Vanheim Geographic Location in Orpheus Gaze | World Anvil


Vanheim was a major Terran colony-world, founded during the first wave of colonization by the Terran Federation in the 21st century  


Based in the Luyten 72 star system, Vanheim is the fourth planet orbiting a yellow dwarf sun. Vanheim is very similar in size and composition to Earth but its orbit takes it very slightly further away from the sun than Earth does.


Vanheim was one of the first worlds identified as a candidate for colonization and despite its cool temperature, its mineral wealth and its closeness to the Sol system marked it out as a prime candidate. Vanheim was first colonized in 2082 as part of the initial wave of colony worlds and was a joint venture between the Federation and four major corporations.   The first colony was founded at Aesir's Rock and would later develop into Aesir City.


Vanheim orbits slightly further from its star than Earth does from Sol and it has a generally cool temperature. Even during Vanheim's summer seasons, which lasts only eight to ten weeks, temperatures rarely reach about fifteen degrees.   Most nights on Vanheim are very cold and during the winters the lowest recorded temperatures at the cities in the middle continent were -40 degrees.   At the far north, the "Ice pack" cities experience high temperatures of around five to nine degrees and have experienced extremes of up to minus eighty degrees celcius.   Large portions of the planet are frozen and landlocked for months at a time and the planets primary two oceans experience ice-lock for much of the year.

Native Flora and Fauna

Native life-forms to Vanheim have to be very hardy and the planet is home to few advanced native life-forms, with most of its animal life being fish and jellyfish that live below the ocean ice-wall.   The planet is home to native Fevrons, a small gopher-like animal with a shaggy pelt that exist by eating lichen, algae and hibernating during extreme temperatures. The Fevron is probably the most advanced surface animal on the planet, with the others largely being small rodents and insects.   Below the surface of the water huge jellyfish have been encountered as well as fish ranging in size from tiny "mackrel-like" Saunta-Fish to the huge Delta-Sharks   Exported animals to Vanheim have to be very hardy and able to cope with very low temperatures. Highland cattle and rugged mountain goats have adapted fairly well to the planet.


As of 2520, Vanheim is home to 512,000,000 people:  
  • 495,000,000 humans
  • 7,000,000 Indirians
  • 200 AI's
  • 4,000 other aliens
The above figures do not include Salborians and Karkouri there as part of the Hassal League.  

Association with the Armed Forces

Vanheim has had a long association with the armed forces of the Terran state with major training bases and forts established there. The population of the planet are naturally very hardy and make good soldiers and many settle on the planet when their term of service has ended. This has given Vanheim a distinctly martial culture.


Traditionally Vanheim has had a governor and a colonial legislature, generally elected to five or ten year terms. Vanheim's long association with the Terran armed services meant that the planet tended to favour elected leaders who had formally served in uniform.   During the time of the Hassal League, all of Vanheim's elected bodies were suspended and replaced with the Emergency Government.   In 2533, a mixed allied force of FWP, Martian and Republic troops, working with the VLF, concluded the liberation of the planet in a very bloody campaign.   The VLF had put an interim government in place, based out of Svarthelm City.   In 2538, Vanheim formally agreed to join the The Terran Republic  

Politics of Vanheim - Post Liberation

The political scene on Vanheim was strongly shaped by the resistance and the liberation and it was essential if one was to have a career in Vanheim politics to have some sort of association with the resistance.   The major parties that emerged out of the liberation were:
  • Dagr - a Vanheim Nationalist party with a hawkish ideology but that wanted to make Vanheim a stronger, centralized state
  • VOS CORTAN - the successor to VOS HORVIK, VC was an ultra-nationlist Vanheim party based in the Ice-Pack cities. It opposed outsider influence on the planet but lacked support outside of the Ice-pack cities
  • Tavan - a moderate party of city-based intellectuals and corporate insiders who had preferred a negotiated solution to the occupation. Much more interested in cooperating with off-world factions
  • Liberal Party of Vanheim (LPV) - a left-wing, somewhat dovish political party supported by the educated and college students.
Additionally, the Social Democratic Party got a foothold in the planetary politics by 2535.  

All Vanheim Alliance (AVA)

After Vanheim joined the Republic, a loose coalition agreement was made between Dagr, Vos Cortan and the LPV to be on the ballot together as AVA rather than stand seperately and fall afoul of the 5% requirement to enter the General Assembly.   AVA earned 6% of the vote and entered the 2540 General Assembly with its delegates generally voting on a per issue basis.   Tavan were left out of the AVA and stood on their own, failing to win enough votes to earn representation in the General Assembly.

Governor of Vanheim

The office of Governor of Vanheim was traditionally one of the most prominent and visible within the Terran state and had been a launch pad to high political office in the past.   During the time of the Federation, the Confederate Union and the Federated States, the Governor of Vanheim had veto powers over the legislature but otherwise tended to work alongside the legislature rather than by formal dictat and lacked powers to issue executive orders without legislation to allow it by the legislature.   With the founding of the The Terran Empire , the governorship became the Fiefdom of House Hawthorne and then, when they went into self imposed exile, House Leonhardsen.   Former Governors of Vanheim:
  1. Caesron Fife - DagrĀ  -Frelsi vanheim- 2538-2565
  2. Parvinder Morrow -Frelsi Vanheim - 2565-

House Hawthorne

House Hawthorne were initially granted the fiefdom of Vanheim and were a popular family steeped in military tradition and with a long association with the Federalist Party. However, House Hawthorne fell out with the Imperial House, launching a failed Mutiny in 2406 which resulted in the death of Lord Danesh Hawthorne. His son and successor, Lord Quinton Hawthorne, led an attempt to seize the Imperial throne but was defeated at the gates of Dhaka by the Imperial Legion.   House Hawthorne's status as an outsider house remained even after the Prosperity Mount Summit and eventually the Hawthorne's chose self imposed exile, leaving the planet to the care of House Leonhardsen and vanishing from Terran politics.  

