Ruler: Yusef abn Rahim al-Malik Cathedral: St. Ignatius (Orthodox) Agora: Reeves Garrison: 8 Capital: Acheon Jumps: 1 Tech Level: 8 Human Population: 2,600,000,000 Alien Population: 10,000,000 Resources: Ores, timber, coal, agriculture Exports: Refined Ore, Military Tech, Entertainment, Chemicals, Machinery, Vehicles, Textiles, Clothing, Cotton, Timber, Pharmaceuticals, Agriculture, Iron, Jewels, Gold
|Plane Name||Distance from Sun||Notes|
|Budh||0.356 AU||Extreme heat and little atmosphere; Uninhabited and uninhabitable; Strongly reflects sunlight, called the Morning Star|
|Aristotle||0.703 AU||Partially terraformed during the 2nd Republic; League city of Herodotus is the only settlement, a mining colony|
|(Ardelle)||moon||Military base and monitoring station; Last line of defence against Symbiot and Vuldrok attacks|
|Mehmet||1.573 AU||Rich in ores; League mining colonies|
|(Czar)||moon||Asteroid captured into orbit|
|(Sultan)||moon||Asteroid captured into orbit|
|Khlebnikov||2.98 AU||Small world; Military monitoring station|
|Ellylon||6.107 AU||Not quite a gas giant; Seven moons; Life in upper atmosphere; Mining for metallic hydrogen|
|Bhuta||32.37 AU||Smallest planet in the system; Volcanically active, giving it a red appearance from near constant lava flows|
The first permanent human settlement on Criticorum was called Mazadarun, settled sometime between 2520 and 2600, and comprised mostly of marginalized religious sects. This was quickly followed by freezone advocates, democratic anarchists, libertarian freethinkers, consitutional republicans, utopian socialists and many others. Poe's rebellion in 2708 against unpopular tax increases drove the elected officials offworld and opened the way for Bashshar Corporation to seize power.
Bashshar, a communications and weapons technology conglomorate, left the planet's self-governing regions in autonomous but dependent positions. Munir Ibn Tarif, ancestor of the al-Malik lineage, created a visionsynth drug called Luxdei-3 while employed at Bashshar. Munir Ibn Tarif's daughter, Fatima, married Kansbar Caspiri, the president of Bashshar Corporation.
During a rebellion against corporate rulership, the planet was suddenly conquered by the Ukar. Bashshar aided the Ukari after the conquest was complete, pacifying rebellious city-states. Criticorum was the first planet to be liberated by Palamedes when the human's counteroffensive began. After the liberation, Bashshar reasserted power under the guise of the Peltan Oligarchy, and by 3200, the Caspari were Dukes of Criticorum. The marriage of Arif Abdul Salam al-Malik to Duchess Nawar Caspari in 3411 broke the existing power structure and transformed the world into a democracy. A Universal Voting Act was passed in 3422. The Second Republic was a boom time for Criticorum, defining much of the era's arts, fashion and entertainment.
When the noble houses siezed Byzantium Secundus, many republican officials fled to Criticorum, where Republican ruled endured another 200 years. A depression in 4226 was followed by famine and starvation when corporate sea-farms failed for lack of high-tech replacement parts. Following a violent civil war, the Red Guard (socialist-utopian party) seized power in 4238, followed by 20 years of dictatorship. The Li Halan and Decados conquered the world, supposedly to end to anti-royalist threat the Red Guard represented. General Sorhab, a Red Guard army captain, rebelled against Li Halan and Decados rule in 4262, driving them off and ruling the world until 4299.
After General Sorhab's death, the world reverted once again to al-Malik rule and various branches of the al-Malik family have fought over control of the world ever since. During the Symbiot Wars, many refugees flooded the world, overtaxing the social services and creating mass corruption within the government. During the Emperor Wars, there was civil war on Criticorum between the different family branches, with the rebels aided by the Decados. Duke Hakim utilized the 5th Dark Legion of Ukar to suprress the rebellion, driving off the Decados in 4991 at Mount Rudaki.
Today Criticorum is the most populous and unruly of the al-Malik worlds. It was settled by a thousand different factions, and a thousand different factions remain today. Many people consider that if a plot doesn't originate on Criticorum, it will not succeed. The world is noted for its many famous artists, philosophers, architects, and others. The social heirarchy of the world is noteworthy itself, consisting at the highest levels of nobles and aristocrats, followed by plutocrats, guilders, freemen, then serfs and finally slaves. As well, there are estimated to be some five million Ukari spread across the world.
One of the more gruesome features of the planet's social landscape is the Blood Harvest. Various cities (most notably Larrane, Acheon and Rothitaka) pay for the prvilege of publicly executing criminals. These public executions draw large crowds and provide much economic activity for the city it is held in.
In Acheon, gladitorial combat is done once per year with condemned prisoners fighting to the death in the Slaughter Bowl, involving some 500 prisoners in 5 days. This practice is almost 500 years old and is heavily backed by the guilds despite many large protests. The Church retains the right to save 50 of the condemned.
