Campaign of the Month: January 2012
Star Trek Late Night
- Planet Name: Rigel V
- Class: M
- Moons or Rings: Two moons
- Gravity: 1.5 G
- Climate: Standard atmosphere, 45% hydrosphere, warm temperature
- Demographics: 1 billion Rigelians, 200 million Kaylar, 25 million Orions
- Civilization: Emotional and traditional, monarchy (Rigelian) with tribalized (Kaylar) outliers
- Resources: Medicines and medical equipment, mercenaries
CLIMATE AND GEOGRAPHY
Rigel V’s axial tilt, like that of Rigel II, is minimal; its seasons remain constant by latitude. The mountainous northern continents Klor and Viltan are quite cold and windswept, while the barrier islands to their south are equable and temperate. The major southern continent, Han-shir, is large enough to be primarily desert (especially behind the barrier mountains on the west coast), but its coasts range from quite pleasant to tropical jungle. Relatively narrow seas separate the continents, and small ice-capped seas cover each pole.
The dominant civilization on Rigel V is the Vulcanoid Rigelians, who operate under a neatly interlocked aristocracy based on psionic gifts, land tenure, and service. In fact, Rigelian culture is not dissimilar to that of the Romulans, although it cannot be as restrictive given the presence of the Orions (and later Humans) in the Rigel system to act as liberalizing counter-influences. Rigelians enjoy the outdoors and exploring their “new” world almost as much as they do exploring the inner world of their psionic and emotional selves. The tricky problem of adjusting their Vulcan biochemistries to a new solar system has led the Rigelians to pioneer many vital medical techniques, especially in fields like hematology, nephrology, and oncology. Steadily less interested in violence as they settle into their clement world, the Rigelian monarchy applies for Federation membership in 2297.
For millennia, the Kaylar were the sole inhabitants of Rigel V, building and destroying tribal confederacies as charismatic leaders came and went. What global culture there was centered on slave trading with passing Orions looking for mercenaries and mamelukes; this also served as a “safety valve” for any Kaylar interested in progress or advancement, leaving the nomadic, conservative majority in contented (if violent) barbarism. When the Orion empires were strong, the Kaylar meekly allowed Orion traders and miners to exploit their world; when the empires fell, they gleefully massacred them and resumed the old trade patterns.
When the Debrune fleets passed near the Rigel system in 453 A.D. on their exodus from Vulcan, however, the vice-admiral Torek saw only a primitive world that he could easily conquer and rule on his own rather than serve another. It wasn’t as easy as that; although the Vulcanoids could easily wipe out Kaylar armies in the field, they couldn’t root them out of the jungles or the mountains – especially since the Orions, not eager to share their system with expansionist invaders, gladly supplied the Kaylar with weapons and transport. After about a century of conflict, the invaders had conquered the southern continent (which they renamed Han-shir after Vulcan’s large secondary continent), and had decided to leave the (too cold for Vulcanoids) north to the Kaylar. After negotiating new trade deals with the Orions, Rigel V was stable again.
PLACES OF INTEREST
New Jaleyl, the capital of Rigel V, is most interesting as an example of proto-Vulcan architecture and city design adapted to a wetter, cooler world. The traditional thick stone walls and spare decorations contrast with bright sprays of flowers and sea-vines that adorn almost every surface. New Jaleyl is also the center of medical research on Rigel V, and many successful doctors and biologists are raised to the aristocracy, which keeps local society on the boil as wealthy families attempt to arrange marriages with promising medical students. In the center of the Han-shir desert, the Monastery of Gol serves as Rigel’s spiritual center, preserving artifacts from Vulcan and keeping the psionic disciplines of the ancient mind-lords alive. Some Rigelians keep establishments in both places, studying at Gol in the heat of the summer and spending the rainy winters going to biology lectures (or society parties) in the capital.