The Lure of the Koronus Expanse
The primary settlement of the Svard system, Svard was settled almost 300 years ago. It’s population, numbering in the millions, and level of development speaks of a great endeavour by Heironymous Black to settle the system.
It is a cold and inhospitable place where survival on the surface is practically impossible, the moon’s thin atmosphere trapping precious little heat. As a result, the original settlers built vast domes of snow and ice, creating entire cities sheltered from the harsh elements. Over time, these domes grew until they became frozen hives clustered across the moon’s surface like icy stalagmites. With a population in the millions, Svard was once hugely prosperous, reaping the resources of the other moons and the fuel rich liquids of the gas giant below.
Among these ice-hives is the Crystal Capital. From here, the Crystal Council (so named for the ice hive from which they rule) commands the rest of the moons and maintains a tenuous tie to the Imperium. Ruled over by the Crystal Council and protected by thousands of well trained and equipped PDF troopers, Svard was a picture of thriving Imperial power.
However, it is now a world slipping into ruin and decay whilst its leaders stand by powerless to combat a threat beyond their ability to predict or control. It is a grim place, made grimmer by the vile frozen weather and its terrified, weary inhabitants.
Key locations include:
Crystal Capital – the primary ice hive, home to the moons primary space port. Crystal Capital is also transit hub with vast locomotives allowing travel between ice-hives through the frozen wastes. Crystal Capital hosts the Crystal Council, and the majority of the planets nobility. As primary stopping point for interplanetary and interstellar trade when Svard was thriving, Crystal Capital has several luxury facilities, such as hotels, designed for offworlders to enjoy. Many of these are now in a state of decay.
Aequaliter Nubila – The furthest ice hive from Crystal Capital, and the most recently constructed. Aequiliter Nubila is now host to criminal exiles known as the Whispered Ones; those who hand themselves in or are caught in screening techniques are taken by train to within one mile of the hive and forced to make the last part of the journey by foot. All heavy equipment that would allow them to construct weaponry or ice-traversing vehicles has been removed from the hive, leaving it as a self-sufficient settlement where it appears that Imperial life carries on as usual. However, the rest of Svard knows that this veneer would drop were any inhabitants be in a place to bring harm to the system.
Frigidum – Due to plentiful supplies of heat and energy from geothermal sources, the inhabitants of Frigidum used to be thought of as soft and lazy. Then, 150 years ago, the noble lord of Frigidum, keen to increase his standing on the Crystal Council, decreed that all hive citizenry were to be conscripted into the hive PDF for at least one year, during which they would extensively train in open warfare on the frozen moon’s surface. The people of Frigidum have since lost their reputation as soft, and are now more known for producing the best cold-weather gear and rugged military equipment.
Sanctus Terminus – the orbiting space complex, this hosts docking arrays for both ships up to cruiser size. Until recent years, a dockyard facility constructed system ships for defence and trade. Currently, a small fleet of system ships lies at anchor with the facility, without sufficient knowledge or equipment to repair and insufficient fuel to operate.