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Loremaker's Guide to the Galaxy: Orion System Written Wednesday 8th of February 2017 at 12:00pm by StormyWinters

Dave Haddock is here to talk about the spooky Orion system! Check it out.

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!

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

  • Discovered in 2650, four planets with Armitage being the only habitable one
  • Armitage(Orion III) was initially going to be used for agricultural reasons until the government instituted the initiative called Project Farstar trying to promote colonization

    • In 2681 a small town was hit and the inhabitants wiped out by an unknown force

    • Security footage eventually revealed who the attackers were, the military came in and secured the system but without knowing where they came from they couldn’t do very much

    • A month later the clan who had attacked before returned and the UEE had their first stand off against the Vanduul, fortunately it was a small clan and the UEE prevailed

    • Wasn’t til five years later that a bigger clan showed up and the UEE once again won, the jump point where they were coming from was also discovered but this in turn also made humanity’s presence known to the Vanduul

  • Vanduul are not set up as a traditional culture, made up of all these independent clans which can be at war with each other and most of these clans don’t communicate, one of the reason’s it wasn’t until the second clan appeared and returned through the jump point that the Vanduul started to realize humans were here

  • The next few decades started seeing sporadic hit and run type attacks until 2712 when the system was invaded by a Vanduul King ship, the UEE wasn’t expecting something of that size and destructive capability and pretty much dropped and ran

  • Orion has since been under Vanduul control for 235 years   

  • Orion I is a small planet that has been charred by the red dwarf at the centre

  • Orion II is a smog planet

  • The fourth planet is a gas giant nicknamed ‘Abyss’

  • Orion was one of the earliest systems they had in the game

  • Port Conrad is a prime landing zone on Armitage

  • When the UEE abandoned the system they left behind a bunch of civilians who continue to live there even with the continued Vanduul presence

Full Transcript

Dave Haddock: Hello everybody, my name’s Dave Haddock. I’m the Lead Writer over here at Cloud Imperium Games and this is another episode of Loremaker's Guide to the Galaxy, where we take on of the many systems in the Star Citizen universe and give you not only an overview of the system and its background but some insight into the process and the choices that were made during it’s creation.

So, today the spotlight is going to cast on a pretty big one, we’re going talk about the Orion system which is historically known as the site of first contact with the uber friendly Vanduul. So, let’s jump right in and open up our trusty Starmap, we’re on Earth. All right, so as you can see… where are we going, we’re going to Orion which is over here on the sort of western side-ish.

Now some of you may be wondering why is the system blurred and classified when I can see planets and stars and obviously select things and read information and stuff like that, that would be an excellent question. The answer to it is that basically the classified status prevents new and current information about the system from being displayed to the public in the fiction of the universe. So the named sort of Vanduul systems, it’s important to remember that basically these were part of the UEE for hundreds of years before they were invaded. So, there’s kind of a wealth knowledge that the people already know about the planets and stuff like that because they lived there for awhile.

So… but because we have Cherie, guardian of the galaxy on our side we’re going to actually disable some of the things so it’s a little easier to see. So hold on one second and pazzzam, now it’s all gone. So, as you can see here basically there are… ok, we’ll kickstart it off here with some of the backstory for it.

So, Orion was first discovered in 2650 and was originally basically kind of planned to be used as sort of a resource hub. Of the four planets that are here, only one of them… Armitage right here is habitable. The sort of idea was the vast plains of it was going to be used as an agricultural, sort of like a food world until a government initiative called Project Farstar that was trying to promote colonization and in particular like distant colonization just as a sort of a, ‘look how awesome we are’ type thing. Decided to put a bunch of money into developing the world so it basically became a real bread basket which was super cool until 2681 when the Dell township was wiped out overnight. So, small town got hit and authorities basically had no idea what was going on, it was a sudden and obviously brutal attack that left everybody dead except for one person who was unaccounted for and it wasn’t until they managed to find some security footage that revealed who the attackers were and that’s when they sort of figured who or what they were dealing with. Unfortunately without any real sense of where the Vanduul came from, the military kind of came into the system, secured it but were just standing around like… they were obviously gone so they didn’t really have much to do.

So basically it wasn’t until almost a month after the attack on Armitage when the clan who had attacked before came back again and the UEE and the Vanduul had their first stand up fight. Fortunately for us, however, it was a new and really, really small clan so the UEE was actually able to destroy them and after that Orion was pretty quiet for awhile. Like so much so it wasn’t for about five years until the next clan showed up and although it was a bigger clan the military was still able to sort of fend them off but we didn’t kill them all but on the plus side we figured out where the jump point was and on the down side, we sort of made our presence more known to them. At the time they obviously didn’t know the sort of clan structure basically was the Vanduul were not set up as a traditional culture or civilization with like a central government and stuff like that.

