“A recent survey of the off-world colonies ranked Huron State as the colony with the most contented population. The colonists put this down to regular rest days (dark-days), their rural way of life, and the slightly lower gravity.”
Atmosphere: Nitrogen/Oxygen (can support human life)
Surface Area: 0.76 Earths
Surface Gravity: 0.91 g
Boreas is a cold world with extremely large polar regions. While it has been called an ice-planet, Boreas is actually an Earth-like planet and is similar to Earth in many ways. Only a slightly larger axial tilt and a cooler climate, the result of atmospheric conditions and the planet’s distance from its star, separate it from less hospitable terrestrial analogues.
With average temperatures much lower than that of Earth all year round, much of Boreas has become a frozen wasteland. Sheet ice covers roughly two thirds of the planet’s surface, leaving only a small band of temperate climate around its equator. Large areas of ocean remain frozen throughout the year, with summer melt reducing its extent only marginally. Several large landmasses are also engulfed by these enormous polar regions, and they remain covered with snow and ice, making life there impossible. Large glaciers feed the ocean pack ice year round, and from orbit, polar continents are almost indistinguishable from the surrounding frozen oceans.
Compared to the polar regions, the climate in Boreas’ temperate equatorial regions is quite mild. In this thin belt, life is abundant and the climate is quite sufficient for human habitation. Here, tundral and sub-arctic regions frame much warmer, fertile valleys and plains. Kept warm by equatorial currents, some parts of the Western continent can even be described as Mediterranean.
Flora and Fauna
Life on Boreas is at a similar evolutionary stage to Earth during the Devonian Period. While the equatorial oceans are teaming with life – including many species of crustacean, large squid-like creatures, and fish – life on land is generally limited to crawling insects and low-growing plants.
The successful introduction of many Earth species to the Western continent – including fur trees, wheat, grass, pollinating insects, and sheep – has transformed the landscape of the Huron interior, turning it into a thriving agricultural colony. As part of a conservation project, a colony of terrestrial sea birds was also introduced to the South Huron coast.
Ten years after European explorers first landed on Boreas, a joint British, French, Dutch, and Canadian initiative launched a major colonization program, establishing the Independent State of Huron in the Northwestern continent. The Independent State of Huron remains the most populace region on Boreas, and is the only independent nation on the planet to be recognized by the United Nations.
The treaty establishing the Huron State (5) also ceded areas of the Northwestern continent to Britain, France, and the Netherlands.
Shortly afterward, a South American partnership attempted a colonization of the are south of the Tidewater Straits, proclaiming it “The Bolivarian Republic of South Huron” (6). However, the colonization program proved unpopular and the area remains sparsely populated. The republic is not recognized by the United Nations due to its low population.
These two colonization efforts led to a short-lived land-grab, which saw many governments stake a claim on areas of Boreas. With the exception of Japan, none of these governments have attempted large-scale colonization efforts, focusing their efforts on colony worlds closer to Earth instead. The United Nations has since voted to freeze all unsubstantiated land claims on Boreas pending further discussion about the future of the planet. The UN also established the large Eastern continent (7) as a protected area under its jurisdiction, and it operates a large research outpost there.
Life on Boreas
While several small colonies and outposts exist on Boreas, the Independent State of Huron is by far the largest, with several large cities and communities. Huron’s capital city is located around a large bay in the equatorial Tidewater Straits. The nation’s economy is based on agriculture and mineral extraction. Other colonies, particularly the islands controlled by Japan, specialize in fishing and the farming of native marine animals.
Boreas rotates on its axis once every 2.084 Earth days. This makes a Borean day more than twice as long as an Earth day. To adapt to the unusual daylight hours, colonists on Boreas have adopted their own system of time-keeping, including an 8 day week. The Borean week consists of alternating “light-days” and “dark-days”, each of which are 25 hours long.
A recent survey of the off-world colonies ranked Huron State as the colony with the most contented population. The colonists put this down to regular rest days (dark-days), their rural way of life, and the slightly lower gravity.
Article by Mark Ball.
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