Ficant - Cultural Details

Human colonisation has been limited to one of the smaller continents straddling the equator. The first human settlers are thought to have arrived around 450. It is not known for certain were these settlers came from, as this was not an organised colonisation effort, but it is believed that they originated from the Sword Worlds. This disorganised settlement continued for the next 150 years and by 600 the population had grown to around 1,000.

It was during the First Frontier War that the world first came to official notice. At this time a substantial proportion of the population was of Sword Worlds decent and Imperial forces came to regard it as a potential security threat. In 596. Grand Admiral Plankwell ordered Ficant's annexation. With its incorporation into the Imperium an official colonisation program was envisaged and in 602 1,500 Imperial colonists arrived. It was intended that these were to be just the first wave of an intensive colonisation program, but with the outbreak of the Civil War this program was abandoned and no further official colonisation was to ever take place. From this point onwards, Ficant lapsed back into obscurity. Despite this official apathy, Ficant's population has continued to grow slowly and according to the census of 1120, it has a population of 9,250.

Human settlement on Ficant is limited to the lush equatorial coastal swamps. Here warm ocean currents combine with the equatorial climate to produce a pleasant Earth like environment. The biological basis of Ficant's life is extremely similar to that of Terra and all human dietary needs can be met from the local ecosystem. Most of Ficant's inhabitants make their living by harvesting the rich organics found in the equatorial swamps.

The largest settlement on Ficant is Atterdag, location of the world's E class starport. Atterdag is quiet agricultural town of some 2,400 inhabitants. Located here is the entirety of the world's limited manufacturing capacity, which consists of a few light-engineering workshops. Atterdag's economy is based around servicing the needs of the planet's widely spread population. It is also the seat of the Ficant Governing Council, providing Ficant with administrative services and handling offworld contacts.

The majority of the population lives in backcountry homesteads and makes their living extracting valuable organic material from Ficant's coastal swamps. The usual homestead consists of a single family of two to three adults with a similar number of children. Usually four or five homesteads will be clustered in the same general area and they will share harvesting grounds and pool resources to increase their efficiency.

The people of Ficant are generally conservative and honest. Having little contact with offworld culture they appear to most uninformed travellers as either quaint or hopelessly insular, caring little for technological advancement or personal aggrandisement. This opinion is mistaken. Most natives see the advantages of high tech tools, but the world's restricted industrial base severely limits its usefulness. Many Ficant natives travel offworld to attend higher education and the world has a strong tradition of military service (approximately 35% of the world's population has served a term or two in the Imperial armed forces). However, most of the population are content with their lives and find the faster pace of Imperial culture unsettling and consequently prefer to remain at home.

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Copyright Andrea Vallance© 2001, Last updated 23rd February 2001

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