- Published: 26 March 2020
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During the great retreat following the Massacre of Artemis III, this colony shared the fate of many other worlds, and was overtaken by Shohan. Unlike many other colonies, Diyu never fell to the Shohan and remains under siege to this day. With the Terran Sphere pressing into the sector again, the Shohan are weighing their options for finally ending the siege. It is their hope to prevent the technology behind this successful defense from reaching the Terran Sphere proper by any means necessary.
The Por Nossas Mãos System
By Our Hands or Por Nossas Mãos is one of the inhabited star systems of the Alastair sector. The star itself is an F-V main sequence star about 3.75 billion years old. It is circled by six planets: 3 rocky worlds with only wisps of atmosphere in the inner system, 2 gas giants, and an ice giant on the other edge of the system. The fourth planet, a gas giant called Yùshān for its brilliant green coloration, sits squarely in the middle of star’s goldilocks zone, around which orbits Diyu: the fifth, largest, and last moon of Yùshān. Unlike most moons, Diyu is not tidally locked with its planet, instead maintaining a 5:2 orbital resonance with Yùshān; not unlike Mercury and its orbit around Sol. Uniquely, Diyu also has its own moonlet, christened Saci by Diyu’s settlers after a trickster figure of Brazilian folklore. It’s believed that this lumpy, barely spherical little moon was captured early in the system’s formation, and the transfer of its momentum to Diyu prevented it from becoming tidally locked to its plnet. In the process several of Yùshān’s smaller moons were ejected, some of which have since settled into trojan orbits trailing Yùshān at its L5 point.
The moon maintains a breathable atmosphere and life-giving hydrosphere, but its comparatively low gravity and the gravitational stresses it experiences from its primary have shaped the world into a complex global canyon network with an entrenched river-sea at its bottom. The canyons are broken only by the occasional patch of open sea, mesa top, or more frequently, volcano. This labyrinth helped give the moon its name after the maze-like Chinese hell, although the moon is a considerably nicer place to live than most traditional depictions of this afterlife. Purple toned wall-hugging vegetation climbs the canyon sides and most creatures have adapted to this vertical life.
Diyu's skies are almost always hazy, if not outright cloudy, as the world's warm temperatures, volcanism, and low gravity leave the planet under an almost perpetual shroud. Due to the moon’s passage through Yùshān's magnetic fields it has a highly charged ionosphere that has been hazardous to surface-to-orbit travel. Before they were destroyed by the Shohan, its beanstalks were major engineering challenges to emplace, requiring significant grounding and stabilization work.
Most buildings accommodate the weather and tectonics by embracing a flexible nature. To newcomers, the sight of a village swaying in the breeze or shaking with the earth takes some getting used to. Visitors with motion sickness are advised to sleep on the ground floor to avoid most of the motions.