join in and, as they say, they are a great distance from Rukh’s territory. An increasingly large number of the corporations realize though that they are reliant upon several of the worlds in the Alliance for raw materials (much of Uerzthu’s former mineral wealth is now mined out) and also, in the case of Koekh Uez, for foodstuffs as there is no agriculture at all on Uerzthu as a result of the wanton destruction of its environment and so only artificial food is now produced.