Homeworld of the Church of Humanity Repentant and shared with the local indigenous Cah-Binn aliens. Cabina is a cold-to-temperate world with large polar ice caps that cover up to two thirds of the planet. A warmer, more temperate, climate band surrounds the equator, and is home to most of the planet's life. Cabina's atmosphere is a breathable mix, but its biosphere has been wholly devastated. The planet's ecosystems had always been weak, as a result of relentless cycles of dawning and receding ice ages. But it was the orbital bombardment from Imperial fleets in ages past that truly destroyed the biosphere and left the planet a barren wasteland. However, concerted efforts by CHR settlers and Cah-Binn survivors have managed to restore flora and fauna to many small patches of land or water surrounding their cities and settlements.
The planet's geography is roughly split between a single large continent that dominates one hemisphere, and an ocean filled with archipelago's that dominates the other. Human and Cah-Binn settlement is dispersed throughout both areas.
Roughly a third of the human population lives in the capital city of Lux Gravare, the rest are dispersed between numerous scattered towns, settlements, temples, monasteries, hermitages, and so on. Religious sites, whether large temple complexes or tiny shrines, can be found everywhere: from the tops of lifeless mountains, to the middle of desert wastelands, to the depths of icy caverns.
The Cah-Binn aliens are partly nomadic, and their population is divided into family communities nested inside metal yurts/lodges that bear familial markings shaped by the family elder. The largest and more known of these communities are close to the city of Lux Gravare where they trade with humanity. Each dome is separated individually by at least a 20 kilometer distance.
Geography and Climate
Cabina's surface is dominated by ice and water. Roughly two thirds of the planet's surface is permanently covered by its polar ice caps. The areas immediately adjacent to the ice caps are largely tundra and frequently, if not permanently, covered in snow or ice. In between the poles, surrounding the equator, runs a wide band of temperate climate. Cabina's climate history is defined by a continual cycle of ice ages, each lasting from hundreds to thousands of years, during which the equatorial band shrinks or grows respectively. Currently, the temperate band covers somewhere between a fifth to a third of the planet's total surface, dependent on how much of the colder tundra regions are included.
The planet's geography is roughly split between a single large continent that dominates one hemisphere, and an ocean filled with archipelago's that dominates the other. Many areas of Cabina's surface are still scarred with craters, marking the (geologically) recent imperial orbital bombardments.
Temperatures in arid areas on Cabina are still fairly pleasant compared to those on other planets. Cabina's deserts are rarely warmer than 20°C/70°F. The arid regions are as much the result of the ecosystem devastation as of meteorological conditions. These areas are, however, plagued by dust storms, at times reaching as much as a kilometer and a half (one mile) tall. These are primarily the result of the ecosystem collapse removing the plant life that, on a flourishing planet, would slow down wind with their trunks and keep soil in place with their roots. Though the dust storms are present year-round, they're particularly common and large during dry seasons. Local Cabina News stations will regularly report on the possibility of dust storms and warn the populace about mega-storms that seem likely to hit frontier communities or major cities.
Biosphere Destruction and Restoration
See also PRISM NETWORK NEWS - SAVING CABINA by Aristotle Seide
Cabina's biosphere had always been fragile, as a result of the millennia of relentless cycles of dawning and receding ice ages. However, it was the bombardment by the imperial fleet that drove the whole ecosystem over the edge and into total collapse.
Over the past two centuries, the Church of Humanity Repentant and the Cah-Binn have been making efforts, independently and jointly, to restore plant and animal life to the planet. As a result, most settlements are surrounded by swathes of flourishing flora and fauna. Outside of those, however, the planet is dominated by barren and lifeless desolation, the soil itself rendered permanently infertile by the dioxin pollution.
The main cause of the ecosystem collapse, and the main hindrance to its restoration, is dioxin poisoning. These chemicals are complex, long lived organic molecules that are toxic to all forms of life. Trillions of tons of dioxins were created as a result of the imperial bombardment of Cabina. Now the dioxins can be found everywhere. In the rivers, in the oceans, in the rain, and perhaps worst of all, the dioxins can be found in extremely high concentrations in the soil.
Continental Biosphere Restoration
As a result of the extreme levels of dioxin pollution, even plants genetically engineered to be tolerant to dioxins can’t grow on Cabina. The soil first needs to be treated with special bacteria that can break the toxin down into harmless byproducts. It takes a tremendous amount of work to re-mediate even a single square kilometer of ground so that plants can be grown on Cabina again.
To make matters worse the cleaning never stops. Dust storms, driven by the cold winds coming off the massive glaciers ringing the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet, kick the dioxin laced soil back up into the atmosphere where water condenses around it before raining back down on the surface below. Every time it rains, the poisons return to the soil. Which means every time it rains the soils need to be treated again, slowing how quickly the planet can be reclaimed.
