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Garoo is an outer system world, and is a frigid -146 degrees celsius. The world surface is covered in a mixture of frozen rock, ice, and volcanic pumice and gas. Near geothermal heat sources, the ground texture changes markedly, creating huge lens shaped depressions created by the melting of the permafrost under the surface rock. These depressions are quite large, and many of the world's settlements are built within these huge ice lenses, constructed into the sides with a containment dome constructed overhead.
Garoo was contacted by Darrian exploration ships around -1370, but expressed no interest in joining the growing Confederation. This did not deter the Darrians from trying various strategies to coerce or persuade them. Repeated meddling eventually escalated into several violent confrontations and Darrian interdiction of the system. The Garooians have never forgotten these aggressions, and bitter enmity with the Darrians has existed ever since. The world was slightly affected by the Maghiz event, though it was more beneficial than harmful because it ended the Darrian blockade of the system.
Garoo recieved Zhodani contact in -334, was recontacted by the Darrians in -208, and was contacted by the Third Imperium in 255. This steady accumulation of expansionistic powers unsettled them, especially the growing linkage between the Imperials and the Darrians. The world government pursued a policy of neutrality, playing various factions against each other through adroit diplomatic maneuvering. A trade fleet was acquired, and trade and diplomatic ties were established with a number of polities in neighboring Foreven and Beyond.
Garoo was aided by the enmity between the Zhodani and the expanding Third Imperium. They played the two sides off against one another, milking whichever ally they had for the moment for their own gain, and all the while remaining quietly neutral in the conflict. After the Third Frontier War, the Garooians mostly sided with the Zhodani, and intensifying their conflict with the Darrians.
Despite the occasional gust of war, Garoo managed to continue building up its economic and military power. As the Darrians began to return, with Imperial aid, to the level of their pre-Maghiz society, Garoo's nominally peaceful government percieved the loss of their independence. They unified their government under a military council, and began to act proactively against the Confederacy. In the last few years before the Imperial Civil War, the Garoo military seized neighboring 886-945, which had one of the few gas giant in rimward Daryen subsector, and resubjugated Uniqua, a world colonised and inhabited by Garooians. With these conquests, and Zhodani blessing, it seemed that they were intent upon creating their own interstellar polity aimed at challenging the Darrians and the Imperium for control of the Daryen/Five Sisters/Reidain/Urnian interface.
And then came the Collapse. The people of Uniqua managed to stage a revolt with massive Darrian aid, leading to the partial ouster of the Garoo occupation force. The Uniqua conflict led to a protracted military conflict with the Confederacy at Kardin (SM 0429) and Bularia (0430), which ended only when the Regency threatened to bury both sides under an avalanche of naval firepower. Recognising the worlds insecurity and humilation after the implosion of their republic, the Regency offered to make Garoo a protectorate, placing them under the RQS security blanket and giving its exports preferential clearance. Garoo reluctantly accepted becoming a client state by a closely contested referendum in 1137. A Regency naval base was built insystem, and gave the world a much needed kickstart for its economy. The world remains on high alert against further Darrian aggression on Uniqua and in other parts of Daryen and Reidain subsectors, though relations with the Regency have warmed up since they took over.
Geographical: Most of Garoos settlements are found close to water and geothermal sources. Most of the older cities are domed lens cities, while the newer ones are underground arcologies. Four volcanic clusters dominate the world, and near these are the four main clusters of settlements.
These clusters include the:
Much of this cooperativeness is a byproduct of their past struggles with the Darrians. Squabbling between colonies nearly resulted in the capture or surrender to their enemies. Garooians love to argue and contest each other in sports and politics. But on issues of survival paramount to the entire world, they move with a ruthless unity that would shock even Vilani.
Wealth and luxury are the pinnacle of local society. While consensus exists that the community comes first at a certain point, local society isn't monolithic, and gaps of wealth and power exist to differentiate the local society into an exacting pecking order of money and power. This isn't selfish wealth, as all local companies and enterprises are owned in collective by the world government. For a person to succeed to a lofty position requires singleminded devotion and willingness to sacrifice for the community, on the battlefield of commercial success. Of course those most successful in their service are handsomely rewarded by the planetary government.
The ultimate sign of success is to qualify for Garoo's Register, sort of a planetary Who's Who. Those that qualify are afforded more than the usual cramped quarters available to the vast majority of the locals; they recieve huge airy vaults filled with living plants, running water, and freestanding buildings. These individuals are also virtually guaranteed political legitimacy, and a seat upon one of the various political councils, or a managerial position in a major bureaucracy. Of course, these luxuries and privileges are provided in kind, for their continuing contributions. People who slack off are demoted from the Register, and are sent back into the masses. Needless to say, it creates no small amount of intrigue among the "upper" classes.
Interestingly, while most Garooians profess a belief in the individual freedom of their children, arrange for their children's marriages years in advance. Mostly this is due to a desire for upper mobility, with families searching for the best possible candiadates from the best potential families and backgrounds to marry their progeny.
One lingering bad effect has been the steady loss of democratic tradition. Previously, people acceded to the Register, and then chosen again for political office, based upon election by fellow citizens within "wards" divided amongst the varous communities. Nowadays, election is by consensus among the other members of the Register, which is creating a social rift between the classes that continues to widen. Many of the worlds traditionalists suspect that the War Register is simply using the supposed conflict with the Darrians and the conflict on Uniqua to institutionalise their position without competition, and eliminate democratic rule alltogether.
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System Notes: Hazmat is currently used as a dumping ground for the systems garbage.
Spangle is a special containment facility constructed to support the local world military. Several now disused military labs and test ranges dot the surface of the world. It has been rumored to also be a safehouse for the local intel and security services for rather unsavory activities.
Rounder is a source of additional minerals that are in short supply on Garoo, and for dangerous low-G manufacturing that the authorities want to keep contained away from the world environment.
Graveyard is so named because of its strange attraction to misjumped ships. A large number of vessels that have misjumped have crashed here in the systems long history, and a community of scavengers used to live on the world to benefit from this unusual phenomenon. A research station has been established in conjunction with the Regency Navy to study this mystery, and a naval rescue station has been set up to intercept and rescue other victims before slamming into the world.
Details on Graveyard and the Garoo Republic government come from GT Behind the Claw.