The planet itself is smaller than ancient Earth but more dense, giving it comparable surface gravity. The thin atmosphere is breathable by humans but too thin to be lived in comfortably by non-natives.
A.C.R.E. dominates the surface of Demnoph with great arcologies as well as industrial and agricultural complexes, which together span the entire surface of the planet and produce everything its massive population needs, as well as a great deal for export.
Most inhabitants live their whole life inside and don’t see much of the sky or nature. As such the population seems depressed and bereaved of all hope to visitors, something that is only amplified by A.C.R.E.'s focus on efficiency across the planet.
Nonetheless, there are beautiful places to be found on Demnoph. Those who live or work in the upper or outer levels of an arcology complex enjoy a great view across the planet’s surface, or of the exotic colorful auroras playing across most of Demnoph's thin atmosphere. The agricultural complexes can be a stark contrast to Demnoph's usual aesthetic, and staff working there are often thought of by the rest of the population as irritatingly lively and happy.
Demnoph is the headquarters of the A.C.R.E. Corporation, which provides housing, employment, essential services, food, and consumer goods to all citizens of Demnoph, outside of a few small businesses run by nobility. A.C.R.E. manages virtually all of the economic activity of the planet, though there is a minor Trilliant Ring and House Eridanus presence. As of the events of 3200, there is also a PRISM and Velan presence on the planet. A.C.R.E. motivational advertisements and public outreach initiatives line the walkways. All waste, including human corpses, is recycled through state-of-the-art waste management plants. Community C.O.R.E. officers ensure all communities are living up to A.C.R.E.'s standards. From A.C.R.E.'s main headquarters building, lovingly referred to as The Ziggurat, its board of directors manages every facet of life on the planet.
Climate and AtmosphereDemnoph's atmosphere is thin but breathable. A.C.R.E. uses atmospheric shielding to keep the remaining air in and recyclers the size of a city block to make the air breathable, although it becomes horribly stale when the air scrubbers are being cleaned out on a bi-monthly basis. These shields reflect the light of the city-wide planet and glow a variety of blues, yellows, greens, and sometimes pinks. Various streaks of color trace the skyline from time to time, mimicking the ancient Earth legend of the Aurora Borealis. In reality, this phenomenon is caused by radioactive runoff gliding across the surface of the atmospheric shield as it bleeds into space.Demnoph has a warm climate but the low atmospheric density and lack of ocean means that the planet has very little ability to hold heat. Thus, while Demnoph's days are warm, the temperature can easily fluctuate 30-40 Kelvin between noon and midnight. The atmosphere has a difficult time holding the moisture freed from the destruction of the planet's natural water deposits and so precipitation is nearly constant. Wet snow is common at night but it has typically been evaporated and washed away by late morning.
Nature and Wildlife
For main article, see Demnoph Nature and Wildlife.
Most of the native wildlife of Demnoph has died off, as it could not adapt to the rapid urbanization of the planet. Everything that lives now on Demnoph is either grown for agricultural purposes or has adjusted to grow in the sewer system.
For main article, see The Ziggurat
The Ziggurat is the main office building of A.C.R.E., built several hundred years ago by using cutting edge technology to develop the most advanced structure of its kind. Since then it has gone through several, sometimes extreme, interior renovations, though you could never tell when looking at its sloped outer surface.
The shape of The Ziggurat has become synonymous with the A.C.R.E. Corporation. The Ziggurat is a nation unto itself, each floor the size of a country. It is the biggest building on Demnoph by an extreme margin, extending even into outer space. Due to its enormous size and the thin atmosphere, it is visible from unimaginable distances. The building's structure splays out far beneath the soil. The part visible on the surface is only the tip of the head of the monstrous pyramid.
The Ziggurat's blackened walls and windows are made of some of the strongest materials known to the Acheron Rho sector. The complete plans of the building itself are a closely guarded secret held only by the Directors of A.C.R.E. Local folk tales often speculate on the secret and nefarious goings-on at the roots of the Ziggurat.
Pilgrim's Landing (or simply "The Landing") was the first landing zone of the House Eridanus Factory-Ship, Silent Acquisition.
Home to one of the largest contiguous religious structures in the sector, the Landing is also the location of the arcology known as "The City-Basilica of Sublime Charity". The population of the City-Basilica varies widely with religious holidays and pilgrimages but conservative estimates put the permanent population of the arcology at nearly three hundred thousand. Built with little regard to cost constraint, the basilica outline of the building can be seen from orbit by the naked eye.
The Landing is also home to one of the largest memorial monuments in the sector, the Verglas Spire. The spire is a kilometer high engraved surface that records the names of every Imperial Citizen of note, alongside a small biography.
A sector abandoned, attempts at recreating Trillium were located here. When Synths had to be disbanded, the sector and its research were abandoned as well. All wasteland and ruins now.
The last bastion of old Demnoph, fighting to keep its heritage and tradition. It has a giant dome to protect it from the harsh atmosphere that has plagued Demnoph for years, allowing natural food production to be viable.
This is a frequent place of relaxation for those who can afford it.
The total urbanization of Demnoph's surface makes the typical distinction between countries and cities inapplicable. Instead, Demnoph is divided into different zones, each with their own tasks. Grav-trains provide easy and quick transport between the zones.
Demnoph sports an extensive orbital transport system fed by grav-trains launched to and from Demnoph. This system allows for rapid transport of goods and people to and from the planet. The central hub of this system is the Demnoph Central Transit Authority, located on floors 45 to 48 of The Ziggurat. These upper floors rise above the planet's atmosphere and form a massive spaceport fed by a system of space elevators, which handle a large percentage of orbit to surface traffic.
