Dave Haddock Host this week's Loremaker's about the elusive Cathcart system, home to many piracy activities.
As per usual, anything said during the show is subject to change by CIG and may not always be accurate at the time of posting. Also any mistakes you see that I may have missed, please let me know so I can correct them. Enjoy the show!
Cathcart was discovered in 2438 by a fugitive named Adelaide Lorris
Speculation is she was using the system as a private hideout and when explorers got too close she decided to cash in rather than letting anyone else discover it
Named the system after Winton Cathcart who was her nemesis and in a twist of irony shot her dead in 2464
Type A dwarf star at the centre, otherwise no planets to speak of and just an asteroid belt that encircles it
Since were no planets, the UNE was unsure of what to do with the system so they started using it for a junkyard
Was never officially claimed by the UNE as there wasn’t anything to claim and in the meantime industrial squatters began lashing together abandoned pieces and making improvised space stations, more or less
One in particular is called Spider, the origin of the name was created due to the fact the writers imagined it to have a weblike appearance of all these different ship pieces put together
Spider has become the biggest, most concentrated haven of outlaws in the known universe
Cathcart is surrounded by several unclaimed systems, there were rumours about the possibility of uniting these systems to be independent from the UEE
The lack of UEE control in this system was highlighted when after picking a fight one Dean Kellar led a myriad of outlaws, bounty hunters, pirates and law enforcement on a multisystem chase. Law enforcement realized how little control they could exert in this system
Nexus then became a UEE claimed system and most believe this was their attempt to establish some law and order in the area but also to break up the potential for an outlaw government
The residents who got kicked out of Nexus didn’t take kindly to being kicked out of their homes so they started to fight the UEE
In 2935 there was the Walzer Massacre where a bunch of outlaws murdered a whole bunch of people at OP Station Damien
The UEE were convinced most of the supporters were congregating on Cathcart and in response they started an intense bombing campaign in the auspices of suppressing these violent insurgents
David Haddock: Hello, I’m David Haddock, Lead Writer of Star Citizen and welcome to another episode of Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Where we, the Lore team, examine one of the many systems that you will find in the Star Citizen universe and give you some detailed info about the system itself. Some fun fictional facts as well as some behind the scenes insight into the thought process behind the conception of the system. So, let’s get started, we're going to head to our super pretty and award winning, congratulations everyone, Starmap.
So, here we are on Earth right now. Zoom out, so go to our map and today we are going to go to Cathcart. That’s right, the infamous outlaw, even though it’s technically unclaimed system. So, this is actually one of our oldest systems, bring it up real quick. How is that for… ok, all right so we’ll start high level and get you a bit of… see where it lies in the grand scheme of things. So, this is Cathcart right here, you can see it’s sorta on the western or eastern side of the known universe. Terra’s over here, Earth is there, so it’s pretty close.
So again, this is actually one of our oldest systems. Not in a game sense but in sort of the project development one. During the initial crowdfunding campaign, we had a point where we generated basically ten systems to help push us from three million dollars to four million dollars and the idea being that each one was going to be unlocked at each hundred thousand mark. So Cathcart was one of them, I had written up the initial blurb for the ten systems, sent them to Chris and then Ben created a post around them and Forest worked up a picture for us to use.
So, I thought it would be kinda fun trip down memory lane. Here’s the original description dredged up from a word document from November 6,2012: Cathcart System, pirate system, galactic junkyard. One sun there for light and massive garbage disposal. It’s literally a dumping ground on the side of a highway, the only official rule is the route between jump points has to be clear at all times. Although it still falls under UEE jurisdiction, it’s become a conveniently located meeting spot for pirates and smugglers. No planets, natural ones anyhow. Squatters lashed together wreckage of massive ships, orbital platforms and whatever happened to be drifting around, pressurized them and created manmade planets. Most visitors tend to keep their suits on during their stay, as it’s not unusual for the shoddy construction to give out and lose pressure.
