Lumenna-Súnáris System (9): Inlétanós

I/8. Inlétanós

Class: Melíeréan
Orbit (period): 14.48 au (20,126 T-days/55.14 T-years)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.2
Radius: 47,449 miles
Mass: 2.968 x 1027 kg
Density: 1.59 g/cm3
Cloud-top gravity: 6.69 g

Axial tilt: 16.4°
Rotation period: 11.8 T-hours

Black-body temperature: 69 K

Satellites: 12 close moonlets, spectacular ring. 1 major moon. 5 eccentric moons.

A streaky sphere of pale yellow swirled with green, Inlétanós is the outer system’s kinder, gentler gas giant, best known for its truly spectacular ring system visible from anywhere in the system.

It is a relatively quiet backwater in the future, albeit occasionally used for gravity assist – its lack of major moons didn’t encourage much development here, and being both more distant and having a higher gravity did not encourage more than perfunctory gas mining. Ice mining, on the other hand, was briefly a local industry before the Outer Planets Aesthetic Collective bought the property rights to the ring and stopped it.

Its major population in the future is spread across habitats typically built into its shepherd moons and many other moonlets, both residential and tourist. It does, after all, have some of the most spectacular views in the System.

I/8/a. Lórachan

Class: Thiorastan
Orbit (period): 567,844 miles (1.603 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.01
Radius: 491.8 miles
Mass: 5.61 x 1021 kg
Density: 2.76 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.062 g

Axial tilt: 4.8°
Rotation period: 1.603 T-days (tide-locked)

Black-body temperature: 69 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 53 K

Atmosphere: None.
Hydrographic coverage: 0% (except short-lived sulphur pools)

Lórachan is another Io-like moon; not as radiation-thrashed and flux-tube-equipped as Kerasta, both due to its wider orbit and to the relatively benign magnetosphere of Inlétanós vis-a-vis Melíeré, but the tidal effects are still great enough to produce all the sulphur geysers and magmatic outpourings that one could wish for, if not quite as violent as its inner cousin.

Without a powerful flux tube to draw upon, Lórachan has not attracted the same power generation-seekers that Kerasta had, and settlers in the Inlétanós sub-system have generally chosen the more benign environment of the moonlets; minor resource harvesting bases and scientific research are about all that Lórachan has attracted.

 

Lumenna-Súnáris System (8): Melíeré

I/7. Melíeré

Class: Melíeréan
Orbit (period): 7.24 au (7,116 T-days/19.5 T-years)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.12
Radius: 38,372 miles
Mass: 9.81 x 1027 kg
Density: 3.08 g/cm3
Cloud-top gravity: 5.43 g

Axial tilt: 22°
Rotation period: 14.0 T-hours

Black-body temperature: 98 K

Satellites: 9 close moonlets, ring. 3 major moons. 2 eccentric moons.

Melíeré is exactly what it looks like: like its closest counterpart, Jupiter, it’s a hydrogen-helium mesogiant with the traditional turbulent gaseous envelope around a whole bunch of metallic liquid hydrogen around a core. It’s a big, brawling, orange-red, yellow-streaked behemoth of a planet that successfully dominates the gateway to the outer system. Unlike Jupiter, it doesn’t have a single, distinguishing “Great Red Spot”, but it is known for enormous storm cells, the linaurrauken, which come and go upon its surface like pale blotches.

In the future, it becomes very significant in the outer system, first as a gravity assist, but also due to the plentiful energy resources available in the system and its relative proximity, in gravity well terms, to the e’Luminiarien Belt. It also acquires the families of gas mining stations common to major gas giants in the Empire and the Empire Nucleonics station for bulk-producing metastable metallic hydrogen.

It has a ring – not a spectacular Saturnine ring, but one which you can see from anywhere in the system, and a family of moons, of which three are major (I’m going to skip lightly over the moonlets and sub-moonlets at this time) and could be considered the equivalent of the Galilean moons: Kerasta, Isimír, and Cysperia:

I/7/a. Kerasta

Class: Thiorastan
Orbit (period):
383,389 miles (0.489 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.):
 0.02
Radius: 522.7 miles
Mass:
 8.809 x 1021 kg
Density: 3.53 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.085 g

Axial tilt: 1.40°
Rotation period: 0.495 T-days (tide-locked)

Black-body temperature: 98 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 75 K

Atmosphere: None.
Hydrographic coverage: 0% (unless you count short-lived sulphur pools)

Kerasta is very like Sol System’s Io: a seething, wracked sulphurous hellscape of tidally heated tectonic and volcanic fury. Expect sulphur geysers, molten rock, and general no fun on the surface here, and needless to say, the given surface temperature is for the parts that aren’t currently buried in the middle of the latest eruption. And then there’s the radiation, because just like Io, it has a flux tube.

