///From the author: dating back to the late 21st and early 22nd centuries, the settlements on Titan had long been a major hub for culture and commerce in the outer solar syst. By the time the Frontier Wars storyline begins in 2389, all of that cultural clout has bought this mysterious world a history of social strife. Here I will lay out some of the details of the struggles which have defined the Titanian identity for much of its history, and helped to shape the rise of the Zharan Collective during the years leading up to the Tycho Treaty in 2361.
Maps of Titan circa 2389
Population: approximately 71 million (estimated per the 2387 census)
Capital: Samarkand (2), Samarkand district (X-7); population: approx. 8.2 million
Affiliation: administered jointly by the ICA and the Alliance of Free Worlds
Government: ICA-controlled regions are a federal parliamentary democratic republic, based out of Liaoning ; Alliance-controlled regions are a unitary socialist republic, based out of Samarkand
Primary industries: cryo-computation (quantum processing power amplified by the extreme cold); heavy industry & manufacturing (Alliance regions are especially invested in weapons design & production; ICA regions are big on plastics)
Saturn’s largest moon has always held a special place in humanity’s heart, even back to the earliest days of interplanetary exploration. We sent the Huygens to land in the Shangri-La region on a mission of discovery, and landed the Dragonfly probe in the Selk Crater for its own dune-hopping exploration. Both of these returned fascinating scientific results, and drove interest in crewed exploration and long-term settlement.
When the first humans arrived there over forty years later, they came in ships designed by the Pathfinder Corporation and deployed as part of Project Centennial’s long-term goal of putting humans in the outer solar system. Over the fifty years which followed this first landing in 2077, human pioneers and their artificial workhorses set up more than a dozen settlements across the midlatitude regions of Titan, chief among them Samarkand (2), New Heraklion (4), and Liaoning (7), as well as several in the northern polar region around the edges of the great methane seas. Chief among these is Nicoya City (3), which houses Titan’s primary plastics processing facilities for Titan Industries. Elsewhere, Chicomoztoc (5), the fourth largest city on Titan, is home to the first space tether built beyond the asteroid belt (completed in 2186).
For much of Titan’s history of human habitation, the settlements there developed in peace. Beginning in the 2240s, as the Antares Insurrection embroiled the solar system in populist upheaval, and the population of Titan was swept up in the violence, a band of warlords called the Titan Cabal swept into power there. These would-be dictators rode a wave of public distrust of the ICA and leveraged the immense resource wealth of Titan to build up small armies to defend their interests on the smog-shrouded moon.
Then, in 2284, 700 million-year-old precursor artifacts were revealed in the Shikoku Facula, in a region later named the Ramayana Site (1). Within a few years of this revelation, the warlords of Titan came to conflict with the masters of the United Nations of Mars over control of outer system resources, including the highly coveted Ramayana artifacts. This led to the Mars-Titan War (2293-2298), which has shaped the politics of Solar Space for the past hundred years and ushered in an era of weak leadership on Titan. That lasted until 2334, when the new United People’s Party swept into power. The rest, as they say, is history.
Map Key (listing the ten cities in this region over half a million people):
The Interplanetary Cooperative Administration (ICA):
Officially founded in 2051 with the adoption of the Tyndall Accords by the UN, it was devised as a means to prevent interplanetary conflict in the vein of the Lunar War of October 2038, which pitted the major spacefaring powers aligned with NATO against those aligned with China and the Shanghai Pact for control of lunar resources
With its the start of the ICA's first council session in early 2052, a standard was set that has lasted more than two centuries, despite the turbulence of the Long Fall and the recent turmoil of the Frontier Wars, wherein the organization legislates, mediates, and arbitrates all commercial and political affairs beyond Earth, at least in theory
The Alliance of Free Worlds:
Beginning with the outbreak of Draconist-led revolutions in the Jupiter and Saturn Sectors in the early 24th century, the chasm between the ICA and the citizens of the outer solar system quickly split into a vast gulf, especially as the ICA-led crackdown on dissent rapidly accelerated public resistance to their rule
As the Spacer Corps fought to crush these quickly spreading Draconist-backed insurrections, a new organization–the Alliance of Free Worlds–emerged to serve the interests of countless disillusioned citizens in the frontier, and to push the Draconists (whose radical methods alienated many frontier citizens) to the sidelines
Divisão Revolucionário Armado de Callisto (DRAC):
Draconism arose as part of the surge of nationalism which swept through the frontier following the passage of the Harrison Accords, which codified the status quo for the Solar Civil War in 2298. From there, it quickly infested the entire Jovian system, and later dozens of settlements across the outer solar system.
