Nation Name: Kennarsian League
Government Form: Confederation of states
Population: 600 Million
Government Form: Confederation of states
Population: 600 Million
70% Aallae: The Aallae are a sentient species native to the planet of Kennars, making their home in the extensive cave systems below the surface of the planet. They possess six limbs, the front pair of limbs being used for manipulation while the two hind pairs are used for locomotion. The Aallae stand at about 1.50 meters tall when walking on all four of their legs, with a stocky build to minimize their surface to protect against the cold of the planet. They are adapted to live in the cold, with a thick layer of subcutaneous fat as well as a coat of fur that is colored white or gray. They have no eyes owing to the fact that they have evolved to live in caves like the rest of life on Kennars. Instead, the Aallae possess a highly developed sense of hearing, a highly developed sense of smell as well as echolocation. They communicate using a complex system of clicks, in addition to chemical communication through pheromones. The Aallae are, on average, about as intelligent as a human, and were roughly in the technological equivalent of the Information Age when humans arrived on Kennars. A subspecies of the Aallae that live closer to the surface have developed rudimentary eyes and even thicker fur, with their fur also becoming whiter to match the color of the snow.
Planet Name and Description:
Kennars, the home planet of the League, is a Mars-sized planet orbiting far away from the star of Qesa, an orange dwarf star. It shares the Qesean system with the gas giants of Sitoria and Izeon, but is the only planet considered habitable due to its solid surface and non-crushing atmosphere. Due to the distance Kennars orbits from its star, the average temperature is tens of degrees Celsius below zero, and the entire surface is covered in vast sheets of ice and snow. As one can imagine, this makes it almost impossible for vegetation to grow and difficult for humans to settle. The only area of the planet where surface flora and fauna can be found is a thin band around the equator that receives the most light from Qesa and therefore experiences the highest temperatures on Kennars, but even here it is not warm enough for liquid water.
Kennars is highly volcanically active, with many volcanoes and hydrothermal vents that provide an energy source for human and Aallae settlements alike. Volcanism and tectonic activity over millions of years have resulted in an intricate network of caves that spans the entirety of Kennars, connecting distant parts of the planet and providing shelter for both human and native Kennarsian life.
The caves of Kennars host a highly developed and diverse biosphere, the energy source of which is provided by Kennars’ many volcanoes. Thermotrophic and chemotrophic bacteria feed off the heat and inorganic molecules coming from underground hydrothermal vents, storing them as chemical energy. These bacteria are the primary producers on Kennars, and form the base of the food chain.
When humanity first arrived in the Qesa system, they found Kennars as it is today, a planet covered in ice, almost certainly unsuitable for colonization. During the initial exploration of the planet it was found to be already inhabited by an intelligent alien species that the ship’s crew named the ‘Aallae’, who lived in the caves deep below the surface of the planet. The colony ship sat in orbit for a long time, the colonists unwilling to settle on the harsh surface of Kennars, but also unwilling to attack and drive the Aallae out of their caverns. However, the colony ship was not designed to last forever, and as more and more components began to break down and maintenance costs increased exponentially, it became clear something had to be done. Unfortunately for the humans aboard the ship, the Gateway that had brought them to Qesa was closed, and they were left with no other option than to settle onto Kennars. The colony ship landed on the planet, immediately being reassembled into the first arcology, its reactor transformed into the beating heart of human civilization of Kennars.
The settlement of Kennars proved more difficult than anticipated, however. Despite landing in the warmer equatorial zone, many colonists died as a result of hypothermia and frostbite. The insulation of the colony ship, suitable for reducing heat loss from radiation, did not prove adequate to protect against the harsh cold of Kennars. Before the first arcology was completed a quarter of the population had already perished. Additionally, many of the new arrivals did not appreciate having to live in the arcology, unsure whether they would see tomorrow.They beseeched the Aallae for help, to let them move into the aliens’ caves and avoid the frozen surface. The Aallae, however, were reluctant. They were wary of the newcomers, and the caves were already becoming overpopulated due to a recent population boom. Most of the Kennarsian colonists were furious that the Aallae had declined their request for help. Anti-alien sentiments soared and riots broke out, forcing the colonial government to crack down before the arcology would be overwhelmed. A human-supremacist group, calling themselves the ‘Children of Earth’, used the discontent of the population as well as the weakening government authority to stage a coup. Taking control of the arcology, they sent out expeditions to found a number of new colonies and prepare for war.
The Aallae Wars were a series of conflicts between the various nations of the Aallae, and a number of human settlements under the banner of the Children of Earth. The human colonists were technologically far more advanced than the Aallae, but did not know the planet as well as the aliens did and were far more vulnerable, being situated on the surface. The conflicts were brutal, consisting mostly of tunnel fighting as the colonists attempted to invade the Aallae caves. Human patrols would disappear in the night, picked off one by one by the Aallae, while the Children of Earth would flood Aallae caves with neurotoxic gasses, killing anything inside. The war came to a head when a human strike team managed to infiltrate one of the largest cave-cities of the Aallae and detonate a nuclear weapon, killing tens of thousands while sacrificing themselves. In response, the Aallae used ice-boring machines to drill into two human arcologies, including the human capital, and detonate their reactors, wiping out a good chunk of the human colonists and beheading their leadership in one fell swoop.
After that, the war was over. In the chaos that followed, faraway settlements broke off, declaring their independence. Minor skirmishes were fought between human arcologies, but these soon stopped as many realized that fighting on Kennars was too wasteful. Rather than taking the Aallae caves or fighting one another for scraps, the Kennarsians focused their energy towards improving their own fortunes. New materials were invented, both to resist against the cold and to build stronger structures. The Kennarsians learned to make robots to do the most dangerous work in the icy wasteland. New power sources allowed for the generation of more heat, boosting food supplies and quality of life. The largest arcologies signed treaties of mutual assistance, and soon even the Aallae opened up again and started trading with humanity. As the Kennarsians finally overcame the planet’s challenges, the Kennarsian League was born.
