“Helias shows signs of being a battlefield, there’s no doubt about it. And it was war on an incredible, an obscene, scale that obliterated worlds and left little behind. It should have left Helias Trinary utterly lifeless and uninhabitable, and for the most part, it did. It was either dumb luck in its purest form or the blessings of the Goddesses that our ancestors ended up rifting to the one place in the entire system where they could survive. If they’d arrived some sixty thousand years previous, there’s indications they might have found themselves greeted by an andvanced civilization that spanned the Three Suns System, but in the age they arrived instead, there was but ONE place they could survive more than a few minutes on arrival. Read what you will into that, but I think somebody was looking out for my great-great-grandparents. They found salvation in the middle of an ancient battlefield.”
- 1 Basilca (Clan Megalith, Thundercloud Galaxy)
- 2 Solar System (Helias)
- 3 Basilca
- 3.1 Description
- 3.2 Discovery
- 3.3 Misfortune and Sacrifice
- 3.4 Statistics
Basilca (Clan Megalith, Thundercloud Galaxy)
Basilca can be considered to be the ‘homeworld’ of Clan Megalith in the Thundercloud because it was the first world they came to after escaping from the Splugorth, and it was there that they made the discoveries that helped define them as a tribe.
Basilca is actually a moon of one of the system’s gas giants, and the planetoid got its name as a corruption of the word ‘basilica’, in reference to the lacy, almost gothic, alien city-plex buried under the moon’s crust. It was into this city that Clan Megalith’s founders Rifted to escape Splugorth slavers.
Basilca’s star system appears to have once been home to a highly advanced civilization, and there is ample evidence of at least two, possibly three, alien species co-habiting the system at the same time, suggesting that the system may have been a trading hub at some point. There is also evidence of several later arrivals in the way of species, although these appear at about the same time that catastrophe swept through the system. The presence of several large asteroid belts of (relatively) recent formation suggest the use of planet-cracking weaponry. It is believed that this event was part of the War Against the Dominators, and that the system with all its advanced inhabitants were wiped out as a threat to the Dominators.
(Historians and archaeologists more familiar with the history and past cultures of the Thundercloud might recognize some of the relics in the Helias system as belonging to the Architects, though whether Helias was one of their systems or they were simply visiting cannot be immediately determined)
Basilca appears to have been an overlooked bunker or deep storage complex in the outer reaches of the system. Or perhaps the attackers were destroyed in the same exchange that formed the asteroid belts farther in before they could do a complete sweep of the solar system. In either case, the underground complex on Basilca could not save any of the system’s inhabitants, but it could preserve some of their technology in the form of a massive technical archive. Once the refugees from Atlantis managed to unlock and decrypt its contents, they were able to repair the rest of the city complex, then later to build vehicles and ships to allow them to explore and expand off the moon.
Clan Megalith continues to explore and exploit Helias-system, searching it for useful bits and pieces of technology. Helias system has again become something of a crossroads system as many Clan Megalith ships transiting their territories will pass through the system and stop to exchange cargoes or refuel.
Solar System (Helias)
|Suns||2 Yellow Dwarf
1 Red Dwarf
Number of Stars
Types of Stars
- Yellow Dwarf (Helias Primus)
- Yellow Dwarf (Helias Secundus)
- Red Dwarf (Celesta Barbarosa )
(Terrestrial) (miniscule) (Thin atmosphere) (Microgravity)
This small planet shows signs of having been larger at one point, before having a good quantity of it blown away, its hot mantle exposed, and the surface somewhat resurfaced with debris falling back to it and other swept up space debris. The exposed mantle has cooled into a new crust, and a new atmosphere reforming, but the new planet is too small to retain much of the outgassing. Its crust is also unstable and thin in locations, making manned exploration hazardous. Still, the new crust is showing signs of being rich in minerals, and the Megalithians have established a few mining outposts on the more stable portions of the crust to exploit the new mineral concentrations.
