Dovinia: Furthest of the five planets from the sun, the planet of Dovinia was at first believed to be nothing but a glacial wasteland by the first Junperians to set foot on its icy surface. The planet’s surface is covered with frozen tundras, but very little ice exists on Dovinia making it a poor location for harvesting water for Juniper. From space, the planet’s surface is pure white with black spots that indicate the mouths of massive caves and chasms. It was soon discovered that, although the land above ground was of no special consequence, precious ores, gemstones and minerals of all sorts were to be found in abundance deep within the planet’s many glorious caverns. Famed for their crystalline beauty and awe-inspiring size, the mines of Dovinia are the primary export of jewels and ore to Juniper. Dovinia has one moon that is almost twice the size of Juniper’s unbroken moon. This moon, Yestrel, serves as a secondary base for the Depth Drillers, who spend the majority of their time mining and protecting their claims on Dovinia. The large neutral mining colony of Yestrel-Mori is known to have almost 100,000 inhabitants.
Balthayme: Fourth planet from the sun, the planet of Balthayme is awash in a sea of stars. The planet is comprised of a series of floating islands interconnected by enormous bridges which span the wide gaps between them. The air is exceptionally thin on Balthayme, a fact which has kept the planet safe from the meddling of most other species throughout time. Of course, thin air is no trouble for space suits, and when the first Juniperians arrived on one of the floating land masses, they were greeted by a stunning sight: fields and fields of bizarre, bioluminescent plant life. It is believed that some catastrophic event caused the planet’s core to become unstable and break apart, creating the various floating land masses. It is unknown who constructed the bridges that span them. The indigenous flora species of Balthayme contain a unique enzyme known as Copris which has proven highly effective at treating all manner of wounds as well as a number of human maladies. Most of the plants are exported to Juniper, and from there distributed to apothecaries to be transmuted into various forms of medicine. Of course, not all of the plants of Balthayme are used for medicinal purposes. Several are excellent for the creation of recreational drugs, and one plant in particular, Nomin, is used to craft the highly popular street drug, Crave. This drug induces a state of incomprehensible euphoria, but comes at a high price: a four hour crash period during which the user becomes irritable, confused and exceptionally hungry. There is no shortage of demand for Crave, and the drug markets of Juniper require a constant supply of Nomin to keep their clients well-stocked. The Spicers are frequent visitors of Belthayme.
Juniper is the third planet from the sun. It has two moons, the white moon, which actually looks a lot like the moon of Earth, and is known as Lysa. Lysa doesn't contain much of any use to Juniper except, weirdly, a sort of fine silt that can be used in pottery and ceramics, and a harder stone that tends to be used in carving statues. There is one refueling base on Lysa, known as Veridis, which was built by the first Vakrynalian explorers. Lysa contains a lot of caves and is known to be filled with labyrinths. Explorers often get lost looking for the "lost treasures of Lysa" which are supposed to be some sort of massive cache of precious metals left behind by the first explorers, Vaks who supposedly were trying to protect their riches by housing them on the moon. The second moon of Juniper is larger, and blue in color, though the blue has more to do with its atmosphere than any sort of water. This moon, Teimos, has a huge crack on one side, and appears to be slowly being torn apart, with about 1/5th of the moon floating free of the rest of it. Nobody is really sure the cause of it, but many people assume that Teimos was either injured by a passing comet, or by some incredible weapon fired during the Great War. Teimos's surface contains hundreds of small fissures which leak various gasses. Some of the gasses are deadly, and can melt through a space suit. Some are quite useful and necessary for advanced technologies of various sorts. Spicers sometimes come to Teimos, but it's supremely dangerous to do so if you do not know what you are doing. Although large cities once existed on Juniper, the largest is now New Convergence, with a population of almost 20 million people. It is roughly the size of New York City.
