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Tersten

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Tersten
List of Colonies
Tersten-Flag.png
The Republic of Tersten
Faction Sol Central Government
System Gavil
Population 15,752,993
Demographics

88.7% Native Terstener

11.3% Non-Tersten Population
Coordinates (LY) -33.3 (in LY)X, -30.3 (in LY)Y

Tersten is an occupied plains world, and the third planet of the Gavil System, which is located just under 50 light years from Sol. Because of this, Tersten is the furthest human colony in known space. Tersten is the only populated planet in the system. Gavil is located in the 'Lordanian Cluster', a small grouping of ten occupied stars within close proximity of one-another, who's history is linked closely.

The Capital City is Tersten City, which is located in the northern territory of the planet. The planets's name is derived from the first settler's leader Jonathan Tersten. It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Planet of Plenty", in reference to the abundance of fertile plains used to provide food to much of the outer regions of colonised space. The planet was originally known as Pinascimate, which was divided into Tersten Territory and Nevadan Territory. Roughly 60 years ago the two states were merged and Pinascimate was formerly renamed Tersten. Its residents are known as Tersteners, or informally "Nevokies", a portmanteau of Nevada and Oklahoma. It's current President is Robert Mackenzie.

The Republic of Tersten is a member of the Second Lordanian Republic, a region of space under Sol Central Government control. Both Tersten and Sol enjoy warm, friendly relations, and Tersten bases several detatchments of the Sol Defence Forces.

A major producer of heavy materials, oil, and agricultural products, Tersten relies on an economic base of agriculture, and mining. Tersten City and Nevada serve as Tersten's primary economic sites, with nearly two-thirds of Tersten's living within their metropolitan areas.

With vast mountain ranges, prairie, mesas, and eastern forests, most of Tersten's land makes up the Great Plains — a region especially prone to drought, with most cities built nearer the greener pastures of the mountain bases. In addition to having a prevalence of Lordanians, Earthling, Martian, and a sizable portion of mixed galactic cultures, more than 25 languages are spoken in Tersten.

Tersten is the 5th largest inhabited planet in the outer regions, with a radius of 8681 kilometres (1.36 Earths).

Geography

View of the Tersten City Starport

Tersten is a geographically diverse planet, harbouring more than 10 distinct ecological regions including Plains, Forests, Deserts, Oceans, Mountains and Steppes.

Tersten has four primary mountain ranges: the Pinascimate Mountains, the Pearlstone Mountains, the Yukela Mountains, and the Greenlime Mountains. The Pearlstone mountains lie to the west of Nevada, stretching to the eastern borders of South Harelstone, while the Yukela mountains snake westwards to the edge of the White Ocean, just south of the dustbowler city of Harmony. The Pinascimate Mountains run along the border of Tersten City and White Ocean, protecting the Capital from desert winds, while also bringing rainwater from the ocean. Priceless Peak, Tersten's tallest climbable mountain and national park, lies in this region. The Greenlime Mountains lie to the west of major logging city Moore.

The semi-arid high plains in the planets's north harbor few natural forests; the region has a rolling to flat landscape with intermittent canyons and mesa ranges like the Glass Prairie. Partial plains interrupted by small mountain ranges like the Barkeater Hills and the Pearlstone Mountains, and transitional prairie and woodlands cover the central portion of the planet.

More than 14000 named creeks and rivers make up Tersten's waterways, with all of them flowing into the White Ocean. With 2000 artificial lakes created by dams, it holds the highest number of artificial reservoirs in the system.

Etymology

The Glass Prairie

The name Tersten comes from the founder of Tersten, Jonathan Tersten. Lordanian settlers suggested the name following Tersten's death attempting to defuse a situation on the (at the time) colony. During treaty negotiations with the federal government of Lordania regarding the assigned name of Pinascimate, in which the Lordanian Government envisioned a penal state controlled by the Lordanian Superintendent of Rehabilitation.

Flora and fauna

Priceless Peak, located in North-Central Tersten

Forests cover 24 percent of Tersten and prairie grasslands composed of shortgrass, mixed-grass, and tallgrass, harbor expansive ecosystems in the planet's central and western portions, although cropland has largely replaced native grasses. Where rainfall is sparse in the western regions of the planet, shortgrass prairie and shrublands are the most prominent ecosystems, though forests grow near rivers and creek beds in the far western reaches of the regions.

Marshlands, deciduous forests dominate the planet's southeastern quarter, while mixtures of forests cover northwestern Tersten.

