Moghes

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Moghes, which is the third planet from the Uueoa-Esa star, is the home planet of the Unathi. Before the Contact War Moghes enjoyed a complex ecosystem similar to Earth. Currently Moghes is suffering extensively from rapid and catastrophic desertification across the majority of its surface due to radioactive fallout destroying the complex ecosystems. Moghes is one of two habitable planets in the system, the second being Ouerea. Moghes was discovered in 2433 by a Sol Alliance funded expedition.

Geography and Climate

A map of Moghes, with cities and the Wasteland labelled.

Before the Contact War most of Moghes surface was an earth-like with a variety of biomes. Most of the surface was dominated by grasslands, temperate forests, extremely large chaparrals, and a desert north of the mountains of the Moghresian Sea. Alpine forests are found in most mountains. Due to the large flat surfaces that make up Moghes most of the planet experienced roughly the same variations in climate across the planet.

Notable Locations

Camp Integrity is much like a wild west frontier town. It's a star-shaped fort with a central tower, with a single large starport in the center. Originally constructed by the Izweski during the war, the fort has been surrounded by terraforming equipment and giant tent-cities. The only source of food comes from the shuttles that arrive to the fort, and so there is constant unrest in the marketplace, with brawls sparking whenever someone says they need the food more - for a dying family member, a child, or just to survive. The local levy gets exclusive first dibs on food supplies, but are still rationed and kept hungry simply out of necessity.

The Outposts were small enclaves that survived the encroaching Wasteland and never faced direct hits by atomic weapons. Typically they were fresh bodies of water that were the only things keeping the surrounding plant life alive. Their current state on the map is a massive expansion of their former size; starting in 2460 the Hegemony began terraforming efforts using these locations as starting points. Their efforts initially made rapid gains, leading them to their current size. But the intense investment of complex equipment and trained personnel, combined with the incredible harshness of the Wasteland, has lead to diminishing returns and the Outposts have otherwise stagnated in their growth.

Year and Seasons

A year on Moghes is 360 days divided into 15 months with 24 days each. There are three conventional seasons on Moghes, revolving around the average global changes in climate throughout the year.

Versakh is the first season. It lasts 5 months and is typically marked with warm, wet weather and an average global temperature of 40°C. Versakh is typically a time of rejuvenation and relaxation. During Versakh it's completely acceptable for Unathi to take time off of work during the afternoon when the temperature is the hottest in order to nap or bask in the sun. This also marks the beginning of the typical hunting season.

Kasavakh is the second season. It lasts 5 months and usually brings cooler, drier weather with average global temperatures around 35°C. Kasavakh is regarded as a time of productivity and bounty. Kasavakh is typically the busiest time of the year for Unathi. During hot days Unathi are still permitted to take time off in the afternoons but doing it too much during Kasavakh makes them appear lazy.

Travakh is the third season which lasts 5 months and marks the end of a calendar year. It is the driest time of the year for most of Moghes, with temperatures dropping to an average of 20°C until the beginning of Versakh. Travakh is regarded as a time of rest and contemplation. Holidays during the months of Travakh tend to focus on honoring and celebrating the family, both past and present, and tend to be in-door affairs. Outdoor activities tend to lull during this period, which is when animal populations used as prey by Unathi hunters can recover for the arrival of Versakh's hunting seasons.

The Wasteland

The Wasteland suffers from extreme fluctuations from the standard seasons. The Wasteland typically has average temperatures of 40 - 48°C near the equator with the highest recorded temperature being 52°C during Versakh, and these record temperatures plummet to -56.7 - 0°C in the northern and southern hemispheres. The majority of the Wasteland near the equator remains near 0 - 10°C during Kasavakh and rarely goes above freezing during Travakh, remaining near -12°C at average. Due to a lack of vegetation or topsoil the Wasteland also suffers from massive sandstorms. Wind speeds typically reach 92 km/h (57 mp/h). Unathi can only survive in temperatures -10°C to 42°C without suffering damage, which makes the Wasteland incredibly difficult to survive without specialized equipment.

