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|This article or subsection has an associated category.||Daros IV|
Daros IV was the fourth planet of the Daros star system, in the Alpha or the Beta Quadrant, lying just outside the Organian Treaty Zone on the Federation side. It orbited Daros, an F class white star at 1.4 AU, or roughly 200 million kilometers, and was the only class M planet in its system.
- Daros IV shares a similar name and location to Dayos IV.
The governing body of Daros IV was the Council of Trade, which was comprised of Council Lords drawn from the senior members of the Five Families that dominated the world: the Althori, Kerav, Beldav, Simri, and Keros families. Federation sociologists classified them as paternal, corporate and governmental. True to the Council's name, all were largely concerned with trade, each with their own merchant fleet and a number of separate commercial ventures. Meanwhile, the Council secured exclusive trade treaties with Daros IV's richest neighbors, with the Lords acting as middlemen for all dealings.
Each Family had its own insignia or sign, which appeared on their officials' clothing and adorned their facilities.
In the late 23rd century, Daros IV was a neutral world, without any diplomatic relations with the United Federation of Planets, which was still new to the region. The Families were generally reluctant or disinterested in forming closer ties with it, and were even unwilling to sign long-term contracts with Federation businesses.
Daros IV has closer relations with a dozen neighboring worlds, such as the Klethor system, the Miros system and Tor III, with exclusive trade deals with them. A number of Federation companies and independent merchants attempted to break this monopoly, but without success; they preferred their tried-and-trusted traditional agreements with the Orions to those of unknown aliens. According to Starfleet Intelligence, careful applications of bribery, intrigue, and violence also went a long way in maintaining Family influence over their clients.
Unfortunately, these worlds were also relatively primitive – so much so, in fact, that contacting them would have been forbidden under the Federation's Prime Directive, given the chance. It was too late, however, and the Orion-borne influx of advanced technology into their primitive societies permanently altered the native cultures. What's more, Federation-based merchants attempted to cash-in on the trade, much to Starfleet's and the UFP's disgust. These worlds were hungry for high-technology goods.
- "The business of Daros is business." – local saying
In keeping with their clan-based culture, it was estimated that around 90% of the Orion population of Daros IV was affiliated in some way with one Family or another. Their familial relationships and financial arrangements welded them into a relatively close-knit group, both socially, economically, and politically. Status within a family depended on one's wealth and birthright; those directly descended from eldest sons of founding members were superior to relatives from younger sons or from associated clans.
Despite Daros IV's rich deposits of radioactive ores, the best veins lay deep in the central desert, where large-scale mining operations were unfeasible. The world was so harsh and lifeless that the inhabitants never developed any local industries. Instead, Daros IV relied heavily on interstellar trade for its prosperity and economic stability, and made itself a commercial center for its sector, concentrating on peaceful trade. It had a reputation for fortunes made dealing in rare or illegal goods.
The capital city of Daroskelar was situated on the coast of a mountainous peninsula stretching north from the planet's main continent, lying on a slightly sloping plain between the base of the mountains and the sea. A few hundred small buildings sat close together by the coast, while the higher ground was given over to the estates of the Five Families. It was a small city, with a population of approximately 100,000 people, who got around primarily by groundcars. It was powered by several fusion power plants, and was brightly illuminated at nights. The city favored adobe buildings and white-washed walls.
- Though the text says a peninsula "jutting north" from the main continent, the map shows no obvious candidates. A south-facing peninsula or one on the secondary continent may be more accurate.
The Family estates, such as Keroskar and Keravkar (the "House of Keros" and of Kerav, respectively), were large and clearly defined, each with extensively irrigated fields for crops, each fed by their own water storage tank. At the center of each estate was a sizeable several-story mansion build around a domed inner courtyard.
Most of the economic activity on the world took place in the Bazaar, in either the Colony's High Market or its Shadow Market. The High Market was the center of legitimate trade, and goods of all kinds from Daros IV's trading partners were bought and sold here. Representatives of the Five Families controlled all business here: only Orions were permitted to buy and sell cargos freely, while Federation-based and independent traders had to seek authorization from one of the Families to sell their goods, else they would receive no business at all. The High Market was situated on a plateau overlooking the Starport, and consisted of a number of large trading domes that shimmered in the sun by wide avenues, each one bearing the insignia of the Family that controlled it. The air-conditioned interiors provided shelter against the sun and were filled with trade goods, merchants and auctions. It was a busy and noisy place, with dense crowds of alien merchants of all varieties frequently parted by tracked flat-bed carriers that transported goods in and out.
The Shadow Market (or Low Market), meanwhile, was a center for illicit trade. Although by custom Family names were never used, the Five Families were just as influential inside the Shadow Market as they were everywhere else. It lay on the desert floor just below the High Market and not far from the Starport. It was a cluster of white-washed adobe buildings and narrowing winding alleys, and it smelled from the garbage in the streets, the press of people and the various alcohols and drugs. The Shadow Market was populated by beggars, conmen, thugs, prostitutes and their pimps, drug-dealers, landed spacers and assorted scoundrels. Here, one could find bars (Mavro's Place and Soron's Hole), drug dens (The Tears of Rigel) and bordellos (such as Madame Altair's House of Joy).
