[Cosmosdex] The Universal Encyclopedia



The Lustrous Lure

“No one comes here with the intention to stay, ya' know, the plan is always to get rich quick and get out. But whatta'ya know, things don't work out that way for most of them. I've been here for fifteen years, and I don't think I'm leavin' any time soon.” — Anonymous Local

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Dominant Residents: None

Fauna: Rats, Feral pets (imported)
Weather: Extreme

Danger Level: High
Purpose: Source of rare metals and minerals

Original Creator: ten11

Physical Description

The surface of Pyrite is a stark and bleak landscape consisting mostly of bedrock and mountains, with little vegetation or water. The planet's orbit is erratic, veering both close and far from its star, resulting in extreme seasons that alternate between scorching and freezing. The atmosphere is thick and oppressive, and chaotic weather can result in storms or hurricanes that last for weeks.

Despite all of this, the planet is well-populated, with numerous settlements located in every part of the globe. Most of these are partially underground, both for protection against the elements, and to give easier access to Pyrite's most significant feature; its vast store of mineral wealth. Precious metals, gemstones, and other earthly riches can be found almost anywhere in Pyrite, and mining is by far the most common occupation on the planet.


Pyrite was originally discovered by a group of explorers who landed, took a look around, noted its existence, and then left. For many years it lay in obscurity, as it was deemed too inhospitable to settle, had nothing interesting to attract visitors, and wasn't located on the way to anywhere significant.

This changed when a ship of outlaws landed on the planet, its crew hoping to use the place as a base of operations. As they dug into the ground, intending to construct a shelter from the harsh environment, they realised what they had stumbled onto, and changed their plans to start properly mining the planet. They were caught before they could begin, however, and Pyrite's prosperity became known to the rest of the universe.

Immediately, various species began making bids for the planet. The group that had found it first claimed that they should have ownership, but others said they had given up that right by neglecting it for so long. One swore it was their ancestral homeworld, another tried to plant evidence of previous settlement. Others made deals and tried to cash in favours and influence, or gave diplomatic arguments that it would be in everyone's best interest if they were given the planet. The dispute over ownership grew and grew, and in an attempt to de-escalate tensions between competing factions, the Federation proclaimed that no government, corporation or other legal entity could operate on Pyrite until the matter was settled, or they would face serious repercussions.

However, this did not prohibit individuals from landing on Pyrite and mining whatever they could, and as a result, waves of colonists began swarming towards the planet, all hoping to make their fortunes, and then get out. Alongside these settlers were groups sent out by their governments, hoping to escape the restrictions by not technically operating in an official capacity. As a result, towns and cities began popping up around mining sites, though without any recognised authority being permitted, these locations usually lack any kind of formal legal system, or have strange local customs that aren't the same anywhere else on the planet. Many of these places have crumbled over the years, due to the harsh conditions of living.


Prispar: Prispar is the largest settlement on the planet, with multiple levels of underground living housing a population in the thousands. The folk tend to be friendly, and many have occupations beyond just mining, though it is still typical for newcomers to get lost in the first hour and robbed in the second.

The Northern Plains: Due to a combination of factors involving Pyrite's orbit and spin, its north pole is one of the most livable places on the planet, with the temperature staying mild for almost the whole year. Ore veins are less plentiful here compared to elsewhere, however, so the area is mostly unoccupied, apart from a few residents who aren't interested in getting rich but actually want to live on Pyrite for whatever reason. Most of the other inhabitants find these people pretty weird, and usually leave them alone.


Legal Grey Zone: Technically speaking, Pyrite has no governing body or system of laws, and even the concept of private ownership is on shaky ground. However, the locals will still object strongly if you take their stuff, and most cities and towns have mafia gangs that crack down hard on miscreants operating outside of what they see as their jurisdiction. If one manages to leave Pyrite, it is unlikely they will ever be prosecuted for their actions on the planet, as long as they didn't break any galactic laws.


• The legal case for Pyrite has been ongoing for several decades, and while some progress has been made with most of the spurious claims being dropped, the remaining contenders are still locked in a fierce stalemate, which has only become more mired as the children of settlers have begun claiming the planet as their place of birth.

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