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Xenough

A560A8A-E

by Pete Grey

Diameter: 5009 m/8014 km
G: 1.10, Day = 16:13:48.39, Year = 3y 54d 16:32:50
Atmo: 1.05, No weather control
Axial Tilt: 43 degrees
Temp: +118 (6/lat +15 to -35) (season +4.4 to -24.0, 40 deg lat)
Daily temp range: +9.6 to -48.0 No Native life
Compounds, Agroproducts, Metals, Non-Metals, Parts, Durables, Consumables, Recordings, Software,Documents.
Population: 43.742 Billion
Conservative/Advancing, Passive/Peaceable, Monolithic/Xenophobic
Legal: A-BBAB9 Tech: EE-CEEEE-CCCE-CC-E

Overview

Xenough is a barren, bone dry rock along the former trailing border of the Avalar Consulate, in its namesake subsector. Despite its hospitable atmosphere, the world is blazingly hot, even hotter than Titan, and water would boil away in the early morning sun. Of no intrinsic value, the world attracted colonists largely by accident. The population it acquired lived in horrible conditions and abject poverty, subject to the terrible weather and scorching climate. Instead of breaking them, adversity hardened their resolve and propelled them to innovation. Driven by the spectre of famine or death by thirst, the colonists and their descendants organised themselves into a tight and cohesive society, directed by a social hiearchy unique to Charted Space. Eventually the colonists challenged the supremacy of the nearby Avalar Consulate, earning great respect from their economic rivals. This worthless planet has become a formidable economic and financial player within the Consulate and much of Foreven Sector.

Astrography

Avalar is the fifth world in orbit around Reneaudol, a main sequence F7V star. The solar system has a severe shortage of water on all of its worlds within its seventh orbit. It is thought that the system's water sources (cometary ice) was mostly cannibalised by gravitational accretion by the outermost gas giants of Pernaud and Ursula. Astronomers have also detected a smaller than usual Kuiper and Oort fields, possibly due to gravitational attraction from other nearby stars. Aside from a few of Ursula's moons, no surface water exists insystem, and most water for human or industrial consumption is harvested by slow ion-drive tankers that slowly wend their way through the outer system.

Aside from the water shortage, the Reneaudol system is also short of metals in sizeable concentrations, again due to gas giant accretion. The innermost worlds of Grevy and Nanette are likely asteriodal in origin, remnants of the long obliterated planetismal fields. What metals are in adequate concentration are mostly heavy metals in scattered deposits. But for the most part the systems worlds are mostly dull silica of no intrinsic industrial use.

Geology

Xenough is a dead rock. The world's low geothermal gradient meant less volcanic recycling than normal occured, keeping metals and other heavier elements needed for the development for life from reaching the surface. The lack of tectonic development also prevented much surface water in any significant concentrations. That is not to say that the world has no geological history. At one time a simple ecosystem of primitive plant life dominated the few shallow oceans that developed. The standard O2 atmosphere is the sole relic of this past. The oceans have long since dried up or filled with sediment, and the ecosystem became extinct. Many of the sediment basins have become rich sources of hydrocarbons, mostly heavy "kerogen", a tarry kerosene-rich substance that is still extracted for a variety of local industrial processes.

Xenough enjoys very little surface relief. Which is funny way of saying that the world is as flat as a pancake. Erosion by wind and what little water ever existed had reduced the worlds mountain ranges to sand covered remnants (known as Inselbergs) that barely rise above the shifting sand or seas of featureless sediment. Most of the planet is essentially sand choked valleys and plains, with an occasional depression or meteorite crater to break up the monotony. Surface water is virtually non-existent except for small sheets of ice that form on the night side, or in deep caves where some remnant volcanic activity exists.

The world's relatively rapid rotation creates some major complications for the local population. Massive sandstorms continually whip the world, many of them with hurricane intensity within the tropical latitudes. The storms can raise surface temperatures to about 150 degrees centigrade, and cover the planet with choking clouds of stinging sand. Exposed surfaces like metal and glass and can literally be sanded away in a few short years, and most native vehicles and clothing are specially constructed to resist this hazard. Even more dangerous is the massive electrical fields generated by these storms: past instances of explosions in fuel tanks and generators have been well documented.

Geography

A joke not worth repeating. Without navigation satellites or other modern aids, one could circumnavigate the world without ever knowing it. Few natural landmarks exist for reckoning, and many of those that do exist are mostly found in the horse latitudes around 30 degrees, and are mostly covered by sand ergs. Most landmarks are man-made, generally large styilised obelisks and towers built at critical locations for no other reason than to break up the monotony.

