Star Wars: Halcyon Rising
The Halcyon system is surely the Outer Rim’s best kept secret. It offers sights and experiences sure to wow even the most seasoned hyperspace jockey. While the system’s exotic location within a stellar nursery has kept it from mass-galactic tourism, the quant locals and happy officials speak volumes of the kind of experience on offer here. From scholarly tours of the scientific facilities on The Watchtower, to romantic canal rides in the city of Reach, to the cosmopolitan elegance of Drazen Isle, to Breathtaking nature hikes lead by experienced guides from the quant town of Ashenwauld, the Halcyon system is not to be missed!
What a load of garbage! You haven’t heard of the system because the Empire has it locked down tighter than a Twi’lek slave dancer. The Watchtower isn’t just a science facility, it’s a blast door capable of sealing an entire system. You see, the system is ringed by several small black holes that are just a few parsecs separated from Halcyon, the star from which the system derives its name. By all rights, this system shouldn’t exist at all. Yet, somehow, the gravitational forces of these black holes push and pull on one another with just enough force to create a stable pocket where planets and life could form. However, this also means that these forces are changing all the time such that most Nav Computers cannot reliably infer the movements of the celestial bodies within the system. While the origins of the Watchtower are unclear, we know that the ancient peoples of the system built it to monitor these gravitational forces. When the Republic Controlled the system and the Holonet was open, coordinates were broadcast galaxy-wide at all times. These days, the Empire only provides these updates to their own personnel, and to those tour companies that can afford the rates charged by the Imperial Tourism Bureau.
Who built this advanced, state-of-the art space station remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of Xenology. Could it be the master merchants of the Masquen? The proud warrior race of the Qun? Or some extinct race of scientists yet unknown to Imperial scientists. Whatever its origins, the Watchtower is now home to the 73rd Imperial Research Detachment. Here, utilizing the blueprints left behind by the foundations of the past, top men work to advance the understanding of all galactic peoples. The facility also houses a public port facility form which tours of the station can let even the most unlettered individual gain a glimpse into the future. Please note: Tours of the facility have been temprorairly suspended due to routine maintenance. The Tourism Bureau apologizes for this inconvenience.
_The Watchtower is by far the Empire’s closet held asset in the system. The Public Port was long ago converted into an Imperial Navel yard housing the 3rd Tie Defender Squadron as well as a compliment of other Imperial fighters and support ships. Additionally, all schematics detailing the layout of the facility have been scrubbed from the public records. In short, we know very little of what goes on here. We do know that every day, a shipment of Prisoners leaves Ashenwauld. Heat scans of these vessels during their return flights reveal that the prisoners remain on the Watchtower.
Halcyon Prime (Or to the locals, just Halcyon)
The name Halcyon, meaning idyllic, peaceful, or serene is perfectly personified by the 1st Planet of the Halcyon system. This charming world is over 90% water, and contains only a single content called Qun taken from the name of the ancient tribal people who still dwell there. The content is rich and lush, covered by thick, primeval jungles full of interesting and curious flora and fauna. While much of this rich wilderness remains untamed the Imperial Bureau of Terrestrial Planets has designated Qun a class III development project. Therefore, great changes are underway on Halcyon. Soon affordable slices of paradise will be able to be purchased on the content. However, until then the Imperial Surveyors are hard at work locating sites for potential development. The newly developed City of Progress is the sole civilized settlement on the continent. Guided tours of the jungles as well as expeditions into the continental interior are launched from here. CAUTION: Currently, the Imperial Bureau of Health and Safety has determined that local insects carrying a deadly strain of Forva Virus are breading in the jungles. Therefore, all expeditions to the interior require a Class VII Safety Certification.
However, for the more refined taste, the only other landmass on Halcyon is sure to delight. Many kilometers from the continent of Qun lies the famous Drazen Island. Named for the renowned explorer Daedalus Drazen, the island has become the premier resort on the Outer Rim. Luxury hotels and pristine white sand beaches paint a picture of eternal summers and warm nights in the mind of even the casual observer. Five-star restaurants serving the most delicious local fair and imported delicacies dot the area. Also on offer here are tasting tours of Ponga, a liqueur distilled from the local fruit of the same name. At the interior of the island stands Mt. Drazen, an active volcano and the System’s only recognized galactic Park. Hikes to the rim and caldera of the Volcano are offered daily.