Popular future activities in the region of Kerasta include some minor resource harvesting, tapping power for local activities out of the Kerastan flux tube, burying things that you’re very unlikely to want to see again, and types of extreme sports that would be considered pathologically idiotic for anyone who didn’t have a backup.

I/7/b. Isimír

Class: Inachian
Orbit (period):
613,423 miles (0.990 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.):
 0.01
Radius: 716.5 miles
Mass:
 1.525 x 1022 kg
Density: 2.37 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.078 g

Axial tilt: 0.29°
Rotation period: 0.990 T-days (tide-locked)

Black-body temperature: 98 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 84 K

Atmosphere: None.
Hydrographic coverage: 0% (externally)

Isimír’s surface is generally hostile, since Isimír has no magnetosphere worth speaking of, and as such its surface is routinely bombarded with horrendous amounts of radiation. It’s also not terribly interesting, being – in its essentials – one very large sheet of ice with occasional cryovolcanism when the crust is cracked by tidal forces.

The ocean beneath the ice, though…

Isimír has a lot of tidal activity keeping it warm, an order of magnitude more than even Kerasta. Between that and warm hydrothermal upwellings from its core, the Nighted Ocean of Isimír has long since given rise to its own autochthonous life, tiny plankton- and coral-analogues that thrive in the icy darkness.

In the future, there’ll be great colony cities here at the bottom of shafts through the crust, clinging to the bottom of the icy crust, and an ecosystem which is not, technically, the result of an ecopoesis project – it’s the result of artistic assistance to evolution, introducing new lifeforms designed based on the biochemistry and potential of Isimír’s native life.

I/7/c. Cysperia

Class: Cysperian
Orbit (period):
920,134 miles (1.819 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.):
 0.01
Radius: 1,391 miles
Mass:
 1.250 x 1023 kg
Density: 2.65 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.169 g

Axial tilt: 1.12°
Rotation period: 1.819 T-days (tide-locked)

Black-body temperature: 98 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 103 K

Atmosphere: Thin nitrogen-methane atmosphere.
Atmospheric pressure (sfc.): 0.21 atm
Hydrographic coverage: 30% (thin hydrocarbon lakes)

Cysperia is the outermost of the major moons, with a small iron core – enough to give it a mild magnetic field and some protection from the radiation environment – and a mantle of mixed rock, ice, and silicate clays above its own briny ocean (this one, alas, lifeless).

Slightly more hospitable than its inner neighbors, Cysperia is both the future focus of most colonization efforts in the Melíeré sub-system, in partially-buried dome cities to shield from the radiation, and the gravity anchor for the majority of its habitats, other than those built into the lesser moons.

 

Lumenna-Súnáris System (7): e’Luminarien

I/6/n. e’Luminarien (“The Belt”)

Class: Asteroid belt
Orbit: 2.24 au (avg.)
Orbit (ecc.): varies, mostly under 0.25

Blackbody temp.: 176 K (avg.)

Next up, dividing the inner more-or-less rocky planets from the outer gas giants, and scattered over a much bigger area of space than that average suggests, we have the e’Luminiarien (approximately translated “the little traveler’s lights”).

You want rocks? We got rocks. Lots and lots and lots of rocks. Metal-rich rocks. Silicate rocks. Carbonaceous rocks. Icy rocks. Just pick how far you go into the belt by which kind you want to end up with, and there’re all the rocks you could ever want.

And that’s the belt. Naturally, in the future, there are mining operations and stations ranging from the massive (“Andir Drift: Gateway to the Belt”) to the tiny (“Jini’s Oxygen Shack”) scattered all over the place, by the thousands if not tens of thousands.

Here are three of the most notable big ones:

1 Andir

1 Andir is The Big Asteroid That Isn’t, Except By Courtesy. Technically, it’s a Andirian-class geopassive planetesimal, or what we’d call a dwarf planet, but since it’s sitting right smack in the middle of an asteroid belt in all its hundreds-of-miles-across glory, it’s an asteroid by courtesy.

