Caen Stronghold

Description

Without any survivors to tell their story, most recently established natives point toward the kilometer-wide radioactive crater in the ruins as an indicator of what befell the station during the Catastrophe. The empty station was colonized by many who were caught between stations on ships and shuttles during the black days of the Catastrophe. With neither Consortium nor Gaul presence heavily featured amongst the traders and private individuals, the station became one of the first Freebooter colonies past Sol. A fact that is adhered to often firmly, seldom politely, and always with the smug encouragement of several dozen large and effective looking armaments salvaged from various cruisers that originally came to rest here. In short, Caen Stronghold is a proud monument to lawlessness and anarchy.

When the first traders and pilots discovered the dark and silent station of Caen Stronghold, it was a truly inhospitable place where a monumental tragedy had clearly recently struck. Life support and power were intermittent and often barely present. Without any other choice, those who had found their way here quickly set about to try to bring the station back to some semblance of functionality. They quickly found that early work was best accomplished while wearing zero atmosphere suits. More than a number of those early engineers and explorers of the dark halls of Caen Stronghold found themselves at the brief mercy of outer space due to the frequent atmospheric decompressions that occurred with regular occurrence. Today, the station a jury rigged mess of reclaimed and re-purposed salvage and tech from all around the system. Denizens delight in both the messy charm of the home they reclaimed from the dead of space as well as the lack of both legislation and governance, a way of life they protect with deadly force. Atmospheric decompressions occur far less frequently as well!

Statistics

System: Barnard's Star
Affiliation: Freebooter
Level: 11
Legal: Weak
Orwellian: Poor

Areas

Bank (IBME Caen)

The sign above the entrance to the IBME Bank reads "Interstellar Bank of Marketing Executives—Caen Branch". Heavily armed guards outnumber the tellers and patrol constantly, their weapons at the ready. Even the bank tellers look like people you wouldn't want to mess with.

The IBME Bank is better known as the "Interstellar Bank of Mercenary Expeditions." They have a reputation of being willing to finance anything—if there's a profit to be made—and their repututation for discretion is unparalleled. Originally Consortium-based, the IBME fled to freebooter stations when their profits became so great that politicians who didn't ask questions had no choice but to ask questions. Though no longer having official presence on Consortium or Gaule systems, the IBME nonetheless flourishes and is rumored to have deep connections with many well-known and well-liked public figures.

Brig

A star-ship rests on a bed of rubble between the remains of smashed buildings. Inside, the berths have been stripped down to the metal and re-purposed as cells for 'guests'.

In a station as lawless as Caen Stronghold, the concept of a jail functions mostly as a place for the heavily inebriated to sleep away their intoxication or for any luckless Consortium or Gaul representatives that happened to find their way onto the station and now await 'travel arrangements' (which is freebooter for 'ransom'). The stark, dirty chome paneling of the re-purposed cruiser that serves as the brig reflects the meager, often intermittent lighting afforded by the three working bulbs in a garish and depressing fashion. Like much of the station, almost every aspect of the 'brig' seems patched together and jury-rigged out of old tech. An old navicomp in the corner has been hacked and now serves to open and close the 'cells' of the 'building'.

Clones (Cloning Vats)

A smooth regocrete slab comfortably holds dozens of industrial cargo containers marked with a variety of medical symbols, suggesting a number of possibilities as to their acquisition. A grizzled clone technician leads a customer to one of the containers and opens it to show dozens of clone pods within.

While many of the vats hold 'clients' within, almost all show signs of wear and tear, with thick, viscous liquid occasionally leaking and forming noxious smelling puddles in the corners of the room, occasionally revealed by the flickering lights. Various types of wiring and tubing run from vats to a host of loud machinery that looks like it's been cobbled together from various sources. The coolant housing of what was once probably a ship engine can be clearly seen towering over the rest of the machines, no doubt utilized to prevent overheating.

NPCs

Employment (Employment Center)

The Employment Center is a damp and dark corner of the station relegated for posting work and maintaining career paths.

The area is dimly lit by the sparking hologramatic lighting that struggles feebly to push back the shadows while those seeking to earn that ever elusive credit move in and out of the area. One side holds the large glowing holo-terminal that acts as the side job center and a small building along the wall houses the Career Advisory Center. A small, dark corridor serves as the discreet jobs area for those who need the quicker credit that asks no questions.

Career Advisory (Careers and Skill Management Station)

The Careers and Skill Management Station is the place to make or break one's career.