In Demnoph orbit are many ship docks for quick cargo handling, repairs, refits, refueling, and building of new ships. The many shuttles and transport barges without interstellar capability that fly between these installations make the space around Demnoph very dangerous to navigate for pilots who do not follow the instructions of the Demnoph Central Transit Authority very closely. To prevent collisions, automated security drones shoot down every ship endangering others and collect the debris in nets and grav-bubbles to be smelted down and recycled in orbit.
A.C.R.E. zones spaces into separate housing blocks, commercial/public spaces, and functional areas such as schools, offices, and manufacturing. As personal vehicles are considered dangerous and would require enormous amounts of space given the amount of traffic between areas, these blocks are not connected by roads or grav-car lanes (although cosmetic and pedestrian roads do exist in commercial public spaces), although expensive drone limousine services do exist for nobility and upper management.
Instead, grav-train is the primary means of transport and is used by all social classes. Demnoph grav-train stations are enormous. Trains arrive constantly and often have many floors. The grav-train system is tightly tuned and lateness is not tolerated by management. While special cars do exist on some trains for nobility and upper-management, these are mostly on the routes most likely to be used by those individuals and the grav-train system is considered a social leveler.
Grav-train maps are being constantly adjusted as new buildings are built or demolished, and the maps do not necessarily represent the actual layout of the places. To cope with this, A.C.R.E. makes cheap implants available for locals that interface with hologram systems in the grav-train system to offer personalized directions. A temporary version of these implants is also available to visitors, which can be ejected when the visitor leaves. The grav-train system is managed by the Demnoph Central Transit Authority at The Ziggurat.
Many visitors find the grav-train system confusing, especially if they do not opt to receive a temporary implant, as the grav-train system is one place where Demnophi typically are not inclined to stop and be helpful. Fortunately, A.C.R.E. has recently installed special hologram systems to assist visitors, which override the normal limitations on hologram brightness and volume. Implementation was accelerated when pilot studies found that visitors who encountered these holograms tended to opt for temporary implants instead of experiencing them again.
Demnoph's available airspace is used as densely as possible by goods transport drones and grav-barges.
The Demnoph Oceanic Storage System was established in the early 2800s by A.C.R.E. planetary development crews as a compact storage system for Demnoph's oceans, which were to be drained to make room for expanding industry. The Oceanic Storage System is based around ten enormous chambers buried in the planet's crust, each named after one of the ten holy virtues: Cistern Faith, Cistern Propriety, Cistern Justice, Cistern Fortitude, Cistern Wisdom, Cistern Temperance, Cistern Diligence, Cistern Charity, Cistern Integrity, and Cistern Hope. The naming scheme was chosen to honor the High Church and dedicate the prosperity A.C.R.E. created to the ideal of the Empire, which was in shambles due to the ongoing First Imperial Civil War. Each cistern's name was emblazoned on its walls and pipes in enormous gold letters.
Over time, the cisterns have become an object of superstition. The most common such superstition is simply that the water from each cistern is imbued in some manner with the spirit of the virtue associated with that cistern, for example so that drinking water from Cistern Fortitude grants fortitude and so on. As each cistern supplies a different area of Demnoph, another version of this superstition is that the people in the areas served by a particular cistern are more prone to its respective virtue. This particular superstition has been encouraged by A.C.R.E. marketing campaigns designed to sell tap Virtue Water. These superstitions are tolerated by the High Church.
A minority take this superstition to another level, believing that the waters of each cistern are in fact inhabited by a great (semi-) Divine water spirit that is both an avatar of their respective virtue and of the now-lost oceans of Demnoph itself. They see not only the water of the cisterns, but everything related to Demnoph's plumbing as imbued with special properties. A leaky faucet or a broken pipe can be interpreted as a sign from the great water spirits in the cisterns below. Various cults and pseudo-religious movements have grown that worship or venerate the water spirits. Of these cults and movements, those originating among or popular with the inhabitants of the cisterns and plumbing itself, such as the Wave Whisperers, tend to be the most strange and unorthodox.
Though the practice is discouraged by corporate authorities, some choose to live within the Oceanic Storage System.
Manmade structures have completely subsumed the surface of Demnoph, built well into the its sky, and burrowed deep into its crust. A common witticism goes that Demnoph is the only planet where you need a telescope to tell whether you’re indoors, and this isn’t far from the truth. While Demnoph’s acologies and massive production facilities are built to be modular units, they are often completely integrated with one another. Exterior walkways are common, but many apparently exterior spaces are actually massive indoor complexes with their own weather patterns. A.C.R.E. is continuously building, replacing, and re-purposing structures, and grav-train routes are simply adjusted to accommodate this. Nonetheless, a careful observer could detect the remnants of ancient buildings in the structures of newer ones, especially on the lower levels.
The large-scale structures of buildings are 3D printed in one piece by massive industrial drones that roll across the tops of arcologies. Most interiors are built from A.C.R.E. prefabs, which are clean and minimalist. Locals wanting to customize their environment can purchase materials from A.C.R.E. to do so, and can pay to have their homes moved in one piece when they are relocated.
Each zone on Demnoph contains several facilities that provide all the services that zone needs to function. The most essential facilities in each zone are typically located in the center, and this collective is known as a Trapezium. Each Trapezium is overseen by a Director, in addition to their other duties.