Oceanic Biosphere Restoration
Not just the soil, but the oceans too were polluted by massive quantities of dioxins, and left lifeless by the total ecosystem collapse. However, the even post-collapse the ocean is still a single great system, connected by water currents. Oceanic biosphere restoration could not follow the inch-by-inch model of surface soil reclamation, it had to go big or go home. First, massive numbers of aquatic dioxin-consuming bacteria were cultivated and released into the oceans. Then, a range of dioxin-resistant plankton, known as black plankton for its unusually dark color, that feeds on the dioxin-consuming bacteria. Then, a range of aquatic fauna, from fish to mollusks, that feeds on the plankton. The intention was to continue building the ecosystem after this initial seeding, but due to setbacks and unexpected side-effects of the first two steps, this has yet to begin. Instead, the majority of the Cabina oceans are currently only barely more alive than they were before. Instead of completely lifeless, they are now plagued with infestations of toxic black plankton and dotted with vast fields of poisonous Tiger Mussels that crowd out any other life.
After several failed attempts to fix this situation wholesale, efforts have switched to a slower approach. Currently, biosphere restoration is focused on regrowing green coral reefs around the settled islands and coasts. These coral reefs are engineered and planted so as to prevent mussel growth, and provide relatively safe environments in which more complex aquatic ecosystems, most prominently fish, are able to be seeded and survive. However, these reefs are still in danger from the black plankton algal blooms, colloquially known as 'black water', that regularly destroy whole swathes of restored coral. Oceanic frontier communities must continually check and maintain their coral forest to ensure it survives and thrives.
Biosphere Restoration Setbacks and Disasters
Attempts to hasten restoration through experimental techniques have had a tendency to, in spite of best intentions, back-fire on the project and Cabina population. Most infamously, the unintentional creation of the Shatter Zaffre lichen and the unexpected, and deadly, threat posed by the Bumbumast ur-swarms.
As an unforeseen consequence of re-introducing the Bumbumast to the restoration projects, the wasteland areas up to about a week's travel from such settlements are plagued by deadly ur-swarms of madly ravenous Bumbumast, posing a mortal hazard to anyone caught unawares and without proper protection. These ur-swarms are particularly common around the smaller settlements or homesteads, where people cannot afford the more advanced surveillance and control systems used by major settlements and cities to keep the Bumbumast problem mostly under control.
As another unexpected side-effect of restoration projects, settlements on Cabina are regularly threatened by outbreaks of the Shatter Zaffre lichen. The original Zaffre strain was introduced to Cabina to aid in soil decontamination, but quickly evolved into the Shatter variety, which rather than decontaminating the soil went and fed on commonly used construction materials of the settlements around which it was released instead. If left unchecked, Shatter Zaffre will cause the infected materials to become brittle, leading to structural weakening and eventual collapse. Though affected areas can be cleared, removing the lichen from the planet entirely has proven as of yet unattainable, in part because of unscrupulous people intentionally growing the lichen for its use as the eponymous Shatter Drug.
On the oceanic side, the phenomenon of 'black water' and the explosive growth of Tiger Mussels have proven to be great setbacks to aquatic biosphere restoration. While there was reasonable success with the bacteria and plankton stages, things went wrong at the introduction of plankton-eating fauna. The dioxin-eating bacteria and the plankton that feeds on it proved to often be too effective, leading to continual instances of harmful algal blooms, colloquially known as 'black water' for the inky color the engineered plankton gives the water during an algal bloom. These would repeatedly cause ecosystem collapses for the reintroduced fauna meant to consume the plankton.
The only species able to survive and thrive despite these black water blooms were the so-called Tiger Mussels, named after their pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange shells. These proved great at filtering out the black plankton responsible for black water, but also great at storing the dioxins remaining in the water and their diet, making them deeply poisonous even to otherwise dioxin resistant life. Between their toxicity, and ability to spread like a plague, they soon began to choke out all other forms of benthic life. Currently, the otherwise empty Cabina oceans are dotted with vast fields of poisonous Tiger Mussels. In addition, when colonies find a foothold near populated areas Tiger Mussels are notorious for getting into and clogging up pipes and machinery.
Notable Flora and Fauna
For main article, see Bumbumast
Bumbumasts are small flying insectoid creatures native to Cabina. They played a vital role in Cabina flora pollination and were at times kept by the Cah-Binn for the sweet milk- and wax-like substances they’d produce. Bumbumasts naturally exhibit three distinct phases of behavior: solitary, colonial, and swarming. In recent times, a new phase has been discovered: the mortally dangerous ur-swarm phase.
