Xiandao Polar Warzone

A topographical map of the polar regions of the rebellious world Xiandao

Presenting a hex map of the north polar regions of Xiandao, a world in rebellion and in the grip of heresy. The north polar region contains not just most of the planet’s landmass, but the near totality of the world’s population, a hodgepodge of interstellar colonial cities surrounded by an unassimilable and increasingly restive native population.

Each hex is 60 miles from side to opposite side, giving an area of just under 3100 square miles. From east coast to west coast is about 2,000 miles. Theater maps will feature hexes at smaller scales of 24 miles and regional maps at scales of 6 miles.

Let’s talk about the terrain and climate. The highest elevations (red regions) and areas directly at the pole are covered in glacier. These would not be impossible to fight in with advanced technologies, but no one lives there and maybe aside from a few hermits or research stations little of value is going on there.

The non-glacial highlands (like the Leng Highlands) are cold and arid, with predominantly scrub vegetation, though there are some stretches of boreal forests. (For ease of deploying terrain, we’ll say that Xiandao was either terraformed or intentionally seeded with terran plants, which doesn’t exclude the possibility of alien vegetation). The highlands are peopled by an indeterminate number of restive and hardy mountain people who are virtually unassimilated by the dominant world culture, and central government control over these people is nominal in the best of times, as is their faithfulness to Galactic Christianity. Mostly the authorities will try to make examples out of some hapless village, but actually pacifying or eliminating them is an impossibility due to the terrain, their obstreperousness, and their hardy genetics. These make up the bulk of the Blessed Concordance rebellion and their heresy spreads primarily from their ancient mountainholds, where it is said they commune with devils.

Farther out from the poles and towards the seas, the land becomes lower and much more temperate. This is where the more wealthy and civilized folk (predominantly offworlders) live and most of the industry and commerce goes on. Barbarians from the highlands often appear as itinerant laborers (or troublemakers and parasites, as the lowlanders would say) in the cities and their ‘alternative’ and ‘exotic’ folkways are becoming dangerously prominent in certain social circles. The lowlands countryfolk have much less affinity for the highlanders outre religious ideas, but they are very sympathetic to their call to unite to throw off the yoke of the interstellar baronies and their puppet regime in Harablest.

Just like in the real-life Boxer Rebellion, the colonial powers are scattered out along the coasts in seized native settlements (called Treaty Ports) or colonial settlements of their own devising, with embassies in the ancient capital of Harablest.

Despite vastly outnumbering the colonial powers, the Blessed Concordance rebels have little chance in achieving a lasting military victory against a coalition of wealthy interstellar powers that could continually land reinforcements or bombard the world from orbit. They might outlast the foreigners’ will in a grim war of attrition in the mountains and polar caves, but they settled lands beyond would remain beyond their grasp. Fortunately, they can count on using the colonists own defensive infrastructure against them. The Concordance has worked for years to infiltrate its followers into the staff of the planetary bombardment shields — strong enough to repel any ortillery — and its scores of Meson cannon batteries — capable of devastating any warships that come within sight. These gigantic radiation weapons are buried deep underground, their beams completely non-reactive with the rock and soil, but producing devastating radiation cascades when interacting with the metal and xenosilicate hulls of starship. As long as they can maintain control over the planetary defenses, the colonial militaries will be forced to operate with the limited forces they have on the planet, and with a much reduced advantage in air support.

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