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Sestos was originally settled to exploit the cheap abundance of nitrates and ammonium in the atmoshere. Local industry includes a number of fertiliser and explosive manufacturers who export to other low-tech worlds around the Regency. The world is crisscrossed by huge rifts with depths up to 3 miles, and earthquakes are a common occurence. The world features a simple ecosystem of hardy microorganisms that cluster around volcanic vents deep underground or underwater. Due to the formation of nitrogen dioxide and nitrates due to interaction with solar radiation, the atmosphere is a brown-yellow brown-yellow haze of low visibility during the daytime. Low temperatures and the poisonous low oxygen atmosphere require full vacc suit protection at all times.
The reason for its balkanisation is rather simple: the world was colonised in waves by colonists who wanted nothing to do with the existing communities. Relations between the various state governments are cool and distant, and most have their own starports or landing facilities so they do not have to rely upon each other for trade. Local atmospheric conditions and the low prevailing tech level create too many chances for containment failures due to collateral damage, so military aggression is universally eschewed; however this is the only commonly agreed upon protocol. To compensate for the lack of cooperation, the Imperial government assigned a common governor to administer and negotiate among the bickering nations. In antebellum times only about half of the states were Imperium members; since the Collapse 14 of the 17 are a part of the Regency.