Flora and Fauna

Many plants native to Moghes are more sensitive to radiation than their earth-based counterparts. Due to the combination of ozone depletion from the use of nuclear weapons and direct contact with radioactive fallout a vast majority of vital ecosystems across Moghes have died and turned into barren deserts with the planet currently going through the third mass extinction event in its history. The systemic collapse of the global ecosystem is on-going and current projections estimate the planet will completely lose its habitability within 50 - 100 years. Current Izweski projects are focused on slowing down the rate of collapse, but this process has proven difficult to implement politically. Despite this, some plants and animals have retained their presence on Moghes.

A map of Moghes before the Contact War.

Azkrazal (Threshbeast)

Threshbeasts are tall, hoofed salamander-like creatures that stand at 8-10 feet tall on average and walk on four legs. They have colorful bodies with a tough, leathery hide that acts as a natural defense against predators. They have two eyes and slitted nostrils. They are herbivores and naturally graze. Their speed and herd mentality made them one of the first large animals to be domesticated by Unathi. Threshbeasts were used as a way to travel very quickly over vast distances, as the animals have incredibly high stamina and can run 30 - 42 miles per hour over 15- to 25 miles before needing to stop.

Siro (Shrieker)

The Siro, or Shrieker is one of the few remaining mammals alive that have not been effected negatively by the spreading Wastelands. Resembling a large bat with a huge ramming snout, they are almost completely blind except for their use of echolocation. Shriekers use two large wings to fly up into the air, then divebomb using two of the smaller wings to angle, and ram their blunt snouts into the prey to attempt to knock them unconscious and tear pieces of flesh off. While divebombing, they often make a shrieking noise to locate their prey with echolocation. Parents often arm their children with clubs and helmets when they leave the house, and some Unathi even make games of beating these large bats out of the sky.

Siro have inspired Unathi engineers and scientists in many ways, from the wing design of the Izweski Behemoths to the ramming tactic often used in navy and space battles. They're also often one of the few good sources of meat for a Wastelander or hungry Unathi, although they often hold diseases.

Hegeranzi (Warmount)

Warmounts are incredibly robust and fierce animals that continue to be prized across Moghes. They are similar to an Earth rhinoceros. Adult Warmounts tend to be over 1 ton in weight with a thick protective skin, typically 4cm thick. They have small, black eyes, a single nostril, and lack a tail. They are herbivores and typically graze, with all their teeth being small and flat and unsuited to a carnivorous diet. When threatened a Hegeranzi uses the three horns on its head to try and gore the threat. Hegeranzi can also charge, which is what they are famous for: a Hegeranzi can reach 46 miles an hour in charge. They tended to live in small herds with a tight-knit family structure, which early Unathi exploited in order to domesticate them. They are typically used in warfare. They have famously long lifespans, typically living up to 92 years old. Hegeranzi take a long time to grow physically and emotionally. They reach the majority of their size by age 16, but often continue to grow in size and weight until they're about 20 years old. Because of the investment in time and resources to raise a Hegeranzi they are rarely butchered or used outside of battle. When they die traditionally their bones are harvested and turned into jewelry or ceremonial armor, though this practice has waned in modern times.

Tul (Tusk)

A map of pre-War Moghes with the biomes defined. Moghes had varied ecosystems that were lost due to the atomic war.

Tul are large, muscular, leathery creatures, about a head taller than your average unathi. They have sharp claws on each feet and the strange ribbed, flat teeth found on most herbivores. Their most striking feature, however, is their tusks. A large array of long, pointed tusks protrudes from their skull and jaw. They move like a cat - deliberate, pronounced movements, with very broad shoulderblades.

They have a long flat tongue they use for feeding. Tul are commonly poached for their tusks which can be used in various luxuries, from jewelry, to cutlery, to pieces of ornamental weaponry. Hunting Tuls requires personal permission from the Lord of the land, and the honor is almost exclusively reserved for the landed elite. Common Unathi found poaching Tul's or illegally trading the tusks are often given harsh prison sentences.