Xymar:Second planet from the sun, the planet of Xymar is covered in vast, warm, strange oceans of a gray liquid known as craf which span the majority of the planet’s surface. Craf is thicker and heavier than water and possesses a mildly oily texture. It cannot be ingested straight in large amounts without harm, but has a myriad of other uses and is an ingredient in an especially powerful cleaning agent often harvested for ZetaCorp in order to keep their ships free of cosmic refuse. Cooking or certain types of processing can remove craf toxicity from marine life, and allows it to be eaten on Juniper. Small archipelagos dot the oceans here and there, and only a handful of minor continents exist. From space, the planet appears almost the same hue as liquid mercury, with small red spots indicating land masses. Xymar is responsible for the majority of ‘marine’ export to Juniper. Along with edible fish, ‘marine’ plants and other resources of the craf seas, Xymar's most precious commodity is the Iyu fish. This enormous and docile creature houses a powerful toxin within its blood which serves as a potent hallucinogen for human kind. There is a steady market for the hallucinogen called Sway, the primary product manufactured from the Iyu fish's toxin. These creatures are difficult to capture and require time and effort to drain, and so Sway remains in constantly poor supply compared to the enormity of its demand. Three moons ring Xymar, each of them smaller than the moons of Juniper. One of them, Loralei, is known as the "trash moon". Driller haulers heading to Alissa are often paid to drop trash off at Loralei. Loralei contains numerous unstable portals which are constantly appearing and disappearing, causing trash to just...go elsewhere over time. It's dangerous to land there, though, since you never really know when a portal is going to appear under your feet, so most Drillers dump from a decent altitude.
Alissa: Closest planet to the sun, the planet of Alissa serves as a painful reminder of Earth. Its appearance from space is similar, although Alissa is half the size, but the rich blue coloration and green ‘land’ masses are deceptive, as many adventurous Juniperians have discovered. The surface of the planet is prohibitively hot and few vessels ever manage to successfully land on Alissa. Those that do report an extremely toxic gas that seems to comprise the entire atmosphere. It is highly corrosive and will eat through most substances, including metal and flesh, within a matter of hours. Only the bravest travelers ever risk a venture to Alissa, but doing so is often considered worth the risk because of the value of the creatures that reside there. No one has yet discovered if the oceans dotting Alissa are actually water or not, but the animals that roam its massive continents have hides that are impervious to corrosion. These hides have a metallic quality to them that, when shaped, creates a substance from which the most expensive and durable ships, buildings and armor are crafted. It is twice as durable as most other metals, but also rather light weight, making it perfect for construction or for use in the crafting of augments and cyborg prosthetics. Given the danger of harvesting anything from Alissa, this hide, known as eviss steel, is in rare supply. Nonetheless, ZetaCorp and the Exos Leage have been gridlocked in a fierce war over eviss steel caches for years and battles that break out near Alissa are brutal and often comes at a high price for both factions.
The Sun: The star of the Juniperian system is a K-Type star, which is slightly smaller and cooler than the G-Type star that Earth orbited, with a noticeably oranger hue to it. Solar wind is weaker as a result, and earth-based solar technology is not nearly as efficent as what is developed for the "New Sun".
The Broken Belt: The Broken Belt is a massive asteroid belt located a short distance from Juniper’s farthest moon. It is the primary home of the Ice Miners, who have established a base on its largest asteroid, Hain. The Broken Belt is one of Juniper’s primary sources of water as the large asteroids that comprise it are covered with thick layers of ice. This ice reforms gradually due to a peculiarity of the structure of the asteroids themselves, making it an invaluable self-renewing resource. It is difficult to mine the Broken Belt because of the constant danger of sections of the asteroids breaking off over time and many Ice Miners have perished in what are known as ‘crack accidents’, where their mining spots have shattered and sent them careening through space.