Most residents of Demnoph live in massive housing blocks know as Residential Arcologies. A Residential Arcology can house hundreds of thousands of people and all the essential services required to keep them alive. Each Residential Arcology has a unique name designated by the Department of Accelerated Creation of Residential Euphemisms in accordance with ongoing customer or employee outreach initiatives. Examples of Residential Arcology names are "5712 A Quiet Employee Is A Productive Employee", "8994 Fizzy Cheese Contains Essential Nutrients", and "1433 The Emperox Shepherds Their Flock" (recently changed to "1433 Vacation Day Rewards Will Rise 3.2% For 3200").
Residential Arcologies are more like dormitories than true arcologies. There is little to do other than what one can amuse oneself with in one's room. This design is to encourage workers to spend their free time working, consuming, or socializing in designated public spaces rather than in Residential Arcologies.
Each Residential Arcology typically has several grav-train stations and many floors of densely packed apartments connected by elevators, grav-shuttles, and heavily surveilled walkways. Each apartment is a prefabricated unit that can interface with any other Residential Arcology. Many Demnophi opt to have their apartments brought with them when they are inevitably relocated. Demnophi are permitted to decorate their apartments as they choose, but tax breaks are available for those who choose to install A.C.R.E. advertising.
- Nosy U.N.I.O.N. representative
- Rogue surveillance system issuing fines for minor offenses
- Huckster looking to hard-sell apartments
- Lonely employee looking to vent
- Local maintenance worker greeting all visitors
- Proud Chief Block Inspector wanting to show off their work
- The Residential Arcology is designated for political criminals
- This block of the Arcology is harboring an illegal synthetic
- There's a barely-contained war brewing between this floor and the one below
- Graffiti on the wall invites passers-by to a secret meeting
- Notice that an essential life support system was last maintained 30 years ago
- Passed-out employee lying against the wall
- Apartment left wide open while resident is out
- Unsanctioned floor meeting-place
- Noble-only elevator watched by belligerent with nothing better to do
Unorganized Residency and Floodlight Comms
Either to save money, escape the monotony of life, or to join an alternative community (or, less generously, a cult), some Demnophi choose to eschew the Residential Arcologies and live in their own communities. A.C.R.E. allows such communities to exist so long as they pay taxes and stay out of the way. Officially, such communities are known as Unorganized Residencies but are unofficially referred to as "Floodlight Comms", because of a crime-reduction measure that gave tax breaks to members of Unorganized Residencies who installed floodlights on their homes.
Floodlight Comms are located wherever there is spare space – often on rooftops or on buttresses or protrusions of buildings. The least well-policed Floodlight Comms are located underground and in and around Demnoph's cistern system. These Floodlight Comms are infamous for harboring criminals and rogue synthetics.
Local Character: Floodlight Comm
- Cult leader who doesn't trust your kind
- Pickpocket with an eye on your belongings
- Unstable keeper of a feral rat kennel
- Disgraced C.O.R.E. investigator looking for redemption
- Well-off spendthrift who will help anyone for credits
- True believer looking to convert new members through hospitality
- Only locals can safely navigate
- The local building manager wants to shut down the Comm by any means necessary
- The Floodlight Comm appears to be completely normal and healthy
- Satchel of goods pilfered from the job
- A single discarded identification chip; user appears friendly to local security drones
- Missing piece of evidence implicating powerful subdirector in fraud
- Homely structure for a family of eleven
- "Bus Station" that's really just a place to jump onto passing grav-barges
- Unsanctioned business selling dangerous knockoffs
The many pipes, drainage systems, desalination facilities, and smaller reservoirs that sit in between the ten great cisterns and their eventual destinations in Demnoph faucets and fountains provide no shortage of spaces for people to hide and make a home. Though flooding is a constant danger to those living in what is essentially planetary plumbing, there is simply so much room that there are always places that, for a time, are safe and dry. Occasionally, A.C.R.E. does try to flush such squatters out of their system, but the cost of securing the whole planet’s plumbing is simply not worth the benefits of doing so.
However, there is another place people have found a way to call home. This is within the great cisterns themselves. Though water levels within the cisterns rise and fall, they are always at least one thousand feet from the actual ceiling, for various technical reasons. As a result, people have been able to live across the vast expanses of water that make up the cisterns themselves. In some places, Demnophi live in cobbled together cities of rafts. In others they live in forts built around drainage pipes. Though they are dark and humid, human ingenuity has found plenty of ways to nest in the nooks and crannies of the cistern system. To ACRE, these habitations have been particularly hard and expensive to root out.
A.C.R.E. maintains designated commercial facilities as spaces for social interaction and consumption. These commercial facilities mimic the busy streets of cities on other planets but they are actually just facades constructed by A.C.R.E. Demnophi are permitted to run their own businesses but rental contracts in commercial facilities include a buyout clause. Therefore most large businesses, except those run by noble houses or other sector powers, are run or controlled by A.C.R.E.
Commercial facilities usually feature relatively narrow streets intended for pedestrians and emergency services only. Aerial walkways allow these streets to be many levels tall. Neon signs are ubiquitous and advertise A.C.R.E. products. While A.C.R.E. cultivates an image of controlled chaos to reduce inhibition to consumerism, dataslate-wielding inspectors ensure all advertisements and businesses are up to date on the latest consumer outreach regulations. Commercial facilities are managed so there is nowhere to comfortably rest without paying.
A.C.R.E. carefully manages the number of commercial facilities to ensure they are always appropriately bustling. While the quantity of commercial activity has significantly decreased in the wake of the Labor Crisis, the density of commercial facilities has simply been decreased, rather than allow commercial facilities to fall into ruin.
Each commercial facility is slightly different. Some are exterior complexes of buildings while others are more like massive indoor malls.