The planets holds populations of animals, both native and introduced. In prairie ecosystems, bison, chickens, badgers, and armadillo are common, having been introduced by the Lordanian Government during the early colonisation. The Tersten Territory, a region transitioning from prairie to woodlands in Central Tersten, harbors 671 vertebrate species. The Pearlstone Mountains are home to black bear, red fox, and grey fox populations, which coexist with a total of 328 native species in southeastern Tersten.

Climate

Tersten's climate is mostly mild, with humid continental climate to the north, semi-arid climate to the west, and humid subtropical climate in the central, south and eastern portions of the planet. While Tersten has icy poles, they are entirely landlocked. Tersten does not experience seasons, and has a consistent temperature throughout its year.

History

Evidence exists that the native flora and fauna evolved on Tersten as early as three million years ago. Archaeologists from the Tersten City University are currently in heated debate regarding a specific extinct species of invertebrate that fossils show possibly used stone tools, a sign of intelligence and sentience. However, by the time of human colonisation, no signs of intelligent life has been discovered on the planet, and many of the planet's native species have been domesticated for cattle use.

Penal Colony of Pinascimate

In the mid-2200s, many prisons across Lordania, and interplanetary space were facing overcrowding, and rather than face the potential bill of constructing more prisons, the Lordanian Republic, in a joint effort with Sol Central, colonised the desert planet of Pinascimate. Northern Pinascimate became a Penal Colony, where prisoners primarily governed and organised themselves. Within the first five years, over ten thousand prisoners and guards were placed on the planet, founding the city of Harelstone, west of what is now known as Tersten City. As families and friends moved to the planet, in protest and in solidarity of prisoners, they established the Free City of Nevada on the other side of the planet, in Southern Pinascimate. Many of the prisoners, either escaping or being released, left south into the uncolonised areas of Tersten and forming towns and communities, which later became known as "Nevadan Territory". Many years later, these prisoners were eventually pardoned and included in the official founding of the Tersten government.

As the Lordanian Economy began to collapse, the prison system felt the ripples of this depression. Unable to maintain its infrastructure, riots and protests led to a fire at Harelstone Prison. As more and more prisoners earned their freedom, or escaped into the uncharted regions of the planet, a prominent convict-politician Jonathan Tersten, brought the survivors of Harelstone to found a new city just to the west. Intense negotiations with the Government led to the abolishment of the penal system on the planet. While Pinascimate would remain fractured, with minor unrecognised regions. Jonathan Tersten was able to negotiate recognition of the Pinascimate Republic, which became the primary government on the planet.

A dispute between Pinascimate and Nevada threatened to boil into a military conflict, until Jonathan Tersten, at-the-time Governor of Pinascimate, stepped in to defuse the situation. Proving his commitment to peace, he travelled the 24600km distance between Pinascimate and Nevada. Following fifteen days of intense negotiation, the two regions had settled for peace. Neither side would claim themselves as the true leader of the planet, and that both they, and the other regions of the planet, could live in mutual agreement. Tersten had achieved a monumental feat, to which he was regarded as a hero. Returning home to the Pinascimate capital of Freetown, Tersten's aircraft suffered a serious malfunction and crashed in a barren region of the planet now near the city of White Ocean. His vessel was found sixteen hours later, and he was recovered alive. Despite the best medical assistance the planet could provide, he did not survive and passed away. Intent to continue the peace Tersten died to see, the region of Pinascimate voted to rename itself and the planet to 'Tersten'. Nevada Territory supported and fully recognised the renaming of the planet, finally putting an end to the stains of the planet's penal past.

In the decades prior to unification, cattle trails and ranches developed in Nevadan Territory as neo-cowboys either drove their product north into uncolonised lands or settled illegally in Tersten Territory. In 2259, four of five major routes on the Nevadan frontier travelled through Tersten Territory. Historians argue that this was one of the major reasons for a united Tersten, as the transport of food without the need for larger ships was vital.

Around this time, the cities of White Ocean and Bibisango were founded, which helped spur the geopolitical situations that divided the lands of Tersten into its Modern Day regions. In doing so, Tersten recognised the equal rights of Tersteners, regardless of origin. It also began a series of economic improvements, encouraging farming and private land ownership among colonists but expropriating land to the federal government. Major land purchases were held for colonists where certain territories were opened to settlement starting at a precise time. Usually land was open to settlers on a first come first served basis. Those who broke the rules by crossing the border into the territory before the official opening time often went punished harshly by major landowners, and colonies being attacked and destroyed by mercenary companies were common until the companies were outlawed completely.