Shimmer: Too small to be considered even a moon, Shimmer is a large celestial body hovering between Juniper and Balthayme. It is a massive, spiky object named for the way that sunlight plays over its surface, giving it a diamond-like shine that refracts light in a series of aurora borealis rainbows all around the surface. Perfectly smooth, Shimmer is often mined for the glass-like substance out of which it is comprised, also known as shimmer. This substance comes in a variety of colors and is stronger and thicker than traditional glass, making it ideal for decorating. Blast Venture Co.’s yachts employ shimmer because of its beauty and durability and shimmer is frequently seen in works of art on Juniper. It is relatively inexpensive due to its easy mining, but difficult to work with, making the construction of shimmer products a mark of pride for artisans. There are not a lot of animals that live on Shimmer, but of particular fondness especially to children are the famed Shimmer Bunnies. They're like regular rabbits except for the fact that they have shimmery, glittery fur. They also poop glitter, a fact that makes most parents groan.
Offworld Colonies, Space Stations, Etc.:
Yestrel-Mori: This mining colony, located on Dovinia's moon of Yestrel, is one of three colonies on Yestrel. They are Yestrel-Mori, Antrespi, and Kilan. Yestrel-Mori is the largest, with over 200,000 people, mostly miners, living there. The cities are all domed, and sit on the surface of Yestrel. The core of Yestrel, still cooling, gives off pure oxygen, making it a very habitable place for those who need to breathe. However, there is not really any natural water, so the air must be conditioned with other elements needed to make it breathable, and water must be brought in. Dovinia itself is not habitable in the long term, due to it's severely cold temperatures. Yestrel-Mori often calls itself the Sister City of Convergence, even though nothing is further from the truth other than the both of them being domed. However, as far as off-world colonies go, it has a fairly high standard of living, is ruled by a city council elected by the public, and even has a fairly low crime rate. However, Kilan and Antrespi, both smaller colonies with only 75,000 people living in them each, do not fare as well, and are known to be mostly run by disreputable types. There is always a worry that Kilan and Antrespi will gang up and attack Yestrel-Mori, but the two colonies are locked in a gang war between Kilan's Hotari Gang, and Antrespi's Vancemeyer corporation. (Dovinia)
Yestrel Deserted Colonies:There have been many more than the three colonies currently on Yestrel, potentially dozens dating back even before the Great War. Some of these colonies are vaguely functional, and tend to be havens for criminals, and those who are on the run. Others of these colonies are targets for salvage by the Blackhand Speeders. (Dovinia)
Dovinia Processing Station:Even though there are space portals, travel is still fairly lengthy from the portal to planetside. Hauling unnecessary cargo is a burden. Enter Dovinia Processing Station. Most Depths Drillers dock here to allow their take to be refined, and anything that is not worthy of the haul is dumped back on Dovinia. The station is also a fueling and supplying station for ships visiting Dovinia and Balthayme. (Dovinia/Balthayme)
The Harken:A short distance from Dovinia Processing Station is The Harken. This is a decommissioned Exos League yacht converted into a space station above Dovinia. It's a place where many crews take R&R while they are waiting on processing or refueling. Although rather run down, it still contains shopping, an arcade, several restaurants, and a small theater. Many of the old yacht rooms are for rent, as well, for a good night sleep. But the most prominent feature is the temporal portal to Valeon which will allow an individual access to that Realm. (Dovinia/Balthayme)
Corvinia Hall:Corvinia Hall is the largest colony on Balthayme, and can only be reached by Spicer ships and shuttlecraft due to all of the floating islands and rocks around it. It does not wander, like so many of the floating bits of Balthayme do. Instead, intense gravity magic keeps it locked in place, with a protective magical barrier surrounding it so that other floating islands, rocks, and whatnot harmlessly bounce off and keep on going. Ships are allowed in, however, by matching the frequency of the barrier as they pass it. Corvinia Hall is built into a cave in the side of the large floating island, Corvinia, with a long dock leading outwards as an approach to the airlocked gates of the colony. Corvinia Hall has the exact opposite problem of Yestrel. It is air-poor, but does have intense humidity, which is collected by large processing silos at the top of Corvinia Isle as water for the colony within. The thin air of Balthayme is constantly drawn into the colony, distilled and intensified, and kept inside the rock. However, it is not uncommon for the poorer residents of Corvinia to become brain damaged due to a lack of air in their sectors of the city, making it a constant stop for aid vessels from Convergence to check up on those who have suffered from lack of oxygen. 250,000 people live in Corvinia Hall. At the heart of the city is a bazaar, where goods from the various floating islands of Balthayme are often sold. Many people also work on the dock, repairing ships that are invariably damaged in outings around Balthayme. (Balthayme)
