The Gruul Cluster is a large cluster of star systems in the Nemean Abyss, named after the Gruul relay, which feeds into it. It consists of four star systems, in which there are 23 planets and nearly seventy moons, and, more importantly, a neutron star and a pulsar, each surrounded by truly enormous asteroid fields.
The Gruul cluster, like most of the Abyss, has an overabundance of eezo, and the many, many warlords who inhabit the cluster abuse its natural resources for wealth, and to attempt to gain advantages over their enemies.
Up until the late twenty second century, the Gruul Cluster was united as the Theocracy of Gruul, and was ruled by The One and Only Hierophant of Gruul. The Hierophant's nine hundred year reign ended when he was deposed during the Third War of Thorana in 2145, and now the Cluster, as well as the Theocracy's old territories, belong to various warring warlords.
The Gruul system, and the Hierophant, were best known for the Hierophant Class Heavy Cruiser, a terrifying turian-based design, and the pirates and warlords who've made the system their home in the forty years since the Hierophant's fall.
During the Reaper War, this changed. As the Reapers invaded, Urdnot Fal embarked on a lightning campaign, uniting the warlords of the cluster, as well as some of Gruul's old holdings, and declaring that the Reapers were the New Gods that the Theocracy had been waiting for. He pledged alliance to the Reapers, and immediately began to wage war on the Abyss and Deep Terminus. One of his targets was the prosperous world of A'qari.
Fal was stopped when a Sultanate Jannissary team, accompanied by an unnamed SIU Nanotech Commando, infiltrated the Palace of the Hierophant and assassinated Urdnot Fal and the entirety of his high command. During the assault, the Reaper device that had indoctrinated them and the previous Hierophant was destroyed. The result of the assassination was broadcast across Gruul, and the Theocracy swiftly fell apart afterwards, with various Ad'Thoro Pact members picking up the pieces to keep relative order (And take advantage of its considerable industrial might).
Currently the Ad'Thoro Pact effectively rules the region, though Theocracy Loyalists have been running resistance movements within the cluster and beyond.
Star systems within the Gruul Cluster
- Gruul: The old capitol. Gruul houses the Gruul relay, and a pair of habitable planets, as well as another seven planets that are...less than hospitable. Thorana, a medium gravity, volcanic levo world and the old capitol of the system, and Mozal, a low gravity garden world. The Sultanate Occupation has once again made it the capitol of the Sector, and the Loyalist Resistance is weakest on the planet thanks to concerted information and public relations campaigns on the Sultanates part. Rumors of plans to convert the Temple of the Hierophant into a mosque have been circulating for months, causing several protests.
- Arotakh: The most common destination in the Gruul cluster, Arotakh houses a single world, twenty moons and an enormous asteroid belt. Vedalk is a dextro garden world with an absurdly complicated tidal system. It is divided between twelve warlords, each of whom control the centers of one of the worlds metropolis-spaceports, as well as the farm-fortresses that surround them. Arotakh has relatively small eezo and heavy metal mining operations in its asteroid belt, but has many active shipyards. Arotakh took on the yoke of the Ad'Thoro Pact willingly, and is applying for membership in The High Republic of Orozvhad. Its many shipyards are being used for the system, and the Pacts, profit, rebuilding and modernizing Terminus Fleets for surviving nation-states.
- Saver: A relatively large neutron star, Saver went supernova billions of years ago, seeding the entire cluster in truly enormous amounts of eezo. The remnants of the stars former sattelites create an enormous asteroid field in a distant orbit from the star. The eezo around the star is being mined at an increasing rate thanks to reaper-derived robo-drone technology, with the profits used for reconstruction efforts.
- Araya: A small pulsar, Araya is interesting because, though there are enormous eezo deposits in its asteroid belt, there aren't many developed eezo mines. Indeed, mining in Araya is simply too dangerous for its cost, compared to the easy picking in Saver and the rest of the system. New robo-miner technology and the interference of the Ad'Thoro Pact have resulted in eezo mining in the system beginning to develop.
- Moraka: Home to eleven planets, one of which is habitable, Moraka is best known for the enormous amounts of precious and heavy metals, as well as He3, harvested in system. It's the most peaceful of the systems in the gruul cluster. Urdnot Fal, lord of the system and its sole Garden World (Vanaran Moraka-8), pledged his allegiance to the Reapers, and unveiled the survival of the last Cathedral Station, Genocide Station, within the system, declaring it as the New Capital. Vanaran Moraka-8 exports enough levo food to not only feed the vast majority of the sector, but also to sell for profit in the Terminus, though now it is being used to feed worlds cut-off from the relay system that are dependent on ships bringing food and seeds from the Cluster.
- Torakh: A trinary star system with a pair of searingly hot, but habitable worlds that technically count as Garden, Torakh is an odd system that was locked in brutal, futile struggle. The Pirates and Warlords who used to fight over the systems twin planets, and many shipyards, have been suborned by the Ad'Thoro Pact. Most of the more notorious were executed, while new planetary governments are still being formed to supervise planned terraforming efforts in system.