Further afield, over 300 kilometers south of the Starport and hidden in a mountain range of the main continent was Skaroskar, a fortified subterranean complex built to be Merkos Kerav's luxurious new "mansion" and intended seat of power.
Daros IV had a year of 1.65 Earth years and a 28 hour day. It was orbited by two moons. Although it was larger than Earth, Daros IV had a slightly lower density and a gravity of 0.9 g, due to a scarcity of heavy metals. About 31% of its makeup was normal metals, 13% was radioactive elements, 6% was gemstones and 6% was industrial crystals, with trace amounts of other special minerals. The radioactive ores were significant, and the richest veins were found deep in the vast central desert of the primary continent.
It was a class M world, the only one in its system, with a normal atmospheric density but a desert climate, with hot days and cold nights. The environment consisted of large deserts, small greenish-blue seas and patches of yellow-green vegetation, and was generally quite barren. The coastal areas of the main continent supported life, while the great heat, limited water and poisoned soils rendered its vast interior desert almost uninhabitable.
In such harsh conditions, few native plant and animal species remained, and were generally rare and harmless. However, there were three particularly dangerous predators that still survived in the deserts and mountain ranges of Daros IV: the Morakos, the Slethi and the Korgasant.
Daros IV had a total surface area of 504,900,000 square kilometers and, with 62% land mass, a total land area of 313,000,000 square kilometers.
- Although not stated, references to rare and remaining/surviving animals and plants and the poisoned soils imply that Daros IV suffered an environmental catastrophe and a mass extinction. As the local Orions never developed any local industries due to the harsh environment, they presumably arrived after this event and did not cause it.
Orion trading captains colonized Daros IV at some time in the past; their descendants became the Five Families who governed the world. During the 23rd century, it became isolated from mainstream Orion civilization for a number of decades, being the only Orion Colony in its area. However, it grew to become a center of trade for a dozen neighboring worlds, and, as far as Starfleet Intelligence knew, it had not been used as a base of Orion piracy.
In the late 23rd century, the Federation was new to the region, but it had been preceded by a number of its companies and independent merchants. Increasing numbers of Federation-based merchants began passing along routes near Daros, which made the region an important one to watch for Starfleet.
Seeing an opportunity use Daros IV against the Federation, Commander Kothaar, a Klingon intelligence officer with experience in the Orion Colonies, developed and headed the "Daros Operation". He contacted Council Lord Merkos Kerav and promised him the Klingon Empire's assistance in unifying Daros IV under Kerav rule, beginning with developing a base of piracy to attack Federation shipping. To this end, they imported high technology goods from the Empire, some of which was resold, while more went into the construction of an advanced pirate ship, the Morakos, and a fortified mansion at Skaroskar. In fact, the Klingons had little interest in supporting Kerav any more than they had to. They intended for him to launch pirate raids against Federation shipping and provoke Starfleet retaliation against a neutral world, soiling their reputation with other independent worlds and the Organians, and otherwise tying up Starfleet resources (FASA RPG module: Orion Ruse).
Over three years later, in stardate 2/1407 (circa 2273), Starfleet Intelligence received vague rumors of unidentified starships and Klingons visiting Daros IV. Concerned about the rise of a hostile government or pirate activity that would threaten Federation trade, they selected Commander Michael Thorn, an experienced agent in the Orion Colonies, and assigned him to the "Daros Investigation". With a one-man ship and the cover story of a lone fortune hunter, he journeyed to Daros IV.
Within a month of his arrival, Thorn uncovered the Kerav-Klingon arrangement, but was recognized by Ivra Kerav, who had dealt with him previously on the Orion homeworld. On stardate 2/1410.21 (or stardate 8310.5), while returning to Outpost 36, he was ambushed by Kerav's ship, the Morakos, and captured. An incomplete subspace message however reached the outpost, worrying Thorn's superiors with his disappearance. They sent a band of Starfleet personnel to investigate and complete Thorn's assignment, travelling on the Larson-class USS Patton.
Five weeks later, in stardate 2/1412, the TransSolar company sent their Mission-class transport ship Eridani Star to Daros IV to attempt trade negotiations with the Keros Family, with a load of computers, electronics and other high technology goods to sell. However, the USS Patton stopped the Eridani Star and commandeered it to carry the undercover Starfleet investigators to Daros IV as well. The Patton would patrol outside the system to provide support if necessary. Both the TransSolar traders and the Starfleet investigators arrived on Daros IV and commenced their separate missions, the latter opposed by the Klingon-Kerav alliance and the former in brutal competition with the crew of their rival company InstellCo's Mission-class transport ship Werewolf, and complicated by each other. (FASA RPG modules: Orion Ruse, Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update)
- As this is an RPG adventure module, the official outcome is unknown, though a successful conclusion for each group would see TransSolar open trade with the Keros Family, and the Starfleet personnel uncover the Klingon interference, discover the Skaroskar compound, rescue Michael Thorn and escape, with the Patton destroying the Morakos.
Inhabitants of Daros IVEdit
- Council Lord Merkos Kerav