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Trees (HD 3823 II)

Trees
Image from Steve Bowers

Trees - Data panel

System:HD 3823
Primary:HD 3823
Stellar Type:G1v
Luminosity:2.5x sol
Region:Inner Sphere - Distance from Sol 83 ly - Constellation Tucana
Planet:Trees Orbital distance: 1.58 a.u.

Orbital period: 1.78 years

Day length: 26 hours

Introduction and Quick Facts

One of the first Earth-like natural biospheres encountered.

Named after the gigantic trees that grow on most land and in the shallow seas, creating a complex vertical ecosystem. The planet has a noticeably low gravity, and many plants exploit hydrogen-filled bags to rise as high as possible. Forest fires (made especially dramatic by the bags and high oxygen content of the atmosphere) are common and important for the renewal of the ecosystem. The Tree clade of tweaks (descended from several megacorp colony expeditions) have adapted to a brachiating or flying lifestyle, some also including fireproofing.

Skywracks

These giant trees, known as skywracks, are up to a kilometre in height, with several canopy layers - the uppermost supported by gas-bladders. Each canopy layer supports a distinct ecology of animals and epiphytes. The seed-pods of the Skywracks are often massive, hence the need for fire to trigger growth.

Seed-pods are used in crafts and decoration by the locals, as gourds, or carved into various forms - the largest are hollowed out into one room dwellings, called plakts.

The equatorial region has two seasons - an extended wet season when growth occurs, and a dry season. Every so often - once in a few decades due to a combination of solar cycles and ocean circulation, the rains fail to materialise, or they don't come where they should, and everything becomes tinder dry. The local tweaks call this 'Tlek Preh', or the Burning Season.

Pspyders

One indigenous species (the Pspyders) was discovered to have developed an advanced neural processing ability, partly using external web-like neural nets; it is possible that this species or other related forms may eventually develop intelligence. A number of provolved intelligent Pspyder clades have been developed artificially, and are becoming increasingly common in the galactic southern region of the Terragens Sphere.

History

The various nations and alliances that govern Trees have never played a major political role, and the weak defences have made it an easy prey for different powers. From the beginning it was controlled by a succession of megacorps, until it became part of the Conver Ambi. A popular folk hero from the time of the Conver Ambi occupation is Erle Spang, a canopy-dweller who led a series of rebellions on the continent of Tilia, which led to the establishment of a free zone in defiance of the world cybercouncil.

When Conver Ambi split, it became part of the Negentropy Alliance. For over 2000 years it was to a large extent a nature preserve, until it was "freed" by the NoCoZo and became a protectorate of Automated Defense Systems Inc. Rising tourism and biotech industry led to a local boom, and in the late ComEmp era Trees successfully made itself independent - only to be absorbed into the Cygexpa network. Since the dissolution of that empire it has again been independent, but throughout its long history the population of this biologically rich world have always taken their various external rulers less seriously than most.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg and Steve Bowers

Initially published on 22 April 2004.

 
 
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