S'arys is the core of a former hot gas giant orbiting close to the class A star Iota Centauri, some 58.6 light years from Earth. An ancient astronomical catastrophe stripped away the old atmosphere, most likely in a series of close encounters with a long destroyed companion world. It is an immensly hostile planet but for ambitious mining corporations it offers a rich haul of heavy elements close to the surface.
Geologically recent meteroite impacts punching through the surface of the original denuded planetary core have exposed a unique geology of microstrata originally formed under conditions of extreme pressure. Laminar flows and exotic chemistry concentrated valuable metals, rare earths and elements from the heavy end of the periodic table. Human settlement is now built around the refineries and mines that burrow underground in deep craters, both to follow the seams and to escape the surface vacuuum and the dangerous heat and light. Refinery 23, seen here, is a typical outpost.
S'arys : Refinery 23 by DMFW
S'arys was technically "colonised" in 2336 before the Limitation but for many years it was never much more than an elaborate underground work site, protected by deep tunnelling from the fierce sun. Nevertheless, as a result of their mined exports, the few citizens and investors in S'arys grew very rich and over time they hollowed out more extensive and comfortable accomodation in deep caverns and the population slowly expanded. In 2455 as the politics of the Bubble became more turbulent, the leaders of S'arys declared the articles of the S'arys Contract and in 2540 they became one of the founder members of the Republic. In the 29th century, a small university called the the Faculty of United S'arys was established in the deep shadowlands. This began as the folly of a rich seam controller, but grew to become an important, if always small, centre for dissident thought which persisted after the later collapse of both the Republic and the Solar Group. It was here that U.Y. Gahata composed and published her famous history, "A Thousand Years From Home : The History of Humanity's first Emergent Millennium" in 3324. Much later, in 3808, X.J. Thyrall would publish a fresh translation of the Nine Meditations in the Temple of Chromatic Enlightenment here, to celebrate a thousand years of Faculty scholarship.