System: Nestor

Sector: Cooper


Venelia is the second of four planets in the Nestor system. Beyond it is a dense asteroid belt. The planet is almost entirely covered by water, and is cold enough that most of the surface is permafrost or glacier. All native life on Venelia lives under the water, although some alien plant species have been transported there since mankind’s arrival.

The planet is controlled by the Hannu clan, who established a colony there as a base to explore the nearby nebula of Cooper’s Veil. The planet is a scientific outpost and military base, primarily, and is only lightly populated with one major city and a series of colonial marine bases. The Order of Voltaire and Ares-Draconis also maintain a sizable presence here as well.

Venelia City, located on the equator is divided into two parts: The Upper City, which rests on the surface, and then the Submariner District, which lies underwater, in the city’s massive bay. Architecturally beautiful, the city was a place of science, learning and exploration. Now it is an armed camp under siege.

The Arkhon have targeted Venelia as a strategic holding point on the Protectorate side of Cooper’s Veil. It is centrally located in the sector, and would make an excellent launching point for a push into Juneau sector. However, they have been unable to take the planet for a variety of reasons. First, when they first blitzed the system, the intent was to land a large force of ground troops in the city and take it, and thus the planet, by force. However, luck was with the Protectorate, and a task force in a nearby star system was hunting down a pirate group that had been preying on shipping between Venelia and Volo. The Arkhon were unaware of the task force, which attacked the Arkhon invasion fleet during landing operations. The commander of the task force focused on the landing ships, and destroyed almost all of the Arkhon ground troops in transit before the enemy fleet drove them off (with significant losses on both sides).

But the attack wiped out the Arkhon landing forces, and is generally considered the battle that blunted the Arkhons’ march through Cooper sector, giving the Protectorate time to get a better hold of the situation. The bulk of the task force escaped and is holed up in the asteroid belt, not allowing the Arkhon forces to engage them. They attack whenever they see an opening, hoping to whittle down the enemy.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Venelia City has fortified itself and moved its most sensitive operations underground. The city is coordinating with several Colonial Marine Special Forces bases scattered across the planet. In the interim, the Arkhon have been terrorizing and destroying the smaller settlements, hoping to drive the refugees to the city and overcrowd it, depleting its supplies, lowering morale and forcing a surrender. The Arkhon have also succeeded in destroying the city’s quantum communication center, effectively cutting it and half of Cooper sector from the rest of the galaxy.

The planet itself is a relatively cold world with what little land present being mostly frozen tundra. Small, icy archipelagos break through the surface of the waves sporadically, but life is limited to underwater species, including a wide variety of fish-like species, radiates and trichordates (three-spined crustaceans). The radiates top the food chain, with massive jellyfish-like creatures that are believed to be semi-intelligent and potentially psychic.

Population: 5 million (3.5 million in the city)

Controlling Clan: Hannu

Diameter: 8,200 miles

Atmosphere: Earth-like, though slightly less oxygen due to the lack of surface plant life, making the air thin and breathing slightly difficult. NOTE: The cold climate and thin air and closeness to the border are why there were military bases here. Marines stationed here have a +1 to their P.E. due to their training. This extra P.E. point fades after 2D6 months off world, however, but the lessons they learn in the harsh, cold, wet climate remain.

Average Temperature Range: -20°F – 50°F (-29°C – 10°C)

Gravity: 1.05 G

Calendar: 31 hour days, 560 days in a year.

Satellites: None

Defense Assets: The city has a wing of Ballista strike fighters and two squadrons of old Arrow Interceptors, as well as four Holstein pinnaces. There are also a number of civilian ships, mostly stranded on planet, fearing to risk the Arkhon blockade. The Arkhon have a Strike Cruiser command ship, two Battlewagons, eight Huntsmen (two heavily damaged) and 15 scout ships. The “Morlock” task force, as it is calling itself, is currently hiding in the pirate base located in the asteroid belt in a hollowed out asteroid. It has augmented itself with several pirate vessels, which the Arkhon do not realize. The task force is commanded by the heavy cruiser Rutan, and includes an escort carrier, three frigates, four pinnaces, two Boone-class scout ships and a Venture-class exploration cruiser. The latter three vessels belonged to the local pirate group, who threw their lot in immediately with their fellow humans and have shown them the ins and outs of hiding in the Belt, as well as a reserve base at a nearby gas giant. They also have a couple light civilian transports.