One of the more unusual shadowports, Deep L’avai is a colony located beneath the waves on an ocean planet in the territory of Az’uth.
More a small town than an outpost, Deep L’lavai has a permanent population of about 4000 inhabitants. It was founded some 50 years ago by a former Lik’auzu Councillor who had resigned after her clan became subordinate to Clan Ma’shorra. The founder’s eldest son M’zaar now owns and operates it.
The services of Deep L’lavai are generally available to all, letting it qualify as a shadowport, but are obviously only accessible for starships with some means of underwater propulsion.
Allegiance: Neutral, but with Lik’auzu sympathies
Services: Resupply, repair, trade, storage, advanced medical, residential
Defences: While the location is its best defence, the colony disposes of a small fleet of specialised submarine attack crafts and space fighters, as well as several torpedo batteries.
1. Geography and layout
(See also map at bottom)
Located at a depth of about 100 meters on the edge of a submarine plateau overlooking a large reef and kelp forest, the colony’s most prominent features are its six large crystal ceramic domes which hold parks, public areas, and some residential and commercial areas. The greater part of the colony, however, are actually found beneath the domes in a network of tunnels and chambers dug into the plateau rock, which hold among other things Deep L’lavai’s space and submarine port, cargo and shipping facilities, utilities and more residential apartments.
The six domes serve different functions. The largest is known as the Main Dome and holds the largest park, which also doubles as a large market place and mall. Public functions and ceremonies are usually held here, and most of the larger commercial ventures in the colony have some sort of ‘office’ or other presence here. The spaceport is found beneath the Main Dome, further contributing to its role as a nexus in the colony.
Immediately east of the Main Dome one finds the Industrial and Shipping Dome which is dedicated to various forms of production and research, mostly relating to the local medical and mining industries. The spaceport extends beneath this dome as well, with most of the rest of the space taken up by a large cargo and logistics centre with a couple of hundred vaults for cargo storage.
At the far eastern end of the chain of domes is the Utility Dome, which contains the colony’s power plants, desalinisation plant, water and air cleaning facilities, and so forth.
Going west from the Main Dome, one finds Residential Dome 1 (eastern) and 2 (western). Again, these domes themselves are actually a mix of residential, commercial and public spaces, with many more apartments found in the chambers beneath. One interesting place here is the so-called Keeper Compound in Residential Dome 2, a small area of cultivated wilderness where a group of Cha’ezh Keepers live as a community. For that reason, ResDome 2 is sometimes known as the Keeper Dome among the locals.
Beyond the two Residential Domes, on the far west end of the colony, is found the Owner’s Dome, which is both the personal compound of M’zaar, the owner of the entire colony and its administrative centre. Most of the government functions, such as they are in a M’rowan community, are found here, including communications and computer facilities, and the headquarters for the security and military forces. A separate hangar beneath this dome holds several squadrons of attack submarines, space fighters, transport vessels and other ‘official’ vehicles.
2. Government and politics
As a colony founded by a private person (as opposed to a clan), Deep L’lavai is the personal property of the founder, or in this case, her eldest son and heir M’zaar. As owner, M’zaar holds as complete authority in the colony as he has power to exercise, and he charges rent and service fees from (theoretically speaking) all inhabitants and visitors for use of the colony’s real estate and utilities.
In practice, though, the loose M’rowan attitude to government and administration being what it is, there’s a considerable number of people living in Deep L’lavai who do not pay the expected rents and fees. Still, since M’zaar gets most of his income from the colony’s local businesses and from docking fees from mining and fishing ships and off-world traders anyway, this is not a great concern for him.
The bulk of the Deep L’lavai economy is roughly equally divided between mining, fishing and bio-pharmacological research and production.
Although the entire region around Deep L’lavai is quite rich in various minerals, the locals prefer to keep the colony’s immediate surroundings as pristine as possible for aesthetic reasons. Thus, large-scale mining operations are mostly confined to the deep ocean sea floor further out in the ocean, increasing costs and logistical complications somewhat. The extracted minerals typically include gold, silver, copper, cobalt, manganese and zinc. Some diamond deposits are found in the area as well.
In addition to the sea floor mining, a few operations exist to extract minerals from the sea water, such as salt, potassium, magnesium and even some uranium. While the revenues from these operations are smaller, they are also less complicated than sea floor mining, and can take place much closer to the colony.
The sea around Deep L’lavai boasts a fertile and diverse biosphere, and many of its species are excellent for use as food. The local fishing industry does excellent business exporting these to nearby Ma’shorra and A’zuth worlds, either frozen or, at a considerably higher price, as live specimens.
Although M’rowans generally do not eat plants, much of the local flora is also cultivated for use as spices, seasonings or other types of food additives.
The colony has long been known as a centre for production and trade in advanced natural pharmaceuticals, since much of the local submarine plant life has been found to have useful medicinal qualities. In recent years, the sector has expanded to include research in genetics and general medical technology as well.
4. Important characters
- M’zaar – Owner
5. Colony Map