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|Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:41 pm Post subject: New Minos Sector Map (w/ Elrood Sector)
|There's never been an official map of the Minos Sector published, other than the Outer Rim Sectors map in The Essential Atlas Online Companion that used to be on StarWars.com (and is now preserved on Wookieepedia). It gives us an outline of the sector and only shows three of the systems, the ones which the WEG Tapani Sector materials had put on the Rimma and Trition trade routes. Planning a Elrood Sector/Minos Cluster campaign, I wanted a complete map of Minos to work with. This is my journey...
The first edition of Galaxy Guide 6: Tramp Freighters was published before we had any maps of the Star Wars galaxy. The Minos Cluster was described as a remote region removed from the rest of the Empire. Even calling it a cluster evokes imagery of satellite galaxies. The book's system "distance chart" (hyperspace durations) is of the WEG game's concept of hyperspace travel, that every journey is a straight shot. The published grid wasn't even based on an unpublished map that achieved the numbers by using a system of routes which go through some systems to get to others, because it has cases where it is quicker to go through multiple systems than the straight shot (Travnin to Mestra is 40 hours, but Travnin to Shesharile and Shesharile to Mestra is 20 hours total). However GG6 is somewhat self-contradictory because Adarlon is an influential system in the galaxy despite the cluster's remoteness.
After the EU began and the SW galaxy began to be mapped out, WEG began retconning itself. Despite GG 6 (even the 2e version) stating there was nothing beyond Minos, it placed the Kathol Sector beyond it. The Minos Cluster was originally unrelated to Elrood or Kathol, but the Tapani material put Minos between them and had the Rimma Trade Route end in Minos. It is also my understanding that some supplementary work to an EU video game established the Minos Cluster as a part of some Old Republic galactic war thousands of years before the films.
In 2009, The Essential Atlas attempted to take into account all previous continuity and to map out the entire galaxy. It embraced the then-standard practice of representing the three-dimensional galaxy two-dimensionally to the extreme degree of avoiding 3D solutions to contradictions. It embraced and further reinforced the later premise of hyperspace travel consisting of a network of routes and thus the norm of traveling through systems to get to other systems. That also helps explain some journeys in the films which seem so short for systems across the galaxy from each other, without which would be at odds with WEG's descriptions of generally long travel times between systems. It is also worth mentioning here that it was officially declared that no game-published hyperspace travel times were considered canon.
I consulted all the online fan maps of the Minos Cluster I could find, but I found something I didn't like about each of them. They either made some choices of system placement that seemed to contradict something published, and/or they were filled with a lot of GM-created systems that meant something to someone's personal campaign but not me. Those GMs should have and did make something that works for them, and there was no harm in sharing just in case someone else might find it helpful. Like them, I had to make my own too.
I tried to stay as true as possible to GG6 and the more recent other sources, in the spirit of TEA. The Minos Cluster is no longer "physically removed from the rest of the Empire", but TEA did have part of its southern border open to Wild Space. I ended up connecting the Minos Sector to other sectors of the Empire by routes other than the Rimma. Some of the out of date statements about the Minos Cluster in GG6 could still have been more true at some points in its history.
When I first tried to design a Minos Sector map, I took to heart the GG6 chart being labeled as a distance chart and tried having the systems being related in that way within the parameters of the three published systems being on the routes which goes through the system. It just wouldn't work out with a 2D representation. It is possible that it could work out as a 3D model but I didn't want to go through the hassle of creating that, and I wanted a 2D representation for simplicity's sake, so I scrapped going by the book's chart. Having the shape of the sector, the location of the Rimma through it and the three systems on the Rimma/Trition trade routes, I started placing the systems how I saw fit.