And as the biggest thing out there, in the future, it’s the administrative, commercial, and population center of the belt. Andir Drift, which grows to take up much of its volume, is a hollowed-out beehive habitat that’s got more docks, cageworks, factories, malls, homes, parks, bars, etc., etc., etc., hanging off it than most of the rest of the e’Luminiarien put together, is the administrative capital of the region, and is probably the one place you can be pretty sure every resident of the belt has visited.

But don’t call it a planet. The locals hate that.

6 Mélciö

6 Mélciö, which is a partially differentiated metallic asteroid similar to Vesta, is operated by a number of loosely federated scientific research stations, gathered there partly by unique facilities (the combination of minimal gravity and heavy shielding available by those willing to use the core lab, for example), and partly because of the number of very important breakthroughs that have been made there over the years.

Lots of people hoping that brilliance will rub off on them, in short.

32 Avénan

A carbonaceous asteroid nearer the outer edge of the e’Luminiarien, 32 Avénan and the smaller cohorts set in orbit around it are technically Imperial Navy Fleet Station Avénan. This used to be the Prime Base for the whole damn Fleet back in the day, before stargates were invented and the IN moved as a whole to Palaxias System, and it’s still where the First Capital Flotilla bases out of.

It’s also rather more open to public viewing than most IN bases because of its great historical importance.  It’s where the Consolidation ended and the Aeon-Long Peace began, for a start. It’s where the Talentar Revolt was negotiated to a successful conclusion, for another. As such, it’s also the headquarters and face of the Admiralty’s sophont relations “flotilla”.

 

 

Lumenna-Súnáris System (6): Talentar

I/5. Talentar

Class: Eutalentic
Orbit (period): 1.49 au (664.3 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.03
Radius: 2,137 miles
Mass: 9.4 x 1023 kg
Density: 5.51 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.54 g

Axial tilt: 26.1°
Rotation period: 23.5 T-hours

Black-body temperature: 216 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 230 K

Atmosphere: Primarily CO2, some nitrogen, trace components (pre-ecopoesis).
Atmospheric pressure (sfc.): 0.21 atm (pre-ecopoesis)
Hydrographic coverage: 0% (pre-ecopoesis)

Satellites: 3 moonlets.

So, here we are, next world of the system: Talentar. It’s eutalentic, which is the fancy IGS classification term for “Mars-like”: geologically quiescent, cold, and dry, with thin, mostly-CO2 atmospheres. And it’s very much like that: it could be Mars’s twin.

Which naturally made it the immediate best prospect for a colony and then for ecopoesis, much like, say, Mars – which meant Project Copperfall, followed by Project Redblossom. This is why so many of the figures here are given as “pre-ecopoesis”.

Prominent features visible at this time include Talarí Mons, a large shield volcano near the equator that became the base for the orbital elevator, and the Ashen Planitia from which it rises; Rel!in Crater, whose distinctive shape made it the basis of the zero meridian; the large southern polar depression that eventually became the Meridional Sea; Kirinal Planum, the large plain north of said depression that became a large expanse of “Talentar prairie”; the Five Valles, five large canyons in a claw formation, none as individually large as the Vallis Marineris but which together are a hell of a lot of chasm; the future site of Quinjano Dome, the planetary capital where the chasms come together; Lorai Vallis, site of a famous military cock-up in the Grand Colonial Charlie Foxtrot; and so forth…

And now, the satellites. All figures given for these are pre-ecopoesis, because the ecopoesis involved moving them…

I/5/a. Móstal

Class: Aggregate
Orbit (period):
6,294 miles (2.91 T-hours)
Orbit (ecc.):
0.0
Radius: 6.33 miles
Mass:
 1.4429 x 1016 kg
Density: 3.254 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.0009 g

Axial tilt: 0.01°
Rotation period: 3.56 T-hours

Black-body temperature: 216 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 209 K

Atmosphere: None.
Hydrographic coverage: 0%

As its planetary class indicates, Talentar’s innermost moon is… a rubble pile. And as its orbit indicates, one that is probably going to break up rather messily if untouched for the next few million years.