Though largely peaceful in all three of their primary behavioral phases, Bumbumasts have a defensive mechanism known as their death-bite. When a Bumbumast's lair or colony is under attack, it is able to force its jaws to bite with such force that it either chews clean through whatever it's biting or gets permanently stuck. If stuck, the Bumbumast will literally decapitate itself trying to pull free.
Bumbumasts became extinct as part of the total ecosystem collapse following the Blood Eagle’s bombardments. But due to their importance for the pollination of several key species of native Cabina flora, they were among the first species reintroduced by biosphere restoration projects. However, the Bumbumast proved to react to the wasteland outside of these projects with new and unexpected behavior. Rather than avoid the wasteland entirely, as expected, Bumbumast swarms instead gather in even larger numbers, before heading straight into the wasteland. Cah-Binn and human biologists have labeled this behavior the "ur-swarm" phase.
After several days of finding nothing in their path but more wasteland, these Bubumast ur-swarms begin to starve, and after a few more days begin to die as the swarm collapses. However, in the days leading up to final starvation the Bumbumasts become aggressively ravenous. The ravenous Bumbumasts will bite through anything short of a vac suit, and any person caught unprepared by a ravenous ur-swarm is in mortal danger.
The one bright side is that if someone has gotten themselves lost in the wasteland, the appearance of an ur-swarm signals that they are no more than a week out from a nearby settlement. Provided they can survive the encounter, that is.
These small amphibian beings live in the coldest parts of Cabina. Since they are cold-blooded they spend their whole lives close to the warm pools of geysers. They are frog-like in size and stature but there are thin skin membranes between their forearms and torsos that they use as flippers for propulsion in water. Varrjac are omnivores, surviving mostly on the small shrubs that grow in these parts and microfauna that lives in the warm pools.
When it is time for Varrjac to lay their eggs, they retreat into these pools. Due to the warm water, the eggs do not have to be incubated by the parents. But because of the flourishing fauna in the volcanic puddles, the egg’s shells have to be extremely robust. After about 2 weeks of incubation, the babies are ready to hatch. Most of them however are not strong enough to pierce the shell, only managing to break out their forearms. Instinctively, they use their flippers to pull themselves towards the pool’s center. There they wait until the force of the geyser’s next eruption breaks their shells and propels them out of the water and into the air. Here their flippers double as wings, on which they sail to the next puddle, where they find a mate and spend the rest of their lives.
Wild Varrjacs went extinct following the imperial bombardments, but the species has been successfully re-introduced via joint CHR and Cah-Binn efforts.
For main article, see Shatter Zaffre
Shatter Zaffre is a leprose lichen, easily identified by its pale blue colouration and powdery surface, that is able to grow and feed on most common concrete and metal building materials, turning the latter brittle and easy to 'shatter'. Shatter Zaffre is primarily found on Cabina, where it represents a serious problem with periodic outbreaks of Shatter Zaffre infestations. However, as a result of unscrupulous freighter captains, the infestations have occasionally appeared throughout the sector, though as of yet these have all been contained to individual ships or stations. Shatter Zaffre is poisonous to humans and under no circumstances should it be ingested, though this has not stopped some from using it as the eponymous Shatter Drug.
Tiger MusselsFor main article, see Tiger Mussels
Named after their pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange shells, these mussels were introduced as part of the attempt to restart an oceanic ecosystem. They were the only form of re-introduced fauna that proved hardy enough to survive or out-produce the destruction wrought by the 'black water' algal blooms, that began to plague the Cabina oceans soon after the introduction of the dioxin-resistant engineered black plankton. Tiger Mussels proved great at filtering out the black plankton responsible for black water, but also great at storing the dioxins remaining in the water and their diet, making them deeply poisonous even to otherwise dioxin resistant life. Between their toxicity, hardiness, and ability to spread like a plague, Tiger Mussels soon began to choke out all other forms of benthic life. Currently, the Cabina oceans are dotted with vast fields of poisonous Tiger Mussels. In addition, when colonies find a foothold near populated areas Tiger Mussels are notorious for getting into and clogging up pipes and machinery.
Tiger Mussels can be eaten, but it is strongly discouraged. They are highly poisonous and deadly unless prepared by a master chef able to cut precisely out those parts that can, with the right preparation, be safely eaten. However, because they are so ubiquitous in Cabina saltwater, they are often a very tempting source of food for those of limited means. Cabina hospitals regularly find themselves needing to provide emergency treatment to those suffering from poisoning as a result of eating poorly prepared Tiger Mussel dishes.
Before humanity's arrival in the sector, the Cah-Binn had settled a handful of systems surrounding Cabina. Humanity destroyed these settlements, and the final treaty the Cah-Binn were forced to sign forbade them from settling anywhere outside of the Benilli system.
