Catalyst Type: Air
Sanctuary is one of the most unique Catalysts in the sector, and one that fascinates scholars from every civilized world. A vast pocket of breathable atmosphere floats in an otherwise unremarkable area of space. This area is filled with asteroids, gigantic bone fragments, wreckage from vessels, and an endless array of other oddities that have gathered over countless millennia.
Somewhere near the heart of this floating debris field lies an air Catalyst of enormous power, though few have reached it and returned with an account. Because of the intense magic surrounding this Catalyst no recordings are possible, and all scrying has failed.
Asteroids near the edge of the field tend to be the most stable, enough that many brave settlers have staked claims. Every mineral imaginable is available somewhere in the field, but the real value comes from the fragments of feathersteel. Feathersteel is the result of the blood of an air god being spilled on iron ore. Sanctuary is the chief producer in the sector, accounting for over eighty percent of the Inuran Consortium’s annual acquisition.
Anyone can set up a claim, so long as they have the tools to mine. Unfortunately, there are a variety of dangers. Asteroid collisions are common, especially during the periodic storms that wash through Sanctuary. These storms are incredibly violent, and if the fanciful accounts I read are accurate they are supernatural in nature.
Some claim that these storms originate within a massive vortex called the Maw. The Maw is, apparently, a roving Catalyst, though accounts differ as to whether it is a water or spirit Catalyst. Perhaps it is both.
This storm always bears something called Maw Pirates, undead specters who carry off entire settlements. When the storm passes asteroids are simply…empty. This scholar believes it is equally likely that these disappearances are a result of the storms themselves, as there has never been any hard evidence of these pirates. Surely a single miner would have managed a recording, or someone would have recovered one of these pirates.
What is more verifiable, though, are conventional pirates. Many unscrupulous miners realized that it is far easier to take processed ore from someone else than it is to process that ore themselves. Some go so far as to lure miners out to ‘stake claims’, selling them equipment stolen from other miners.
They teach the new miners the ropes, wait for a big haul, then come back and take everything. More often than not these new miners are killed, and the trap is reset. This practice should be stopped by the Confederate navy, but they claim that Sanctuary is outside Confederate space, despite clearly lying within their borders.
The closest to law in the area is the Inuran outpost, which does mediate most local dispute, for a fee of course. This same outpost purchases ore from the miners, and happily sells Inuran produced ships and drilling equipment to enable them to acquire more.