Hotels of all qualities are available in commercial facilities for visitors. The nicer hotels are pressurized. The less nice hotels simply have an oxygen vent above the pillow. The least nice hotels have nothing.
Local Character: Commercial Facility
- A.C.R.E. Brand Loyalty Inspector angered by bored glances at advertisements
- Shop Manager who absolutely. insists. you examine their wares
- Vat Cleaning underlings looking to take out their frustrations with authority
- A.C.R.E. subdirector taking a vacation day among the masses
- Regulars at food stall with the latest gossip
- Lost noble looking for a confident-looking foreigner (to be determined by presence of oxygen mask)
- Visitors are fined for loitering if they don't make a purchase every ten minutes
- Two competing stores both sell the same A.C.R.E. product; buying from one will anger the other
- The area is filled with particularly hopeless employees who don't mind telling everyone
- Discreetly placed brown bag contains dropped-off intelligence
- Vending machine filled with unidentifiable brown liquid, dispenses cups of it for a few credits
- Street-cleaning drone that isn't afraid to do whatever it takes to get the job done
- Oxygen parlor; patrons include many visitors and a few sad locals
- Bar that forces patrons to buy anti-hangover shot before entering
- Store piloting a new A.C.R.E. product only available at select Demnoph locations
- Hotel originally intended for noble visitors, now also serving lucky employees
Functional facilities are a catch-all designation for offices, growing zones, manufacturing areas, and other productive facilities. Unlike other facilities, most functional facilities also include housing and other essential services for employees who need closer oversight by management, or who simply want to live closer to work.
The history of Demnoph is deeply tied to history of the Empire itself. As one of the Core Worlds, Demnoph was one of the first colonized planets in the sector. Sharing in the prosperity and rapid growth of the Core, Demnoph’s population has exploded. The planet was once a golden world, with temperate weather as well as flora and fauna suited to human life. Demnoph's human presence eventually overwhelmed the world's ability to provide as it was slowly consumed by the massive cities that started to totally enclose the world.
Demnoph was once ruled by a now-forgotten noble house until it was impounded before The Scream by House Eridanus. A line of minor nobles of House Eridanus ruled over Demnoph until it was taken over by A.C.R.E. in 2806. Corporate rule over the remained undisputed until 3171, when internal A.C.R.E. politics led to the Demnoph Collective Uprising. The revolt lasted for over two months until A.C.R.E., with the help of House Cygnus and House Serpens, managed to reestablish control over the world.
Under the governance of A.C.R.E., Demnoph was exploited for all its riches and choked to death by the humans that call it home. Pavement and concrete subsumed the grass, and starlight was replaced by the steady glow of the neon lights that permeate every corner of the planet. Only the most hardy of the planet's fauna and flora survived this change. The remainder of Demnoph's native life consists of the vermin-like alien life and extremely hardy species of flora that attach to any source of water or energy.
Demnoph is one of the most cosmopolitan planets in the sector. It experienced its first wave of immigration during the early ages of the planet's management by A.C.R.E. due to heavy worker-recruitment campaigns, and secondary waves of immigration during the First and Second Imperial Civil Wars and during the War Against the Artificials. As immigrants are considered a useful source of labor, Demnoph is a popular destination for refugees and those looking for a better life.
Due to the constant pressures of immigration and cultural mixing, the official population structure of Demnoph is constantly changing. A.C.R.E. constantly shuffles its employees between housing zones and even between planets to prevent population blocs from forming (though wild theories purport that this is also to make sure nobody develops local loyalties other than to the company). The mixing pot of immigrant cultures, local folkways, and A.C.R.E. cultural propaganda that form Demnoph's primary culture is known as Demnophi. According to A.C.R.E. census records, over 98% of the population consider themselves Demnophi, but this is a testament to the broadness of Demnophi culture rather than its ubiquity. A.C.R.E. is proud to have many of its own executives made up of Local Demnophi and proudly sponsor all festive gatherings as well as planetary recreational teams.
The next largest cultural groups as measured by self-reporting as of the most recent census were, in descending order of population, Imperial, Yakiyan, Hong Luan, and Tiberian.
As the property that became A.C.R.E. split from House Eridanus 400 years ago, the languages first spoken on Demnoph were High and Bastard Imperial, and Corp Cant. In 3200, the majority of Demnophi speak Demnophian on a day-to-day basis. Demnophian is a descendant of Tiberian Bastard Imperial and sounds similar to the Imperial outsiders are used to, but after 400 years of separation they are no longer mutually comprehensible.
On the other hand, the High Imperial used in the boardroom and among upper management has remained consistent with the rest of the sector, as most of its users are ex-members of the nobility and speak it already. Most members of upper management also learn Corp Cant for ease of communication between A.C.R.E., the various corporations, and House Eridanus. Being fluent in Imperial and Corp Cant is a requirement to be able to enter the upper echelon.
Except in the rare case of a member of upper management who was born on Demnoph, upper management typically do not speak Demnophian. While the cosmopolitan nature of A.C.R.E.’s upper management requires them to learn Imperial and Corp Cant, most low level employees do not have the time or resources to learn anything but the language of the streets.
As only a comparatively small number of people are able to speak both Imperial and Demnophian (or Corp Cant and Demnophian), and such people are usually in upper management, complaints from low-level employees usually do not make it far up the corporate ladder. This barrier to communication has been a consistent source of contention between A.C.R.E.’s upper management and its workers.
The majority of Demnophi follow the High Church of Messiah-as-Emperor, though workers receive little time to study religion independently. Nonetheless, the High Church has a significant cultural influence. Since the War Against the Artificials, the The Church of Humanity, Repentant has started to gained followers among some of the less jaded inhabitants of Demnoph. Following its signing of the Treaty of Cabina, A.C.R.E. makes Church of Humanity, Repentant religious broadcasts available to its workers on an equal footing to those of the High Church.
