Freedom Falls is a fiercely independent spaceport town located in a temperate zone on the northern hemisphere of the garden world Aite. It is one of the oldest settlements on the planet, from the initial colonization wave in 2104. The original settlers were mostly asari who had travelled to Aite in order to catalogue and collect samples of the local flora, fauna and geology. For many years it was a rather isolated and peaceful research outpost. When the colony declared independence during a brief period of unified leadership in 2133, many of the settlement's inhabitants decided to depart and return to Council space. Several researchers, however, remained, working to preserve knowledge of Aite for future generations.
After losing their research funding, Freedom Falls, back then known as Valarmi, became little more than a ghost town. In 2142, a minor revival was experienced with the establishment of a road connecting to the nearby city state of Linissa as well as a massive plantation owned by the Yawla Concern. This new connection to the wider world of Aite lead to a second wave of settlers, many of the refugees seeking to escape the more unstable areas of the planet. The original research team leader, now de-facto leader of the whole town, settled into her new role well, and a number of construction projects began. Freedom Falls soon grew into a major trade hub for the region. After a disastrous raid from a local warlord in 2149, a town militia was established, with arms and training supplied by a Terminus Systems security firm, as to not take sides in any of the planetary conflicts.
Things remained largely the same until the arrival of humans into the galactic society, which brought a renewed interest in Aite. A large number of human corporations and colonists arrived on Aite in the years following the conclusion of the First Contact War. Freedom Falls recieved the attention of several corporations, soon hosting a mining operation and refinery owned by Hnipinn Minerals, a human, Aite-based company, as well as a large manufactory owned by Gorokhov Construction Solutions. The population of the town increased greatly in the following years and the humans were soon a majority. A large, co-owned hydro-power dam was built further up the river that flows near the settlement, and it wasn't long until the the original asari name of Valarmi faded into disuse in favor of the new, human name of Freedom Falls.
The town grew a reputation as a haven of peace and trade on a dangerous world, remaining neutral in all major conflicts and being one of the more important spaceports on the planet. It is a place where legitimate businesses mix with smugglers, mercenaries and the occasional pirate. In the middle of it all is a civilian population living the frontier-town life. The surrounding area is home to several homesteads, most fairly new. Most food is acquired either from small crop or space cow farms or from hunting. The surrounding mountains serve as a shield to the conflicts of the northern city-states and corporations while the largely unexplored highlands and plains to the south provide ample opportunity for the bold to make a living unrestrained by controlling entities. A largely self-sufficent starship-VI development facility was recently constructed by Cord-Hislop Aerospace high on one of the mountains up-river. Contact with Freedom Falls is usually limited to the ocassional food delivery or use of the starport. Another recent addition is a Hahne-Kedar Research & Development facility, which, while not near Freedom Falls, has brought region-wide concern over potential Systems Alliance interference.
Update: In the last year Freedom Falls has seen plenty of expansion and something of an economic boom, with Fujikawa Robotics and many other smaller companies setting up in the town. Many attribute this to the fact that Freedom Falls is often praised as the safest port on Aite, while still maintaining the independence that the planet is known for. With new people arriving from more troubled parts of the planet as well as from offworld in search of job opportunities or just a new life, the population of Freedom Falls has grown significantly, and several new housing projects are underway, largely by Gorokhov Construction Solutions, under the oversight of Matriarch Syranis, who still leads the town.
Population: 37,500 (12,100 in surrounding homesteads)