The Shadow of the Force
Tark is a harsh desert planet just beyond the Outer Rim, making it a popular place for wanted criminals of the galaxy to hide and for smugglers to stash their goods. Settlements, most of them quite small, dot the barren landscape, though a sizable port city called Verun exists.
The vast wastes of Tark contain sandy dunes, high mesas, and deep canyons. The environment is hot and arid, and regions can go entire months without raining. A single large body of water exists below the surface beneath Verun, which has allowed the city to grow quite large; the rest of the planet has to make do with practices such as moisture farming in order to make Tark livable.
With the lack of a strong government outside of its only city, law and order on most of Tark is enforced by various crime lords. In exchange for protection, settlements will kick up whatever they can offer to their local crime lord—usually water or food, though sometimes credits or power converts from particularly well-off settlements. In return, the crime lord will protect the settlement, settling disputes and punishing those who violate local law—or, at least, those who violate local law and aren't working for the crime lord in question.
Run by powerful merchant-kings and built long ago on a large underground reservoir of water, the prosperous port city of Verun stands in deep contrast to Tark's barren desert wastelands. As the largest city on the other side of the Divide, Verun lacks Imperial presence and often attracts criminals, smugglers, and other undesirables who find themselves desperate enough to venture beyond the Outer Rim and cross dark space.
The city rises high above the arid sands and tall mesas with five gargantuan towers, each a district of the city controlled by one of the city's Keepers. Though colossal bridges connect these districts that make up the city, most citizens never leave their districts except on rare occasions. Indeed, some have lived their entire lives never stepping foot outside the towers they were born in.
The merchant-kings that run Verun are known as the Kyber Council. Masters of commerce and politics, they guide the city's growth and development and define its major policies. They then delegate to the Keepers, organizations of considerable power that have become a vital part of Verun's economy. Each of the Keepers controls a district of the city and largely rules it as they see fit. While the Kyber Council is in control of the formidable Verun Armed Forces, each of the cartels possesses their own private army responsible for their district's security.
The Central Tower District, better known as The Cloud District, is the most prosperous and beautiful district of the city and is controlled directly by the Kyber Council. The central tower that stands far above the others (hence its nickname), it is home to Verun aristocracy and also quarters the Verun Armed Forces. Citizens from other districts, if they can afford a visitor's pass, often visit for the lavish gardens, high-class entertainment, and exquisite shopping.
By contrast, the South Tower District, better known by its colloquial name The Downs, is the poorest and most rundown district of the city. Run by the largest drug cartel of Verun, 1313, the citizens of the Downs are often the victims of the drug lords' violent whims. Most citizens either flee to the wastes or join up with 1313 in order to avoid being tortured, killed, or worse. Though 1313's leadership is only barely tolerated by the other Keepers of the city, the profitability of the Verunian drug trade ensures their continued rule and existence.
The West Tower District, called Weto by Verun's citizens, is kept by the Verunian Arms Dealers, simply known in Verun as the Arms Dealers. The foremost weapons and droids producers and dealers beyond the Outer Rim, the Arms Dealers are an economic powerhouse. Much of the tower's space is taken up by heavily-guarded factories, where most of the district's citizens work and live. The steep hierarchy of the Arms Dealers is difficult to climb, though even the lowliest of Weto's citizen-workers stand a chance, however slim, of ascending to better positions and better lives—or at least that's what the Arms Dealers maintain.
(more coming soon!)