What that means in turn is that Móstal, for practical purposes, consists of a flag and some radio beacons and some fancy netting to keep it together when they had to move it to keep it out of the way of the orbital elevator…

I/5/b. Víërtal

Class: Silicaceous
Orbit (period):
12,740 miles (7.27 T-hours)
Orbit (ecc.):
0.0
Radius:
4.784 miles
Mass:
 7.6325 x 1015 kg
Density: 4.08 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.0008 g

Axial tilt: 0.02°
Rotation period: 7.88 T-hours

Black-body temperature: 216 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 209 K

Atmosphere: None.
Hydrographic coverage: 0%

Víërtal, by contrast, is a bit more solid. It’s an actual silicaceous asteroid, look!

Its history has mostly been quiet: due to its solidity and its convenient altitude and habit of whipping around Talentar a good three times every day, it made a convenient base during the initial colonization. It still houses domes into much later eras, notably including the local space-traffic monitoring and defense systems, but it is, for the most part, a backwater.

It also had to be moved in order to build the orbital elevator.

I/5/c. Avétal

Class: Chondraceous
Orbit (period): 26,905 miles (22.30 T-hours)
Orbit (ecc.):
0.0
Radius:
3.87 miles
Mass:
 1.9672 x 1015 kg
Density: 1.93 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.0003 g

Axial tilt: 0.4°
Rotation period: 29.3 T-hours

Black-body temperature: 216 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 185 K

Atmosphere: None.
Hydrographic coverage: 0%

And finally, Avétal, the outermost moon. Another relatively solid one, albeit less like a silicaceous asteroid in composition and more closely resembling a carbonaceous chondrite.

It’s been busy all through the lifespan of Talentar as an inhabited world, for various reasons: having lots of harvestable volatiles, and being relatively easy to get to in delta-v terms among them. But they, strictly speaking, aren’t the main thing.

What’s the main thing?

Look at the orbital period.

Now go back and look at the rotational period of the planet.

If you’re an orbital elevator consortium wondering where you’re going to find a nice, convenient countermass to move into position just above talentosynchronous orbit, those numbers should make you very happy indeed.

Or, rather, they did, and that’s why Avétal as a moon is wholly owned and operated by the Talentar Skyhook & Spaceport Consortium, ICC.

(Once we get to the modern era, of course.)

 

Lumenna-Súnáris System (5): Eliéra

I/4. Eliéra

Class: Sylithotectonic (simulated)
Orbit (period): 0.993 au (361.1075 T-days; 333.33 local days)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.023
Radius: 5,000 miles – special
Mass: 5.614 x 1024 kg
Density: 6.2 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.94 g

Axial tilt: n/a
Rotation period: 26 T-hours

Black-body temperature: 265 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 284 K

Atmosphere: Standard atmosphere.
Atmospheric pressure (sfc.): 0.94 atm
Hydrographic coverage: 60%

Satellites: 1 major (Seléne); 1 moonlet (Elárion).

Ah, yes, Eliéra. Homeworld of the eldrae. The jewel at the center of the Empire, and therefore the universe. The shining center from which the light of Order, Progress, and Liberty beams out into the galaxy.

And, curiously enough, not actually a planet at all.

It’s a Precursor-built Big Dumb Object. (Well, okay, technically it’s actually a Big Terrifyingly Smart Object, but that’s the accepted term/acronym…

…yeah, you know what? From now on, hereabouts, I’m redefining BDO to mean Big Damn Object, which strikes me as much more in the spirit of the thing.)

But anyway: it’s not a planet. It’s a flat disk – well, okay, not quite. It is almost a flat disk, with smoothly curved edges because while it’s 10,000 miles in diameter, it’s only 200 miles in height. Those smoothly curved edges mean that you can, in fact, sail right around the edge of the world to the other side and never bump into an actual “edge”; or at least you could were there not a giant perpetual storm where the two sides’ weather systems slam into each other in the way. It’s also almost flat because the builders wanted it to look flat, meaning that it’s actual gross shape is slightly convex, such that it looks flat after the refractive index of the atmosphere is taken into account. It spins like a flipped coin along a spin axis tangential to its orbit, which provides it with a day-night cycle.

At this point, several questions ought to be leaping to mind:

1. How does it keep its shape?; and
2. Those figures for volume/mass/density don’t look right.

I mean, Eliéra, as you would expect from its gravity, masses about 0.94 what Earth does. Its crustal density is a little heavier than Earth’s density, but not by much. (6.2 g/cm3). And yet its volume, being a disk 10,000 miles across by 200 thick, is only about 1/17th of the Earth’s.