Most of the population lives in the upper latitudes of the northern and southern hemispheres. The world's greater than normal axial tilt still makes temperatures in these regions excrutiating during the deep summer and winter months. But at least some variety exists compared to the relentless heat of the lower latitudes. The habitated zones are massive conurbations of shallow subterranean cities, marked by huge towers and man made promontories designed to divert and harness lightning during sandstorms. The distance between them is marked by odd "infrastructure" of metal and plastic, constructed to suggest utilities and transportation arteries, though in fact they are completely useless.

The population is evenly divided between the northern and southern halves. While Xenough's capitol city, Faraplenaz, is located in the northern hemisphere, no significance is assigned to its placement. The world's six A-class starports are evenly divided, and industry is not concentrated in any one area. The entire population, with the exception of specially assigned government and scientific personnel, resides in these cities only. No other community exists except for lonely weather, military and research outposts in the remote outback.

Xenough's cities are of an unusual design for subterranean facilities. Rather than the normal tunnels excavated from the bare rock that form a warren of descending layers, these are constructed in large vaults. The cities generally started out as small mining pit under a large shade dome, and the pit was expanded radially as the population grew. The cities resemble an inverted pyramid, with a taper towards the bottom. Most of the lower castes, associated industry and agriculture, and utilities and water reclamation plants, are located at the highest levels, and as one descends into the pit, the more comfortable and refined the surroundings become, until one reaches the bottom layers inhabited by the managerial castes. Most of the population lives in apartment blocks that radiate away from the central pit in tunnels, as temperatures in the central shaft can be intolerable as one goes higher towards the surface. The purpose of this construction is generally for heat transfer away from the lowest layers, allowing naturally cooled air to percolate to the base at night and early morning, and keeping environmental cooling to a minimum.

Culture

Xenough, and its colonies on Mahir, Torinsk and Hepring, are dominated by a rigid caste system. The terrible lack of water, and the stifling heat forced the early colonists on Xenough to organise their communities to permit the most equitable division of resources as possible. Given the harsh environmental conditions, individual advanncement was secondary to the survival and advancement of the community. The entire population was divided, by profession, into several different castes arranged according to their importance. Unlike the Hindu caste system, which is its inspiration, the Xenough "Kopol" system is arranged more upon socialistic lines, with each caste being more akin to a guild or political groupment than a mere social dumping ground.

Or more simply, Xenough is a vast bureaucracy divided along caste lines. By definition everyone is a public employee, albeit in a hereditary manner. Every aspect of life on Xenough is under the control of a government monopoly regulated by an interlocking set of vertical and horizontal hiearchies. Every profession is the province of a caste. Every enterprise has a seperate hiearchy that runs from lowly sanitation workers to upper caste management personnel. Every caste has legally mandated rights and priveleges, similar to medieval guild societies. Xenough has seven identifiable castes:

Rakhman: Upper Management. This breaks down into three subcastes: Planetary, Civic and regional Rakhmans. The Planetary leadership is a council of just ten major families, the descendants of those who came to dominate Xenough early in its history. Civic Rakhmans are usually either solitary autocrats or fraternal oligarchs that dominate each city, which is divided according to the Planetary Council, the Syndicrate. Regional Rakhmans control inter-city utilities, infrastructure and businesses. The Rakhmani of all four Torinsk cluster worlds convene in the Syndicrovi, the overall regional council (not government) that ties the them all together, and handles cultural and economic issues of mutual importance.

Syndari: Xenough's military (officer) caste. There are two reasons why the Syndari have such a priveleged position. First a history of bloody confrontations between the Syndicrate and other Avalar planetary governments requires a fierce fighting force to protect the resources and assets of the Kopol on Xenough and the rest of the Torinsk cluster. Secondly military service allows the Syndicrate to isolate and rechannel lower caste aggression. Syndaries are permitted some participation in for profit planetary enterprises, usually those dealing beyond the Torinsk cluster.

The Syndari are the only caste permitted to develop psionic talents. Any other caste (with the exception of Rakhmani, who are simply executed) caught with psionic training are lobotomised without exception. This monopoly extends from the day and age of conflict with the Zhodani and the Avalaran secret police known as the Shanza.

Noutardi: Middle Management/Technical Professional. Engineers, scientists, doctors, designers, most "corporate" officers and anyone in a complicated college level profession are Noutardi.

Cretemora: Technical/Non-Technical Professional: Includes most service workers in retail, medical and low level technical jobs.