Travnin, the sector capital was not stated to be on the Rimma, but GG6 strongly implies that is the system of the cluster closest to the rest of the Empire, the bulk of which is north of the sector and the Rimma heads north. And in the Minos Sector there is a big gap on the Rimma north of the Adarlon, so I put Travnin on the Rimma anyway, near the north edge of the sector. It would be a logical place for a capital of an outer southern sector. Then I read in Wookieepedia that one of the EU minor systems in the Minos Sector, Corlaasi, was on the Rimma and the Dravin Cut route went west from there into the Airam sector, which would put in the northern Minos Sector. Travin is described in GG6 as a binary star system, so I decided that it has two s-type planetary systems (a pair of gravitationally bound stars that are far enough apart to each have their own planets that do not orbit both stars), and together they are known as the Corlaasi-Travnin system, but they can also be considered separately. Perhaps the Rimma originally went through Corlaasi but as the systems shifted the Rimma is now considered to go through both. All the hyperspace durations on my chart are to go to or leave from either/or, and the two subsystems are accessible to each other by a microjump taking about a minute. The Corlaasi system was only a throw-away line in a short story and I haven't decided what to put there yet, but it definitely doesn't have any inhabitable planets (see below).
Legends continuity states that most of the Rimma sectors including the Minos Sector was on the Separatist side of the Clone Wars. In my quest to explain why characters in the classic trilogy refer to the Clone Wars in the plural (and satisfy some other continuity concerns), I came up with several other wars that took place before, during, and after the main war showed in the prequels and other media. Inspired by The Star Wars (based on the rough draft of the original film script), I set the start of the first Clone War at a secret underground cloning facility in a moon of Utapau, which is in a sector adjacent to Minos where the war took place. The clones are of a bovine species based on D6 Space's Taurids, and since these clones fought in the Minos Sector they are known as Minotaurs.
The planet Eliad had no pre-Empire history in the EU, and the fact that a lot of the galaxy's nobility was exiled there made me consider what the planet was like before the Empire. So I decided that the planet was the Cluster's original capital, and the planet was controlled the royal family that originally ruled the whole cluster. Thousands of years ago the family lost a civil war in the cluster, the outcome of which was that it joined the Republic and Travin was made the sector capital. Eight years after TPM, the monarch of Eliad tried to take over the Cluster with the army of Minotaurs to secede from the Republic, and a brief war was fought. Eliad was in league with the Trade Federation. Eliad lost, and the surviving royal family members were imprisoned in their own castle on Eliad. Females Taurids migrated to the Minos sector, and they with the Minotaurs joined the lower class on Eliad. Soon afterward, Count Dooku used the Minos clone war as an impetus to proclaim the Separatist movement in the Republic, and Utapau, being an unknowing participant in the Minos civil war, proclaimed that it was neutral in the galactic conflict.
So I placed Eliad east of Travnin nearest to Utapau's sector. The Minos systems I thought would most likely side with the Separatist movement were placed east of the Rimma. Mestra - big mining enterprise, Yelsain - libertarians. Quockra - isolationist droid-loving aliens. (For isolationists, Quockra seems to enjoy a prominent position in the southeastern sector, and that is because I noticed that it exports machinery which is an import for almost all the planets in the sector.) The systems that remained loyal to the Republic were therefore on the Rimma and west of it. I put Gesaril, a restricted system with an Imperial prison, west of Travnin because part of the campaign involves a regular monthly Travnin-Gesaril run for the Empire, and that left Shesharile in the space west of Adarlon. I added Teh'Jar, a Minos Cluster world from Heroes & Rogues, to the southwestern sector.
During the Great Clone War, I envision a big battle at Travnin. The Eliad royal family was freed by Separatist forces in the war, and at a battle near the end of the war in which the Republic won, the royal family was recaptured. Then over the course of the first year after the Great Clone War, the Empire rounded up problematic noble families throughout the galaxy and exiled them to Eliad. Then the entire Eliad noble family was publicly humiliated and executed as a message to all the other nobles now living there.
GG 6 states "...it requires a hyperspace trip of at least five days to reach the nearest inhabitable Imperial system from Travnin." Since the Cluster is no longer so physically removed from the rest of the Empire, I decided that there is a slow hyperlane that connects Travnin to Elrood, the capital of the the Elrood Sector. Even though Elrood is the "nearest inhabitable system" to Travnin, it would be faster and safer to go the long way (up the Rimma to Tantra then down the Coyn Route into the Elrood sector). I thought this would be a perfect excuse to adapt the adventure Riders on the Maelstrom to the Minos-Elrood campaign I'm planning (as a way to tying the stories of the two sectors together), so part of the reason the journey takes so long is because of a part of the route where ships must drop to sublight for a while. For the reason it would ever be used instead of a faster and safer route, I thought that maybe the Tantra system recently instituted a huge tariff on certain cargos going between the two sectors, so some ships started taking the slower route and faced greater danger from the astronomical phenomena and pirates of the Ikarus Run.