Culture and Society:
Given the environment on Kennars, humanity is relegated to living in enormous artificial complexes powered by geothermal or fusion energy. These surface arcologies are self-sufficient and are capable of supporting tens of thousands of human inhabitants. It is here where the Kennarsians spend almost the entirety of their lives, living, working and having fun. The greatest of the arcologies are the dome-cities. These, as the name suggest, are cities built under an enormous dome that allow its inhabitants to see the sky without having to go outside into the cold wilderness.
Of course, the arcologies, or Arcos as they are called colloquially, need a lot of maintenance to run properly. Food needs to be made, the temperature must be maintained and breaches must be carefully searched for and repaired. Every Kennarsian is assigned a job based on their qualities and abilities, and they are expected to spare no effort when doing their job, for others depend on them. This has led to close-knit communities where people are willing to help one another and be selfless for the good of the arcology. However, there is also a darker side, as there is a lot of social pressure to perform one’s task well, and those who are unable to meet the community’s demands are ostracized. The exception to this rule are those who are too old or too sick to fulfill their duties. Instead, the ill are treated freely, and the old are allowed to retire into positions that require no manual labor. At high latitude, in the coldest areas of the planet, it is a struggle to even do the most basic tasks, and so the most desperate measures are taken for the survival of arcologies. Here, people are treated as an expendable resource, like the food they eat or the hydrogen in their reactors. Unproductive people are exiled into the wilderness so that they are not a burden on the rest of their community, and those who actively betray their habitat are outright executed.
The Aallae, on the other hand, make their home in the caves of Kennars. Here they farm fungus-like organisms that feed off the microbial mats that grow near the underground hot springs. Aallae cave-cities are adapted to their unique biology, with little to no visual cues, instead most of the information is provided in the form of smell or sound. The Aallae are a tribal people, having large kinship groups, each with their own customs and traditions. The tribes combine into larger nations, which are a political unit comparable to the modern nation-state. There is some migration between Aallae cave-cities and human arcologies, but migration and integration is more difficult due to the fact that the Aallae are blind.
Governance and Politics:
The Kennarsian League is a confederation consisting of and founded by the various human arcologies, habitats and Aallae nations and tribes on Kennars. Its primary purpose is to organize mutual assistance, resolve disputes between members and pool resources. The League is run by the League Council, an assembly of representatives from the various polities in the League. The Council decides the future direction of the League, allocates resources and serves as a mediator for disputes between the League’s members. Agreements between the League’s members can only take effect when implemented by those same members, as there is no central police force or army to enforce them.
Given the large amount of human settlements on the planet, there is inevitably some variety in how each is run. In general, however, every arcology is led by an Archon, an elected position with dictatorial power. They, and an appointed council of advisors, make every important decision for the settlement, from the amount of food that is to be produced to the daily allotment of reactor heat. The Archon is essentially just another job in the settlement, and has no special privileges or rights compared to the other inhabitants.
Because Aallae societies have existed on Kennars for millenia, there are many different kinds of government in the Aallae nations.
The Kennarsians have invented a number of advanced materials to help them live on the surface of Kennars. One of these materials is alpha-beta pykrete, an advanced form of pykrete that is transparent. It is made out of ice and fibers from plant waste, making it a tough material that can be made using materials that are locally available. Alpha-beta pykrete (also known as AB-Pykrete), is used on the outer layer of the dome-cities, combined with a middle insulating layer and a structural inner layer. Another important material is synth-wool, an advanced textile that is even warmer than regular wool while also having the benefit of being far lighter. This allows the Kennarsians to go outside into the icy wasteland while maintaining their dexterity, a great boon for soldiers and citizens alike.
The Kennarsians have also created robots that aid them in doing many of the tasks an ordinary human would find difficult in the harsh environment of Kennars. These robots do much of the outside labor, like repairing the outside walls of the arcology, harvesting ice to use as fuel for arcology fusion reactors, and many other kinds of work.
A number of important advances in medical science have greatly contributed to the survival of the Kennarsian people. The first of these is the use of advanced bionic limbs to replace limbs lost to frostbite and amputation. This allows Kennarsians who have had accidents or have been exposed to the cold for too long to still live full lives and be productive to the community. Advanced methods to treat extreme hypothermia in the field have also been invented. Finally, the Kennarsians have also developed a way to artificially induce a state of suspended animation that helps those who have been caught in dire situations survive the harsh environment for far longer than they would normally.
There are of course also other miscellaneous technologies, like sensor systems that can penetrate the worst snow storms, the use of ice-boring machines to travel around and other inventions.
Every human arcology and Aallae cave city maintains a small military force, primarily tasked with disaster relief, search-and-rescue operations and humanitarian aid. Kennarsian soldiers see little to no combat, except for rare encounters with wild animals or human exiles that have banded together.
The League’s soldiers are equipped with laser-based weaponry, with little to no moving parts in order to avoid jamming. They are also equipped with gear suited for the cold wilderness, and Kennarsian vehicles are properly equipped to deal with the deep snow. Some arcologies even use flying vehicles and VTOL aircraft to transport personnel. The Kennarsian military prefers to use a mobile form of warfare emphasizing stealth, the use of small units and hit-and-run tactics, disappearing before the enemy even knows they were there.
As the League has almost no presence in the wider Qesean system, it has no military space fleet. The only space-based military assets consist of an impressive satellite array around Kennars used for gathering intelligence, monitoring the weather and keeping watch.