Located in Tsatsos system, Hroa is a planet with two moons and neighbours Demnoph and Yakiyah. Hroa is a warm planet with an argon rich atmosphere. It is home to House Serpens and the Imperial Academy of Psionic Learning and Wellness. The surface features jungles, and the planet itself contains many networks of caves. It is also home to large animals who have evolved to be able to process the dense atmosphere in their lungs.
The people who live on Hroa have built their cities to include sky-tunnels between buildings, as well as pedestrian subways below ground, to minimize the necessary amount of time that people must spend outside using their breathers. The population and culture of the planet venerates psychics, and the society that evolved on the planet has built itself around psychics, placing them in most positions of leadership and importance.
The majority of the cities follow the architectural standard of enclosed tunnels and spaces to allow breathing without masks for those living or working there, but the way this standard is implemented changes drastically on a city by city basis.
The Head of the Serpent & The City of Reflection; Sero'ak is one of the largest cities on Hroa, the official capital, and the home of The Imperial Academy of Psionic Learning and Wellness, and its sister organisation Caduceus. It is in this city that the first psiball arena was built, and the city itself is a wealthy location.
Lo'raek is the tourist city of Hroa, and the largest of all the cities, despite not being the most populated, in order to make room for visitors from all planets. It it certainly the flashiest of all the cities on Hroa, yet it maintains an aura of respect. It is a major space port for the planet, and houses the ACRE diplomatic centre and two smaller scale storage facilities for supply deliveries that come in daily on the outskirts.
Yggdrazil is a large city with a medium sized population, it is a cultural hub that specializes in agricultural and cultural products, including foods, drinks and landscaping. The city is amongst one of the most aesthetically pleasing on Hroa, due to the large amount of plants and spaces covered by biospheres.
Jun'ii is known as a city for its high density of artisans, but also for its smaller, but still impressive space port. This is the city most Hroans come to for high quality goods such as those sold by The Trilliant Ring in the Facet above the Crimson Crater and both local and visiting creators. It is considered on of the safest residential cities on Hroa, and houses multiple noble families in its ring shaped cityscape that spirals out around a lake called the Crimson Pool due to the red clay that makes up its basin.
Aranath is a settlement on Hroa. Closer to a garrison than an actual city, the bulk of House Serpens combat training happens here.
It is located in one of Hroa's many mountain ranges, surrounded by many high peaks with very few entrances, making it very defendable. Being more of a military academy city, there are very few domestic sectors, most of the living spaces being barracks are dormitories. Most of the cities auxiliary space is taken up by several training facilities and workshops.
Its here that the Executors and the Fang are trained, with the center of the city being an administrative building where most of the cities oversight is handled by a High Executor. There are several bunkers built directly into the surrounding mountains, extending down into the natural caverns in preparation for the worst case scenario.
Ophai is the scientific hub of Hroa; built into one of the Monolith Mountains it is akin to a Terran ant colony in its structure with tunnels riddling the mountain core. This location also houses the core data centre for the planet; this is not commonly known to those outside the House, and while it is one of many centres around the planet, it is also the one typically used to recieve communications from outside which are then redistributed to all the other cities. This is the core research city for the Takumi and Sophists of the house.
The daily cycle of Hroa takes 28 standard hours, with the thick atmosphere causing little distinction between day and night on the planet’s surface. This has led to an uncommon cultural habit undertaken by the citizens of the planet.
Thick atmosphere - Assisted Breathable.
The abundance of Argon in the atmospheric composition of Hroa requires inhabitants to utilize devices known as “Breathers” when going outside. The design of a breather allows for the passive filtration of dense Argon gas in the air away from the lighter Oxygen gas and enables Earth natural respiration.
Breathers exist in a variety of configurations. Some are implantable and use field technology to direct Argon away from the mouth. Some are more obtrusive such as full masks which utilize filtration discs.
Exposure without a breather leads to abnormal respiration conditions such as Hyperpnea (deeper breathing) and Tachypnea (increased breathing rate). Prolonged exposure or an increase in exertion results in headaches, dizziness, confusion, tremors, loss of coordination and judgement, and lightheadedness. Higher levels of exposure causes nausea, vomiting, unconsciousness, coma, and eventually death.
The thick atmosphere on Hroa has only a few effects on the planet’s surface, but those effects have a large impact on what life means to its inhabitants. Fog is a common phenomenon on the planet, to the point that a thin carpet is to be expected on the streets of any Hroan settlement that doesn’t feature domes. Large fog banks are also common.
