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Great Gorge
Associated MERC-NET Contracts:

     FS-RR-02-04      FS-SC-04-01      FS-DC-04-08      FS-DC-04-09

Region: Federated Suns
Ambassador: James Spencer
X:492.68 Y:-266.87
Planetary Capital: New Stockdon
Primary Climate: Mediterranean
Approximate Population: 1 Million People
Days to Jump Point:21 days
Planet Details:

[Other info]
Star: A3V Class
System position: 5th
satellite: 1, Little George
Gravity: 1.00
Atmosphere: Standard, terraformed
Planetary surface: 80% water
Highest native life: Plant life
Noble and family: Marquess Oscar Ulitov (3092)

Originally the only feature of note was a large canyon that gave the world its name. A religious group from Terra settled on Great Gorge just before the first Star League was formed. This religious group scattered seeds from airplanes and fish eggs into the seas. The resulting oxygen generated by the plants allowed the fish to survive as they consumed the native algae. Originally a marginally habitable world with minor amounts of arable land, by the fall of the Star League the world was packed with settlers enjoying the plentiful air, water, and food. In addition, several mining companies found that the Great Gorge itself provided easy access to minerals and precious metals.

In the thirty-first century, Great Gorge was still a contrast in extremes; the planet’s surface was dominated by mountain ranges and some of the largest valleys and canyons to be found anywhere within the boundaries of the Inner Sphere. Located close to both the Mica Majority and the Tortuga Dominions, Great Gorge sees many groups of varying reputation travel through, headed either for the gold-rush environment of the Majority or travelling for more nefarious purposes. Great Gorge itself was a world rich in minerals and supported the population at a much higher standard of living than the typical Periphery world, but this in turn made Great Gorge a tempting target for pirates like Fuchida's Fusiliers.

In 3055 Marquess Lawrence Ulitock, the planetary ruler, was actively recruiting mercenaries to defend Great Gorge, as the planet had been struck repeatedly by pirates in a series of fierce raids. The raids largely concentrated on attacking the mining areas and companies, although some attacks were launched against the various cities on Great Gorge to obtain slaves for trade; complicating the defense of Great Gorge were issues in obtaining supplies and ammunition for hired mercenary units, with supplies often arriving late or incomplete due to a lack of influence on the part of the Marquess.

[3092 Update]
The Snake Clan invasion of the Periphery Outback of the 3080s eliminated a large number of the pirates who previously plagued Great Gorge and drove the survivors to seek amnesty from their former victims. The elderly Marquess Lawrence Ulitov executed or gave life sentences to all those guilty of capital crimes and pardoned the rest. Since then the former bandits have settled and their technical skills have helped accelerate development efforts, but the ex-pirates form a distinct second-class citizenry who are shunned by the 'original' settlers of Great Gorge. This led to riots during the Broken Wheel Rebellion and a brief armed insurgency by ex-pirate terrorists. Though things have since gone back to normal, Marquess Oscar Ulitov spent a large amount of political capital to get his planet back in order and will need time to consolidate his power.

Great Gorge's primary economic activities remain the export of raw materials, basic machine components and processed foodstuffs. A minute tourism industry exists; Great Gorge's famous canyon system attracts around 2,000 thrill seekers from the Malagrotta, Islamabad and Chirikof PDZs every year who explore the planet's wilderness and indulge in windsurfing and other dangerous extreme sports.

Modern technology on Great Gorge is concentrated in the agricultural, mining and industry sectors. Medical and consumer technology is limited to 21st century standard. Media entertainment in particular is mostly 2-dimensional. Serious medical cases requiring advanced biological and radiological equipment need to be treated offworld. No tertiary education institutions exist on the planet, most young adults either acquiring learning off-world or going into apprenticeships upon completing schooling. Like most planetary rulers in the Periphery, Marquess Ulitov is eager to rectify his planet's shortcomings but is more concerned with avoiding unexpected disasters.

The Ulitov family has always been independent-minded and more inclined to rely on themselves than on the favour of either Broken Wheel or New Avalon. Nonetheless the Clan attacks on the Periphery forced Marquess Lawrence Ulitov to request urgent assistance which helped save the planet from becoming a Clan world or drowning in ex-pirate refugees; as a result Marquess Oscar Ulitov has become more favourably disposed towards the federal government. The Ulitovs refused to take part in the Broken Wheel Rebellion but the planet suffered from the anti-refugee riots during the Broken Wheel Rebellion fomented by secessionists.

In response some belligerent members of the ex-pirate community formed a terrorist group armed with weapons from illegal arms caches, and mounted a terrorist insurgency against those calling for expulsion of the refugees. When Marquess Ulitov vowed to prosecute the terrorists, they turned their sights on him too. Marquess Lawrence Ulitov was assassinated in a daring attack when multiple vehicle-borne suicide bombers intercepted his convoy as he left his office. His son Oscar Ulitov stepped up, declared a state of emergency and mobilised the militia against the terrorists. The insurgency lasted only months with all terrorists killed or captured by the end, but combined with secessionist riots it was enough to put Great Gorge on the list of worlds affected by the Broken Wheel Rebellion.

The Great Gorge Planetary Militia comprises just 1 Mech lance, 1 tank company and 1 infantry company formed from a cadre of part-time volunteers. The GGPM also operates a squadron of VTOLs. The Mech, armour and VTOL units do not accept volunteers from the ex-pirate members of the population. There are about twice as many volunteers as there is equipment and these make up an informal reserve equipped mainly with hunting rifles. Marquess Ulitov is known to operate a lance of family Mechs and the Ulitov personal retainers are equipped with Cavalier battle armour.

Up until the Clan invasion the biggest worry for Great Gorge were pirate raids. Since then the arrival of the Snake Clans has been a cause for great worry and Marquess Oscar Ulitov is considering significantly expanding the planetary militia. This will almost certainly mean the depletion of Great Gorge's reserves and additionally taking on loans and assistance from Broken Wheel, and this is a bitter pill for the extremely independent-minded settlers of Great Gorge.

Technological Development:

World of moderate advancement; average educational systems and medical care; microelectronics can not be manufactured.

Industrial Level:

Moderately industrialized; may produce a limited number/quantity of specific complex products.

Raw Material Dependence:

World/system produces all the raw materials needed and commonly exports large quantities of surplus.

Industrial Output:

World has a moderate industrial base that produces a few different categories of products, exporting some of the output.

Agricultural Development:

World has a rich environment producing a great excess of food in relation to population needs, with planet’s agricultural regions augmented by agricultural technologies; exports some portion of its resources.