Unathi/Industry

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The Poles and Savannas

Any alien, describing their first visit to Moghes, would probably mention the bustling port cities of the North and South. Endless landing sites, navigation towers and fuel tanks, hangars and warehouses, immense factories and power plants, sprawling slums and malodorous landfills, taverns, butcheries and bazaars constitute the majority of the landscape. Caustic smog and packs of free roaming yuums add to the chaotic image of Unathi megalopolis, as well as dirt roads and giant sewage drains left in the open. A few high-end hotels, guild halls and consulates, situated on the outskirts of the typical city and protected by many barriers and armed guards are almost free from the filth and lawlessness of the slums. Ports, administrative buildings and important factories are protected in the same fashion, by the warriors of respective clans.

Agricultural boom in the Savannas has led to a stunning population growth. Some clans were more eager to divide their lands between families, which only exacerbated the problem, since individual households were less stable and thus, more prone to hostile (and non-hostile) takeovers. Others maintained the age old principles, which though created a surplus of junior heirs, whose work on the land could not boost the yield any more. Quite a few migrated further to the equator, braving the deserts, establishing farms of their own. The rest were swallowed by the industrial surge happening in the north.

From the lowliest janitor to the very overseers of production, polar factories have had all positions filled with the resulting manpower. Old workshops grew into multi-level mills, craftsmen working round the clock in several shifts. While their elders forge and assemble the production, the youngsters pick and recycle the waste, deliver messages and even keep the vermin at bay. Some clans provide housing and food for their labourers while others provide none. No centralized administration, no labour laws, no safety measures and close to none independent trade unions ensure the highest profitability even for inefficient enterprises. Surprisingly, slave labour is rare, for the families in charge know that hunger or thirst often happen to be more powerful drivers than the force of weapons.

The products of Polar industries can be divided in three groups. The first, possibly most numerous, is Unathi consumer goods. A large city like Mumbak produces everything, from glassware and shovels, paper and cement to the famed breacher mobilesuits and tracked desert crawlers. The least regulated sphere, it has many minor clans and their guilds competing for the market (sometimes escalating this struggle into feuds), though the more lucrative trades like gunmaking are controlled by major guilds and their alliances (for example, the Worshipful Company of Weaponsmiths, accounting for 75% of ballistic weapons). While most of the goods never leave Moghes, some (especially those considered “quaint” and “exotic”) reach interplanetary markets.

The second group, which largely came to existence in 2420s, and was given a huge boost in 2480s, is the mimicry of alien wares, for domestic and foreign consumption. The ballistic weapons included not only genuine Unathi designs (rather unwieldy), but the classics like Lumoco pistols or colonial STS-35s. This list includes cheaper hovercraft, knock-off phoron engines, space pods and spare parts, small cargo craft and even human clothing. Often it’s exported to the nearest Human colonies, especially the distant ones, often neglected by mega-corporations. Quality-focused Skrell are more wary of Unathi products, but still purchase a considerable part of it for their joint projects.

The third group, which invariably happens to be under strict supervision by leading local clans, is what Unathi call “Restored” goods. Precursor artifacts are not only highly sought after – those hallowed items are often attributed with magical properties, worshiped and passed on from generation to generation. The few guilds that are allowed to work said artifacts are not unlike temples, with their own shamans and clergy acting as craftsmen and engineers. Each piece is carefully studied, cleaned and restored to the working condition; What happens to be Precursor scrap is melted, recycled and stored, for the materials themselves are worth more than gold. Even though the artifacts are forbidden from ever leaving Moghes (and most clans are ready to enforce this principle), quite a few found their way to Qerrbalak. Whether or not Sol Gov or Terran Administration have laid their hands on Precursor tech is still debated.

Desert Dwellers

For a few reasons, the deserts of Moghes have been less affected by the industrial revolution. Scarce population, lack of materials and sizeable water bodies rendered it impossible to construct manufacturing facilities larger than the average basket weaving shop. Typically, desert clans ensure the somewhat safe (from other desert clans) passage of caravans along the main trading routes, maintaining repairs and refueling stations, water-pumps and even something not unlike post offices along the way. Hangars holding larger tracked vehicles and hovercraft are a relatively common sight in more prosperous oases, with trained technicians cleaning and lubricating delicate machinery.

What’s more important though, is the fact that the desert itself remains largely unexplored by Unathi scavengers. While not an issue with the polar landfills still ripe with Precursor remnants, in recent years quite a few tribes have launched expeditions further into the sands, to discover what lies beneath them. Advanced sensors and equipment greatly facilitated possible excavations, giving many a desert clan a new, stable income. Even though struggle for the ancient loot has resulted in a quite few skirmishes, with the losers suffering harsh defeat, the artifact rush still continues.

Men of the Swamps

For years, the Great Salt Swamps have been a predominantly agrarian region of the supercontinent. Fish, herbs, algae, mushrooms, salt and animal products, as well as handicraft were bartered for engines, advanced tools and supplies. Local docks and repair shops have maintained sizeable fishing fleets, and are quite instrumental in keeping swamp towns afloat, both in literal and metaphorical sense. Biodiesel production and oil refinery is thus one of the key industries, with raw colza-like plants produced locally and crude oil imported from the outside. Phoron and Precursor engines are used as well, often built (or restored, in Precursor case) by the artisans.

However, the rise of organic chemistry and pharmacology presented swamp folk new opportunities. Medicaments, dyes and even cosmetics have been in high demand, especially in the Polar cities and among wealthy Diamond Peak families. This natural monopoly ensured strong swamp clan presence in guilds like the Most Worshipful Company of Oil Refiners and Distillers, and the Apothecary Covenant. Some industrial giants of Sol, including NanoTrasen, Zeng-Hu and Githari Exports, including some of their subsidiaries, happened to show interest in local produce, some items of which are unique to Moghes.

Another traditional swamp unathi trade is woodcraft, something rather uncommon in other parts of the planet. Trees are rarely used for fuel, but rather for carpentry and joinery, the main product of which are ornate furniture and joinery.

The Diamond Peaks

The Diamond Peaks earned their name for several obscure reasons largely unknown to the outsiders. However, massive mineral deposits below the crust in the area have provided warlike «peakies» with virtually unlimited resourses. Deep within their cavernous realm, warlords of the peaks have established ironworks rivaling those of the polar regions. In recent times however, precious and rare earth metals, as well as radioactive elements, came to be much more profitable for the rigid mountainous society. Capable smiths and engineers, Gresis or Sorize did not have as much access to alien technology as their brethren from other parts of Moghes. Precursor tech, especially ancient weapons, was hoarded and revered, and sometimes used, but rarely replicated.

This technological stagnation, as well as food shortages, has led the proud peakfolk to open their markets to foreign goods (foodstuffs, cattle, advanced farming and industrial machines, precision tools) in exchange for raw materials, as well as masterfully crafted weapons, power armor and vehicles of war. While the latter were quite popular with unathi merchants, the former proved to be most lucrative, enough for foreign prospectors to come in draws. It was Skrell who led the way, providing the Diamond Peaks with modern drills, engines and mining equipment. Hephaestus Industries and Grayson Manufactories followed the suit, creating an influx of alien (mostly human) workers. While the situation has caused certain disturbances among the native population, the military chiefs have so far been able to keep in things under control.