So, that was the original pitch for the system and I mean since then we’ve stayed pretty close to it but we’ll get into that in a little bit. Let’s just dive right into the fiction of the system and I’ll throw in whatever weird rambling insights I can. So again, Cathcart system here was appropriately enough the system was officially discovered in 2438 by a wanted fugitive named Adelaide Lorris. There has been speculation that basically Loris might have been using the system as a private hideout and might have gotten nervous once she saw explorers scanning for jump points nearby and decided to cash in rather than risk one of them discovering it.
So, in an ironic turn she named the system after Winton Cathcart who was a marshal at the time, who was effectively her nemesis, sorta law enforcement. Al Pacino to her Robert DeNiro if we’re going to go with a metaphor but anyway her new found wealth didn’t last long and Lorris would end up returning to a life of crime and in another twist of irony, Cathcart was the one who shot her in 2464. So yeah, anyway the system itself as you can see is, I’m going to go to 3D, is pretty empty.
You have at the centre a… woah… a big, basically it’s a dwarf star, I think it’s a type A, which apparently gives off a bluish, white colour but pretty much the place is dead. There are no planets to speak of, there is basically just a very large asteroid belt that encircles it and so needless to say at the time it was passed off to the UNE, they were not tremendously impressed.
Actually this is kinda fun turn of events, see if we can go wider here. You can see that basically it was discovered from Davien system and the idea was that the after the discovery of Cathcart it basically caused a bunch of people to flood into the system in 2438 to start looking for other jump points. It’s that sort of thing where it’s like you found one and maybe there’s more around and so one of those kinda wannabe explorers turned out to be a guy named Vernon Tar, who ended up shooting at a passing ship because he was afraid they were going to try and scanning in their area and that passing ship turned out to be a Banu. So, he inadvertently discovered or made first contact with an alien species and that was sort of in the wake of Cathcart.
Anyway, getting back to Cathcart. Since there weren’t any planets in Cathcart, the UNE didn’t really know what to do with it. So, they sort of toyed with the idea of making this a location of deep space comet experiments or stuff like that but nothing ever came to fruition and they ultimately scrapped it. So the government started using the system as a junkyard, basically kind of breaking down ships and storing them here because they could just kind of do it and, you know, leave it and if they wanted to come back to the stuff they could or if they just wanted to throw it in the sun they could.
Basically there were no local residents to annoy with trash. So, over the years basically as surrounding systems were discovered, Cathcart became more of a throughway and junkyard. The UNE and then what became the UPE never officially claimed the system because there wasn’t really anything to claim but in the meantime, sort of the in depths of the piles of trash and stuff like that, some interesting things were happening. Far away from the traveled shipping lanes, industrial squatters began to lash together abandoned pieces and repressurizing them and creating basically like improvised space stations.
One in particular began to expand over the years and became known as sort of the pirate city known as Spider, and the origin of the name was I think it was kicked around in an early design/art meeting. There was this sort of idea that it would have this kinda weblike appearance of all of these different pieces of ships lashed together and stuff. So, I don’t know if that aesthetic is going to stick anymore but that was sort of the idea at the time, but basically Spider has become the biggest, most concentrated haven of outlaws sort of in the known universe. Their capital if you want to call it that and we’d also toyed with the idea of originally of having multiple landing zones so you could kind of, you know, land in different sections of it. Each of them would be controlled by a different gang who would have their own set of rules and again I don’t know if we’ll still be able to run with that idea but it was sort of fun that you would have to, you know, landing in one section you could do things that you couldn’t do in another and things like that.
Anyway, and actually if you want to get sort of a taste of the flavour of it, in the opening chapter in The Lost Generation, a serial story… Tanya’s buying a Tevarin codex on Spider. Anyway, the overall idea was just to have it be that sort of dank, gritty, cyber punky, style space station with kind of crazy gangs and hive of villainy, etc, etc. Basically it plays with the potential for a bunch of fun stories and characters and apparently good waffles if you talk to Kinshadow. From a practical stand point we needed a major landing zone that would accommodate sort of the criminal characters.
