Mustered Out on Regina
Jewell Library Data
Planetary details: Starport Class A, Excellent Quality Installation. Refined Fuel is available, as is annual maintenance overhaul. A shipyard capable of both starship and non-starship construction is present. A Travellers’ Aid Society is present.
World diameter is 7000 miles (11,200 km).
Atmosphere: Standard (Tainted)
6.3 billion inhabitants
Law Level 9: No weapons allowed outside the home
Tech Level C: Imperial Average
Trade Classifications: Industrial, High-Population
Jewell was indeed a thing of great value; a more or less Terra–Prime world marred only by a slight atmospheric taint caused by volcanic outgassing. With very similar gravity and weather conditions to Earth, the world was highly suitable for colonisation. Although the atmosphere has been tainted further through pollution, it still remains the Imperium’s most valuable world spinward of Efate.
The first settlement was established around 320, and conducted in an ad–hoc manner without Imperial oversight. It was the discovery of Lanthanum deposits some time later that caused a much more focused colonisation programme to be launched, leading in turn to industrialisation and a rapid advance in technological sophistication. Jewell was also used as a forward base for further expansion into the Cronor subsector.
As tensions with the Zhodani Consulate grew a squadron of naval vessels was deployed to the Jewell system and eventually a base was set up to support them. This was a small installation which was donated to the Scout Service when the Navy built a much larger base around 480.
A larger scout base was set up a few years later, and the original naval facility was abandoned for a long time. Scout vessels from this base worked the communications route back into the Regina subsector via Efate and conducted both exploration and intelligence–gathering operations along the frontier. The Navy meanwhile engaged in ‘Cold War’ operations along the border, shadowing Zhodani ships and trying to intimidate the Consulate.
When the inevitable conflict finally happened, Jewell was on the front line. The system squadron and Imperial Navy forces put up a valiant fight but could not prevent the capture of the world by the Consulate in 592. Some sources claim that Grand Admiral Olav hault–Plankwell personally led the campaign to retake the world in 603, though others disagree. Contrary to popular docu–drama cliché, he definitely did not take part in the ground fighting to retake the Downport.
Jewell was strongly garrisoned after the war, and has remained so ever since. During the Second Frontier War the world came under siege for several months (in 617) but held out successfully. Afterward the scale of the world’s defences was increased yet again, with the original naval base re–opened and several other facilities constructed throughout the system. Although attacked in the Third and Fourth Frontier Wars, Jewell was able to not only repel the assault fleets but to act as a base for operations into the Zhodani rear, gaining the world the somewhat fanciful media nickname of ‘Jewell: Shining Bastion of the Marches’ or the rather more mundane ‘Imperial Breakwater’. The latter refers to the role of Jewell in blunting Zhodani advances into the Marches.
Today, Jewell is something of an armed camp. Small naval bases throughout the system support squadrons of monitors and system defence boats to deny an intruder access to the system’s gas giants for refuelling, while the immediate defence of Jewell itself is entrusted to one of the largest non–Jump capable fleets outside Core sector. In addition, the naval base is home to the heavier elements of the 212th Fleet as well as battle and cruiser squadrons from the Sector Fleet.
As with most other major worlds in the Jewell subsector, the world is starting to be targeted by terrorist organizations affiliated with the Ine Givar. Due to the heavily militarized nature of Jewell and the high law level of the world, terrorism has yet to become the major problem that it has become elsewhere in the region although it is definitely increasing.
Jewell is both militarised and heavily industrialised. There are numerous military bases and many high–tech industrial complexes on–planet. Pollution from the latter is now much worse than the original atmospheric taint. The atmosphere is fouled by a host of pollutants, chiefly sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and nitrogen compounds. Breathing the atmosphere without a filter mask is not advisable – a few hours exposure is generally acceptable, but further exposure inevitably results in respiratory disorders and cancers. Filter masks are provided free of charge by the government, and are dispensed at all public places. On arrival at the planet’s surface, visitors will be issued with a temporary permit for a nominal fee.
Clouds of brown smog are a common sight, and a layer of grime quickly develops on all external surfaces. For this reason the exterior of most structures is simply a functional thing and tends to be both drab and filthy. Buildings on Jewell are built for efficiency without regard to aesthetics, at least on the outside.
Most of the population of Jewell is concentrated on the north coast of the main continent of Dasmonta, a huge expanses of flat-lands on the coast with rolling hills leading up to the more mountainous and cold areas in the south. The coastal strip is home to 4 billion of Jewell’s population, with cities merging together to form a succession of metropolises, the largest being the capital, Facet, with a population of 12 million and some of the largest industrial complexes on the planet. Some sections of the city, mainly in the commercial districts, are domed to protect against the polluted and tainted atmosphere The majority of buildings lie outside these zones and are sealed against the noxious air. In the centre of Facet lies the small Imperial Dome which protects the the government buildings and facilities. It also contains one of the few parks on the entire planet.
