Solace

Surface gravity 8.8 m/s², 0.90 g
Day length 109 ks, 30.3 hours
Year length 15.2 Ms, 0.481 Earth years
Month length 624 ks (5.72 local days), 1.30 Ms (11.9 local days), 1.20 Ms (11.0 local days) between conjunctions
Atmosphere 330 kPa, 34 kPa partial pressure O2
Fires burn reluctantly
Seasonal change Minor
Climate Warm
Notable features Huge trees
Population 8 million, primarily Pannovas
Capital city Aletheia
Wormhole terminus Wazon
Current Governor Jason Yves Heron
Interplanetary organizations Nevermore Base (Republican Army)
Prominent businesses Manufacturing, energy, space-time engineering, forestry

Natural Features

Solace orbits a yellow-tinged white star, somewhat cooler and yellower than Earth's sun but significantly hotter and brighter and whiter than red dwarfs. Combined with its thick atmosphere and dramatic cloud cover near major settlements, visitors to Solace can expect to view incredible sunrises and sunsets. During breaks in the weather, one of Solace's two moons might be seen. The larger and closer of the two appears approximately twice as large as Earth's moon; the smaller and farther is approximately 13rd as large. Every 11 local days, the moons come into conjunction and the larger eclipses the smaller.

Solace is famous for its immense trees. The largest trees in the Verge, the goldenwoods and duster trees, grow at least twice as tall as the redwoods and sequoias of old Earth, and wider than baobabs, with multiple trunks rising out of a massive central node. Of course, not all of Solace is covered in trees. It is an entire world, with tundra and scrubland, deserts and plains. But the main settlements of Solace are along a coastal rain forest, where the near constant sea-fog and precipitation encourage lush growth and allow the trees to reach for the skies.

The native Solace autotrophes use chlorophyll as their photopigment, giving them the same green color as Earth's plants. While technically animals, they use the same lignocellulosic materials for structural support as the woody plants of Earth. They differ in having a mobile larval stage, and muscular action to orient their leaves and twigs and, for the giant trees, to pump fluids from the ground to their crowns.

Artificial Features

The asteroid belt around Solace's star has produced at least three confirmed Antecessor stations. One is largely junk, destroyed by the ravages of time. The other two have repelled all attempts to board them with disruptor cannon, impenetrable deflector screens, and guardian robots.

History

After the closure of the Chapter Two project, the newly liberated Pannova subjects found themselves the target of fear and superstition in their native Liberia. Persecuted, they looked for a new place to call home where they could live in peace. Around that time, American explorers had located the planet that would come to be called Solace as a likely habitable planet and had completed an initial survey. The American government accepted the Pannovas as immigrants with all the rights of any person, equal under the law, on the condition that they colonize this new world. It was the new Pannova colonists who named their world, hoping it would bring relief to their troubled kind.

Solace has seen relatively little immigration once the initial Pannova colonists settled down. Finding the planet to their liking, the birth rate was relatively high and the population grew steadily.

The Chinese occupation was a low point for the history of Solace. While the Americans were willing to consider Pannovas people, the Chinese afforded them no such consideration. When Chinese forces captured the wormhole terminus, the Pannovas were considered animals and ruthlessly hunted. The Pannovas fought back fiercely. Better adapted to the deep forest and jungles than the occupiers, they waged guerilla warfare against their conquerors (and jokes about gorilla warfare are likely to get your arms ripped off if a Pannova hears you). The Chinese responded by clear cutting from heavily garrisoned logging camps. Still, the Chinese suffered heavy losses when venturing out of their fortified sites. After the Americans regained their section of the wormhole network, they once again offered peace, safety, and citizenship to their non-Human subjects. The Pannovas gladly accepted.

Solace has suffered two squirm incursions. The first was suppressed only after heavy losses, but eradication was not complete. There are still occasional verified reports of encounters with Squirm in the deep, remote parts of the forest near the site of the original infestation.

The second incursion occurred after picket wormholes had been launched. The invasion was detected early and the Squirm beachhead was sterilized with little losses to the Republican Army, Solace Home Guard, or Solace Colonial Rangers.

Government

Solace has a similar government to most other former American colonies, with an executive branch that carries out the laws and is responsible for taking action, a bicameral legislature for making laws, and a judiciary for resolving disputes and applying and deciding on the applicability of laws. The legislature is made up of a House of Representatives and a Senate. While the House has representatives apportioned by population, each clan is allocated two senators to represent them.

Solace is a federation of sovereign clans. The various Pannova clans are given explicit protection and legal rights under Solace law. The clans have their own internal laws which can be prosecuted under their own judiciaries and enforced by the clan police. The government of Solace is responsible for resolving disputes between clans, although these are often resolved informally by the (usually female) Pannovas who belong to both clans. There are provisions for recognizing new clans, but this involves the consent of so many interested parties that this is rarely done. Visitors fall under the jurisdiction of laws of the clan whose territory they are on; in practice, non-clan members on Solace often feel as if they are second-class citizens. Clans can adopt new members, even non-Pannovas, and there are accepted methods to move between clans.

Politics is driven not only by clan loyalty, interest, and power dynamics, but by an isolationist/engagementist axis. There are many Solars who mainly want to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit without interference from other worlds. Others see a benefit to robust trade and exchange of ideas with the rest of the Verge. Due to the necessity of the Republican Army in putting down Solace's two Squirm infestations few Solars agitate for leaving the Verge Republic entirely, but many wish to limit interactions in other ways.

The Solace Colonial Rangers have a reputation as one of the most elite and admired law enforcement organizations in the Verge. Formed to track down criminals and keep the peace when Solace was still an American colony, it has been the inspiration for much of the methods of law enforcement in the remote areas of the Verge since the formation of the Republic.

People

The population of Solace is 85% Pannova. Humans make up most of the rest. Enhanced animals are not counted as part of the population; newcoons are common on Solace as companion and work animals and as escaped ferals.

Name

The unofficial name for the people of Solace is Solars.

Attitudes

A Solar is expected to show steadfast loyalty to his clan, his buddies, and his troop. Disputes should be resolved internally, without appealing to outsiders. Honor is paramount – a Solar should not tolerate his honor being besmirched nor that of his clan or troop. Males are expected to be full of swagger and bravado; females to play the peacemaker and voice of reason.

The Humans living on Solace tend to stick together in their own communities. They often feel out of place or discriminated against when in Pannova-dominant areas.

Architecture

Most of the houses of Solace are multi-story tree houses. Towns and neighborhoods are connected with bridges, ladders, and tree-circling walkways. Buildings and paths are designed with Pannovas in mind; Humans living in Pannova cities will find it considerably more difficult to get around and will be constantly bumping their heads on doorways and ceilings. Humans tend to self-segregate into their own ground-based neighborhoods.

Cuisine

Solar food is rich in fruit and vegetables. Salads are often the main or only course of a meal. While food is usually cooked (with the exception of leafy salads), it is rarely grilled. Beans, nuts, eggs, and insects are usual sources of protein. Food is typically seasoned with a variety of spices, and often coated in vegetable oil.

Religion

Religion on Solace is fairly low-key. Many Solars practice various versions of Christianity, although Buddhism and pagan religions also have significant followings. However, the majority of Solars (by approximately 60%) do not identify with a religion at all, either expressing their spirituality without the guidelines of a formal religious organization, actively denying the existence of god, or simply not caring about such things.

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