The Niflheim Sovereignty Picture

The planet Niflheim is located between the Terran Protectorate and the former Empire of Many Suns in a buffer zone known as Donovan's Jump. It is an ice world covered by water ice slush and seas. However, the water is teeming with life due to its highly active core, which releases energy from numerous vents. Most of the cities are built inside of massive lava tubes through the ice formed by dormant volcanos.

It was settled about 220 years ago by an independent human expedition, however, it had been scouted 50 years before by the Mogg'theran from the Empire of Many Suns. This led to a claim dispute that went unresolved for 20 years, until the Empire fell after the destruction of the Mogg'theran homeworld. To everyone's surprise, Niflheim refused to join the Terran Protectorate, and instead declared itself the Niflheim Sovereignty, ruled by, of all things, a human monarch. Queen Vika Airngriepper the First.

Niflheim is an incredibly important world, because it is the only source of Nifacillian, a powerful antibiotic and antiviral agent that works across species. The substance not only fights both bacterial and viral infections, but it links into the body's immune system and supercharges it for a limited time. Not only does this defeat many infectious diseases, but it also significantly increases disease resistance and lifespan. For example, Queen Vika lived to the age of 185, and her daughter, Queen Sefa, is 150, but looks to be in her 40s. No attempts to artificially replicate or grow Nifacillian in other locations have succeeded.

The people of Niflheim, which includes both humans and Mogg'theran, are almost fanatically religious about the defense of their planet. However, while isolationist, they appear to be most determined to keep something IN. While tight-lipped about the situation on their world to outsiders, what has leaked is that the original colonists found some kind of structure under the ice, a prison of some sort, and the claim is that something still lives and is contained there, and the people of Niflheim seem to believe that this thing can break pieces of itself off and "corrupt" other creatures, particularly those with psychic abilities.
Fighting and containing this "corruption" appears to be the life's goal of every Niflheim citizen, and has become a religious crusade complete with an entire church structure and a never-ending Inquisition, led by Inquisitors who answer only to the church and Queen. Most outsiders believe that this is simply some sort of mythology cooked up to control the masses, however, a few months ago, a Nifacillian smuggler made it all the way to the Donovan's Jump Transfer Station before the Niflheim Inquisitors caught up with him in the docking bay. Witnesses claim that, when confronted, some sort of dark "miasma" left his body and confronted the Inquisitors in an inhuman voice before they destroyed him and took his ship, and it's multi-billion credit cargo, and drove it into the nearby star.

The Niflheim Royal Guard and Niflheim Inquisition are some of the most formidable ground troops in known space, due to their incredible health and vitality, and their unbreaking fanaticism. An Imperial Consortion "expedition" once tested the planet's defenses by blockading it and trying to claim one of its cities (and mining facilities) as its own. Consortium soldiers reported that the guard simply would not break, and one regimental commander was killed by a group of children who tore him apart with their bare hands while screaming allegiance to their queen. The Consortium pulled out so fast that it left a quarter of its forces behind to be tried and executed as "heretics."

Niflheim still will not sell Nifacillian to the Consortium, which has resorted to indirect smuggling to get the substance.
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