Rigel is the third largest city in the Solurian Empire, and lies far north of Sol. Specifically, it lies south of Babylon but north of the Shire United Nations island. Rigel is located on a heavily fortified peninsula, and is the main trading and military port for the Solurian Empire’s northern oceanic territory.
Rigel was founded by one of the earliest expeditions to the northern parts of the Shire by explorers from the Solurian Empire. Upon the discovery of the end of the southern sea by explorers in 287 CE, members of the First Northern Expeditionary Group were met with a difficult choice. They could either continue north over land, possibly lengthening the time of their expedition by years and limiting the supplies they could bring, or they could turn back in shame, resupply in Sol, and try to find a sea route north further to the west. Unfortunately, that route of action would result in a large delay in setting up the new colony for the Solurian Empire, which could put them too far into winter to survive. In a moment of clarity, they decided to move north over the dangerous and untamed land.
They traveled north and slightly to the west, losing nearly a fourth of their total men, until they reached a cold, inhospitable land. Unprepared for the sudden change in temperature, they could not go further forwards without risking frostbite and death. In a moment of genius, they made camp and began chopping down wood from nearby lush forests, and before long they had gathered a reasonable supply of timber. Using this timber to craft small, agile boats, they were able to ‘hop’ from shore to shore along the winters coast, avoiding the freezing temperatures by taking shelter in the warm oceanic breeze. Moving west out of the general charted line of exploration by today’s standards, they eventually made their way onto the continent north of the Shire United Nations island, and were able to trek north once again.
The details of this exploration and the challenges they had to face are explained further in the First Northern Expeditionary Group’s wiki page. Long travel finally over, they reached the northernmost point on the continent and were met with the sight of the beautiful and serene northern sea. They set up a small base, and established a small township, as was their original purpose, and surviving members began preparing for the return trip to Sol. Little did they know that the small village they established would eventually grow into the Solurian Empire’s main seat of power in the north.
Once the original expedition members (who were not the colonists) returned to Sol with news of their success, a general trade route was established by multiple other expeditions to secure food and safety for the newly budding colony. It was quickly realized that the body of water that Rigel was situated on was not some small, land-locked lake, but rather a very large and very deep sea. With this realization, two major things happened: the Solurian Empire took a huge interest in Rigel, and a lot of explorers and frontiersmen began moving to Rigel. Thus, Rigel expanded very rapidly, growing to encompass nearly half of the entire peninsula. At this point, Rigel had a large shipyard, a large and growing dock, and scores upon scores of housing, shops, and ships.
Rigel’s expansion was further quickened when the Solarian Empire decided to build and fortify a large naval base which would allow for quick deployment and patrol of the sea. With influx of military presence, possibility for attack by pirates or other growing empires became a large concern in the top military minds of the Empire, so a large wall was built around the military base, complete with seawards and land-side defenses and fortifications. After a failed pirate raid instead turned towards the city itself since the base was so impenetrable, resulting in a massive loss of civilian life, the wall was extended to surround Rigel. This attack became known as the Rigel Massacre.
At this point a full half of the peninsula was walled in and fortified, resulting in what amounted to a giant fortress city. However, as the population of Rigel continued expanding due to new trade opportunities, exploration possibilities, and colonization locations, houses once again were constructed outside of Rigel’s safety. When Sol was ravaged by fires due to drought in the south, Rigel rapidly developed a simple and easy water-system to allow for putting out fires. Rigel, up until this point, was considered more of a military complex than a city, but as living conditions became safer and safer, more and more civilians began migrating to Rigel to begin lives as dock workers or ship makers, and possibly start new lives as sailors for trade in the north. At this point, most areas of the north had been explored, and thus trade routes where in the process of being established and protected.
Since Rigel was one of, if not the only, major port for the northern sea at that time, it became a populous center for all sorts of merchants and mercenaries. This created an odd divide between the very strict, military portion of Rigel and the very carefree and lawless portion of Rigel. Multiple merchant groups and mercenary groups were established to aid in the development of the trade business. Some groups created were the Northern Merchant Guild, the Solurian Trade Federation, the Rigel Trade Federation, the Sinfus Merchant Collective, and the Holiday Mercenary Group. The Holiday Mercenary Group was one of the few mercenary groups that was outright named a mercenary group, due mostly to the very straightforward, no-nonsense business tactic they employed. Instead of dealing with proxy pirate groups like most other mercenary groups, they went straight for the trade group which had hired the pirate group, resulting in very quick, somewhat illegal, resolutions of problems.
Considering the vast diversity of Rigel’s markets, large companies had enough competition to prevent monopolies. As such, when the Solurian Civil War of 1717 was ramping up into a conflict that encompassed the entire Empire, Rigel remained firmly on the side of the Solurian Military. Histories theorize that even if Rigel had been put under the thumb of the Solurian Trading Company and the West Merchant Guild, the massive military presence would have prevented full control of the city during the war, even if it were merely with numbers.
