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A small and dying star called Erigone is at the center of the Virgo-Erigone system.

Discovered in 2241 by explorers of the Commonwealth, the Virgo-Erigone system was named after Erigone, daughter of Icarius of Athens.

Relative to Earth, Virgo can be found toward the coreward periphery far past the borders of the Commonwealth. The star system was originally named Virgo because of a cartography entry mistake that initially described the star being within the Virgo constellation, even though the coordinates were completely wrong. This name was later changed to Erigone when the error was corrected, but by then star maps were already programmed to direct searches for Virgo to the new system, while Erigone did not turn up an entry at all. Rather than correct the mistake and replace Virgo with Erigone, charting authorities decided to change the official name to Virgo-Erigone so as to avoid confusion among pilots. This way both entries of Virgo or Erigone will bring navigation computers to the correct system.

The Virgo-Erigone system is a home to the Virgo Orbital Research Establishment.

The star is a F-type main-sequence star of advanced age, only having about five hundred million years left. This is usually regarded as a non-issue by anyone.

The Stellar Neighborhood

Virgo-Erigone is overall a rather sparse system with most of its infrastructure backed by the native species of Zorren who crew fleets of ships where others would’ve made outposts and colonies instead, living a rather transient and migratory life in pace and returning to their homeworld Menhir whenever possible to offload resources and supplies. There are signs of previous habitation over all planets in the system, most likely the precursors of Zorren or the older Zorren civilizations. Though many of these indications are only found through careful excavation efforts, many derelict aerostats dot the atmospheres of Zehtir (Virgo II) and occasional facility remnants on the moons orbiting Geret Baht (Virgo 3).

Nowadays, small outposts and extraction operations established by non-native interests can be found throughout the system. A wide variety of trans-stellar corporations have set up their own offices, but the majority of these are smaller Commonwealth-associated organizations following in the wake of the most committed and prevalent of the corporations present: NanoTrasen, whose phoron mining and research operations in the system account for employing roughly 40% of the non-local workforce.

The Cloud and the Rings

Separating Menhir and Mahir (Virgo V) is an asteroid belt named Birit by the Zorren. Extensive mining operations of the past are obvious, with long-derelict and broken pieces of ancient machinery, stranded ships, and other curiosities strewn between the remaining resource rich asteroids. There exists a considerable amount of raw materials still within the belt, but over the countless lost years much of it has been reduced to worthless regolith. Prospecting and cataloguing the viable rocks from the non-viable is often a competitive and frenetic effort between rival mining groups.

Of strange note, an Oort Cloud-like phenomenon seems to have once existed sometime in the past, a loose haze of icy rocks at the farthest edges of the system. It is largely absent now - stray water-ice planetoids drift far away from Virgo-Erigone. Beyond that curiosity, most dust particles and smaller rocks are caught in the rings of Geret Baht (Virgo III) and Menhir (Virgo IV) respectively.

Virgo I / I’thar

I’thar is a fairly small, largely uninteresting planet of about 0.4 Earth masses. With an orbit very close to its parent star, the telluric world is tidally locked and blasted by endless solar winds - circumstances that render it all but entirely worthless to even the most wasteful and foolhardy entrepreneurs. It is almost entirely deserted aside from old research outposts on the shadow-side of the planet.

Though materially useless, the sun-scorched world bears some religious and time-tracking significance to the Zorren - its aphelion, where it is most visible to Menhir, coincides with the start of the harvest period in the middle meridian climates.

Virgo II / Zehtir

A hothouse planet not dissimilar to Venus of the Sol system, its thick atmosphere catches much heat from the sun, and turns the surface a hellish, thick soup of hot misery. Zehtir bears some value in easy oxygen production and gas harvesting, making it a semi-frequented stop for Zorren mining fleets, with occasional mineral extraction efforts attempted. These efforts usually do not last long due to the incredibly harsh environment. Corporate interests have been known to hide their less-than-legal local assets here, since nobody really wants to come looking.

Zehtir bears signs of previous habitation by Zorren precursors whose aerostats still drift in the upper atmosphere. All of these facilities have been either been thoroughly picked clean and left derelict by salvagers, are under highly restricted control by Zorren authorities, or are rented to corporations for use as research and mining facilities.

Virgo III / Geret Baht

The main attraction that draws corporations from across the stars to even come here.

A brown dwarf, a smoldering ember of a photogenic supernova, this gas giant contains - and emits - a strategically significant amount of solid and gaseous Phoron, caught in either its rings or its many moons. While the heat of the planet disallows direct atmosphere harvesting without excessive precaution, the orbital of the Great Baht is (next to Menhir) the most frequented location of Virgo-Erigone.

The moon known as Menkahr (Virgo IIIb) is a marginally habitable moon with a dense Phoron atmosphere whose surface is the most-used place to harvest Phoron. Supporting this work is the joint colony Al-Qasbah, a mostly subterranean facility which acts as the primary living quarters for the overwhelming majority of the NanoTrasen-associated system population. A short distance from Al-Qasbah is the NSB Adephagia: a research and mining operation whose space elevator allows automated drone tenders to ship its precious harvests away, either to the Commonwealth or to the Zorren who also enjoy its properties and uses.

Virgo IIIc, the farthest moon away from Geret Baht (Virgo III) is commonly regarded as “cursed” by the Zorren, who would rather leave it alone despite its apparent frequent verdancy. It is plagued with intermittent but extreme geologcial activity due to a terraforming mishap in the distant past, bestowing upon the small moon a recurring cycle of intense life bloom and utter destruction at the hands of volcanic ash and eruptions. Most Zorren do not enjoy staying here for long.

A great number of other moons exist - 54 in total. Despite the great number, most of them are either phoron-shrouded rocks or otherwise unremarkable, earning attention only from automated mining drones.

Virgo IV / Menhir

Menhir (Virgo IV) is the home planet of the Zorren, a dust-bowled arid planet with relatively little (but not non-existent) hydrosphere. Host to numerous kingdoms and free nomads, the planet is rife with conflict and enmity, which is partially fostered by the corporations dealing with them to assure that they get the better end of the deal whenever dealing with one Zorren faction alone.

It’s no secret that the planet once was much more lush and rich in resources, but an unknown cataclysm about 20,000 years ago has catapulted the precursor race backwards and setting the stage for the genesis of the Zorren, their inheritors and wardens of Menhir. Stubbornly they attempt to heal their planet - an effort constantly jeopardized by intense cultural pride and infighting. Progress is slow, but inexorable.

As the central point of civilization in the system, Menhir enjoys (or laments, depending on who you ask) the majority of system traffic both Zorren and Diasporan alike, whether in the Outsider City of Anur or the various kingdoms. Xenophobia is mildly prevalent, but highly dependent on what kingdom is visited and how cutthroat the corporations have been when meddling in native affairs.

Virgo V / Mahir

Just outside the Goldilocks Zone of Virgo-Erigone is the last planet of the system, a telluric sister planet much like Menhir, to the point it has been theorized that it befell a similar cataclysm as Menhir. No significant archeological or geological studies have been performed as of yet, leaving the question of whether Mahir (Virgo V) once resembled its sister Menhir (Virgo IV) unanswered. Due to political and cultural reasons no major Zorren effort has been organized - broadly, Zorren are more concerned with resolving the very real and imminent problems of their homeworld before looking further beyond.

Mahir (Virgo V) is mostly covered in carbon dioxide and ice-water drifts, making it almost unbearingly cold. Thick glaciers cover most of its surface running kilometers deep, leading to the assumption that it might have been a panthalassic or swampy world in the distant past.

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