Comm-Link:Galactic Guide - Nyx
Nyx was discovered in 2582 during the height of the newly-formed United Empire of Earth’s territorial expansion. The system consists of three unremarkable planets circling an F-type Main Sequence star. Astronomically, the most distinct aspect of Nyx is that it is located directly on the border of a dark nebula, which enshrouds the orbits of all three worlds. The nebula’s gasses severely hamper visibility and significantly limit scanner use… something the star system’s few inhabitants rely on.
The system was first charted through a jump point in the Stanton System by solo navjumper Carla Larry. Carla’s official claim doesn’t specify much of interest in the system, writing that it “lacks significant mineral deposits or logical reason to apply the expense of terraformation.”
Larry did make an attempt to formally name the star’s three worlds Lou, Morgan and Ashley, apparently after three separate romantic conquests she was pursuing. As per normal policy, the UEE government has never recognized these names, and they have never been widely used. Whether the system’s intrepid discoverer was able to impress any of their namesakes is lost to history.
In the last two centuries, Nyx has gained some additional utility as a waypoint on the Castra-Stanton run, with a significant credit value of cargo moving through the system at any one time. Small scale piracy is not uncommon, buoyed by the system’s nebula, and travelers are warned not to veer off the standard spacelanes during transit of the system.
The first planet in the Nyx system is a coreless, heatswept world that was long ago picked clean of valuable minerals. Soon after the system was discovered, a routine survey revealed the presence of high-grade metals beneath the planet’s surface. Once word got out, the planet briefly became the focus of a military-backed mining contract with Golden Horizon, and within fifty years, the planet was completely stripped of its resources and its material wealth shipped off to Kilian to help supply the Empire’s growing war efforts. By 2630, Nyx I had been rendered permanently useless and little evidence of Human habitation remained.
A smoggy, desolate world, Nyx II was once considered an edge case for terraforming. Thick clouds of acid and carbon dioxide surround the world and the planet is technically teetering at the inner edge of the system’s green band. Nevertheless, a serious study was conducted as to whether or not it could be made inhabitable. The end result was that it could, but it would take generations of effort and provide little reward beyond the creation of a base particularly well hidden by nebula gasses. EVA on the planet itself is lethal; even if explorers are protected from the corrosive elements, they will be unable to function in the high-pressure atmosphere.
A dense asteroid belt circles Nyx’s star at roughly 8 AU out. The asteroid field is not a source of valuable minerals, but coupled with the nebula it has created a very good place to hide. An unknown number of small settlements have been established on asteroids in the area, all of which must import survival goods from outside the system (the only mercantile opportunity remaining in Nyx). These small asteroid bases, uncharted, are home to a variety of fringe colonists seeking anything from life outside the UEE to a platform from which to operate outside the law. Pirate raids in the system, typically conducted against the trans-Stanton shipping, are believed to operate out of larger bases in the field.
The highlight of these settlements is Delamar, the largest of the asteroids. The size of a planetoid, Delamar is hidden deep in the Nyx belt. The settlement was formed by free-thinkers during the oppressive Messer era and remains a hotbed for political radicals and anti-UEE sentiment to this day. As the ‘place to hide’ reputation of the Nyx system has expanded, an increasing number of criminals have moved in, the result being an ongoing conflict between small criminal groups and political radicals who feel that outright illegal activities undermine their message.
Delamar can be visited by anyone passing through the system, although there is a strong sense of paranoia. Everyone involved in running the station seems perpetually afraid of a massive police raid which they believe is constantly moments away from happening. The truth is that the moonlet is so well hidden and so difficult to reach that the UEE has never seriously considered dispatching forces to eliminate it (not to mention the fact that the dissidents remaining are fairly toothless, generally coming off in the media as protesting the government simply for the sake of protesting.)
The final planet in the Nyx System, located far from the sun’s light, is an ice giant. A massive ball of frozen water and ammonia vapor, Nyx III is neither a candidate for terraformation nor one that contains any minerals or other resources worth extracting. The planet has no breathable atmosphere. While a ship with an onboard life support could itself survive for a time on the surface, there is little reason to attempt such a feat. EVA would be impossible, and external ship repair would likely be easier in a vacuum.