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

Tech -2 Environ +2 Resources -4

“Four worlds in one”
“Riddled with mysteries… and caves”
“Full of tourists and scientists”

A deep mystery planet. Varanasi is a large, low-density planet, the solitary body in orbit of an M0 sun. Solitary: there are no other objects larger than molecules in the rest of the system; Varanasi is not tidally locked, and orbits its sun retrograde. 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 Varanasi, 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. Varanasi is rich in exoticism and habitat, if little else, and is a de facto Alliance protectorate.

Connections: Hamadryad, New Terranova, Eta Berenikê, Khartoum Jdeed