Deliberations to unite Nevada and Tersten Territory into one large state began near the end of the century, when the Lawrence Act opened settlements by both governments in each other's land.

The Boot

Early in the new century, the Nevadan and Tersten territories were officially merged into the State of Tersten, backed and formalized by the People's Republic of Lordania (PRL), of which Tersten was quickly incorporated into.

The new state became a focal point for the emerging heavy materials industry, as discoveries of oil, titanium, gold, and precious materials on the planet prompted towns to grow rapidly in population and wealth. Nevada eventually became known as the "Manufacturing Capital of Lordania".

Social tensions were exacerbated by the PRL, which promoted the xenophobia and outcast of many non-Lordanian cultures. The Nevadan Riots broke out, largely promoted by the local governments, with Tersteners attacking the ethnically Martian population. In one of the costliest episodes of racial violence, three days of rioting resulted much of the city's Martian districts being destroyed, and a death toll estimated to be as high as 950 Martians. Initially thought to be perpetrated by the Tersten people, evidence and testimony later revealed much of this violence to be encouraged by the Lordanian people brought over by the People's Republic to incite tension and hatred. Several months later, many of the perpetrators of the riots had either fled the planet, or been executed by vigilante gangs, and the Tersten spirit of unity within the PRL had declined.

During the reign of the PRL, Tersten City was the site of one of the most destructive acts of terrorism in Lordanian history, The Tersten Parliament Bombings, in which the Tersten Resistance detonated three explosive devices in the Parliament during a senate meeting, killing 200 people, including the Chief Commander of the Lordanian Police. This act is often considered the official start of the uprising against the People's Republic, with similar actions occurring across the system. Following a brief skirmish, Tersten once again fell into independent control.

Independent Tersten and the Golden Age

Following the collapse of the PRL, Tersten quickly declared its independence and founded the Republic of Tersten, a constitutional republic. With the absence of a higher authority, it entered a period known as the Tersten Golden Age.

This period saw widespread economic growth and needed infrastructural improvements, leading to a large population boom. The growth of Tersten's power meant it became a significant player in the politics of the outer regions. Tersten, along with Yuklid and Tyannani, initially opposed the Lordanian Proclamation, which sought to form a larger Republic under Sol Central Government. Tyannani was seeking an alliance with Sol's enemies, the Gilgameshian Colonial Confederation, something that Tersten did not seek.

Only thirty years prior to the modern day, a vote on joining the Second Republic of Lordania, a state within the Sol Central Government, or remain Independent, was held. With a massively split vote, Tersten voted to join the Second Lordanian Republic with 56% of the vote.

Tersten and Sol Central Government

Within Sol Central, Tersten continued to enjoy the effects of the Golden Age, taming the wilderness with new industrial projects. The construction of the Tersten Spaceport has allowed the planet to export goods on an Interstellar scale, and with it, new opportunities.

During the Gaia Conflict, many Tersteners enlisted in the defence forces. Despite the odds, conflict between the Confederate States and the Lordanian Republic did not break out, and so many Tersteners were sent to the front lines. In total, some 30,000 lost their lives in the conflict, for what many Tersteners considered "Peace without Honour".

It has been nearly 30 years since the vote to join Sol, and the Golden Age has ended. Continual expansion of the Tersten Government has led to oppression amongst the native Nevokies, who are being driven from their ranches to make way for developments. More and more people leave Tersten in search of new opportunities thanks to its new connections. With the vast uncharted wilds of Space on almost every side, the border world has seen the arrival of Sol's Third Fleet.

Economy

Tersten has a diverse economy, ranking 4th in terms of Total Food Export across Sol space. Tersten is an important producer of natural gas, food, and electronics. Numerous companies own or acknowledge manufactories on the planet, owing to it's low tax burdens and modern enthusiasm for the industrialisation of Tersten.

As of the modern day, much of Tersten's rural counties has seen population losses, as young adults emigrate to Cities, or off-world. This is in part due to rural communities lacking access to job opportunities and better prospects.

Overall Tersten experiences a population increase as birth rates within urban communes increases and immigration to the planet is encouraged.

Many regions employ non-Tersten immigrants for farm work, though traditional ranching is widely seen as a "Tersteners only" field.

Only 60 years ago, Tersten was one of the least economically viable of the Lordanian Region, but after the construction of the Tersten City Starport, business and trade has seen an increase, with Tersten well on its way to becoming a capable member state.

Regions

Artistic Interpretation of Tersten

North Central Tersten is comprised of fertile plateaus at the edge of the White Hills. Tersten City, the capital city, is located here, along with numerous other towns and settlements. Industrialisation has taken hold in this area, with most of Tersten's political and financial centres located in this region.

