HSS History’s Hope
As part of my Detailed Frontier Timeline, one of the threads I’ve introduced is the voyage of the Histran Starship (HSS) History’s Hope, registered out of Histran in the Scree Fron system. The goal of this voyage is to attempt to reach a star system that recent astronomical observations believe to be Yazira, the original homeworld of the yazirian species.
In my Yazirian History and Legends and Lore – Yazirians posts last month, I pointed out that most modern yazirians don’t know the location of their native world having fled some 150 years earlier to escape an astronomical disaster. Early in the Detailed Frontier Timeline I introduced the astronomical discovery of a system that matches the description of the yazirian homeworld, complete with a nearby brown dwarf. It is this system the HSS History’s Hope is trying to reach.
Of course there are some complications. First, the system is over 100 light years, in a straight line, from Scree Fron. Jumping from star to star, it’s even further. And all of those jumps are uncharted so each one carries the risk of a misjump and the crew getting lost along the way. They’ve had several misjumps in the timeline already and they aren’t even halfway there. In fact, they’ve just barely left the area covered by my Extended Frontier Map. This is additionally complicated by the fact that the ship is heading into the Vast Expanse, a region of space where the stars are further apart and thus the jumps are longer and more difficult to chart.
The second complication for their voyage is that the Family of One doesn’t really want them going out there and finding Yazira. And are willing to take measure to ensure that they won’t return. They have already been set upon by unknown assailants but managed to escape and continue their journey. They can expect more of the same in the days to come.
At some point I’ll probably do a write-up and timeline of the whole endeavor as a single post instead of having it spread out through the full timeline project for those that want to see how the mission played out and more of the background related to it’s organization and funding. If that is something you’d be interested in, let me know.
The Yazira Sector
As part of this project, I needed to place the yazirian homeworld. I chose to put it way off to the left of the Frontier, well beyond the area covered by the Extended Frontier Map (EFM). Since I didn’t have any maps of this area I had to create one.
For this map, instead of doing a large area, I chose to do a small, long strip. Enough to allow for multiple possible paths through the area, but not too big. I the end, I made it 90 light years wide (the same width as the EFM), and 20 light years tall (1/5 the EFM). However, I added in a new wrinkle. Unlike the EFM, which has all the stars in a single plane, I added a third dimension to this map making it 24 light years thick. So instead of all the stars being in the same plane, they have a z-coordinate as well.
This is a feature that was already part of my star map generation program that I had turned off for the EFM. I talked a bit about this in my post on the Rael Core Sector map. The image to the right shows how this is represented on the map with the z-coordinate represented by the small number to the lower right of the stellar symbols. Those three systems look close to one another but are widely separate in actual space. RS069 and RS073 are actually 5.1 light years apart, RS069 and RS064 are 9.1 light years apart, and RS064 and RS073 are the closest to each other, separated by only 4.6 light years even though they appear to be the furthest apart on the map.
Additionally, the Yazira sector is part of the Vast Expanse, an area of low stellar density, i.e. not a lot of stars. So in addition to turning on the z-component of the position, I also dialed down the density parameter in the program by a factor of almost 3. So we now have 1/3 the number of stars spread over about 4 times the volume of space. This means that in this region, there are going to be fewer stars than in a comparable area on the EFM. It doesn’t look that sparse to the eye because of the projection on the the 2D plane of the map, but crunching the numbers (and assuming a thickness of 5 ly for the EFM even though they are all on a single plane) you get a density on the EFM of 1 system per 159 cubic light years and in the Yaziria Sector of 1 system per 645 cubic light years. A factor of almost exactly 4. If I strictly held the EFM to a thickness of one, it would be a factor of 20.
So what does this region look like? Well, here’s the map. You’re going to have to click on it to see the details. In fact, I recommend right clicking, downloading it, and opening it up in another window where you can zoom and pan around.
The EFM is to the right of this map. OFS222 is shown on the far right (the blue star about 1/3 of the way from the top) so you can connect it up with the EFM if you want. (This map is actually 94 light years wide. I added on the extra 4 light years so that OFS222 would be on the map, showing the overlap). OFS215 should be on this map as well, but I forgot to add it in when making this draft version of the map. I’ll be sure it gets on there for the next iteration when the HSS History’s Hope gets a bit farther along on its voyage.
The first thing we notice, even without looking at the map at full resolution, is that there aren’t a lot of bright stars here. We see a few, but mostly we see small red dwarfs (M stars). There are a few blue stars and a few giants. This is why the yazirians had to go all the way to the Frontier sector to find a suitable planet. There just weren’t any around.
Also there aren’t any nebula. That’s intentional, this area of space is actually devoid of them. That is a part of it being more empty that the Frontier sector. I won’t be adding any in on the final version of the map once it is done (other than the one between OFS222 and OFS215).
Zooming in you can see that most of the star systems are unlabeled. The only ones I have labeled so far are those that the HSS History’s Hope have visited and the one they believe to be Yazira. Others will get named as they travel through the sector and the final map will be presented in a future update.
The system that the crew of the HSS History’s Hope believes to be Yazira (spoiler, it is) is located at the far left of the map above the legend. This system is represented as a K4 star with a brown dwarf companion. The brown dwarf that disrupted the planetary system is still very close the star, less than a light year away, so it is represented as a single system on the map.
Looking at the right side of the map, you can see the jump routes plotted by the HSS History’s Hope as of today (March 24, 2020) as posted in the timeline posts on Twitter. A new feature on this map that wasn’t on the EFM is the one-way jump, represented as a dashed line with an arrowhead on it. The arrow points in the direction that the jump can be considered “charted.” The jump from YS01 to YS02 is the most recent jump made; they are still slowing down to make the return jump. They had a misjump that took them to YS03 (so no charted jump there) and while trying to jump back to YS01, misjumped again and ended up in YS04 (again no charted jump between those two systems). They did successfully chart the jump from YS04 back to YS01 but did not try to go the other direction, hence that connection is only one way.
Right now the HSS History’s Hope is in the YS02 system slowing down and preparing to chart the jump back to YS01. They are somewhat hesitant about that as the ship that attacked them is probably still in that system and they may have another fight on their hands. We’ll see how it goes as the timeline unfolds.
The HSS History’s Hope still has a long way to go. From YS02 to Yazira is still another 80 light years in a straight line. It’s taken them over half a year to cover the 29 light years they’ve traveled so far. And their path forward is far from straight with lots of long difficult jumps ahead. Who knows what waits for them along the way.
If you want a fun exercise, you might try finding a path forward to Yazira and see how difficult the journey will be. Remember that the chance to plot a new route is 50% + 10% x astrogator’s skill level – 5% x jump distance in light years. They have a level 6 astrogator, plus deluxe astrogation equipment (which in my house rules gives a +10% bonus to astrogation checks). This means their base chance of success is 120% – 5% x distance. With a roll of 96-00 always being failure.
If the jump fails, they end up somewhere other than where they planned and then have to try to figure out where they are (30%+10% x level chance and takes 2d10 x 10 hours per attempt). Each jump takes 9 days (180 hours) unless it’s over 9 light years long. Then it takes a number of days equal to the number of light years. How long did it take you to get to Yazira?
What do you think about this sector map? Are there things you like to see added? Clarified? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.