After the Scream, the Cah-Binn believed that the original human-alien treaties confining them to their homeworld had become null and void, and the ground of Cabina shook as it birthed several Cah-Bin space ships that began exploring the systems surrounding Cabina and engage in trade with the humans of these systems. The Cah-Binn also re-founded several small outposts in the sectors surrounding Cabina.
The empire did consider this a breach of the original treaty. But as the outposts were small and posed no threat, and the trade was profitable to all involved, nothing was done beyond lodging a formal protest and using the issue to rile up anti-alien sentiment whenever it was politically convenient to some imperial faction or the other.
This lasted until the reign of the Blood Eagle. The Cah-Binn were an obvious target, and it wasn't long before the Aquilan Emperox went after them. But when she sent her imperial troops out to cleanse the Cah-Binn outposts, and embargo the Cah-Binn trade ships, she was met with more resistance than he expected. The Cah-Binn outposts were reinforced with garrisoned defenders, and their trade ships were as varied as their exoskeletal frames. This uniqueness proved to be more than humanity had initially bargained for.
As a result of the increased resilience to imperial tactics, the imperial military forewent a ground invasion of Cabina, instead opting to request the imperial navy for months of orbital bombardments that scarred the planetary surface until the Cah-Binn found a way to communicate their unconditional surrender. Though not intensive enough to directly destroy life on the planet, the bombardement started a chain reaction that over subsequent years resulted in total ecosystem collapse and the end of all natural life on Cabina. Toxins left behind as a byproduct of the bombardement continue to hinder attempts at biosphere restoration to this day.
For a brief period, an imperial garrison was deployed on the planetary surface, establishing a permanent human colony on the planet called Lux Gravare. The garrison was recalled soon after the Blood Eagle's death in 2955, but the colonists stayed.
The Founding of the Church of Humanity Repentant
When the founders of the Church of Humanity Repentant were looking for a home, Cabina soon became an obvious choice. Though understandably wary at first, the Cah-Binn begrudgingly accepted these 'repentant' humans' presence, and helped some of the first settlers survive the planet's cold and devastated climate. Though the devastation visited upon them by humanity was, and still remains, fresh in the Cah-Binn's cultural memory, over time many have come to like and trust their human neighbors. Helping build this trust was that part of the Church's offer of reconciliation was a promise: if anyone ever seeks to bombard the Cah-Binn again, they'll have to bombard millions of human shields along with them.
Today, the human population vastly outnumbers that of the Cah-Binn, and the two species largely live in separate communities. But relations between the communities are good, in particular when it comes to joint projects to restore parts of Cabina's biosphere to its original luster.
For main article, see Lux Gravare
Lux Gravare is the capital city of Cabina. It is located in the temperate band that surrounds Cabina's equator, around the Canomere river and the western edge of the Cambalt hills, and just north of the eastern shores of the planet's main continent and the ocean. It is by far the largest city on Cabina, with a population of around two million inhabitants.
In addition to being the capital city of Cabina, it is also the de facto sector-wide capital city of the Church of Humanity Repentant, as Lux Gravare is home to all the major branches of CHR government.
Lux Gravare is roughly divided into four districts: The Central District, the Southside District, the Riverside District, and the Port District.
Lux Gravare Stadium (The Vardome)
For main article, see Lux Gravare Stadium (The Vardome)
The Lux Gravare Stadium is the official stadium of the Cabina Fever Psiball team. The stadium has recently undergone extensive renovation after a friendly match against the team from Shān ended with the stadium in ruins. The renovations were funded by Church of Humanity Repentant member Dr. Lyra Quinn Vardom, as a result of his patronage Cabina Fever fans have nicknamed the renovated stadium ‘The Vardome’.
Lux Gravare Greenbelt
The largest area of restored biosphere on the planet is known as the Lux Gravare Greenbelt. It surrounds the capital city of Cabina, and represents both the oldest and the largest of the biosphere restoration projects on the planet.
Most of the Greenbelt is covered by fields and crops, but a significant part has been set aside as a recreational wildlife preserve. This part features grassy fields and open forests of slender young trees and undergrowth. The majority of native Cabina flora here are fruit-bearing bushes and trees, as these had priority in the Cah-Binn seed bank and conservation projects that form the basis for native biosphere restoration. The remainder of flora is made up of species originally native to Earth or Acheron Rho. All species have, to a greater or lesser extent, been genetically modified to be able to survive the trace levels of toxic dioxins present even in reclaimed areas of Cabina soil.
In addition to nature, the Greenbelt is dotted with small shrines. In the early days, many CHR settlers to Cabina wanted to be buried in the middle of the nature they worked so hard to restore. As Cabina’s population grew, this soon became untenable as it would’ve turned the Greenbelt into a Gravebelt. However, the many graves made before the practice was banned remain to this day. It is a common practice among CHR sects with old or founding members buried in the Greenbelt to organize short, day-long, pilgrimages to visit the grave-shrines of their honored forebears. Less well-remembered people find their graves tucked away and overgrown, reclaimed by the nature they themselves helped plant.
