Plunderers Planet


Plunderers Planet is a member world of the Emissariate of Bolusca.

Planetary Characteristics

Plunderers Planet is a class B- planet, the second planet of a G4 star system approximately 2700 parsecs coreward of Bolusca. Its orbital distance from its star is 1.2 Boluscanomical Units (BU), giving it a year of 1.3 cycles. The average climate is colder than Boluscan standard, though not outside the parameters considered suitable for life. Gravity is within 5% of Boluscan standard.

Plunderers Planet has a scarcity of rare elements and heavy minerals, and a short growing season, meaning it produces very little of value and relies heavily on imports to maintain its standard of living. As imports are very restricted for various reasons, the standard of living for most citizens is very poor.

The population of Plunderers Planet is approximately 200 million, though social and political conditions make it impossible to take an accurate census. The population is mainly concentrated in cities in the temperate equatorial band. The population breakdown is 98% Boluscan origin, 2% miscellaneous alien species.

The Plunderers Planet system lies wholly within a low-density cloud of excited nitrogen and oxygen ions. This is the shell of a radiation-bounded planetary nebula, originating from a former red giant star approximately 0.5 parsecs away. From Plunderers Planet, the star is visible as a red object, bright enough to be seen in daylight, and known as "the Eye of the Demon". The star is currently in a cooling phase as its hydrogen shell has become exhausted, meaning that it no longer emits sufficient UV radiation to energize the gas of the nebula shell, which is also rapidly (in astronomical terms) cooling and undergoing plasma recombination. In this state, the nebula poses no threat to life on Plunderers Planet, though as the planet passes through transient radiation hotspots it experiences intermittent interference with unshielded electronics. Nights on Plunderers Planet are never truly dark, due to the residual glow of the plasma cloud.

The main impact of the nebula is on hyperspace travel. Emerging from hyperspace inside the cloud carries considerable risk, as local plasma density fluctuates over time and is impossible to determine by long-range sensors. The only safe way to travel to the system is to jump outside the outer edge of the cloud, approximately one fifth of a parsec from Plunderers Planet itself, and communicate with the planetary authorities to obtain a precise hyperspace course plot for the last leg of the journey. Typically, the authorities will demand high fees for such information.

The system has three other worlds of any size, all within the nebula. The inner planet is a molten world orbiting 0.3 BU from the star. The outer two planets are the iron/silicate cores of former gas giants, orbiting at 6 BU and 18 BU respectively. It is believed that the atmospheres of these planets were burnt away by the initial wave of nebula plasma approximately 10,000 cycles ago.

Orbital modelling has shown that Plunderers Planet will eventually fall into its parent star, as a result of gaseous friction slowing its orbit. As this is not expected to happen for several thousand years, few of the inhabitants care.

It is not known how Plunderers Planet survived the energies (with temperatures of 10,000 K) associated with the first wave of nebula gas 10,000 cycles ago. There is no generally accepted scientific explanation for this, though there are many populist theories ranging from a planetary force field constructed by an ancient technological race to a protective spell cast by a demon. Possibly the truth will never be discovered.


Plunderers Planet was colonized in one of the first Boluscan emigration waves, in Cy 85. The scarcity of natural resources resulted in a very impoverished colony. The hyperspace hazard of the nebula cloud meant the planet was rarely visited and almost entirely overlooked by the more affluent colonies.

During the rebellion of Cy 173, Plunderers Planet remained nominally loyal to the Emperor but refused to send any sentients to fight for the Imperial cause. In fact, behind the scenes, Plunderers Planet set itself up as a safe haven for any "disaffected" sentients fleeing from "Imperial reprisals". Which is to say, a large number of local warlords fled to Plunderers Planet, along with their treasuries, when they realised they were on the losing side of the rebellion. Due to the difficulties in reaching the system, they remained safe from reprisals. These warlords came to dominate the colony, and to this day Plunderer society is dominated by the gangs and cartels that owe hereditary allegiance to the warlords.

With the establishment of the Emissariate in the aftermath of the First Krai War, the warlord cartels agreed that the world would formally join. Despite this, Plunderers Planet remains very much a law unto itself, paying only lip service to the ideals of the Emissariate, and it is considered an extremely dangerous and lawless hive of scum and villainy, rarely visited by off-worlders. Most Boluscan travel guides classify Plunderers Planet as a "green" (dangerous) destination and advise against visiting.

It is an open secret that the majority of piracy, smuggling, and other organized crime in the Emissariate can be traced back to Plunderers Planet. This is often impossible to prove, however, given the obstruction of the cartels when any law-enforcement efforts are attempted.

One of the most notorious criminals known to come from Plunderers Planet was the super-villain Worm, who in Cy 1485 managed to infiltrate and corrupt the Star Guard and almost topple the Emissariate itself.