The long strange trip
Homeworld of Khel Mandodari
- Starport B Good: Spacecraft Construction, Overhaul, Refined fuel
- Size 6 Medium (9,600 km)
- Atmosphere 8 Dense
- Hydrographics 7 Wet World 70%
- Population 7 Moderate (70 million)
- Government 4 Representative Democracy
- Law 5 Moderate Law
- Tech Level 5 Industrial (mass production)
- Primary K6 III M8 D
- Gas Giants 4
- Planetoid Belts 3
A rich, agricultural garden planet whose weather and soil allow the production of large quantities of high-quality cereal grains. Located within the Kinorb Cluster in the Regina Subsector of the Spinward Marches, Heya is a low-technology Imperial world. In addition to Heya Startown, other major settlements on Heya include Nagi, Lira Town, Mukuran, and Missuey.
SUMMARY: An agricultural world, which is vital to the stability of the subsector. Several recent events have begun to destabilize this world and must be dealt with quickly.
PHYSICAL: Heya is a small, dense world. Despite its unusual mass, mining operations have been unprofitable. The planet is seismically active, with five major plates. The most tectonically active portion of the planet is the Disappointment Mountains, which have several large volcanoes, and are moving northwest at 8mm/standard year. The average gravity is .67 g
The planet’s surface is divided between oceans that cover 70% of the surface, two major continents, and numerous islands. There is geological evidence that a third continent sank within the last million years.
Heya is tilted 55 degrees, and orbits Bellus once every 247.5 days. This extreme tilt, combined with the relatively dense atmosphere (1.2 atm) makes weather on Heya very intense. The passage of Zyra adds to the energy potential of the atmosphere, creating even stronger storms once a standard century.
The average planetary temperature is 297 K (75 F). Zyra’s passage adds only a few degrees. The world has no permanent ice caps, but seasonal caps do appear.
BIOLOGY: Life on Heya is as diverse as anywhere in known space. The base of the food chain is found in the micro-life of the oceans. Sea life is found in an astounding variety of forms. The largest sea-forms are the Levits, gigantic animals up to 500 feet long that act as filters, scooping up whatever enters their vacuum-like gullets.
On land, life has had to adapt to the harsh climate. Plant life tends to be low and firmly rooted. One interesting adaptation is fasciweed, which secretes a gluey resin. When individual plants are blown into each other, they stick together, increasing their collective strength. Fasciweed is a major cash crop, but also a major annoyance as it tends to stick to everything is touches.
Area producers like most grasses never developed on Heya. The need for plants to grab energy from the weak light of Bellus caused plants to develop broad leaves. This blocks out the light, leaving surface types to starve. Despite this, there are several types of moss-like plant that feed on the decaying leaves of the larger plants around them.
Heya’s land animals show the same sturdiness. Animals are hexapods, and tend to be squat and massive. Oddly, most predators are aerial, taking advantage of the strong winds to carry them to different hunting grounds. The Heyan Dragon is the largest of these, averaging 400 kg. Animal life is either migratory, or equipped to deal with the harsh seasonal storms. There is an entire set of life forms that are adapted to the conditions of Zyra’s passage.
CULTURAL: Heya was settled by members of the Thammerite Church in the late 400s after acquiring the colonization rights from Sternmetal Horizons. The sect that settled on Heya had come to the conclusion that an over-reliance on technology was “Null-Bartha” (wrong or evil), and that a simple life is the key to happiness.
The colonists have voluntarily limited themselves to an industrial, pre-fusion level of manufacturing capability. Even then, lower tech solutions are commonly employed. In the countryside, animal drawn wagons are the most common form of transportation, and visitors marvel at the hand built windmills that power grain mills.
Heyans have not completely rejected technology; they just judge whether an item is necessary to their lives. Each farming community will have one grav ambulance with a life support unit to handle emergencies, and most farmsteads have ties to the global weather net. The overall mix of technological levels can become very confusing, as a local will actively embrace one item, but refuse to use a similar item for reason that are incomprehensible to the observer.
Life on Heya is centered around the family and the village. Villages from focal points for the collection of products for sale, and a point for skilled craftsmen to work from. Local government (see below) usually base from the village hall, which doubles as a meeting place, school, or dancehall as needed. Families are large, an average of 4.7 children per family. Heyans are monogamist, and marriage is treated as a very solemn, sacred thing.
When dealing with outsiders, Heyans have been described as taciturn bordering on mute. Visitors are lucky to receive answers with more than a quick “Ayep” or “Naw.” Asking for directions when away from the major settlements can be difficult, as most Heyans will not only use physical landmarks, but local history as well. (“When you get the field where Old Will got his hip broke by the ’ket back in ’91, turn left.”)
GOVERNMENT: Heya is classified as a Representative Democracy. The planet is divided into five Districts, each of which has a Council which in turn elects members to the World Council. The franchise is granted to all members of the Thammerite Church upon reaching their 20th birthday.
The Councils are responsible for the writing of all laws and regulations. Law enforcement and judicial powers are vested in the Proctors, a quasi-religious group that use both the written law and Thammerite sacred writings to investigate crimes and hand down judgments. Overall, the laws are not overly burdensome and cover the standard range of criminal offenses.
Elections are held once every two local years, and are generally low-key affairs. Councilors are returned to their seats more than 70% of the time. Seats on the World Council are held for life, or until the Councilor’s home District votes to remove him.
ECONOMY: Heya is an agricultural world, and ships the majority of its produce to the high population worlds of Regina subsector. Fasciweed in particular is quite nutritious, and is ground into flour or meal. Heya is also known for its seafood, but this is more a delicacy than a staple. The cost of shipping from remote Heya makes Heyan seafood extremely expensive. As such, it has become something of a status symbol on Efate/Regina.
Heya has a World Trade Number (Lunion School of Economics method) of 4.
There is a sharp division in actual income between a number of wealthy landowners and the tenants who farm their lands under contract. Depending upon the personality of the land owner, the tenants can live comfortably or in abject poverty. The Gross Planetary Product for 1115 was 120 billion Credits.
MAJOR SETTLEMENTS: The single large city on Heya is Brian’s Crossing, located at the mouth of the Revel River. As of 1105, the city has a population of 2.3 million. Brian’s Crossing (BC to the locals) has been described as “a collision between the Imperium and Heya.” The presence of Eric Minous Starport and the trading companies buying Heya’s abundant agricultural products does lead to such incongruous sight as a steam powered train transferring drain to a modern grav cargo loader.
In the last six years, a large Vargr ghetto has grown up on the south side of BC, near the starport. This area has become an increasing problem to both the Proctors and the Starport officials, as it is obvious that the Vargr are establishing an extensive criminal organization.