Tomin Kora is the only inhabited planet in the Tomin System, located deep in the Tomin Nebula. The main settlement is Freewheeling, a domed city on the surface of the planet. Tomin is a dim orange-red star that is cooler and less massive than Sol. There are three gas giants in the Tomin system, and two other uninhabited rocky planets. Tomin Kora is the fourth planet in the system, located between two gas giants; this unlikely combination is probably the result of an orbital shift caused by some ancient calamity. It currently has no moons, but is surrounded by a ring of asteroids and debris created when two ancient moons collided. In one of those asteroids has been built the only other charted settlement in the Tomin system, the space station known as Nephthys. Like Tomin Kora itself, it is part of Lord Fagin’s criminal empire.
Because Tomin Kora is located deep within the Tomin Nebula, the sky appears to glow a bright purple, clearly visible through Freewheeling’s dome. Tomin is not a very bright star, and Tomin Kora is fairly far out from the star, much farther than Earth is from Sol, so the nebula is the main source of light on the planet. As a result, the planet does not seem to have a typical day-night cycle, but is constantly lit by the purple glow of the nebula.
In 2593, Lord Fagin acquired OS drive technology, and founded the Underworld Guilds on Tomin Kora. Fagin’s Riches was born.
In the years that followed, Fagin was able to centralize control of much of the underworld of the Fringe under his sway on Tomin Kora. For years, the worlds of the Fringe had nominally acknowledged Lord Fagin’s sway. Now Tomin Kora became the capital world of a criminal empire. Fagin demanded that worlds such as Ungstir, Val Shohob, Antimone, Odari and Quaquan pay tribute to him and give his servants free reign and protection on their worlds. Without the power to resist him, the worlds of the Fringe fell under his control. It wasn’t until the early 26th Century that the Stellar Consortium managed to sway Val Shohob and Quaquan – at least tenuously – out of Fagin’s grasp.
Tomin Kora became a center for all manner of underworld and criminal activity. It became a busy commercial center, with steady traffic of ships in and out, mostly engaged in activities that were illegal on other worlds. Tomin Kora attracted people of all races, from all worlds…anyone who chafed under the restrictions of law-abiding society, anyone who got themselves in trouble with local authorities back home, anyone who had nothing to lose and a fortune to seek, came to Tomin Kora. The world had a dangerous reputation, and many visitors never returned. But still more came.
Through it all, Fagin has reigned, with his legendary underground palace, and the enormous fortune said to be housed within it, still attracting adventurers and treasure hunters. Rather than discourage the practice, Fagin tacitly encouraged adventurous fools to try to find entry to his palace; the tales of fruitless searches, deadly booby traps, and lost expeditions only added to the mystique surrounding the Pirate King.
Most of the planet is a barren wasteland. One of the most prominent geographic features is the steep mountain range known locally as The Spikes. These steep, jagged peaks overlook Freewheeling and extend for hundreds of miles.
The planet consists of one large, barren land mass, marked by deep ravines, jagged mountains, and rugged, rocky plains.
There are no oceans of water on the planet. The surface is dotted with a number of lakes of liquid methane, some of them the size of inland seas. Any water on the surface is frozen at the poles or in permafrost underground. The city of Freewheeling is supplied by a vast underground reservoir of water that was mined from the polar ice caps. It is processed and recycled in an underground water reclamation and treatment plant. Periodically, Lord Fagin orders additional water ice to be mined from the ice caps or elsewhere in the Tomin System to replenish the city’s supply or account for the growing population.
The planet is largely inhospitable to life. Its atmosphere is a toxic mix of gasses that are poisonous to most known life forms. The planet’s surface is also very cold, cold enough for methane to exist on the surface in liquid form. Much of the planet is swept by wind storms of great intensity. The atmosphere is also thin, and the atmospheric pressure is too low for most advanced life forms to tolerate. Without an environment suit, humanoid life would perish immediately on the surface. Only a handful of lifeforms, like, for example, Centaurans, might be able to survive any length of time on the surface without protection.
