Silver & Ice - The Stars of Perdition
Star System: 2 suns, 6 planets
Spaceport City: Kitty Hawk
Vespera has the misfortune of being located in a star system that can’t make up its mind. It is technically a binary system, but the second, smaller star is located so close to the massive primary that it is trapped in near orbit. The primary’s gravity is slowly stripping away the flaming gaseous mass from the second star, linking the two bodies with a bright stream of hot light and making it appear that the system has only one very oddly shaped star. What this means for the system’s only habitable planet is many and sudden temperature changes – when the second sun comes out from behind the primary’s shadow, Vespera’s surface temperature spikes by several degrees. This havoc is only multiplied when one of these less than stable stars fires off a solar flare, a very frequent occurrence that the planet’s native life has had to adapt to. The end result for Vespera’s constantly fluctuating temperature is very high winds, which can persist for days, weeks, or even months at a time. As a result, much of Vespera’s geography is flat, rounded, and worn smooth. There are vast inland ‘oceans’ of wavy polished stone, and almost no mountains of any appreciable height. Dust storms are common in many regions, which only exacerbates the already very high rate of erosion. Most plants have adapted to grow along the ground, rather than up towards the sky, and many animals are at least partially subterranean.
The planet’s native Ghost Children used windmills and tidal mills to generate power. Later human settlers improved on these methods by using wind tunnels, amplifying and focusing the natural wind power the same way a hydroelectric dam focuses the power potential of a river. Buildings cannot be built too tall, and most have sloping aerodynamic sides to make them more wind resistant. The constant erosion does make mining easier in one sense, as nature has already done half of the work, as long as you can keep that same wind from destroying your equipment. The windy planet’s harsh atmospheric conditions has led to a kind of exclusive camaraderie among those who live there, even between humans and Ghost Children – they tend to be much more unfriendly towards outsiders of any species than they are to each other.