Seven Sisters:The Seven Sisters are a cluster of smaller colonies (a dozen or so, not seven...though originally there were seven) that exist on the core of Balthayme, the large land mass at the center of the floating islands, which produces just enough gravity to keep the rest of Balthayme from flying apart. Because they are at the very center of this dangerous fly zone, traveling to the Seven Sisters is only done by the very best pilots. In recent years, the Seven Sisters have rejected outsiders more and more, and people who know the Seven Sisters Patois, known as Yospeak, are in high demand due to being more trusted than most. No individual colony has more than 25,000 individuals. The air is a bit thicker here, to the point where you can walk on the core without air filtration, and many of the locals are farmers of items which grow only on Balthayme. However, outsiders die regularly, as many of the colonists of Seven Sisters are staunchly for a republic status, separate from the rule or interference of Juniper or New Convergence. (Balthayme)
Veridis:Veridis is the only still-working colony on Lysa. Originally built as a refueling station, it now does triple duty, as a refueling station, prospector's camp, and artist colony. The prospectors tend to be looking for interesting finds inside the labyrinths of Lysa. And sometimes they DO find interesting things in there. Usually interesting animals, fungi, and minerals, and not the gold and riches they tend to be looking for. The artists are there for the amazing clay and marble, even Solvent 6, which is found in one of the caves, and when applied to paints can produce colors that are more extraordinary than anything found on Juniper or Earth. Glassblowing is also big on Veridis, often utilizing glass brought in from Shimmer. Veridis has enough water in its caves to provide for the colony, but not really more than that. Sometimes not even that. 150,000 people live on Veridis. The colony itself is in a deep valley with pointed outcroppings that lace over it like fingers. This natural protection makes it the only place on Lysa protected from the regular meteor showers that hit the moon. Colonies have occasionally been established in the caves of Lysa but they tend to disappear for...various reasons. (Lysa - Moon of Juniper)
The Narcissus Lie:The Narcissus Lie is, like the Harken, an Exos League yacht. However, it is in much better repair than the Harken. It is in constant orbit over Lysa, except during incoming meteor showers, when it moves to a safer area closer to Juniper. The Narcissus Lie contains all of the pleasures of a yacht, but it's MAIN attraction is the portal to Valeon, which is the closest portal to Valeon to Convergence. (Lysa - Moon of Juniper)
Valeon: Valeon is a special pocket Realm which contains only Valeon Station. It is believed that the Vakrynalians built Valeon Station. Portals to it must be activated by the use of a Valeon Device, which no modern Convergence engineers have been able to replicate, and which does not use Portalcrafting as we know it. No other portals seem to be able to be established to Valeon, and it is known that Valeon Devices do not work below the radiation band of Juniper, making it impossible to get to Valeon from the city. A short shuttle to the nearby orbital yacht, The Narcissus Lie, however, and travel to Valeon becomes possible. The three known Valeon Devices are located at The Harken, the Narcissus Lie, and Beryl Station. Inside, Valeon station contains many of the comforts of home...but most people go to kick back at the bars, hook up with someone who is currently in space somewhere else, or (very often) smuggling. Peace is kept by a handful of old retired Blackhand Speeders known as the Grey Gang, who will absolutely fuck up someone's world if they break the laws of Valeon Station. (Pocket Realm of Valeon)
Teimos Bunker: Teimos Bunker is the only structure that remains on Teimos, the second moon of Juniper. The colony itself only houses about 5,000 people, making it one of the smaller colonies. Many of the people there are scientists studying either the gasses of Teimos, or what might have happened to the moon. The bunker locks down completely during gas events, which can last up to several weeks. Many people from Earth have compared living on Teimos to the first scientists to live in Antarctica. (Teimos - Moon of Juniper.)
