“Out among the Whales we swim, mice in a vast ocean. Not much to do, not much to see. We do have gas, though, plenty of gas.”
—Viljam Aster, worker on the San Joan
The Sea of Whales is a vast expanse of space, dotted with numerous gas giants. Mostly, humans come here for gas, harvesting the surface layers of the Giants using special spacecraft with huge scoops on their front undersides (some of them actually look a bit like whales) in an activity commonly called whaling. Often, these craft are supported by, and operate from, stations and small colonies on the moons of the gas giants, but sometimes there are even floating cities in the upper layers of the Giants themselves. Compared to everything sunward, the Sea is a wasteland when it comes to human presence, but make no mistake, humans are there. A lot of the populace are employees and local administrators of the great gas corporations, like Hydrafoil, Weltstein and Ishmael Inc., but there are also some who are there for other reasons, scientists, pilgrims to the Mother Whale, and some who just prefer life among endless clouds of gas.
Human settlements in the Sea are stations, surface or underground bases on moons or floating cities. Populations usually number in the hundreds or less.
Not a soul in sight; in corporate control; plenty of gas—not much else; hydrogen storms; corporate conflicts.