The Perleria region is ruled by the Baroness Prajna Sophia al-Malik. In addition to the al-Malik fiefs, there are also here Church fiefs, lead by Bishop Munus, which control much of the local commerce; House Torenson fiefs, lead by Sir Zachery Torenson; and House Juandaastas fiefs, lead by Marquessa Sabine al-Malik Juandaastas. The Juasdaastas are attempting to restock the area with endangered species, but the Torensons don't understand and try to wipe out various predators as they are introduced. This has resulted in high tensions between the Torensons and Juandaastas.
The island is home to the Wyeming Mountains, and the western coast is heavily forested (coniferous), and home to many foresters and trappers. The southern part of the island is rich in farmland and grazing fields. Marriages are arranged from birth in this part of the world, and the 7th child of any marriage is automatically a freeman and receives a free education. It is also home to the Church of St. Maya. North Perleria is home to reindeer herders and artic villages of Shimo, an eskimo-like people who combine Orthodox dogma with shamanistic practices. Sikkeena (Knife Weasels) roam the artic regions in large herds - they have opposable thumbs and are known to attack human villages. Legends of Leviathans persist, possibly guardians of the sunken Ur city of Daztlanshi.
- 100 million population
Located in Shamal, Nordwood forest is home to many woodsmen and trappers. Although originally farmland, a forest has grown up since the collapse of the Second Republic. Nordwood is home to a number of Ghareeb, or coyote men - Second Republic experiments in gene splicing.
Other features of the region include the Rhine River, the Hovin River, and many a gold and ore mine. There are also the cities of Rothitaka, Ost, and Acheon. Overall, the people of Shamal are religiously liberal but politically orthodox.
The city of Ost is a city of one million humans and 220,000 Obun. It is ruled by Consul Pollux of the Charioteers and is not surprisingly home to a spaceport. The city is to be controlled by the Charioteers until the year 5015, when it will be handed over to the al-Malik as per a long-standing treaty agreement. By tradition, any serfs who live in Ost for 7 years become freemen. Some areas are very poor and run down, with open drug use and prostitution.
Acheon, a city of 10 million, is ruled by Yusif abn Rahim al-Malik, a competent and tolerant ruler. It also is home to a bustling spaceport, the planet's main agora, and the St. Ignatius Cathedral, run by Archbishop Gampopa, who is a conservative, but not harsh; a friend of the Merchant League and a supporter of the Chorali. The city also hosts a significant Amalthean presence. Parts of the city are known by their political affiliation, and the Vorox and Ukari have their own quarters (the Ukari quarter is known as Tada-Town). Some of the best restaurants in the Known Worlds in the theatre district, and Zebulon's Tower is the second tallest structure in the Known Worlds, employing grav discs and terracite. The city suffers from a severe smog problem from many factories and petrol vehicles, and oxygen masks are necessary in many parts of the city and oxygen centers are common. Three air filtering plants have failed in the past century, leaving only one that still functions. Work has begun on fixing the largest of the broken ones. The People's Knights operate here, a democratic terrorist organization.
- 1,500 million population
Most of the people of Salamandra are Orthodox, and the Church owns a good deal of land in this region. There are three major cities here - Isfahan, Tabrast, and Savpna. The Khesir Forest is home to the great al-Malik garden and zoo estates, while the Ahmar Desert is full of Diasporan ruins and the small ukari town of Avgast. Rumors of antinomy in the Ahmar region are being investigated by the Avestite, and peasant disappearances are common.
Isfahan is controlled by the Fisher's Guild, with its high-tech fleet, and backed by the Muster. It is home to one million people and has its own spaceport. Tensions run high between the Muster backed Fisher's Guild, a yeomen based fishing guild and an al-Malik backed fishing guild, and Muster ships reguarly attack the other factions' ships. A sunken 2nd Republic city has been discovered in the prime fishing area, and a probable war is in the making between the Muster and the al-Malik over rights to the sunken city.
Tabrast is a city of six million, many of which are refugees of the Symbiot Wars. This city also has its own spaceport. Various branches of the al-Malik family live here, constantly at each other's throats, and the police are rife with corruption and often shakedown refugees.
The Malik Mohafza fief is ruled by the Baron Hamid al-Malik, who desires to be appointed governor of the world. To that end, the Baron has allied himself with Duke Hakim. This fief is one of open country and large royal estates, bordered by the Disamber Mountains, which are rumored to hold Ur ruins. The city of Savpna is located in this fief, a large seaport of great wealth and gross overcrowding, home to one million people.
- 900 million population
Yintrai is a free city, meaning any criminal who makes it to this city is off-limits to authorities. However, despite the refuge status of the city, it is officially quarantined and no longer popular due to plague-bombs dropped on it by the Decados during the Emperor Wars. These plague bombs caused DNA mutations that turned many people in monsters. The Church sometimes airlifts supplies into the city, but its spaceport is now no long in use, at least not in any official capacity.
- 100 million population