and the Stars End Bar and Grill
Just to the north of RhyDin City, tucked away behind the Dagger Mountains, the Spaceport sits on the eastern shore of Fool’s Luck Bay. The port was first established as Land’s End, a traditional maritime trading outpost. When spacecraft began making their way to the planet, the port was expanded and retrofitted to accommodate these new vessels. Renovations and further expansion continued for years, keeping pace with the economic growth of the area. Eventually came the change in name: Land’s End became Stars End. Since its founding, the port has grown from a rough-and-tumble backwater outpost to a sophisticated—if perhaps rougher—community.
Down there, where the shadows get darker and the air thicker, the shadowy operatives of various corporations seek to better serve their diverse interstellar business ventures. Smaller spacecraft can be seen constantly lifting off and setting down during the course of a day—and all hours of the night. While most ships tend to be small cargo ships—either those serving nearby trade or shuttles ferrying cargo to larger space-freighters that serve out-lying systems—all manner of vessels will be seen if one watches the landing areas long enough.
The dramatic mixing of old and new is most visible when one observes a light freighter rocketing off over the tall masts of trading ships bobbing in the waters of the bay. The bay area is the oldest and roughest part of the Spaceport. Degenerating shipwright facilities and warehouses abound and often serve as shelters for the homeless.
Moving inward, the surroundings improve in slow degrees. All forms of architectural style can be found within the port community, apparently without the assistance of any city planners. The streets can be narrow and confusing with ground vehicles and speeders competing for driving space. Everyone has heard the story of some unlucky fool who has wandered for hours only to make one wrong turn into a dark alley, never to be seen alive again.
The more “well-lit” portions of the port are usually a-buzz with traders plying their wares or pilots trying to lease their craft to the highest bidder. All manner of businesses exist within the spaceport: off-world curio vendors, arms merchants, used spaceship dealers, general merchandise suppliers, and the like.
There are some affluent areas. Most of them have few street entrances, each with guard stations. The wealthy merchants and corporate executives live in these exclusive compounds, secluded away from the squalor that makes up much of the Spaceport. These are the areas where law is most heavily enforced courtesy of the Stars End Police Department.
The SEPD is a group of individuals hired to act as the port authority within the Stars End sector of Rhydin. Their job is thankless and the pay is meager, but many of the merchants and corporations employ them to keep some semblance of peace. Most citizen regard them as little more than rent-a-cops, but others see them as the only thing standing between the status quo and outright anarchy. Whatever the case, they attempt to do their job as best they can, outfitted in body armor and employing non-lethal means of apprehension. The corporations involved in funding the police have no desire to alienate their clientele, and more forceful techniques are only authorized in the most dire of situations.
Outposts and embassies from most of the major star systems, empires, and federations can be found throughout the remainder of the Spaceport. Open hostilities between known enemy factions tend to be rare, as all have adopted a very loose neutral-zone treaty. Due to Rhydin’s orientation as a galactic crossroads, no one faction could ever manage to hold it themselves. Each actually benefits by having unfettered access to the vastly diverse cultures and races represented within the Stars End sector.
This mixture is not without other benefits as well. If there is anything that is considered top notch in the port, it is the nightlife. Sailors of the sky and sea alike are more than eager to spend their pay on wild times. If there is something one is looking for, it can usually be found. Here, four-star hotels are mixed with seedy dives, shows of all kinds playing at any time of the day or night. Several casinos are also scattered about, liberating credits from their owners.
Bars of all reputations exist on nearly every street corner. One of the oldest establishments, the Stars End Bar and Grill (SEB), remains one of the most popular. In true Spaceport fashion, SEB is about as gritty as they come.