Sunday 17 August 2014

USR Galaxy: Magna, Pride of the Empire

This begins a series of posts looking at USR Galaxy, a space opera setting for USR 2.0. Today we will be exploring the planet Magna, the prosperous hub of the Delta System and seat of the New Earth Empire.

Magna is the focal planet in the Delta System, which is made up of five planets: Bellum, Constituo, Insula, Niveus and Magna. There, in the vast metropolis of Primum, Primum Palace stands tall, its glass spires reaching far into the sky. The New Earth Prime Minister, Sheena Overwatch, tends to all Empire matters from her seat in the great palace along with her Cabinet of Disciples.

While only a small percentage of Magna was terraformed to support life, the city itself spans for hundreds of miles in every direction. In its centre are the gleaming towers of commerce, while on the outskirts lie the slums where inhabitants live on a razor's edge every day. Beyond the slums is the uninhabitable wasteland Magnans call the White, named after its unforgiving salt-white sands that seem to stretch on forever. It is said that the White isn't as lifeless as the government lets on, with witnesses saying they have seen strange figures on the horizon - cloaked beasts that have fallen into Magnan mythology as Cloakers.

Primum's spaceport is the most used in the system, as diplomats, merchants, tourists and others arrive by their thousands daily. The great warship Columbus hangs just above the planet's atmosphere - a foreboding sight for anyone who would choose to assault Magna. The Columbus houses a fleet of two hundred starfighters, from light Wasp ships to heavy Mantis bombers. Admiral Castus is stationed here on a near constant basis in case the neighbouring Sketh army from the Gamma System decides on one of their attacks.

In terms of trade, Magna specialises in interstellar technology. Some of the greatest universities in the galaxy find their home here, along with the best minds among humans. Salt and precious ore are also mined on Magna and shipped off to all corners of the Empire.

In terms of population, Magna is home to 500 million people, the vast majority human, although some Chromes, Yentorians and Klith make their homes here too, though the latter can mostly be found in the slum districts scratching a wage through mining and petty crime.

For several years Magna has been under attack by the Sketh, forcing architects to craft a large underground network of tunnels and rooms in case of heavy bombardment. The Great Bombardment three years ago was the last that occurred, destroying 5% of Primum's buildings and killing thousands. Scientists are working on the creation of a world field, an invisible protecting energy shield to cover the planet. However, this is still in its very early stages and unlikely to be made before the Sketh return.

Be sure to download the free USR 2.0 rules.

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