|Primary || G7
|Surface gravity || 9.0 m/s², 0.91 g
|Day length || 66.5 ks, 18.5 hours
|Year length || 8.99 Ms, 0.28 Earth years
|Seasonal change || Moderate to Extreme
|Atmosphere || 230 kPa, 19 kPa partial pressure O2
Fires burn with great difficulty (-2 Flammability score)
|Climate || Moderate
|Notable features || Small, salty seas; extensive deserts
|Population || 31 million, mixed Human and Gummi with significant populations of their entrained species.
|Capital city || Jaru
|Wormhole termini || Playa
|Current Governor || Rihaa Shah
|Interplanetary organizations || Ringold base (Republican Army)
|Prominent businesses || Trading, mechanized agriculture, construction, security
San Agustín orbits a white star on an eccentic orbit, with a high axial tilt. In the southern hemisphere, summer (when the south pole is pointing toward the sun) comes when San Agustín is at its farthest point from its sun in its yearly orbit and winter is when it is closest. For the northern hemisphere, the reverse is true. Consequently, the south tends to have what would otherwise be severe seasonal changes moderated by the changing insolation while the seasonal differences are exacerbated in the north.
Naturally, most of the planet's settlements are in the southern hemisphere.
Oceans cover only 38% of San Agustín's surface, leaving much of the planet a desert. What oceans can be found are significantly saltier than those of Earth. Areas near the oceans often get adequate rainfall, and latitudinal bands corresponding to rising Hadley cells are blessed with relatively more precipitation than elsewhere.
Nonetheless, San Agustín is, overall, a comparatively arid planet relative to most other inhabited worlds of the Verge.
San Agustín has a normal tectonic cycle, and consequently has massive continents rising high above its abyssal plain. The low volume of water available for oceans, however, means that much of the abyssal plain is dry – only the lower reaches of the abyssal plains and the trenches along subduction zones are covered by seas.
Without continental drop-offs, most of the seas are shallow.
This allows sunlight to reach their bottom.
Despite their salinity, they can be extremely productive.
Where prevailing winds blow over oceans and then up a continental slope they rise and cool with altitude, producing clouds and fog and dropping their moisture as rain.
These regions have become rain and cloud forests, tangled with the life introduced from other worlds.
The rivers pouring down the continental slopes produce deep canyons that extend far back into the continent, with spectacular waterfalls.
As the rivers reach the abyssal plains they slow down, drop their sediment load, and begin to meander across wide floodplains.
Eventually they flow back into the seas, producing swampy deltas.
The abyssal plains have a hot climate. As the altitude increases, the temperature drops such that the continental slopes are temperate and the continental inlands are frozen.
The air that reaches the continental interiors has dropped most of its moisture on the slopes, leaving it dry.
However, the extreme cold means that any snow that does fall remains there, collecting into massive icecaps.
Glaciers flowing off the continents can feed rivers that deliver water to otherwise dry regions, again carving long and deep canyons through the continental slopes and producing many waterfalls.
Where the prevailing winds flow off a continent, they are bone dry and leave a dessicated swath of land in their wake. The deserts in a continent's rain shadow are some of the driest on the planet.
Fierce katabatic winds, produced when air atop the continent cools further by radiating heat into space, flow downslope in many places, scouring the land while drying it.
The high altitude of San Agustín's continental regions means that those venturing up there are likely to have to deal with altitude sickness in addition to extreme cold and glacial terrain hazards. In many of the mountainous continental regions, supplemental oxygen is required.
Spreading ridges form vast interconnected mountain ranges rising above the abyssal plains.
These ridges are not as high as continents, offering temperate highlands for settlement.
They otherwise offer many of the same meteorological dynamics, with rain and cloud forests when wind from over an ocean blows upslope, dry rain shadows on the other side, and areas with significant (if lesser) katabatic winds.
These spreading ridges form markedly rugged terrain, with many cliffs, rifts, faults, and scarps.
They are markedly volcanic, riddled with hot springs and geysers, and prone to earthquakes.
Shield volcanoes rising from the abyssal plains produce towering isolated mountains, with many of the phenomena associated with San Agustín's continents reproduced in miniature.
The native land life of San Agustín consisted of yellow-brown photoautotrophes roughly equivalent to simple mosses and lichens, and tiny animals vaguely like mites and tartigrades. The ocean life is more diverse and complex, consisting of fish-, worm-, and vaguely shrimp-like things, some of which grow to large sizes.
This native terrestrial flora and fauna did not compete well with the introduction of alien animals and plants from both Earth and Gummiland. Today, within hundreds of kilometers of settled areas one can find broadleaf hardwoods and conifers growing alongside screw-feather trees, grasses jostling with lip-bulbs, bracken and brush crowding alongside polyp bushes and duster scrub.
Mud rubbers and pudding grubs creep under rocks and fallen logs, next to snakes, spiders, scorpions, ants, earwigs, millipedes, and centipedes.
Lizards bask near puffing bunkles and death snails. Guanacos browse and eland graze next to walking carpets and fuzz-rugs, hoovers and lasso beasts.
Coyotes range, leopards stalk, spaghetti trappers lurk, spitters creep, hawks soar, and netters patiently wait.
The oceans are saltier than most Terran aquatic life prefers, although brine shrimp and alkali flies have established populations. Terran fish, crustaceans, and mollusks and Gummiland wigglers and darters do well in the less saline estuaries and in upper inversion layers where less salty water floats on top of saltier water.
Lakes and rivers often have trout, bass, bluegill, perch, catfish, and crayfish, as well as mink, muskrats, turtles, otters, ducks, geese, kingfishers, herons, and ospreys.