Owning these animals is reserved for only the richest clans due to how tightly they are controlled. They are sometimes brought out for large events by Lords to impress guests and visitors. Sometimes they can be found wandering the private gardens of the wealthy.

The tul also have a few small myths surrounding them. According to some regional cultures, the tul cultivated the forests before the Sinta could walk on two feet, whereas some say they were responsible for raising the sun - sticking their long tusks into the ether and pulling it back up into the sky. Some of the oldest clans will have a tul displayed as the clan's insignia.

The Hegemonic Cities and their Fiefs

The major cities on the map are not conventional municipalities like in other factions. Instead, they are the capital of their Lords fiefdom, with their influence stretching out around the city. This fiefdom is then divided between Clan-Lords that in turn rule even smaller segments of the land on behalf of the Lord. Feudalism leaves the idea of concrete borders as a nebulous concept, and a Lords rule extends only as far as his vassals allow it. This means that drawing lines on a map to define the fiefdoms that these cities are the capital of can never be accurate. Therefore the borders between these Lords are vague and there are often disputes and even small scale conflicts erupting between them.

The Th'akh Heartland

  • Kutah is the capital of a mountainous region ruled by the boastful but caring Lord Hutay'zai (Quarterstaff). He is one of the only members of the Hegemony nobility that is also Th'akh, and this is in part due to his city only becoming part of the Hegemony following the Contact War. The city once supported a series of Akhanzi temples in the mountains but these were unceremoniously destroyed in the Iron Crusade by the Maraziites. Now the city is primarily known for its valuable resources in the mountains that are sought after by eager mining guilds. The city is majority Th'akh.
  • Tzonia is ruled by the thoughtful but absent-minded Lord Ozmakali (Spearwhip). Its reach extends over the entire Tza Sea and the Tza Valley, and despite the city being a quiet, idyllic settlement it has had to repel incursions from over the mountains by Kutah and Ura'Mastyx several times in its history. It is known to be secluded and almost detached from the wider world, focusing on inward perfection. This was disrupted during the Iron Crusade, but the city has recovered and has strived to maintain the peace within its valley. It is majority Th'akh.
  • Derhai was a city of just over a hundred thousand ruled by the now-exiled devout but fickle Lord Mga'za (Unarmed) that was deeply tied to the Akhanzi temple complexes around and within the settlement. It was attacked by the Maraziites during the Iron Crusade and saw fighting in its streets. When the temples were destroyed and the shamans fled the city quickly became depopulated as its people left. The settlement is now abandoned and is known only for the ruins of what was once its grand and prestigious temples. It was majority Th'akh.
  • Ura'Mastyx is a large walled city ruled by the ambitious but cautious Lord Orezali (Trident) heavily dominated by competitive fishing guilds due to its remarkably abundant waters. It has had a long history of feuding over overlapping fishing claims with its southern neighbor and rival To'ha'dat, and it has frequently sparked small wars between the two even in modern times. The city has a slightly larger Th'akh than Sk'akh population.

