October: Olin, the Spark

Today begins the overview of the specific parts of the Patreon-funded setting, beginning with the innermost planet. Officially named Olin and nicknamed the Spark by the system at large and the Green by its inhabitants, this is the hottest planet in the system. With large, shallow oceans, verdant island-continents, and a scattering of precursor relics, it remained lightly inhabited solely because the fallen empire’s leaders found it unpleasant.

Olin is a planet roughly the size of Venus, with broad, shallow oceans that cover 75% of the planet and a dozen island-continents, all of them covered in vibrant greenery. The relative warmth, comparatively small landmasses, and large expanses of open water contribute to a planet where the sky is either currently in the middle of a storm or threatening one within a few hours. Most settlements are built on higher ground, with even the most temporary being built to withstand hurricanes.

Six major nations each claim a part of a different island continent, with the area claimed being dependent on how honest the nation is about what they can legitimately cover. With ample room on each occupied continent and six more with no nations, there’s no shortage of immigrants and people pushing out into the wilds to find a place to call their own. While the primary means of living are related to agriculture and power generation – with the sun so close, solar abounds in every settlement, even in the equatorial storm belt – the different capitals also claim some of the finest universities for the study of technomagic and mysticism in the entire system.

The capitals are each founded around an imperial research outpost, each one dedicated to the study of a particular precursor site. While there are other precursor relics on Olin and in the system as a whole, these study of these six is what led to the formation of the universities. A friendly rivalry exists among them, seeing who can produce the most impressive discoveries each year, but cooperation remains common.

A strong faction of naturalists exists on Olin, attempting to keep expansion in check and prevent damage to the world’s ecosystem; their chief opponents include groups of settlers and would-be nation founders, unscrupulous biotech companies looking to profit from discoveries in the wilderness, and hungry industrial concerns hoping to profit from the woodlands and untouched mineral deposits across all twelve continents.

Much of the native wildlife blurs the lines between plants and animals; some are more animal-like during some parts of their life cycles, while others seem to be plants with traits more common to animals their entire life. Of particular note are the verdant wardens, massive tree-like creatures that claim a large territory as their own, omnivorously eating anything in it when they get hungry. They’re particularly sensitive to outside disturbances of their habitats, and known to go on furious rampages if something causes a problem – like an industrial concern moving in to try to mine a deposit of ore.

A few small submarine habitats have been founded, but they’re still relatively new and reliant on help from the surface – the empire never bothered to explore the oceans, and so much of the world is an absolute mystery. Early explorations suggest that the seas are inhabited by some true leviathans, but nothing concrete has been found yet; the most significant find is a single scale twice the size of a person, encrusted in barnacle-like growths. Exploration and expansion is going slow, as a result.

Three different space stations orbit Olin; one is the one constructed by the empire, stark and utilitarian; another is operated by interplanetary businesses, using it as a base of operations when attempting to locate sites of interest; and the third is a joint project by the six nations, larger and more opulent than either of the other two in an attempt to declare a planetary identity.

Olin is a planet of extremes – in the urban areas, it’s very urban, high-tech, and perfectly familiar to anyone from humanity’s homeworld; in the wilderness, it’s a green mystery, rich with wonders waiting to be found and alien creatures to marvel at; and in the ocean, it’s little more than a darkness waiting to be mapped and discovered.

Next post will takes us to the second world, the pelagic planet of Brym.

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October: Olin, the Spark

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