I just checked whether the star system I named for a kickstarter board game ever got in, and yes it did!
“History Vanquished” is a hostile system with a radius of 10.10 parsec and 17 planets! This is how beautiful it (or at least one planet in it) is:
The name is all I was allowed to input, but still. And as the inveterate Vance-fan I am, I cannot keep myself from naming things. To that end:
– The large continent at the bottom left is Pelmatroon, home of the Marauding Mungs. The Mung are nomads, and therefore have no fixed cities, but the elected leader — or Broombearer — allegedly holds court in a giant moving caravan known, for various reasons, as the Kert’s Pleasure. The Mung are generally indifferent to mockery or insult, feeling that these say more about the mocker than the mocked, but are volatile in matters of “zeft”, an untranslatable word that blends equal parts vague nostalgia for the now lost achievements of the ancients, pride in being their descendants, and a general wistfulness over the fact that the universe will not see their like again. The exact nature of these achievements is sadly lost.
– The pale peninsula in the upper left is home to the Hekathontarchs of Jull, a morose folk often said to be obsessed with colours. Colours do play an essential part of Jull life, and as their language is constrained by an inflexible syllable-structure, coloured scarves, placards, jewellery, or make-up — collectively called “charms” — has evolved to fill the position of adjectives and adverbs in other languages of the universe. Thus, a Jull rarely leaves home without at least three dozen different coloured charms carried either by slaves or by the Jull himself, depending on circumstances. As coloured charms are used instead of adjectives, the facial expressions of the Jull have atrophied into neutrality, which gives visitors the impression of taciturnity or dullness. Conversely, garishly dressed spacefarers are often assaulted or even killed without explanation. Prominent cities are Lorz, Hapthon, Klap, and Grand Sorzy.
– At the lower right, the forest of Szy Szu Szom can barely be seen. This area is inhabited by a mysterious frog-people, sometimes thought to be the original inhabitants of the planet, though archaeological evidence does not support this conjecture. Little is known about this people, apart from the recurring construction of giant idols – some visible from space! – that are ceremoniously set on fire once they are completed. The Mungs hunt the frog-people for sport and recreation, and use their skins for water jugs.
– Near the left margin, outside the Mung homelands, lies the Island of Psammoryn, home of the planets only starport. Ships from as far as Jejune (Mars), Olk, Mercil, Facthagon, The Road, and even Brewer’s Planet regular call here, and some modest trade is made in precious gems, clay figurines, and phthalm – a mineral which, upon shaking, will glow incandescently for several hours, unless doused with water. Travelers are advised that permission to travel across the Strait of Gangli to the Mung homeland can only be obtained, with some difficulty, at the Inn of the Seven Pearls which is located before the passport control. Once through this control, no passage to Pelmatroon can be obtained, and passengers will be directed to Jull at their own peril.
As the parts of the planet opposite Psammoryn are hard to access, there is little need to elaborate on these parts in a general introduction like this. Nevertheless, some general remarks may be apt:
– The sand wastes to the south is home to a fierce species of parasitic owl, for which there is no cure.
– The islands of the subantarctic archipelago collectively known as the Lums are each inhabited by a separate danger, of which little is known; the Ravoon Institute on Verse are keenly interested in more information about these dangers, but offer no monetary incentive for it. Contact professor Gallis Hwoller (Rav. Inst. Univ. Mar. Verse) for more information.
– According to unsubstantiated rumours, the Great Space Ghoul is regularly seen on or near a mountain range known as the Elbow of the World, just north of Jull. Knowledge of the Great Space Ghoul is not encouraged, and we will not touch on the matter further.
– The great algae mats that cover most of the Opposite Ocean were once harvested for a form of bioluminescent conch, but all extraction facilities disappeared mysteriously, and the authorities of History Vanquished have discouraged all investigations.
With these words, we the Tourist Management of History Vanquished heartily welcome you to visit us! Travel can be arranged through all reputable agencies on most civilized worlds. For your safety, remember these easy rules:
1. Good neutral colours for visiting the Jull are teal, bronze, and ruby. Avoid all forms of yellow.
2. Do not approach the Great Whirl. This rule cannot be stressed enough.
3. Avoid talking about the ancients with a Mung; if you feel that you must, invectives are to be preferred over praise, as the Mung will disregard these as the baying of a maniac rather than actual opinions.
4. If staying with fishers in any of the multiple villages that dot the coast of the Bay of Sickles, observe closely which hand your host uses to eat what form of food, as this has deep religious significance and the fishers are violent if offended.
5. The Night train to Grand Sorzy will leave whenever the trainmaster feels ready. It is often better to sleep at the station and bribe the staff not to steal your luggage than risk staying at any of the inns along the Pallisade. At the inns, don’t be surprised to find your luggage stolen and the train departed, whether you bribe the innkeeper or not.
6. It is considered indelicate to bet an even number of coins on the drazul races.
Enjoy your stay at History Vanquished!