Gaia was a major planet, first colonized by the Terrans in 2120.
LocationLocated in the south-west of the Terran sphere, Gaia was the third planet in the BD-119A star-system, orbiting a stable yellow mid-life star. The planetary system held fifteen planets, though Gaia was the only one able to support life. The star was renamed in 2195 at the request of the people of Gaia to Helene.
Geography and ClimateGaia is a large, earth-like planet with an excellent general temperature and large, rolling oceans. The planet has a similar climate and topography for Earth, so much so so that early scouts suspected the planet was "artificial". Gaia consists of five major continents and around 70% of the planet is covered with water. The polar icecaps are very cold and inhospitable but the planet generally enjoys warm, earth-like seasons The planet has a fairly young eco-system, thought to be no older than 20,000 years and most animals are still fish, octopi and crustaceans. In 2205 archaeologists and geologists found proof that the planet had been teraformed, likely by the Taur'leir, around 15,000 years before the current date.
ColonizationThe first colonists arrived on Gaia in 2120. Despite the obvious richness of the planet, it was held back from the first wave of colonization in part due to the awkward route between Sol and the star-system, which needed to weave around a neutron star system (Curatan 110). The colonists founded their colony, quickly thriving and setting up their communities. This was boosted by a Federation science outpost set up in 2131 and then another in 2144. These bases were considered to be the forefront of Terran active research and science and most PHD students made a visit to study on Gaia The planet, known for its stable environment, became home to a thriving population who attempted to live in harmony with the planet, rather than exploit it like on St Lawrence. This in turn led to the growth of "Neo-Paganism" on Gaia
DemographicsAs of 2535, Gaia is home to 1.3 billion citizens
- 1,245,000,000 humans
- 65,000,000 Indirians
- 1,100 other aliens
GovernmentInitially Gaia was run in line with other Federation era worlds, with an elected Governor and Colonial Legislature, as well as having representation in the Federal levels of government, though Gaia was often seen as "under-performing" in Federal level elections. When the Federation collapsed in 2240, Gaia remained independent but then became the hub of the so-called "Foundation Republic", a third player in the successor states. During this time, the democratic institutions on Gaia began to fall out of favor and the Neo-Pagan "Seeker Council" grew in power and influence. Whilst the Governor and legislature were still elected when the Confederate Union was formed, Gaian politics was dominated by the views of the Seeker Council. This became official after the Karkouri Occupation ended in 2322 and Gaia remained fully independent, establishing the Seeker Council as the primary leadership of the planet, electing one of their number as Governor. It is, however, mistaken to believe that the planet has no formal government or legal system. Gaia still has elected city-councils and a democratically elected Planetary legislature and the governor is, technically, elected too. The legal system on Gaia has two courts and the highest level is run on Neo-Pagan Law according to the "Permanent Reed" but this is seldom used except for the most exceptional cases.
Neo-PaganismNeo-Paganism was a more formalized religion formed from several Terran pagan religions. Pantheistic, somewhat informal in worship and structure and having an informal council of Seekers to guide the faithful, Neo-Paganism was, until the rise of Valtanism the most widely popular Terran religion. The basic tenets of Neo-Paganism are:
- Nature is sacred - living things and the planets themselves are sacred. All beings should try to live in balance with them
- Goddess worship - there is a Goddess (or many Gods) behind the world that can be observed
- Reincarnation - those that die are reborn, though what they are reborn as depends on their deeds in life
- Violence as a last resort - Pagans should only use force when they are left with no other choice
- AIs are contrary to nature - Sentient AI's are considered anathema and are not tolerated on Gaia
Mount Holly-OakThe first major base established on Gaia, Mount Holly-Oak was initially a landing base, colony and then later a major research base. As of 2535, it is a major city, though not the planetary capital. Mount Holly-Oak is home to around 9,000,000 people and is a sprawling, somewhat eccentric city with a mix of modern and very old-world buildings. The planets secondary downport is located at Mount Holly-Oak
Athena's GateAthena's Gate is the planetary capital and home to the Seeker Council as well as the Garden of the Divines, the primary place of learning for aspirant priests and seekers. Athena's Gate is home to around 5,000,000 people and is set out in beautiful, bucolic setting with flowing rivers and huge gardens throughout the city. Whilst house prices are generally controlled by the central government, Athena's Gate is still very exclusive and most of the larger properties belong to the planets aristocracy and seekers
New CambridgeThe largest individual city on the planet, New Cambridge is home to the largest downport as well as two major colleges. New Cambridge spreads out across a massive area and is home to around twenty million people, though there is little overcrowding thanks to the huge area in which the city is set out in.
The Five StonesOfficially established as a primary holy-site on the planet, the Five-Stones are natural standing stones located near the city of Bar-Elmonn. The Five Stones attract visitors all year long but are often the site of major gatherings during the equinoxes