Monday, February 22, 2016

Worlds of the Alba system: Novus Albion

The Alba system is a small Stars Without Number setting i'm presenting on this blog.

The primary planet in the Alba system is Novus Albion.

Novus Albion

The largest planet of the Alba system is a temperate world, rich in water and reminiscent of Old Terra in many ways.

A vast agricultural continent stretches on both sides of the equatorial line, like a belt between the water covered poles of the planet. This belt also settles much of the planetary population in farming towns and smaller towns.

In addition to foodstuffs, there are large mineral deposits on the planet as well.


Total population reach several millions. Humans comprise about 60% with the rest being the native Shisa.

Tech level and society

Tech level on Novus Albion is 4, with a few specialties like hydroponics and agricultural science.

Like all the Alba worlds Novus Albion society is ambitious and honorable, but Novus Albion is somewhat more conformist that Novus Victoria and Novus Virginia.
Pastoral life on Novus Albion

Religion and politics

Religious life on Novus Albion is dominated by Marian Catholicism. Most parish priests are women with the men serving a handful of monastery orders dedicated to the saints.

Among the elites of Novus Albion there is conflict between those that maintain isolationist policies and those that advocate seeking interstellar contacts. Due to the continuing Civil War the isolationists have thus far won out, but the continued de-escalation of that conflict might shift the political winds.

New Camelot

New Camelot is both the planetary capital and the spaceport. It is located on a foggy island north of the main continent. Control with peripheral settlements on the planet is accordingly weak.
One of many spaceport bars in New Camelot

The spaceport on Novus Albion is the only full spaceport in the system.

The Civil War left much of New Camelot in ruins after bombardments. Its architecture is now a mishmash of neo-victorian remnants from Old Terra and newer functional buildings of steel and glass.

Poverty and crime exists in New Camelot, most prominently at the spaceport where workers and refugees from the other Alban worlds seek a livelihood. Policing of the spaceport is weak since security resources are usually spent protecting governmental installations from Black Brigade-terrorists.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Aliens of the Alba System


Lion Warrior by Demarcos
The Shisa are lion-like bipedal humanoids. They populated Novus Albion before the humans arrived but their medieval technology level was no match for the First settlers and the Shisa were quickly pacified.

The Shisa have about the same height and weight measures as humans. They have a slightly longer lifespan, up to 140 years, but reach sexual maturity after only six or seven years.

In the centuries since they have either lived on closely observed reservations maintaining their traditional way of life or have served as slaves for affluent humans. Lately Shisa have regained some of their position on Novus Albion, but many Shisa are hesitant of becoming to integrated with a human society viewed as too technologically focused.

Honor and tradition are very important to the Shisa. Their society is democratic and democratic participation is tied with honor. Breaking the trust of the community are one of the worst sins in Shisa communities.

Shisa architecture is dominated by a fascination for stone circles and pagoda-like structures. Their dress is reminiscent of Asian cultures on earth and so is their expertise in sword-making. This art form almost died out during the first years of slavery, but swords have lately become fashionable among the elites of New Camelot.

The Alba system Shisa are inspired by the Aslan-race from Traveller and the Rakasta from the D&D module Rage of the Rakasta.


These green-greyish humanoid bipeds live mainly underground on both Novus Virginia and Novus Victoria, but on Victoria they are believed to be close to extinction.

Pechs have large heads and large eyes on top of spindly bodies. They are species of sentient fungoid and don’t have a circulatory system. Pechs have a single sex and reproduce by planting spores into decaying plant or animal remains.

Goblin Necromancer by NetherRealm
Growing conditions are important to pech size and lifespan. Most pechs are between 0.9 and 1.2 meters tall with a mass of about 20 kilograms, but smaller versions (even under 0.3 meters) have been encountered and the largest pechs observed have been over 2.5 meters tall with a mass of around 150 kilograms.

Pechs have developed crude steam technology used primarily for mining and warfare purposes. Still they do not pose much of a serious threat to the human colonial populations on their home worlds. However, occasional abductions and subsequent ritual murder of people and livestock, for the purpose of growing new Pechs, have made them both feared and hated by the humans.

The fact that such a low-technology species appears on two planets have continued to puzzle the science community of the Alba system. No definite answer has been given, but in popular media theories of an ancient space-faring race moving the Pechs from one planet to another have grown popular despite the lack of evidence.

Pechs are inspired by the standard D&D goblins with a steampunk twist and the "get out of the way peck!" line from the movie Willow (1988).