Queen Annes' Star (Wolf 424B)
by Bryn Monnery
System and Planetary Data
Wolf 424 is a binary system. The main star (Prince Richard's Star) is Red Subdwarf, orbiting at a distance of 9AU is a Red main sequence star known as Queen Anne's Star, or Wolf 424B.
Richard's Star has no planets, but Anne's Star has two, including a marginal Garden world. This world is known as Ariadne. It is 8000km in diameter, with an extremely dense core. Surface gravity is 0.718G with an atmospheric pressure of 0.794 atm. The world has a single massive continent and is 50% ocean. The partial pressure of oxygen is 0.14 atm, low, but sufficient to sustain terrestrial life.
Ariadne is tidelocked to Anne's Star. The close proximity to the Star, combined with low Ozone levels and lack of a magnetic field mean that the entire surface is severely irradiated. The entire lightside is covered with vegetation, including the oceans. The main producer is a fungus like plant that forms a continual network over the entire lightside, including the oceans. The darkside is an icy waste. The surface of the seas are frozen to a depth of 10m. The insulation of this ice means that the water beneath is warm enough for the large aquatic sauropods that inhabit the depths. The main producer here is an pseudofungus that grows on the ocean floor and exists by digesting Iron and other transition metals from the sea floor and oxidising them, in effect rusting the metals right out of the sea floor and dissolving them into the sea.
Wyvren is a Large Gas Giant beyond the FTL shelf. Her family of 9 satellites provide a water source for starships, and a small RSN Astrographic Service refuelling depot is located on the outermost satellite, Draken.
The first human ship to visit the Wolf 424 system was ESAS Commonwealth, an initial survey vessel of the RSNAS. Her arrival in 2149 was part of the great exploration wave that discovered Neu Bayern, Queen Alice's Star and Beta Canum. She stayed for 18 months before returning to Nyotekundu with the results of her survey. Although a near viable Outpost world had been discovered, the French had already found Beta Canum, and the British effort was diverted to detailed surveys of Neu Bayern, Queen Alice's Star and Beta Canum.
The British returned in 2181 with HMS Ramage, renamed the stars and planted the Union flag on Ariadne, claiming the world as a protectorate of the British Commonwealth. A small radiation screened dome was constructed on an island off the main continent, and a semi-permanent manned presence was begun with the establishment of the British Ariadne Survey.
The Survey soon found that they had a large problem with the native lifeforms. To counteract the radiation animals had evolved their own radiation screens, a meter of blubber over the flesh, packed with heavy metals and anti-oxidants. To carry such massive mass the creatures had developed to be extremely large, approximately equivalent to Terran Dinosaurs or Whales. However, it was soon found that the blubber was a valuable source of rare metals and anti-radiation pharmaceuticals.
Hunting the Saurs started as a hobby amongst bored Naval Officers, but was soon transformed into an industry with the establishment of a small chemical processing plant by the Monolithic British Trans-Indi Company. The subsidiary company, Ariadne Hunting LTD now has over 700 staff on Ariadne, and exports several hundred tons of semi-refined blubber to Earth every month.
Hunters are generally paid only for the Saurs they kill and tag (an AHL harvester platform homes in on the the tag and strips the carcass), and many of the hunters actually pay their own passage, and treat the job as a holiday.
Anneston is the only settlement on the world. It consists of 3 dome structures, each around 1000m in diameter. The first dome is the original survey dome. It houses 300 people and extensive laboratories. It also contains the nuclear reactor, and all the starship survey equipment.
The second dome was built by BTIC and is an industrial concern, housing 200 persons, and the refineries and Harvester repair facilities.
The third dome is accommodations for 1000 people, and the settlements leisure facilities.
The entire planet is a British protectorate, and accordingly English Common Law extends here. The law enforcement body is a team of Crown Marshals, 11 in all, charged with maintaining order on the entire planet. In practice, outside of Anneston their is little or no law.
Within Anneston all weapons are prohibited except those issued to the Marshals, however, outside of the domes people generally carry extremely heavy weaponry. All such weapons should be surrendered at the Airlock.
Existence outside of the dome is difficult, the radiation means that humans must take regular massive doses of the Aradion (TM) anti-radiation treatment that is produced here, and Faraday suits. Many also wear filter masks because of the way the planet smells. Even with this treatment their is a chance of serious radiation poisoning. For every day outside of the domes (or a radiation shielded vehicle) there is a 10% chance of becoming radiation poisoned and dying d10 days later. Radiation poisoning is incurable.
The population onworld roughly breaks down as:
The creatures of Ariadne are truly massive, and their massive layers of blubber count as armour. The dangerous predator is the Rex, a massive Killer.
An adult Rex masses around 25 tons, and stands 8m tall. Their blubber counts as Armour Value 6, a life level of 23/35, and their bite (their only attack) inflicts DPV12.
The main way of killing these creatures is a called shot with a massively powerful weapon straight into their heart. Use the biped hit table. It's a T Rex, I won't try and hide it.
Head shots do NOT kill these things, their brains are distributed throughout their body.
Getting to Ariadne
There is only one ship going to Ariadne every month, a AHL supply vessel based out of Earth, and tickets are not available on the open market. The main way to get there is to get on a "Dino Trek" ship. These are irregular, and often booked years in advance, since accommodations on the planet are so limited a permit is needed to lodge there.
The final way is to get on the FPK/ RGS survey, generally only scientists are taken on. The RSNAS will arrange transport.