Planet Crete

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Planet Crete
Planet Crete.jpg

Owner Flag-corsairs.png Corsairs
Location 5E, Omicron Gamma
Flag-corsairs.png Corsairs
Technical information
Population 620,000,000
Docking Yes
Terrain Terrestrial
Diameter 17,609 km
Mass 7.02 x 10e24 kg
Temperature -2°C to 41°C
Escape velocity 14.01 km/se

The ancestors of the Corsairs that had set adrift from the crippled Hispania made planetfall on Crete shortly after the other Houses arrived in the Sirius Sector. Those aboard the Hispania that chanced their existance on a habitable planet indicated by damaged instrumentation found themselves on a bleak, rocky world abundant in minerals but without much plantlife or suitable ground for farming. Most of the seeds and plants they had taken from the Hispania did not take on Crete's mineral-rich soil. Those that did take produced poor yields. For centuries to come, the survivors focused almost exclusively on agriculture, settling whatever areas of the planet that would support food production.

Scratching out a living, the Corsairs managed a bleak existence for four centuries. Eventually they developed a strong self-identity, isolated from the rest of the Houses. In 450 AS, that insular world changed. An exploratory expedition headed by Franz Schulman -- financed by Daumann and the Rheinland government -- stumbled into the system while mapping the far reaches of the Walker Nebula. The local inhabitants, sensing a historic opportunity, attacked the landing party en masse, killing all save Schulman, whom they took hostage to gain control of the mother ship Schiller in orbit above the planet. Once they had secured the ship and all of its technologies, including the ship database with a full record of the history of Rheinland and the other four houses, they were outraged. No attempt had ever been made to locate the Hispania or its survivors. Suspicion that the other houses were behind the sabotage of the Hispania turned into hatred, and with a renewed determination, the sons and daughters of Crete took to the stars again. Within 50 years, they designed ships and technologies that would allow them to strike at the unsuspecting houses, using Crete's abundant mineral resources to rapidly build a fleet of small raiding ships.

No one is entirely sure who first nicknamed them the "Corsairs," recalling the ancient pirate clans of the Mediterranean, but the name came into popular use among the Houses sometime around 500 AS. The Corsairs began attacking unprotected outposts and ships, plundering whatever supplies and equipment they could lay their hands on, before escaping through one of their secret Jump Holes. The systematic expansion of the Houses into the Omegas further fueled the Corsairs, dramatically increasing the quantity and variety of accessible goods. This in turn allowed them to build stronger ships and weapons.

The final chapter began in the sixth century AS, when an enterprising, well-armed Liberty freelancer named Jim Bown made his way to Omicron Gamma. He brought various Consumer Goods and food to trade, but the Corsairs could offer little but Artifacts. A year later, he returned. Those trinkets were all the rage with the elite of Manhattan. He saw a great business opportunity if they could set up a viable trade route to Liberty. The Corsairs were on their way. They grew rapidly in size and sophistication as they built up the Artifact trade.

The primary smuggling route goes north to Sigma-19, where Artifacts are traded with the Hogosha onboard the Hawaii. They have also opened up a route into Rheinland via the Yanagi Junker base in Sigma-13. In the west the Corsairs invaded Bretonia in order to reach the Junker Trafalgar Base in New London.

The Bounty Hunters Guild has taken advantage of several Freeports in the Edge Worlds to attack the Corsairs' home system. So far they've been more of nuisance than a real threat, but the presence of Zoner-controlled bases so close to Omicron Gamma has provoked intense debate among the Corsair leaders regarding the future of nearby Zoner bases. Crete currently has a population of roughly 620 million people, a number the planet can barely support. Regional famines are common if crops fail. As a result, Fertilizers to increase the output of Crete's farms are in high demand, as are various Foods. The overpopulation of Crete has also de-emphasised the value Corsairs place on an individual life.

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