Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Sanjaa Subsector

Sanjaa is subsector K of the Riphaeus Sector, where I set my most recent Traveller campaign.The subsector is home to two interstellar states, the Empire of Nagoya and the Sanjaa Defense League, the latter of which was formed in reaction to the growth of Nagoya.

The Sanjaa subsector contains 27 worlds with a population of 11.1 billion. The highest population is 10 billion, at Jia. The highest tech level is D at Doheem, Sanjaa and Vidyava. Most of its worlds are non-aligned, though several are either subjects of the Empire of Nagoya or members of the Sanjaa Defense League.

Aingeru (Riphaeus 2422)
Except for the presence of a naval base leased to the Empire of Nagoya, Aingeru is a world of little consequence. Its native population consists of less than 100 permanent residents, descendants of exiles from Sanjaa (Riphaeus 2424), who fled that world’s increasingly stifling and paranoid political environment.

Anomaly Five (Riphaeus 1928)
This star system is littered with numerous quantum black holes (whether naturally occurring or artificial is unknown) in unpredictable and eccentric orbits. Travel into the system is thus extremely hazardous.

Kfar Nahum (Riphaeus 2223)
Kfar Naham is a pleasant, orderly world and a significant trading partner with the Sanjaa Defense League. Though it has long resisted attempts to bully it into formally entering that alliance, its government has nevertheless allowed the establishment of a SDL naval base here.

Narakada (Riphaeus 2324)
Narakada has been designated a Red Zone preserve by the Explorers' Union, in order to protect the pre-sentient fluorine-breathing life forms that dwell on its surface. Given that the planet’s local conditions are extremely unsuitable for human life, there have been few attempts to violate the quarantine.

Q’Lor (Riphaeus 2323)
Q’Lor is a world encircled by a desert; only in the polar regions are the sun’s rays attenuated enough to allow a tropical, life-bearing environment. The equatorial regions as far north and south as 45° latitude are lifeless, baked in temperatures that can exceed 70° C under the afternoon sun. The tropical region around the Great Polar Sea does support a fairly large settlement (Port Lor). Its primary economic basis is the collection of manganese, cobalt, and other mineral elements of high purity that are uncovered on the desert surface after a “devil blow” – a hurricane-force storm on the desert surface that drives sand rather than rain. These minerals were laid down eons ago, when the central desert was the floor of a planet-wide ocean. Now, they attract the interest of various mineral exploitation firms from the Empire of Nagoya and Sanjaa Defense League, operating under license from Q’Lor’s planetary government.

Relay (Riphaeus 2325)
Until two decades ago, Relay was a politically powerful world whose influence within the SDL rivaled that of Sanjaa (Riphaeus 2424) itself. Its government used that influence to attempt to move the League toward fairer (i.e. less Sanjaa-centric) policies, including conciliation with the Empire of Nagoya. This led to Sanjaa-backed propaganda campaigns and military insurrections that toppled Relay’s government and allowed General Nur Loman to assume power. Loman inveighs against “Nagoyan meddling” in the subsector and keeps the planet’s population in fear of invasion, which has made him surprisingly popular in many quarters. Sadly, his rise to power destroyed Relay’s economy, to the point that even its local starport can no longer support the offworld traffic that once came here.

Sanjaa (Riphaeus 2424)
With over 100 million inhabitants, Sanjaa is, by far, the most populous world of the Sanjaa Defense League, for which it serves as its capital and military hub. Indeed, the interests of Sanjaa’s aristocratic elites, chief of which is continued independence from the Empire of Nagoya to coreward and the Angelic Republic to rimward, are the primary drivers of the League’s politics (often to the detriment of its member worlds).


  1. Okay, I have to ask - what's going on with Jia? Only a class C starport, but 10 billion inhabitants out of 11.1 in the subsector? This one system (with a weird neighboring system full of quantum singularities, no less) has more people living on it than both the subsectors you've shown us combined.

    Is it a homeworld to some non-starfaring alien species under the protection of a few human warden/xenologists? Is it a holy world of some sector-wide religious group where all the followers try to go live when they grow old? Is it extremely heavily exploited system with multiple inhabited planets and/or a large spacer community but little interstellar trade? Something weirder?

    Inquiring minds want to know. :)

    1. My serious, sincere, non-snarky answer is "I don't know. No one visited Jia."

      The Riphaeus Sector was largely a "just in time" setting. I didn't have much idea about most of its worlds until the characters set foot on them. That's the truth of it. Maybe one day I'll have a better answer.


  2. Did you place the systems yourself, or did you just roll 5+ one one die for each parsec hex?

    And more importantly, how did you come up with those names!?

    1. This is an entirely hand-rolled subsector. As for the names, I came up with a list of them before I began designing the sector. I picked from the list as I went. Most of the names came from my imagination (and using Google Translate), as well and a handful of random name/word generators to come up with a good mix.

      I think it turned out pretty well.

    2. I agree. It turned out excellent. Lots of thought-provoking UWPs, a nice cluster there on the trailing half, with a nice rift cleanly separating the subsector in two.

      Your method sounds a lot like mine. I start with a list of names running off a theme suggested by the subsector name. (I typically know the subsector name first, since the TAS Form 6 in Book 3 has blank spaces to put neighboring subsector names in. When I generate a new subsector, it's almost always because the players are close to the edge of another one.)

      I don't do placements completely randomly, though. After I roll up a sector, I typically move some of the systems around to make very nice jump-1 mains for my free-trader crews to adventure on. That's sometimes necessary when you have a subsector with a 33% stellar population density.

  3. Love these vintage Traveller notes and maps!

    I enjoy looking at these from an astropolitical focus. I always try to have crude estimates of fleet strength to identify where the power centers are and where their interests would lie: what systems they would want to protect their homeworld and to gain control of strategic locations.

    So I'm curious why Jia, with the lion share's of the subsector's population seems fairly insignificant in local politics. Assuming I'm reading UWP/UPP data correctly, Jia has literally 100x the population of Sanjaa and while they are lower tech, they still have stardrive tech. Even with a moderate investment in industrial capacity and a starfleet, it could launch a massive navy compared to Sanjaa and claim everything within two hexes as their defensive perimeter. That would even be prudent, given their homeworld could otherwise be open to attack.

    There could be reasons, of course. Maybe Jia is so badly mismanaged or riven by internal conflicts that it's incapable of projecting power outside its system. Or maybe most of those tens of billions are either low-tech autochthons (Piper's Fuzzies) or some form of transhuman who long ago adapted for planetary conditions (they do not need the breather masks 'regular' humans need there), but remain mired in outdated tech due to a darkfall collapse.

    Still, Jia is either a sleeping giant or an obvious target of acquisition for the SDL, in order to counter Nagoya's significant population advantage over Sanjaa. Perhaps the Riphaean Union currently guarantees the independence of Jia as a preliminary step to incorporating it into *their* union.

    Another anomaly that leapt out is Aingeru's independence. Given its strategic location, one might think either Nagoya or the SDL would have laid claim to it, brushing aside the concerns of a mere 100 locals who can be accused of supporting space piracy or something, true or not. You could probably hide 100 starship troopers in a freighter and take the place in a day ...

    I realize this post is a couple months old, but only recently found the blog. Keep up the great work!