Points of Interests
- Corazon de Fuega -
Every system was affected in one way or another by the titanic clashes in the Stellar Ring, but every settled world (the Vanishing of Bluefall and the recent attack at Hammer’s Star aside) survived intact-except for Vieron.
Vieron has the distinction of being the only major Verge colony to suffer defeat in a belligerent action associated with the war. Formerly a colony of the conglomerate known as Sothvec Industries, Vieron fell to the Thuldans of Alitar in the Algemron system within three years of the opening of the war. Occupied by the Thuldans for almost 100 years, Vieron was abandoned when the 2404 cease fire in Algemron failed. Alitar, hard pressed in its home system, recalled the garrison in 2405. Vieron and its installations are now home to a small settlement of fewer than 2,000 people, visited only by a handful of passing ships.
Vieron was first charted in 2334 by the Sothvec Industries Survey Mission 5952. One of the smaller powers of Old Space, Sothvec was a latecomer to the Verge. At first, the Sothvec mis¬sion commander didn’t even bother to claim Vieron; none of its worlds seemed at all suitable for permanent colonization efforts. However, as the mission turned up star after star without usable planets, Vieron began to look marginally attractive. In March 2435, Sothvec Industries formally claimed Vieron and estab¬lished an outpost on Corazon de Fuega, Vieron’s most promis¬ing planet.
Colonizing Corazbn de Fuega was no easy task. The giant planet’s ferocious windstorms, volcanism, and crushing gravity demanded the most advanced engineering. Despite Sothvec’s late start in the Verge, the corporation poured money and re¬sources into the taming of Corazon de Fuega, cybenetically modifying thousands of new colonists and rapidly building a basic repair and refitting station to support further explorations of the Verge.
The Second Galactic War caught Vieron in an extremely vul-nerable position. Unlike the Thuldans, Sothvec Industries didn’t succeed in building up its Verge holding as a base of military operations. Pushing ahead with the best preparations it could make, Sothvec was outnumbered and outgunned by the Thul¬dan expeditionary force that set out from Algemron in 2349. On June 12, the Thuldans landed more than 5,000 troops on Corazon de Fuega and conducted a simultaneous assault on all major Sothvec installations. Sothvec patrol ships interfered with the invasion as best they could, but they too were outgunned, and the Alitarin fleet drove them off.
On the ground, the Thuldans struggled against Corazbon’s murderous gravity and climate, sustaining more casualties from the environment than they did from enemy action. The Sothvec security forces scored a few small successes initially, stretching the campaign over several months through guerrilla action and sabotage. However, the remaining Sothvec guerrillas formally surrendered in May 2350. The Occupation had begun.
For almost 100 years, the Thuldans held onto their prize. Fewer than 5,000 Sothvec employees inhabited Corazon before the war began, so it didn’t take much for the Alitarins to keep the planet under control. In the early years, sabotage and small-scale insurrections were not unusual, but as the decades passed and no Sothvec relief force showed up to contest the Thuldans, the spark of resistance guttered out. Vieron became a lonely
outpost, useful only as a command post and naval base for the Alitarin fleet.
In 2461, the Alitarins found themselves thrust back into the midst of a war by the Ajax incident, a treacherous Galvinite attack of Alitar. The great expense of maintaining facilities on Corazon, and the demand for the troops at home, eventually forced the Alitarins to abandon their conquest. Only about 1500 native Vieronites remained behind.
No space-based installations survive in the Vieron system; all of the system’s inhabitants live in one of three small equatorial settlements on Corazon. The Vieronites retain barely enough technology and industry to keep the gravity generators running, and a handful of battered old Thuldan launches and shuttles provides Vieron with minimal space capability. Rumor has sev¬eral stellar nations seeking formal ties with Vieron, in hopes of establishing significant colonies here.
In fact, the Thuldan government is currently sponsoring an extended relief project for the beleaguered colonists on Corazon de Fuega. The Thuldans hope that their support of the Vieron system will sway the opinion of the Alitarins in Algemron. If their PR campaign works, the Alitarins will look favorably upon the Thuldan Empire and reunify with the empire. The Vieronites, for their part, are quite happy to receive the help from Thuldan Prime, but they are also interested in the promises made by the other stellar nations-especially the Rigunmor Star Consortium.