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Bretheda is a gas giant made predominantly of helium and hydrogen churning and roiling in circular bands. Its atmosphere has a blue-purplish tint and is constantly wracked by storms that can last for millennia and be seen across the entire Pact Worlds. Planet-sized thunderclouds surge with powerful lightning that cause great devastation when colliding. Wind speeds can reach hundreds of miles per hour at the borders of contrasting jets, further fuelled by convection between the cool upper layers and the pressurised inner layers. Some storms carry sharp pieces of crystallised ammonia, while others are superheated and capable of incinerating starships with occupants.4 This danger led to an ancient saying: Always an eye on the winds.5
The most significant of Bretheda's weather patterns is the Eyes of the Ancients, a trio of Golarion-sized storms that date to before the Gap. The other two most tempestuous zones are the Counter Band in the northern hemisphere, which rotates counter to the jets to its sides, and the equatorial zone, where the northern hemisphere's clockwise rotation meets the southern hemisphere's anticlockwise rotation. The poles are relatively calm and home to the largest floating arcologies, home to species unadapted to a gas giant environment.42 Many of these cities employ navigators and meteorologists to ensure they they remain in calm paths and do not stray into counter-directional jets, where the winds can crush the sturdiest arcology.5
Most of Bretheda's inhabitants reside in the less dense upper layer of the atmosphere. Most non-natives cannot reach the Boundary, where the gas coalesces into a supercritical fluid state. The core of the planet is a mass of liquid metallic gases.6
Bretheda has dozens of moons, and some are nearly the size of other planets in the system. Noteworthy moons include:
- The industrialized water world of Kalo-Mahoi.3
- Marata, where anthropological debate has erupted over the native maraquoi tribes' development from paleolithic technology to space travel in only a few generations.3
- Crystalline Dykon, which is home to silicon-based life, including urogs.3
Bretheda is also orbited by a collection of so-called "death moons" with conditions hazardous to most other species.
- Thyst is so radioactive that unprotected flesh can melt from bone.3
- Varos is a volcanic, tidally heated planetoid where imprisoned and indentured workers mine for gemstones unique to the moon's mantle.37
All kinds of ne'er-do-wells choose Bretheda's numerous moons as ideal places to conduct illicit activities like hiding caches and building shrines to strange deities. Both the planetary government and the Stewards lack the resources to effectively police such a large expanse.8
Bretheda's inhabitants have no need for formal government, but in order to prevent offworlders from falling into anarchy, many barathus who felt the need for public service merged into Confluence, a massive collective that governs the planet as a whole. Confluence's policies are generally liberal: social protections and latitude for academic and economic development are provided, but violent crimes are punished harshly. Bretheda is a full member of the Pact Worlds government, and its delegates on the Pact Council also represent Liavara, which is administrated by Bretheda as a protectorate, and both planets' moons, with the exception of large, populated moons that are self-governing.8
The fact that Confluence controls both of the Pact Worlds' largest planets and their dozens of moons has drawn criticism from others, who fear the corruption and favouritism inherent in such a powerful entity. For this reason, Brethedan settlements are subject to close scrutiny, lobbying, intrigue, and surveillance.5
Bretheda is home to two intelligent species: barathus and haans. Barathus are floating, gelatinous creatures capable of rewriting their own DNA, making them extremely flexible and adaptable. They maintain Bretheda's sister planet Liavara as a reserve of native lifeforms.62 Haans are a highly conservative people who only use simple tools and refrain from contact with barathus, offworlders, the planetary government and the Pact Worlds itself.8
Barathus are capable of joining consciousnesses, which they use to form super-intelligent entities. Some such entities collectively operate corporations that facilitate interplanetary trade in biotechnology, such as the Sopeth Corporation, a single sentient hive-mind comprised of thousands of barathus.23
Barathus have built several settlements within Bretheda's atmosphere to serve as homes for non-native species. These cities have a diverse population, predominantly kasathas interested in barathus' collective culture and lashuntas drawn to cutting-edge biotech development.6 Their economy is predominantly based on biotech corporations that base their research on barathus' adaptability.8 Although barathus are generally cooperative, the same cannot be said for offworlders, whose corporations frequently engage in arms races, corporate espionage, and even outright corporate warfare, despite the threat of Confluence's sanctions.5
Bretheda's atmosphere is also home to a strange, diverse native fauna, including omas, nuru worms, mist storms and sagolaths, among others. Air elementals can be seen in the upper layers, while lightning elementals are drawn to the massive thunderstorms.8
- Matt Miller. (December 9, 2016). Top of the Table: The Starfinder Interview, Page 2, Game Informer.
- Matt Miller. (December 9, 2016). Top of the Table: The Starfinder Interview, Page 5, Game Informer.
- Core Rulebook, 457. Paizo Inc., 2017 .
- Pact Worlds, 118. Paizo Inc., 2018 .
- Pact Worlds, 121. Paizo Inc., 2018 .
- Pact Worlds, 119. Paizo Inc., 2018 .
- Claim to Salvation, 3. Paizo Inc., 2017 .
- Pact Worlds, 120. Paizo Inc., 2018 .
- Core Rulebook, 41. Paizo Inc., 2017 .