The Belted Snowball
Kavarok is the homeworld of the Vuruú. It orbits the Molta ("Far [warmth]" in Vuruú) system's namesake, a lone white main-sequence star. The mean distance from Molta to Kavarok is 14.87 AU, with an aphelion of only 14.91 AU. It is nicknamed the “belted snowball,” appearing as a mostly white sphere with a thin blue-green equatorial belt. The Vuruú have a second nickname for Kavarok, a shorthand astronomical joke that roughly translates to "cold here, cold thing." The axial tilt of Kavarok is undetectable, trading the possibility of seasons for the stable temperature of its equator. The ambient temperature typically falls between 70 and 90°K, and the planet loses heat rapidly due to many otherwise atmospheric compounds being trapped in liquid or solid form. Important Structures:
- Carbon Heaven: Cryogenesis Warp A
- The Cold Moon
- Entropy Control Point Alpha
- Entropy Control Point Beta
- Frontier Control Point Alpha
- Hyperlabs Homeworld Beacon: Vuruú
- Hybridian Defense Station One
- Iridium Dock #1
- Kane Rails Six and Seven
- Vero-Dyson Swarm Control Point Molta
- Tech-Net Primary Hub
- Prime Pods H-J
- Research Point Zero
- The SALSARÍA
- Weather Control Point Alpha
Kavarok has a calm, weak, but steady geothermal action from its relatively small and cool iron core. The minimal geologic activity of Kavarok accounts for only two regular formations. Rather than tectonic plates, Kavarok has two large "Shredded Poles," glacial fields that regularly crack and shift to accommodate the geological stresses of the planet. Secondly, the equatorial belt is stabilized partially by redirected geothermal heating. Between the core and the surface, the majority of the planet's rock is simple CaCO3 chalk, covered by a thick surface layer of methane snow and trace amounts of water ice. Kavarok has two, separate ecosystems covering the three main regions of the planet. The first is very Earth-like, and exists in an equatorial belt of verdure and rivers known as the Verdant Wastes. The second is an alien, methane-snow-based biosphere, and extends through the enormous polar caps, referred to as the North and South Polar Arcs.
Fauna & Flora
From the sentient apex camouflaged Vuruú and their bounding Poltry prey, to the chalk-eating bacterial analogue Consumption, to the soaring Difters and the burrowing Nobbins, the Polar Arcs are teeming with methane-based organic life distinct from the typical hydraulic option. Using natural gas bloodlines for impressive biopower while maintaining a low density and large size, many animals of Kavarok are able to survive Rorian-years without eating. All life on Kavarok is exceptionally radiation-resistant, too, having neither a strong magnetic field nor a thick atmosphere for insulation from cosmic and solar radiation. One drawback to their methanic nature becomes immediately apparent in oxygen-rich environments: Vuruú and other Polar Arc species are not only highly flammable but often combust outright if bleeding. Fortunately, most of Kavarok's oxygen lies along its equator. The Verdant Wastes and the Belt contain a diverse set of both flora and fauna that rival many jungles on Roria or Earth. Analogues to small fish, shrubs, algae, and a few species of complex insectoids maintain a carbon-weighted oxygen cycle, making it breathable to more temperate carbon life. Lacking weather, seasons, and seismic activity, the ecosystem of the Wastes is very stable and has evolved at a slower pace than would be otherwise expected.
Aside from the life on Kavarok, its most impressive supply is its methane content, dominating its atmosphere and betraying the life beneath. The planet is relatively metal-poor, and there are few useful ores within the surface. However, the supply of Vuruú implies a supply of Azylum, and Kavarok is both the largest store of and the largest producer of the indestructible material. In fact, the ancient capital city of Thronrek is cast entirely from Azylum, which has ensured its endurance over the past millennia.