|Cymbeline/Arcturus (Solomani Rim 2527)|
|Classic Era (1115)|| |
Cymbeline is a moderate population world with over a hundred million, but not yet at a billion sophonts in population size.
- It is a member of the Third Imperium in the Arcturus Subsector of Solomani Rim Sector in the Domain of Sol.
- It is located within the Scandia Cluster.
- It is the homeworld of the Chips, a sophont species and minor race.
- A little over 90% of the population is composed of humans and other non-human sophonts.
- A little under 10% of the population is composed of Chips.
- 1 Description (Astrography & Planetology)
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 References & Contributors (Sources)
Description (Astrography & Planetology)
Cymbeline is a rarity in planetological studies: a massive world with a thin atmosphere. Although nearly 15,000 kilometers in diameter and having a density of 1.09 Earths, Cymbeline has a very thin (almost trace) atmosphere. Nearly 90% of the world surface is uninhabitable due to lack of atmosphere; the other 10% does have a thin, breathable atmosphere pooling at the bottom of extremely deep canyons and crevasses by the world's high gravity. These canyons form a network which straddles large portions of each hemisphere. Icecaps cover 30% of the world's surface.
- The canyon bottoms are settled by a population of nearly 22 million living under a representative democracy. Local industries include mining, some light manufacturing, and agriculture on some sunlit canyon slopes. There are also a growing tourist trade and a small gas harvesting industry near the icecaps.
- Cymbeline's surface is divided into the habitable canyons and the uninhabitable highlands. Cymbeline Down Starport is on the surface situated in the highlands; pressure domes, large elevator platforms and underground hangars, and tunneled passageways make up the large starport complex. A monorail link through a bored rock tunnel connects with Findor (Cymbeline's largest city), located 80 kilometers east of, and 12 kilometers below the starport.
Cymbeline Monostellar System Star Name Hierarchy Color Classification Remarks Cymbeline Primary Primary Red M0 V
2527 Cymbeline (Imperial)
Starport: Class V.
Diameter: 9,000 miles (14,400 km). Gravity: 1.27g.
Atmosphere: Very thin oxygen-nitrogen.
Population: 670 million.
Government: Representative Democracy.
Control Level: 0.
Tech Level: 11.
World Trade Number: 5.
Also known as the Virus.
Findor: With a population of six million, Findor is easily twice the size of any other city on Cymbeline. It occupies a particularly broad section of canyon running eastwest within 10° of the equator. East-west sections of canyon are especially valued because the sun can shine into the depths through most of the day. The city itself is built into the canyon's rock walls and on islands in the large lake at the canyon's bottom. At points where the canyon narrows, delicate bridges carrying monorail cars connect the built-up areas of opposite sides.
Findor is a cultural and government center as well. Government offices for the bureaucracy are located in the city. A good university has its campus there. The city has good entertainment production facilities (audio and video studios). An artist colony enjoys a subsector-wide reputation for strobe-light sculptures.
From Findor, monorail links (winding along the bottoms of the canyons) connect with the other major cities of Cymbeline: Wildine to the north (important for gas and water mining in the icecaps), Cranches to the east (strip mining), and Logos to the south (technological research and development).
Just as seas separate continents on most worlds, the highlands separate the canyons on Cymbeline. Most of the canyons are connected enough to allow travel between them without venturing into the highlands, but some are virtual islands accessible only by pressurized ATVs or grav vehicle. There is some discussion of extending the monorail links to some of these island canyons, but the effort has not yet proven practical from a cost standpoint.
Volcanoes: Cymbeline has a number of active volcanoes, most of them concentrated in the northern hemisphere. Volcanic action is the primary source of Cymbeline's atmospheric gases. During eruptions, the gases are thrust upward and drawn back to the planet surface by gravity. The gases then flow along the contours of the land, eventually settling to the bottoms of the canyons. Local bacteria have evolved to metabolize the components of the volcanic gases to release oxygen.
