- Concordia (65,000 pop)
- Concordia is part of the Nemesis Family of asteroids.
- The asteroid is slightly under a hundred kilometers in diameter.
- As with many of the asteroids of the Asteroid Belt and smaller moons, Concordia was induced into a rapid artificial spin in order to generate the semblance of gravity - structures are buried beneath the surface, with "up" thus being towards the center of the asteroid, and "down" outward towards the crust. Landing on the artificial equatorial area is thus extremely problematic, so Concordia's dock lies at its "south" pole.
- Concordia began its existence as merely one modest mining colony amidst dozens scattered around the Asteroid Belt. In the long tradition of such infamous outlaw havens as Port Royal or Tortuga, however, it soon made a name for itself for its willingness to harbor and offer succor for fugitive ships and their crews in return for trade in kind.
- Jealously guarding its neutrality, Concordia's relatively unique position led to an explosion in wealth for the former mining colony. Dry docks were expanded, and eventually even shipyards capable of constructing frigate class vessels were built. Laws of a kind became established, and a political oligarchy solidified its hold over the asteroid.
- Even in as isolated a region as it is, Concordia would still be no match for the great powers of Earth should such wish to extinguish it. To avoid an untimely and nuclear fate, Concordia enforces an ironclad policy of refusing service to any ship that attacks a vessel flying under national auspices of one of the five great powers of Earth. In return, said nations - and others - steer clear of Concordia proper, though most take advantage of its neutrality and anonymity to provide dockage and repair for privateers operating in their own employ.
- Dry docks capable of most ship repairs
- Shipyards capable of building frigates-class vessels
- Extensive black market
- Clearinghouse for privateering contracts and resupply
- Although Concordia is for all intents and purposes a functioning pirate haven, its scrupulous avoidance of antagonizing those powers with the reason and might to destroy it, combined with its intrinsic usefulness as a port of deniability has led to a precarious but continued existence.
- The Independent Republic of Ceres and the Vesta Compact, along with their own mercantile efforts, are thus some of the most common targets for predation by the pirates of Concordia. Neither polity has the strength to comfortably wipe out or even contain Concordia, but both are inimitably hostile to Concordia, and both dream of a day when Concordia no longer graces the skies of the Belt.
- As a major haven for privateering, Concordia also services and provides resupply for privateers in the unofficial - or at least publicly deniable - service of nearly every polity throughout the solar system. In doing so, it has carved out an extremely valuable niche for itself and given itself a certain degree of immunity.
- Concordia is not, in fact, completely lawless, but those who break what few laws and rules it has are the true outcasts and outlaws of the solar system with no safe harbor at all. Eunomia is currently the largest haven for such, although other such havens exist on Hyperion around Saturn and Haumea in The Kuiper Belt, although this latter is dependent upon Haumean political support, something that is not always easy to obtain.
Politics and Culture:
- Concordia began as a mining colony, and although only very limited mining and refining remain in operation today, there is a fierce independence and devotion to the capitalist dream that lingers on in both the political and cultural life of the small world.
- The nominal master of Concordia is referred to as "The Governor", but in truth, the governor is merely a first-among-equals for the "Council of Equals", a committee of eleven of the most influential and powerful men and women - perhaps a half of these are retired pirates and privateers, the remainder being the remnants of the original oligarchic mining comptrollers of Concordia.
- Precious little is illegal on Concordia, and there is nothing even faintly resembling a social safety net. Even murder and theft are shrugged at as long the victim of such is not the "national" coffers themselves - even robbing from members of the Council of Equals is not frowned upon, the logic of this being that if a member of the Council of Equals lets themselves be robbed from, they do not deserve their position.
- There are, however, a few laws, and these laws are brutally enforced:
- The King's Fifth - 20% of all goods sold on Concordia are claimed for the "national" coffers. This is beyond basics such as docking and security fees.
- Right of Port - Any ship or individual attacking Earth national vessels are denied port and entrance to Concordia. Note that transnational orgs do not qualify for this protection.
- Integrity of the Port - Any attempt, conspiracy to, or aid to someone who commits any of the aforementioned to damage the planetary integrity of Concordia is subject to death by atmospheric decompression.
- Concordia culture tends to be nasty, brutish, and short, but there are definite cultural taboos and traditions that if not followed will usually result in a considerably shortened lifespan. Honor duels - both to first blood and to the death - are common, and formal signed agreements of protection are a regular means of obtaining a measure of protection against what is a generally rapacious and predatory society.
- Aside from gambling, the most popular "sport" on Concordia is knife fighting; pirates and privateers will often carry a fighting knife on their belt even off of Concordia as a subtle message to other such individuals as to their profession and affiliation.