The EU has the Rimma ending at Karideph where the Trition Trade Route starts, hitting Pergitor on its way to Kal'Shebbol in the Kathol Sector. Disney Canon has the Rimma going all the way to Kal'Shebbol, a two system difference. So I decided to split the difference and have the Rimma go to Pergitor where the Trition starts south. I just think of it as the EU model as what it was in the past until the Karideph-Pergitor segment of the Trition was considered an extension of the Rimma (when the route was travelled enough that it became faster).
For Eliad's Clone Wars background I needed to have a route connecting it to Utapau, and to name-drop a film world in my map I call it Utapau Lane. I envisioned the Utapau Lane to keep going all the way to intersect with the Sanrafsix Corridor at Sevarcos just because that has a cool Dune-inspired planet I'll probably add an adventure for to my campaign, and then I thought the route could keep going the other way from Eliad to hit Mestra on its way to ending at Adarlon. Most of the galaxy is northeast of Minos, and since Adarlon is an galactically known planet it makes sense for another intersector route to go there.
I extended the Dravin Cut from Corlaasi-Travnin back to Eliad. Then I just added the local routes for everything else, with no "3D" connections over or under other routes. Since the systems on the map are abbreviated with the first letter, I think of these routes as referred to by the letters. For example, Pergitor to Yelsain would be P-Y.
HYPERSPACE TRAVEL TIMES
I noticed the huge disconnect between the Elrood Sector travel times (no hyperlane segment connections longer than 6 hours) and the Minos times in GG6 (which are 10-105 hours). Even totaling up the individual hyper-segments, one side of the Elrood to the other is still less than most numbers on the Minos Cluster chart. These are separate sectors which could have different astronomical phenomena, but Elrood is specifically described as choked with gas clouds. And Elrood is a much more recently settled sector while Minos is thousands of years old. I just can't see how Minos should have drastically longer travel times. Another factor for me is I am running a tramp campaign based in both sectors, and it feels wrong to go back and forth between long and short travel times.
And even with GG6 alone, there is one story point that doesn't make sense with a travel time to me. The Travnin-Gesaril route is 70 hours standard, but the Gesaril story idea of a monthly run includes carrying an Imperial officer and prisoners back and forth. Even with a Class One hyperdrive, I just don't see the tramp crew spending six days with an Imperial officer once a month. It just seems too long, even for a restricted route to a forbidden system.
For Minos, I started with the Rimma connections as the fastest, then the local Utapau Lane connections, and then the rest of the sector. I then updated the GG6 travel time chart with these new numbers.
To maintain the full functionality of the GG6 chart, I went ahead and kept the remaining direct system-to-system numbers pretty much as-is (only tweaking in a few cases). I think of these as the original slower ways to travel from system to system in the sector long ago before the routes on the map were established. So even though the entire network isn't shown on the map, you can still go from any system to any other system directly, but its going to take longer because these paths are rarely travelled anymore. I intentionally designed it so that it is always faster to take the connections on the map because otherwise how would these become the established routes if there were faster ways, but the option to go direct is there just in case.
However I did remove all the direct travel times to Gesaril except from Travenin, since Gesaril is forbidden system. I think of all the old routes to the system as being lost long ago, but then Gesaril was rediscovered by the Empire who only go there from Travnin. The astrogation data for Gesaril would not even be on the BOSS network for general spacers as it is Imperial, need-to-know data. It's not that it's a completely secret system - Locals know about it's existence but most just don't know how to get there very easily. I gave Gesaril's GG6 chart numbers to Teh'Jar.
WHAT'S THIS ABOUT SQUIBS?
