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Dhapura

by Pete Gray

Starport: Class E, Ancient Site
Diameter: 5389 Miles
Atmosphere: Standard with high levels of sulfur
Surface Water: 91%
Climate: Very Cold
Population: 60.4 Million
Government: Technocracy
Law Level: 8
Tech Level: 8

Dhapura is almost completely covered in sulfurous, blue-green oceans. Its cold air temperatures are allayed in part by large scale oceanic volcanism that creates large patches of warm water. Algae and sea life thrive, and the local population is self-sufficient in food. The world's unusual volcanic activity is due to natural activity amplified by Ancient manipulation. Located near the world's equator in 150 to 250 meter deep water is one of the most dramatic Ancient sites ever discovered in the former Imperium.

Known as the "Ancient Atlantis" it is a collection of massive entryless buildings carved out of local basalt, set on a foundation of "paving stones" made out of ceramic that mass up to 50,000 tons. Unusual channels and flutes are inlaid into this foundation, which isn't the usual horizontal plane, but moves along with the terrain in a flowing style, often creating billowing arches, tunnels and ravines that look organic in shape and function. Instruments have recorded unusual magnetic fields and water currents that are contrary to the world's own nature. Most of the buildings are not anchored to any kind of foundation, and several are buoyant enough to move under certain current conditions, though they remain confined to Atlantis. Bizarre, brightly lit polyhedral shapes known as "Tumblers" often spontaneously appear in the area around Atlantis; these appear to be some kind of energy field of plasma and water that moves in an end over end fashion. Their purpose is unknown.

Geologists note that the world became seismically more active at the same time as the Ancient settlement, though whether they're responsible for this increase activity or simply took advantage of its is unknown. Unlike most Ancient sites, this one was undamaged by the Final War; it was abandoned after a series of major earthquakes caused subsidence, collapsing several areas, and inundating the entire facility with higher water levels. The entire site was cleared out, leaving only its enigmatic buildings and some interesting garbage piles for future archaeologists.

The local population subsists on fishing, and lives on rocky limestone islets located in the warmer equatorial regions. Large ice sheets form above the tropic lines during the winter, and navigation is made hazardous in the spring by the subsequent breakup into icebergs. Water temperatures can erode these ice sheets, and create rapid breakups even during the winter. Treacherous local currents known as Hellbores are created near the islands by differences in undersea temperatures. No unified government exists beyond a council of local chieftains that mostly mediates conflicts between the local communities and distributes revenues from offworld trade. The locals have traditionally been a surly lot, but have warmed up to offworld contact since Atlantis was opened up to tourists and submersible tour companies.


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