There are many mysteries, wonders and dangers in the Ten Thousand Worlds, some of them are worth a lot of money to those brave enough to investigate them. Most of them will kill you stone dead.
Welcome to the Ten Thousand Worlds.
The Vylk Enclave
The Vylk are the only (known) alien race in the Ten Thousand Worlds, and the Vylk Enclave is a marvel of megastructure engineering. By far the largest of the Worlds, and likely one of the oldest, it sits on the outer edge of the system far above the plane of the ecliptic. A Dyson Sphere, built around an artificial sun, orbited by a Ringworld. The Vylk are thought to live on or in the Dyson Sphere while the Ringworld is home to scattered human settlements, acting as agents for the Vylk engaged in a brisk trade in their technology.
The engineering makes little sense to anyone. The ring is too thin and rotates too quickly to survive under the estimated stress, the gravitational and structural stresses on the sphere are way above what would be considered normal engineering tolerances, and yet the whole system survives and appears to be extremely resilient. The Vylk, meanwhile, say nothing.
No one has ever seen a Vylk. Not really. They communicate with others very occasionally, via radio, visual and hologram when they always appear as an “odd” human; likely a form of digital construct. In person they are represented either by artificial life forms (advanced Bots) or human agents.
Within the Worlds they are known for one thing: advanced technology, which they hand out - for free or in trade - apparently randomly to anyone who asks for it. They offer no explanation of why they fulfill some requests and not others, or why they often ask for nothing material in return; although they may occasionally ask for a favour or two. Go to the Vylk, ask them for something and they may or may not give it to you with no explanation either way.
Located on the far edge of the Clotho/Lacesis binary pair in synchronous orbit with Atropos lies Takowa Anchorage, a way station for inbound or outbound traffic for Atropos and the gas giant, Colchis. At any given time, Takowa is a hive of activity with hundreds of ships docked for refuelling and exchanging cargos along with hundreds more in holding patterns waiting for their docking slot to open. It gets crowded out here.
Takowa itself is run by the Yoshitomo monger clan, along with several minor clans and guilds who specialize in various aspects of station operations and commerce. It’s current Master, Tanji Yoshitomo, maintains decent relations with and enjoys the support of a number of dynast families, clans and guilds but rules the station with an iron hand. Nothing happens here that he doesn’t know about, and if it does he’ll want to talk to you about it soon enough.
The Metasaru Anomaly
After the Vylk Enclave, Metasaru is the strangest object in the Worlds.
Hundreds of years of analysis have shown it to be a singularity - a black hole - roughly the size of a small planet, but the anomaly is that while it has an event horizon it has no measurable gravitational field and does not affect any other bodies in the system or ships approaching it, although it does induce gravitational lensing on any light passing by it.
It’s not even possible to orbit it, although there are any number of science ships in station-keeping positions near it, so things can get crowded.
Anything passing through the event horizon has never returned and is assumed destroyed.
Literally the last vestige of the original colony ships left intact in the Worlds, Vestige Station is a reminder of where the human presence in the system comes from.
Originally the colony vessel CV Ragnar Lodbrok (named after the Viking hero and explorer) it arrived in the Worlds under the command of Colony Fleet Admiral Stanij Braecia, and was retained by that dynasty for almost a century until falling to the lesser House Ristovic before the Treaty of the True King. It has stayed under their control ever since.
The largest ship in the fleet has now become one of the main agricultural hubs of the Worlds, it’s many decks and cargo bays long since converted to hydroponic gardens and bio-processing facilities run by the local Agronomics Guild. Trade and commerce is run by Clan Orelik mongers under licence from House Ristovic and it’s leader, Jarl Godemir Ristovic II.
A new World, Ignis was constructed in the peace between the Treaty of the True King and the Retaliation of the Tainted. During that uprising, Ignis fell into the hands of the Artificers Guild who converted it into a massive shipyard which profited greatly from the program of rebuilding in the Era of Spoils that followed.
Today, those shipyards account for a tenth of all the new ships built in the Worlds, along with providing dry-dock and repair facilities to keep the others flying. The guild council are, technically, based at Ignis, although it is rare to have all 27 council members present at any one time.