(Gas Giant) (Large)
This gas giant plays host to the large moon Basilca, ‘homeworld’ of Clan Megalith. Besides Basilca, there are five other moons of note (some sporting ruins of their own), and a ring of coarse debris suggesting several moons that weren’t so lucky as to be overlooked by either gravity or war.
(Gas Giant) (Large)
This Uranus-sized gas giant has little of interest aside from a few very thin rings of metallic particles that may have once been part of a large spacecraft or space station that was destroyed.
(Terrestrial) (Tiny) (Super-dense atmosphere) (Microgravity)
Clan Megalith planetologists were puzzled by how such a small planet with such low gravity could maintain an almost liquid atmosphere until they discovered the presence of several large automated machine complexes still operating on the planet and maintaining the dense atmosphere. It is believed that Tempest may have been a refueling complex feeding the galactic trade assumed to have been going on in the Helias system, and that the complex, which should have been a priority target, somehow survived. Without regulation, the automated facilities have just kept pushing out fuel- and life-support gases that have piled up. Today, several Clan Megalith mechano-arks are studying and refurbishing the ancient industrial complexes, and assisting in transporting gases offworld to service the tribe’s growing needs.
(Terrestrial) (Enormous) (Earth-like atmosphere) (Punishing gravity)
Freezing cold and possessed of brutally high gravity (x11 Earth normal), Hydroford hardly seems a promising prospect for colonization. Still, its surface is covered over 80% with water ice, and its atmosphere seems to play host to several layers of airborne photosynthesizing algae that somehow manage to get enough sunlight to survive and maintain a layer of perfectly breathable oxygen atmosphere around the planet. Similar colonies of ice-digesting lichens on the surface release enough moisture and other gases into the atmosphere to feed the aerial algae. It has been speculated that Hydroford was part of a terraforming effort cut short by the catastrophe that swept through the system. Clan Megalith has harvested these extremely hardy and efficient photosynthesizers for use in their own mechano-arks’ life support systems. Only full conversion cyborgs descend to Hydroford’s surface, and it has been speculated that Hydroford would be attractive to colonization only with heavy gravity-adapted cyborgs, gene-mods, or extensive use of gravity shielding. At least one sub-tribe has evinced interest in using all three to make the attempt.
(Gas Giant) (Large)
Sometimes called ‘the Dark Throne’, this outermost world with its eighteen small moons stands watch over the outer system. Aside from a few small outposts and watch-arrays on its moons, though, Tronis remains unexploited.
“It was a place of wonders for a people desperate for miracles.”
The Iesenlan Saga, history of Clan Megalith
Basilca appears to have been a supernova remanent that wandered into Helias system and was captured by Sedes (although there are some Megalithian cosmologists who have speculated that the moon was DELIBERATELY steered into the system). Its mineral-dense crust, covered over with thick ice, helped conceal the deep underground bunker complex that the Megalithians’ ancestors discovered at the end of a blind Rift-jump.
The ex-slaves discovered a giant underground facility, laboratories and warehouses, a compatible atmosphere, and usable resources. This sprawling, deep-sited complex seems to have been intended as an industrial complex, though it is also armored enough to serve as a vast bunker, and, judging from several buried weapons installations, a military base as well. However, for some reason, the complex was unoccupied, and showed no signs of extensive occupation prior to its abandonment. Nor did the complex appear to have been heavily targeted during the war elsewhere in the system, suggesting either that the complex’s presence and importance were not known, or the combatants’ attention was focused elsewhere (this might explain, for instance, how the automated facilities on Tempest survived).
Among the discoveries made by those early explorers would be the remains of an advanced dimensional probing/signaling apparatus that they would later speculate may have ‘attracted’ the Rift that brought them to Basilca. Some Megalithian scientists have speculated that the apparatus may have been used as an ‘escape hatch’ by survivors who took refuge in the complex during the war, and then sought refuge elsewhere, as either conventional space travel was rendered too dangerous by debris or lurking enemies in the system. However, the opening of the Rift destroyed most of the apparatus, making further inquiry impossible.
