Saint Albans

Saint Albans is a completely snow-covered world. It is internally, very geologically active, creating long, thick, jagged mountain ranges that snake around the planet, surrounded by miles and miles of flat glacier. All the settlements on the planet are clustered in the mountains, as there is nothing worthwhile to harvest in the glaciers except ice, and it’s far more econoomical to get water from other planets than chop it out of Saint Alban’s glaciers. There is no standing liquid water on the planet, it is all bound in snow and ice. The temperature never raises above around 25 Farenheit, and can drop below -40 at night. Saint Albans has little axial tilt, so there are no seasonal changes to the climate.

The town of Bledsinki is fairly large for Saint Albans, with about 1500 people. It sits at the end of one of the “corridors” the mountains create in their valleys and ridges. The town is split into three parts, the Hearth, the Kitchen, and the Porch. The Porch is the field of level ground surrounded on three sides by the mountains (northeast, northwest, southwest). It sits on a plateau, about a mile wide by a half mile deep, with a steep drop of nearly a thousand feet down to a lower portion of the valley to the south east. The south half of the Porch is an empty field of hard-packed snow and ice, used by transports and shuttles as a landing field. The north half of the Porch is dotted with small, prefabricated shelters. The shelters are only about 15 feet by 30 feet, generally two bedrooms with a tiny bathroom/shower and a living/kitchenette area. They are constructed by digging a 15×30 hole in the ground, about 8 feet deep. Two feet of pre-fab substructure and insulation is laid in the bottom and pre-fab walls are erected. Only about three feet of exterior wall sticks up above the ground, and that is usually covered by snow drifts. The structures have sharply angled roofs that rise about ten feet in the air, covered in skylight windows and solar panels. There are about 150 of them in the field. It looks like 2/3rds were arranged in neat rows cosest to the northeast mountain faces, with the rest placed haphazardly around later.

The Kitchen is an underground facility in the northwestern face that contains the soy-algae vats and the vehicles garages. The only evidence of the Kitchen are the airlock-like doors to the food preparation bays and the clamshell doors to the garages. The interior is a combination of large, cold, open spaces where vehicles are stored and maintained, and claustrophobic corridors tunneled into the rock.

The Hearth is the heart of the community, a sprawling semi-underground arcology delved into the northeast mountain face. While technically underground, dug into the face of the mountain, it is really a series of shallow “shelves” cut into the mountain face, with thick polyglass walls sloping upwards to seal them. Inside are apartment complexes, lobbies, and shops, built to house about a thousand people. It was originally built by Finnsveska Limited, a mining consortium that found various heavy metal deposits in the area. Finnsvenska unfortunately went bankrupt and its assets were sold to pay its enormous debt. The facility was bought by a group of Mining Guild comptrollers who rent space to various wildcatters. Population grew beyond its ability to support, and the city was expanded by using the prefab houses built by the construction crews, adding more as needed. About 2/3rd of the population (including dependents) are miners, while the other 3rd are mechanics, brokers, guild management, food production, non-Companion guild brothel whores, and other support personnel. Nearly half the population consists of single men from 18 to 50, as the living conditions are harsh, so only more successful miners or support people choose to bring their families. There are only around 200 school aged children in Bledsinki. The brothels run a brisk business, and there isn’t much of an official “police” force to keep the rough-and-tumble miners under control. Frontier justice is typical, and swift…and most people travel armed with at least a knife, and guns are common. Like most border worlds, Core-world trained professionals like engineers, doctors, and such are very rare. Bledinski has a handful of “doctors”, though their medical training is more at a Resgistered Nurse or Paramedic level (or a substandard third-world medical school “doctorate’) Most people who need drastic medical care like surgery will take a shuttle to the larger city of Voslo.

Voslo is a corporate city, owned by Danube Mining Company, with about 5000 people. It is constructed much like Bledsinki Hearth, though on a much grander scale. While required to open their facility to Mining guild and wildcat personnel for medical emergencies, natural disaster events, and the like, the surcharges they are allowed to pile onto such services make it extraordinarily painful to use. Still, it is the only place for non-corporate miners to get quality medical care and advanced surgeries. Saint Albans is relatively close to the Borderworld, Beaumonde, so Danube is careful to “play by the rules”, but it will take every advantage and liberty it can by the letter of the law.

Here are some fun pictures to give an idea of what Bledsinki looks like…

Exterior View of the Hearth: Picture

Hearth Interiors: Picture

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Maintenance Corridors Picture

Small Garage Bay: Picture

Saint Albans

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