Banforth is a cold, wet planet, 64.39 parsecs from Earth, orbiting the F9 V star Ruse. The climate is
rather like a winter North Atlantic storm most of the time, at least towards the equator where the oceans are not covered
in permanent icecap. It is slightly larger than Earth, with gravity of 1.17 Gs.
Three continents straddle the more temperate equatorial belt, separated by oceans which intermix underneath the polar ice.
These are blasted almost incessantly by cold winds bringing heavy rain or snow.
Banforth's native life amounts only to unicellular aquatic phytoplankton which produce the oxygen atmosphere. Humans have
imported many land and sea animals and plants. Whales do particularly well on Banforth.
For the most part, only the relatively ice-free equatorial continents have been settled. There are however many small
outposts on the icecaps - mostly mining stations digging through to rich deposits of industrial metal ores located in
the landmasses buried under kilometres of ice. Roughly a billion humans and a few hardy aliens make Banforth their home.
Banforth is blessed with rich mineral resources, though these are often difficult to locate and extract. Much of the
world's energy derives from wind power - a reliable source in most locations. This is used to refine ores and manufacture
many types of machinery and equipment, which form the basis of Banforth's rich export earnings.
Being a wealthy planet, Banforth imports almost anything, concentrating on luxury items and organic products. Tourism
is a very minor industry, since the planet is rather hostile, though some like to see the wildness of the ice.
Banforth is controlled by a stock-holder elected board of directors who run the planet as a corporation. Most citizens
are stock-holders, and usually pass on shares to their children. This results in a dilution of power amongst the poorer
citizens, while the wealthy can often increase their shareholding by buying shares from people who need the money. The
result is that the planet is controlled by wealth-seeking interests with little concern for social equity or assistance
for the poor. Until recently, the poor have been too few in number to be noticeable, but things are beginning to shift
and inevitably the situation will become unstable. Political experts predict major social upheaval within the next
generation or two.
Being corporate controlled, laws are strict on Banforth, particularly weaponry laws. No personal ranged weapons of any
kind are allowed to be carried or used and penalties are severe. The free market system has served Banforth well so far,
and there is no socialised medicine or education, or really any government spending programmes beyond mining and defence.
This, combined with high export earnings, means there is no personal taxation.
Banforth is a highly respected member of the interstellar community to those whose interests lie mainly in trade. Social
equity activist groups see things differently however. Banforth has a sizable fleet for defence, but has never shown any
expansionist ambitions, and is generally seen as a good ally by nearby worlds.
Currency: Banforth credits. 1 credit ~ Earth$2.39.
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