All these clans were sort of independent so the idea was that basically when the first two clans hit, we weren’t sort of known to the Vanduul by and large because they don’t really talk to each other. Clans can actually be at war with each other and stuff like that so it wasn’t until the second clan went back into the jump point that they started to… more and more Vanduul started to realize that there were humans here. Which was kind of bad for us so basically for the next few decades attacks started to happen sporadically and stuff like that. Kind of hit and run type of stuff to the point where the Messers started to believe that the Vanduul were basically like a disorganized annoyance, not a real threat and that lasted until about 2712 when the system was invaded by a King ship which I’m sure you’ve seen some of the stuff we’ve been putting out. King ships are sort of the big, massive chief capital ship and sort of the flag ship of larger clans and stuff like that and they are mean and so basically it just devastated the front line. They were not expecting something of that size and destructive capability and it was that battle that basically broke the UEE and they just dropped and ran and since then.

So 235 years the Orion system has remained under Vanduul control and just to throw it out here cause it’s something I really like. The fourth planet over here is a gas giant nicknamed ‘Abyss’ which is one of my favourite names and aside that it was actually inspired by a National Geographic article that had come out about a Jupiter sized gas giant that Kepler telescope/satellite discovered called TRES2B and basically an astronomer from Harvard Smithsonian said, ‘if we could see it up close it would look like a near black ball of gas with a slight glowing red tinge to it’ which just sounds awesome particularly for a system like this.

So, hence the name ‘Abyss’, this sort of black almost void like gas giant perched on the edge of the system was a super fun detail to throw into an already kind of ominous and intimidating system. So aside from those two planets, Armitage over here which is Orion III and Abyss over here on the edge, you have Orion I which is just a small kind of planet that’s been charred by the red dwarf at the centre. Then Orion II which I believe is a smog planet, yeah smog.  

So, that’s pretty much it but… to jump from sort of the in fiction, you know, lore background to some more meta background stuff. Orion was actually one of the earliest systems we had in the game. It was first mentioned in the 2681 Time Capsule which was the Vanduul reveal and we released the first system unlocked for it at 3.5 million and reviewing it for this section that we actually need to revise that right up to bring it into current lore which I need to make a note to do.

Needless to say it’s been around for a very long time, sort of the appeal for this system for me at least, was having this system that was this sort of war torn, shattered remnant of human civilization and that obviously was no more apparent than in the… we don’t see it, that’s right cause it’s classified. In Port Conrad which is this sort of prime landing zone on Armitage and part of the plan, just to give us some background knowledge, when coming up with these landing zones particularly in the days when we were coming up with this one cause at the time we actually… the Star Citizen universe we considerably smaller. It was actually.. I think it was forty some odd systems as opposed to the current hundred or so but with all of them you want to make sure that each one has a very distinct atmosphere and character to make it stand out.

So, there’s something kind of unique and interesting and a flavour to it you can’t quite get anywhere else and it’s also one of the things you have to look at it from multiple perspectives too. So, it’s not only like what makes it visually distinctive but what types of stories will you experience there or missions, what types of characters you’ll interact with. These are the type of things that can help give it that little bit of flavour to make it feel like it’s sort of it’s own place.

So already from the jump basically like Port Conrad was going to be a very different type place particularly the other ones we’d put together. Cause it had that sort of post apocalyptic feel to it, cause basically the idea was when the UEE abandoned the system and remembering of course that this was during the Messer era so people weren’t very high on their list of priorities. Basically when the military abandoned the system they just ditched a bunch of the civilians when they ran.

So, there were people who were and still are living here despite the presence of Vanduul and I always kind of saw it as a weird bunch of ragtag outsiders, lunatics and outlaws and stuff like that. Since they’ve effectively been living on their own and under the constant threat of attack there was this idea of how would the city need to be modified to protect because basically at a moment’s notice Vanduul could kinda roll into the system and start churning up some resources and leave. You don’t want to let them know you’re there cause they don’t tend to look kindly on squatters.

It’s a question that started these discussions, do buildings kind of seal up? Or do they have these things that make them look abandoned and stuff like that. These are things are that still getting discussed and we’ll see what we can get away with and again it’s probably important to reiterate that these initial system write ups have been around for awhile. So once the team starts to focus on Orion for active development so things might expand or shift slightly, but the important thing to remember is that the flavour of it, the character of the system will be the same.

So, even though the specifics might be a little bit more fluid, this is the kind of the hook if you call it that into the system itself. So yeah, that’s it for Orion. Thank you all for hearing me ramble, big thank you goes out the subscribers of course for allowing us to do this added content. As always I recommend that you wander around the Starmap if you like to see the various systems of the Star Citizen universe and get a sense of that sort of flavour of the worlds and the landings zones and stuff like that and it’s just pretty as hell. So it’s just cool to wander around… the Starmap, of course, is accessible via the Star Citizen tab on top of the homepage so if you’re having difficulty finding it, that’s where it is. Yeah, my name’s Dave Haddock, this has been Loremaker’s Guide the to the Galaxy and I’ll see you next time.


Director of Fiction

Moonlighting as a writer in her spare time StormyWinters combines her passion for the written word and love of science fiction resulting in innumerable works of fiction. As the Director of Fiction, she works with a fantastic team of writers to bring you amazing stories that transport you to new places week after week.