Esouli: Merchant/Artisan. Small-scale merchants, bankers, accountants and speculators. Handle most low level transactions. Xenough's banking system is an archaic maze of semi-official channels rather than up front enterprises. Most money movement among the masses is handled by the Esouli, who are premitted to skim off a percentage for their own upkeep.

Gineeari: Artistic/Entertainer. Originally a subcaste than a caste. Nevertheless the Gineeari have been promoted to importance for one reason: they are the only caste that tolerates extensive offworld contact. Being of low status they are seen as being of less susceptibility to offworld pollution. Hence the Gineeari crew Xenough's merchant marine, act as go-betweens and interpreters for offworld business transactions. They enjoy little of the amenities that comes with their role, however, and the Syndary and their security services control their movements and actions.

Poilu: The "untouchables" of Xenough. Sanitation, food preperation, and general labor are handled by these lowly workers. Unlike Hindu culture no stigma is accorded for incidental contact between them and the upper castes. Generally these workers bear up under their low status with good nature, and their hard work does bring a measure of security and prosperity. Poilu make up the bulk of Xenough's military personnel, and their bravery and valor in battle is rewarded generously by the upper castes.

Xenough and its sister worlds are extremely xenophobic as a result of their shared adversities and fear of outside poaching of their resources. Some of this fear is highly justified, but mostly it is an anachronistic superstition. Nevertheless offworlders are generally restricted to certain areas, are under constant supervision by Syndari or Geneeari escorts and security details, and are prohibited from making direct contact to any other caste member except through the auspicies of their escorts. Offworld visitors are also required to have a brightly colored dye applied to parts of their faces and the palms of their hands, and carry a registration marking temporarily tattooed to their right cheek. That is not to say that offworlders are completely seperated from local culture; but it takes years of constant contact and careful diplomacy to convince the local leadership of one's lack of threat, and even then a person is still barred from direct contact with the general population.

The other thing that impresses a visitor is Xenoughs love of precision. The narrow margins of life and comfort requires organisation and efficiency to an extreme degree. A cadence, a rhythm exists to every part of life on the world, one that requires lifelong attention to fully learn (which may partially explain the xenophobia). That is not to say that life runs on a hurried schedule. Rather the outpouring of excessive or unnecessary effort is frowned upon. Every endeavor has a duration sufficient for success. If success does not occur, it could be for a number of reasons. If the path is futile, than no more effort will be spent. Wastage of lives, money and energy on a worthless path is better spent everywhere. This makes Xenough society much more progressive (but not liberal) than the Avalaran mainstream, as the local leadership places more merit on the lives of their lower castes. It also makes interactions, and language and culture insistent and concise, and obsessive about the tangible. Speculative conversation is not a popular art, though poetry and literary composition are strong.

History

Xenough is one of a handful of systems in the middle of Foreven settled before the Imperial Era. The world was settled around -1235 by ROM colonists that crossed the Great Rift with the intent of settling in the Spinward Marches. A conflict among the upper leadership led to a fission of the group into as many as five different factions, and they scattered in different directions. Two of these groups penetrated into Foreven, and settled the worlds of Xenough and Tepenke.

The Xenough group actually had no intention of settling on such an unlivable world, but a catastophic drive failure coupled with increasingly mutinous elements forced the choice. Lingering resentment among the group was handled ruthlessly: rebels were marooned in the desert without water. Continuing conflicts and purges turned the early colony into a weak police-state. Continuing shortages of vital resources, especially water required that every member of society be a productive contributor. The joint needs of security and productivity led to the creation of the Kopol system early on, though it largely developed in fits and starts than as a workable system from the beginning.

Xenough's water needs were met with the redirection of kuiper and cometary ice towards the inner system. These operations were carried out with primitive TL 7-8 spacecraft, who often travelled over the period of years to reach their objectives. The sacrifice of their crews in time, and often, their lives was heavily impressed upon the populace. Stoicism and tenacity were stressed, as were conformity and a growing disdain for the outer universe. The struggle to live on such a hostile world narrowed local perspectives, till only resentment of their weaker forebears remained.

Contact came with the Zhodani in -710, and with the Darrians in -117. Neither group impressed the locals, whose isolation was making them increasingly distrustful of outsiders. And the cultures of both races seemed effete and soft, particularly the Darrians. The growing presence of the Zhodani was a cause for alarm, and a brief series of conflicts with scouting parties occured in the early part of the Imperial period. First contact with Imperial traders came in 236, and from them they obtained new jump drives. By 260 Xenough was making its own starships, and was increasingly challenging Zhodani forces for control of the sector.

