Penglai - Sigma Draconis world settled by Chinese colonists
Image from Steve Bowers
Penglai Data Panel
|Planet:||Sigma Draconis I|
|Planet Type:||originally EoGaian, terraformed to Eugaian|
|Distance from Primary:||0.8 AU|
|Density:||1.2 times Earth|
|Axial Tilt:||15 degrees|
|Geography:||Physical: The surface is 70% water, with several fragmented continents; overall the planet is quite mountainous but the mountains tend to be low due to the high gravity. The largest continent is Hanxiang on the northern hemisphere, with the extensive Lao plateau (where Tsi Leng is located). It sends out a rocky peninsula called the Three Mountains, the site for Hao Chen (capital Xiuyang). Around the peninsula lies the New Yellow Sea, with many offshore platforms and atmospheric conversion units. To the south lies the continent Dengdian, with Daonin on the extensive coastal plains (capital Hung-Ching) . To the southeast, on the island of Linyi lies Hsu Hsi (capital Nung-wu). The other continents (Lienru, Tienhu, Goufanglei) and major islands are largely uninhabited or set aside as parkland or natural reserves. |
Climate: The weather is cool, with large icecaps on the poles and few truly warm summers even at the equator. However, whenever the vegetation is dry it can be ignited, and fires are a constant danger even in winter.
Biology and Ecology: The indigenous anaerobic ecosystem was completely annihilated by the increasing oxygen content and terraforming activities, apart from a few sealed preserves. The largest of which, Chang Biosphere, is a vast triple-sealed air-tight dome on the East Coast of the Yellow Sea. The surviving lifeforms are all microscopic and microbial, although anaerobic branching stromatolite analogues are common, especially in shallow sunlit waters, and can reach several meters in diameter.
The surface layers of Penglai oceans were and still remain very nutrient poor, while most nutrients are found in the depths. Penglai currently has extensive deep sea ecosystems, consisting of immense labyrinths of coral-like bacterial growths that seem to have somewhere hybridised with the terraforming microbes and acquired oxygen tolerance.
A few other indigenous microbes seemed to have survived the transition to the oxygen atmosphere, either through an intrinsic tolerance to oxygen or hybridisation with terraforming microbes. For the most part though the Penglai ecosystem consists of introduced Earth-derived organisms.
Natural Satellites: Penglai has a single moon, Yue. Yue is just 584 km in diameter, orbiting 600-900,000 km away in a rather eccentric orbit. This is the location of a small colony of heroms, and the old and historical Imperial Penglai fleet base.
|AI||AI overseers: the Heavenly Immortals (Sophic League affiliation0 |
AI's ethos: Encourages Local Culture, Mildly Interventionist, pro-human
|Polity||Republic of Penglai Symbol: Penglaian Empire: A yellow star on a red background, surrounded by a black dragon holding it. |
Penglai today: A black dragon against a red circle
Affiliation: Sophic League
Founded/Colonized: 578 a.t.
Timekeeping: The terrestrial measures are officially used, locally the Chinese calendar in various forms is used for dates. The day has 32 hours (with 14 leap minutes). In Daoling and Tsi Leng people live in 24 hour shifts, using hormone supplements to avoid jet lag. The original Chinese calendar, being lunisolar, was adapted to the long period of Yue (139 Earth-days, or 104.25 Penglai-days) by dividing it in three months of 34 or 35 days. The penglaiese solar year is 201.7 days, making it slightly less than six months long.
|Psyche, Art, Culture||Metapsychology and Metaethics: Neo-Taoist, Hsienist, and Sophist elements can all be found |
Religion/Ideology: Reformed NeoTaoism (official), but Han Jovism, Penglaist Genetekkerism, Sophism, and Cosmosophism are all widely followed
Language: Penglaiese (official). Penglaiese Anglish, Chinglish, Douh, Brev, and Neo-Eridanus Mandarin are also among the many languages spoken
Aesthetics/Architecture/Style: In architecture, organisation and planning Penglai tends towards the huge and monumental. Everything is built to last, with big safety margins and heavy foundations. At the same time the ideas of neo-Taoist synergetics are prevalent: the immense should be built as elegantly and lightly as possible, often exploiting unusual symmetries and interlocking parts. Combined with a resurgence of traditional Chinese baroque (dragons, ornamental lattices, bodhisattvas etc), Old School Conver Ambi, and Sophic League Iconography, the result is a very unique style mixing old and new, robust with elegant, heavy with light.
Personal clothing tends towards the warm and practical. Coats are cylindrical affairs with thick arms, not unlike Old Earth Russian bojar coats.
|Territory and Population||Population: Penglai Surface Total - 16,144,202. |
Hao Chen: 5,209308.
Tsi Leng: 1,241,861.
Hsu Hsi: 3,725,587.
