- Published: 26 March 2020
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Settlement And History
While habitable by humanity, the biology, geography and atmosphere of Diyu all made it a rather marginal case for settlement and the system was not highly placed on the newly established Colonial Board's list of colonization projects. As such, the Board was fairly surprised when a consortium representing a group of Operários and Martians submitted a colonization permit request. Confusion may have reigned at the Colonial board, but Terran Sphere revenue services eventually caught on to consortium's plan: the group had planned to combine a number of tax breaks set up for formerly oppressed colonial populations, such as the Operários, with ones for marginal environment settlement intended primarily for settlers on the original Chinese colonies. On top of these they wanted to mix in the standard new colonization breaks to create a tax haven for the venture’s investors. The scheme worked long enough for the colony to find its footing, but in recent years, the Terran Sphere Senate and other regulatory bodies had been working on closing down the kind of loopholes on which Diyu was founded.
In the century since, Diyu has developed from a simple tax haven into a robust financial services sector powerhouse that once controlled a significant portion of the loans for privately owned starships. Many small freight and courier outfits were slightly (and very silently) relieved when the ansibles from Diyu fell silent and payment notices no longer came through. Even though the financial services sector was the lifeblood of the colony, many of the Operários that helped found the colony also stuck to their roots and developed a substantial heavy industries sector in the many decades since its founding. These primarily focused on starship R&D. All of the orbital facilities were lost when the Shohan occupied the system, but the planetary industrial base remains more or less intact.
The government of Diyu is a modification of the Union hall system employed in the Stella Insula System: a series of town halls elect speakers to the Planetary Council, which in turn selects from its number a Planetary Speaker who acts as the Chief Executive. However, the position is nominally limited to running the system bureaucracy and doesn’t offer the holder much in the way of policy making leverage.