Mustered Out on Regina
Ruie Background Information
Ruie (Spinward Marches 1809) is a balkanized, industrialized, autonomous world, situated in the rimward-spinward corner of the Regina subsector in the Spinward Marches sector. Ruie is a medium-sized world, with a diameter of 11,000 km and a circumference of 34,000 km. It has a standard atmosphere, tainted by airborne biological contaminants, with a pressure of 0.90 atm, and a surface gravity of 1G. It has seas of water covering 60% of its surface. Its average temperature is 28°C, with a temperature change of -3°C per 1000 m elevation. A filter mask is required on the surface.
Ruie is in orbit 3 around a G5 V primary. It has a 25 hour day and is 150 million kilometres from its central star. The local year is 360 standard days. There is one small moon orbiting at a distance of 35,000 kilometres.
The planet has a population of 7 billion. It has four major states, and many smaller states; the most liberal countries are at best mixed regimes, and the possession of most firearms — including shotguns – is usually forbidden. Ruie’s most advanced countries have technology equivalent to that of the semiconductor age.
Ruie’s main landmasses consist of a single ocean with two continents and three major islands (of at least 1 hex in size). There are numerous small islands. The equator passes through two of the three largest land masses – a continent and the largest island. Both poles have small, fragile icecaps.
The current planetary configuration began forming 250 million years ago, with the separation of two plates which now form the Comors Union and the so-called “Western Plate”, which is roughly equivalent to the western half of the main continent. The Union plate was forced west and south, while the Western Plate was forced east, colliding with a third “Eastern Plate” to form the current main continent, creating the high barrier Dekalu mountains in the north and south, and landlocked seas in the centre.
The largest continent (called Garan in Jingarlu, Tharon in Kanyarli, and Chora in Nebelthorn), is divided into three regions by a largely north-south running mountain range. The Western region consists of tall, old-growth forest and wide savannas. The northwestern region consists of forest, meadow, and marshland (although the latter has mostly been drained and converted to agriculture). The Eastern region is mainly jungle, with a continental-centre highland forest quickly giving way to lowland jungle, marching almost to the littoral zone of the eastern shores. The Eastern region’s centre also has the Rustum mesa complex, the remains of an archaic highland, marked by hundreds of square kilometres of dramatic plateaux interspersed with overgrown badlands.
The Comors continent is divided into broad, wooded coastal regions, a rugged northern coastal badlands, and a central desert. To the east and west, the desert transitions into semiarid plains until meeting a coastal region.
Navigable rivers include the Terssis River in Jingarlu, the Alanessi in Nebelthorn, and the Kamaris in West Comors.
Garan is primarily tropical. Its mountain ranges serve as a brake to moisture, but their central location in fact changes little about the weather. The northernmost latitudes are mild but humid, while the centre and southern portions are hot to say the least. At the equator the temperature can reach 50C, while remaining uncomfortably humid. Temperatures in the mountain ranges are cooler, and the land tends to be less humid just over the Nebelthorn side. Hurricanes seasonally buffet the southern, eastern, and western coastline of Garan.
Comors has some tropical regions, especially along the equatorial coastline to the north, but tends to be dry in the interior; air currents will bring moisture eastward from the Western shore, which usually spends itself out before reaching the centre of the continent. The eastern coastline tends to have milder storms than the western; combined with a temperate climate, it enjoys some status as a vacation or retirement destination.
Northern and southern islands tend to have temperate climates, while equatorial islands tend to be warm. All have seasonally severe weather, except for those off the east coast of Comors.
Heat prostration is a danger in tropical parts of Ruie. Savannahs tend to be windy and warm, and occasionally experience dry periods. When dry, plant life in the savannah dies back, and the land is susceptible to blistering dust storms. Like the desert regions, heat prostration is the main danger to travellers.
Flora and Fauna
The predominant pattern: Larger life forms tend to exhibit radial symmetry, with little or no distinction between legs and manipulators. As in any environment, each life form has adapted to its niche in the local ecology, and each varies according to its nature and habitat.
The Sagley. These large carnivores support their 5,000 kg body with eight strong legs. Their brains are buried safely in their torso, which itself is covered with a tough, leathery skin. Four arms end in knobby, blunt, hornlike claws, which deal painful bludgeoning damage, while their feeding maws are ringed with sharp bone plates for cutting meat. They hunt in twos, subduing their prey by clubbing them unconscious and then unceremoniously eating them.
