Blackmoon is an inner satellite of the gas giant Sorane II, called Egg, a ringed and banded colossus that’s trembled on the edge of fusion for billions of years. 90% of the moon’s surface has only wisps of atmosphere and features profoundly chaotic terrain dominated by black rock. The habitable zone, a 600 x 400 kilometers depression in the southern hemisphere called Paradise, is comparatively stable tectonically. Paradise has an atmospheric pressure of 0.81 earthnormal, and has adequate oxygen for those species that breathe it, though that atmosphere tends to slowly poison many species, including standard humans. Paradise’s bubble of dense air shields it from most of the radiation that scours Blackmoon’s surface, but the count is still enough to set off cancers on a regular basis without adequate protection or the intervention of a doctori. The temperature varies greatly within subregions, but is generally hot where it is not blazing hot. Whether Paradise was engineered or merely stumbled upon is open to debate; but evidence of habitation of some kind stretches back to before humans came to this area.
Paradise Zone (no greater resolution available)
At present, extraction of oil, bachanda wood, and some ores are the only industries of note, but Blackmoon also has an orbital high port and a startown, Tarlkin’s Landing, on the southern shore of Black Lake. There, adequate maintenance and brokerage facilities serve the vessels of Plunder Space. It is a town of few questions and many opportunities.
The permanent population of Blackmoon probably does not exceed 10,000 souls. But transients, unhappy expatriates, desperate contract workers, and most likely a good number of unregistered others probably doubles that number. It is known that humans, and perhaps other sapients, live wild in Paradise.
Wars have left their marks on Blackmoon. The meteor crater in the northwest of Paradise was created in a Bug war long ago, before humans came here, and a scarred robotic dreadnought of the Croatoan, thought to have had its hyperlink to Croatoan command blown out in battle a century ago, still stands picket in the sky. Called Malevolent by Blackmooners, it annihilates any starship it recognizes as a warship of any power. Below some configuration of hull size and weapon load, Malevolent lets all pass who do not approach it too close. Malevolent also intermittently enforces a no-fly zone within Paradise, blasting even manta skiffs from the sky in certain areas, as well as the larger flying organisms, though the usual flightpath from orbit to Startown has never been fired on. Malevolent also seems to enjoy emitting data-scrambling EMPs and viral engrams whenever they are least expected. Androids keep their secrets well, but it is rumored that they enjoy or dread or worship these pulses. Most recently, a skirmish between the UFP and the Azuriach Imperium that got too close to Malevolent left dozens of hulks scattered across Paradise.
Gengineered Equoids and Manta Skiffs are often used as transportation on Blackmoon
There are no laws on Blackmoon as such, but there are powers who let their interests be known. Perhaps the single greatest power now is the Slee Hru 17th Legion. The Slee Hru are gangly humans who have been well isolated from cosmopolitan society on their low gravity planet, Slee, on the far side of Plunder Space. Hardly a stellar power when held up to the UFP or Azuriach Imperium, the Slee Hru have a handful of neighboring worlds under their domination and are scrambling for position in Plunder Space, aided by weapons spawned from their closely-kept nanofacture routines. Though boorish, violent, kleptocratic, and gloomy, the Hru are above all pragmatic, and calculating in the application of force. They generally keep the ore carts running on time, will pursue thieves when asked to, and have devoted enough sub-malevolent craft to keep other potential powers from grabbing the planet.
A Slee Hru Citizen-Soldier
Other powers include the bachanda lumber camps and oil rigs and miners, who mostly employ contract laborers and answer to offworld powers. There is a Doctori Guildhall in Tarlkin’s Landing that manufactures and distributes anti-rad and trace-scavenger potions to all who can pay.
Can you pay? Any who stay on Blackmoon permanently must have an arrangement with the Doctori (all contract laborers and their supervisors), stay shielded nearly all of the time (this is what the Slee Hru do), or die of burns and poison and tumors. Or be an Android. Or find another solution. Those stranded on Blackmoon by circumstance often run out of funds quickly and find themselves obliged to accept a labor contract for its medical benefits, because starship captains rarely accept crew from Blackmoon, and the Doctori have their sympathy surgically removed as interns.
Will it be the mines for you, or will you haul out the immense bachanda until a killer orchid finds you?
Or will you make a fortune by scavenging?