This bustling village consists of a dozen or so buildings, sitting in the center of a large expanse of farmland. People work in the fields, harvesting tea leaves by hand, while large harvesters reap a field of wheat. A bridge crosses a swiftly-running river, and a large, steepled monastery building, the Bastion of the Sanctified Soul, stands on a hill overlooking the rest of the village.
Haakon Homestead is technically part of the Cabina Frontier, but being less than a day’s hike from Lux Gravare it could also be considered a suburban neighborhood of the capital site itself. Visitors regularly go back and forth between Haakom and Lux Gravare. Many visitors make this trip solely to visit the Tao-Lu ramen shop, which has gotten quite popular amongst some circles in the capital.
Bastion of the Sanctified Soul
Close to the Haakom Homestead, and thus less than a day’s travel from Lux Gravare, stands the Bastion of the Sanctified Soul. This is the main temple of the CHR sect known as the Concord of the Sanctified Souls.
MugenjishiFor main article, see Mugenjishi
Mugenjishi is the second largest city on Cabina, after the capital of Lux Gravare but before the industrial center of Gadalfo. It lies roughly 1,000 miles north past the border of Cabina's temperate equatorial region, well into the northern polar ice cap. It was built in a large valley carved out of the ice by the planetary bombardement of the Blood Eagle's fleet. Mugenjishi is dominated by temples and churches, and for many of the more spiritual and esoteric sects of the Church of Humanity Repentant the city serves as a kind of second capital after that of Lux Gravare.
Only about two-thirds of the city's population is made up off actual permanent residents. Most of which are monks or priests or people otherwise officially affiliated with one of the temples or churches. The remaining third is made up of an ever changing population of pilgrims that come to Mugenjishi for stays lasting from days to years. At peak population, Mugenjishi is inhabited by just over a million people.
Pilgrim's gate is a small town just on the edge of Cabina's equatorial region. It is the starting point of a pilgrimage that takes pilgrims to Mugenjishi by land. It is an arduous journey, a solid month of travel across hundreds of miles of glacier, and one of Pilgrim's Gate's main features is a hospital equipped with ample medical evacuation shuttles which routinely cross into the polar region to recover over-confident or unlucky pilgrims.
In addition, Pilgrim's Gate also has several people and companies offering shuttles to different starting points, closer to Mugenjishi, up to as much as just hours or days away. However, these have to compete with better funded and equipped services operating directly from the planet's capital of Lux Gravare.
GadalfoFor main article, see Gadalfo
Gadalfo is known as the industrial capital of Cabina. It is the third largest city on the planet and the most cohabited with the Cah-Binn. The industry of Gadalfo is primarily steel and mineral production harvested from the nearby mountain range known as the Zabrann Mountains. The city stands just south of the temperate band of Cabina and experiences particularly harsh winters. Its location would not normally be considered hospitable enough for human settlement if not for how lucrative the mountain ranges nearby are in terms of wealth of mineral deposits. Gadalfo's population is just shy of one million inhabitants.
Gadalfo was the locale of first contact with the Cah-Binn. This event would later be referred to as the "Gadalfo Incident". The settlers unknowingly built the city adjacent to a particularly significant cultural location. The Cah-Binn name for the canyon that Gadalfo borders is most closely expressed in English phonetics as "checkh-val-shivt" and roughly translates to "The Boneyard". "The Boneyard" is a mass grave of dead and fossilized fauna and alien remains that has remained somewhat preserved. However the canyon is also one of the most mineral rich locations discovered on Cabina and as such was a major point of contention regarding early diplomatic relations between human settlers and the Cah-Binn.
Cabina FrontierFor main article, see Cabina Frontier
Due to a lack of reliable census data, and a seeming lack of interest on the part of the Cabina government to improve said census data, there are no detailed population figures for those who live out in the desolate wastes and oceans of Cabina. However, it is estimated that the population of the Cabina Frontier ranges somewhere from two to four million inhabitants, spread across thousands of communities ranging from towns of tens of thousands to villages of dozens.
Continental Towns, Villages, and Homesteads
Outside of the three major cities of Lux Gravare, Mugenjishi, and Gadalfo, the human population of Cabina's main continent inhabits far-flung towns, villages, and homesteads dedicated to agriculture and the exploitation of natural resources. These outposts provide essential resources for a planet far from the Imperial core, and also provide work and a safe haven for the large refugee populations the Church of Humanity Repentant takes in. Settlements closer to Lux Gravare and larger Cah-Binn clan-homes are connected by dedicated roads and rails, while more far-flung settlements largely rely on travelling Cah-Binn caravans for resources they are unable to produce locally. Shuttle services are able to reach anywhere, but are generally too expensive for day-to-day business and trade.
