Three Days Till Dawn
The Archipelgo is a crescent of systems isolated from the rest of its sub-sector by a systemless void 2 parsecs across, known as the Gulf. Early probes showed that the systems would someday be worth exploring and perhaps even inhabiting, but very little was done with them until the advent of reasonably cheap Jump-3 ships.
Prior to full-blown colonization and commercialization of the Archipelago, it was something of a “heart of darkness” in the sub-sector. Jump-1 and Jump-2 ships with large fuel capacity would sometimes chance the deep-space re-entries necessary to cross the Gulf. These were usually prospectors, scientific expeditions, religious cults, or fugitives from justice.
The Archipelago is largely self-sustaining, but people who desire exotic goods or new markets might be willing to pay the price for cargo imported or exported by the few Jump-3 ships known to frequent the region. Each local system government it believed to have at least one such craft at its disposal, as are most of the larger business ventures.
The central system, Krakatoa, is a Red zone. The star is unpredictable and violent, and those who travel the system lightly risk a massive radiation dose at best and utter destruction in a solar flare at best.
The Archipelago still bears the traits of having been settled by outlaws, speculators, dreamers, and thinkers. It’s a wild an wonderous volume of space, with the opportunity for many adventures.