You should definitely, at this point, be wondering how the hell that adds up.

Well, that would be the lump of Mystery Matter™ down at the core layer that lets it hold shape under its own weight, and which is also responsible, it is believed, for the physics-defying weird-assitude of its gravity field.

(Said weird-assitude, as brought up here as the divide between Terrestrial and Celestial Gravitation that had entire generations of physicists and astronomers beating their heads on things and complaining about how much they hate special cases, is that said Mystery Matter™ does not obey the inverse-square law. Gravitational attraction to it is governed, instead, by the Because We Are World-Constructing Sufficiently Advanced Precursors And We Bloody Well Say So Law.

The practical result of this is that if you are in low Eliéra orbit, say a 10,100 mile orbit (i.e., 100 miles above datum), your stable orbit will skim the atmosphere in what is basically a disk shape orbit matching the gross shape of the “planet”. If you are in high Eliéra orbit, contrariwise, say a 100,000 mile orbit, your stable orbit will be a perfect near-circular ellipse, just as it would be around a perfectly normal planet, and your altitude above datum will vary accordingly. Stable orbits in between occupy shapes in between, exactly as if there was some meta-law changing the BWAWCSAPAWBWSS Law smoothly and continuously into the inverse-square law depending on how far away from the Mystery Matter™ you happen to be.

The consensus on this is that it is (a) space magic, and (b) fucking weird.)

3. How the hell does the geology/ecology work?

Mechan Ically.

Well, okay, not entirely. The Precursors who built it were very clever geotects and ecotects who arranged for as much to happen in a perfectly natural way as they could, but that couldn’t apply to everything. It’s very hard to have planet-like geological processes without a mantle and molten core, for example.

So, instead, they buried down in the big sealed core layer (that contains the Mystery Matter™) a giant massively-parallel array of nanocomputers – this being why it’s a Very Smart Object Indeed – complete with a whole ecological maintenance team in the form of “mechal elementals”, what its first civilizations assumed were nature spirits of one kind or another, that do the work of filling in the essential missing bits.

Which is to say: it’s a giant machine that worlds just as as hard as it can.

4. Does it have seasons? How does it have seasons?

Because binary system.

For half the year Eliéra is between its suns, and night is – instead – a faintly red-tinted as-bright-as-the-full-moon twilight, and both sides of the disk receive insolation at once. For the other half of the year, it’s opposite to the second sun, and its primary washes out its secondary’s contribution during the day while nights are actually dark, peaking at midwinter when Lumenna actually occults Súnáris.

The actual difference in solar input is very small indeed, but when chaotically amplified through feedback loops in the “planetary” atmohydrosphere, that’s how it has seasons.

5. Something else?

Of course, while I’m trying to answer the common but-hows, I’m too close to this to really have a good grasp on what they might be, so if you have more, please feel free to ask in a comment.

Moons

As for its satellites, it has two, both far enough out to be in comfortably conventional orbits.

I/4/a. Seléne

Class: Selénian
Orbit (period): ~325,000 miles (15.77 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.01
Radius: 1281.2 miles
Mass: 1.35 x 1023 kg
Density: 3.30 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.20 g

Axial tilt: 4.77°
Rotation period: 15.77 T-days

Black-body temperature: 265 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 246 K

Atmosphere: None.
Hydrographic coverage: 0%.

Seléne is Eliéra’s major moon; it is very much like our moon, except for being somewhat more distant, and somewhat fatter, although curiously enough the apparent size from the surface is fairly similar.

Relatively low metal, silicate-rich, lots of fun stuff in its regolith, first to be colonized, you know the drill here. In later years it comes with helium-3 mining briefly, autofacs, cities, resorts, far-side observatories, and many millions of embodied sophonts living up there.

I/4/b. Elárion

Class: Gelidaceous
Orbit (period): ~1270000 miles (170.79 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.31
Orbit (inc.): 136.2°
Radius: 238.6 miles
Mass: 5.052 x 1020 kg
Density: 2.14 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.012 g

Axial tilt: 51.4°
Rotation period: 0.46 T-days

Black-body temperature: 265 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 246 K

Atmosphere: None.
Hydrographic coverage: 0%.

Did I say conventional orbits?

