System: Solaris

Sector: Primus


The beautiful, ringed world of Esmerelda is the base of power for Clan Hedonis. It is a world of art, literature and sensuality, but most of all it is a center for learning.

All of Clan Hedonis’s great education centers are here. The House of Falling Stars, the premiere training facility for the Sensates, is located here. In orbit, in the Mariposa Orbital Station, the Mariposa University is the training ground for the empathic counselors known as the Solari.

Those who go to Esmerelda expecting a decadent party planet will likely be somewhat disappointed. It is a world of serene vistas and quiet contemplation. There are pleasures to be had, some of the most exotic in known space, but there are other places run by the Clan off world that focus on those types of things. This world is meant, by Clan Hedonis, to be a place of peace, learning and beauty.

The citizens of Esmerelda are mostly Proletarans or from Clan Hedonis, but there are also large populations from the Davinchians and the Order of Voltaire. The schools and universities are the largest employers, and 15% of the population is made up of transient students who will live there a few years, and then depart once they have finished their studies.

There are very few large cities. Instead, the population, outside of the universities, tends to be divided up into communes of like-minded individuals. Typically, these are small compounds of friends and associates who share similar outlooks on life. Some of these compounds are very insular and guarded, with fortified gates and security. Others are open salons, welcoming every one who passes through. It all depends on the attitudes, and proclivities, of the residents.

There is a lot of green space, and numerous parks, lakes, massive gardens and scenic preserves are located across the planet. Gazebos, sculptures and other works of art are a constant part of the scenery. Growth and development is strictly controlled…some would say stifled.

Of course, all of this requires a massive amount of well-run infrastructure, and much of the work is done by university students working their way through school. But a lot of it is done by the Proletaran population, who almost form a peasant class on the lavish world (which can be an expensive place to live). Clan Hedonis is KEENLY aware of the potential for the development of class issues with the Proletarans, and takes large steps to avoid this. Proletarans are given a major role in planetary government, and, quite often, the planetary governor is a Proletaran. Additionally, there are six annual holidays where the employment of sensates is free and sensates residing on the planet are heavily encouraged to venture deep into Proletaran communities and be available to them. Sensates, surprisingly, love these holidays (even though they receive only tips and the occasional gift) and most make strong friendships with some families and Proletaran communities. This has led to strong bonds, and is generally seen as a wild success. However, it still remains a fact that the Clan Hedonis members more than likely own salons, palatial estates or lavish suites in the countryside…and the Proletarans are their servants, ditch diggers and laborers. But the Proletarans see the effort Clan Hedonis makes, and relations are very good.

The Solaris system is about 20 light years away from Terra Prime, near the border with Leo sector.

Population: 200 million

Controlling Clans: Hedonis and Proletaran

Diameter: 11,400 miles

Atmosphere: Naturally earth-similar, terraformed to be a duplicate of earth.

Average Temperature range: 15o F – 90o F (-9.49o C – 32.2o C)

Gravity: .89 Earth gravity

Calendar: Esmerelda has a 32-hour day, and a 450-day year.

Satellites: Two moons, Aphrodite and Thetis, both rocky with no atmosphere. Thetis has a mining colony of about 80,000 people. Esmerelda also has an extensive ring system. There are six sky cities in orbit, and the Mariposa Orbital Station.

Defense Assets: There is a task force assigned to the star system consisting of two heavy cruisers, an escort carrier, four destroyers and six pinnaces. The Mariposa has a wing of Crossbow fighters, and most of the Sky Cities have at least a squadron of older Arrow Interceptors.