Overcast skies are the rule rather than the exception on Hroa, though density varies with weather patterns. Thunder is as familiar and comforting a sound to a Hroan as the lap of surf is to a native of Aomori. While cloud-to-cloud lightning is more common than ground strikes, the latter is common enough that any building above a certain height must be built to include a system to redirect lightning energy into batteries. This excess energy is used to supplement the power grid of either the building in question or, depending on the size, the entire settlement.
It is to be noted the atmosphere of Hroa gives the possibility of creating some spectacular visual effects. Although fireworks are almost impossible to work in the thick atmosphere, electrical displays can be created through the use of arcs and power coils. Such “Arcworks”, as they are locally known, are famous throughout the sector as they are truly random and often take place during the terrifying yet magnificent thunderstorms of Hroa. Psychics are sometimes added to the lightning crew to “shape” the electric arcs to produce evocative formations of blue and purple lightning.
The combination of fog on the ground and charged clouds in the sky makes manual piloting of any vehicle very difficult. To combat this, the Guide System was created. The Guide System is a decentralized VI auto-pilot that handles the operation of all craft on Hroa that operate in and over cities, on highways, and on air and sea traffic lanes. Manual operation is allowed but strongly discouraged in these areas.
Any fees incurred due to violations of traffic law by pilots operating manually in areas not designated as “open zones” are tripled; this rule applies to visiting craft as well as those registered to native Hroans. The Guide System also coordinates traffic for optimum flow, meaning travel times are usually quite low in areas under its control as Guided craft can safely operate at much higher speeds without the hindrance of human reaction times. Upon connection to the network, passengers receive this message.
“For your safety and in accordance with Hroan traffic regulations, this vehicle is now connected to The Guide Network. This connection must be maintained while on Hroa under penalty of law. Any disconnected vehicles will be impounded and their occupants fined. Manual navigation is strongly discouraged outside of designated zones. House Serpens reserves the right to, at any time, override manual control to avoid collision and maintain smooth traffic flow. Your safety is in our hands. Relax, and enjoy your stay.”
While the Guide Network caters to those with personal ships and private hire shuttles, the majority of the population has access to a high speed train system. The Hypercoil is a system of overground tunnels that house a basic anti-gravity railway, manned by serfs with very specific telekinetic training.
Taught in vocational classes at the Academy, the serfs hone their skills for one specific purpose - to man the stations and push the train along the way, sending off and catching trains. The benefits given to these particular employees are generous, and while their skill in this context is as strong as it could be, their training most often stops there, meaning that a change in career would need to be accompanied with further telekinetic training to expand their skill set past their Oarsmen talents.
The Hypercoil relies on the low friction within the tubes to sail smoothly from city to city, with some lines making stops at smaller outposts to allow serfs to travel for work in the main cities. Tickets are relatively cheap, or frequently subsidized by jobs as part of a governmental initiative to maximise efficiency in transport. The trains are often split into standard cars for serfs, and luxurious sleeper cars for nobility looking to travel longer distances in comfort.
Temperate (Mild temperatures, few extremes).
Temperature on Hroa is mild to warm compared to Earth. It tends to stay this way all year around as Hroa has a small, non-varying elliptical orbit around its star.
There is a substantial portion of native life that is biologically compatible for human nutritional needs. The local plants and animals may not be tasty or terribly nourishing, but they can at the very least support life without serious importation of Terran crop seeds and livestock. Exotic foods, spices, and liquors can be worth interstellar importation to feed the hunger of novelty.
Unfortunately, the fact that humans can eat some native life means that some of the native life can eat humans in turn. Large predators and diseases capable of human infection are by no means uncommon. See: Cuisine, Flora, Fauna.
Empathic Resonance Arrays
For the main article, see Empathic Resonance Arrays.
The Empathic Resonance Arrays (ERA) are pretech relics rediscovered on Hroa decades after the scream. Though their original purpose is unclear, years of study by House Serpens' Takumi revealed them to be psitech devices that, when operated in concert by multiple telepaths, could alter the moods of entire populations with a range of multiple kilometers. These enormous machines have since been moved to dense residential areas in Hroan cities in order to keep serfs docile.
Several million inhabitants.
Likely indicating that the planet is smaller than Earth.
Tech Level 4 - Post-tech
Hroa has two moons, Mardis, and Shri Vashne. Culturally known as the Twin Eyes of the Serpent.