Misfortune and Sacrifice
Another, and unfortunate, discovery would come much later. Chemical and radiation residues in the complex would alter the refugees’ gene-plasm, leading to Megalithian natural births having a higher than normal ratio of males born. This has led to a bottleneck in Megalithian population growth, and Clan Megalith women have been encouraged to have multiple children to maintain a sustainable male-female ratio. This has also further encouraged the Megalithians’ almost worshipful regard of their women. Later efforts to correct the genetic anomaly, as well as mating with outsiders, has begin to tilt the gender ratio towards a more even balance, but Clan Megalith continues to be male-dominated, numbers-wise.
The biggest discovery would be a massive archive of technical information that yielded a treasure trove of technological secrets. Sadly, according to the living historical document of Clan Megalith, the Iesenlan Saga, the unlocking of the ancient data repository took the lives of the refugees’ surviving Shemarrian champions.
But their sacrifice was not in vain; the unlocking of the technical database allowed the refugees to understand, repair, recreate and, in time, improve upon, the technology they found around themselves. With that step up, they quit becoming refugees and became Clan Megalith truly.
Though the Megalithians have gone to other solar systems to seek more habitable worlds, Basilca continues to be something of a historical and spiritual heartland for them. Ark-ships and star-bots transiting through the system will often stop to pay homage to their ancestors, or at least slingshot-orbit around Sedes to see where their Clan began.
The moon is still home to some 150,000 residents, mostly shipyard workers and scholar-technicians studying the ancient technical archives.
|Orbital Position||Moon of Sedes|
Terrestrial Temperate Underground
|Primary Terrain||Cratered Surface
|Surface Water||60%, Ice|
|Points of Interest||Underground Bunker|
|Notable Mineral Composition||Aluminum
Lead Gold/Silver Colombite Nickle Quartz Iron Cobalt
|Native Species||Unknown, extinct|
Basilca’s surface is freezing cold. The complex itself maintains a cool, but comfortable, terrestrial temperate environment.
Some of the large craters on Basilca’s surface are the obvious result of debris spewed out from the inner system and destroyed other planets; graphic evidence of the violence unleashed during what had to be an apocalyptic conflict.
Basilca has an unusually dense core and gravity for its size; the Megalithians have discerned that this is artificial, as part of the catacomb-bunker construction the precursor species in the system carried out.
Virtually nonexistent. Within the underground tunnels, a terrestrial-compatible atmosphere is maintained.
Basilca is surfaced in vast plains of ice, and craggy rock outcroppings. There is evidence of several large impacts (from the space debris rife in the system) on the surface, and of at least one ‘mountain range’ that was sheared away entirely.
Basilca is heavily covered in thick ice covering nearly 60% of its surface.
Originally an outpost of whatever civilization inhabited Helias system. Now the founding world of Clan Megalith
Advanced; the technology found on Basilca is, in several fields, several generations in advance of the TGE and CCW. And there’s still much technology on Basilca that hasn’t yet been deciphered (even with the decryption of the Archives).
Manufacturing.Basilca is an industrial world, with Research and Development a close second.
Wealthy. In technology alone, Basilca can be considered to be Wealthy. Besides producing mechano-arcs and robots, the industrial complexes on Basilca turn out various high tech components for distribution to the rest of the tribe, and for trade to outsiders.
Meritocracy. Basilca is where many of the best and brightest in Clan Megalith go to study and research. It’s Nerd Central for most of the gearheads in the clan, and the heads of the local government are Edisonian-level geniuses of great achievement.
Strict. Basilca is run by strict, safety-first, guidelines. Nobody wants to be known as the idiot that destroyed centuries of Megalithian heritage because they didn’t follow proper laboratory protocols before throwing on the power switch.
Zealous Loyalty. Basilca’s government commands an almost spiritual loyalty from its citizens. Those with issues with the government typically leave on one of the mechano-arks to join the colonial expansion.
Rocksteady. Basilca’s governance is practically set in the megadamage armor foundations of its deep bunkers.