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Appendice 1: Viridia-Solaris/Leviathan System


The Viridia-Solaris / Leviathan system is a binary star system. The first star, Viridia Solaris, is a medium sized, bright yellow main sequence star that is just entering stellar middle age. Viridia Solaris has five planets orbiting it, on two of which life has evolved. With the exception of one planet, all of these worlds have perfectly perpendicular planes of rotation around Viridia Solaris, indicating that the system has always been free from cosmic impacts.

Closest to the sun is tiny Lucifer and it is the exception to rule of the other worlds, in that its plane of rotation is almost perfectly aligned with its orbit. Lucifer is a spherical hunk of glistening, metallic ferment and has no atmosphere to protect it from the extreme heat of Viridia Solaris. As a consequence its predominantly tin and copper composition melts into a bronze like alloy. Even on the night side of the planet- exposed as it is to the freezing vacuum of space- there are molten seas of this substance.

Lucifer has two moons, Chort and Moloch. Ironglass is the next planet out from the star, and is a large, honeycombed planet composed mainly of silicates. Ironglass has microscopic indigenous life on it, though its ecosystem is severely circumscribed by harsh environmental conditions. Ironglass has one moon, called Vectis.

The third planet is Viridia- where it all began for human life. Viridia is a blue-green planet with an ancient and highly diverse biosphere. The world is lush and sweltering in a wide band around the equator, with the environment becoming more arid towards the poles. Viridia has two moons, Hecate and Baphomet.

Fourth from Viridia Solaris is Xanth, a smallish, pale blue gas giant whose surface is composed chiefly of frozen methane beneath a dense atmosphere of hydrogen, helium and methane. Xanth has three moons, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos.

The last planet making up the Viridia- Solaris subsystem is Imryl, a smooth, grey globe of barren rock not much bigger than Lucifer. It has no mineral resources to speak of, and has never been colonised since it is of neither commercial nor strategic value. Imryl has no moons.

Leviathan, the second star in the binary system is a dark body- a tiny, super dense star that died a very long time ago and is about 1/100th the size of Viridia-Solaris. Leviathan holds two planets within the incredibly potent gravity field that it exerts on surrounding space, both of which are barren rocks. Whether either of these worlds ever supported its own life is a source of futile speculation, for if such life had existed it would have been eradicated billions of years ago by Leviathan's death throes.

Closest to Leviathan is Vacillus, a frozen, flinty planet about the same size and mass as Viridia. Vacillus has been chosen as the headquarters of VASA because it is the nearest object in space to the strategic goldmine that is the Leviathan Gravwell. Vacillus has one moon, Kothon, which VASA has adopted as the main dockyard for its massive starfleet.

Urukh orbits some distance from Leviathan and is composed mainly of metals- predominantly iron and copper. Copper deposits reacting with gases in the thin atmosphere give the planet its characteristic mottled green hue. Five moons orbit Urukh, and they are Hobbe, Barghest, Kobold, Sidh, and Fomorian.

Perhaps the strangest object in the system is Prime, a teardrop-shaped planetoid that orbits the whole system in a great ellipse. Prime is composed chiefly of a vitrified, obsidian like silicate that has some very unusual properties and is found nowhere else in explored space. It is a cold, airless place and life can only be sustained in subterranean chambers hollowed out by settlers, or in sealed installations on the surface. Despite these difficulties, Prime's abundance of rare and unique mineral resources makes it a very desirable world indeed.

The binary system attained its present state billions of years in antiquity, and in the beginning there were two separate systems. Whilst the Viridia-Solaris system was young and its planets were still forming, it was captured by Leviathan, a massive red giant in stellar old age at the time. Leviathan shed its outer shell, scouring and irradiating its own two planets, Vacillus and Urukh, to shrink and become a white dwarf. It is surmised now that this event was responsible for the creation of Prime, which was forming as the outermost planet of the Viridia-Solaris system at the time. The massive tidal forces of the two stars coming so near one another tore Prime's accretion disc from its natural orbit, deforming it and vitrifying the developing planet in the process.