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Noghon

by Pete Gray

Starport: Class B, Regency Naval Base
Diameter: 7437 Miles
Atmosphere: Dense with pollutants
Surface Water: 72%
Climate: Very Hot
Population: 6.21 Billion
Government: Civil Service Bureaucracy
Law Level: 11
Tech Level: 12
Tech Profile: CC-CCBCE-CCCE-CE-F

Noghon was settled by the same waves of Lintlan colonists that colonised Beaxon. Unlike its neighbor, however, less mixing with other groups has occured. The result is that the local government and culture is more modelled upon the religious society of the homeworld, with a few liberalising civic and cultural innovations adopted from either Beaxon or Tobia. The original Totality belief structure has been heavily modified, with the pantheistic deity being replaced by a all pervading secular state system, that rationalises the obscure tenets of faith, and directly mediates or carries out its dictates in a materialistic and mechanical method. The result has been rather comical, creating a near police state organised along the lines of Newtonian deism to satisfy ecclesiastical demands. (Imagine the DMV handing out driving tests dictated by the Bible, and you have a good idea of its flavor.)

Unlike Beaxon, the local government is described as a mandarin state, with local public monopolies and paramilitary units being the primary institutions. The religious commandments of the Totality religion have been in many cases converted into laws or customary observances, but are enforced by secular authorities. Public observance of local cultural observances is inculcated from the day of birth. The first years of education spend as much time on rote indoctrination in the local Blue Book that dictates individual behavior as on reading or writing. State run schools are responsible for most child rearing after the age of ten, with adolescents being guided and "corrected" through their deviance of their pubescent years by state dictate. Adults are generally kept in check by their bosses and peers, and a customary system of gossip and snitching keeps the authorities informed and deviant behavior in check; since the Psionic Reforms psionic spying has become acceptable as well, and the locals have a Morality Corps that is modelled directly upon the Zhodani Tavrchedl.

The state tends to take a paternalistic stance in most of its dealings with its citizenry anyway, and years of massive indoctrination and the obedience to coercive pressure has literally bled most resistance from the populace. Because of the heavy emphasis upon groupthink, individual Noghonians are ill at ease when exposed to pressure situations without the safety blanket of the group. Personal initiative, except within the acceptable limits of Good Morality, is eschewed. As a result they have a reputation for listlessness and punctilious obedience, and many offworlders derisively refer to them as Robots or Clogs.

Noghon itself is a young world of about 2.8 billion years in age. Despite the oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere multicelluar life has not progressed vey far beyond some complex plants and invertebrate life, in large part because of the high output of the local K-class star. The surface of the world is rather hot, discouraging the evolution of larger animals and plants. Because of its youth it is deeply incised by mountains and deep canyons, as erosion has not yet softened or worn down local geological features nearly as much as on older worlds. Four continents exist, though the largest of these, Nyutopia, in greater in size than the other three combined. Nyutopia is mostly interior desert, giving away to deep river valleys covered in heavy scrub forest, and finally a narrow coastal plain seperated by a high escarpment. The other continents are located at higher latitudes, and are covered mostly in either tundra or ice deserts, leaving most settlement to occur on Nyutopia.

Poor soils have discouraged agriculture beyond grazing of herd animals, the population is one of the most carnivorous in the Regency. Local sea life is edible and easily domesticated, however, with one crab like lifeform, the Gatikii, forming one of the main staples of the local diet. Because of food distribution problems, most population centers are located on the coasts near regions where Gatikii and other local staples are cultivated and raised. It is thought that remediation of food shortages led to the unique if excrutiating local government structure and mass acceptance of its edicts. Heavy manufacturing is the primary source of income for the local economy, in many cases huge factories that each employ hundreds of thousands of workers on assembly lines. Most of these were constructed more to give people some means of survival or something to do than for profitability or productivity. With local markets closed to most offworld investment, however, there is little incentive to carry out necessary reforms. The Regency government attempted to use the IDP to open up the world, but to no avail.


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