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Egurgadi is a water world, a single ocean spanning the surface from pole to pole. Even during the winter months, the poles rarely freeze, providing the sight of a single expanse of deep blue water from orbit. There are few humans living on this world, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t teaming with sophonts.

Egurgadi is officially classed as a Bathic Dwarf Terrestrial world with a thin oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, though there is an argument that it should fall into the Terrestrial category since it is on the large side to be considered a dwarf world. This is just one of the many complications involving Egurgadi and its classification in official Imperium records.

The population is officially recorded as 527, though this is strictly the human population of scientists and researchers who are based on its surface. There are no major surface settlements – a few ships sail the oceans, but that is the extent of human colonisation.

There is a push by the local scientific community to get the population reclassified in the millions, for they consider the species of large whale-like creatures that dwell in the oceans to be sophonts. The original scouting mission to Egurgadi dismissed them as animals, but over the last century opinion has changed, and the “Egurgadi Cat Fish” as they are sometimes referred to due to their long trailing whiskers, have demonstrated not just speech, but also complex philosophy, literature and song. However, they have no technology, and have shown no interest in it, and even their willingness to talk to humans is limited. So the local claims are disputed by the Imperium bureacracy.

The second reason for updating the world’s population is that it gives the idea that the system is mostly empty, despite having an A class starport and a technology level rated at Imperium maximum. The world has two moons – Benny and Sophia. They are both airless rocky worldlets, but are heavily populated by Imperium citizens.

Benny, with Egurgadi behind

Benny is a 960km diameter moon in a 96,000km orbit around Egurgadi. The fact that the radius of the orbit is almost exactly 100 times the diameter of the moon (within about 1%) has given rise to a number of rumours and speculation over the centuries, though most respectable scientists put it down to coincidence.

At any one time, Benny is home to about half a million people, mostly workers at the shipyards and factories on its surface. The main high port is in orbit around Egurgadi itself, but the dockyards are found at Benny. There are several major offices of mega-corporations, principally GsbAG and General Products. “The Yards” as it is called is a thriving city with good quality hotels, shops and entertainment. Because it is often a first choice location to get ships repaired or upgraded, there are plenty of ship crews to be found here, spending their down time whilst their ship spends time in the docks.

Sophia, with Benny and Egurgadi in the background

The outer moon, Sophia, is slightly smaller at 836km diameter, and has a population of about 250,000. Most of them are students, for this is the site of Sophia-Egurgadi Interstellar University (SEIU). It is one of the top universities in the sector, specialising in astrophysics and engineering. Just as Benny is a preferred location for industrial companies, Sophia is a prime choice for exploration and technology companies, including Deepnight Exploration which has its head office located here.

Most people seeking a simple stopover (though Egurgadi is not on any major trade routes) or just looking for basic ship maintenance dock at the high port. It’s a high quality high port, and its prices match – about Cr4,000/week just to berth there, and the hotels and restaurants are also expense. However, they are good quality. Apart from the planet below though, don’t expect much of a view since the port is very much geared towards industry and engineering rather than art and entertainment. The place is fairly functional, though that doesn’t mean there aren’t bars and clubs and the people to fill them. There’s just not much original here.

For first time visitors, or travellers from the more fringe parts of the Imperium, Benny especially is a site to see. The factories, warehouses and dockyards take full advantage of the best that Imperium technology can offer. Most of the larger buildings are not tied to a single location, but float on grav fields to get to where they need to be. Though they are functional, holographic displays fill the skies with corporate names and logos, directions and warnings marking out the routes that some of the larger factories are taking. Full 3D comms are available at any location on the moons, and robot servitors are available to help in most tasks.

Sophia is somewhat more of a fresh entertainment hub, though if you’re over the age of 30 you tend to get looked at as a dinosaur, since all the good places tend to get filled by students. There’re a few places near the research centres, though don’t expect to find any wild entertainment there.

Egurgadi is for the most part a place to do business. There aren’t too many patrons to be found looking for freelancers to do work, since almost everyone already has a supply chain in place, and pretty much everything is above board. Pretty much anywhere a visitor might go either falls under the laws of the Starport Authority, or the rules of the University (which are relatively lax, but frown on people showing off weapons and armour in public – what you do in private is pretty much ignored).

For more details on Egurgadi see the detailed entry, or its map location.

Samuel Penn