The Ringali Shell
On the outer edge of the Core Worlds lies the Ringali Nebula, a bright cloud of interstellar gas that dominates the skies of hundreds of worlds in the Bormea and Darpa sectors. The two sectors that encompass this impressive nebula are referred to as the Ringali Shell.
These sectors are among the most developed and densely populated in the Empire, most with advanced manufacturing or service economies. They rely heavily on resource planets in the Outer Rim region for the raw materials needed to support their industries, but only a fraction of the goods made in these sectors are shipped back to the outlying sectors.
Inhabitants of the Shell are generally wealthy in the material sense, although they aren't necessarily rich. Poverty is virtually non-existent in the Shell, but those who are poor are well looked after by the government and various charities. However, Aliens who live in the Shell, especially on human-dominated worlds, live markedly different lives.
There are hundreds of worlds in the Ringali Shell, some of which are terrestrial planets with vast populations, others are small, developed satellites, while others are dull, backspace settlements. Every inhabitable world has been settled and most tolerable moons have at least a token outpost.
Running through the Shell are two major Trade Routes - the Hydian Way and the Perlemian Trade Routes. The Trade Routes intersect at Brentaal system, and as result there is a high volume of traffic in the system and many businesses operate hubs in the system. In addition to the major Trade Routes, there is a minor Trade Route that runs from the Bormea sector to the Darpa sector called The Old Navy Run.
All systems in the Ringali Shell have multiple charted jump zones. These zones are a set of coordinates used to safely arrive and depart from a system. The zones are kept clear of debris by the local system patrols, and visited as briefly as possible to reduce the risk of a collision with other incoming ships.
Ringali systems that have high volumes of traffic have differentiated jump zones for commercial, military, super-container, private and corporate ships. Very few ships arrive elsewhere and to do so is too dangerous for most captains to risk.
While it is almost possible to jump to any position in a system, only military and illegal vessels do so, and even then it is fantastically dangerous. Regular commercial and private ships file flight plans to maximise the odds of arriving safely in their assigned jump zone.
The transit from zone to orbit can be anywhere from five minutes to a few hours, depending on local charts, traffic and Imperial Survey Corps updates. A zone might be as little as 50 spacial units from orbit, or up to 2,000 or more units distant. Once a ship arrives in a jump zone, it may take several minutes to calculate jump coordinates. Many ships calculate their hyperspace jump while en route to the jump point, although starports in the Shell offer navigation calculation services and most corporate ships have their jumps pre-calculated by the company traffic control computers.
The Ringali Nebula
The Ringali Nebula is a thick, barely navigable cloud of gases and charged particles that commercial freighters and passenger starships try to avoid when they can.
Hyperspace navigation is quite hazardous through the Nebula and there are few public charted hyperlanes. Those lanes that do exist are relatively slow compared to standard hyperlanes due to the Nebula's properties. In the densest areas of the Nebula, hyperspace travel is impossible due to the Nebula's mass acting as a barrier. Rogue asteroids and uncharted asteroid belts litter the area.
Some of the gases in the Nebula are volatile and may well detonate if subjected to engine emissions or blaster fire. The Nebula is Electromagnetically active, scrambling sensors and communications.
GM's Note: Whilst in the Nebula add +5 to the difficulty to all sensors and piloting rolls. Also, add +10 to the difficulty to all communications rolls.
Whilst the Empire has a comparatively low Naval presence in the Ringali Shell, there is enough of a presence to cause the Hammer and her crew more than a few headaches. The Darpa sector falls under the command of the High Admiral Ridol, who spends most of his time on Coruscant. The Sector Fleet is based at Esseles, but is deployed throughout the sector.
The region has a rather a high Imperial Customs presence for a Coreward sector. This is due to the Nebula itself, which is ideal cover for smugglers and pirates to use. Unlike many other sectors, the Imperial Customs agency in the Ringali Shell is co-ordinated at a sector level rather than just system level. This enables the agency to divide its resources more appropriately and also lets the agency organise patrols in the region. These patrols routinely sweep every system in the region looking for code violators, smugglers, Rebels and emergency situations.
Whilst every system has its own branch office, the headquarters for the region is based on Gallas in the Darpa sector and is run by Admiral Hoff.