While the city of Rigel certainly came under siege numerous times by forces of the Solurian Trading Company and the West Merchant Guild, it was never fully taken. Throughout the war, Rigel continued producing naval ships and training military forces for the use of the Solurian Empire. When the civil war ended, Rigel’s civil and military leaders were given multiple medals and large amounts of input on what would happen to the defeated company groups. Despite the full trials being redacted by the Solurian Unity Collective, it is rumored that representatives from Rigel were vital in pushing that the trading companies be disbanded and made into multiple smaller companies to be controlled by the Solurian Empire until proper replacements for leadership could be found.
Thus, Rigel entered into the Second Age, it was situated to continue growing into a massive and influential point of the Solurian Empire. After the construction of two more naval shipyards and three brand-new airship dry docks for construction and repair of airships and naval ships, Rigel became the undisputed top producer of ships and airships in the Solurian Empire. Shortly after, Rigel was officially appointed as the governing center for the North-West territory of the Solurian Empire. Along with Grib, Hoch, and Sol, Rigel became a governing center of the of the largest territories of the Solurian Empire.
The military structure of Rigel takes on an interesting twist compared to most cities of the Solurian Empire, as it contains a large percentage of dock workers and harbor workers who are not under command of the Rigel military chain of command, and thus the Solurian Empire chain of command. However, due to the close nature that these workers have working with military soldiers and officers, they have an honorary status as members of the Solurian military. Despite being on the bottom of the ladder, rank wise, since they aren’t technically in the military, the dock workers and ship workers in Rigel are respected for the hard work and labor they do daily for the good of the Solurian Empire.
Once this oddity is realized, the chain of command and military structure of Rigel plops right back into place with the normal military structure of the Solurian Empire. Like other major cities in the Solurian Empire, Rigel has a dedicated military council which functions much like the Military Council half of the overarching Governing Council. These officers often vie for promotions with officers stationed in Sol, and a history yet friendly rivalry is well-known throughout the Solurian Empire. However, most military officers would consider it a promotion to be stationed in Sol if they are trying to move up the ranks. In terms of job security, Rigel is more stable since there isn't such high demand and pressure, even though Rigel still is very vital to the northern territories of the Solurian Empire.
Rigel contains three dry docks which can function for either ship construction or ship repair, and three airship docks which have the same duality. Often, ships of both types are seen entering and leaving for yearly inspections or inspections after run-ins with bandit or pirate groups. Rigel also has a main military base, situated to the northern end of Rigel, which overlooks the northern and northeastern docks of the city. While this base provides a stunning view of the rising sun, it also provides a commanding view over surrounding sea and air space, allowing for military bombardments of inbound or attacking ships if necessary. The secondary military base in Rigel, added after the Solurian Civil War of 1717, sits near the entryway to the city, and allows for specialized defense against incoming land-based attacks.
Since the Rigel Massacre, threats to the civil portions of Rigel are taken very seriously, and as such the main part of Rigel’s police force is made up of off-duty, discharged, or retired members of the Solurian Military. As such, and in keeping with military standards, Rigel is enforced nearly to the same degree as a military base. The crime rate is, understandably, incredibly low due to this. Since Rigel is so regulated, it is surprisingly one of the lowest, if not the lowest, in police corruption or political corruption. Despite this, Rigel is very free and open since members of the police are focused more on protecting the citizens of the city than going on power trips.
Due to the heavily fortified state of Rigel, it is often referred to as “Fort Rigel” or the “Armored City” by both civilians and military. The more common name, however, is obviously just Rigel.
The political climate in Rigel is, compared to most other cities in the Solurian Empire, vastly different. While the civil and military portions of the governing council act much like the rest in other cities and territories of the Solurian Empire, multiple changes can be observed if it is closely inspected. For one, the civil portion is made up of mostly retired military members, due to the heavily militarized nature of Rigel. While the civil council is not entirely ex-military, the few true civilians in it are there as representatives of the dock and airship workers. As such, the overwhelming majority of topics are of interest to and relevant to the military actions in the north.
A side effect of this very military power base in the governing council of Rigel is the subsequent corporate interests that can affect it. For example, the empire-funded research corporation, Cabolt Industries, has a heavy presence in lobbying efforts, due to the large amount of funding they receive and the military and classified nature of a large majority of their research. A counterpoint to this is the large amount of peace activists which try to influence the civil portion, in a home of attempting to change the steamrolling military nature of the council. Sometimes this works, but only because the civil council members feel the need to show to the public that they aren’t just a second military council.
