Al Ahily is a major Terran world first settled in the early 22nd century
Origins and Colonization
The world originally designed KVR19-110 orbits the star Gillesse 117A was originally designed to be colonized during the first wave in the 2080s but its distance and the high radiation in the system made the journey more expensive than the other candidate worlds.
Al Ahily was finally settled in 2145 during the golden era of the Terran Federation. A joint venture of corporate and government finance, backed by a group of independent settlers, the initial program to settle world went very well but the first colony struggled after periodic heatwaves returned large parts of the planet to desert.
The people of Al Ahily dug in and managed to settle the difficult planet and found lush oasis that were sheltered from the desert and the sun and began a huge program of irrigation around the planets two major rivers.
The successful colonisation of Al Ahily is a huge achievement for the Terran Federation but the planet was always a fractious member of the Federation.
Climate and Geography
Initially ruled by an appointed Governor from the Federation, Al Ahily elected its own governors from 2170 onwards and it had an intense political discourse on the planet and a long streak of independence.
Al Ahily joined the Federated States, somewhat reluctantly as it had been reasonably successful on its own but left after the Stargher administration agreed the new landmark deal with Mars. The political establishment on Al Ahily, always somewhat an outlier from the Federated States, declared they were seceding from the Federated States and there was no legal mechanism to stop them (at that time).
Ever since, Al Ahily has been an independent world. It was named as part of the Dragonfish Protectorate by the Karkouri Regime after their historic victory over the Empire in 2498 but this is a somewhat loose affiliation.
The Planetary Legislature
The planetary legislature is democratically elected every six years. The elections are vibrant and often quite competitive
The planet has three primary political affiliations, with a number of fringe political parties making up the edges of the discourse:
- Covenanters Party – the main, centrist political party which has held power for the most time since the planet was declared independent. Generally pro-corporate with a mildly socially conservative bent but certainly not reactionaries. The party has lurched to the left and to the right with specific leaders but generally finds its way back to the centre-ground of planetary politics -referred to as the CVP by the media and as “The Old Faithful” by some in the press
- Sav-Marak – the primary left-wing party on the planet, its name is based on an Indirian phrase meaning “the Tribe watches”. Socially liberal and somewhat anti-corporate, though it is often at odds with a more radical and Marxist minded fringe of Al Ahily politics. Popular with the middle classes in the cities and with students. SVM, as it is shortened to by the media, has been in power a fair few time but been in opposition for over fifty years as of 2499.
- Al-Abarrinn – the right-wing party that pushes the Covenenters to be more socially conservative and also to take a more belligerent tone, Al Abarrinn was founded as a “broad religious” party which saw right-wing Valtinists and other religious fringe movements fall under its broad church. Staunch in its opposition to Al Ahily being a part of the Empire and a party that espouses the exceptionalism of the planet, it has recently had a surge in popularity but has been in opposition more often than not. Referred to by the media as AIA and by opposition parties as “The Church” or “the Flock of Lunatics”.
As of 2499, Al Ahily has a population of 674,609,000 people.
The breakdown of the population is:
Rorns (refugee encampment) 2,500,000
Other Aliens 15,750
AI (10th and 11th generation) 25,000
The founding city of Al Ahily, founded at the edge of the Al-Varantar mountains and near the great salt-lake of Rossiy, Saltpike City only just survived the original founding after being subject to periodic heatwaves and intense storms.
The modern colony is largely dug into the mountain which has restricted its size and it has been eclipsed by many other cities since but remains the cultural home of the planet and the planetary capital and is home to the Governor’s quarters, the planetary legislature and the 1st Bank of Al Ahily.
Its population are largely secular and middle-class, though there is a densely populated workers district and a growing slum area outside the mountains shield.
Founded in the desert between Saltpike and the newer “Oasis” cities, Interval City was founded initially just as a camp to supply food, water and fuel but quickly grew and found permanence. A rough and ready place which is home to desert wanderers, farmers, miners and other more unsavoury elements, Interval City has a high crime rate and its police are more like an army at times. The Black Dragon Yakuza have a good foot-hold in Interval City and the other gangs are forced to pay them tribute to operate there.
Interval City is home to several massive casino complexes which raise the ire of the Al Abarinn.
Founded at the edge of the fertile valley near the Al-Assaram river, Rockwell City was the initial success story that lead to the great eastwards expansion and the foundation of the Oasis cities. However, Rockwell was quickly eclipsed by newer cities and has fallen behind and into a slow, sad decay. Still a cultured place, its home to a huge national museum, Rockwell College which is considered the bastion of liberal thought on the planet and several planetary media outfits.