The Squab system is in the Airam Sector near the Minos border. Squab is the system for Skor II, the homeworld of the Squib species. Most systems in Star Wars are named after the prominent planet there, but not all. TEA calls labels the system as "Skor", which is technically an error because that isn't the system name or complete planet name. So my map has the correct system name, but I left it as-is on the TEA sector area map on the Elrood map because I decided that Skor II is a moon of the planet Skor which is probably a big gas giant, and the Squib homeworld is the moon. I wanted to leave this system on the map because I will be running Scavenger Hunt as a part of this campaign.
Since Shesharile 6 has been described in the EU as a garbage-moon, I think of it as including a lot of shipwrecks and junked equipment, kind of like the planet Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok. The Squibs have a secret hyperroute to the Shesharile system for salvage runs. The Squibs may even have a secret route to the Gesaril system for a space garbage-dump removal contract...
Of course WEG provided a map of the Elrood sector, but I tweaked it a bit. The Rimma runs through the bottom right corner of the Elrood map, but there was no need to add it since there are no connections from it directly to any system in the Elrood Sector. I added the Ikarus Run that goes to Travnin in the Minos Sector. Inspired by Disney canon which says the homeworld of the Iakaru species is near Derilyn, I added the Iakar Run which connects to the Iakar system. I then removed the minor systems of Halbara and Osirrag to off the map just to put something on the other side of the Rimma on the TEA map that includes this sector. This is a 3D solution because those routes do not intersect with the Rimma, so they go under or over it. Finally, I did increase the travel time from Dega to Osirrag to 7 hours since it is a longer route now (and goes off the map), the new highest hyperspace duration in Elrood.
I'm ok with Minos being colonized before Elrood because there aren't any routes from the part of the Rimma in the sector itself to any Elrood sector systems, and Elrood is filled with astronomical interference, so I think of the Rimma originally being extended from Tantra through what is now Elrood to Minos Cluster systems. When Minos was first settled and for a long time after it could have been a bit physically removed from the rest of the civilized Republic, then Elrood and the other sectors around Minos were more recently settled.
THE ELROOD & MINOS SECTORS, UPDATED
The Elrood & Minos Sectors maps with hyperspace travel durations
GG6 suggests that GMs can create their own minor systems and add them to the Minos Cluster. If using my map, my suggestion is to just have these minor systems only accessible from one of the major systems (like Gesaril is from Travnin) and determine the hyperspace travel time for that one journey. There's no reason to muck up the map with these when GMs can note each of these minor systems under their notes for the major system they are accessible from. I would suggest the longer travel times for these since they are minor systems.
For overall major system placement, IMHO my Minos map is better than all the others out there. This map definitely has personal GM decisions involved in it like all the other GM maps do, but beyond the 10 main systems from GG6 it only has one additional WEG system (with an interesting plot hook open for further development), and one non-WEG EU system (which I consider to be accounted for in GG6 but just unnamed). My map does not have any homebrew systems, so I feel it is a bit more generally useful for other GMs just wanting to grab-and-go a map for their Minos campaign. It is especially useful if wanting to do an Elrood-Minos campaign as suggested by this thread.
My son chose an aquatic-capable Mon Cal freighter for his campaign's ship, so I went through and determined the hydrosphere for all the Minos planets, even putting oceans on some planets where there weren't ones described in the book. This helps my disbelief suspension anyway because it is quite unrealistic for a planet to be capable of supporting life without having a hydrosphere of at least 50%. I also thought there should be a full-on water world (90-some % hydrosphere) here to justify Mon Cal freighters being somewhat common enough that this ship won't stick out like a sore thumb, so I decided to adapt the planet Poseidon from the Blue Planet RPG and put it in the Teh'Jar system with Teh'Jar II, but there is no need to mention that on my Minos map since I use system names.
I'm sorry the map PDF doesn't preserve the text, etc. I tried and tried but just could not get the formatting right, so in the end I had to make it from images. So take it as-is, make minor or major alternations, or completely disregard it. I made this for my game but thought I would share the fruit of all my labor just in case anyone else may find it useful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free. Thanks.
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