Increasing population and dwindling resources soon drove economic expansion into neighboring worlds. Torinsk was first exploited by Xenoughian seekers in 289, and settled permanently in 340. Mahir was first claimed in 302, and settled in 345. Forays into neighboring Titan and Mowbrey subsectors were repulsed by Zhodani naval squadrons, but they fatally affected the Consulates plans for further expansion into Foreven. Weary of continous skirmishing with Xenough, and more concerned about the Third Imperiums growing presence in the Spinward Marches, and have more productive alternatives, the Zhodani eventually abandoned futher expansion into Foreven after 450. The Chodlot enclave in Harem and Piah would be maintained for commercial and diplomatic contact, but the focus would shift to containment of hostile foreign powers, including Xenough.

This policy of containment limited Xenough from expanding any further, and the Syndicrate softened its attitude towards offworld contact just enough to prevent further hostilities with the Zhodani. By this time other groups were beginning to contact and settle Foreven, the most significant of these being the Kamrathi and the Avalar. Despite some deep cultural differences, the Kopol got along with the Kamrathi rather well. The Kamrathi government was still rather socialistic in its early days, and it was more interested in trade rather than imperialistic expansion. And its alliance with the Akras minor race, which had amiable ties with the Kopol as well, reassured the battle scarred Syndiacrate that no trailing threat existed.

The Avalars were a different matter. Their pragmatic socialistic government appalled the orderly Kopol, as did the arrogant attitude of the Venues. The Avalars made it clear that they coveted the rich resources of the Torinsk cluster, which aggravated local xenophobia. The military ties with the Zhodani didn't help either. The Syndari and the Avalar military locked horns in the upper reaches of Piah subsector almost from the beginning, and skirmishes raged in Wepwaci and Hinantanpyl until the Consulate secured the two systerms by the 750s. After that diplomacy cooled tensions for a while, as the Avalars were more concerned with securing their new Python subsector possessions against the Corellian League.

The conflict over Hepring, however, brought the two states to several full scale wars (Xenough Wars: 725-729, 750-756, 788-790). These wars were typified by commerce raiding and quick strikes, as both sides lacked the heavy capital ships needed for a traditional fight. The Consulate won all three wars, but failed to accomplish a decisive victory in any of them, and the last war was a pyrrhic victory. It became increasingly clear that the Avalars would win eventually, and with the Zhodani mediating, the Torinsk cluster agreed to join the Avalar Consulate in 795.

Accession did not bring peace to the region. During the 800s a long trade war broke out between the Syndari forces on Hepring and commercial groups on Titan, and these wars escalated into low level skirmishing with the Titan Planetary Navy. Relations with the Avalar government have been strained at best, but secession has been made unattainable by the strengthening Consulate military.

For most of the 1000s Xenough concentrated upon commercial independence, and the world has become the largest manufactory in the Consulate. Heavy industry is mostly concentrated upon the other Torinsk cluster worlds, while the most sophisticated manufacture and R&D are carried out on Xenough itself. Regency immigration has not been permitted, but commercial contact has been quite extensive, and Xenough exports heavily to the Regency interface. High-tech manufacturing has come to entirely dominate the local economy, and Xenough is looking to expand into the markets of the Darrian Confederacy and independent client worlds.

Relations with the Avalar government have not improved. The forceful annexation of Kamrathi in the 1090s undermined what progress had been made by the Consulate in integrating the cluster, and Xenough has intensified its ties with Kamrathi secessionists, and independent worlds like Reidain (2925) and Syl(2724) to trailing. The break with the Zhodani had little impact in improving relations.

System Details

Orbit Name UPP Notes
Primary Reneaudol F7V
0 Grevy YS0016A-D Co,Mi
1 Nanette YS0013B-D Re
2 Callous Y300000-0
3 Harper YS00000-0
3 Deciever H200108-D
4 Xenough A560A8A-E Nv
6 Panchow Small GG Size 90
3 Ring YR00000-0
5 Alpha YS00000-0
7 Beta Y100000-0
9 Gamma Y300000-0
13 Delta Y200000-0
15 Epsilon Y330000-0
8 Pernaud Small GG Size 70
5 Alpha Y100000-0
9 Beta YS00000-0
15 Gamma Y400000-0
9 Ursula Large GG Size 180
6 Alpha H100000-0
8 Beta H400000-0
9 Gamma HS00000-0
10 Delta Y400000-0
13 Epsilon Y624000-0
25 Oasis Y323000-0
35 Shimmer Y304000-0


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