The Ersulan. These powerful flying scavengers mass 25 kilograms, and though they prefer to find their supper already dead, they are not above attacking smaller animals. They can be found singly and in small groups. Their bodies are covered in light, hairy feathers in all colours, and can actually be beautiful to look at. Some people of means have held these beasts in captivity – but it is more common to hunt them.
The “Scuttlers.” These are fast, 8-legged jungle insectoids. Massing up to 5 kilograms, these creatures are hunted singly by Ersulan, but often travel in packs of 50 or more (2D6 x 10). If need be, they rely on overwhelming numbers to take down animals for food. Their normal speed is about that of a running human.
Ruakan Asthma. Ruie’s atmosphere has been classified as tainted due to airborne spores, found in tropical regions of the planet, which can lodge in human lungs. Called Ruakan Asthma (or, more colloquially, Ruie Redspot), this malady manifests itself in offworlders (the locals are mostly immune) after failing a Strength check (Average, +0), and lasts for 2D days after leaving the world. The symptoms are a frequent, distracting dry cough; the sufferer takes a DM-1 penalty on all tasks. Without medical care, some Redspot infections will kill the host, leading through a grisly set of secondary complications ending in an explosion of new spores from the victim’s chest cavity. An immunization regimen administered by the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service is available, although it requires 5 to 10 months of treatments and therefore is not used for short-term visits. Filter masks are 100% effective against contracting the malady, and wearing a mask after contracting Ruakan Asthma can hasten recovery; symptoms clear up 2D days after beginning to wear a filter mask.
Note that wearing a filter mask (or conversely, displaying symptoms of Ruakan Asthma) will generally mark characters as offworlders.
Ruie is divided into about 150 separate nations. It currently has four major states: Jingarlu, the Comors Union, Nebelthorn, and Kayarlu.
Jingarlu: Jingarlu lies on the western side of the continent of Garan. The nation is an authoritarian, unitary republic, with government lawmakers elected to office by representatives
(“Caretakers”) of the population. With Imperial ties, its economic future looks bright. Jingarlu has a tech level of 7.
Comors Union: The Comors Union is a TL7 group of states on the Comors continent united under one federal government, composed of a moot of elders from each state. Each subordinate state maintains its own government structure, but submits to the will of the federal government. They had originally united for common defence and global economic bargaining power. Recently, several states’ economic instability and mounting debt has strained the union’s ability to govern itself effectively; since member states are still sovereign, central controls are weak, and old nationalisms are rearing their heads. Riots are common among the more troubled states, and markets are uncertain about the Union’s future.
Nebelthorn: Most nations on Ruie are not interested in interstellar society. Some are openly hostile to the Imperium. One of these is Nebelthorn, a nation ruled by the same family for over 120 years (since before Imperial year 985). The rulers, the Family Eldenn, keep tight control over all offworld (and most international) contact, using various methods (nearly all distasteful) to discourage it. Nebelthorn’s only notable resource is petrochemicals and the country prospered selling oil and related products to other industrial customers.
Following Imperial recontact, however, offworld merchants began selling fusion power systems and vehicles to Jingarlu and the Union, Nebelthorn’s largest customers. This led to a sudden dearth of both customers and income, plunging Nebelthorn’s economy into a depression which has continued for the last 12 years without signs of improvement. The Eldenns have blamed their plight on the Imperium, and their country has been posted as an Amber travel zone.
Kayarlu: Kayarlu, located in northwest Garan, lies within one of the oldest settled areas of Ruie. Its people tend to have insular attitudes about other nations, considering their culture to be superior in every respect. They encourage their tourism industry, thinking of it as a kind of therapy for outsiders, and tolerate foreigners with good-natured condescension. It is therefore not highly interested in affairs outside its borders, much less from other worlds.
Bakujistra: Bakujistra is a country which is economically and socially of little importance compared to most of the other nations of Ruie, having a small population of under 5 million and occupies a rugged, mountainous terrain which contains few valuable minerals or resources. As a result, the population of the country is small and backwards, not helped by the fact that the country is (theoretically, at least) run as a Religious Dictatorship. However, Bakujistra is of great strategic importance as the only land route connecting the two superpowers of Jingarlu and Nebelthorn runs through the mountain passes of the country.
