Saturday, October 19, 2013

Venus in Lowell Was Right!

Venus is a young, flourishing hothouse of a planet. It is covered at all times by a thick cloud cover, which spreads the light, giving it somewhat longer periods of light than darkness by prolonging twilight. It rains virtually every night, and many days as well. The heat along the Equator is brutal, and humans do not flourish there, except in the highest mountains. The lowlands are left as the haunt of the Kraat. The cooler, more temperate and polar regions are more friendly to humans. Even these would be considered tropical or sub-tropical on Earth.

Venus’ animals and plants are more primitive in organization than Earth’s, with the equivalent of dinosaurs reigning supreme, and flowering plants being new and not well evolved. Insects have not evolved to pollinate flowers yet, so native venusian flowering plants rely on wind dispersion and self-pollination. Bees and other pollinators have been imported from Earth and Mars to service non-native plants, and have begun evolving into Venusian types. however, specializing in venusian flowers, and they in turn have begun to co-evolve to attract the outworld insects. These insects are now to be found all over venus, including the equatorial, Kraat-dominated, regions.

There are two generally hostile groups of settlement on Venus. generally, the polar areas and the highlands are the domain of venusian humans, while the lowlands and equatorial areas are the domain of the Kraat. The interfaces between these, however, are always in dispute, and a continuous low-level warfare is endemic in these places.

Both venusian Humans and Kraat have begun domesticating a few of the smaller, smarter dinosaurs, and hunt others for meat. Except for areas with significant Mercurian or Earther involvement, the general technology level is medieval. Hunting dinosaurs is extremely dangerous, but a single kill can feed a village for a long time. Villages are always protected by elaborate defenses, from both predatory dinos and Human/Kraat enemies.

Politically, both Humans and Kraat are organized into a few powerful city states of no great extent, with much onorganized settlement of the back country. Human city states which trade with non-venusians have slowly been climbing the technology ladder, and as a result can control larger hinterlands. Still, the most advanced of them would only qualify as early Renaissance in technology. Far-sighted rulers have begun sending people out into the solar system with outworlders, to return and become teachers on Venus.

The Kraat have refused trade with non-Kraat entirely. This may change at any time, as it is obvious to see the superiority of the more advanced city states compared to the most advanced Kraat. If this happens, it will result in a complete revolution of Kraat thought, based as it is in a hatred of the human interlopers.

Trade items from Venus include art objects, plants and exotic animals, handicrafts, dinosaur meat and skins, and tourism and big game hunting.

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