Yggdrasil

A little-known oddity among the Border Ring worlds, Yggdrasil was colonized by members of a religious cult fleeing persecution (and legal action) in the Core. Calling themselves the Brotherhood of the Twelve, their leaders promised spiritual enlightenment through low-tech, polygamous communal living; the Brotherhood’s teachings resemble a conflation of Christian and Norse mythology and twentieth-century mysticism, alongside the personal magnetism of the cult leaders themselves. These individuals founded an agrarian colony on this planet, trading with the indigenous Ghost Children and remaining largely self-sufficient even to the present day. The Brotherhood’s ties to politicians and high-ranking Merchants Guild officials (some of whom are members themselves) keep the planet relatively unmolested by the powers that be – an advantage to the native Ghost Children so long as they can avoid being caught up in the cult themselves. The cult leaders have also proven remarkably skilled at parting rich (often female) benefactors from their money.

The OEC maintain a starport and surrounding townsite, while the Merchants Guild trades supplies to the Brotherhood in exchange for foodstuffs and handicrafts (which sell for large sums in the Core among those who believe they will grant them divine favour). There are also rumours of secret military or scientific outposts hidden somewhere on planet, where clandestine research and testing are carried out, away from any kind of public oversight. The Merchants Guild has a permanent travel advisory in place for Yggdrasil, encouraging visitors to not leave the starport town and to be indoors before dark, as there have been many cases of offworlders going missing. Whether this is due to some shadowy agency abducting people to use as test subjects, or whether the Brotherhood or the local Ghost Child tribes are to blame, is unclear.