"...Our refuge among the stars."Ohrmazd system were not confirmed until much later. Late in the golden age, Zarine was discovered by an expedition, far out of it's projected course. The date of first landing is ambiguous, however, some time before the Imperial Rebellion an expedition discovered the world's capability to support life, and it's high value.
Working in secret, ESN began colonizing the planet, building settlements concealed by the world's natural conditions. When war came, the colony served as a hidden fortress, mass producing military hardware not far from Imperial space. Because of the natural conditions, and undocumented nature of the system, ESN's presence remained hidden for years into the conflict.
Initial colonization began in the Eastern regions of one of Zarine's larger continents, beginning with what would become Kaveh city, hidden between the Manasir mountains and Mount Maezul. Eventually, a second settlement, Rostam city, was built near the sea, North-East of Kaveh.
While relatively Earth like in conditions, technically, Zarine's environment is extremely harsh. Though greatly varying, most of the world is arctic. Severe winds are almost constant, and storms can frequently grow deadly. While making life difficult, the harsh conditions of Zarine provided ESN with a mask from orbit. Constant white-out conditions made visibility from above, or from land, nearly impossible. Harsh conditions made an attack difficult, from land or air, as outsiders were rarely as well prepared as the world's inhabitants. Storms made air traffic difficult, resulting in the inhabitants utilizing ground based, and occasionally, aquatic transport.
While Zarine remained a long kept secret, it did not last forever. Some time in the later years of the war, the Empire tracked rebel fleet movements back to Zarine, during the Azar crisis. Upon realising the threat, the world was quickly blockaded. Following the lack of cooperation, and lack of other options, the Imperial fleet decimated Kaveh city through the use of nuclear weapons, inflicting some amount of damage on Zarine's ecosystem. Eventually, ESN was driven out of the Ohrmazd system, and the Empire instated it's rule.
During the exile of the Empire, Zarine's location in the outer colonies allowed it to once again serve as a pivotal fortress, during the war against the Federal Republic. It's new capitol, Statera Citadel was located in Rostam city, and served again as a center for military production, benefiting from the resources mined from the world, and from it's moons, Barin and Nushaba.
Though not much is known about the formation of the system, it is believed Zarine was formed over time as the system's star grew. Most researchers believe the planet's formation was much like that of the Earth's. However, while Ohrmazd is a hotter star than Sol, Zarine orbits further out of the habitable zone than Earth, and so, is much colder. Because of harsh conditions, it is speculated that ecosystems took longer to begin forming, but once evolution began, it progressed swiftly.
While there is plenty of speculation, many experts believe that Nushaba formed not long after Zarine had begun forming. It remains volcanic and barren, and while currently uninhabitable, some believe the moon may eventually become more hospitable to life at some point in the far future.
Barin, however, is speculated to have been captured into orbit some time after Zarine's atmosphere began forming. It is unknown where it may have originated, though it contains massive amounts of ice. Though evidence has yet to be found, some believe it's frozen seas may contain bacteria or other signs of life. It is likely that the moon's former system might have died long before life began on Earth.
Surprisingly, Zarine's atmosphere is perfectly suitable for human life. It contains very high content of oxygen, and some level of nitrogen. Helium and hydrogen make up much of the upper atmosphere.
After the nuclear detonation on Kaveh city, a portion of the atmosphere was burned away, damaging it greatly. Later, the Empire repaired the atmosphere, slowly, through various terraforming processes.
Zarine is host to a wide variety of ecosystems, and while mostly arctic, it is a diverse world. The largest continent has been colonized, though there are many more landmasses unexplored. These continents are separated by expansive oceans of water, with trace amounts of bromine and iodine. concentrations of iodine monochloride have been found near shorelines, and anomalous amounts of trichlorofluoromethane can be found in the polar regions.
The polar northernmost regions of the planet reach uninhabitable temperatures, though regions near the equator support a surprising amount of life, often reaching temperatures above freezing during the day time. In the southern regions of the explored territory lies Mount Kala, a large, moderately active volcano, in a rocky region of the world.
Much of the planet is mountainous, with the flat lands being much less hospitable. Within many of the mountain ranges are extensive passes, and sheltered passes. Many cave entrances have been noted in regions North-East of Kaveh, and it is believed there may be limited ecosystems sheltered within.
Flora and Fauna Edit
Though evolution followed similar courses to that on Earth, the ecosystems of Zarine are distinctly alien. Ecosystems tend to develop into either secluded units of symbiotic plants and animals, or roaming packs of animals.
Plant life is scarce on Zarine, though when it does form, it can become a hub of life. Many species evolved to make their territory surrounding a central plant, or concentration of flora. The animals tend to stay in their environment, rarely wandering far except in rare cases where plant life is abundantly spread. Entirely herbivorous animals are uncommon, however, as food is of course limited.
Other animals tend to roam, either moving between various concentrations of flora, or hunting. Many of Zarine's species can be considered hostile, and range from lone apex hunters, to packs of vicious carnivores. Many have adapted to the natural conditions, and are undetectable among the environments they make their homes.
All life on Zarine has necessarily adapted to the weather. The rare instances of plant or animal life in the open elements are always well armored, and extremely durable.
Natural conditions on Zarine tend to be extreme. Blizzards, whiteouts, and storms are constant worries of the world's inhabitants, being perhaps the deadliest elements the colonists are faced with. These dangers can range from the pathfinding issues of whiteouts, to storms of large, sharpened hail.
There is little of note regarding Zarine's orbit. Some researchers believe the gravity of Jwahr may eventually pull Zarine out of it's orbit, and further out of the habitable zone, or possibly out of the system. This is unlikely to occur before the system's sun is in it's late stages, however.
Zarine's moons orbit at a stable rate. The larger Nushaba has a cycle of approximately 35 days, whereas Barin orbits at a faster period of approximately 17 days, at a slightly different axis, and at less distance.
Often known by inhabitants as the "cold moon", or "water omen", Barin appears to have a bluish hue from Zarine. The movement of Barin is barely visible to the human eye, and can be seen crossing the sky from roughly North-West to South-East.
Dubbed the "warm moon" or "fire omen" by inhabitants, Nushaba often glows a pale orange, and reddish glows can be seen across the unlit portions of the moon. Even at a new moon phase, these glows can be seen, making Nushaba a notable point of guidance.
The moon has a slower rate of orbit than that of the Earth's, and can typically be seen crossing the sky from West to East.Nushaba orbits Zarine in prograde direction, in near geosynchronous orbit, with it's rotation lasting many years.