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William Keller Reese, first Count of Bluford (2508-2594), is unique in the way he made his name and fortune. Reese, whose grandparents and great-grandparents all lived into their nineties, literally gambled his life to make his fortune - he entered tontines with smokers.

This is the way it worked. Several young people would pledge a certain sum of money per year as long as they lived, to be paid into a trust in all of their names. When only one of the individuals was left alive, he or she would receive the entire sum. Named after Lorenzo Tonti, a financier of 17th-century Terra, the tontine was originally an early form of insurance plan, intended to guarantee funds for a person's retirement years. By Reese's time, it was little more than a wager that one person would outlive another.

The soil of Bluford's smallest, eastern-most continent was, and is, ideally suited for growing a strain of tobacco developed in the 22nd century that was both deadlier and more addictive than any previous strain. Reese made sure that all of the other entrants in his many tontines were smokers. He was willing to take the calculated risk that he might meet an early death himself, and his gamble paid off. Although he was short-lived by the standards of his family, dying at the tender age of 86, he had, by age 75, amassed a fortune of over 70 million D-Bills. By age 81, a title of nobility was conferred upon Bluford for his monetary and political support of Davion entry into the Star League.

Reese's success touched off a flurry of gambling activities on Bluford, with tontines becoming enormously popular among smokers and nonsmokers alike. For a 22 year period in the early 27th century, the planetary government of Bluford even entered every baby born on any given day into a tontine, which was referred to as a "Life Lottery." A backlash began in the late 27th century, when problems with the system had become evident, and a movement to ban tontines developed. Although never successful, the movement did spawn the opposition Bluford Gambling Association, whose members protested any infringement on their rights to squander their money and gamble with their lives.

Between 2620 and 2840, Bluford had the highest annual murder rate of any planet in the Inner Sphere.

System Info:

  • System Name: Bluford
  • Coordinates: 451.44, -80.85

System Owner Eras:

Era: Faction:
2575 FS
2750 FS
3025 FS
3030 FS
3040 FC
3052 FC
3057 FC
3062 FC

System Occupation Dates:

Occupation Date: Faction:
2569-08-15 Federated Suns
3039-03-15 Federated Commonwealth
3081-12-25 Federated Suns

System Star Maps:


There are no functional factories located on this planet.

Inhabited System(s) within 2 jumps:

Planet: X Coord: Y Coord: Jumps:
Cerulean 416.50 -81.37 2
Defiance 428.76 -107.45 2
Kettering 450.66 -98.32 1
Mauckport 430.84 -53.72 2
Perdido 450.66 -114.23 2
Shubuta 463.96 -124.40 2
Tsamma 451.97 -45.12 2
Vandalia 481.96 -66.76 2
Vicente 453.01 -70.42 1
Weldon 433.45 -93.63 1
Xenia 461.62 -89.72 1

Planet has description information.

Planet has one of more factories.