Sarum Prime is the capital system of the Sarum Family. It is in the Domain region and, at a single jump from the Amarr system, is (along with Kor-Azor Prime) the closest of the Heirs' capital systems to the Amarr homeworld. The system contains seven planets; three temperate, one gas giant, one lava, one storm, and one barren. It is a system of major importance in the Empire.
Discovery and Exploration
The Sarum system has been known by the Amarr since ancient times. The system's star is dimly visible from Amarr Prime without the need for a telescope. For thousands of years, the star has been considered the star of the Sarum house. Around three-thousand years ago, the star underwent a brief period of increased luminosity which made it brighter in the sky for roughly a year. This increased brightness coincided with a series of good fortune for the Sarum Family, which took the star to be an omen of good luck.
Because the system is physically distant from the seat of the Amarr Empire, it took some time after the rediscovery of jump gates for Amarr explorers to reach the system. Because the Sarum Family desired its exploration and colonization, however, they pressed for a speedy expedition. The first explorers that arrived were loyal to the Sarum Family and reported a system with a stunning three planets capable of housing human life.
The Sarum Family quickly petitioned the Council of Apostles for authority over the system, which was granted. The family immediately claimed the third planet as their capital and began colonizing it. From there, they slowly spread their power over the entire system and eventually put large cities on all three terrestrial worlds, as well as smaller habitations on the others for scientific and economic purposes.
Until YC 105, the system was considered a low-security system by CONCORD. When Jamyl Sarum committed Shathol'Syn following the coronation of Doriam II, Sarum Family security forces massed in the system and it was reclassified as a high-security system shortly after.
The system's sun, known as "Sarum's Star", is an old class M0 V red dwarf star. It has a surface temperature of 3124 K and an equatorial radius of 412000 km. Despite being an aged star, because of its spectral class, it is expected to remain stable for many billions of years.
Roughly three-thousand years ago, the star underwent a brief period of increased luminosity. The increase in luminosity lasted for roughly one year. Such sudden changed in luminosity are extremely rare in red dwarf stars and there is no evidence the star will be entering a similar period again. The geological record on all three temperate planets indicate mass extinctions occurring during this short period. The causes for this sudden increase in luminosity remain unexplained, though numerous theories have been advanced.
Sarum Prime I
The first planet in the system is a small lava world. It is tidally locked with Sarum's Star, so that one side always faces the sun. Despite this, the planet has enough of an atmosphere to keep the entire surface superheated. Because of the extreme temperatures of the world, it was the last in the system to be inhabited and exploited.
Today, the planet is primarily of scientific interest, with several small research stations scattered around its surface. These stations are permanently inhabited, though teams rotate out regularly. Additionally, several planetary extraction sites are present, collecting the planet's sparse resources, including base metals and suspended plasma.
Sarum Prime II
A warm, small temperate planet, Sarum Prime II was initially deemed unsuitable for colonization. It has a mean temperature of 300 K, with highs at certain equatorial regions reaching 360 K. Much of the planet is also quite humid, making it very uncomfortable for most human habitation. Because it is so close to its sun, it has a very rapid orbit, meaning it essentially has no seasonal variation as well.
However, after Mekhios, Sarum Prime II was considered the most viable to be colonized. It remains the second-most populated planet in the system and is thus one of the more heavily populated worlds in the Empire. The planet is primarily an agricultural world, serving as the main source of grains for the Sarum system. It is home to several varieties of Amarr wheat that take advantage of the heat and high level of rainfall to grow rapidly and perpetually.
Prior to colonization, the planet had an advanced biosphere. Human colonization has pushed numerous land species to extinction, while many more exist almost solely in zoos and private collections. The planet's rich oceans are home to a variety of aquatic species, several of which are commercially fished.
During the Elder War, the planet was targeted by Insorum bombardment. The damage was quickly contained, however, due to the intervention of Jamyl Sarum.
