One of the mysteries of the Tendril system, this planet is forever cloaked in thick clouds and ripped by fierce winds. Its intense atmospheric pressure is fatal to anything that enters its confines, which has further restricted the information available on the planet. The thick atmospheric blanket is mildly acidic.
A few robotic probes have weathered the extreme environment to provide reports on Sperous’s surface conditions, but even these efforts have been rather limited. Between the intense heat and the immense pressure, nothing manmade has had much luck surviving on the planet’s surface.
The only settlement near Sperous proper is Goliath, a gas mining station floating in the planet’s upper atmosphere. The station is suspended beneath huge gas cells that both provide lift and store the station’s output,- gravity induction engines provide a backup in case the gas bags are ever ruptured. It’s a fairly large facility that is mostly stable amid the planet’s wild winds. While Goliath is a StarMech venture dating back to the days before GW2, its workers are individually contracted. The typical tour of duty lasts about six months; few workers renew their contracts, despite generous incentives.
Gas mining is hard work, and there’s normally little trouble on board the base. Twelve security officers are responsible for maintaining order on the base, but the miners police themselves fairly well. Often, they’re too tired to cause trouble. A handful of scientists spend their time aboard Goliath dropping probes into the murky interior of Sperous. Most of them are attempting to gather laser-enhanced images of the planet’s surface.
No more than 200 people ever live aboard Goliath at any one time, even though its capacity is more than 500. Living conditions are poor, lighting is dim, and the base’s instability makes many wonder how they will survive six months of such tossing and tumbling about. Administration of the facility is handled remotely through Nova Station, though the miners occasionally joke about an administrator who was relegated to six months penance aboard Goliath. Such assignments are very rare, but they’re normally seen as punishment by everyone involved.
The Goliath high-atmosphere station hosts nothing more than a modest array of medical devices under the skillful hand of Dr. Temeris Bliss, a middle-aged doctor from Alaundril, and three assistants. Many of the miners are wondering what Bliss’s crime was to get him sent here. The doctor seems unfazed by his current assignment, however. Despite Dr. Bliss’s skill, patients with serious injuries are transported to Alaundril; these cases-in fact, everything going to and from the station-travel on the Vortex lift.
The Vortex Lift
The Vortex lift conveys passengers to and from Goliath. It transports up to 10 passengers at a time through its conduit to an orbital satellite. Now over 100 years old, the Vortex elevator system was once a source of pride for the inhabitants of the Tendril system. After years of use and abuse, it’s now a dilapidated and temperamental piece of machinery. If not for constant jury-rigging by StarMech engineers, the Vortex would long ago have fallen prey to corrosion by Sperous’s acidic atmosphere.
‘Drips in the Vortex lift’s pods are typically disorienting, rocky, and wild, but almost every pod launched up the Vortex reaches its destination. A few unlucky souls have lost their lives when fierce weather-or the debilitating effects of a Bum-strike Goliath and the Vortex. Pods that fall to the planet’s surface have never been recovered, despite some heroic attempts.
While Alaundril is the moon everyone thinks of, two other satellites orbit Sperous. Cormis is an airless rock, peppered by craters and not even promising enough to attract miners. Testament is just as barren, but has become home to a few hundred colonists, all of them devout Muslims. They’re relatively new arrivals, setting up their base on the moon and arranging for periodic supply shipments from Alaundril. Their goal is to set up a self-sustaining base from which to spread their faith to this sector of space.