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Titan

A642A7A-D

by Pete Grey

Diameter: 6721 Miles/10,753 km
G: 0.72, Day = 29:18:10.32
Year: 1050dy 09:38:12.55
Atmo: 0.75, weather control
Comp: N2-O2 Mix tainted with Industrial Pollutants.
Axial Tilt: 43 degrees
Temp: +92.0 (6/lat +18 to -42) (season +9.0 to -15.0, 40 deg lat)
Daily temp range: +9.6 to -48.0 Native life present
Agricultural, Radioactives, Crystals, Cmpds, Agroproducts, Metals, Non-Metals, Parts, Durables, Consumables, Recordings, Software, Docuements.
Population: 25.8 Billion.
Progressive/Advancing, Competitive/Militant, Harmonious/Friendly
Legal: A-CD999
Tech: ED-EDDDF-EEEF-FF

Overview

Titan is a searing, hot world that is nevertheless blessed with the wealth of natural resources, strategic location, and good fortune that makes for successful industrial development. Titan was once the indisputed technological marvel of the Avalar Consulate. Despite its inhospitable environment, or perhaps because of it, the world and its people were always able to create a balance between individual creativity and the need for communal order, and the resulting synthesis propelled the world's economic and technological success.

That success hinged greatly on the indispensability of its heavy industries to the rest of first the Avalar Union, and later the Consulate. It also depended heavily upon the close ties the Titan government helped foster between with the Zhodani, and the trickle of trade that the alliance created. When the Collapse occured, the shock waves upset the status quo of the Avalar Consulate, and overturned the delicate balance that typified Titan and its society.

Geology

Titan is primarily hot, dry desert. The world seems to have had only a brief period of tectonic development, and its crust was immobilised early in its geologic history. Underplating of the early crust by geothermal hot spots thickened the surface, and created massive areas of uplifted crust that formed dry plateaus and escarpments that scar the surface of the planet. Most of the planets hydrosphere became trapped in huge underground aquifers, and what remained was evaporated or ran off. What little surface water the world has is locked up in large salt rifts located in the world's polar regions, none of it potable or useable for human consumption.

The static nature of the planets crust provided hot spot volcanism the oppurtunity to emplace massive deposits of metals, quartz and gemstones within huge xenocysts, massive voids of mostly homogenous rock, created by differential heating and cooling. These xenocysts can range from the size of a human fist, up to the size of a large mountain in size. While this has given Titan's human population the means for making a living, the percolation of heated water through these deposits leached out heavy metals into much of the local water supply, requiring that it be extensively filtered before use, an insult in addition to the injury of living on an arid world.

The high surface temperature and minor nature of the world's oceans has also prevented the development of complex local lifeforms. Nothing more complicated than some communal microorganisms have ever been found in the local biosphere. Virtually all of that life lives underground, in the hot, mobile deep crustal rock. Despite the inconvenience of its location, a significant portion of the local microbes are highly tolerant of the metal-enriched water found in most of the planets aquifers, and several local species are utilised in water and air filtration, removing the impurities that prevent their consumption by humans.

Geography

Most of the planets population lives within massive city-states that divide up the world from the equator to latitudes 30-35 degrees. This is mostly because temperatures are more consistent, with fewer summer and wintertime extremes in light of the worlds sizeable axial tilt, and the convection of what little atmospheric water vapor at the equator allows for some daytime cooling.

Most of these city states, comprising two-thirds of the population, are located in the shadow of the huge Inyuri Scarp, a massive, 4000 meter high escarpment that circles eighty percent of Titan's circumference from East to West at a shallow three degree angle, about eleven degrees south of the equator. To the north of the escarpment, a rocky plain dominates except for an occasional bisecting mountain range. Here enough water and soil existed to permit agriculture, and despite its seeming extravagance, a wide belt of green can be seen from orbit, girdling the planet. South of the Inyuri is a trackless, monotonous sea of ergs, interrupted only by occasional breaks for broken terrain.

About three other large scarps also scar the northern hemisphere, the Jacquin, the Guthardi and the Kourefen. These too house sizeable populations, but the lack of potable water limits these communities to mining and industry, with the Guthardi being a source for forty percent of the planets iron ore. The nothern reaches are mostly sand and dirt, and rough terrain is rare. Outside of these scarp cities, most other significant communities are to be found in the polar regions, mostly supported by extraction industries.

History

Titan attracted industrial interest very early in the Chodlot period, and Zhodani commercial interests were visiting the world as early as -90. A small group of settlements were established in the early years before the Imperial period, scattered up and down the planets scarp complexes. In many cases these settlements were the pioneers for the later mega-cities that would be built atop of them in later centuries. The Zhodani found the world trying to develop, and they could not attract enough workers or investment money to make the world flower up to their ambitions. Nevertheless, a significant industrial presence was established by the time the Avalar Consulate was founded, and the planet was a major source of starships for both the Zhodani and the youthful Avalar government.

