Call of the Delphinidae

Twelve Principal Worlds of the Empire


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Meridian is where it all began and for millennia was the seat of government, but in the heat of the War of the Barefooters, Morgoth set off twelve matter imploders and, in a last ditch effort to save that world, Gallad and the remaining Barefooters placed it in a time freeze. It remained frozen for close on a million years until released by Mark the Bewildered and his entourage.

Cornipus, fifteen light years from Meridian and, apart from Bluehaven, the closest, is the most populous world and also the Empire’s artistic and academic heartland. The Great Library spans an entire city and houses copies of every work ever published since the days before Morgoth when the Barefooters ruled the galaxy.

Frizian, which has a highly elliptical orbit around a star some three hundred light years from Meridian, is a frozen wasteland most of the time but every forty years, when it passes close to its sun, the ice melts and it becomes a steaming jungle. During these brief interludes its population swells as many of the galaxy’s most potent drugs and spices are harvested.

Ignus, a hundred light years in the other direction, is the Empire’s most volcanic world and the source of most of their metals and other exotic materials. Of particular importance are the varieties of fractal crystal that are needed for both subspace travel and as an energy source for just about every appliance and vehicle in use today.

The twin worlds of Nimber and Pulper, famous for their shipyards, were taken over by the military during Morgoth's rule and became the base ports for the galaxy’s ever-increasing firepower. While there's plenty of information available describing the deadly force that each new ship is capable of, their star system is restricted space and out of bounds to the general population.

By contrast, Hazler is the industrial heart of the Empire and visitors, particularly wealthy merchants, are always welcome. From there, everything from toasters to personal spacecraft is manufactured and marketed to the rest of the galaxy. The saying that if you can’t find it on Hazler then it doesn’t exist is essentially true.

The planet Shimmel, with its warm seas, coral reefs and snow-covered mountains, is the holiday destination of choice for those wealthy enough to indulge themselves. With over ten thousand resorts to choose from and every conceivable leisure activity from sandcastle-building to mountaineering catered for, a holiday on Shimmel is guaranteed to unwind even the most stressed-out executive.

Amber and Sontar are both agricultural worlds, producing much of the galaxy’s foodstuffs and clothing. Populated mostly by hard-working peasants and slaves, these planets aren’t high on the agenda of the galactic tourist but are nonetheless interesting in their own way.

Huntress is the smallest populated planet and furthest from the heart of the Empire. It orbits close to its sun, a red dwarf, and is in captured rotation, so only the narrow twilight zone between the blasted sunlit side and frozen dark side is habitable. Its atmosphere is thin and slightly toxic but the inhabitants, descendants of early political prisoners, have evolved sufficiently to survive in the open. The Colony, a prison complex built inside a large crater, remains home to some of the galaxy's most notorious criminals.

Bluehaven was the first to be settled by the early space-farers from Meridian but had little in the way of mineral wealth or land area and was only counted amongst the twelve because of its historical and political importance. The earliest inhabitants were the monks of the Delphinidae who sought wisdom from the Dolphins, Bluehaven’s original sentient species, and they lived in peace and obscurity until the coming of Morgoth’s forces at the beginning of the War of the Barefooters.

Bluehaven orbits Elfstar, so-called because it's the brightest star in the constellation of the Elf when seen in Meridian’s night sky. At only half a light year from Meridian, it was reached by the early explorers travelling at sublight speed and the discovery of life there was a turning point in their history. The inhabitants of Bluehaven quickly became known as the Elves although by and large they were never fond of that name and rarely use it amongst themselves. From the Dolphins they acquired the skills of telepathic empathy and communication, and so are treated mostly with suspicion and envy by those of other worlds.

Although no Elves were ever numbered amongst the race of Barefooters, the people of Bluehaven live in a warm and humid climate and seldom wear shoes (indeed, bare feet are seen by many Delphinidae devotees as an essential part of their creed). With the level of ultraviolet radiation from Elfstar being considerably lower than that of most stars of comparable size, they are a fair-skinned and blonde-headed people with bright blue eyes that set them apart from the other inhabitants of the galaxy.

Most of the population live on Dolphin Island, the largest landmass amongst the many islands dotted across the planet’s shallow seas. Bringal Vale, where Mary, Ron and Brian were born, is in the south-western corner of the island, and is part of a broad area of farmland that covers much of the south. North of the Bringal River are the wooded highlands around the timber towns of Highcastle and Fornost, while beyond that the island narrows until at its northernmost point only a narrow ridgeline separates the old imperial palace on the western shore from the Delphinidae temple in the east.

Fish form a staple part of the population's diet, and large fishing fleets are based in Bringal Bay and along the southern coast around the town of Goldwater. The only other locally-produced meat is poultry, and bird farms are common in the outlying districts of most towns. Bluehaven's own native turkey is the bird of choice, and these are often seen foraging in their parks, gardens and cemeteries.