Charybdis (pronounced "Ka-RIB-des") is a system on the southern frontier of the Holy Terran Empire, currently overrun by Bugs. It has commercial hyperspace routes to Circe and Hadrian. It also has a military hyperspace route to Boyne.
Charybdis was originally the Drakat homeworld, but after they were destroyed by the Bugs, the Earth Federation reoccupied the planet, eliminating the Arachnid presence. It was established as a border colony along the edge of the Arachnid Quarantine Zone in 2213.
Since its founding, possession of this planet has gone back and forth due to its strategic location on the rim of known space. It broke away from the Federation during the 2nd Civil War to join the Frontier Worlds Territory (FWT) in 2226.
When a joint assault of the K'Nes and Jurvain overran the FWT during the Third Civil War in 2243, President Janeila Manchester and her cabinet fled to Charbydis. Facing an imminent invasion of Charbydis by the Bugs, the President asked for protection from the Eastern Bloc, which agreed and sent in a small fleet to defend Charbydis. This essentially amounted to an uncontested de facto occupation of Charbydis by the Eastern Bloc, and the system was ceded to them in the Treaty of Wilke's Star which ended the Third Civil War the following year. Although the population of Charbydis was not necessarily happy about their new overlords, the general consensus was that it was still better than being eaten by Bugs.
Eight years later, the Eastern Bloc was all but wiped out by the Vin Shriak invasion of 2251. Although Charbydis suffered during the Vin Shriak Holy War, the colony managed to survive, and was reconquered by the Earth Federation in 2255.
In 2264, Charbydis narrowly avoided the Caal Invasion, then sided with the Holy Terran Empire during the Ascension War. Unfortunately, Charbydis was the first human colony hit by a new wave of Bug attacks in 2265, and the Imperial Navy, busy fighting a war with the remnants of the Earth Federation, wasn't able to reinforce the planet in time before it fell to the Bug onslaught. Since then, all human life on Charbydis has been exterminated, and the Charbydis system has been added to the Arachnid Quarantine Zone.
Although things look pretty bleak right now, at some point over the next thousand years, Charbydis is reconquered, recolonized, and joins the Holy Terran Empire under House Melan.
Geography & Wildlife
Charybdis is a medium-sized, mineral-abundant swamp world. There is a monsoon season that lasts four to five months out of the planet's sixteen-month calendar year. While many parts of the planet have been devastated by the many conflicts over the decades, there are still areas that have remained untouched. This has preserved a wide variety of wildlife, all considered very primitive by Federation standards. The animals are mainly a wide variety of alien-type reptiles, some exceeding the size of ancient dinosaurs from earth. These hardy lizards have survived a long infestation by the Bugs before, so there is every reason to believe that they continue to flourish on Charybdis.
At it's height, Charybdis had a estimated population of thirty million. The capital city was Marsember. As with many planets that share a hyperspace route to bug-infested worlds, this planet had a large military population, surrounded by an even larger supportive civilian population. In addition, there was a large concentration off zoologists and biologists studying the alien ecosystems for scientific and academic purposes. By the 2260s, there was even a movement by businessmen and women towards making the wildlife areas into massive tourist attractions.
Behind the Scenes
Charybdis is named after the deadly whirlpool that Odysseus had to sail near in The Odyssey. The name of capital city Marsember is in homage to a city of the same from the Forgotten Realms campaign setting that was also founded on a swamp.