We’d had Earth, we’d had Terra, and we just needed a sort of, you know, third part to throw in there. The actual inspiration behind the idea was inspired by the raft in the end of Snow Crash, if you’ve read that, if you haven’t, go read it. Basically there was this massive flotilla of ships and oil tankers and boats slowly making it’s way across the ocean. It was a really great visual in a book of great visuals so it was just… it obviously did create a lot of migraines on the Dev team thinking of how we were going to possibly build something like this.
Anyway, getting back to the history. So Cathcart pretty much is sort of… that was sort of it’s flavour and it stayed that way for quite some time but something started to change probably in the thirtieth century. We’ll go back to the Starmap just to kinda illustrate this but again sort of seeing where it’s situated, you have basically Cathcart here… Hades here, Nexus which for a really long time was basically an unclaimed system and then Taranus. So with this sort of cluster, actually less so than Taranus, but with this sort of cluster here we had a pretty high concentration of unclaimed systems and all of them were basically attracting a lot of people. They were becoming pretty settled, particularly after… during the Messer era when people were trying to get away from this sort of really oppressive UEE government.
I mean not that there are many people probably living in Hades just because it’s sort of that dead, you know, ancient civilization, civil war torn planet, destroyed planet thing but even so you still have that sort of massive unclaimed systems in the middle here. Anyway, rumours started to spread that there was talk about kind of uniting all these systems together to form sort of what we’d equate to an independent country type of thing. So, it would be independent of the UEE and be it’s own type of government.
So, in 29..I believe it’s 31, Dean Kellar went on this infamous thing called Kellar’s Run where basically he picked a fight in Cathcart and started this sort of sprawling system to system chase that just looped in a bunch of criminals and bounty hunters and pirates and eventually law enforcement and when the cops kind of started to jump in, they realized how little control that they could exert in this area. So, many people believed that as you can see here that Nexus is now a UEE claimed system, that the reason why the UEE decided to reclaim the system and kick all the criminals out was to kind of not only establish some law and order in that area but was also to potentially break up the bid of this sort of area of space from becoming sort of a, you know, outlaw government is probably not accurate but you get what I mean.
So anyway, needless to say a lot of people in Nexus system didn’t take to kindly to being kicked out of their homes so they basically started to fight the UEE in there. So, the UEE simply held their ground and did their best to fend off the attacks but in 2935 there was this thing called the Walzer Massacre which was at OP Station Damien which you will see in Star Marine. Basically a bunch of outlaws came in a murdered a whole a lot of people and the authorities basically, you know, the outlaws kicked the hornet’s nest if you will.
So, in response the military were convinced that supporters of the attack were congregating in Cathcart, launched basically an intense bombing campaign to try and decimate a lot of the inhabitants. So, it was sort of not the message this progressive UEE they really wanted to send but they attacked Spider in the auspices of suppressing these violent insurgents, but due to the vast amount of trash and debris in the system Navy ships weren’t able to get close to enough to effectively destroy Spider and make much of a dent overall but they still hurt some people. All it did ultimately was kinda piss everybody off even more.
So, that’s basically where we’re at now. The massacre was in 2935 so it’s sort of in the wake of that is still relatively fresh, but yeah, that’s pretty much Cathcart as it stands and again obviously the team hasn’t started to look at this system. So while this weblike network of lashed together capital ships sounds really sweet, long story short… cool pirate system, awesome manmade pirate base thing and not a lot of law.
Anyway, so that is Cathcart in a nutshell but thank you for watching. If you haven’t dug into the Starmap, I really recommend it, it’s amazingly beautiful and full of really, really cool tidbits about the system at large for Star Citizen and where you guys will ultimately get to wander around. I would like to thank the subscribers for helping us make shows like this and AtV and Bugsmashers possible a big thanks to the backers in general because you’re the reason that we’re here at all. I’m Dave Haddock and this is Loremaker’s Guide to the Galaxy and I’ll see you next time.