Many of its more educated young people have left recently and the city is in what appears to be an inexorable decline
A set of ranches that connected became the city of Vas Al-Mabarak. Based at the foot of the Al-Assaram river, the city has never become large due to the strict rules on planning and development and the need to keep land clear for farming developments. Espirit du Nacional opened a major site at the city and have a tight grip on farming and export from the city which is home to tough, self-reliant ranchers who skew somewhat religious. Vas Al-Mabarak is also home to the hugely impressive Tamerlane Tower, built by a local billionaire and now home to a mix of business and wealthy ranch bosses. EDN rent the top four levels for their local head offices
Founded in a lush belt of extremely fertile land, Al-Summadar began very much like Vas Al-Mabarak but didn’t keep such strict laws on planning and the lands were somewhat spoiled leading to a major ecological disaster. The colonial government reacted after a long drought in the area and enforce laws over the city and the surrounding area. Al-Summadar is now a middle-sized city and still to this day subject to major oversight from the planetary government whose civil servants keep an eye on planning and building. EDN compete in Al-Summadar with Allied-West for export rights over the ranches and mines that dot the area. Al-Summadar is also home to Leeport College, a technical college which is popular across the whole planet and even brings in a trickle of students from off-world.
The largest city on Al Ahily and seen by many as the planets true capital, Summerfall was founded at the confluence of the Al Assaram and White Hook rivers and was founded around the bridges in the area, which coined its founding name of “Bridge City”. Summerfall has benefitted from its great location, rich farm lands and the sea port founded there which brings in a huge amount of food, wealth and deep-sea mining. EDN, VENTRISS UDC and Killian-Calburn all compete over the mining rights in the area and VENTRISS are known to be very competitive with anyone that takes them on.
Summerfall is home to a staggering twenty-five million people and still growing, with the new Handle-Town development pushing the city even further out east. A huge energy farm keeps much of the planet lit up and Summerfall is also home to much of the planet’s major media, the stock exchange and the primary downport.
Summerfall is also home to two major colleges, the conservative religious college of “Jisr Almaerifa” which excels at farm management, accounting and engineering, and Xavier College, a liberal arts college which also houses an excellent law school. The two are intensely competitive and the yearly yacht race between the two colleges is a must-see media event.
Summerfall’s huge population means the planet suffers with an above average crime rate, though SFPD are very well supplied and armed. Various local gangs control the trade in guns and drugs, as well as prostitution and other illegal schemes. Interestingly the Yakuza has struggled to get more than a foothold in the city due to a convention of local gangs forming alliances to throw them back.
On the northern tip of Lawkwell Island is the planet’s primary military barracks which is home for the planetary militia and also houses much of the planets ground to air defences.
A city with such a huge population has a broad range of political ideologies but it is always an intensely competitive place to win votes from and often competed over far more than other areas.
The city council and its elected mayor are some of the most powerful local politicians and it often serves as the training ground for many planetary level politicians, including more than seven previous governors.
An interesting township formed on an island in the far north, Dov-Karan has a population of around one hundred thousand and nearly 90% of these are Indirians. They live a rough-hewn isolated life taking part in fishing, mining and ranging. There’s a small downport that serves the local area too. Dov-Karan is often subject to intensely cold winters but has never needed to be bailed out by the national government.
The Planetary militia often deploy Rangers to the area for specialized training.
The Tuvayyid Downs
Back in the Western deserts, there are dozens of fairly isolated settlements, none with a population larger than fifty thousand people, who live in tough, rudimentary desert colonies. The Tuvayyid are generally conservative and religious in nature, though fairly open to all religious denominations. The Tuvayyid are regarded by many on the planet as being backwards, anti-social and prone to violence and their part of the planet is often somewhat lawless, though the Tuvayyid would state that they have their own codes and laws.
Traders and mercenaries from the Tuvayyid Downs are often seen in Saltpike and in Interval City but very few are seen in the Oasis Cities
The planets most striking landmark is the massive mountain of Mount Hassamir. Standing around three hundred metres taller than Everest on Earth, it attracts brave souls every year who attempt to reach the summit, with around 25% of those who attempt the journey dying in the process.
Mount Hassamir has a sort of religious and spiritual significance for the people of Al Ahily and even the secular regard it as being a major part of the planets culture.
The Kahashi Wastes
In the north-east the deserts are deep, intense and very little grows there. The Kahashi Wastes are home to the planets few indigenous creatures who range from large snakes to a race of small, razor clawed lizards who are pack hunters.
The Kahashi wastes has been targeted for energy mining and exploration several times but expeditions tend to come to grief. Periodic magnetic storms also tend to destroy equipment and robots and the Tuvayyid believe the Kahashi is haunted.
Every ten years, the Kahashi Desert Race sees any who wish to drive a motor vehicle (with either wheels or a hovercraft, repulsors and skimmers are not permitted) to drive the two-thousand-mile route from the minor port of Al-Obarrim down to the Tuvayyid Downs. Around ten percent of those who enter either die or are never seen again but the winner enjoys a huge celebrity for the effort and those who finish are feted, no matter how long it takes them!