Population breakdown: Surface: Penglaiese tweaks (Homo penglaenisis - heavy world and local biochemistry adaptations) make up 72 percent of the population. There is a smaller number of bioborgs, heroms, vecs, and other groups
Orbitals: a combination of baseline/near baseline, genetekkerese heroms, virtual, non-genetekkerese tweak, space-adapted tweak, bioborg, vec, splice, and other races
Territories: Penglai, Yue, and Orbitals, all of Cis-Penglai Space, several minor asteroids
Tsi Leng is located on the Lao Plateau, which covers much of the continent Hanxiang. The climate is harsh, with cold northerly winds blowing for much of the year and occasional sweeping fires. Still, the plateau is the most mineral rich part of the planet, with huge resources of everything from copper to rare earth metals. These were extensively mined during the Federation period, but the remaining resources are now protected. Tsi Leng has never had any real capital, since the widespread settlements and outposts were tightly connected through the net; just like on Nova Terra instead a virtual government did as well as a physical. Decisions are made through an invisible virtual bureaucracy where the hyperturing bureaucrats are widely dispersed but connected; it is sometimes jokingly called the Celestial Bureaucracy. While this gave Tsi Leng one of the most flexible governments on Penglai, it has not been enough to get the nation competitive, even at the height of the Penglaist empire. People have whenever possible moved to other nations, orbitals, or worlds, and by the 15th century the brain-drain to Daonin became serious. Since the early Empires age the whole country has retained a rural, faintly neo-primitivist air, and it is a popular spot with traditionalists, ludds, and anti-aioidists. The local administrations sometimes provide token work, there have been little energy or manpower left to develop the potential of the plateau. It is even today an old Penglaiese joke that Tsi Leng is the place where nothing has ever happened and never will.
Hao Chen is a rainy, mountainous peninsula. Due to the high gravity rain falls heavier, making people loath to go outside without protection. Most cities have at least covered walkways and streets with glass ceilings. At first the sub-colony was quite successful, becoming a major supplier of heavy manufacturing equipment and cultured meat (China had solved the problem of keeping people supplied with protein in the 150s by culturing meat in nutrient tanks instead of as inefficient grazers; this has become a staple on Penglai to a much larger extent than it ever did in China, in fact Penglaiese often prefer cultured meats to natural ones). Following the Dirty War (893), the country became a center of social unrest and on-going headache for the dynasty. The country remained a mess until the Hsien Dynasty managed to restore some measure of order, but social problems remained well into the Interstellar Empires era. Since the Second Federation period the area has been only very lightly populated.
Daonin is historically the most successful of the nations of Penglai. Blessed with a fairly pleasant climate, good farming and a concentration of the intellectual capital, it was the richest and most dynamic nation. Most of the rains that plague Hao Chen pass right overhead, releasing their water in the interior mountains instead on the coastal plains. Several deep and powerful rivers pass through Daonin, which is still toady often called the Land of Bridges. The capital Hung-Ching is the major city on the planet, with the premier universities, largest corporations and the Electric City, an area where many of the rich and famous have congregated. The Electric City got its name from a popular song in the 1520's; it is a park-like area where unassuming but very, very expensive buildings overlook the canyon of the Ao river. Many people have flocked to Daonin from the other colonies and form important subcultures; in addition the inhabitants are known to be less rigid and traditional than the other nations and take a pride in inventing new outrageous styles. Unlike the other colonies Daonin is fairly conservative and bureaucratic, at least officially.
Hsu Hsi (originally called Yangko) is located on the fertile Linyi island in the southern Yellow Sea. It is a nearly flat island, which has some flooding problems when the winds become too strong. Many of the buildings and cities are built on heavy concrete foundations or inside geodesic domes. It was here Yuan Guen worked, and neo-Taoism is also strongest here. The Hsien revolt began here, and during the later Federation period the continent was given preferential treatment and became the planetside center, with the capital Nung-wu. Today the old administrative centers are popular tourist stops. The shrine located on the spot where Master Michael Qian Ganymede is said by popular folklore to have ascended bodily into posthumanism, and serviced by several local monasteries, is another spot worth visiting.
|Immigration:||Immigration: currently 1.5 million per tenyear |
Emigration: currently 5 million per tenyear
Immigration laws are very strict on the surface, little less so in the Orbitals.
|Government and Administration||Government Type Representative Cyberdemocracy7 under mild hyperturing supervision |
Administrative divisions: Terrestrial and Planetary Provinces with limited local autonomy
National holidays: A number of local festival dates
Constitution: Penglai Charter of Polityhood (Sophic) - this being an update of the previous Hsien version
Legal system: Standard Sophic League law applies, with local modifications
Foreign Policy: Good relations with other Old Core worlds, with the Sophic League, and elsewhere
|Economics, Local Infrastructure||Economy: Sophic Socialism |
Currency: Penglaist Yuan. The various nations and orbitals have their own scrips of lesser value.
Major Industries: alife, tourism, virches, personality constructs, memetic templates, wetware, pharmopoetics, bioborg parts, persona compoids, crude organobiota.
Angelnetting : In some surface cities and a number of orbitals
Major Orbitals: Shun-Xie, Jade City, several smaller orbitals
Image from Steve Bowers
|Penglai at night|
|The PCA hospital at Pen-Yu in Hao Chen. The hospital complex, built during the early colonisation effort, was deliberately built to withstand extreme weather and major loading. It has submarine hangars to deal with causalities from the Yellow Sea projects, and was equipped to act as a local disaster relief centre. While these functions were underused, it also housed the PCA Adaptation Program which co-ordinated the adaptation measures made to help humans adapt to Penglai.|
The hospital was a major PCA stronghold. During the Dirty War it remained neutral ground, and PCA activities in Hao Chen were coordinated from there. There were rumors that the complex was the headquarters of a secret PCA surveillance progam, but these rumors have never been confirmed.