Demnophi local holidays are the mandatory Church prayer days and the mandatory A.C.R.E. scheduled Vacation Day. On Vacation Day, Demnophi across the planet are gifted A.C.R.E. brand coupons and gift cards to present to their loved ones.
Devotees of the Good Work
For main article, see Devotees of the Good Work
This sect of the Church of Humanity Repentant has a small but significant following on Demnoph. Originally an A.C.R.E. movement to combat the rising sentiments that would eventually result in the formation of the UPC, it has evolved into something much bigger, and somewhat different.
The Devotees of the Good Work believe in the worker as a model of human perfection. According to Good Work doctrine, the synth is the perfect worker, and followers worshiped them as such openly before the War Against the Artificials. Officially, the Devotees of the Good Work have renounced this doctrine, but even now secret sympathy with the synths is prevalent within the sect.
The Sky is a Lie
For main article, see the Sky is a Lie
The Sky is a Lie is among the stranger sects of the Church of Humanity, Repentant. It believes that Demnoph has no surface, that in fact the city-planet continues in all directions for as far as possible. It is a point of contention within the sect whether the city-universe is infinite or not.
The sect also believes that the core of Demnoph is in fact a physical manifestation of the Divine, the body of the God Soul that warms the universe. It is this second belief that led the sect into the arms of the CHR after the Church of Humanity Repentant's Demnoph members offered the sect protection in exchange for membership.
Though some in the CHR have raised concerns about letting such demonstrably false beliefs go unchallenged, community leaders emphasized the need to respect local customs and allow people to believe and worship in their own way.
For main article, see Wave Whisperers.
While most of the minor cults and superstitions surrounding Demnoph's cisterns have little relation to any major religious organization, there is one exception. The Wave Whisperers are an official, if unruly, sub-sect of the Church of Humanity, Repentant who grew out of the cults and superstitions surrounding the Demnoph Cisterns. Their founder believed that not only were the Cisterns very much inhabited by great ocean spirits, but that these spirits were neither Divine nor semi-Divine, but alien.
The Wave Whisperers believe that they can hear these roars in the drip of Demnoph faucets, in the waves of the Cisterns' reservoirs, and in the rushing of water through pipes. They believe they can hear, and when they hear, they repent. For the Wave Whisperers, the ultimate act of repentance is to break open Demnoph's cisterns and flood the planet, though as of yet they have only committed minor acts of pipe sabotage. For this reason, they have historically faced oppression by the authorities.
Crime is uncommon on Demnoph relative to its population size, as there is not much difference in wealth between most of the population. About 95% of the population are simple workers for A.C.R.E. and the rest earn enough to ensure the safety of their own assets. The list of local criminal offenses in addition to Imperial law is short, and mostly restricted to various forms of theft or destruction of A.C.R.E. property. Instead, public order is managed via the A.C.R.E. Productivity Report. As a result, newer employees and visitors face relatively few restrictions on their behavior, while longtime employees are more strictly controlled.
However, there are slum-like areas in most city districts, within the giant underground aqueducts and pipes. After these areas were purged of synths, policing in these areas was halted due to the high danger posed to the policing force there. In these areas, violent crime is rampant and not punished or prosecuted. Anyone going to such a slum should be armed and ready to defend themselves, lest they be be robbed, beaten, shot, or worse.
As a result, the sight of police is uncommon on Demnoph, but when a crime does happen, the well-equipped Demnoph A.C.R.E. C.O.R.E. is not to be trifled with. They use helmets with dehumanizing face masks and high-tech armor and weapons to deal with criminals, terrorists, and military attacks alike.
Before the events of 3200, crime was not typically handled by A.C.R.E., but handed over to House Crux. After Crux police were asked to leave the planet due to rising tensions in the sector, crime has been handled by a combination of surveillance, automated fines, and C.O.R.E. intervention. Due to the limited personnel available, fining criminals is greatly preferred. If this option is not available, criminals will are be logged and arrested when they next report to work. C.O.R.E. are typically only deployed if a situation has escalated beyond control and force is absolutely required, or if a serious crime has been committed by a visitor. With the absence of Crux officers, handling of serious crimes has become somewhat ad-hoc and unpredictable.
As of the events of 3200, nobility who are deemed a political nuisance are given mandatory vacations on A.C.R.E.'s Syeh resort.
As a culture, Demnophi see themselves as hardworking, practical, but ultimately civilized and loyal people. Demnophi are aware that they are largely a population of menial, expendable employees: one common form of humor is to compete to suggest the most convoluted and bloody solution to a minor problem. However, Demnophi also take pride in playing an important part in something much larger than themselves. Most employees have perfected their argument for why their Department is the most important. This feeling, made more acute in the wake of the labor crisis, has helped to stabilize Demnoph in the wake of the Demnoph Collective Uprising.
Those from other planets sometimes remark that the only thing that makes a Demnophi is calling yourself one. While Demnophi culture has been engineered to be welcoming, this is not exactly true. Demnophi culture is a powerful force on Demnoph and abroad, and Demnophi generally believe that foreigners can be taught the local ways quickly. A rite of passage for laborers arriving on Demnoph is to be invited to their coworkers' Vacation Day party, which can typically be expected to happen on the first available opportunity, or perhaps the second if their arrival is timed very close to Vacation Day itself.