Non-canon: Society on Cymbeline is shaped by the canyons. Hours of daylight are short, even in the east-west canyons. Temperatures in the canyons outside the equatorial cities are not too uncomfortable (around 10C during the day near Findor, -20C at night; slightly cooler for Cranches and Logos). Of the primary cities, only Wildine lies outside this habitable band, with night-time temperatures reaching as low as -100C. All cities have controlled environments, warmer than the surrounding canyons and with denser air. Each district is equipped with limited mobility, and in case of volcanic disaster or extreme earthquake can lift itself out of the rock wall and move along the canyon floor. Advanced seismic survey and prediction has meant that this has not had to happen for more than a century, and less mobile structures have recently been built, such as the monorails. All but the most severe earthquakes can be weathered without moving, but the Seismic Watch is still run 24 hours a day - more as a tradition than a serious safety measure.
About the most troublesome event to occur with any frequency is the phenomenon of "soil storms". Despite the extremely thin atmosphere outside the canyons, clouds of volcanic ash, dust from weathered rock, and ice, water or snow are often blown into the canyons. This is usually only dangerous for those outside the cities (where it can clog vehicle or suit joints and reduce visibility to zero), but often requires massive cleanup efforts.
Citizens have adapted to the short day-night cycle by abandoning a regular pattern, and napping when appropriate. This can be upsetting for visitors, whose circadian cycles cannot readily adjust - standard Imperial time is prominently displayed in most public areas for their benefit. Another odd feature for a high-tech world is the emphasis on untreated rocks in ornamentation. People wear small lumps of rock as jewelery, have it embedded into their skin (the forehead being a popular location), and decorate buildings and parks with larger pieces.
History & Background (Dossier)
Imperial High (Landed) Nobility
Alternate Timeline (1440)
Allegiance: Terran Union (Solomani Confederation)
- Population: 1.8 Billion
- Capital: Findor Canyon (pop. 18 million)
- Other Cities: Cranches, Logos, Wildine
- Major ethnic groups: Belas, Hispanic, Solomani (u), Chinese
- Major religions: Cymbeline (native chton), Roman Catholic, Taoism, Buddhism
- Major languages: Galangic (official), Standardized Bela Spanish (SBS)(semi-official), various "canyon dialects"
- Major industries: Trading & cargo transshipment, religious artifacts, microchips, superconductors, mining, light industry, agriculture
- Military: Research Station
Cymbeline is a little larger and heavier than Terra - about 110% Earth-standard of each measure. Its atmosphere is thin, and is entirely the product of the many massive volcanoes on the world. In most places the air does not have nearly enough density for unpressurized settlement, and around its highly toxic exotic-liquid seas the atmosphere is downright deadly even with filtering. However, Cymbeline has many deep inland canyons in which friendlier gasses in the atmosphere condense and, after passing through a layer of bacteria that floats along the tops of the canyons, the air becomes breathable. Transplanted life from Terra - including vast darkwood forests, engineered to survive in minimal light conditions, thrives in these canyons.
Human habitation is concentrated in the sunlit slopes (agricultural) and deepest clefts (urban) of the canyon systems, and dates back to the Second Imperium. The first and largest wave of settlement came from a fleet of massive colony ships - the Altair Fleet - including the Flying Eagle, Riverdrum, Weavergirl and Star Shepherd - which later settled many worlds further from Sol before splitting apart.
Around 200 years after the initial settlement by the Fleet there was a failed effort to terraform the volcanic high plateaus - tailored microorganisms could not cope with the constant flux in the chemical composition of the atmosphere from eruptions, combined with toxic winds blowing in from the seas. Afterward, the world became largely isolated and began to develop its distinct culture. Cymbeline rotates extremely rapidly for its type, and the inhabitants have over the millenia adapted to where they no longer sleep regularly but rather nap intermittently during the dark cycle. Large structures were never built due to frequent earthquakes. A family had to be ready to depart in emergency balloons with only essential supplies at a moment's notice after receiving a warning from the Seismic Watch. This led to a household-based system of economics and a lack of large-scale public industry or politics. In fact the Seismic Watch itself was practically the only planet-wide institution of any kind.