The Zhodani transferred the world to Avalar in 658, and for a century was under de facto joint governance, with a council of Zhodani "consultants" advising the new local government. The local Zhodani population was permitted to remain, and most of it was absorbed in later immigration waves. This assimilation did not go uniformly, and cultural mixing was uneven, creating a number of different cultural groups of varying Imperial-Solomani-Zhodani descent, that dominated a particular region or cluster of settlements. In many cases the original Zhodani upper classes and nobles seperated themselves from this mixing with the intent of remaining culturally transcendant, and retaining their power and influene in both their homeland and their adopted residence. These groups were later supplanted in the late 800s by a new class of upper class Venues and their retinues, which grafted themselves upon this Zhodani elite, and excluded themselves from the general population and its group politics, but were only to happy to uproot and distribute them as they saw fit.

For the most part the upper classes were merely interested in their own enrichment. The cosmopolitan attitude of the prevailing Zhodani elite rubbed off on the emerging Avalaran venues, and they affected a carpetbaggers attitude, seeing the world as a stepping stone to power on the much large stage The world and its population were seen as something to exploit rather than develop. resentment ran vertically from a majority, as well as horizontally. Poverty drove conflict, and divided the planet along mostly ethnic lines. Money mostly flowed upwards, and in many cases the people who enjoyed that prosperity were largely ignorant of its origin or the conditions that attended it. Social chasms within the antebellum Avalar Consulate as a rule were very, painfully wide, but the divisions on Titan were extreme and potentially fatal.

The dislocation of diverse population groups from established communities, and their relocation into other ethnic or cultural regions was a sure recipe for communal violence. Escalating mini-wars prompted the establishment of authoritarian military dictatorships, and harsh crackdowns by police and paramilitary troops. Colonial and economic competition from the nearby Torinsk cluster led to an expansion in industrial projects that created more repression and hardship. Rebellions among the general population created an escalating series of crackdowns, including purges and mass expulsions of conscript, dissident and prison laborers and pioneers to the new colonies on Spokes, Evaberi and Pudimon.

The worst aspect of this repression was the divide et impera policy of selective priveleges offered to some cultural groups in return for loyalty. In many cases these favors generated more tensions, but mostly it failed to create any strong support for the regime. Eventually the governments only bastion of support was the upper classes, both Avalar and Zhodani. It became totally isolated from the growing dissatisfaction, and the world was acknowledged as a powderkeg in the years before the Fourth Frontier War. A meltdown was allayed by draconian martial law, the strong support of the Zhodani government, the economic importance of the world to the Avalar Consulate, and the weary distrust that had been sowed by the Titan government among dissenting groups.

Had the Collapse not intervened, and the linkage between Avalar and the Zhodani been a casualty, it is likely that balkanisation would have been staved off indefinitely. Instead, the Zhodani Chill in the 1140s precipitated the downfall of Titan's powerful Zhodani population in importance, and removed one of the main legs propping up the military government and its remaining supporters. A series of bloody insurrections erupted in 1143, and quickly overwhelmed the military and its bureaucratic organs. The upper classes were purged and evacuated, ethnic pogroms spilled rivers of blood, and high-tech warlords clashed with advanced weaponry over territory and industrial assets.

In the late 1150s, with most of the cities now under the firm control of an emerging class of community leaders fed up with the endless chaos, and the Consulate blockade and embargo making outside intervention unlikely, the conflict slowly wound down. It has never truly ended, however, and new secessions are continually announced. But the worst of the fighting has ended, and the world has slowly recovered, even reaching its old tech level in 1192. Currently the world is divided between sixty-three city-states or city-state coalitions, with none have the decisive edge that would permit reunification.

Culture

Titan has always had a colorful mixing of populations and peoples. The original colonists were a diverse lot, and the vibrance of the local economy constantly attracted new immigration. And it is little suprise that the world's government broke down along faultlines little different than those dividing the local population on issues of culture, language and even religion.

About three dozen cultural groupings have been identified on Titan, and their geography is complicated, often overlapping the chaotic borders that criss-cross between the fueding city-states. These groups have neither rhyme nor reason in their distribution, and a city state will rarely be homogenously populated by just one group, and in some cases may have population samples from as many as twenty different groups. Fortunately it is politics that is the main divider, and ethnic and cultural tensions only provide a convenient form of organising individual and group identity around without attendant conflict.

Unlike Xenough, a world very similar in disposition where a strictly hiearchal, almost caste dominated, system of social order is maintained, no orderly division exists between these groups, and a fluid balance of power is maintained through a mixture of "visible hand" efforts by local officialdom and cultural-economic bartering. This entails the creation of a visible geography of power and money, as negotiated by the members of various communal groups. The upshot of this is a counter-balkanisation within major communities, where political manuevering has permitted the legitimisation of each group according to how much they contribute to the community as a whole.

This creates a system of status that is accorded in public parades known as the "Pagaent of the Masses" whereby the local populations will congregate at certain times in a public area, and a represenative procession will parade a short distance. The procession is divided by status indicators such as the ostentatious display of ornate clothing and jewelry for the powerful and influential, down to the unassuming simple tools and appearances of the lower classes. The cultural affiliations are interspersed throughout, but since a single cultural group may embrace several different social strata, balkanisation is effectively banished.

