Maraksh

Low-tech planet, non-Contestant (Alliance control of space)

Tech -2 Environ +3 Resources -3

A deep mystery planet. Maraksh is a large, low-density planet, the solitary body in orbit of an M0 sun. Solitary: there are no other objects larger than ancient comets in the rest of the system; Maraksh is not tidally locked, orbits its sun retrograde well off the ecliptic. The planet has almost no heavy metals and is honeycombed with caverns down to its rocky core. Ribbons of an immensely strong exotic material run through the planet, conducting heat throughout and returning water and nutrients to the surface. The interior spaces are home to a rich ecology whose foundational plant-analogues live off geothermal energy; this ecology appears to include species from at least five entirely separate genetic heritages, and two local species may be sophonts.

The surface of Maraksh, 2.5 times that of Earth, is covered with plains, lakes, and forests, with no large bodies of water nor highlands. Mostly uninhabited, one region is home to an urban culture in the midst of a revival of its classical culture. Industry is based on intricate woodworking, textiles, organic chemistry, and ceramics. Maraksh is rich in exoticism and habitat, if little else, and is a de facto Alliance protectorate.

“Cap’n you may well still be tripping, but that’s how the Marakshi sun looks a good thirty hours a day.” “Damn.” “And the local rotation?” “Yeah?” “It’s sixty four hours.” “DAMN.”

A few autochtonous settled areas swarm with Alliance tourists, pilgrims, scientists, and odder adventurers. A few thousand Alliance and a few million (!) Contestant colonists now live in a south hemisphere region far from existing surface usage; utopian and social experiment communities abound, driven by the bizarre artifacts and lifeforms brought up from the inky depths.

You wouldn’t think microbes that live off tidal forces could excrete so much visible light four klicks underground…. the sun is RED remember?

Connections: Hamadryad, New Terranova, Eta, Khartoum Jdeed