The Untouched Lands

  • Skalamar, ruled by the brash and loyal Trikzara Sirax (Golden Halberd), brother to Clanmother Izwesk, is the capital of the Hegemony. It is the most populated city on Moghes, with large marble and concrete walls that continue to expand and be reinforced as the cities boundaries grow. The city is overpopulated and dangerous, often working the City Watch members through the night. Around Skalamar are large slums, and the gates of the city are constantly being hassled by migrants from the Wastelands that wish to come in. There are, however, safe alcoves in the central Gold District, where noblemen and the wealthy live in a walled off community guarded by mercenaries of all species. The Izweski, however, have their keep on the tallest and most central point of the city. This keep is securely guarded, and walled off on all sides except the main entrance on a central street. Skalamar also houses the central religious center for the Sk'akh faith, the Third Scept of Sk'akh. The Second Sept was destroyed in the war, and the Third Sept was constructed from its rubble to replace it. It has a super-majority of Sk'akh faithful and is the heartland of the faith.
  • To'ha'dat is a sprawling city ruled by the cruel but humble Lord Glatazk Yu'huni (Energy Sabre). It has vast and interconnected walls and defenses both modern and ancient. It has long been considered the shield of Skalamar from any invader that comes from the north, and its levy is larger than most other regions. It is also heavily industrialized and exports the largest volume of consumer goods from its industrial guilds. The city is majority Sk'akh, with Lord Yu'huni fanatically faithful.
  • Imas'hi is ruled by the greedy and populist Lady-Regent Amz’izi Kiae (Sends a Champion), who is suspected of having had her husband Hitas Kiae pushed off their castle balcony to take his power. The city's ancient banking guilds, with their huge, gold plated bank buildings and estates, suffer under her tax burden. The city sits near huge marble deposits and so it appears extremely wealthy, with even the airports heavily relying on marble in their architecture. The city is also on the busiest road from the Wasteland which caused its population to double from 3 million to 6 million in just over 5 years, leading to overpopulation and squalor outside the wealthy districts. The city is no longer Sk'akh as Wasteland immigrants have disrupted the demographics, leading to an even divide between Sk'akh, Th'akh, and Si'akh.
  • S'th is ruled by the corrupt and merciful Lord Karkartus (Bribery). It’s a booming coastal trade city filled with corruption. It has a long history of fighting vicious wars with its neighbor Baandr. After Baandr’s forces were devastated in the Contact War, S’th used its own weathered forces to seize much of Baandr’s former holdings. Now, these claims are being squandered as the wealth coming in from the countryside goes directly into the hands of the Karkartus Clan and the guilds that form their lackeys. Advancement in the city is almost impossible without bribery or paying service to the Karkartus. The city is majority Sk'akh.
  • Baandr is ruled by the reclusive and easily overwhelmed Lord Mizaruz Izweski (Arbalest). The city is a stronghold of the Sk'akh faithful and formerly boasted a large contingent of Maraziites that replaced the City Watch; now, most of their regiment has been replaced with Priests of the Aspect under the Warrior's tutelage. The city is known for its peculiar vines that cover almost every building. During Versakh, they bloom colorful flowers and become a popular tourist attraction. They are carefully tailored by the local priesthood and inhabitants in general. While pruning is legal, clearing the vines entirely from a building is punishable by exile from the city. The city has a majority and militant Sk'akh.

The Southlands

  • Teht is ruled by the intelligent and timid Lord Eizde (Sends a Champion). It is known for its extensive fishing guilds. The city once boasted over 7 million citizens but the slowly approaching Wastes ruins more of the once lush countryside and has caused a large exodus of its population. In current times it has a mere 4 million inhabitants and has been deeply struggling with violence, shortages, and an exploding refugee population. The city is equally split between Th'akh and Si'akh, with Sk'akh becoming a slight minority.
  • Razir is ruled by the just and pious Lord Sarnac (Gunshield). It is most well known for the huge lighthouse at its dockyards, towering at 456ft high and painted the Ki'mokiz colors of green and purple. It narrowly avoided atomic destruction but the countryside was not so lucky, leading to a surge in refugees fleeing their dying lands. It has a long history of conflict with its southern neighbor Jaz'zirt, but the Waste between them has dampened conflict in recent years. It is evenly split between Si'akh and Sk'akh.
  • Jaz'zirt is ruled by the bold and self-important warrior-poet Lord Miazo (Cutlass, Dagger, Charisma), a renowned romantic who fought in the Contact War and caused a Traditionalist Lord to defect to the Hegemony with a love poem. The city is heavily industrialized and its Guilds are often churning out heavy industrial equipment or other plasteel based products. While the sprawling factories bring the city wealth they also bring an upending of the feudal order as peasants become industrial workers, leading to instability in the region. The city has had a long series of wars with its northern neighbor Razir before atomic bombs ruined the lands they were fighting over. The city is split with Si'akh and Th'akh combined slightly outnumbering Sk'akh.