So long as refugees are peaceful and willing to work, the communities of these settlements ask few questions about their origins or backgrounds. This welcoming attitude is partly the result of putting CHR teachings on charity into practice, but also because many inhabitants of these homesteads are themselves 2nd or 3rd generation descendants of refugees. It is rumored that in addition to runaway serfs and repentant criminals, a significant part of the population of the more remote settlements is currently made up of synth refugees. The Cabina government has assured Crux law enforcement that it has the situation firmly under control and does not require any assistance.
As part of their arrangement with the Cah-Binn, many of these homesteads are also committed to contribute resources and manpower to regrowing Cabina’s devastated biosphere, typically planting Earth-native plants alongside cloned samples of Cabina’s rare surviving native vegetation.
Island Towns, Villages, and Homesteads
Roughly a third of the frontier population lives not on the continent, but on archipelago's dispersed throughout Cabina's single great ocean. Island towns, villages, and homesteads are fairly similar to their continental counterparts, except that they are even more isolated and insular. A very small number of Cah-Binn tribes live and travel the oceans, having adapted their exoframes to float and travel the waters by both sail and more advanced means of oceangoing. Generally speaking, the island communities see no visitors except monthly Cabina Cups shuttles, bringing supplies in exchange for the local tea harvest. Only occasionally will such a shuttle bring with it new refugees and/or settlers to increase the local population. These are received with even more wariness, and even less questions, than they'd find in continental frontier communities.
In addition to whatever room there is for crops, most oceanic frontier towns maintain a coral forest in the waters near their settlement. These corals provide little of value for the local community, but the work to maintain or expand them is subsidized by the CHR (for a significant part through revenue from the Cabina Cups Tea Company).
The majority of the Cabina landscape is wasteland. It is thousands and thousands of miles of barren, dusty soil and skeletal trees. Occasionally the odd impact crater breaks up the monotony of the dead and lifeless expanse.
Cabina soil and water is marked by dioxin pollution, resulting from the imperial bombardment several centuries ago. This is harmful to humans, but one has to try to ingest enough of it for truly toxic effects. Its primary effect is that of rendering the wastelands barren and infertile. Rain falls, but rather than revitalizing the soil the polluted rainwater just ensures the soil remains polluted without immense and constant efforts that are only feasible near populated areas.
Though there is rain and wind, the primary weather phenomenon in the wasteland is dust storms. The lack of plant life rooting in the soil means that across the wasteland the surface is nothing but loose sand. As wind blows across mile after mile of sand, a gust of dust grows into massive storms, at times more than a mile high. Though the dust storms are present year-round, they're particularly common and large during dry seasons. Local Cabina News stations will regularly report on the possibility of dust storms and warn the populace about mega-storms that seem likely to hit frontier communities or major cities.
In addition to the dust storms, wasteland areas surrounding biosphere restoration projects, particularly those in the frontier, are regularly plagued by deadly Bumbumast ur-swarms.
Like the soil, the massive amounts of dioxins produced by the imperial bombardment polluted the oceans and rendered them lifeless. Unlike the soil, the more piecemeal approach to restoration done on land was impossible to do in the ocean. Due to the currents connecting all parts of the ocean to each other, it needed to be treated as a single biosphere, and as much as possible restored as a single whole.
However, so far the oceanic biosphere restoration has been a mixed success. While dioxin levels have been lowered sufficiently for more advanced life to exist, the majority of the Cabina oceans are currently only barely more alive than they were before. Instead of completely lifeless, they are plagued with infestations of toxic black plankton and dotted with vast fields of poisonous Tiger Mussels that crowd out any other life.
The only truly vibrant areas are small areas of coral reefs planted and maintained by island and shore communities. With sufficient care, the coral forests can be kept clear of Tiger Mussels and black water, and particularly successful projects have been able to advance to introducing various species of fish and mollusk and begin to build some semblance of a proper aquatic ecosystem.
Notable Sites and Locations
A small cave where Alyssa the Humble, a widely revered CHR leader and Great Rethinker, spent the final years of her life. A simple stone hut sits on a bed of wildflowers within a grotto in the hills into the wasteland a short hike from Lux Gravare. A small headstone sits next to it. A nearby spring babbles into a pool, before flowing out of a small hole in the back of the grotto.
Crash Site of Kriix-aalkrik-voon
Deeper into the wastelands surrounding Lux Gravare, the ever-present skeletal trees lean at odd angles, and soon give way to an enormous crater. Inside of the crater lies the bizarre wreckage of what to many would seem to be an enormous spacecraft, dozens of meters in length. Blast-holes are visible in the structure revealing layers of metal, like the layers of an onion.
