From the Desk of Grand Archivist Methol:
Universal Year 17 of the Sol-sanctioned Rule of High Lord Zel
Article: Speck Catalogued System #23 E89 …107, Local Name: “Solarus”
Pre-amble: “I, Grand Archivist Methol, being of sound facilities, do enter this into the Royal Universal Archives as the Truth as it is Known to the Spacial and Physical Authorities. The body of the record follows.
“Personal note: it is wearying and tiresome to catalogue these insignificant stellar systems, and despite numerous requests for transfer to more meaningful areas of our Royal Universal Archives I soldier on, praying to numerous Universal Deities that I am not being punished for something. I make this personal note without shame, knowing that no one will, in the millennia to come, gaze upon or hear this record, as this stellar system has absolutely no role in the grand scheme of the cosmos.
“Body: I will direct your attention to the twelfth outer arm of the Holbein Spiral Galaxy, situated some eighteen thousand Units from the Center of the Universe. Upon the very tip of this arm, dangling counter-spiral into the Intergalactic Vacuum, there is a tiny life-bearing planetary system known locally as “Solarus”. The total accounted population as of this entry is a pathetic eight billion. Historical peak population estimated at more than twenty billion, barely classifying this system as a Waypoint, but a stellar war wiped out more than half of the locals before peace prevailed.
“Highest levels of technology reached: atomic with some minor fusion/fission. Apparently they had made some headway into sub-atomic theories and applications but these advances were lost in the war.
“Trade levels in relation to Universal Median: I could quote a figure with an unforgivingly large negative exponent attached to it but it is enough to say insignificant, a fraction of a fraction of a Universal penny. Nearby systems rarely deign to trade with Solarus, and when they do it is mostly for slaving or black market goods. The third planet from the sun, known locally as Ambia, produces a toxic combination of flora that can be used as a narcotic when processed. Locals seem ignorant to processing methods, so inter-stellar traders make Ambia their prime destination.
“Prospect: It is unlikely that Solarus will ever regain Waypoint status. Local conflicts still continue to interrupt scientific and social development. For all intents and purposes, this system is classified as ‘Barbarian’ for the immediate future. Recommend revisiting the system in 3 Universal Years; perhaps by that time they will have wiped themselves out allowing for mineral and gas salvage before the sun decays.”
Zero Zero (working)
Turn-based Stellar Trading Simulation
“The Vacuum may appear a featureless void, a gap between planets, but it is a stellar highway lined with profit and death.”
The players take on the role of stellar space-traders. They trade goods between planets in a small local solar system, struggling to earn enough credit to expand their trade empire out to the farthest reaches of the universe, facing pirates, privateers, and alien creatures.