Ancient Trails - A Spacer's Guild Campaign Played via Virtual Tabletop
VanKila Kiertotahti is Orion Confederation
Sovereign territory. The planet serves as one of
the major prisons of the Orion Confederation.
Consignment to this planet is considered one
of the toughest sentences that can be received.
The planet itself is resource poor, semiarid
and hot, with a thin and extremely tainted
atmosphere. As a place to live it has little to
recommend it. With the help of a specific drug
it is rated as marginally habitable.
A Federal Scout Service (FSS) vessel discovered
the VanKila Kiertotahti system in 2840 while on
a routine survey mission. The planet was found
to be marginally habitable. It contained a thin,
tainted atmosphere. The atmospheric problems
could probably have been overcome with terraforming,
however, this would have involved the
commitment of extensive financial and industrial
resources. With the presence of the earth clone
Terra so close by, and the system’s relative dearth
of resources this just didn’t make sense.
The system quickly became a haven for illegal
activities as it at least provided an easy enough
staging area with two extensive asteroid belts to
hide in when the heat was on.
In 2852 VanKila Kiertotahti was named an
Orion Prison Planet and within six months
began receiving its first inmates. Later on after
the initiation of hostilities in The Mutant War
the planet was used to house POW’s as well.
Tol, the primary is a class G, single star system.
Two asteroid belts, one inner and one outer and
three planets orbit it. The inner belt occupies the
closest orbital position to Tol, and is followed in
order by, VanKila Kiertotahti, Mytoka, Gysilar (a
gas giant) and the outer belt.
Even with two asteroid belts the system is
extremely resource poor. The asteroid belts do
not contain a great abundance of mineral wealth,
a situation that scientists have not been able
to satisfactorily explain to date. The outer belt
has calmed down some since the planet was
designated a prison planet and the attendant
security arrived. It is, however, still a haven for
some lawlessness. Smugglers and pirates still can
be found here but life is hard since there aren’t
really any legitimate asteroid miners they can hid
amongst. There is some work launching resupply
torpedoes towards the prison and attempting
close in smuggling runs. The patrons being
organized criminal gangs. But for the most part
the Kressler belt of Dorlass is far more attractive to
the criminal element these days.
There is some other activity in the system. Both
the outer and inner belts attract a lot of scientific
attention and both have permanent space
habitats in support of the research efforts.
There is a La Grange habitat, housing a colony of
Gaeans, radical feminists who choose to live totally
apart from males. Other than that there is little
activity in the system and no permanent residents.
The fatal flaw of VanKila Kiertotahti is its
thin tainted atmosphere and torrid average
temperature. Volcanic activity has produced
a high percentage of carbon monoxide in the
atmosphere. Given the atmosphere’s thin nature,
the carbon monoxide tends to build up in the
bloodstream leading to carbon monoxide
poisoning and eventually death. There have been
some attempts to lower the CO2 levels but the gas
has proved to be very intransigent. Another thing
that scientists have been unable to explain to date.
To overcome the atmospheric problem a drug
called Oxyre® by TransGen Corp was developed.
This drug only allowed the bloods hemoglobin to
bind with pure oxygen. This eliminated the problem
of carbon monoxide poisoning and allowed much
more efficient use of the available oxygen. If one
were to attempt to survive on the planet without
the use of Oxyre® or supplemental oxygen, it would
be like breathing at an altitude of approximately
3500 meters (10,500 feet) on Terra, and the average
individual would succumb to carbon monoxide
poisoning in 14-16 Earth Standard Days. The thin
atmosphere has lead to an unusual business on
VanKila Kiertotahti – oxygen bars!
These are quite popular in the Orion administration
settlements, and are even available in some
inmate-controlled cities. After becoming
acclimated to VanKila Kiertotahti’s lower oxygen
levels, taking in additional oxygen creates an
intoxicating effect. Taking oxygen in conjunction
with Oxyre® heightens the experience even
further. Several deaths have been attributed to
excessive use of Oxyre® with introduced oxygen.
The experience has been described as much more
intense than alcohol or most other commonly used
The planet has created quite a bit of interest in the
geologic and scientific community. The VanKila
Kiertotahti system is geologically quite old, and
research indicates it has been quite geologically
active during its existence. Therefore the planet’s
thin atmosphere is quite puzzling. It does not
possess an unusually slow rotation speed or
low gravity to explain its thin atmosphere. No
scientific explanation has yet been advanced to
explain this phenomenon.
The planet currently houses an inmate population
of 15.2 million. An additional 800,000 individuals
are Orion administration personnel, bringing
the total planetary population to 16 million.
The support personnel include 63,000 in three
Colonial Infantry divisions, 110,000 Warden
Service (OWS) officers, with the remainder being
other support personnel and the dependants of
all three groups. There is virtually no population
on VanKila Kiertotahti that is not in some way
connected to the business of the prison.