A.C.R.E. encourages conformity and discourages disruptive argumentation and public shaming. Instead, employees are expected to maintain a sense of personal responsibility for their own behavior. The expected standard of propriety is quite strict, but it is mostly concerned with being as productive as possible and not causing disruptions, rather than a typical sense of personal virtue. For example, jumping a queue is seriously offensive to a Demnophi, while an affair that does not interfere with one’s work is only mildly looked down upon, and crude language doesn’t bat an eye. A person who violates these norms is simply referred to as unproductive.
Alongside the education system, the A.C.R.E. Productivity Report is the main avenue for inculcating social norms in Demnophi, which it does by gradually introducing new expectations for employees. When that fails, primitive fines are always an option. Demnophi generally trust that this system will do its job without their interference, and are usually content to ignore unproductive behavior or at worst report it to management, though they may intervene out of concern for a friend. Those who blatantly ignore Demnophi social norms are typically assumed to be new employees in the period of adjustment or visitors, who are both held to a lesser standard of behavior.
Aftermath of the Synth War
A.C.R.E.'s policies ensured that Demnophi were protected from the worst horrors of the First and Second Imperial Civil Wars, which made the company very wealthy and ensured a high quality of life for those who came to Demnoph. However, A.C.R.E. could not insulate Demnoph from the effects of the War Against the Artificials. Synthetic Humans were used ubiquitously on Demnoph, integrated into society, and widely admired as model citizens. Thus, A.C.R.E.'s decision to support the victorious anti-Cygnus forces and retire all Synthetic Humans resulted in massive cultural and economic trauma.
Though Demnoph's human population is at a record high and density remains extreme, the planet has actually suffered an extreme depopulation event when synthetic humans are counted in the totals. Anyone over thirty remembers when the majority of their friends, coworkers, and heroes were forcibly decommissioned and reprocessed, and the long years of want before production recovered enough to end extreme rationing. Cultural production was decimated, and shoddily censored versions of classic stories and lyrics were enforced, even though everyone knew the originals.
The loss of Synthetic Humans also precipitated a labor crisis. While under other conditions such a crisis might have led to a higher share of wealth for Demnoph's workers, A.C.R.E.'s monopsonistic position in the labor market allowed it to protect its own interests instead. Pay shrank as a percentage of A.C.R.E.'s revenue and shrank even more when the overall decrease in production is considered, and working hours were lengthened. Though these measures have been somewhat loosened, the Demnophi standard of living has unquestionably regressed.
These conditions precipitated the Demnoph Collective Uprising, but the uprising was eventually crushed with the help of the victorious Houses Crux and Serpens. Thus, Demnophi have not had the opportunity for cultural realignment that Yakiyans have. Despite these setbacks, A.C.R.E. have managed to at least claw back civil order and public faith in the company.
Natives of Demnoph are acclimatized to the thin atmosphere and have developed genetic mutations which allow them to breathe it comfortably. Although some can make the adjustment, foreigners typically need more oxygen to avoid passing out. Oxygen masks are associated with foreigners and their use is considered amusing by locals. This phenomenon has given rise to the derogatory terms "ox-hog" and the more offensive "ox-huffer", which can refer to a weak person or simply to any foreigner. Visitors looking to blend in sometimes invest in discreet oxygen dispersal hats and coats, which blow pressurized oxygen across the face. Nobility who have joined Upper Management can expect a populist popularity boost if they can adjust to the air pressure on Demnoph.
An average Demnophi in a high-oxygen environment can comfortably hold their breath in excess of several minutes. Natives of Demnoph who go abroad to other planets typically experience a sensation of euphoria and heightened energy until they have adjusted, which is known as the "Demnoph Smile". Ironically, this phenomenon has given rise to an impression that A.C.R.E.'s Demnoph workforce is euphorically happy, and experience a slow comedown once they are away from their homeworld.
Oxygen parlors, which usually provide alcohol and a standard partial pressure of oxygen, are somewhat common and mainly cater to foreigners. However, there is also a consistent clientele of employees who have gone abroad and developed a dependency on oxygen euphoria. Although occasional visits to oxygen parlors are considered normal, "oxygen dependency" is considered a serious societal problem. Recently, these parlors have become unsanctioned, though tolerated, meeting grounds for a young cultural revitalization movement. Conversely, there is a "low-ox" subculture whose members compete to abstain from oxygen, although this practice is discouraged by management.
Education is free for all A.C.R.E. employees and begins at birth. The first level of education is 1th School and lasts until age eight. 1th School students live in special residencies with oversight appropriate to their ages. Education at this age is mostly a form of childcare and a way to inculcate A.C.R.E.'s values into children. While 1th School is optional, most Demnophi do not have the means to raise a child otherwise.
The second level of education is 2th School and lasts until age fourteen. 2th School students are expected to live independently, in group apartments, or with their families and are taught basic literacy, numeracy, religion (as of the signing of the Treaty of Cabina, Church of Humanity Repentant doctrine is taught on equal footing to that of the High Church), Imperial and Corporate civics, work ethic, and business skills. 2th School was suspended for several years following the retirement of Demnoph's synthetic workforce, but it has since been reinstated.
As 2th School is more of an educational program than a childcare facility, costs like food and housing were typically not paid by A.C.R.E. However, A.C.R.E.'s G.R.O.W. volunteer program, which places children in A.C.R.E. facilities where they can work when they are not at school in exchange for training, hands-on experience, free meals, and access to higher education has been wildly successful and continues to be expanded. G.R.O.W. is also available for younger children who are not enrolled in 1th Schools full-time.