_What a study in contrasts Halcyon Prime is. On the one hand, for those that can afford to visit Drazen Isle, the experience is unparalleled. The Island itself receives tourism from the Core Worlds. Additionally, for the truly wealthy, Beach Front property and floating bungalows are available for permanent purchase. In fact, the system’s true elite don’t even bother to interact with the tourists on the island, instead cruising between floating estates on luxury yachts.
The situation on the continent is anything but stable. The Empire doesn’t like to admit it, but, the mines on Halcyon III are running dry of Orchallium – the element utilized in the Empire’s stealth and cloaking technologies. The Empire is interested first and foremost in finding new sources on Qun. While the promises of expanding the tourism and housing sectors on the planet are somewhat well founded, the native Qun are posing a problem. While the full might of the Imperial Navy and Army can be brought to bear on this seemingly savage people, the Qun know the terrain and the thick jungles impede the process of any large-scale assaults into the interior. Short of a full-scale planetary bombardment of the content, which the Empires is reluctant to undergo, the military remains in a stalemate with the natives. Those that are captured are sold in the slave markets in the city of Reach, or Imprisoned at Ashenwauld.
Halcyon Prime is also notable because Moff Damien Du’cat, the system’s governor holds offices here. It is rumored his private estate can be found floating off the coast of the island._
Halcyon II provides a rugged challenge for even the hardiest of galactic explorer. From the planet’s only city, Ashenwauld, travelers can explore the natural beauty of this unspoiled gem.
_Halcyon II is a hostile, unforgiving environment covered in rocks and without any vegetation to speak of. Ashenwauld has long sense become dominated by its penal facility, a factor that the tourism guide conveniently leaves out. This is because the Ashenwauld facility is where the galaxy’s most infamous traitors and criminals go to be forgotten. Security is high, and any reported escapes cause the Watchtower to stop transmitting nav coordinates until the escapee is found. The Warden of the facility Jerreth Kal, is one of the most heartless and cruel bastards to ever hold Imperial rank. Rumor is that he has aspirations to lead the system’s security forces. However, for the time being, Moff Du’cat seems to favor Natasha Ty’lone.
In addition to the prison facility, the planet’s harsh environment serves as the Shadow Trooper Proving Grounds, where the best of the best from the Emperor’s Stormtrooper Corps are trained to become ruthless killing machines capable of eluding even the most stringent Alliance security protocols.
Also of note is the sizeable naval base here. While we have been unable to determine what assets the Empire houses here, it is rumored that there is a facility for the production and maintenance of TIE Phantoms here._
Perhaps no species in the galaxy has been as successful with practical shielding technology as the exotic Masquen. Nowhere is this experience displayed better than in the city of Reach. In orbit above the industrial world of Halcyon III, Reach is a city of canals filled with celestial dust and super chilled glowing gases. The effect is a vast network of colored pathways cutting through the immaculate architecture comprising the city of masks. Controlled by the merchant clans of the Masquen, the city has every possible good on offer here for bargain prices. In addition, Masquen theater troops and acrobats rove the city streets providing merriment and mirth in their wake.
For those brave prospectors out there, claims on mining stakes on the planet proper can be purchased at the local Bureau of Land Management. Rare metals and ores spill out of the crust of the beautiful, but deadly rust colored planet which can be seen from the city above.
_Halcyon III is dying a slow, choking death. Even in the days of the Republic the Masquen had problems managing their natural resources. Driven by profit and the power conferred by credits, the Masquen have strip mined most of the planet itself. What is left is a blood-red husk, built on the backs of slaves.
Speaking of slaves, the city of Reach contains the galaxy’s largest slave market. See, the Masquen allow slavery in repayment of outstanding debts. These days, there are many debtors. However, since the system transitioned to Imperial control, the Empire has found that the planet’s supply of Orchallium has needed workers to mine it. Contracts are given to Masquen mining companies that use slave labor and unsustainable practices to get at the stuff. While Moff Du’cat’s reports to the Empire paint the picture of a thriving mining operation, the truth may very well be that the Orchallium operation here is on its last legs. This seems to be why he is so intent on the settlement of Qun.
The Masquen on the other hand are a different story. If they ever had the power to create a marvel like the Reach, they’ve certainly lost it. Instead, the race has focused their efforts on personal holographic projectors. The result is an entire race that values deceit and cunning above all other factors. This in turn has created centuries of in-fighting. Power on the Reach is distributed according to wealth, with each guild controlling a number of seats on the city council according to their share of revenues. The Imperial support of the mining guild ensures that it will remain the largest and most powerful guild while the ore lasts._