Platform Six: There are six platforms that were built as colonies on Xymar, for fishing and whatnot. Only Platform Six has a thriving community, and about 75,000 people live there. All other platforms have 5,000 people or less. Most of the people on Platform Six are either fishermen or involved in boating/shipbuilding, or processing sea-life to no longer have the Craf toxicity. There is no normal water on Xymar, only Craf, so most water is sold to them by Ice Miners. (Xymar)
Mythic Colonies of Loralei: It's said that there are colonies that live among the refuse dumped on Xymar's moon, Loralei. The truth of this is not known. It is IS known that Loralei is dangerous, for like the Instability Zone on Juniper, portals often open up randomly and spit out anything from toxic sludge...to dinosaurs. (Loralei - Moon of Xymar)
Alissa Run:There are no stable colonies on Alissa, however, Alissa Run was built before the Great War as a place to land safely on the tumultuous planet. (Alissa)
Beryl Station: Half way between Xymar and Alyssa is Beryl Station, a neutral fueling station run by the Exos League. It contains the last of the three known Valeon Devices. But other than that, a cafeteria, motel, and a dive bar, there's not much to be found on Beryl Station most of the time.
Luminous:Luminous is the largest colony on Shimmer, which is more of a tourist destination than an actual colony. It contains museums dedicated to the beautiful glasswork of Shimmer, the animals of shimmer, several fancy restaurants, a hotel, observation decks, gambling, concerts, Shimmer Bunny Farm - which is a small theme park adored by children, and so forth. Most of Luminous is owned outright by Blast Venture Co. It's a popular destination for weddings and celebrations. About 20,000 people live and work in the city of Luminous full time. It's said to be the offworld colony with the highest standard of living, despite needing almost everything to be imported from elsewhere. (Shimmer)
Hain-04 aka H4. When Hain, the largest of the asteroids in the Broken Belt, was to be colonized, the entire Asteroid was marked off on a grid. Lots were drawn by interested parties who wanted to buy colony space. H4 was bought by a unionized group of Ice Miners who would eventually become the Ice Miner division of Exos League. H4 is the only colony on Hain with a significant population. About 450,000 people live there full time. Other colonies flounder and wane, coming and going, being sold off, built, sold again, closed. H4, and indeed all of the colonies of Hain, tend to be a somewhat lawless place. Since just about anyone can become an Ice Miner, all sorts show up on Hain for work. It's known that the slave trade is very well established on Hain, with slaves often being bought to help in building new colonies, or working in them. Sex slaves are common. Most Hainites are tough, grow up tough, and don't take shit from anyone. For many people in New Convergence, "Hainite" is a synonym to "troublemaker" or even "criminal", even though many of them are simply hard-working people trying to make a living for themselves. (Asteroid Belt - Hain)
Astrology of Juniper:
Because Juniper exists in a different universe than Earth, the stars that surround it are different as well. However, strangely enough, months and days are named generally the same on Juniper as they are on Earth. So to convert one's Astrology, one generally just finds their birthdate by the Juniperan system, and goes from there. Many astrologists are knowledgable about both systems, Earth astrology and Juniperan astrology, in an attempt to get a clearer view of one's astrological chart.
Cerastes - Mar 20 – Apr 20: In legend, the Cerastes is a ram-horned serpent so flexible, it is said to not even have a spine. This often leads people to term Cerastes signs as "spineless", though in truth, that's not exactly right. The Cerastes simply go with the flow, fitting into niches and spaces that most people could not navigate. They are laid back types, and usually really good to party and have a beer with. The Cerastes rarely stresses about life, in general.
Manticore - Apr 21 – May 20: The manticore in question was Nyktos, a beautiful virgin who was, on the night before her wedding, savagely violated by a cruel god. In response, Hera turned her into a manticore, a creature with the face and torso of a beautiful woman, but the body of a lion, and tail of a scorpion. Nyktos was set upon the earth to punish those who betrayed their lovers. She would eat men who cheated on their wives or did not respect their lovers. Manticore signs are said to be wonderfully kind and sweet, but when they see someone being unjustly hurt, they will go full psycho mode.