Mekhios (Sarum Prime III)
Mekhios, named after the founder of the Sarum Family, was the first planet colonized in the system. It has an unusual atmospheric composition which leaves it appearing almost metallic from space, with silvery oceans and golden continents. This drew the Sarum Family to name it their capital planet and colonize it.
On the mean, the planet is slightly warmer than the second planet by a few degrees. However, the temperature variation is much wider across the planet, the extreme highs are smaller, and it is much less humid, making it far more comfortable for human habitation. The planet has a relatively short orbital period, giving it two seasons; a hot, dry summer and a warm, damp spring.
The planet, as the capital of the Sarum Family, is one of the most populated in the Empire. Today, the planet serves primarily as a tourist and trade hub, a place where the rich and affluent of the cluster can buy high-priced Amarr goods, see elaborate Amarr operas, and view famed works of art. Several prominent artists call Mekhios their home.
The planet's biosphere was very advanced and was home to several sub-sapient species that scientists believe may have one day evolved intelligence if allowed a few more million years of development. Because the planet has not been developed as an industrial or agricultural world as much as Sarum Prime II, the ecology has remained healthy and mostly stable, though some unavoidable extinctions occurred.
On June 10th, YC 110, the Battle of Mekhios occurred in orbit around the planet while Minmatar troops assaulted the surface freeing slaves. Due to the counter attack orchestrated by Jamyl Sarum, the initial damage was contained, though still great. However, the battle left large amounts of debris in orbit around the planet. Much of it remains in a seemingly-stable orbit today, though some entered the atmosphere and caused widespread destruction.
Sarum Prime IV
A small, cold gas giant, Sarum Prime IV is the primary source of noble gasses in the system. It is particularly used in the harvesting of Helium-3 for fusion reactions. Unlike many gas giants, the planet is dully colored, being mostly shades of gray, though it has some salmon-coloration at the poles.
The planet is small for a gas giant and is of some scientific interest because of that. Several research stations exist floating in the upper atmosphere to monitor the planet. These are mostly uninhabited, though they contain the resources to support a small team for up to a month at a time. The planet's gas harvesting plants are lightly staffed, as much of their processes are automated.
Sarum Prime V
Cool and stormy, Sarum Prime V is covered in a thick, turbulent atmosphere. Despite this, the planet is home to several shielded cities, though it is not as heavily populated as the temperate planets in the system. These cities have primarily sprouted up around rich deposits of metals and other valuable compounds, serving as support to mining corporations that extract these resources.
Inhabitants rarely see direct sunlight due to the thick cloud cover, though flashes of atmospheric lightning can brighten the sky for hours at a time during the ever-present storms. This has caused many visitors to become ill after a few days, due to disrupted sleep and biorhythm patterns.
The planet has a fairly diverse, if primitive, biosphere consisting mainly of microbial organisms that subsist off energy created by the storms. It seems unlikely that any multi-cellular life would have developed, however.
Sarum Prime VI
Straddling the line between a terrestrial and an ocean world, Sarum Prime VI lacks any large land masses. Instead, it is dominated by large seas dotted with small continents and archipelagos. Because of this, the planet's population is limited. Much of the land is inhabited, and several underwater cities exist, but it is a distant third in population to the other two temperate planets in the system and does not rank highly on the population list of planets in the Empire.
The planet's main industry is fishing, as the oceans are home to numerous aquatic species. While many of these are fished for consumption, several have important medical uses as well. One species of mollusc excretes as toxin that can be refined into a powerful pain killer.
Notably, the planet has 21 moons, a rarity for a terrestrial planet. The moons range in size from asteroid-sized (Moon 5, with a 173 km radius) to larger than some planets (Moon 16, with a 3968 km radius). The interactions of these moons cause for highly complex tides.
Sarum Prime VII
A barren planet at the outskirts of the system, Sarum Prime VII is an uninteresting planet. It has some mineral wealth, which has attracted some small mining colonies. Its orbit carries it far from the other planets, making it unimportant for intra-system trade as well.