An odd split between these two councils is visible in the age group, as the military council is often full of very outspoken, hot-shot officers on the way to the top; compared to the civil council which is full of older, more experienced and wise members of the populace. As such, people often refer to Rigel as where boys grow up (politically) into men, as they are faced with a very wise and very stubborn opposition. For example, an officer (usually a low-ranking general) could go into Rigel with a very set idea of what they will do, but leave having done practically none of it. Rumor has it that the main Governing Council of the Solurian Empire sends the overly zealous and overly confident officers here simply to put them back in their place, but this is unconfirmed by any officials.
Points of Interest
- Shipyards: The shipyards of Rigel, while off-limits to normal civilians, are a testament to the vast industry of Rigel. The sounds of workers making ships echo through Rigel on normal days, and can even be heard deep into the night. Often, these shipyards are focused on repair and maintenance of naval vessels that come and go, with some repairs taking up to an entire week. However, on the odd occurrence, a new ship or newly minted ship class can be seen under construction, lasting anywhere from four to seven months in length. This speed in construction is without a doubt attributed to the skill that the RIgel ship makers have, passed down from parent to child over multiple generations.
- Airyards: Much like the shipyards of Rigel, the airyards are off-limits to those without clearance as a worker,engineer, or on-hands manager. The airyards of Rigel are a more recent addition, and as such don't have as an impressive record as the shipyards of Rigel. Despite this, some ship makers have been able to put their skill to use in the construction of the hulls of these air-faring vessels. However, with recent advances in the aerodynamic and propulsion aspects of these ships, younger designers have competed heavily with the older ship makers in designing the hulls and specific aspects of the interior and exterior. As such, the industry is rapidly becoming an extremely competitive one, especially in Rigel where the old ship building aspects are deeply ingrained with the normal airyard workers.
- Northern Base: The northernmost base of Rigel overlooks a large portion of the docks and looks out over the sea to the north of Rigel. It has multiple defensive positions and was responsible for repelling multiple pirate and rebel attacks on Rigel back when such things were common. These days, it offers a nice and scenic view of Rigel, coupled with daily tours of the base’s various buildings and defensive positions. On holidays, a gun-firing salute goes off at dawn and at dusk. Often, military forces can be seen training on the grounds or working on various aspects of their specific track. Officers are stationed in the main fort of Rigel, and meet inside for governing council meetings along with the civil portion of the governing council. It is, in general, much more active than the southern base of Rigel.
- Southern Base: The southern base of Rigel, created much after the northern one, is where the military trains in earnest. There are no civilian tours, and civilians have to be escorted while on base by a military member with escort-level clearance. Research utilizing airship-caught footage occurs here for the North-West Territory of the Solurian Empire. Not much else is known by the general public, but opinion holds that this base is where firearms training and testing occur. Recently, illegal documents point towards a large underground portion of the base dedicated to research and development of military technology, but this has been unconfirmed by officials in the Solurian Empire. Some officials have off-handedly commented that such research is limited to the main research bases of the Empire, but critics have come forward stating that these comments are deliberate to clear suspicion.
- Rigel Military Museum: The Rigel Military Museum is the largest museum in the Solurian Empire, and details the vast military history of the Empire going nearly as far back as the end of the Dawn age of the Solurian Empire. Involved are various exhibits of old and outdated technology, such as communications devices, old guns, and a wide variety of old armors and weapons. The sections on armor and weaponry is the largest due to the long amount of time that magic made technological advancement redundant. This museum is famous for housing the only known full set of Imperial Honor Guard regalia in the entire Shire, dating back to the founding of Sol itself. Besides this, it is a popular spot for fanatics of the old medieval armor styles and fighting techniques. Modern armor is also on display, going as far as even showcasing the old special forces ballistic armor of 2014.
- Grand Station: The Grand Station of Rigel is the only railway stop in Rigel, unlike Sol. It is old, and known for having a vast underground drainage network for the time when Rigel received rainfalls and snowfalls so heavy that the station would sometimes flood. In 1871, the underground drainage tunnels were developed to avoid flooding, and have worked brilliantly for well over 100 years. Recently, these tunnels have undergone heavy refurbishment to allow for water treating and cleansing, allowing for the water to be recycled for use in watering plants and trees in Rigel and for cleaning the streets and use as sewage water in toilets. This has been praised as a modern advancement for conservation of water, all made possible due to the old idea of drainage tunnels. Besides this tunnel system, the Grand Station is known for its high volume of passengers, and the massive cargo transport line which run parallel to the main line. This transport line allows for raw materials from Sol to have a direct and safe line to RIgel. While resulting in a slight drop in shipping, it has been hailed as a cost-effective and Eco-friendly change.
|...||Shire United Nations||Ritunim|
The area of Rigel was cleared of trees by Master_Chief sometime in early December, 2015, in preparation for construction later that month. Due to delays in other occurring projects, however, this initial construction had to be delayed and was expected to start sometime in late February, 2016.