Volo is most famously known as being the location of the last battle of the first war between the Terran Protectorate and the Arkhon. However, it has been settled for about 700 years. Originally, it was settled by Rhtharian ex-patriots who were banished during a period of political upheaval on their home world. The colony had no ties with Rhythmar and was not affected when the Rhtharians back home were conquered by the Mogg’theran. However, three hundred years ago the Arkhon conquered the Rhtharians after a nearby star went nova, creating the Cooper’s Veil nebula. Freehold scoutships investigating the stellar event found the colony and the Arkhon moved in swiftly to secure it.
The planet stabilized under Arkhon rule, albeit oppressive, until the war between the Arkhon and the Protectorate. The Arkhon turned the planet into a sector command base for the area, and it became the main military command complex overseeing the war. Also, the Arkhon used the Rhtharians there to form closer ties with the now-free Rhtharians in the Empire of Many Suns. But the planet paid a terrible price for its participation.
During the Battle of Volo, the final decisive battle in the war, the Stellar Navy’s premiere special forces unit, the Black Angels Task Force, struck at the Arkhon sector command base in orbit. Docked at the base was the flagship of the entire invasion force, containing the leaders of the Arkhon Clan who were the architects behind the war. During a brutal battle the task force succeeded in knocking the massive space station and the mothership out of orbit. They plummeted to the planet below.
As a result of that battle, the Protectorate won the war and secured the Cooper Sector and Volo as part of the peace accords. However, Volo was both ecologically and economically devastated. Gripped by a nuclear winter, its air filled with harsh, sometimes radioactive chemicals and debris, the planet’s population suffered. To make matters worse, they had to endure the humiliation of human occupation and settlement. The Arkhon, true to form, pulled out all the Arkhon citizens, but left most of the Rhtharians, Fallam and other species behind. The Arkhon also shipped a large number of prisoners as well as mentally unstable citizens there as well before they pulled out. Among the population were a number of sleeper cells and intelligence operatives as well.
Volo has become a millstone around the neck of the Terran Protectorate. Trying to ecologically stabilize the planet has been a monetary sinkhole and is a project that might just be beyond the scope of current technology. The population has always been restless and (often spurred on by Arkhon spies) sometimes bordered on rebellious. There is an active and lethal insurgency, and every misery the planet endures gets blamed on the Terran Protectorate. Human colonists are seen as carpet baggers or vultures. The propaganda war against the Protectorate (and the sabotage of its efforts to restore the planet) have even led to some human settlers turning against their own government.
Finally, when Arkhon agents incited food riots and open rebellion, the Arkhon government declared that it could “no longer stand to watch the abuse of its citizens” which it said the Protectorate was treating like prisoners of war, and invaded all of Cooper Sector under that pretense. Many of the citizens of Volo (most of whom do not remember Arkhon rule) cheered and helped them take the planet.
Volo is a desolate, forsaken world with most of its water supply poisoned or slightly irradiated, the land barely able to grow the most meager of crops and a failing ecology that just gets worse by the decade. Whatever the Arkhon use to construct and power their larger starships is environmentally devastating, apparently, and a couple miles of scrap metal slamming into the planet’s surface did not help either. The people there are downtrodden, surly and hate authority. They hoped the Arkhon would bring some relief, but that “relief” has turned into conscription for the non-humans and work camps for the human settlers. The unstable and criminally insane have been left to wander the decayed Volo cities, making it unsafe for anyone not under the “protection” of the invading Arkhon forces. The planet once boasted 20 major cities and three star ports as well as a population of 40 million. Now, its population is probably a quarter of that, and three-quarters of the cities were abandoned due to radioactive fallout, poisoned water supplies or due to damage by falling space debris. They are the haunts of the insane and what few creatures have been powerful enough, and vicious or conniving enough, to survive the near-destruction of the planet’s biosphere. The other cities are Arkhon strongholds, work camps and industrial factories designed to build machines once meant to terraform the planet back to a habitable world have been retooled to add to the Arkhon war machine.
Population: Estimated 11 to 9 million.
Controlling Clan: Arkhon.
Diameter: 7,200 miles
Atmosphere: Somewhat Earthlike, but with heavy dust clouds of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur and radioactive isotopes scouring the surface. Most populations stay indoors in sealed structures or in underground caves. Those moving about on the surface need at least a rebreather for any periods of exposure beyond 1D4x10 minutes.
Gravity: 1.2 G
Calendar: 17 hour days, 502 days per year.
Satellites: One moon, Volodon, and a small service and repair shipyard which has likely been taken over by the Arkhon or destroyed.
Defense Assets: Unknown; the Arkhon has a large ground presence and some fleet activity, but intelligence out of the system has been scarce.