Upon completion of 2th School, young Demnophi are finished their formal education, and their parents are sent an A.C.R.E. Gift Certificate in recognition of their contribution to its workforce. The graduate is expected to get a job, where they will learn whatever skills are required for their specific work, though some who can afford to continue their education independently instead. Departments are responsible for further training of their employees. In some cases, employees receive significant additional education after becoming employed, but mostly departments prefer to avoid spending more than absolutely necessary on further schooling.
This system is designed, as much as possible, to standardize education and remove the burden of raising children from their parents, so as to encourage the highest level of childbirth possible. However, it does mean that most Demnophi are partially or completely estranged from their parents. In their place, many see A.C.R.E. itself as a surrogate parent, for better or worse, and the corporation largely fulfills that role. Noble residents and upper management, however, often prefer to be more involved in their children's lives, and choose to hire private tutors instead.
Most employees receive little time for artistic expression, but A.C.R.E. encourages Demnophi to channel their artistic instincts into their work. Though the company vets projects for wasteful resource expenditure, one can occasionally notice the results of an employee pouring extraordinary effort into the garbage chute lid or other menial project they were assigned to.
The most culturally prominent stories are High Church parables and morality plays about the Working Class Hero, fondly named Ordy Mary. The details of the description of Ordy Mary vary based on the telling, but they always stand up for the Ten Virtues as seen through the lens of an A.C.R.E. employee. These stories have been adopted for books, television, and film for all ages in addition to their traditional medium of street play. Many episodes of A.C.R.E.'s popular TV series Timmy the Cornboy are based on these traditional stories. A.C.R.E. holds frequent artistic contests to decorate their public spaces. Winners are usually chosen based on moral suitability, lack of distraction, and A.C.R.E. branding. A.C.R.E.'s fleet of combat ships were named by such a contest. As all contest winners are kept anonymous, there are few celebrity artists. Statues of Directors and of interpretations of Ordy Mary are very common.
Synth Jazz (or, as A.C.R.E. has encouraged Demnophi to call it since the War Against the Artificials, "Jyzz") is a genre of music native to and perfected on Demnoph. Jyzz music is usually performed by a band of one to five performers using specialized synthesizers. The most common such synthesizers are the Trumpyano, the Pyanettet, the Trombophone, the Three Keyboards, the Percussive Gytar, and the Deep Tone Resonator. These instruments evolved as many traditional instruments performed poorly in a climate with drastic temperature changes.
The genre has an unfortunate association with synthetic musicians as well, as it developed in tandem with an initiative involving House Cygnus to perfect synthetic musicians. Even in the present day, many of the greatest Jyzz players are regularly accused of being illegal synthetics. The Jyzz Standards are difficult for merely human performers to master, and new variations are being developed that are easier to play. The official line is that at least these versions have soul, but most would admit privately that they are not as impressive.
Among the most well-known Jyzz performers are Ashok Saleh (illegal synthetic BF:RIZD-9VE retired 23 January 3191), Folarin Yang, and Inez Grey (illegal synthetic TV:0MQU-WVE retired 7 September 3184).
Another popular Demnophi genre is Simwave, which was developed by workers using electronic synthesizer consoles in their spare time and was heavily influenced by the soundtracks of A.C.R.E.'s popular simulator games. The genre was then re-appropriated by A.C.R.E. and spread to a wider market.
Demnoph is perhaps most musically famous for the Manufacturing Planet soundscape albums. This popular series of albums is produced by A.C.R.E. and ranges from simple recordings of Demnoph streets to more traditional ambient musical productions. The most well known tracks from these albums involve the "Cries of the Lost Directors", a haunting sonic phenomenon produced by wind blowing through the wind damping tunnels of large structures. This phenomenon is quite common in the mornings and evenings when thermal tides cause consistent air pressure systems to arise. These albums are quite a bit less popular among Demnophi, who can hear Demnoph whenever they want.
CuisineFor day-to-day dining, the A.C.R.E. Employee Meal Provision Authority is the standard among Demnophi. The Meal Provision Authority provides nutritionally-complete meals to subscribers in exchange for a monthly fee. Several tiers of service are offered, ranging from Economy to Premium Diamond Choice, which provide meals from the extremely cheap to absurdly extravagant. The Meal Provision Authority offers special visitors' passages which can be billed daily or monthly.The Meal Provision Authority takes advantage of Demnoph's advanced logistics system to disable meals to its subscribers wherever they are within ten minutes of being requested, or at specified times. Delivery on demand is also available for all A.C.R.E. meal products. Some entrepreneurial-minded Demnophi purchase grav-vehicle licenses to operate mobile food trucks that can arrive to serve groups of customers wherever they happen to be and avoid the exorbitant costs of building space.
As a result of the existence of these services, visitors are often caught off-guard by the lack of restaurant facilities. However, pay-by-the-minute dining booths of all qualities are available for rent with built-in Meal Provision Authority kiosks.
In the wake of its loss of Yakiyah, A.C.R.E. has begun to innovate with mycoprotein, which can be grown cheaply in vats to fit any nutritional and tissue profile. The culinary experts of the Meal Provision Authority are constantly experimenting with new creations. The most successful re-enter the rotation and may become A.C.R.E. products for sector-wide sale. The less successful are discarded, or at least demoted to a lower tier of service.
Examples of the Meal Provision Authority's most successful creations are listed:
- A.C.R.E. Fried Spheres with Spicy Imitation Cheese Powder 234
- A.C.R.E. Sweet Thins with Sticky Vanillin Residue 106
- A.C.R.E. Chewy Strands in Thick Broth 442
- A.C.R.E. Infused Ice Slurry in Fried Bowl 185
- A.C.R.E. Bitter Thins in Wrap, Sweet Residue 33
- A.C.R.E. Thick Sour Beverage with Sweet Spheres 119
- A.C.R.E. Chilled Sour Emulsion with Spiced Porous Wafer 197
- A.C.R.E. Starchy Block with Seasoning 15
The most successful options are often also available in single-item robotic food stalls.
