System ID: Thornweave Psi
Stellar Type: Red M-class dwarf star
Orbital Debris: 1 asteroid belt, wreckage field “Battle of the Thorn”, Oort cloud
Thornweave Psi, or “The Thorn” in region-local parlance, is a subdued red dwarf star with relatively minimal flaring and two planets that orbit on the edges of the star’s habitable zone. It would hardly be of note if two local would-be stellar empires hadn’t tried to ambush each other by sneaking their forces past this star, with both of them stumbling into each other unexpectedly. Nearly a full day of combat resulted, with both forces effectively destroyed and the survivors wiped out when the dwarf star chose that time to have an impressive flare that hosed the wreckage with deadly levels of radiation.
Orbit 1: On the inner edge of the habitable zone, this planet is warm and extremely wet, largely due to engineered connections to the Elemental Plane of Water by the civilization that originally settled it. Shallow oceans and large fens dominate much of the surface, with several colonies burrowed into the mountains that rise above the water. As the planar gates are still open and continue to add water to the planet, researchers estimate that the planet will become a warm pelagic world in approximately a million years. Given the longevity of the star, the world is starting to become a place of interest for aquatic civilizations looking for a long-term home.
Orbit 2: A low-mass asteroid belt orbits smack in the middle of the habitable zone; while the belt itself is unremarkable, mostly comprised of silicate and nickel-iron boulders slowly tumbling around the local star, a collection of mystics whose teachings derive from the old Green Faith have been slowly building extremely durable bubbles of glass and polymer that drift in the belt, each one a greenhouse filled with a miniature ecosystem. Some have the “druids” living in them; others are wild habitats.
Orbit 3: The outer planet sits just within the habitable zone, but circumstances have left it with no functional atmosphere. Cold deserts swept by a thin nitrogen wind dominate the world, but it serves as the home of a rough and accidental colony – those few survivors who escaped both the Battle of the Thorn and the follow-up radiation bath landed here and have collectively built a ramshackle colony out of mined materials and what bits of wreckage rained down after them. The inhabitants today have no interest in the feuds of their ancestors, living in relative harmony with one another.
Orbit 4: The semi-stable orbit of the debris field from the battle occupies an orbit on the fringe of the system, hundreds of wrecked ships from the nascent star empires twinkling in the dull red light of the local star. From massive dreadnoughts with holes torn through them down to starfighters split in half, the site of the battle currently occupies a few hundred million square miles smeared across an orbital arc. In a few thousand years, the battlefield will be little more than a sparse ring of debris around the star. In the meantime, the hulks are homes to radiation hazards, lost secrets, and the restless dead from the two fleets, who still occasionally act out small pieces of the combat in phantom vessels and ghostly boarding actions.
Oort Cloud: The only ships to survive the battle intact fled to the snowball cloud around the star, only to fall victim to some unknown hazard. Three vessels, each a former hospital ship, now drift in the darkness amid the proto-comets, the fate of their crews a mystery. Every now and then one briefly comes to life, a flare of light and heat in the void as they emit distress calls filled with terrified screaming, only to go dark again in less than an hour.