Bakujistra used to be separated from Jingarlu by the territory of Nebelthorn West Jingar, a colony belonging to Nebelthorn. However, in 1085, Jingarlu hired a battalion of offworld mercenaries – the first time offworlders had been brought into fight in local skirmishes to take over the country. The offworlders’ superior firepower made easy work of the invasion and Nebelthorn’s influence was removed from the western side of the Garan Great Lake, leaving Bakujistra as the only buffer state between the two superpowers.
Jingarlu and Nebelthorn have been fighting proxy wars over Bakujistra for the last 150 years and so the native tribes are well-armed. The current puppet government which currently controls the country is sympathetic to Nebelthorn.
Terran Historical Comparisons
Historians have noted that the current situation on Ruie is very reminiscent of the political situation on Terra during the ‘Cold War’ period from 1963-1985. Jingarlu can be compared to the USA; Nebelthorn to Soviet Russia; the Comors Union to a more federalized European Union; Kayarlu to Japan; and Bakujistra to Afghanistan.
The fact that all of the major power blocs on Ruie have access to nuclear weapons means that there is no outright warfare between these nations as they all understand that it would lead to their own destruction (and all nations wish to avoid direct Imperial intervention as well). Instead, the major powers are constantly fighting proxy wars against one another in the smaller countries of the world in order to try and bring them over to their side using espionage, funding local political groups and, occasionally, bringing in off-world mercenary units to influence local situations.
Border skirmishes are also commonplace in many parts of the world, although none of the powers wish to escalate the problems greatly.
Ruie supports four class C starports, in each of the four major nations. A few other nations have spaceports – essentially launch pads for putting up satellites. Each port is owned and operated by its own nation. There are no Imperium-owned starports or spaceports, although both Jingarlu and the Comors Union are in early talks with the Imperium about trying to get their own national spaceports recognized as the main starport for the world.
The largest nations have budgeted space programs, but until recently have only sent up communications satellites to Ruie orbit, and short-term survey satellites to the planets in their own system. The recent sale of small fusion-plus units and gravitics modules to certain governments proves likely to significantly change the nature of Ruie’s various space programs.
The Daccam Ruins, located in Nebelthorn, are the site of an extinct alien culture which lived on Ruie over 100,000 years ago. ‘Daccam’ is the name of the early archaeologist-geologist to identify the ruins (and also to lose his life in the process; see the Sagley entry in the bestiary); hence many geological or ancient archaeological terms use a form of the word Daccam; for example, the Dekalu Mountain Ranges in central Garan, and Cammet Island west of Garan.
The world was surveyed and settled at about the same time as Regina (accounts vary). The original colony, located in the northwestern part of Garan, was named Ruakh; hence many colonial indigenous terms use a form of the word Ruakh, such as Ruga, or Ruakan (and perhaps even the name Garan). Its culture was structured as isolationist; presented with the opportunity to join the Imperium in 235, it declined and has remained an independent world since. All official contacts with the Imperium were dropped, and in fact Ruie was later placed under interdiction by the Imperium, receiving regular visits to the system by Imperial naval vessels when interstellar tensions run high. Ruie had worked itself up to tech level 5 by the time it was recontacted by the IISS 31 years ago, in 1074.
Over the past thirty years, trade between Ruie and the Imperium (mostly from neighboring Regina) has had a major impact on the technological situation on Ruie. Jingarlu and the Comors Union have boomed particularly as a result of offworld trade, with their TL rapidly increasing to TL7 during this period due to the influx of new ideas and technology.
A threatened invasion of the Comors Union led to the Union applying to the Imperium for client-state status, which was enough to force Nebelthorn to back down. Jingarlu and Kayarlu followed suit shortly afterwards and the Imperium is currently in the process of considering whether or not to accept these three states into the Empire.
78 — Ruie settled by 1,500 religious utopians from the Imperial core. Feistad founded.
105 — Jorge Pokal succeeds Shankar Emagi as Guru of Ruie under the name Feist II.
107-121 — Mount Emagi carved into likeness of Feist II and renamed Mount Feist.
149 — Feist II dies. Moderates expel zealots. Colony secularized.