For those wishing to prepare their own meals, A.C.R.E. Brand grocery supplies are also ubiquitous. Despite many attempts to top them, the classic A.C.R.E. Brand Hoops is the the planet's most beloved breakfast option, and Tea BRICKs its most popular beverage. Fizzy Cheese remains as popular as ever.
While A.C.R.E. does maintain typical alcohol-serving bars and clubs on Demnoph, and they remain popular, these establishments typically require purchase of an anti-hangover shot or proof that a patron is a visitor to the planet or not working tomorrow before allowing entry. These regulations have encouraged the growth of the oxygen parlor industry. Oxygen has the advantage of actually enhancing mental performance with no lasting side effects. Offworlders are typically unimpressed its euphoric effects, but they can foster serious dependency issues in Demnophi.
A.C.R.E. produces a wide variety of simulators and holo-games, such as Space Cornhole and the A.C.R.E. Light Racer Simulator 31XX series. Many of these simulation games involve operating industrial machinery and have the beneficial effect of skill-building and promoting cross-department camaraderie. A.C.R.E. makes its games available to workers who might not otherwise be able to afford the expensive physical equipment in massive arcades, and individual game machines are often located in the backs of stores. The company often uses the highscores of these simulators to recruit elite workers for the relevant departments.
The most popular creations at the moment are A.C.R.E. Space Cornhole, A.C.R.E. Light Racer Simulator 3200, A.C.R.E. Cargo Crane Simulator, A.C.R.E. Mycoprotein Mixer, and A.C.R.E. Air Traffic Time Trial.
Creus XIII is used by A.C.R.E. as warehouse for goods scheduled to be shipped off world. The warehouse is mostly automated and only overseen by a few human workers.
Creus XIII has an orbital ruin named Esira, which was once the in-system synth production facility for Demnoph. It was one of the first structures destroyed by House Crux at the beginning of the war against the synths.
Main article: Syeh (Moon)
Syeh is the location of a moon base named Talsi 8.
Tasli 8 was built by A.C.R.E. as hotel for VIPs visiting Demnoph and as a cooperate retreat for upper management. It sports an excellent view onto the planet and is one of the most luxurious locations in-system.
In recent times, local crime rings have tried to bribe their way into control of the hotel. Despite these attempts, which have so far been unsuccessful, A.C.R.E. has converted the Talsi 8 resort into a high-class political prison.
Tsyomatsa is the location of a research base named Loja 6.
A.C.R.E. previously unknowingly leased Loja 6 to a group of Serpens scientists to do off the record research on ferals. After the lease was suddenly broken, A.C.R.E. Collection Teams learned that the hideous results of these experiments had managed to get lose, forcing the company to close off the facility indefinitely.
This incident has not affected the popularity of the moon's primary attraction: the Fizzy Cheese Sectorwide Resort, a holiday destination boasting theme parks, hotels, ballrooms, and a wide variety of other attractions themed around the sector's most popular carbonated dairy drink. The resort also offers guided tours of the original Fizzy Cheese factory.
Keul 7 is A.C.R.E's orbital pretech research base. It works in conjunction with Agassiz 7, where the pretech is stored. Not much is known about the base, even by spy agencies, and as far as the public is concerned, the base does not exist at all.
Keul 7 is very heavily defended and secured by all security systems imaginable.
Agassiz 7 is a space station orbiting Demnoph whose only function is to protect the ancient pretech researched on Keul 7. It has multiple consecutive layers of vaults with the best of security available, each layer more secure and dangerous than the last. Within the inner vaults, the pretech stored is very dangerous and mysterious. The guards of Agassiz 7 are dangerously odd humans, changed by their proximity to the pretech stored there. Like Keul 7, Agassiz 7 is subject to the strictest secrecy.
Gas Giant Mines
The Goba Project
The Goba Project is a gas giant mine thought lost to A.C.R.E. in an accident some years back. Recently, rebels thought to be partly affiliated with the UPC found the Mine and managed to partially restore its operations, though it is still in disrepair and only producing a small fraction of its original yield. These rebels sell some of the resources mined there to pirates, smugglers and other unsavory elements, the station's primary income stream.
Lamas Mine Project
This facility orbits the nearby gas giant Lamas and siphons off various elements to refine into fuel. Recently the mine project was upgraded to harvest the deeper layers of the Gas Giant and to expand the variety of yielded substances. During a test trial of these upgrades, the company received highly anomalous results, after which a team of lawyers and scientists was sent to oversee the study.
Peridier 7 is one of A.C.R.E.'s refueling stations for transport and passenger ships. The station is semi-automatic - only a handful of overseers are on site to observe the process and perform maintenance. Despite this, the small staff has a lot of free time, which they often use for astronomy or other occupations. The main person in charge of the station is a local named Managing Logistics Satisfaction Supervisor Stan, who willingly took the position to live in seclusion, as it offered him more time to search for alien signals. Just don't mention his foil hat and you'll get along great.
(Unknown to the public is that sometimes A.C.R.E. sends managers there as punishment for failure or when they need to be out of the public eye for a time.)
A brand new A.C.R.E. refueling station. This station is fully-automatic and managed by a local VI overseen from Demnoph via transmitters. This is an attempt to improve efficiency by reducing on-board staff.
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