Though it looks like a spaceship, and it is, it is more than that. It is the remains of the magnificent exoframe of the great Cah-Binn hero Kriix-aalkrik-voon. According to Cah-Binn tales, Kriix-aalkrik-voon was the last of the living Gestalt Exoframes. A great hero, knowing and brave, who guided their people through space to explore other worlds in the time before humanity came to the sector. During the Blood Eagle’s attack on Cabina, the great exoframe ship was shot down, killed, and crashed onto the Cabina soil.
The Cah-Binn still revere Kriix-aalkrik-voon, and humans are discouraged from visiting the crash site except with appropriate reverence.
The Flying Saucer
For main article, see The Flying Saucer
The Flying Saucer is an elegantly furnished space station shaped like a teacup and saucer in low orbit around Cabina, constructed in the early 32nd century. Originally intended to be an exhibition piece for Cabina Cups’ popular new flavour Synthetic Perfection, the station quickly became so popular that the company decided to renovate and reopen it as a permanent orbital teahouse. The Saucer offers a soothing peaceful environment where visitors may relax, drink tea, and converse to the backdrop of the slowly moving panorama of the planet Cabina.
A Cah-Binn ruin in orbit of Cabina, plagued by trigger-happy scavengers meddling with strange alien tech.
Cabina is, as of yet, the only planet in the sector where a majority of the population are members of the Church of Humanity Repentant. In fact, census figures consistently show figures ranging from 80% to 90% of the population being active members of the CHR. This means that CHR beliefs in the innate dignity of all sentient life pervades Cabina culture, and while following the major structures and practices of the empire, Cabina is comparatively free from issues of exploitation or oppression more rampant elsewhere in the sector. Nobles on Cabina are expected, by themselves not least of all, to take the principles of noblesse oblige deeply serious and see themselves as having just as important a duty to take care of their serfs as their serfs have to take care of their nobles.
Of course, this does not mean Cabina is entirely free of exploitation and oppression. But such practices are deeply frowned upon, and it is all too easy for an exploited or oppressed serf to find their way to a friendly CHR pastor to have their case heard, and if need be themselves spirited away to start a new life in a community on the Cabina Frontier.
Frontier culture is markedly different from that in the major cities. While life in the major cities is defined by living according to CHR ideals in a largely rich and well-developed environment, life on the frontier puts those ideals to the test against an environment that is harsh and unforgiving. Frontier culture is paradoxically both open and insular. Frontier communities are always open to welcoming refugees or settlers, no questions asked, as long as they prove their willingness to make themselves useful to the community. But those same communities tend to be deeply paranoid of temporary visitors and generally distrust and dislike anyone who isn't part of their tight-knit frontier communities.
As Cabina was only truly settled by humanity relatively recently, after the Blood Eagle's destruction of the Cah-Binn, its language has had less time to develop than that of other worlds. Many places still see people speak the local languages of their original settlers, or otherwise sees people use imperial common as their native tongue.
The Cabinan language itself is a creole language, comprised from influences of the many different tongues of the Cabinan settlers. Only about half of the Cabinan population speaks it, though all natives will know some trademark Cabinan slang terms, and the majority will have passive understanding of the language.
Cabina Cups Tea
For main article, see Cabina Cups Tea
Cabina Cups is a brand of tea that's ubiquitous on Cabina and widely associated with the CHR sector-wide (positively or negatively, dependent on who you ask). Cabina Cups tea is artisanally grown across Cabina wherever biosphere restoration projects have advanced sufficiently for tea gardens to prosper. Almost every city, village, and temple grows its own local variety of Cabina Cups.
The Cabina Cups Tea Company is a non-profit organisation whose board is appointed by the Concord, the governing body of the Church of Humanity, Repentant. All profits are invested into Cabina biosphere restoration projects or other charitable projects.
Cabina Cups comes in hundreds of flavors, most of which are produced only in very small batches. As a result, a box of Cabina Cups will generally have a random assortment of flavors. As they say within the CHR: "Life is like a box of Cabina Cups, you never know what flavor you're going to get!"
- Voice of Cabina (most respected and widespread outlet)
- Cabina NEWS! (can veer into more sensational headlines and yellow journalism)
- Repentant Times (news for the religiously devout, often spread by pamphlets from marketing drones)
The majority of land on Cabina is de jure owned by nobles, but because the vast majority of said nobles are devout members of the Church of Humanity Repentant, de facto the political power on Cabina tends to flow upwards from CHR communities and sects. The three major cities, and a handful of large frontier towns, have appointed majors. These are de jure appointed by the major noble landowners to oversee their property, but in practice the nobles appoint these in consultation with the major local communities and religious leaders. In addition, much land on Cabina is leased out by its de jure owners to the CHR or its sects for token rents. In the case of frontier communities, whether homesteads or monasteries, these often are de jure the estates of a noble patrons. De facto, these patrons rarely involves themselves with 'their' communities or, in the case of monasteries, are themselves members of the order.