Auki is a refueling station located on the moon Mardis:
Occupation: Extortionate corporate minions
Situation: Pirates have taken over
A ruined space station orbiting some distance from Hroa, Renaudot 5 is home to a number of ‘robots of dubious sentience.’ The result of a number of failed MES related experiments on Synthetic lifeforms and robots, the inhabitants of Renaudot 5 now fight against anyone they perceive as ‘interlopers.’ Though mostly harmless due to their isolation and lack of true sentience, they are watched carefully by the Academy. Referred to as 'the Skeleton Crew' by some of the inhabitants of Hroa.
The landscape of Hroa is covered in rolling hills and larger mountains. There are a number of cave systems, both natural and artificial. Some esoteric Sophists and more eccentric Takumi take up temporary residence in these caves to isolate themselves in an attempt to complete projects or conduct intensive research without being bothered by the troubles of the rest of the world.
Vegetation on planet Hroa is various and bizarre when compared to Earth's standards. While there exists trees, ferns, mushrooms, vines, algae, and all the various things one can expect from a terrestrial planet, they come with the side effect of having evolved in an Argon rich environment.
A manifestation of this side effect is that roughly half of the plant life has some sort of hallucinogenic properties when ingested by humans. Experimentation and refinement of these properties led to the discovery of medication that is able to control some of the negative effects of MES in the body and help sharpen a psychic’s focus.
For more on this, see Hroa Fauna.
Due to the abundance of Argon gas in the atmosphere, non-aquatic animal life on planet Hroa tends to evolve towards large organisms with powerful respiratory systems with muscles strong enough to inhale and exhale the dense gas.
The energy requirements and heating demands of such systems on the organisms require that apex creatures have carnivorous appetites and the cold-blooded bodies of reptilian creatures.
Avian life follows this trend, and ensures that anything flying is large, predatory, and reptilian. While the top of the food chain is dominated by carnivores, the vast majority of creatures are herbivores. Herbivores tend to be large stocky creatures with thick scales or plated defenses.
While human pilots struggle to do even rudimentary flying on Hroa, the native avian life have no such issues. They seem to have an instinctual sense of direction and navigation, allowing even long migratory flights to be completed without issue. Serpens Takumi theorize that somehow these animals are able to sense subtle shifts and patterns in the metadimensional field that emanates from Hroa that are somehow tied to geography in away that is not currently understood.
For more on the doom, see The Doom of Hroa.
|The world is doomed, and the locals may or may not know it. Some cosmic catastrophe looms before them, and the locals have no realistic way to get everyone to safety. To the extent that the public is aware, society is disintegrating into a combination of religious fervor, abject hedonism, and savage violence.|
Crazed prophet of false salvation
Ruthless leader seeking to flee with their treasures
Cynical ship captain selling a one-way trip into hard vacuum as escape to another world
Appealing waif or family head seeking escape
Offworld relief coordinator
Harried law officer
The doom is false or won't actually kill everyone
The doom was intentionally triggered by someone
Mass escape is possible if warring groups can somehow be brought to cooperate
Clearance for a ship to leave the planet
A cache of priceless cultural artifacts
The life savings of someone trying to buy passage out
Data that would prove to the public the end is nigh
Open square beneath a sky angry with a foretaste of the impending doom
Orgiastic celebration involving sex and murder in equal parts
Holy site full of desperate petitioners to the divine
For more on the Psychic Academy, please see The Imperial Academy of Psionic Learning and Wellness.
|This world is one of the few that have managed to redevelop the basics of psychic training. Without this education, a potential psychic is doomed to either madness or death unless they refrain from using their abilities. Psionic academies are rare enough that offworlders are often sent there to study by wealthy patrons. The secrets of psychic mentorship, the protocols and techniques that allow a psychic to successfully train another, are carefully guarded at these academies. Most are closely affiliated with the planetary government.|
Corrupt psychic instructor
Mad psychic researcher
The academy curriculum kills a significant percentage of students
The faculty use students as research subjects
The students are indoctrinated as sleeper agents
The local natives hate the academy
The academy is part of a religion
Secretly developed psitech
A runaway psychic mentor
Psychic research prize
|These natives view psionic powers as a visible gift of god or sign of superiority. If the world has a functional psychic training academy, psychics occupy almost all major positions of power and are considered the natural and proper rulers of the world. If the world lacks training facilities, it is likely a hodgepodge of demented cults, with each one dedicated to a marginally-coherent feral prophet and their psychopathic ravings.|
Offworlder psychic researcher
Offworld employer seeking psychics
The psychic training is imperfect and the psychics all show significant mental illness
The psychics have developed a unique discipline
The will of a psychic is law
Psychics in the party are forcibly kidnapped for "enlightening"
Valuable psychic research records
Permission for psychic training
Psitech-imbued council chamber
Temple to the mind
Sanitarium-prison for feral psychics