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Branzet

Branzet Branzet is a largely barren world that has enough gravity to hold an atmosphere, but did not develop one naturally. Rather, that was provided by "minimal" terraforming, so that the world could be exploited for its (at the time) rich mineral deposits. The major veins have played out long ago, and the terraforming engines that harvested trapped oxygen in the rock and expelled it into the atmosphere have been removed or reduced to scrap. Some oxygen still remains in the atmosphere, but there is little by way of vegetation to replenish it. It is possible to get by with a standard breather mask, but the surface of this world is often wracked by hurricane-force storms.

Branzet Animation Topography The surface is devoid of exposed bodies of water. Although some hardy plant life has taken root in the crust, most vegetation is to be found in underground hydroponic gardens or sealed biodomes, where moisture and air pressure are artificially regulated. Outside the biodomes, the ground is broken and barren, marked by abandoned machinery, trash, and moorings for the ships that housed the primary mining and processing facilities. There are huge shafts that go deep into the crust, with numerous tunnel networks branching off, creating a labyrinthine network of passages underneath the surface.

Climate There is almost no naturally-occurring precipitation, though some of the larger abandoned mining machinery has enough of an effect over the surrounding environment to produce mist and drizzle in the immediate vicinity. Air pressure is Coruscant standard, but the oxygen content is greatly depleted, such that it is necessary to wear a breather mask to avoid asphyxiation. Dust storms regularly blast across the surface, sometimes reaching hurricane force intensity. With all of the metal debris that is blown about in these storms, anyone unlucky enough to be caught out in them without protection is likely to be shredded.

Branzet has a slow rotation of approximately four standard days, and the atmosphere is arid in most places, with only a few wispy stratospheric clouds. During the daytime, the temperature outside climbs to extremes unbearable (or at the very least uncomfortable) for most sapient species, whereas it frequently drops to freezing temperatures at night. Those who have to go outside usually try to do it only during the relatively temperate "dawn" and "dusk" periods, meaning roughly every other standard day, and even then, the temperature crosses a wide range from cold to hot, and vice versa.

Population Estimates vary, but it is unlikely that the population on Branzet numbers more than a few thousand, with a varied assortment of species represented. There are a few moisture farmers who work the fields in the biodomes and hydroponic gardens left behind by the corporations, but most of them only produce enough to subsist. The remainder of those on Branzet are either prospectors hoping to strike it rich on mineral veins too small for the corporations to have bothered with, outlaws and scavengers.

Government There is no organized government or police force active here -- the only law is the Law of the Fringe. Isolated farmers keep the peace with a blaster rifle, and the settlements have someone appointed as the town's constable, who may sometimes deputize citizens when real trouble erupts.

Major Locations Rust Junction is the name given to the settlement located around what used to be a starport for the mining interests, though most of the facilities were uprooted when the corporations left. Now, it's just a loose collection of shelters, and landing bays that consist of craters that provide varying degrees of protection from the rust storms. (Simply landing out in the open is a risky prospect, as there's no telling when a storm may arise, or some scavengers may come calling.) This is a waypoint for those few individuals who have cause to visit Branzet, and traders occasionally come here to offer various goods in exchange for what nuggets or dust the prospectors can produce. The moisture farmers occasionally come in for supplies, trading produce or fermented beverages.

The Droid Pit is one of the "attractions" at Rust Junction, owing its existence to the fact that the corporations left behind a number of damaged or obsolete droids in their wake, rather than to bother taking them along when the major mineral veins played out, and they pulled up their stakes and moved on. A number of talented fringers have hammered together droids from abundant (but low grade) spare parts scavenged from the area, and someone got the bright idea of having the droids fight it out in an arena. Drinks and food are served there as well, though the service is spotty, as most of the "hired help" consists of battered servant droids that frequently malfunction.

Storm Tower is the name given to the remains of a mining/processing ship that was unable to get off the ground when the corporations left. Rather than undergo the expense of the delays in waiting for spare parts to arrive, and actually repairing the vessel, it was simply stripped down of anything of value that could be loaded onto the other craft, and its frame and central reactor were left behind. The reactor is still burning after all these years, and its lights can be seen in the distance. Due to its large size and little understood processes, the "tower" has an effect on the surrounding weather patterns, causing moisture to condense in the form of drizzle, and sometimes producing violent lightning storms. The locals have come up with tales of it being haunted by guard droids that still faithfully protect the ruin from scavengers, even though their masters are long gone and long dead by now -- the locals keep well clear of the "tower", since those few who have been foolhardy to go investigate it have never come back again.


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