Eastern Tersten is comprised of mostly badlands and deserts. The city of Harmony is located at the Eastern coast of White Ocean, while the city of Bibisango is located in the mountain ranges dividing the equatorial and Northern regions of the planet.

North West Tersten is mostly forest land, with rolling hills and rivers. This area has seen a little urban build up, with the largest city in the region being Moore. This area sees large-scale logging industry and has several connections to Tersten City.

Central Tersten is a semi-arid region broken into many mountain ranges. It contains the White Ocean, a large saltwater sea. The cities of Lawless, White Ocean City, and Oklahoma are in this region.

South Central Tersten is considered subtropical, and home to large regions of grassland used for grazing cattle, something considered a long tradition in the region. During the Penal Colony period, many escaped prisoners fled to this region to form a new life. This is seen primarily in the Nevokie culture of the region. The city of Nevada, a large industrial hub, is located here.

South Eastern Tersten, protected from the winds of the deserts, is home to the large-scale farming operations and corporate-owned facilities. Much of this region has seen recent industrialization, and is home to the city of South Harelstone.

Tersten City

Tersten City is the capital of the Republic of Tersten. Founded by Jonathan Tersten by the survivors of the Harelstone fire. As of 2200, Tersten City's population sits as 15,657,754. The second most populous city on Tersten, it's metropolitan area stretches across 323.8 km2. It's municipality contains the cities of Harelstone and Great Peaks, which are expected to be incorporated into the Tersten City area in the next fifty years. Located in North Central Tersten, the Tersten City metropolitan area is bordered by Moore County and White Ocean County.

Tersten City was founded as Freetown by prominent prisoner-politician Jonathan Tersten. Fifteen miles east of modern Tersten City was the Harelstone Prison, today preserved as a museum and exhibition site. Harelstone Prison served as the planet's first and primary penal colony until a devastating fire ruined most of the building. Leading the survivors west, Jonathan Tersten settled by the banks of the Takiwerk River, establishing the Republic of Pinascimate. Today the modern Senate building stands across the street from the original, which was destroyed several years ago in a terrorist attack. Upon Jonathan Tersten's death, the city and planet were renamed in his honour.

The city maintains a large police force, and is surrounded by a defensive wall and AA defences. Much of this was constructed during the reign of the People's Republic of Lordania. Large parts of the defences built during this time were deconstructed in the demiliarification period post PRL. Outside of the city, parts of these structures and towers were deemed unsuitable for deconstruction and have been redeveloped into housing and community centres. Sol Central maintains a Fleet Recruitment Centre within the capital, as well as various diplomatic offices.

Nevada

Nevada is the largest city on Tersten, with a population of 15,843,345. Unlike many modern designs, the City was developed naturally as opposed to planned. As a result, the city is often considered a confusing sprawl for most tourists. During the Penal Colony, families and friends of prisoners moved to the planet, in protest and in solidarity, and established the Free City of Nevada on the other side of the planet. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the free city became the primary settlement for escaped and released convicts, who chose to remain on the planet instead of returning to their planet of origins.

Modern Day Nevada is fueled by a robust industrial sector and a thriving agricultural hub, Nevada has seen much needed infrastructural improvements in the recent decades to bring it up to modern standards.

South Harelstone

South Harelstone is the third most populous city on Tersten, and serves as the corporate hold on the planet. Established in the late 22nd century, various corporations exploited a loophole in Tersten's legal system, allowing them to establish a semi-autonomous region. As a result, South Harelstone has developed mostly independently from the rest of the planet. While recent attempts to connect the city via magnetic rail has seen some success, the city is still relatively distant to the rest of Tersten Civilization.

Education

Tersten's education system is, while underfunded and lacking in many areas, a mostly solid institution. The planet's government has recently enacted policies ensuring a free standard education to all Tersten citizens in an effort to combat rising illiteracy within the plains and countryside. As the planet is still underdeveloped, large swaths of South and Central Tersten's rural population remain uneducated.

Culture

Terstenian culture is a wide variety of beliefs, thoughts, and actions. Terstenians who live in the underdeveloped wilds tend be less educated than those who live in the City, for example. Terstenians typically are headstrong, with a sense of duty. It is common to see Terstenian individuals onboard Sol vessels.

It is difficult to pinpoint an origin to Terstenian culture. As the planet served as a penal colony, a wide mix of beliefs and cultures were pushed onto the planet.

