It may be hard to add much to what has already been written about the Ghar Empire’s homeworld, Gharon Prime and its internal working. It is the end result of a city left to run rampant upon the surface of a planet. No traces of the original world remain: it is encased in metal. Therefore, we must turn to worlds more recently occupied by the Empire to see what might have been revealed in those early years.
All Ghar cities are in truth factories, their focus solely to produce more Ghar warriors and to create means to rid Antares space of all none Ghar. Therefore the first structures of any new city must first be the plasma core reactors, to power it, and following soon after the weapons factories. Occasionally, the Supreme Commander may even give permission to build a new hatchery to spawn more Ghar (most hatcheries are on Gharon Prime). The primary blueprint of any Ghar colony may well be unchanged from a time even before their own creation. They would be no deviation from the task: any natural obstacles would be flattened, no matter how big they may be to make way for the cities expansion – mountains levelled, seas drained and forests burned until nothing remained.
Radiating from the plasma reactors we would see the main arteries of the power grid, and next to them the pipes to vent the toxic waste away from the heart of the city. As the city grew these would be extended further and further. Where once the waste both liquid and solid poured out freely, the Ghar would ‘pave’ over them using molten metal or ceramics, turning the toxic mess into the city’s new foundations.
Each new addition to the factory complex would tap into the power grid. Naturally as the city grew the Commander of the city would endeavour to rise up above the masses, adding new layers to the city and enclosing the level below with metal plates. Only when enough layers separated them from the workings below would they allow themselves to be sealed in, protecting them from attack, exposure to the elements and any sunlight which might find its way through the clouds of pollution created by the city itself.
The only visible signs of life would be found at the fringes of the city, where huge crawling machines would be seen in the process of building its next expansion. During the daylight hours non-Ghar slaves might toil there, replaced only at nightfall by the Outcast slaves too pitiful to be placed on the battlefield. The sleeping quarters of such workers would be located close to the new construction sites, as their well being would be of little concern, the only time they would venture inside the heart of the city would be if dangerous work was to be done, or if they were to be added to the soup of the day after an unfortunate accident while on site!
These cities never sleep and the noise of construction never stops. The corridors echo to the clank of steel on steel as battle suits marched towards the loading bays of shuttle crafts to take them to the warships in orbit above. Those ships would no doubt be made in shipyards equally carefree of the safety of its workers.
As we have suggested metal is the main building material of the Ghar, but the cities themselves would not be entirely metal in colour. Sections may well need to be colour coded for easy of identification. Given the structure of Ghar society, the lack of social movement and education, colour coding would instruct the lower members what sections would be forbidden for them to enter and what routes they could move through.
As mentioned already the toxic waste around the city would both mark out any Ghar settlement, blighting the land far beyond its limits, but it would also act as a readymade defensive line in case of ground attack. Weapon platforms would appear on the skyline of the outer layer of the city, but only to defend the most important sections, a prime target being the main plasma reactor. The most prominent defensive features of any city would be the Quantum Gravity Generators (as seen on Xilos) which would act to seal their worlds from enemy transmat targeting and to act as protective shields around the planet.
Perhaps the biggest danger to a Ghar city, and perhaps the reason they look to encase themselves in steel below the surface, is the threat of Distortion storms which would ravage any planet the Ghar choose to make home – the older the city, the more violent the storms. Ironically, however, such nuisance storms are the best defensive weapon the Ghar have against the invasion of their city-worlds.
By Wayne Clayton