Offworlders who travelled to Cymbeline hoping to establish business ventures found a closed, agrarian society of small family compounds clinging to the sunlit canyon slopes. Crops grew eagerly on the rich volcanic soil, and as the natives never shed - until very recently - their shallow worlder's taboo against large families, there was never a population boom that would have forced the development of an industrial society. Indeed the only time hard work was required was after an infrequent "soil storm," where dust from the high plateaus blew down into the canyons and coated the crops. Otherwise the farms ran themselves just fine with minimum automation. As a result, the inhabitants of Cymbeline quickly became largely indifferent to "offworld" notions of hard work, heavy industry and planetary government.
The foolhardy few investors who tried to establish themselves anyway often found their settlements, industrial farms and other facilities ruined by earthquakes within a few years, if the "lazy" and frequently absent workforce didn't do in their enterprises sooner. Word soon spread that Cymbeline was no place for outsiders. Thus for the vast majority of its settled history, Cymbeline's canyons were each small self-governing units managed by committees that met irregularly if at all. Notions of "law and order" outside of the word of a family leader quickly lost all meaning to the natives and remain seen as a largely foreign notion to this day by the natives.
Cymbelinic Native Life?
A naturally occurring silicon-based form of life was discovered on Cymbeline in the Solomani Rim. This lifeform was very different form of life than biological and did not conform to the conventional (...and biological) scientific definition of life.
Although these silicon-based lifeform "Chips" needed raw materials to survive as a species, they did not need it for their individual survival. Their power was electrical and was obtained and converted from the environment: from sunlight or geothermal heat. Their only need for raw material was for reproduction - chips to implant their own programming into. This lifeform was a sort of ergivore/phototroph, not previously known to science.
These microchips possessed not much more than animal intelligence in the wild.
Belas & Chton
The fact which transformed the residents of Cymbeline from a unique marginal group within the Solomani culture into a separate "race of their own" is that the world itself is a powerful evolving chton, and the majority of Cymbeline's native inhabitants worship it. They call themselves Belas, perhaps a Romance-language reference to beauty, as in "beautiful people." Another theory of the origin of the name is that it may relate to one of the earliest settler families, which then become aware of and began to commune with the chton of the world. Over hundreds of years, word was spread by a trickle of missionaries who travelled from canyon to canyon carrying the faith and the slogan "our world, our people, our God." The Bela religion gave Cymbeline a sense of unified culture for the first time, and the need for a book of rituals led to the creation of Standardized Bela Spanish (SBS), sometimes called Belanese or Cymbelese.
[Note: Some newcomers and offworlders consider all Cymbelinyos descended from the Altair Fleet settlers to be Belas - whatever their religion - due to the distinct native culture, and call the followers of the native religion "Chtnoic Belas" or "Hard-core Belas."]
Due to the limited land available for settlement on Cymbeline, the Belas have a long cultural taboo against large families. However, as the group has grown in power and influence, and through the need to compete demographically with the newcomers (see below), this has changed dramatically. There is now a Bela baby boom, and they have begun to spread to other systems in the vicinity of Cymbeline. Large and powerful enclaves exist on Tamarind and Tewfik, with smaller "colonies" further field. A large colony ship is being prepared with the eventual goal of terraforming worlds in the Far Boötes, Aldeberan or Drum Sectors.
SolSec is interested in the psychic abilities of the Belas, and tolerates their worship of Cymbeline. A number of the race are believed to work as interrogators and secret agents.