A building that may or may not once have been a school now holds roomfuls of ramshackle holo-walls. Those with any type of useful skill can be seen managing their ongoing jobs and career statistics on the large holo-projections that track their individual career pathways. The building sprouts all sorts of jury-rigged antennae and large numbers of power cables can be seen coming out of every window and door like so many blinking tentacles.

Discreet Work

Even a relatively lawless station has jobs that require a level of discretion. The bar is simply much lower here.

A bank of jury-rigged holo-terminals cast various shades of light on the dark and grimy corridor that houses the Discreet Work station. In so far as holo-terminals can look smug, these do; almost as if to say, "Oh this is unsavory and questionable work, but you're going to do it anyway aren't you?" The men and women who come to accept and manage the discreet workload do so quickly and with their eyes cast on the ground, nobody needs to know who just did what (and sometimes to whom) here.

Side Jobs (The Board)

The 'side jobs center' is little more than a large, fizzling screen that holds various blinking notices. A steady crowd of all sorts of individuals pass by, swiping notices and interacting with the screen before moving on.

The large screen that projects a seemingly endless supply of little neon colored notices into the air before it casts an ethereal and almost fey rainbow light around the immediate area. Some of the jobs appear less savory than others and some are downright non specific as to how 'a job' should get done. None of the floating notices last very long though as passersby take them on a regular basis.

Name Description Credits Statistic
Debt Collection You got a way with words? Speak to Attarn. 125 Social
Maintaining the Muck Cleaner Bots The Muckbots are all mucked up! 75 Agility
Scanning for Bugs Consortium and Gaule agents are always trying to hack our defense grid via bugs they leave in the goods we steal. That’s just not on. Help find and disable some. 75 Intelligence

Government Center ('Government' Services)

A shell of a building that housed the former station's government center. Now, one can come here to purchase certain goods or services in a less than legitimate fashion.

A large and grandiose building stands several stories above everything around it. A pair of ironic air quotes has been carefully painted around the word 'government' on the sign that declares this the home of government services. Chipped regocrete and peeling paint showcase a level of disrepair than mirrors the situation inside. The large and echoing chamber that once housed a bustling government center now holds various dilapidated shacks run by various shady looking men and women. Slapdash cables and wiring power the various garish signs that point out the 'services' one can procure at each stall.

NPCs

Notes

  • No daily rations are available; only the option to "Bribe for a ration" for 20 Bonds
  • There is also no Emergency Shuttle to Tau Station

Gym (Training Area)

A marked running course twines through the ruins between the ex-fleet base and the civilian mega structures.

Freebooters may enjoy a life free of legislation and governance, but they still need to survive the rigors of space. A make-shift course serves as a training area with various exercise tools and gear having been welded together out of junk and debris littering the area as well.

Various people can be seen running the course or lifting makeshift weights in the area. One mall female seems to be bench-pressing what appears to be the front end of an old shuttle.

You must have minimum combined physical stats of 42 to avoid injury at this gym.

Inn (Entertainment District)

Knots of raucous men and women of all shapes and sizes laugh and drink in the crowded streets between pubs, inns, and more esoteric establishments. Strands of holographic lighting crisscross overhead and color the entire area with their many hues.

The entire district is washed with hazy, multicolored lighting from any number of sources. Holographic images and marketing slogans project all sorts of imagery into the darkness while screens and shoddy, electronic billboards fizzle and spark as various questionable power sources struggle to maintain the machinery. The atmosphere can often get quite loud and even occasionally violent, though most disagreements are ended abruptly and often with a note of finality. Like the rest of the station, the Entertainment District enjoys very lax enforcement of any kind of law, with the bulk of peacekeeping maintained by bouncers and bodyguards.

NPCs

Bar (The Bill and Bay-leaf)

A local watering hole for thirsty Freebooters and travelers on Caen Stronghold.

The Bill and Bay-leaf is the pride and joy of its proprietor, William Bay-Leaf. A large and bulky man, he can be seen ambling about the rustic faux-wood interior and making sure his customers are both happy and as well behaved as can be expected on a lawless station. While the occasional scuffle is tolerated, once it becomes a nuisance, William can often be seen picking up the offenders by their belt and collar and hauling them out onto the cobblestones (lovingly placed one by one by William himself) where they are welcome to finish their arguments. Survivors are welcome to come back inside.

Dust motes hang in the smoky air and the entire establishment is done up to look like the public houses of old. Most drinking is actually done in relative quietness with most patrons more reflective than raucous in nature.

Menu

NPCs

Hotel Rooms (The Lusty Lemon Room and Board)

One of the many buildings where one can pay for a meal and a bed, not necessarily in that order.