The most prominent culture on Tersten is known as 'Nevokie', derived from the prominent Mid-Western Earthlings that established the region of Nevada and it's outlying territories. Nevokies are characterised by their wide hats and wider smiles, a product of prison hardship and communal living. They are just as likely to shoot a stranger, as they are to invite them for supper. It is hard to win their trust, but once won, they are known to be loyal friends.

North Tersten enjoys the prosperity of fertile plateaus, and urban build-up. Around Tersten City, the people are more adopted to urban living, and thus display a characteristic 'rudeness' to anyone who has not lived in a large city. Those from Northern Tersten are known as 'Pinascs', or 'City-Slickers' to their Southern Cousins. This name derives from the original name of the Penal Colony, 'Pinascimate'. They are characterised by a sternness to their persons. A Terstenian from the North is more likely to serve within the armies or navies, and is partially why much of Sol's infrastructure has been constructed around Tersten City.

South Eastern Tersteners, around South Harelston, are mostly quiet, unassuming people, who are largely forgotten people of Tersten culture, often overlooked due to simply having more in common with their Sol ancestors. A large economic investment in the region has seen many South-East Tersteners leaving the planet in work with Corporations or the Government.

Law and government

Tersten's Central Governement, currently led by the Tersten Democratic Party, and presided by Robert Mackenzie. The Government convenes at the Central Parliament in Tersten City. Prior to the Parliament's extensive rebuilding 40 years ago, the government convened at the House of Representatives in Nevada. Tersten is a Constitutional Republic, wherein it's people elect representatives for their political county, who convene at the Central Parliament to discuss and vote in new laws.

Tersten has been politically conservative for the majority of it's existence, tending to shy away from change. However the recent populist policies of the Tersten Democratic Party were enough to win it's support in the last election. More recently, the Democratic Party have been attempting to institute land reforms and infrastructure projects to connect the planet.

Military

As a Member State of the Sol Central Government, Tersten equips and maintains its own planetary defence force, though its jurisdiction starts and ends in Tersten space. It is outfitted with hand-me-down equipment from the Lordanian Republic.

As part of Sol Central Government, Tersten is home to one of the Third Fleet's drydocks, owing to it's distance and proximity to uncolonised space. It maintains a Defence Force on the planet, and Tersten City has become a haunt for Third Fleet forces on shore leave.

Demographics

The Lordanian Census Bureau estimates that the population of Tersten was 15,678,079 in 2300.

Racial breakdown of population
Racial composition 2300
Terstener 88.7%
Martian 6.3%
Earthling 3.3%
Non-Sol Human 1.5%
Non-Human 0.2%

Religion

Large parts of Tersten's urban areas are Atheist, however South Harelston and surrounding south-eastern Tersten contains the largest populations of non-christian faiths.

Nevada, the planets's most populated city is predominantly Christian, as is large parts of South and Central Tersten. According to the Lordanian Religious Research Center, the majority of Tersen's religious adherents are Christian.

Major cities

Most Populous Cities in Tersten
City Population
1. Nevada 15,843,345
2. Tersten City 15,657,754
3. South Harelston 832,345
4. Rovena 687,019
5. White Ocean City 298,376
6. Bibisango 184,885
7. Moore 97,810
8. Harmony 56,080
9. Lawless 49,854
10. Stillwater 36,560

Roleplay Tips

While characters from Tersten are often considered gruff western types, there is a lot of variation in what a character from the planet can be like. Here are some examples. Feel free to take these ideas and make something new.

  • Tersten's Finest served during the Gaia Conflict, and many laid down their lives in defence of Sol. Perhaps you were one of the lucky ones to survive. How many of your old buddies are still kicking? Maybe they retired back home, just as you plan to do when your service is up.
  • Your character grew up around South Harelstone, and values intelligence over brawn. Considered 'weaker' by most other Tersteners, you were educated at one of the corporate provided colleges, and had a fast track into space.
  • An older Terstener, born in the mid 20s, you remember growing up under uncertain times, watching as the planet became part of Sol Central. Perhaps things are better now, but at what costs?
  • You grew up around Tersten City, young, you grew up too late to serve in Gaia, but boy is it good day to die. You enlisted in the Defence Forces when you could, continuing a tradition of "Gettin' shit done." Just remember that reckless behaviour costs lives.
  • Your character comes from Central Tersten, the 'wild west' of the planet. Maybe Sol Central's infrastructural development plans put your ranch right in their crosshair? Or maybe "Y' just don' wanna live, breathe, an' shit in a dustbowl fer th' rest of yer life."