GenAssist has taken an interest in the world as well. The "awakening" of the chton is apparently spreading. Native animals are showing uplift potential. Trees and even the soil itself have shown signs of self-awareness and "worship" of Cymbeline. Details of GenAssist's activities on Cymbeline are classified and large sections of the world are interdicted.
Politically the world is dominated by cadres drawn from more recent immigrants, who make up about 30% of the population.
Large numbers of Hispanic, Chinese and mixed-culture Solomani settlers arrived during the Autonomous Zone period and quickly came to dominate the world due to their ties to the Party and access to more advanced quake-proofing technology than was available to the locals. They built cities and constructed a large Class-A starport in a stable stretch of the highlands near Findor Canyon in hopes of achieving trade-route status - an investment that paid off beyond the wildest expectations of the initial newcomers: Cymbeline is now a major passenger and cargo hub, with dedicated jump-space routes to Tewfik, Thorwald and Ikuk. After establishing the starport, the newcomers also declared a planetary government based in Findor Canyon. All these were things unknown to Cymbeline prior to that point in time. The newcomers solidified their dominance with control over the microelectronics industry that evolved during the Zone years due to certain rare volcanic superconducting minerals in the planet's crust.
The Belas, though originally mostly Hispanic themselves, now regard themselves as an entirely different human culture (and perhaps a different species altogether), and were immediately resentful of the newcomers' dominance and remain so. Despite the unifying force of the chton-worship, the Belas were divided by geography and family ties, and with little history of armed combat or indeed any violence whatsoever in their pastoral history, the idea of an active rebellion went nowhere. However, as "offworld" ideas filter into the Bela communities from native workers returning from city jobs, this is changing. Recently planetary government tax collectors have been forcibly expelled from several remote canyons.
SolSec has proposed balkanizing the world or perhaps establishing a legal condominium. Influenced by Belas that have now attained high rank within the organization, their argument goes that the Belas are becoming too valuable to Solomani intelligence to risk alienating. Below the surface among non-Belas is also the fear that they are becoming too powerful to alienate as well.
In the interim, the Party has reformed the planetary Secretariat to give Belas more of a voice, but since few natives possess technical skills or higher education, their influence in the bureaucracy remains quite limited.
Findor and other urban centers
Cymbeline Down Starport is on the surface situated in the highlands; pressure domes, large elevator platforms and underground hangars, and tunneled passageways make up the large starport complex. A monorail link through a bored rock tunnel connects with Findor, located 80 kilometers east of, and 12 kilometers below the starport.
Findor is easily twice the size of any other city on Cymbeline. It occupies a particularly broad section of canyon running east-west within 10 km of the equator. East-west sections of canyon are especially valued because the sun can shine into the depths through most of the day. The city has expanded vastly even in the last hundred years. Large portions are now built directly into the canyon's rock walls and on islands in the large lake at the canyon's bottom, which were previously forested. Findor Lake Islands Park preserves a portion of the natural ecosystem of the canyon.
At points where the canyon narrows, delicate bridges carrying monorail cars connect the built-up areas of opposite sides.
Findor is the cultural and government center of the world. Government offices for the bureaucracy are located in the city. Cymbeline University, largely dedicated to technical and management subjects, has its main campus here. The city has good entertainment production facilities, but does not export much entertainment offworld excepting that connected with the Bela religion. An artist colony enjoys a subsector-wide reputation for strobe-light sculptures.
From Findor, monorail links (winding along the bottoms of the canyons) connect with the other major cities of Cymbeline: Wildine to the north (important for gas and water mining in the icecaps), Cranches to the east (center of the mining industry), and Logos to the south (where GenAssist has its planetary HQ).
Just as seas separate continents on most worlds, the highlands separate the canyons on Cymbeline. Most of the canyons are connected enough to allow travel between them without venturing into the highlands, but some are virtual islands accessible only by pressurized ATV bus or grav vehicle. There is some discussion of extending the monorail links to some of these island canyons, but the effort has not yet proven practical from a cost standpoint.