Friday, June 10, 2016

The planet Dirt


Dirt is the ancestral home land of the human race. Humans have been through several cycles of golden and dark ages, the last major fall wiping out most records of their history. Dirt is a deeply damaged planet, bearing the scars of multiple wars and disasters.

Ruling polity and other factions

Until about 60 years ago, the Dirt was ruled by the technocrat kings, despots who used their monopoly on ancient technology to dominate the few remaining human arcologies. Their reign came to an end with the rise of the prophetess Apple, who came preaching the end of Dirt. She believes that one day Dirt will be destroyed and that the only hope for the human race is to settle other planets. With her followers she overthrew the technocrats and synthesized a single rational technological praxis out of their disparate and cultish knowledge bases . Now, Dirt is ruled by the Seeder Initiative, a group that approaches human colonization with a religious Zeal. Just as autocratic as their predecessors, the Seeders use mass surveillance and draconian law enforcement to hold onto power.     
The arcologies of Dirt have been economically depressed by the polices of the Seeder Initiative, leading to an increase in crime. The most powerful organized crime syndicate is the Old Guard, a collection of minor science priests and flunkies of the Technocrat Kings who survived the purges of the Seeders, along with disenfranchised youth who are young enough to romanticize the old regime. Currently not powerful to threaten revolution, the Old Guard mostly sticks to old fashioned protection rackets and contraband dealing.
The Mu-Boll are bobble-head humanoids with a possible relation to humanity. The Seeders have entered into an optimistic partnership and sold them Dirt's moon, Satellite; more specifically, they've sold it to Happy Hominid Habitats, a powerful new corporate polity. Mu-Boll tend to avoid the blighted surface unless they have important business there. Instead, they can be found in the thousands of new habitats they've helped the seeders build in Dirt orbit. They're currently hallowing Satellite out in order to use it as a giant habitat. Tensions between humans and Mu-Boll can be high, as Mu-Boll have taken to eating lab grown human meat.

 Ecology

The biosphere of Dirt is old and scarred. The boom/bust cycle humanity has gone through means that in several points in history, the ecosystem of Dirt was controlled by sapient life, then allowed to go feral, resulting in flora and fauna nastier and more dangerous than normal wild evolution. The disaster blasted landscapes of Dirt are hard scrabble places, where organisms have to contend with all sorts of pollution.
The Great Trash Reef is an impressive structure in Dirt's oceans. Composed of billions of tiny bio-mechanical creatures, it process the great quantities of refuse into the basis for a robotic food chain. The shear variety of garbage mankind has produced during their time on Dirt has given the inhabitants of the reef a wide range of powers and abilities, though they are poorly understood, as any probes or vessels that approach are turned into scrap and assimilated into the reef. Thankfully, if there is a machine intelligence behind the reef, it’s an unambitious one, as the reef grows little year by year. 
Kud if a form of fast growing algae that dominates flat landscapes. This thick green fuzz covers a vast plain on one of Dirt's continents. Other flora  that tries to grow in the Kud Plains is smothered under the green carpet. Few animals eat Kud, as it has a foul taste. The major exception are the  giant snails that lick the kud off of rocks. The snails are in turn preyed upon by snot weasels, which burrow into the snails, as well as anything else that doesn't run away fast enough. There are rumors of snail riding pigmies, but that probably isn't true.
There are about a dozen abandoned  arcologies on Dirt. Some were sacked and ruined during Apple's rebellion; others fell victim to mismanagement  by the Technocrats. Without human intervention, the normal arcology biome spirals out of control. Mold quickly takes over the interior, and the normal vermin and scavengers grow in size. These city fauna are especially dangerous, as they have little fear of mankind. Arcologies are rich in useful materials and loot from the previous inhabitants. Scavenging in abandoned arcologies is against Seeder law, but the ban is seldom enforced, as the Seeders have other priorities.


Orbit, system, and Bastard connections

In contrast to the blighted and depressed surface of Dirt, the space around Dirt is teeming with industry. The Seeder Initiative channels the wealth of its extra solar colonies and its technical expertise into the habitat ring around Dirt. Gleaming shipyards make colony ships and warships to protect them
 No direct connection to the bastards is noticeable in the Dirt system, but there are persistent rumors of so called impossible objects. These ancient devices are said to have truly wondrous functions and properties. They were the prized possessions of the Technocrat kings, and now they are jealously guarded by the Seeders. Of course, actual descriptions of the objects are hard to come by, leaving most to believe that they are merely stories. Still, treasure hunters continue to scour the surface of Dirt looking for lost objects.

Nearby telluric planets War and Love are used by the Seeder Initiative as testing grounds for colony designs and experimental technology. The system has four giant planets, all of which have been colonized by the mysterious gas-bag civilization, which is currently on good terms with the Seeders. The closest planet to the sun, messenger, is a Gnomic planet, having been taken over by robots of unknown origin. The seeders are treating them with caution, as they don't want to provoke an unnecessary conflict.  

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