Magnus IV does not exist. A common “trick” played by locals (and tacitly supported by Borea’s tourism industry) is to claim that the system has a fourth
planet located beyond the system’s outer buoy markets. The makeup of the fourth planet, usually named Triggerfish in the local legends, seems to vary depending
on the mark, from an emerald-rich mining world to a Shangri-La style paradise somehow supporting life in deep space. Visitors must be warned that no fourth
planet exists and that ships which travel to the supposed distant coordinates will simply be charged a significant overage for the fuel expended in searching.
“Magnus: On the Edge of the Unknown!” or so reads the local government’s standard travel brochure. In truth, the phrase better describes Magnus a century ago;
recent decades have seen increasing settlement and overall civilization in a system that considers itself the unofficial capital of Human frontier culture.
First discovered in 2499, Magnus was a small, entirely undistinguished system: three planets orbiting a type K main sequence star. Dimmer than Earth’s own sun,
Magnus did not have the pull to generate a system of outer planets or an extensive network of jump point tie-ins. Surveys have located no protoplanets, gas pockets,
or asteroid fields in the system’s environs; the area surrounding Magnus is the deepest, most desolate space imaginable. A single world, Magnus II, was identified as
ideal for terraforming. That process happened quickly. Magnus’ distance from well-traveled space plus the availability of heavy metals and the anticipated ease of
terraforming Magnus II resulted in a military-commissioned closed-terraforming starting in 2533. By the late 26th century, Magnus had become a large-scale naval base
and the source of a great deal of ship construction. This lasted approximately fifty years, until budget cutbacks and the desire to focus operations in other systems,
like Kilian, lead to the large-scale abandonment of Magnus. For a time, Magnus II was a barren desert world — the effects of terraforming had not yet completely
transformed the planet, and a ten-year period of extreme solar flares hampered its transition to a temperate world, increasing the decay of the UEE facilities and
generally reducing overall interest in resettling Magnus. The result was an eerie, depopulated ghost world with declining structures full of refining and shipbuilding
equipment considered too expensive to move elsewhere. During this period, the system’s population declined to less than 3,000, most of whom had no legal right to their
In 2751, the original military classification for the Magnus system expired and other colonists were technically allowed to move in. Seeing no practical
use for the system, the UEE opted not to renew their lease claims for the sole inhabitable planet’s landmasses. The age of single-state colonization having long since
ended, Magnus’ colonials were a ragtag group of outbackers, claim jumpers and an assortment of similar, less-savory types trying to escape their reputations on the
core worlds. The result was a system with a reputation for a wild, anything-goes atmo-sphere, where Humans could live along the margins of the law. A culture
supporting this system has since arisen organically, with a ‘kill-or-be-killed’ attitude that has developed into a strictly held frontier-style code of honor. In
recent years, Magnus II, Borea, has become more civilized, increasingly playing its reputation and fading ghost towns for tourist dollars. It’s still among the more
dangerous Human-settled worlds: while the government has come to adhere to a more formal system, assassinations are still not uncommon. This culture is not one-sided,
however: for all the lawlessness, Magnus is seen as a place where anyone can start anew, a system that strongly believes in ignoring an individual’s past in favor
of his or her potential. For this reason alone, settlement on Borea is increasing, year by year.
Magnus I is a chthonian planet, a former gas giant which has had its atmosphere fully separated by its proximity to the star’s sun. The result is a tightly compacted
mass of rock rich in high value minerals. The UEE maintains full mining rights over Magnus I, and does not generally contract with outsiders for shipping or
refinement. Owing to its cosmology, Magnus I is also a source of high grade diamonds, used both as gemstones and in factory operations. Again, the UEE moderates
all sales and criminal elements have never established a significant foothold on Magnus I.
Magnus II (Borea)
Borea is the terraformed center of the system. Classified as a near-Earth planet, Borea has a variety of climates and is generally ideal for Human settlement.
The planet is dotted with dozens of centuries-old abandoned UEE naval facilities which are slowly fading into overgrowth. Some have been settled by frontiersmen,
while other prefab cities have sprung up elsewhere unrelated to the original settlement. Subsistence farms cover the planet’s temperate zones, most run by loners
who have traveled to Magnus to escape contact with the rest of the Human race. The general feeling is of a world unnaturally stuck between then and now.
The capital of the world is Newcastle. A recent space-based assassination attempt on the whole of the planet’s Governor’s Council has caused the government to
redirect all in-bound traffic towards the industrial city of Odyssa, which can now be considered Magnus’ only starport. Odyssa, formerly a shipbuilding city before
the UEE’s abandonment of Magnus, has been revitalized in recent years with the development of Drake Interplanetary. Vast tracts of empty warehouses and rusting
construction yards have been modernized and returned to life building Cutlasses and Caterpillars. Gangs are a serious problem in the city, and squatters have
claimed the rights to many former UEE facilities; the result is an interesting place to hunt for questionably legal ship repairs and upgrades.
Market Deals — Borea
BUY: IRON ORE +2
BUY: SCRAP METAL +2
BUY: HEAVY MACHINERY +1
SELL: LUXURY GOODS +1
Magnus III is a super Jupiter gas giant, a huge multi-col¬ored sphere hanging at an extreme distance from Mag¬nus’ sun. As it is not especially near any of the
system’s jump points, Magnus III remains largely untapped as a refueling point. Persistent rumors claim that Magnus III’s LaGrange points are common meeting places
for pirates, although this has never been confirmed. The lack of extraplanetary legal forces (and general cultural disin¬terest in punishing such crimes in the region)
lend such rumors a significant air of believability. At the same time, Magnus III would be a notably out-of-the-way locale for anyone, especially the more
significant pirate cartels.