Friday, September 25, 2020

Oneida Subsector

Oneida is subsector F of the Riphaeus Sector, where I set my most recent Traveller campaign. It's dominated by the Duchy of Oneida, a tributary state of the Empire of Nagoya. A great many of the characters' adventures took place in this part of the sector.
The Oneida subsector contains 32 worlds with a population of 32.9 billion. The highest population is 30 billion, at Tartessos. The highest tech level is F at Misericord.

Anomaly Three (Riphaeus 1018)
Only a handful of starships have ever entered into this system and returned. Something in the system causes wide-ranging interference with jump fields, preventing most ships from escaping it.

Anomaly Four (Riphaeus 1314)
This uninhabited world is noteworthy for only being present within the system at certain times. That is, the planet occasionally disappears from its orbit and does not reappear for years or even decades. The cause of this phenomenon remains unknown and the one expedition to remain on the world long enough for the world to disappear was no longer present when the world re-appeared several years later.

Argon (Riphaeus 1118)
Argon was settled as a penal colony by the First Federation. The majority of its earliest inhabitants committed what were considered crimes against the “social stability” of the Federation, which is to say, questioning the policies and actions of the government. As the Federation collapsed, Argon’s prisoners, which now numbered in the millions, seized control of the planet for themselves – and promptly fell into violent infighting, resulting in the establishment of dozens of factions.

In the centuries since, seven states have established themselves as pre-eminent on Argon, most notably the Sovereign Nation of Ramsay and the Divine Republic, both of which vie for control of the entire world. Most of Argon’s states are governed by extreme philosophies whose laws can make life difficult for travelers.

Arecibo (Riphaeus 1517)
Arecibo enjoys greater influence within the Duchy of Oneida than its population (60,000) would suggest, in large part due to the presence of a Ducal Navy base and shipyard in orbit. The planet itself is a water world with scattered islands dotting its surface. These islands, supplemented by anchored artificial habitats, are home to most of Arecibo’s inhabitants. The planetary atmosphere is dense but tainted by airborne algae and cyanobacteria. None of the 28 known types are fatal to humans but most can cause allergies and rhinitis if inhaled. Therefore, filter masks are recommended.

The local government is categorized as a Civil Service Bureaucracy, but it is overseen by the Captain-General of His Grace’s Shipyard. Under his influence, Arecibo’s law level has increased significantly in recent years, supposedly to prevent terrorism and sabotage, of which there have been limited examples. The Explorers’ Union has not yet seen fit to classify Arecibo as an amber zone.

Geryon (Riphaeus 1512)
Despite the comparative mildness of its environment, Geryon is the remnant of a failed scientific colony of the First Federation. The world was initially founded to study its unusual plant life, some of which demonstrated limited anagathic properties when properly prepared. When this avenue of investigation proved less fruitful – and lucrative – than expected, an exodus away from Geryon began, one that has continued down the centuries, leaving a small population of less than 100 permanent residents.

Scientific research into anagathics continues, though without any notable success. The Duchy of Oneida negotiated rights to an automated naval depot, which orbits Geryon. Likewise, the Explorers’ Union has a presence here, largely as a connection to the Kriemhild subsector to coreward.

Gesundheit (Riphaeus 1113)
This world boasts a mild climate and weather, with varied ecosystems and extensive animal and plant life. Its original colonists came were adherents of Hygeianism, a holistic philosophy that placed great emphasis on “healthy living.” Population growth was limited by technology and immigration restrictions, in order to ensure Gesundheit’s environment did not become “unbalanced.” Those restrictions remain in force, though they have been loosened in the centuries since the colony’s founding. Even so, entrance visas to Gesundheit remain hard to obtain even today.

Misericord (Riphaeus 1416)
Founded as a research colony during the time of the Old Federation, Misericord’s society still places great value on the theoretical sciences, making it the most technologically advanced world in the Duchy of Oneida. Its population remains small (11,000), due in large part to its restrictive immigration policies, which limit even temporary residence on the world to those with high intelligence (as determined by a battery of locally administered tests) and education. Others are restricted to the planet’s starport.

Misericord’s economy is dominated by the production and sale technological data and schematics. Its products are in demand throughout the Oneida and Nagoya subsectors. Conversely, there is great demand for offworld products, particularly of an industrial nature.

Oneida (Riphaeus 1115)
Capital of the Duchy of Oneida and home to His Grace, Duke Odjick, Oneida is a pleasant, temperate world with a population of approximately 11 million. Agriculture is an important local industry, though much of it is managed by several large corporations, most notably Standing Stone Development, which is owned by a consortium of aristocratic families, including the duke’s own House Nevalton. The planetary government is classified a civil service bureaucracy, with ministries and departments apportioned among the various noble houses and staffed by well-trained clients and retainers.

Duke Odjick is old and reputedly in ill health. His eldest son, Count Minok, already undertakes many of his father’s official duties. Unlike the aging duke, Minok has a reputation as a meddler in the affairs of the Duchy’s worlds, especially when doing so might enrich an ally’s noble house. Consequently, there is grumbling on several worlds about the inevitable accession of Minok to the ducal throne.

Silesia (Riphaeus 1216)
Founded as a mining colony during the time of the First Federation, Silesia continues to supply the Duchy of Oneida radioactives, petrochemicals, and gems (the last of which are prized on Starchik). Though the planet itself is small in size (6700 km in diameter), its core is denser than expected, which no doubt plays a role in the abundance of its natural resources. Nevertheless, local gravity is only marginally greater than expected (0.45 G), as is atmospheric pressure. Consequently, Silesia’s atmosphere is considered thin and visitors are warned against strenuous physical activity without first administering oxygen supplements.

Silesia’s native population is small (approximately 10,000), most of whom work for one or more corporations granted concessions by the world’s rulers, the Kamenek family. Descended from the original settlers, the Kameneks are a male-only clone group who retains ownership of 92% of Silesia’s working mines (the other 8% are owned by local workers’ cooperatives). The Kameneks are immensely wealthy and influential but have made numerous enemies due to their high-handed and occasionally whimsical management of mining concessions.

Starchik (Riphaeus 1215)
Starchik’s population of approximately 1 million (known locally as Roots) has its own culture, language, and customs, all of which are protected by Ducal Law. The level of protection is so strong that Starchik’s starport has never been upgraded from a routine quality installation, in deference to the Roots’ desire to limit outside “cultural contamination” from travellers, corporations, and other offworlders. Another consequence is that the technological index of local industry has not risen as high as other worlds within the Duchy.

Nevertheless, Starchik is a wealthy and stable planet. Though overseen by Count Grigorii Huxley (appointed by Duke Odjick of Oneida), the local government is an efficient civil service bureaucracy whose membership is made up of those who succeed at rigorous examinations administered annually. Members of the bureaucracy are widely revered and occupy the highest strata of Starchik society.


  1. I'd be interested in seeing the UPPs of the planets you discuss in this post if you're inclined.

    1. The UPPs are all listed in the original Riphaeus Sector post linked at the start of this one.