170-180 — Johanis Bubbu, fourth Guru of Ruie, reforms the government and inaugurates era of peace and prosperity.
232-242 — Religious zealots regain the upper hand in Feistad. 2,000 dissenters leave and settle the minor continent of Godar.
235 — Ruie declines offer of Imperial membership.
201-225 — Religious repressions cause a migration of farmers away from Feistad.
260-261 — First Holy War reasserts the authority of the central government.
280-282 — Second Holy War ends with the defeat of Feistad forces. Südufer (South Coast) achieves de facto independence.
Late third century — Trade with Südufer makes the Godar settlement strong and prosperous. The influence of Feistad declines.
308 — Feistad plants colony to the north. Colony largely abandoned after a few years due to deaths from Rotfluch (Ruie redspot), but a few hardy souls survive and stay.
315 — Reginan mining company establishes a number of mines on Ruie using locals as forced labor.
323 — Scouts discover and stop abuse of locals, but are unable to establish cordial relations.
325 — Ruie interdicted by the Scouts.
381 — Godaran settlers found colony on the Fandese Peninsula across the Südenmeer (South Sea).
Early fifth century — Outlaws of the Godar interior begin to raid the coastal areas.
442-465 — Large number of Godarans emigrate to Fandese.
481-490 — Oskar of Fandese unites the settled parts of Ruie in the South Sea Empire and repels the Godar outlaws.
489 — Fandese Stadt (Fandese City) proclaimed capital of all Ruie.
528 — Immunization procedure giving some protection from Ruie redspot discovered.
543-562 — Emigrants from the South Sea Empire settle the Eastern Isthmus of the continent Feist to the west.
579 — Eruption of Ilwiro Island devastates the coasts around the South Sea, destroying many ships and causing great loss of life. The empire never recovers from the blow.
586 — South Sea Empire dissolves relatively peacefully. Its seven provinces become independent states.
Seventh and eighth centries — Age of Expansion. Emigrants move out and settle all of Ruie.
606 — Ottokar of Fandese attempts to reassert central control of the South Sea Empire, but fails and is forced to formally renounce all claims to the former provinces (Treaty of Surt).
633 — Kastinan Sourbulb Famine. Crop failure causes mass emigration from North Comors to Emagi.
Eighth century — Birth of nations: The oldest settlements have long been city-states and are growing into nation-states.
706-714 — Gustaf Rassurt unites the settlements of North Feist and founds the nation of Strolojka.
799 — The Parberian Flu sweeps the countries around the South Sea, killing 6% of the population in less than a year.
811-812 — Emagi Trade War between Strolojka and the Old World Union ends in victory for Strolojka. Strolojkan merchant princes dominate world trade for the rest of the century.
816 — Strolojka intervenes in dispute between Kastin and Carius.
816-911 — Strolojkan peacetroopers enforce the Pax Strolojka in dozens of police actions across the world.
832 — The city-states of Nebel and Thorn unite and become the core of a new alliance.
871-900 — Irya Rolitupher writes “Principles of Government.”
911-913 — Four-way war between Carius, Nebelthorn, Megrim, and Rusem demonstrates Strolojka’s inability to continue to act as world policeman.
936-966 — A hitherto unknown disease dubbed the Green Scourge ravages all four continents, killing millions.
972-973 — Nebelthorn expels Strolojka from its overseas colonies in Emagi.
981 — The family Eldenn gains control of Nebelthorn.
1051 — Ruie is surveyed as part of the Second Survey and found to have worked its way up to early TL5.
1062 — Covert survey team investigates Ruie.
1070 — Survey mission recommends recontacting Ruie.
1073 — Interdiction of Ruie lifted by Prince Dresden.
1074 — First contact mission.
1075-93 — Jingarlu and the Comors states import large numbers of fusion plants and fusion-powered vehicles from Regina.
1085 — Jingarlu hires a battalion of offworld mercenaries to invade Nebelthorn West Jingar, leading to the removal of all Nebelthorn forces west of the Garan Great Lake.
1093 — Depression strikes Nebelthorn.
1094 — Nebelthorn makes plans to invade several states in Comors. The Comors states unite and apply for status as client-state of the Imperium. Jingarlu follows suit and Nebelthorn backs down.