Human Space: The Xiandao Subsector

Presented below is a map of the wider Xiandao subsector, so players in Splendor of Fire’s own campaign might have a fuller grasp of the world’s strategic location, and it’s impact within the wider reach of Human-controlled space. As the Xiandao campaign, by the penmanship of Splendor of Fire’s columnists, rapidly expands into a full setting, the need to flesh out this wider world (or in this case, space) has increased.

Below is the full map of the Xiandao Subsector, created using the Traveller Subsector Generator, available for all to use for free at . Below that is a brief overview of the Xiandao Subsector’s layout and star systems, from an in-universe perspective.

The Xiandao Subsector is the rimwardmost subdivision of the Omuta Sector. Coreward of Xiandao is the Ernest Subsector, and spinward is the Orincelstra Subsector; both of these neighbouring subsectors are firmly under the influence of major players in the Eighty Worlds Alliance. The same can be said of Xiandao’s trailing neighbour, the Ezdra Subsector, which marks the spinward border of the Mauiri Covenant, a regional power of some three dozen systems between the Omuta and Ghanima Sectors.

Rimward of Xiandao are the realms of dark things; where the servants of the Bent One and his lieutenants commit fell deeds amongst their legions of slaves; where pirates hide in their secret fastnesses, to plunder and pillage the worlds of civilised concord; where the Sidereal Christian Gospel is punished with death and torture, and cavorting with wicked ones is lifted up on high. The deepest depths of what Sidereal Christian scholars have dubbed “The Archon Stars” are unknown; all that is known for certain is that system after system, sector after sector, of inhabited worlds lie under the sway of all manner of enemies of the pure, good and true.

The Xiandao Subsector itself can be divided into three broad astrographic “zones”; the Xiandao Trailing Zone, where most of the inhabited worlds of any economic value are located; the Rouena Clasp, a spinward trio of inhabited and codependent worlds; and the Barrier Zone, a string of planets on the rimward edge of Xiandao which, bar the asteroid colony on Sahl, the colony on Tuveh and the sparsely populated world of Mathison, is entirely given over to demotic, sub-spacefaring cultures. These peasant worlds are often the targets of foul raiders from the Archon Stars, and warships from the Eighty Worlds Alliance have been known to tour the spacelanes between Sahl and Tuveh in defence of the Barrier Zone’s indigent populace.

There are also two “gateway worlds” that do not comfortably sit in any of these three zones. However, without the spaceport on the world of Marince, ships from Xiandao and Frenzio would never be able to trade with Mathison in the Barrier Zone, and without the exotic fastness of Montarctica, travel between the Xiandao Trailing Zone and the Rouena Clasp would be impossible.

The effect of the Blessed Concordance rebellion on Xiandao, particularly the “Night of Comets” which led to the destruction of all orbital traffic at both low and high anchor above the world, has sent shockwaves throughout the entire subsector. The starports on Anderlin and Takaran, though capably staffed and of quality construction, are struggling to process the waves of refugee ships that fled the Night of Comets massacre. Trade shipping has had to be completely rerouted, and the starport on Frenzio is wholly inadequate for dealing with the numbers of merchantmen that used to travel between Xiandao and Mathison. Trade with the Rouena Clasp has been rerouted through Anderlin, and the spacelanes of the Xiandao Trailing Zone are at their highest ever recorded rates of traffic.

The encroaching battlefleets of the Eighty Worlds Alliance, keen to extract vengeance on the heathen rebels, have pushed the already overworked and unsupported starport crews of the Xiandao Subsector to their breaking points, as hundreds more spacefaring vessels – each larger and of more complicated needs than the last – seize berths from local shipping for refueling and rearmament ahead of entering the warzone.

Commentary on Xiandao, On The Eve Of Planetfall, written by Maximus Pike of the Omuta Hauliers’ Guild.

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