The remainder of the population are distributed among the minor continents, mainly on the continent of Victor to the north-east of Facet.
The sub-continent of Fidelity is largely mountainous and is set aside as national parkland. Largely unspoiled due to the fact that winds blow the worst of the pollution from Dasmonta south rather than north, the sub-continent is a wonderland of hunting parks, leisure retreats and small picturesque farming villages. There is little industry in Fidelity, though there are a number of defense installations (as there are all over Jewell).
There are five large spaceports servicing Jewell. The Arbellatra Akhalikhoi Naval Base is home to the batrons and crurons of the 212th Fleet and is very much off-limits to any non-naval vessels. Hamilton Seszkanvilli IISS base is also off-limits, although attached scouts are allowed to visit providing they have good reason to. Jewell Highport sees most of the world’s commercial traffic, although smaller ships also make great use of Facet Downport. Magdala Downport is a private spaceport dealing mostly in freight and is off-limits to all but Tukera and Al-Morai who have the exclusive rights to use it.
Combine the dirty and polluted environment across much of Jewell with the gray coveralls that seem to be a regulation item of clothing amongst the locals, and the filter masks that cover the face and eyes, and a visitor could well be tempted to make a hasty departure for more inviting locations. Perseverance is advised however, for like most surface appearances, those on Jewell are deceiving.
Jewell’s natives are friendly and accommodating towards off-worlders, with the notable exception of Zhodani and, to a lesser extent, Vargr (both races are the target of centuries old fear and loathing).
Once indoors, with coveralls and facemasks off, Jewellers are an expansive and demonstrative lot and are famous drinkers, brawlers and poets. Building interiors are generally low-ceilinged, and richly decorated, designed to promote a sense of comfort and well being. Jewell also has one of the highest number of bars per capita of any world in the Regency.
Government & Law
Jewell’s government is a fairly unremarkable impersonal bureaucracy; local Administrative Councils report to successively higher authorities, up to the Planetary Administrative Authority. The bureaucracy recruits from all levels of society, and if promotion is not entirely merit based, it is not so corrupt as to invite popular revolt. Law levels are high, banning personal weapons outside of the home, and the local law enforcement authorities are backed by a large and complex legal apparatus. Trade regulations are not as harsh; Jewell’s government maintains low tariffs on most imported goods.
The most important non-governmental body on Jewell is the ‘Aran Kalje’, a fiercely atheistic organization that promotes the virtues of physical and mental discipline. The Aran maintains camps, or ‘laager’ where adherents live for up to twenty months at a time under military-type conditions. Not surprisingly, a large number of Aran members end up in Jewell’s armed forces. The laager are organized and run at a local level, as is the rest of the organization.
The majority of citizens are members of one or another of the world’s reserve military, medical or civil defence organisations. These vary from highly efficient organisations to social clubs, but all share the same general outlook, the feeling that with their traditional enemies just 3 parsecs away, vigilance is indeed the price of peace.
Jewell is easier to get to from the Consulate than the Imperium. Jump–3 vessels can make the crossing into Regina subsector but ships with shorter legs need to either arrange deep–space refuelling or else make a long transit around via neutral space and come in via Plaven and Emerald. As a result the worlds around Jewell have their own microculture to some extent, which also has local variations. It is coloured by Zhodani influences on some worlds, whereas others are vigorously opposed to anything even remotely associated with the ‘Joes’ as the Zhodani are sometimes known.
Jewell is a major producer of lanthanum and other rare earth elements (notably niobium and yttrium ores), as well as fissionable ores. Most of Jewell’s GDP comes from manufacturing, however as Jewell is the only industrial world in the subsector and has the highest tech level. As a result, most mass-produced goods that can be found in the subsector will have originated from the factories of Jewell. Not surprisingly, the planet is also a substantial weapons producer, particularly small arms and armoured vehicles which are exported through the Jewell and adjacent subsectors. Jewell is also one of the principal producers of military starships for the Spinward Marches.
Perhaps the most famous product of Jewell though is whisky, which is famed throughout the Regency for its quality. There are no less than 37 major distilling houses on Jewell, all of which are located in the relatively unspoiled sub-continent of Fidelity. Still using traditional distilling techniques rather than hi-tech methods, these whiskys serve a large domestic and off-world market covering several subsectors. Of these, the most well known is Amrihkur-Cameron, which has held Imperial patents for its products since 405.