In spite of its name, the Scum Belt glitters with a unique luster of fame, fortune—and for a select few captains—glory. Whether you’re a true novice or you’ve seen a battle or two, there are a few things about this famous (or infamous) locale that you should know better than the underside of your favorite ship.

Welcome to the Scum Belt, Captain. Let’s get started.

A GRAVEYARD OF WRECKS AND REFUSE

“Going into the Scum Belt is like stepping into a pile of sludge. The only difference is that you’re glad to eventually step out of it alive.”

—General Arius Sykora, Trojan Navy

The view every captain sees before entering the Scum Belt.

The Scum Belt, or asteroid belt, is located between the stable nation planets (Venus, Earth and Mars) and the disputed outer territories. First exploited for its resources in the 21st century, this section of space is strewn with clouds of asteroids and the drifting carcasses of ships from the Great Solar War. While this treacherous debris has made the region risky to navigate, it has also transformed it into a haven for those hiding from security forces, bounty hunters and all forms of official law.

When traveling through the Scum Belt, captains don’t have to rely on skill alone. This region is home to a sophisticated system of navigation beacons known as the Okeanides, which serve to amplify the warp signals of ships and help captains avoid debris. Originally built by the Transhumans, the Okeanides were deactivated once its creators moved on to terraform the outer Solar System.

It wasn’t until the outlaws of Sinley Bay found the Okeanides and brought them back online that this advanced tech was usable once again. This highly complex navigation system, which the captains named after sea nymphs from Greek mythology, represents a sense of adventure inspired by the open ocean—and, by extension, deep space. However, because of their Transhuman origins, it is unlikely that anyone would know how to repair the Okeanides should they go down completely.

SUBREGIONS: DIVING DEEPER

While it has a reputation as a hull-piercing junkyard, the Scum Belt is host to a handful of bustling outposts, each of which has its own distinct character. Embedded in the side of a major asteroid, Sinley Bay is the largest—and most notorious.

SINLEY BAY: A HOME AWAY FROM HELM

”What’s it like to live on Sinley Bay? The scenery is rust, the food is stale and asteroid dust sticks to you like glue. And the beds...the beds are never comfortable where the money’s good.”

—Ellen Nichols, Navigation Officer - Sinley Bay

The crescent-shaped Sinley Bay drifts amid the treacherous asteroids of the Scum Belt.

A bustling spaceport, Sinley Bay is home to the larger buildings in the region and serves as a control center for the Okeanides. Massive shipyards and docks dominate the outpost, which also offers a thriving black market and residential areas deeper within. Originally set up in 2420 CE by mutineers fleeing the Great Solar War, Sinley Bay has since become the first port of call for anyone looking to start a new life outside the constraints of normal civilization.

RYUGU HAVEN: AN ESSENTIAL OUTPOST

Ryugu Haven is a massive base built into the Urvara Crater on Ceres, a rocky dwarf planet with no atmosphere. It has served a wide range of purposes, from early human colony to Transhuman way station to Pan-Colonial Fleet outpost. One of the largest efforts to colonize Ryugu Haven was launched by the Martian government in 2422 CE. This operation tasked Akula Vektor with mining old technology left by the Transhumans—however, the immense dangers of navigating the Scum Belt severely limited the megacorp’s success.

Ryugu Haven lies on the surface of Ceres, the largest natural object in the Scum Belt.

Akula Vektor was also plagued by frequent attacks from raiders. By 2431, these ruthless, battle-hardened factions started to claim the Haven as their own. Eventually, one group of raiders struck a deal with Sinley Bay. In exchange for access to the Okeanides, they agreed to provide Sinley Bay with water and raw materials for ship repairs. Despite the arrangement, this dark, desolate base remains a magnet for conflict between outlaws and opportunists.

THE SIMARGL: THE ORIGINAL BEAST

“Simargl means ultimate destructive power, harnessed. Perfected at the start of the Great Solar War by Akula Vektor, this classic battleship is slow—but tough.”

—Akula Vektor catalog, page 1

Most rookie captains learn to handle the Tier-I Simargl before attempting to tame the true monsters.

The Simargl was the first-ever spacefaring Dreadnought. Originally manufactured in 2350 CE, this primitively powerful ship was named after a winged doomsday beast from Slavic mythology. The story goes that this creature was chained to the star Polaris in Ursa Minor to keep it from consuming the world.

As the Pan-Colonial Fleet’s primary battleship in the initial stages of the war, the Simargl was first deployed in the Asteroid Belt Skirmishes—humanity’s first encounter with the Transhumans as foes instead of friends. By 2354 CE, the Simargl fleets had defeated a large chunk of Transhuman forces. The PCF had shown the Transhumans that they were a force to be reckoned with. The dark side of humanity had been unleashed.

Starting to get your bearings? We’ll be providing more background on this dark, mysterious region that mercenary captains call home—stay tuned!