The single most powerful political position on Cabina is that of the planetary governor. The governor of Cabina is de jure appointed by a committee of the major land owners, but de facto they are appointed by the Concord, the ruling body of the Church of Humanity Repentant. The responsibilities of the governor are primarily the coordination of the largely independent communities and governments of Cabina's three major cities and the thousands of frontier communities. The governor has few de jure political powers, instead their power comes largely from everyone on the planet generally assuming that the Cabina governor always has the full backing of the CHR Concord in whatever they do.
Judiciary and Law Enforcement
Law enforcement on Cabina differs greatly between the upper and lower ranks, and between the major cities and the Cabina Frontier.
The upper ranks of Cabina law enforcement are the judges and police chiefs and their superiors. These positions are all taken by loyal members of House Crux. Though, by and large they are far from the house's finest, seeing as Cabina is considered very much a backwater planet. Anyone with any potential makes sure to find themselves transferred or promoted off-world at the first opportunity. They do their best to maintain the law, even those parts of imperial law not popular with the Church of Humanity Repentant, such as synth retirement. However, in such cases, attempts to do much more than the bare minimum are often frustrated by general hostility and non-cooperatives by the local population. As a result, the majority of these judges and chiefs simply focus on places where they can be properly productive: Namely more mundane criminal issues that do not find the same resistance, such as regular theft, murder, and so on. They keep themselves busy solving such crimes, all the while hoping to get promoted off this dump as soon as possible.
Lower Ranks - Major Cities
In the major cities, the lower ranks of Cabina law enforcement are the local beat cops, the lowly detectives, and so on. By and large they are locals, with only the occasional Crux noble thrown in, and thus overwhelmingly made up of members of the Church of Humanity, Repentant. They are hired by House Crux and provided with some Crux training before being put to work. Usually, they honestly follow their superiors' commands and work hard to keep the people of Cabina safe from crime. However, in cases where official law conflicts with Church sympathies, such as synthetic retirement, these cops have difficult decisions to make. Though some give in to the demands of the law, and the money and prestige House Crux gives to those who keep it, most are more likely to take illegal synthetics to their local CHR pastor than to their Crux superior.
Lower Ranks - Frontier
The Cabina Frontier is largely void of Crux presence, who consider it a backwater in a backwater. The only Crux forces active on the frontier are special ops teams based in the major cities, and they only venture forth into the frontier if it is truly, absolutely necessary.
Regular frontier law enforcement is the domain of sheriffs de facto chosen by the frontier communities themselves, and from amongst their own ranks. Though these sheriffs are nominally and de jure still part of Crux law enforcement, de facto they keep their own law without regard for what anyone outside of the frontier (Crux or otherwise) thinks about it.
Below are collections of artwork gathered from the internet that can be used as an inspiration for imagining the people and places of Cabina.
Cabina Geography and Architecture
Some hostile alien race or malevolent cabal has a branch or sect on this world that is actually quite friendly toward outsiders. For whatever internal reason, they are willing to negotiate and deal honestly with strangers, and appear to lack the worst impulses of their fellows.
- Driven hater of all their kind
- Internal malcontent bent on creature conflict
- Secret master who seeks to lure trust
- Well-meaning bug-eyed monster
- Principled eugenics cultist
- Suspicious investigator
- The group actually is as harmless an benevolent as they seem
- The group offers a vital service at the cost of moral compromise
- The group still feels bonds of affiliation with their hostile brethren
- Forbidden xenotech
- Eugenic biotech template
- Evidence to convince others of their kind they are right
- Repurposed maltech laboratory
- Alien conclave building
- Widely-feared starship interior
The planet is ruled by the priesthood of the predominant religion or ideology. The rest of the locals may or may not be terribly pious, but the clergy have the necessary military strength, popular support or control of resources to maintain their rule. Alternative faiths or incompatible ideologies are likely to be both illegal and socially unacceptable.
- Decadent priest-ruler
- Zealous inquisitor
- Relentless proselytizer
- True believer
- Offworld theologian
- Atheistic merchant
- Desperate commoner
- The theocracy actually works well
- The theocracy is decadent and hated by the common folk
- The theocracy is divided into mutually hostile sects
- The theocracy is led by aliens
- Precious holy text
- Martyr's bones
- Secret church records
- Ancient church treasures
- Glorious temple
- Austere monastery
- Academy for ideological indoctrination
- Decadent pleasure-cathedral
Gas Giant Mine
Johnstown Mine Project
For main article, see Johnstown Mine Project on the Benilli system page.
Occupation: Miserable gas-miner slaves or serfs
Situation: They need vital supplies
Occupation: Trigger-happy scavengers
Situation: Meddling with strange tech