Rooms at one of the many places one can grab an evening's rest in Caen Stronghold. The rooms themselves are of a higher quality than one might expect, with clean sheets, well made beds and even some colorful, if occasionally risque, decoration adorning the walls.

Prices

  • 1 day: 100.97 cr
  • 5 days: 403.88 cr
  • 10 days: 706.79 cr
  • 30 days: 1817.46 cr

You should have minimum intelligence of 14.5? to avoid injury while reading.

NPCs

Lounge (The Lusty Lemon Lounge)

One of the many lounges that both locals and travelers can take a load off and relax in.

The lusty lemon offers relaxation for those requiring something of a finer caliber than The Bill and Bay-leaf. Soft, soothing music complements the hazy lighting and plush decor. Customers lounge around on large, body-conforming pillows and sip on a variety of thick and oily drinks.

You should have minimum social of 14.5? to avoid injury while socializing.

NPCs

Market

High above ground level, the market occupies a large platform and three-way bridge that connects the buildings of three tall mega-structures.

High in the top levels of the station, crowds trickle through the market, shuffling shoulder to shoulder as they shop from the dense selection of vendor stalls and tables. The market area is suspended along the makeshift walkways that connect some of the station's old behemoth like buildings though this does not seem to bother those hawking their wares all day and night. The area attracts many visitors not just for the shopping but also for the unparalleled view both above and below. Ground level can be seen far below the market as a string of glittering lights and blinking holo-advertisements. The dwarf planet of van de Kamp can be seen through the translucent rooftop above, hovering over the station like some distant deity.

NPCs

Public Market

An area of the market that is used by travelers and adventurers selling their plunder and crafted goods.

Both local denizens and interstellar travelers bustle among the many holo-terminals that litter the dusty room housed in one of the mega-structures that anchor the market. This area is put aside for those wanting to sell goods without a stall or vendor, listing their goods and perusing those of others electronically and having their purchases delivered to the shipping bay via drone.

NPCs

Storage

Secure storage lockers for keeping goods and gear safe.

One of the better looking buildings on Caen Stronghold. On a station of smugglers and pirates, this reflects that those who pay to keep their belongings safe, expect this safety to be guaranteed. Unlike everything else on the station that has been jury-rigged or stolen, the security systems in place here have been bought and maintained to the highest standards, ensuring that everything stored here will always be safe. Gleaming, chrome walls and sterile, ever-present lighting that reflects off the security robots equally shiny frames reflects this fact even further.

  • Small: 220 cr
  • Medium: 527 cr
  • Large: 1317 cr

Syndicate Vendors

[Coming soon]

Vendors

The market's denizens. Each vendor is more colorful than the next to attract the best customers.

The market's vendors on Caen Stronghold are like dazzling peacocks. Each stall is more flamboyant and interesting than the next with anything from holographic dancers to entice you in to music and spices drifting through the air. The entire area is festooned with electronic light chains and hologramatic garlands and each vendor's sing-song voice tries to drown out his or her neighbor to get your attention.

The patrons and visitors to the area are just as colorful, with Caen Stronghold being the first Freebooter station past the Sol System, it attracts people from every sector. One particularly rare sight is a bearded Belter walking around the stalls with what appears to be a canine companion! A holographic vanity tag proclaims the furry friend is known as Boomer.

Port

The port is a colossal space filled with hundreds of ships latched to a framework of piers.

In the distance a large cruiser slowly noses through the naval dock’s armored doors as they open. The dwarf planet van de Kamp can be seen peaking over the approaching vessel's shoulder. Captains and crew bustle about their ships as engineering crews perform basic maintenance. The ships berthed in this area come in all manner of shapes, sizes, and especially colors, Freebooters being known for the often very loud designs they pattern onto their vessels. In contrast, few, if any, ships bear the official markings of the Consortium or Gaule Protectorate.

NPCs

Docks

Here dock the ships of those brave enough to visit Caen Stronghold.

All manner of brightly colored vessels are docked in this part of Caen Stronghold. Freebooters, more often than not, enjoy decorating their ships in outlandish and often garish decals and paint-jobs. Few, if any, vessels fly the colors of the Consortium or Gaule, but many do proudly display the logo of the Freebooters.

NPCs

Local Shuttles

While Caen Stronghold does not maintain an emergency shuttle service off the station, it does allow a certain level of inter-stationary travel between it's neighboring stations. Trade and tourism are good for everyone.

Shipping Bay

The Shipping Bay is part of the Port, and is the central place for every kind of parcel coming and going from the station.