The Oasis' of the Wasteland

  • Bahard is ruled by the mystical and withdrawn Lord Korhar (???). The entire region around it was buried under the Wasteland and now the sand piles up to the walls themselves, making travel in and out difficult. Mostly depopulated and despondent, the former trading hub is now a shell of its former self. It is sustained only by the large underground aquifer that provides water to the city. The city is not expected to last the decade unless terraforming efforts save it in time. It is majority Sk'akh but has a growing Si'akh minority. It is rumored to have been cursed by Lord Korhar's ancestral line. All that have gone against him have died or have been crippled through means unknown.
  • Res'karum is ruled by the arrogant but merciful Lord Yu’zath (Energy pistol, Sword). It's situated at a high altitude against a sheer cliff drop of over a hundred feet. A river divides the city with a roaring waterfall attracting visitors. The city was spared from atomic hellfire only by the plane carrying the bomb meant for it crashing into the side of a mountain without its payload detonating. Now it is known as a rare respite for those traveling the Wasteland. It is currently overburdened with refugees fleeing Mudki and the maddened Lord Izaku. Si'akh recently became a majority in the city and this has caused considerable tension.
  • Mudki is ruled by the debonair and envious Lord Izaku (Unarmed, Breacher Suit). He killed his younger brother Kirazi in a duel to defend his own claim. He is the most traditional hegemonic lord, to to point of fanaticism. The city is surrounded by the Wasteland, and this factor combined with Lord Izaku's inability to properly rule, has turned the city into a ghost town. It struggles with the import of fish and other food, with Izaku constantly fighting off Gawgaryn raiders with its increasingly diminishing levy, unable to effectively mount a defense. With the deaths or imprisonments of almost all the local shamans, the temples and walls that require constant maintenance have already begun crumbling. The city is majority Th’akh with a sizable Si’akh minority.

The Broken Coalition

  • Sahltyr is ruled by the honest but faithless Lord Zirak (Laser Rifle). His clan's rule is only 30 years old, having been installed after the former Traditionalist leaders were deposed. He has heavily pushed Izweski style modernization on the unhappy region while dealing with Gawgaryn raids. The city is almost farcical in the sheer disparity in it; one block can have modernized apartments and 25th-century technology whereas on the other side of the intersection there are ancient stone houses with thatch roofs. The once idyllic great lake of Sahl has been contaminated by atomic fallout which has lead to frequent famine and unrest in the city. The city is majority Th'akh.
  • Darakath is ruled by the high-minded and demanding Lord Razkara Gwarlza (Ornate Ivory Greatsword). It was once the greatest city and capital of the Azarak Kingdom, the main rival of the Izweski Hegemony and leader of the Traditionalist Coalition. Its vast imperial architecture and wide, meticulously planned districts were sacked as the city was put to the sword by the vengeful Izweski at the dramatic end of the Contact War in what many consider either an abhorrent slaughter or rightful vengeance. Being installed to rule before the flames were put out Gwarlza has tried to make true on ambitious plans to return Darakath to its former glory. Its population of 2 million has plummeted to 150,000 and it faces significant struggles in rebounding, with a quarter of the city still in ruins. The city is majority Th’akh.
  • Janvir is the southernmost city on Moghes ruled by the bizarre and generous Lord Yu'zrai (Gemstones, Kindness) who was installed after the Contact War. With chilly temperatures during Versakh and outright freezing temperatures at Travakh for Unathi, the city is an unlikely metropolis. It was founded permanently in the 19th century when simple electric heaters came into use. The city's fishing guild carefully cultivate the rare indigenous breeds of fish that only live in lake Za'aith and are renowned for their taste. While it has 800,000 residents within its walls most of the city is built out of stone and wood. Life is slow in this city as the cold weather literally slows Unathi down. With all its residents heavily bundled up nearly all year round the Unathi of this region have developed a much more winter-themed fashion sense. Differentiating walking bundles of jackets and cloaks are bright feathers of local hawks arranged in elaborate patterns on bone headdresses. Local women hold to a tradition going back to the city's founding of attaching small bells and chimes to their headdresses to make music in the wind or as they move. The city is majority Th’akh.

The Wasteland Regions

There are still stubborn hold-outs that resist the Izweski Hegemony or otherwise avoid their subjugation. These are the last remnants of the old kingdoms that were shattered by the Contact War and now make their future in The Wasteland