Political

The breakdown of the old government created a vacuum that would have been difficult to fill by a single government. With sixty-three quarrelsome ones it has been nearly impossible. Unity on collective issues has been elusive, and possible only in a handful of vital areas, such as system defense, and the agreed need for reconstruction. But aside from widespread meetings with Consulate officials, agreement and coordination have not been attempted on even a regional level.

Most of the disagreement is ideological, economic and political rather than cultural. With the discrediting of the old elites and their government, there has been much grasping for a replacement system. Had the world not been so fractured to begin with, in all likelihood progress would have been slow, and a system similar to the old would be imposed by the new local governments. But with 63 different states come a multitude of local experiments. Some five different categoriess/factions of political organisation have been identified:

1. Progressive: The Progressives are the closest to being a voluntary class of governments. These are city-states whose order and organisation permitted the importation of offworld ideas and money, much of it originating among the Consulate's Regency minority. The best progress in reconstruction has been among these states, and in most of them most traces of war damage have been obliterated. Local elites have emerged, markets have been developed, and the standard of living easily exceeds the pre civil war level. Unfortunately, their success has often outstripped other surrounding communities, generating jealousy. And Avalaran corps, largely freed to do as they please by the increasingly oligarchic Consulate government, have come to influence and dominate some Progressive states, and use them to extend their own economic power at the expense of other city-states. Given the growing power of the Progressive faction, it is now the leading edge of warfare for the forseeable future.

The Progressives are the smallest faction, a mere nine city states, but they are the most powerful.

2. Autarkists: In contrast to the Progressives, the Autarkists seek solutions and systems that are tailored to the local environment. Unfortunately, no consensus exists as to what methods are best suited. Autarkist states run a wide gamut of government types, from socialist and anarchist states, to severe military dictatorships. The Autarkists are more a category than an organised party, and most of them are isolationist, even xenophobic. The degree of economic success, living standard, reconstruction and reintegration vary widely.

Autarkists are the largest faction by far, comprising over half of the world's city-states

3. Redemptionists: The aftermath of the war has been worse for some regions than any hardship that existed before. The Redemptionists are more category than faction as well, and are united by a nostalgia for the pre-war days. Many of those that espouse it are city-states that were most rewarded for their loyalty to the old order, and suffered the worst violence as a result. Or they were rebellious factions that suffered severely, or have become disenchanted with self-governance. Other than a sense of lost destiny, no real cohesion links them together. Some twenty two city states can be classified as Redemptionist.

4. Nationalists: Some ethnic leaders have put forward the idea of reorganising the world's political structure along confessional or ethnic lines. For the most part, these leaders have little popular support outside of their immediate grouping, but their agitation has elevated tensions once again in regions where their people have a majority stake. Most new secessions that have occured since 1195 have been due to the handful of groups that have followed the Nationalist faction willy-nilly. For the most part these groups have been increasingly isolated, and a mere dozen city-states espouse their beliefs. In many cases ethnic cleansing campaigns and bloody confessional wars have steadily reduced their power and influence.

5. Forlorn: In many cases the damage of the civil war has lead to a breakdown of all civil order in an area, and anarchy or balkanisation exists within the bounds of a single region or city-state. These are the Forlorn, where living conditions have deteriorated into primitive levels. Their numbers include post-war cities from the other four categories that destroyed themselves, or failed to survive on their own in the succeeding vacuum. Forlorn cities automatically recieve an Amber Zone, regardless of their actual conditions. Most Forlorn cities are found in the Northern Scarps, and their exact numbers are uncertain, as in many cases they break up into smaller communities that either subdivide the city, or move out into the wilderness on their own.

Titan System

OrbitNameUPPNotes
Primary Aoi F7V
0 Epimetheus HS0026C-C Mi
1 Prometheus H200000-0
2 Gaea G730438-D Mi
3 Tarterus G00052C-D Nv,Mi
4 Titan A642A7A-D Nv
50 Olympus G10056C-D Nv,Co,Mi
5 Night Y654000-0
5.5 Hecate G70451C-D Re,Mi
5 Isis Y500000-0
6 Astarte H300000-0
6 Charon Y000000-0
7 Chronus Small GG Size 60
3 Rhea Y300000-0
10 Oracle Y200000-0
8 Typhon Large GG Size 140
2 Ring YR00000-0
5 Hydra YS00000-0
6 Chimaera F651368-D Co,Re
15 Ophidian Y6A0000-0
35 Python Y400000-0
10 Shiva Small GG Size 60
10 Dharma YS00000-0
30 Gohana YS00000-0
35 Brahmin Y300000-0
40 Bhodi Y110000-0
11.7 Wanderer Y311000-0

System Details

Those worlds and moons listed with a government code of 6, are administered by a trust company established and overseen by the Consulate government.

Hecate and the Wanderer are both rogue captured bodies of very ancient origin. Hecate is thought to be nearly nine billion years old, most of it spent in darkness away from any star. The research stations on the world study the world's odd geology.

Chimaera is warmed by interactions with Typhon's magnetic fields and ambient warmth. Curiously, no native life has ever formed, and imported life predominates. However, the offworld species have shown unusual mutations, and a bizarre ecosystem has evolved over the last eight hundred years.


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