Conveyor belts and storage bins form the bulk of what is visible in this squat building attached to a wall and overlooking the port like a brown, bulbous toad. One part of the building is full of holo-screens and terminals used for checking on the status of packages coming and going from here while lanky, blinking robots in the sorting area manage the deliveries and arrivals.

Ruins (The Chink)

A kilometer-wide crater is visible in the distance, surrounded by rubble in a starburst pattern. The area is nicknamed the 'chink' as locals joke that this is the weakness in the station that provided the killing blow during the Catastrophe.

Everything in the ruins is smothered in rock powder and a haze lingers in the air, turning distant buildings into ghostly blue silhouettes. The large crater that dominates the area is almost entirely devoid of any of the detritus and rubble that litters the rest of the landscape. Whatever crashed through the station obliterated the former occupants and clearly created enough force to blast anything within it's radius well clear. The ceiling high above was patched together by those who came after the Catastrophe but even now requires constant maintenance and patchwork to keep safe. The entire station's structural integrity was affected, however, and the occasional randomized decompressions still occur today with a jury-rigged response system in place to keep the rest of the station safe when they do.

The Wrecks

Through the mist, there is treasure to be found. Freebooter scavengers are some of the most crafty in the system, but even they can't find everything. Perhaps you can.

Between raids, Merchants and 'Booter pirates alike will come to the Wrecks to search for riches in their spare time. There is much to be discovered here, but the enemies you encounter have a fierceness to them only the Freebooter culture can forge.

The Wilds

Enemies are everywhere in the Wilds of the Chink. The hazy blue atmosphere creates a creeping sense of paranoia here. An enemy could leap out of the cool, dusty mist at any moment.

The dust never seems to settle here and hangs over the area like a thick fog. The gunfights which often break out between rival syndicates and bandits strike red through the haze, often with no discernable source. This is a place where death lurks in every corner.

Security

A prefabricated, modular structure sits in the middle of a wide plaza.

Locals wearing security armbands filter through the station to fill out reports before resuming their patrols. While not an official body in any governmental capacity, this security force is maintained by the local trade barons who wants to maintain some, small sense of order, especially when it resides firmly in their pocket.

"Galactic Destinations" Introduction

Greetings! Today Galactic Destinations will take you on a journey to a fabulously colorful location located within the system of Bernard’s Star. Wel…ERROR….to Cane’s Lega…INCOMING TRANSMISSION…

FREQUENCY OVERRIDE…NEW NETWORK HOST ESTABLISHED…

Black holes and vicious vacuums! You ain’t getting no tour of our station from some Consortium star-lubber who’s never even had the joy of breaking his teeth on a fist! Welcome to Caen Stronghold you wonderful, deep pocketed, credit spending buffoons! Courtesy of the Freebooters! We’re gonna tell you a little bit about the best station in the galaxy, so strap on your interstellar stabilizers and tune your CORETECHS into this!

Caen Stronghold is THE place to be brothers and sisters among the stars. Simply ain’t no place like it in the galaxy. See, thanks to a very large number of heavy ordnance ballistic weaponry that fairly covers the topside of our humble station, courtesy of some hefty scavenging off of a number of old battle cruisers, our old pals from the Consortium and Gaule Protectorate tend to have to leave us alone. It’s our little and very polite way of saying, “No cold callers thank you very much!”

What does this mean for you, the ever enterprising tourist with a sackful of credits to spend? It means no rules! Well, ok, it means no interstellar laws. We still got some rules… folks fight, folks drink and debauch…but our local merchant princes do keep a certain kind of law when absolutely required. Can’t have every boozed up space trekker and star smuggler out there just murdering each other in plain sight, that gets awful messy, awful fast.

Whoah… that got pretty grim there hey? Ok, how about some local history! Well, trouble is we don’t have that in much supply! See, when the first folks came to Caen Stronghold after the Catastrophe, all we found was a big old crater in the middle of the main city and a dark and dead station. Still don’t quite know, to this day, what caused it!

Most of them that found their way to the station in those early days had been between destinations when it all went to funky town. Pilots, smugglers, traders, and the like. Generally folks who were competent with a spanner one way or another. Well, they set about on fixing up the place, plugging up the giant hole and jury-rigging the power and life support systems back online.

More and more trickled in and our happy little community grew. Even got ahold of a couple of big old cruisers and promptly stripped ‘em of all their heavy guns. See, life was turning out to be quite passable on this old rig, quite passable indeed! And most folk knew that someone always likes to come along and strip that precious freedom away.

So you set your mind at ease. When you come to Caen Stronghold, your freedom is your own! Best keep an eye on your credit purse though!

<— Return to Barnard's Star

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