The native sea life continues to thrive in the more saline waters, protected by the concentrations of brine they can endure.
A San Agustín field guide.
San Agustín was once a backwater planet of a few dusty small towns, settled primarily by southwestern and midwestern Americans, Bangladeshis, and Caribbeans displaced by rising sea levels. Locals in their pickup trucks and sky lifters, feed stores and hydroponics farms, dirt roads leading nowhere. Then one day a new hole appeared. The space-time near the Hendrickson's barn on their farm on the outskirts of Playa puckered and warped, twisted into unnatural shapes by exotic fields.
Jonah Hendrickson was not facing the expanding wormhole, intent as he was on fixing a leaky pipe.
He did not observe as it grew, sucking in first air, then dust and sand, and finally clumps of dirt and dry grass dragged up by its roots.
When the tractor beams finally latched onto the side of the barn and began wrenching off slats with cracklings and crunchings, Jonah finally turned around to see the growing space-time anomaly in his yard.
Now Jonah had heard about the Homesteader's desperate fight against the Zox, and the devastation the Zox had wrought on Gateway, Austen, and Kartanum. He ran as fast as his legs could carry him back home, to call the sheriff and grab his launch gun. What he did not know was that 5-year old Alice Hendrickson had been playing on the other side of the barn, pretending to bake pies out of mud. When Jonah came tearing back, gun in hand, he was horrified to see his daughter holding out a baking dish full of mud to an orange pulsating, shapeless thing. With Alice in the way, he could not shoot as the hideously amorphous monster stretched out a pseudopod toward his child – and delicately took the dish from her.
It seemed to be investigating its gloppy gift for some seconds, then extruded a shiny orb from within itself which it – handed is perhaps the wrong word, for it had no hands, but offered, at least, to little Alice. Delighted, she took the gadget which soon began blinking and hovering in mid air. Soon Alice and the alien monster were playing catch the hoverball. By the time Alice had engulfed the hapless thing in an enormous hug, her father had lowered his gun.
And so the first contact between Humans and Gummis began peacefully. The exploration team came through, with a dozen Gummi explorers, a small Pirang pack, and two Tweechi scouts.
The people of Playa came out to see their visitors from afar, cautiously at first, but it soon became apparent that their alien guests meant no harm. The Sangas and Gummis traded and gave each other gifts, and after the explorers made their report the Gummis sent a permanent representative to stay with the settlers of San Agustín.
Soon, sleepy little Playa had become a bustling interface between two great starfaring cultures. Trade in exotic goods coursed through the mighty wormhole stations, accompanied by exotic people and exotic ideas. The pulse of commerce made Playa rich, and by extension all of San Agustín. The Hendrickson farm became Contact Park, a patch of vegetative green and orange surrounded by the metropolis that Playa had become, with a statue of little Alice handing Huubuuruu the explorer a mud pie to commemorate the historic meeting of the Humans and Gummis.
San Agustín's importance as a nexus of trade has stood it over during the upheavals the Verge has endured. The Bump in the Night, although chilling, showcased the importance of cooperation between the Humans and Gummis in which San Agustín served as a vital link in the exchange of goods and knowledge that allowed both peoples to survive.
San Agustín has a fairly unremarkable governmental structure based on the American model. This is complicated somewhat by the large population of Gummis who do not naturally recognize or defer to civic authority.
At the local level, city councils often take on a hybrid nature of elected and assigned authority with volunteer committees organized by consensus.
The meeting of cultural methods has not always worked smoothly, but fixes have been made when problems arose and experience in multi-species governance and coordination has been accumulated over the gigaseconds (centuries).
San Agustín is a cosmopolitan blend of ethnicities and species. Nearly every sapient species of the Verge (except for Squirm) are represented here, either in their own communities or integrated into blended neighborhoods.
The people of San Agustín are commonly referred to as Sangas.
The food of San Agustín is a real mix, with traditional American, Mexican, Caribbean, Bangladeshi, and Chinese cooking exist side-by-side with Gummi, Tweechi, and Pirang fare. Many fusion styles have evolved, combining elements of several culinary arts into novel taste sensations.
Most people of San Agustín speak either English, Sequential, or Hooning. Many have learned both English and Sequential (or, if Gummi, all three languages). Humans commonly also speak Mandarin, Spanish, Bangla, or Arabic.
Consistent with its cosmopolitan nature, you can find followers of many different faiths on San Agustín. The Originalist Catholic Church has the largest following, followed by Uumuuluu, Buddhism, Islam, and LDS.
Although not numerous, San Agustín nevertheless has the largest population of Hindus in the Verge.
Playa is a thriving port city, with immense lots of stacked shipping containers, cranes, hoists, loaders, and railways of nearly a dozen parallel tracks connecting the wormhole to Bondle with the station with wormholes to New Carolina (via Noether and Ash) and Valleya (via Avalon).
This meeting of cultures produces a city with a mix of architectural styles – block Human houses and high rises jostling with organically mounded and lumpy Gummi constructions. The bazaars and open-air markets throng with shoppers and merchants selling their wares, forming labyrinthine assemblages of alleys, stalls, and small shops, and are known as places where one can find nearly anything.
Playa is built up on the shore of a dry lake. The lake occasionally fills during the wet season in years of particularly high rainfall.
The climate is dry, and scrub vegetation grows in undeveloped and un-irrigated land above the lake basin.
Within the city itself, municipal water allows lawns, trees, gardens, and vegitative landscaping using both Earth plants and Gummi photoautotrophes.
In high winds, dust and salt from the lake's saltpan gets blown into the air, forming dust storms that send most of the people indoors.
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