House Leonhardsen

House Leonhardsen replaced House Hawthorne as the governors of Vanheim. They were generally seen as a moderate family and pro-military.   With the fall of the planet to the Karkouri, House Leonhardsen largely went into exile though some members of the family did remain on the planet and worked with the resistance.  

The Sons of Huss

Founded during the days of resistance to the Terran Empire, the Sons of Huss is a nationalistic and separatist society generally associated with the Ice Pack Cities. The Sons of Huss believe that the people of Vanheim are "special" and tougher and braver than other Terrans and therefore should not be lead by them and certainly not subject to the same laws.   The Sons of Huss first came to the notice of the Empire in the 2430's during the so-called "Battle of Blenheim Street" when a militia seized control of several buildings in the government quarter. They remained a problem for many years after and then experienced a major resurgence during the resistance against the Karkouri and the Hassal League during the early 26th century  

Vanheim and Wider Terran Politics

Vanheim was a key part of the Federation, the Confederate Union and the Federated States, providing soldiers, sailors and civil servants as well as leaders and politicians.   With the fall of the Terran Empire, Vanheim became part of the Hassall League , much to chagrin of the people of the planet who chafed against its rule.

Major Places

Aesir City

The first established colony at Aesir's Rock became Aesir City which is the capital of Vanheim and the largest city. Aesir City is a very modern city, dug into a mountain range and enjoying power and heating from a deep geothermal vent from Mount Jjarvik, the nearby volcano.   Aesir City is home to twelve million people and has generally enjoyed state of the art medical and school facilities. The government quarter, based in Blenheim Street, is known for its tall, beautifully crafted buildings.   Aesir City is also the home of culture on the planet with major museums and art galleries.   Aesir City is home to the planet's only Airball team, the Aesir City Wolf-Hounds who are known for their fanatical fans and the intensity of their chants and crowd-calls.

The Ice Pack Cities

Six cities were established above the so-called "Dark Blue" line, that separates Vanheim from the rest of the planet. The Ice Pack Cities are all fairly small, with a total population of just ten million between them all but they live a much more secluded and rural life-style, with most of the population engaged in farming, mining or fishing.   The Ice-Pack Cities are domed and dug into the mountains or ice and during the deep winter the dome is closed to protect the population from the extreme cold.   Generally, these cities enjoy much looser laws than the rest of the planet and house prices are far lower, though importing food and goods to the cities is very expensive meaning the people of the Ice Pack Cities tend to try to be as self sufficient as possible.   The Ice Pack Cities are known for their stubborn independent streak and for being a hotbed of dissident and separatist activities (see the Sons of Huss)

Fort Nifelheim

The most southern major city on Vanheim, Fort Nifelheim was initially established as a Federation military base for training marines and then later sailors. The town that grew up alongside it eventually became a small city with a population of three million.   Fort Nifelheim remains a military base and was home to the planet's marine HQ during the Terran Empire. The people of Fort Nifelheim are often ex military or serving reservists.   The city is somewhat rugged in appearance and lacks the polish of Aesir City.

Knifehand Port

Knifehand Port is considered the planet's "second city" and is actually home to fifteen million people. Home to the primary sea port in the more temperate West-Wind Ocean, Knifehand Port is a sprawling conurbation and home to a lot of the planet's primary non-mining industries.   Knifehand Port is known for its tough crime rate and the well armed and occasionally gung-ho Knifehand Port Police Department (KPPD). Knifehand Port is traditionally thought of as the home of the planet's primary organized crime families who will only abandon their feuds with each other to fend off the Black Dragon Yakuza.   Knifehand Port is home to a huge shipyard which builds both starships and sea-going ships.

Mount Hjelbard

The city at Mount Hjebard is considered a work of art. Cut deep into the mountain that gives it its name, the city is home to just two million people who get to enjoy some of the most stunning views on the entire planet, which has made it a somewhat exclusive address to seek out and seen house prices soar.   The city is home to the planet's primary mining corporations, though no mining goes on there anymore.   Mount Hjelbard is also home to an extensive Valitnist Commune.

Svarthelm City

Svarthelm City is a major city associated with mining and has a tough blue collar population who like a good drink and, if push comes to shove, a good fight   The city is home to around eight million people and is somewhat of a jumble, having grown up in waves as mining booms came and go. The city often experiences the worst poverty on the planet but the impact is often softened by the colonial government.   The city suffers from an occasionally high crime rate as poverty can drive up drug use and other criminal activity.  

The Haviland Valley

The Haviland Valley is the top mining location on Vanheim as of 2515. Relatively accessible and home to dozens of major metal and mineral sites, the Valley was been the site of more than a hundred major mining operations and was targeted for strip mining during the Karkouri Occupation.
Viktor Hanh

Cover image: by Destiny - Game


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