Terra Geographic Location in Starkeeper | World Anvil


Human homeworld.
  Centuries of technological civilization have not been kind to it, in the present day most of Terra's surface is polluted or desertified wasteland devoid of habitation. The tropical regions are deserts stricken by waves of lethal heat, and toxic clouds of hydrogen sulfide regularly belch out from the acidified seas to roll along the coasts. Control of the planet rests with loose-knit groups of torens in upper North Merika and Yuraiz, who keep the remaining human population confined to Antarctica. Living standards are well below average, and it is notorious for almost always being embroiled in some or another political dispute.


Terra with an intact ice cap, before the
worst effects of planetary heating set in.
Terra was not always like this. Before humans industrialized, it hosted a staggeringly-diverse biosphere with a relatively stable climate and no frequent global natural disasters, perfect conditions for the rise of sophisticated civilization. The planet entered its sapiocene as humans began depleting its natural resources and altering its biosphere, a process which stretches as far back as extinctions caused by prehistoric population migrations and culminated in the ultimately-disastrous reign of consumer capitalism during the Age of Prosperity.
  While this period saw large portions of humanity lifted out of poverty for the first time, it was premised on an unsustainable idea of infinite growth on a finite planet, a clear absurdity. Short-term profit motives and elite influence prevented any attempts at systemic change, ushering in a harsh era of resource shortages, which caused many nations to turn to authoritarianism and war in attempts to control the chaos. This period also saw the emergence of the first artilects and the creation of nonhuman intelligent beings through genetic engineering and animal uplift.

Wormhole Rush

The legacy of anthropogenic carbon dioxide irrevocably altered the climate, turning the tropics into a desertified death zone and wiping entire countries off the map with sea level rise. Societies rebuilding in the aftermath of these events faced life on a planet much harsher than that of their greedy ancestors and were keenly aware of the reality of planetary limits. It was in this time of resurgence that the first traversable wormholes were perfected, ushering in humankind's first period of interstellar expansion. However, humanity's failure to reckon with the issues between the twenty-first-century crises of ecology and destructive technology brought about the End of Earth, a true apocalypse which destroyed civilization on the planet.

Second Interstellar Period

This time saw the planet regain some of its former glory in the Terran Renewal, a global-scale project which adapted life to new, warmer conditions and created infrastructure for a sustainable civilization. However, as the wider Starweb developed, Terra began to get caught in power-plays between various factions, many of whom coveted it as a symbol of humankind's history. Petty wars ravaged the face of the already-battered world, undoing much of the Restoration's accomplishments. Multiple attempts were made by various parties to gain control of some or all of Terra, such as cultural movements to resettle ancestral homelands, a Papal crusade to reclaim Rome and the Holy Land, and the purchase of Antarctica by Jorgus Ronson. Terra was again devastated in the Age of Strife at the onset of the Interstellar Dark Ages.

Stellar Compact Era

During the Interstellar Dark Ages, all of Terra save Antarctica fell under the control of toren Scavenger Lords, whose leader Maximus Mortus pronounced the Great Extirpation, forbidding humans from residing in their ancestral homelands. This situation remains to the present day, with humans being allowed to visit significant sites such as Jerusalem and Mecca, though not take up residence. Described alternatively as "the green cradle of humanity" or "the festering pustule of the Sol system", it remains a significant location in human and posthuman civilization.


Approximately 75% of Terra's surface is covered by oceans, with the land being divided into seven continents: Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, North America, South America, and Antarctica. (Europe and Asia are part of the same landmass--Eurasia--but are often regarded as separate entities for the purpose of historical study). Ice caps once existed at both poles, but melted away long ago.


Terra's average surface temperature has warmed by more than ten degrees compared to the pre-industrial baseline, a process which wreaked havoc on the planetary climate and biosphere. Most of the tropics, save for high-altitude regions, are baked with heat waves so hot an unshielded human will die of hyperthermia within an hour. Large swaths of oceans along coasts have turned into anoxic dead zones, home to bacteria producing hydrogen sulfide gas which occasionally rolls inland. These toxic clouds are incredibly lethal: a human caught in one will smell a whiff of rotten eggs, then nothing else as their olfactory receptors are burned out, and then drop dead. For this reason, Terra's remaining inhabitants avoid settling by or traveling near all but the polar-most coasts without air filtration equipment and quality monitors.


Licensed under Creative Commons BY 2.0
Modern Terra, with icecaps melted and over 99% of pre-Anthropocene biomass dead.

Alternative Name(s)
Earth, Old Earth
Location under
Included Organizations
Owning Organization
Contested By
Characters in Location
Large Moon
Hazards (more info)
Feral Mechology
Industrial Pollution
Orbital Debris Belts
Radioactive Contamination
Resource Depletion
Sulfide Blooms
Technological Ruins
Tropical Death Zone
Unexploded Ordnance
Notable Demographics
Torens, humans, lupens (current)
Avens, superpigsnote (former)

Articles under Terra


Author's Notes

Basically a garbage heap ruled by intelligent raccoons.

Please Login in order to comment!
Powered by World Anvil