Joined: 01 May 2005
Location: Any blackberry patch.
|Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:04 pm Post subject: Undungu
Region: Core Worlds
Star Name: Vegnus Prime
Star Type: Blue/violet giant
Orbital Bodies: 6
1 – Vegnus I - small rocky planetoid
2 – Vegnus II - slightly larger rocky planetoid
3 – Vegnus III - ice world
4 – Undungu (Vegnus IV)
5 – Vegnus V - gas giant (yellow-green in color)
6 – Vegnus VI - rocky planetoid
Name of Planet: Undungu
Other Names: Batal, Vegnus IV, Eblihn
Satellites/Rings: 2 moons (Autar and Dathlue); 2 rings (both thin and blue but easy to see)
Orbital Position: 4
Type: Large terrestrial planet
Temperature: -200˚ to 80˚ C
Atmosphere: Tyoe III
Hydrosphere: Moist (constant coverage by mists and clouds)
Gravity: 1.4 standard
Terrain: Rocky mostly, with high mountains and deep valleys
Length of Day: 59 standard hours
Length of Year: 802 local days
Sapient Species: none
Other Organisms: fungi and some plantlike fungi, some arthropods (all extremophiles)
Tech Level: none
Starport: some support may be found in orbit
Population: 2,000 (mostly scientists, engineers, and sometimes law enforcement)
Planet Function(s): Galaxy’s only know source of Licophe compounds
Government: None, though nearby Esseles-system law enforcement does patrol, so they may be considered the de facto government.
Major Exports: Licophe dust (psychotropic precursor)
Major Imports: none
History and/or Further Explanations:
Undungu is an old planet which has a severely elliptical orbit, so much so that the planet is only within its star’s habitable zone roughly 40% of the time. This has not deterred novel life forms from developing on Undungu’s surface, however, although almost all of them are fungal in appearance and growth habit and thus do not appear to be sentient. During the 60% of time Undungu is away from its sun, these organisms enter states of hibernation or torpor. This changes the planet’s color from blue to bright orange. Undungu also has two attractive thin blue rings which may be viewed day or night.
There is a science station in orbit around Undungu which has been there for about fifty standard years. Its main function is to observe, evaluate, and collect organisms from the surface of the planet for transportation back to various museums and universities in the Core worlds. The company which owns the installation is well-paid for these specimens. The installation itself is large, with three landing pads, bunks for 80, a huge lab, and bacta tanks. It is crewed by 40-60 people at any given time, and they are generally friendly as long as you are not there illegally collecting Licophe dust from the atmosphere (see below).
Undungu is home to curious biology and strange organisms. There is a particular organism which is endemic to Undungu which is called Licophe which is of great importance to the Galactic drug trade. It is a benign fungoid growth which emits a dusts that wakes up the planet's other organisms when Undungu re-enters its habitable zone. A chemical found in this dust just happens to be the main component of the drug known as “Batalian Blitz” (AKA “Blitz,” or on worlds far away from Batal, “Glitz”).
Licophe is best described as a massive, blue, fuzzy slime mold, which grows in mounds up to five meters high, and which, when disturbed by atmospheric winds, emits a dusty-looking blue cloud. When this happens en masse, the planet’s color changes from orange to brilliant light blue in a matter of days. These clouds are carried by the planetary winds and the chemicals they contain induce all of Undungu’s other life forms to begin to wake up, as temperatures permitting growth are soon approaching.
As for galactic history, Undungu was a strange but ultimately unremarkable component of the Galaxy until about 4000 BBY. It was discovered by accident that the now-notorious Glitz was a drug of significant recreational intoxication. Users reported feelings of general well-being, sexual stimulation, desire to touch, general feelings of friendliness, and other subjectively-desirable psychotropic effects.
A trade soon developed for Batalian Blitz (as it was first known) and then systems and sectors began to ban it, so now any encountered on the black market has been manufactured illegally by someone, most likely by underground scientists in league with drug traffickers. The spacers who collect Licophe dust in the raw do this twice an Undunguan year by dragging ethereal nets through the middle atmosphere of Undungu at low speeds; this collects the dust, which is packaged and sold to anonymous parties. Since the blue clouds inhibit visual and other sensors, the chances of these atmosphere-dredging spacers being caught in the act is actually very low, and is offset anyway by the promise of easy money, as each kilogram of raw Licophe dust goes for between 3,000 and 5,000 credits.
It is also important to note that only high-end laboratories can make Glitz from Licophe dust. This means that its ultimate price is artificially set somewhere between 200-500 credits per gram, depending on purity, location, and other factors. Thus, only the extremely wealthy may maintain a Glitz habit for any significant quantity of time. It is most certainly considered the “sex party drug” of the highest social classes. It is generally only available on ecumenopolises and/or planets or planetary systems with populations approaching 25 billion.
Addiction to Glitz is also now known as a medically significant condition. Without medical attention, users may die within 72 hours of their last dose of the drug. This has led to even more bans and crackdowns on its possession or sale. In fact, in comparison to most other galactic drugs, Glitz is quite literally the forbidden fruit. Even penalties for possession of minor amounts are stiff, despite the persistent rumors that high governmental and other “official” business gatherings of the rich frequently use the drug on worlds where it is de facto legal. It is the sentiment of many spacers and fringers that there is a double-standard going on with local governments and Glitz—while the rich and powerful party with it, the small-time users and pushers rot in jail cells.
Other than being the source of Glitz and the home of some novel organisms, Undungu is a relatively unexceptional planet. It has rings, which are a pretty blue color, and the surface of the planet changes from bright orange to light blue and back again twice a year. There is no evidence of any native sentient life, but Licophe and other organisms encountered otherwise on Undungu are very strange and magnificently unique. Their ability to hibernate at such low temperatures and then wake up again is a feat, as are the many other novel properties which scientists have noticed about Undunguan organisms. Other than the slime-mold like organisms and the “forests” of fungoid mounds, there is also an entire group of various extremophile arthropods that are active when Undungu is closest to its star.
The only words of explanation you need for any concept in the entire Star Wars universe are the words Science Fiction and Space Opera.
Last edited by Error on Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:09 am; edited 7 times in total
Joined: 01 Nov 2016
Location: Washington, DC (AKA Inside the Beltway)
|Posted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:07 am Post subject:
|Damn, a planet with an orbit that takes it out of the Goldilocks Zone for 60% of the year, that's veeeery interesting. And having the entire planet change color is a nice touch; it would be a wonder to behold to see such a thing.
BTW, what does the phrase "fungoid growth which is of significant moment because" mean? That's an odd word order I've never seen before and I can't tell what it means. Did you mean to say "fungoid growth which is at the moment significant because"?
Also, the phrase "almost all of them are fungal in appearance and habit". Fungi have habits? Who knew? Or did you mean "habitat?"
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Just repurchased the X-Wing and Tie Fighter flight sim games. I forgot how much I missed them.