Faagrin is one of the old human colony worlds, situated 25.96 parsecs
from Earth. It is slightly larger than Earth, with a thick
nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere. Faagrin's sun is the K4 V star S'Siris.
Faagrin was on the verge of a global ice age when discovered. It was
settled anyway, since habitable worlds are precious resources. Soon
after initial settlement, before sufficient detection and threat
neutralisation equipment was in place, Faagrin was struck by a large
asteroid. The immediate effect was an "impact winter" lasting several
weeks and which killed 90% of the colonists before relief arrived.
The sunless days of the impact winter passed, but the freeze was enough
to tip the planet into a severe ice age, which shows no signs of ending
to this day. All surface water remains frozen despite efforts to
increase greenhouse warming and reduce albedo. The climate is uniformly
arctic cold and very dry.
Up until the asteroid impact, Faagrin supported active photosynthetic
lifeforms of both microscopic and macroscopic size. The visible plants
were similar to carpets of moss or short grass. The ice age has all
but rendered extinct the visible life - some specimens survive in
artificial environments but none have been seen living in the wild for
hundreds of years. The microbes have fared better; their active presence
is detectable in what little meltwater forms on the hottest summer days.
Freezing merely seems to put them into hibernation.
Imported life only exists within the confines of human settlements,
where there are supplies of food and liquid water.
Faagrin now holds some 41 million humans and a handful of aliens, spread
between 13 cities. Each city is an enclosed environment, either dug
under a mountain, built of metal, or situated under a transparent dome.
Nobody lives in the wilderness, as far as is known. There is simply no
food to be found outside the cities.
The cities are linked by a network of tube trains, tunneled through the
ice and rock. Work is ongoing on more cities, but each takes up to 50
years to complete.
Faagrin necessarily imports a good deal of food. Most other industries
are remarkably self-sufficient on this hostile world.
The planet's major money earners are heavy and rare metals, both easy
to find thanks to the asteroid impact, and surprisingly, tourism. A
product of ingenious marketing, Faagrin is seen as both a romantic
getaway and an exotic adventure destination. Its endless snowy vistas
are indeed beautiful, and for many adventure seekers an escorted
overland trek between cities, including the famous Day-Long Ski Run,
is a must.
The cities of Faagrin form an amicable coalition, electing three
representatives each to a planetary senate which oversees planetary
laws and interplanetary policy. Each city, however, is governed in its
own right by whatever system of government best suits it. Most are
representative democracies, but there are also an athenian democracy,
a theocracy, and three corporate run cities.
Inter-city rivalry has flared violently in the past, but the present
period is one of relative peace. In general, the people of Faagrin
realise that cooperation is the only way their planet can remain
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Steve Jackson Games