System: Tartarus

Sector: Hyperion

The planet Tribulation, second from the binary stars Tartarus A (circles Tartarus A) and Tartarus B, is one of the harshest environments humanity has ever attempted to settle. It is a brutally dry and arid desert world wracked by dangerous electrical storms that can disable all but the heartiest and best-shielded electrical equipment. What life forms exist there are dangerous, predatory, and generally vampiric in nature (this is where they get their water), which stalk the access points to the rare underground sinkholes that contain most of the planet's meager water supply.

Surveyors were surprised to find life here at all. But they were also surprised to find vast quantities of heavy metals and radioactive isotopes, possibly indicating that the planet and the system itself is a child of the nearby Blood Pool Nebula. Iridium, uranium and plutonium are found in large amounts, as well as a number of other metals useful for starship construction and power plant manufacturing. The only question was who would live here to work it?

That question was answered when an enterprising business conglomerate bought the rights for the world and turned it into a penal colony for the entirety of humanity. Tribulation's prison system houses 85 million of the most hardened criminals humanity has ever seen, with the worst of the worst kept above the planet's surface in a converted sky city called The Crucible. It is here that humanity sends the men and women deemed irredeemable even through the use of psychic re-education. And it is here that the Inquisition recruits hardest.

The only way out of The Crucible, and out of any of the prisons on the planet, is to join the Inquisition and request to become a defender of humanity. Almost every prisoner that does so enters Project Redemption believing they can game the system and use it to escape to an easier life. Virtually none succeed at doing so. Project Redemption is a brutal re-education program that tears down the being's psyche brick by brick and then rebuilds that person into a fanatical believer in the Inquisition and its cause. The most successful become templars, but in a few cases the men and women are determined to be so brutal and so violent that another treatment is required. These humans are turned into full conversion cyborgs known as Psychoborgs (full-conversion military O.C.C., plus roll twice on the insanity table...all insanities manifest in their most violent interpretation).

These Psychoborgs have passed through the program, and are dedicated to defending humans, but are still criminally insane. To focus these urges on the enemy, these cyborgs are matched with psychic sensitives, called Soothers. Also criminals, who used their psychic abilities for crime, these Soothers create a mental world that both beings share where the Psychoborg can live out violent urges and be calmed for duty. The program has been fairly successful so far, though there have been no major conflicts to test these cyborgs in pitched battle except for the occasional Berylan raid or Vinali incursion.


Population: 118 million (85 million prisoners, about half in stasis, the other half used as laborers)

Controlling Clan: Ares-Draconis

Diameter: 9,482 miles (15,260 km)

Atmosphere: Barely earth-like, with low levels of oxygen, high, but not quite deadly, levels of carbon monoxide and ozone. Dangerous static electrical buildup and sandstorms abound.

Average Temperature Range: 82F 140F (28C 60C)

Gravity: 1.2 G

Calendar: 61 hour day, 247 days per year.

Satellites: One moon, Megido, with a mining population of three million, and one sky city converted into a supermax prison called The Crucible (pictured below) with 5 million prisoners and about half a million staff.

Defense Assets: A small task force is assigned to Tribulation to keep the prisoners from escaping, and there are several bases for extreme environment military training and to train Psychoborg and Soother teams. There is also a massive corrections facility security population which is trained to deal with mass murderers, terrorists and generally the worst examples of humanity.

Tribulation Crucible.jpg