Composition & ResourcesEdit
K'Laek is an ancient red-orange star. The outer solar system consists of three gas giants, and the inner system is dominated by a massive and dense asteroid belt containing two dwarf planets (Fahrreth and Sarrach). There are no habitable planets or moons in the K'Laek system.
The belt has an uncharacteristically huge number of asteroids with a high metallic content (mostly nickel-iron). This has led to the theory that the belt is an enormous debris disk that formed when two rocky superterrestrial planets collided and shattered millions of years ago.
With only 75,000 inhabitants, K'Laek is the most sparsely populated system in K'Nes space. Because the lifestyle and skills required to survive the harsh vacuum of a lifeless asteroid belt lends itself well to life aboard spaceships or other hostile environments, K'Laekians were prime recruits for the armed services of the K'Nes Tor. Most K'Laekians worked for the Tor Army or Tor Navy at some point in their lives, and for generations the Tor Navy officer corps was dominated by K'Nes from K'Laek. Culturally, this resulted in the K'Laek population emerging as the closest thing the K'Nes have to hyper-patriotic, fiercely independent gun-waving backwater conservatives.
The K'Laek system was first explored by the Jurvain—but, as it was on their extreme edge of their explored space and uninhabitable, they didn't bother to claim it. After the K'Nes made first contact with the Jurvain and acquired jumpgate technology, K'Laek was one of the first systems the K'Nes claimed due to it's close proximity to their home world on Purrfang.
Yeomurt Mining Inc. first colonized Fahrreth, the larger dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, as their base of asteroid mining operations. The company eventually expanded horizontally, building forges and foundries to smelt the iron ore into ingots prior to export.
After Emperor Horrath the Great established the K'Nes Tor and began building the Tor Navy, the Gurrmew Construction Company established their shipyards in the K'Laek system and colonized Sarrach, the other smaller dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, as their base of operations.
Unfortunately, as they expanded, they got into a territorial dispute with the Yeomurt clan over who owned which asteroids (which had a bad habit of drifting in and out of different territorial sectors). This ultimately devolved into the largest, longest, and fiercest clan feud in K'Nes history between the Gurrmew and Yeomurt clans. Although primarily a political and economic cold war, the feud did occasionally erupt into open violence.
When the K'Nes Tor was conquered by the Earth Federation in the Second Vulthra War, K'Laekians were the K'Nes most opposed to the human Occupation. Considering the humans to be the greater threat, the feuding Gurrmew and Yeomurt clans agreed to a truce and allied together against the occupiers, launching a guerilla resistance campaign. Meanwhile, a former Tor Navy Captain (Gurrmew K'Laek K'Soth) and his crew hijacked the K'Nes escort carrier Loophole being repaired in the Gurrmew shipyards and launched a hit-and-run campaign against Earth Fleet forces in K'Laek.
After two years of escalating violence and frustrating losses over what was essentially a bunch of rocks in space, the Federation decided the K'Laek system was not valuable enough to justify the cost of occupation. Instead, they declared it a K'Nes Quarantine Zone (or, as Earth Fleet sailors enforcing the blockade called it, the "Litterbox Line").
After the Caal Invasion shattered the Federation, the bulk of Earth Fleet forces were withdrawn from the K'Nes Quarantine Zone to fight the Holy Terran Empire. K'Laek immediately declared independence, and a few months later joined with several other K'Nes systems to form the K'Nes Llan.
In the years after the Ascension War, K'Laek's economy boomed as the Gurrmew shipyards worked round the clock building the new Llan Fleet. The Yeomurt and Gurrmew clans have managed to keep their political and economic alliance together (for now), even going so far as to unifiy thier companies together into one corporation, Gurrmew & Yeomurt LLP. With each clan still wary of the other's intentions and suspicious a corporate takeover, however, Gurrmew Construction and Yeomurt Mining haven't fully merged together, but rather entered into a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). The corporation continues to essentially function as two separate companies joined by a strategic alliance, rather than as one integrated company.
Behind the ScenesEdit
The harsh environment of the asteroid belt, the clan feud, and K'Laek culture was blatantly inspired by Christopher Stasheff's unpublished novel The Belters' War, and to a lesser extent by player Ed Stasheff's experiences during the year he lived in New Mexico.