Today introduces a companion feature to the Atlas of Worlds and the Gatecrasher’s Almanac – the Celestial Codex is a feature primarily intended for Starfinder and related softer sci-fi games out there, a record of systems for intrepid crews to venture into.
System ID: ACHERON DELTA
Stellar Type: Orange K-class star
Orbital Debris: 2 asteroid belts, Kuiper zone, Oort cloud
Acheron Delta is a modest orange star system located within naked-eye distance of a stellar nursery; as such it can easily be found by triangulating between the cluster of hot young stars in the nebula and the galactic core. It’s an unusual system due to the heavy radiation of mystical energy from the star, which ensures that the innermost planets are heavily charged with those energies. At some point in the past, an unknown species built a self-sustaining power station at the star’s southern pole, using harvested energy to maintain its position. Today, it makes a useful place to recharge for visiting spacecraft.
Orbit 1: An asteroid debris field marks the innermost stable orbit around Acheron Delta, with enough mass to make a small planet in the ring. An abundance of unusual elements suggests that the asteroid field was once an actual inhabited planet, destroyed by an unknown cataclysm. No trace remains of whatever civilization lived there beyond the element traces. Exploration is difficult, as the environment is scorching hot, mystically charged, and infested with void-twisted elementals.
Orbit 2: A warm and somewhat dry world, inclined toward arid environments outside of the polar seas. Presently populated by several magic-using reptilian species, most immigrants from out-system. One indigenous species, similar to kobolds, who have adapted to the influx of starfarers quite well.
Orbit 3: Chill pelagic world, scattered with archipelagos, with several residents colony bases both on the islands and under the oceanic surface. A peace treaty among the residents allows everyone to benefit from the abundance of mystically-charged liquid on the planet.
Orbit 4: Asteroid belt; this one appears to be a ‘normal’ belt with no sign of any apocalyptic events. Three large stations have been built inside the largest asteroids; humans, shirren, and dwarves make up the majority of the population. Many asteroids are being exploited for their mineral wealth.
Orbit 5: Gas giant with 3 major moons and a minor ring system; one moon has a colony base dug into it, as the moon has proven to have small veins of adamantine threaded through it. Several races cohabitate here, relying on cooperation to maximize output of the rare metal.
Orbit 6: Ice giant, no moons, one large artificial satellite that taps the planet’s magnetic and mystical energy fields for power. Acting as the system’s primary trade hub and a research facility, exploring the depths of the ice giant for the source of the unusually strong mystical energy. Theories include an ancient artifact, a “trap” effect that soaks up the local star’s ambient radiation and re-radiates it, and the presence of exotic forms of matter in the core.
Orbit 7: Iceball world, heavily mined for volatiles and ores valuable to the inner system. Primarily inhabited by dwarves and kobolds. Periodic problem with darkmantle infestations following a breeding pair being “accidentally” released when they outgrew being pets, rather than being dealt with safely. Recent generations show mutation to be better adapted to long periods of cold and minimal air.
Kuiper zone: Several ice dwarfs present; none of sufficient interest to be colonized. System-wide rumor has it that a strong radio signal can be detected every few months, with hints of it being a ghost ship that haunts the outer dark of the system. Also marks the outer range of the star’s unusual mystical energy output.
Oort Cloud: Unoccupied, rarely visited. Rumor places several colonies of aberrations amid the snowballs of the cloud. No exploration planned by any of the civilizations with a presence in the system.