Tomin Kora’s society is very loosely defined. Most citizens have traveled to Tomin from throughout the Fringe, the Consortium and the Parallax to seek their fortunes or pursue criminal activities. There is no regular society or culture to speak of, but there are signs of the various cultures native to the planet’s varied inhabitants throughout Freewheeling.
Lord Fagin rules Tomin Kora. He is never seen by the public, and lives in his legendary palace beneath the city of Freewheeling. Although it’s often assumed he is human, no one knows for certain Fagin’s race or even his gender. It is also unclear whether there has been one Lord Fagin, or many. Fagin’s dealings with outsiders are conducted through his majordomo, who is the public face of Fagin’s Riches. Fagin’s will is carried out by the Elite Guard, a well-armed, well-trained mercenary army that serves as his personal bodyguard. The exact military capabilities of the Elite Guard are unknown, but it is through the Guard that Fagin enforces his agreement with the worlds of the Fringe, requiring them to accept him as overlord. Throughout the Fringe, the Elite Guard is greeted with a mixture of fear and respect.
Tomin Kora is also home to a number of Guilds which control various criminal activities across the Orion Arm. These Guilds are ultimately controlled by Lord Fagin, but their day-to-day operations are run by a Guildmaster, one per guild, that is appointed by Fagin. The Guilds are tools of Fagin’s will, and they have established a monopoly on all underworld activity in the Fringe. They are a major source of income for Fagin’s Riches, and do not tolerate independent operators in their territory. It’s unknown exactly how large their membership is, but a substantial part of the commerce that takes place on Tomin Kora is under the control of one Guild or another. It’s believed that each Guild has a secret headquarters in Freewheeling, but where they are is open to debate.
There are no laws or formal legal system. Lord Fagin’s will is the only law. Crossing him is usually fatal.
With a population drawn from the dregs of the galaxy, much of Tomin Kora is very poor. There are also a number of prosperous businesses and wealthy residents, many of whom employ bodyguards to protect them from the local rifraff. Violence is common in Freewheeling, and there is no formal police force. While many tourists come to the planet to enjoy the freedoms the planet has to offer, traveling to Tomin Kora should be considered very dangerous. The Elite Guard keeps a lid on things, preventing the planet from spiralling into chaos, but does nothing to protect individuals from crime.
The economy is based around various activities that are illegal on other worlds. Piracy and smuggling are central to the economy, and are controlled through the Guilds. There is also a thriving trade in drugs, prostitution, weapons, and gambling. If something is illegal to buy, sell, or take part in, chances are you can find it on Tomin Kora. There’s a thriving black market trade in various goods that are banned on other worlds. Many locals make their living through petty theft and pickpocketing, and many storefronts sell goods that have recently been lifted from unsuspecting offworlders. Yet there are many legitimate businesses here as well, including the corporate offices of some sizable interstellar conglomerates, that take advantage of Tomin Kora’s lack of taxes, regulatory restrictions, and environmental laws.
The city of freewheeling is enclosed in a massive, clear dome, and life support is controlled by Lord Fagin. There is a reservoir of water beneath the city, harvested from the planet’s polar ice caps, that is processed and recycled in an underground plant also owned and operated by Lord Fagin. Freewheeling has little in the way of mass transportation, with most people getting around on foot or by air. The streets are paved and in relatively good repair. There is one major spaceport, which sees a high volume of traffic.
There is no school system. Most children on the planet are street urchins, begging and stealing for a living. The child population is low; on many worlds, even booking passage to Tomin Kora with a child is considered a form of child abuse.
There is no organized or official religion, though Freewheeling sees its share of offworld preachers of various religions who have come to save the sinful locals. These pop up every so often, and sometimes gather a small following, but they rarely last — or live — very long.
Gambling is very common. So is prostitution, in Freewheeling’s many brothels. Boxing, street fighting, and pit fighting are common forms of entertainment. Any form of amusement that may be illegal on other worlds can be found on Tomin Kora.