Elárion is Eliéra’s weird-assed moonlet. An obvious extrasystemic capture (just look at that strangely-inclined, retrograde orbit), it’s a little (asteroid-classed, by the book; just smaller than Ceres) gobbet of ices and tarry organics that somehow wound up as a far and a distant moon.

From space, the surface seems oddly pink-red, due to said tarry organics. From Eliéra’s surface, of course, it’s barely visible, but those with good eyes looking hard enough in the right place can make out a tiny, tiny red dot in the sky.

 

Lumenna-Súnáris System (4): Sialhaith

I/3. Sialhaith

Class: Sialhain
Orbit (period): 0.58 au (161.3 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.02
Radius: 3,680 miles
Mass: 4.3 x 1024 kg
Density: 4.96 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.84 g

Axial tilt: 7.9°
Rotation period:
  23.1 T-hours

Black-body temperature: 347 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 1,015 K

Atmosphere: Extremely dense, furnace-hot, primarily CO2.
Atmospheric pressure (sfc.): 117.6 atm
Hydrographic coverage: 21%

Satellites: None.

Sialhaith may not actually be one of the less pleasant hells, but if you wanted to build one, it would undoubtedly be where you’d go real-estate shopping.

It’s a “wet greenhouse”, consisting of furnace-heat over eroded rocky deserts, moistened by small oceans of boiling acid, with an atmosphere primarily of carbon dioxide and water vapor, mercifully concealed from space by its impenetrable belts of caustic, lemon-yellow, sulphuric-acid smog clouds. (They wrapped probes in platinum hulls just to find that much out.) If it is not the single least hospitable place in the entire System, the Sialhaith Extreme Tourism Advocacy Branch would like to know.

Naturally, in the future, people tried to ecopoese it. It didn’t stick: in the end, the residents of the aerostats – it’s very easy to build cities that are naturally buoyant in the Sialhain atmosphere – that were intended to monitor the ecopoesis process ended up buying out the project, having decided that they liked their lifestyle and its uniqueness just the way it was.

There’s very little on the surface itself but some minor scientific and resource-gathering outposts, and small-scale dome-warrens belonging to the sort of person who demands that their lifestyle be the absolutely most challenging available.

Oh, and Fort Inferno, because Legionary drill instructors also demand a lifestyle that’s the absolutely most challenging available.

 

Lumenna-Súnáris System (3): Toramir

I/2. Toramir

Class: Eurymic
Orbit (period): 0.32 au (66.12 T-days)
Orbit (ecc.): 0.00
Radius: 826.9 miles
Mass: 5.996 x 1022 kg
Density: 6.07 g/cm3
Surface gravity: 0.4 g

Axial tilt: 12.1°
Rotation period: 43.3 T-days

Black-body temperature: 467 K
Surface temperature (avg.): 453 K

Atmosphere: None.
Hydrographic coverage: 0%

Satellites: None.

The second planet of Lumenna, Toramir, is actually a much better Mercury-as-it-actually-is analog than Eurymir is.

Namely, Toramir is a sun-seared rockball with a long, long day. It’s sun-searedness makes it another great place for energy production, but also its high density (the highest of any planet in the Lumenna-Súnáris System) makes it a rich world, specifically rich in heavy metals and power metals. (It is, in fact, probably the richest of all Lumenna’s worlds in readily accessible metals, radioactives, and other heavy elements, along with not-insignificant regolith deposits of lighter elements and solar-wind collectibles.)

In short, prospectors just leapt at it. (Toramir’s own gravity well is relatively shallow, and despite its depth within Lumenna’s well, the total Δv required to get elsewhere in the system remains below launch costs from most other planets. It is unfortunately impracticable to construct an orbital elevator on Toramir, due to its slow rotation.) Shortly thereafter, so did shipbuilders and other heavy macroindustries, and Toramir’s orbitals in the modern era are crammed full of cageworks, macroforges, and autofacs.

The major groundside settlement is Sírtirias Lemisef, or translating approximately, Crawlerberg. That’s because it moves to stay out of the sunlight: the city itself and its smelters are a giant turtle built atop the biggest damned dual set of treads in the System that drives very slowly but continuously around the equatorial loop to stay on the shady side of the planet.

And the -berg? That would be the gunspire of the huge mass driver on its back that fires building-sized slugs of refined metal into orbit for the local industry to pick up.

The future colonists of this particular rockball were not in the habit of thinking small.