Hydra - May 21 – Jun 20: Hydra signs are always of two or more minds about everything. They are known for seeing many sides of an issue, and because of it make excellent diplomats, negotiators and peacemakers. When angered, however, a hydra can be a powerful enemy, picking apart an issue from many sides.
Phoenix - Jun 21 – Jul 22: Phoenix signs are known to burn brightly, an inspiration to others. They constantly remake themselves, and are often at the forefront of any art they undertake. However, they also are the most likely to burn out in spectacular ways as well, indulging in vices that often bring them to ruin in the end. The Phoenix Tail is a trio of stars that are the brightest in the night sky. It was once believed that the Phoenix burned by day, and the Tail were the last embers of that fire burning out at night.
Dragon - Jul 23 – Aug 22: Dragons are larger than life, and are looked to with awe and reverence for the heat of their hearts. A dragon's breath, or influence, is said to be able to fuel the whole of a society, and they are seen as leaders and conquerors. Unfortunately, they can also be a bit selfish or self-centered, hoarding treasures for themselves or focusing on their own power to acutely.
Tillmouse - Aug 23 – Sep 22: Among the giants of the zodiac, the Tillmouse seems not to fit. But the Tillmouse is the essence of "the meek shall inherit the Earth". It is said that as the zodiac spun and roared, the Tillmouse scurried among them, unseen. She gathered her grain diligently, and when winter came, and the other signs were hungry, it was at the Tilllmouse's door they all ended up at. A kind and venerated Tillmouse is a thoughtful friend who shares. But an angered one will close her door, and let you starve in the depth of winter. The Tillmouse is the most diligent and practical of all the zodiac signs.
Alecto - Sep 23 – Oct 22: One of the Furies, Alecto was charged to pursue vengeance against the crimes of man. Alecto signs are often judges or lawyers, or even go into law enforcement. They are concerned with justice and law. But, a scorned or angered Alecto can go rogue, becoming a secret vigilante, doing what it takes to get things /done/, even if the law needs to be set aside to do it.
Arachne - Oct 23 – Nov 22: Arachne. The spider. Arachne is considered to be 'best friends with the Tillmouse" because both of them are so small, and so often overlooked by the other zodiac signs. But, while Arachne is small, she is the weaver of huge plans. Arachne is able to manipulate others, and events, through information, foresight, and sometimes her own actions. Her constellation is not a spider, but the web the spider supposedly crawls upon, because Arachne, herself, is too clever to be seen.
Nyctimene - Nov 23 - Dec 21: Nyctimene the Owl is the wisest of the zodiac signs. Although Arachne is clever, and the Sphinx intelligent, it is Nyctimene whose advice is most often sought when a person is in trouble. However, Nyctimene IS a predator, and if not respected when her advice is given...might just eat the disrespectful one.
Sphinx - Dec 22 - Jan 19: The Sphinx is the most intelligent of the zodiac, and sometimes might like to show that off a bit. Although they can be seen somewhat as know-it-alls, the Sphinx will also share their knowledge freely if asked, usually. The best gift for a Sphinx is almost always the right book, though sometimes their knowledge is not always scholarly. Sphinxes make the best philosophers as well, as they love to just sit around thinking about the way the world works.
Pegasus - Jan 20 - Feb 18: The Pegasus is the most peaceful of all the zodiac signs. Even the Tillmouse will bop someone on the nose for trying to eat her grain, but the noble Pegasus rarely gets into arguments and, in truth, nobody really seems to want to get in arguments with her. A friend to the Pegasus will enjoy being lifted to see great heights.
Cetea - Feb 19 - Mar 19: The Cetea are sea monsters, those strange behemoths that lurk in the depths. They are said to be "knowers of the unknown" and "explorers of strange realms". Many Cetea study the occult or other forbidden arts and mysteries. They are said to be always interesting and perhaps a bit eccentric due to their lonely lives, but will only attack if they sense an intrusion into their mysterious domains.