By the time it was stamped out, it had upended the political order of Solar Space, paving the way for the turmoil of the Frontier Wars, and spawned a half century of violence among the populace of the outer system, many of whom fought simply to defend their own local settlement from being swept up in the chaos
The Commonwealth of Titan:
The Protectorate of Titan was created by the ICA in the immediate aftermath of the Solar Civil War (2291-2296) to represent the booming industrial settlements which sprang up there throughout the 22nd century, only to be torn asunder by the sociopolitical chaos endemic to the long turmoil of the Draconist Crisis
During this era of civil strife, Titan was just as swept up as was the rest of the outer system, and the ascent of the United People’s Party to power in the tumultuous elections of 2334 ultimately sparked a long and bloody civil war that, in many ways, was more destructive than the Jovian Civil War (2326-2342) which catalyzed it
The United People’s Party:
The United People's Party was a DRAC-sponsored affiliate which took power on Titan in 2334, kicking off a thirty-year era of civil war which pitted brother against brother in a vicious struggle for the soul of the the third most populous world in Solar space (behind Marsand Earth) and led to millions of deaths
This long era of bloodshed finally ended with the Tycho Treaty of 2361, which also ended the Draconist Crisis as a whole and which split Titan three ways between the Interplanetary Cooperative Administration (ICA), the Alliance of Free Worlds, and the Zharan Collective, which still claims dominion over the whole
Additional Maps and Historical Context
The Turning Point - Titan in 2339:
Not long after the First Draconist Crisis (2325-2342) intensified in following the Aldrin Memorial Spaceport terror attacks of 2331, the Jovian spore of Draconism spread to the Saturn system. By 2334, the DRAC had set up shop among Titan’s mid-latitudes, and the Interplanetary Defense Corps (IDC) moved in to lead local ICA-loyal militias against them.
The First Titan War (2335-2342) had many ups and downs through its course, with both sides facing setbacks and triumphs in equal measure as they fought for control of the moon. But the conflict faced a turning point in 2339, for two major reasons. First, it was in that year that the IDC finally broke the codes used by the DRAC militias in the Shangri-La region, opening the door to a gradual decline in the Draconist movement on Titan.
But 2339 was also the year the Alliance of Free Worlds was born. After the Alliance came to power on Callisto in 2342, they opened negotiations to bring an end to the conflict, and assumed control of Titan in January 2343. To many ICA veterans, it was both a blessing and a curse, as their mission ended with one hostile faction being replaced by another. Ultimately the fighting there would drag on for another twenty years as the Draconist threat lingered on, and Operation Lightning Dagger accelerated the beginning of the Second Titan War.
Samarkand, capital of Titan, circa 2359:
Though not chronologically the first settlement established on Titan, Samarkand quickly became the most successful colony beyond the asteroid belt following its establishment in 2119. Between the founding of Donegal Station (named for Lewis Donegal III, the first person to set foot on Titan in 2077) and the Solar Civil War over 200 years later, the settlement there grew like wildfire, and as of 2359 it is home to about 12 million people, most of whom live within only a dozen kilometers of the Huygens Memorial Museum.
The city itself is different from what people in the 21st century would recognize in that, unlike most Terran or even Martian cities, it consists largely of domed or otherwise enclosed “arcologies,” each of which is much like a small cityscape in and of itself. These clustered living, working, and recreational spaces can house hundreds or even thousands of people in a single, linked environment, and appear to those on the outside like massively upscaled versions of the Mars habitats dreamt up by futurists in the first decades of the 21st century
But all of this is threatened by the ongoing Second Titan War, which is essentially a proxy conflict of the Second Draconist Crisis (2347-2361). As of 2359, the War on Draconism has been raging on and off for roughly three decades, as the Divisão Revolucionária da Assembleia de Calisto (DRAC) battles the Interplanetary Cooperative Administration (ICA) for control of the outer solar system and places millions of lives at risk.
Recently, a third party has emerged to throw down its own gauntlet. This faction, made up of rebellious artificial humans originally created as disposable labor, now controls a sizable portion of the city, and plans on extending their control even further. They call themselves zharans, and since 2358, they have conducted a violent Uprising against both the ICA and the Alliance of Free Worlds, as well as the Draconists still vying for control of the frontier. This faction, headlined by the Zharan Liberation Front, which is led by the dangerous and charismatic V'Ran, controls part of Titan as part of their long-term plan of full sovereignty.