The Orbiting, a yellow star in its primary stage at a distance of 1 AU, the world of Tal’Jor glides within a perfect circumstellar habitat zone required for life to thrive; but it is not enough for a planet to live if its sentient custodians despoil its riches. The ecosystem of Tal’Jor once thrived with living oceans, lush forests, diverse deserts, and verdant plains that held a mystical connection with an outer-dimensional spirit plan known as the Astral realm. However, the unchecked mining of radioactive kalodium ore has poisoned much of this once pristine world. Most of the Tal’jor’s Trakarian (and a smaller number of K’ailantian) populations live in domed Union cities or roaming Contractor ships. By contrast, the majority of the K’ailantian population lives as Outlanders, roaming the wilds unprotected, trying to retain connection with the spirit realm. Soaring above the pollution in the safety of the troposphere, the upper cities of the richest Trakarians live and exploit the resources minded from below. In space, in low orbit around the planet, hundreds of thousands of satellites and other debris obscure the night sky, making it difficult to clearly plot the stars or see the fractured moon. Indeed, even Tal’jor’s moon has not escaped Trakarian exploitation, but the anomalous explosion that destroyed the only Lunar City ended any further push into space, leaving all of the world’s inhabitants world-bound.
An ecosystem in mortal danger, Tal’jor’s only hope is to eventually reconnect with the Astral realm.
5 UPPER CITIES
At the height of their power, there were fourteen Union Cities. When the Trakarians colonized their moon in order to develop new power sources, they built and lost their Lunar City in a short span of time after an explosive accident. This ended the Trakarian space program and now thirteen Union Cites remain bound to the surface of Tal’jor. The other cities include the Union of Arms and the Union of Agriculture, the Union Cities of the Forge, of Power, of City Builders, of Waste, of the Alchemical, of Ships, of Life, of Knowledge, Air, Water, and Conservation. The largest of these pressurized and radiation-shielded metropolises is the Union City of Arms (UA). Originally a small port-side company town of forty thousand Trakarians that specialized in the design and implementation of loader mechs for large cargo ships, UA became gradually a domed, high-tech city of millions. in the True Year 11,720. the innovative Blackflynt family, led by Torbin and
Eris Blackflynt transformed an unincorporated series of robotics manufacturers into cutting-edge weapons and mech suit developers, forever changing the power structure between Astral Power-wielding Outlanders and common Trakarians.
In order of importance, the next more influential surface city after the metropolitan Union of Arms is the Union of Agriculture. As high-tech and innovative as the UA, this farming city produces food for millions of inhabitants across the globe, including other Union Cities, Upper Cities, and even some of the less self-sufficient Contractor ships. Produce is grown in colossal vertical farms while cell cultured proteins are harvested from edible scaffoldings that replicate meat and fish products.
Life within a Union City can be very comfortable and while the populations are usually Trakarian, a K’ailantian minority can be found in most cities.
14 UNION CITIES
The five Upper Cities are Bancroft, Blackflynt, Crimsonrose, Marklings, and Varuna. Though it was the Blackflynt and Marklings families who collaborated to actually design and build the upper cities, they were financed by the powerful Bancroft family, whose first Upper City was launched over 300 years ago. Each city is thirty miles in diameter with a maximum population of around two hundred thousand Trakarians. They are held aloft by a combination of massive underside fans and other classified tech rumored to be a kind of quantum levitation generator. Likewise, their main power source is also held in secrecy for reasons only known to the controlling families. The upper cities were initially built to be sky-bound havens for the masses and all of the ground-dwelling technicians and engineers who toiled for decades on their construction were promised their place in the sky. However, immediately after their launch, the controlling families began selling city land to the wealthy, and soon the five cities became gated, private communities for the ruling classes.
While the Upper Cities’ main export is political power, the Marklings family Upper City is unique in that it is the only city that engages in sustainable farming.
Winds around the Upper Cities would be unbearable for the population if not for inertia dampening shield walls that run their outer perimeters. Ablative shield generators trap and maintain heat within their upper structures, allowing each city to maintain its own comfortable atmosphere around metropolitan centers, man-made lakes, parks, and even artificial mountains.
In the true year 11870, the Upper Cities Association contracted the development of roaming, wheeled cities, referred to as “ships,” that could search and mine for valuable resources. Aboard these Contractor ships, Union people united from all different backgrounds, Trakarian, and K’ailantians alike, looking for freedom, even at the cost of a hard life. Over the many decades that these vehicles have driven across the world, their inhabitants cultivated the Contractor culture and gave birth to a new harmonious faction on the planet.
Resembling a wheeled collection of oil platforms connected like cars in a train, thousands of people lived and worked in small quarters aboard the residential unit, which was pulled by the head power core ship in a line with the communications, hangar, storage, and refinery units.
Because of their close contact with dangerous Outlanders, the Upper Cities forbid Contractors from traveling skyward to meet their employers, though some ships interacted with Union Cities, allowing a kind of shore leave for curious contractors.
Though they are often called by the derogatory term “Outlanders” by Trakarians who have been targeted by violence from their most extreme members, K’ailantains are a wise and reverent culture with a deep respect for the purity of nature and the eternal essence of its connection to the Astral Realm.
It is unknown just how many K’ailantain cities there are. The lack of accurate satellite data makes it impossible to determine the true population size and where their scattered tribes, villages, towns, and cities are hidden, but experts widely believe that they outnumber their Trakarian oppressors by a wide margin. Living outside unprotected in the irradiated wilds they so desperately wish to reconnect with has left many of them sickened and weak, dampening the strong connection that once had with the Astral realm.
It is suspected that most K’ailantains live at higher altitudes to avoid the worst of the radiation at sea level, which is why Trakarian Contractor ships stick to known paths charted through lower altitudes to avoid roaming, hostile Outlanders.
Due to the kalodium radiation that poisons their lands, it is rare if a K'ailantain lives to age sixty, and many who do live to old age show advanced signs of accelerated decrepitude, making them appear decades older than they should by the time they reach their end.
- N/A km
The Astral realm is many and one. It is a part of the unknown dimensions that hide beyond mortal sight, manifesting into consciousness only when someone has the power to feel its presence.
To connect with the Astral realm is to know its endless potential, but to do so a living person must first WAKE UP. You must learn to see the Source within the Astral Realm. The Kaidro, a name that means Source Bearer in both Trakarian and K’ailantain tongues, is a person who is able to unlock their full potential from the Source.
The power to create, the urgency to heal others, and to help others wake up to their own potential locked within the Source, that is the responsibility of a Kaidro.
Once a loud and vibrant voice rang clear across the world of Tal’jor, the despoiling of the land has weakened its connection to the Source. However, after many centuries, people are starting to hear the call of the Source once again, and unlimited potential awaits all who WAKE UP.
The VOID. It is the anti-dimension where potential dies, where violence and suffering poisons the mind and depletes the ability to hear the call of the Source. The world of Tal’jor has been slipping into the darkness of the Void for many decades. The radioactive damage done to the environment has numbed the consciousness of many a potential Kaidro, turning them to Void Kaidros, but there's still hope. Where potential lives on so does the voice of the Source. All one needs to do is WAKE UP and shed away the cold anti-light of the void, but time is running out...