Silver Age Beyond
|Ruler||(various local rulers)|
|Capital||No planetary capital|
|Human Population||13.5 million|
|Alien Population||Unknown number of Stoucrix|
|Resources:||ores, minerals, Second Republic technology|
|Exports:||slaves, refined ores, metals, weapon technology|
|Star:||Mingxing (yellow to yellowish white)|
|Planet Name||Distance from Star||Notes|
Hotan is covered in plateaus and valleys, with vast plains of hard-packed dirt stretching between them. It has no oceans, but two large saltwater seas exist in the northern and mid-latitudes. Rain-deposited lakes and streams dot the plateaus, running into the valleys and underground reservoirs below.
Discovered soon after Rauhina (GD 2900), Hotan was left unsettled for centuries due to the enormous cost of terraforming the world. Neither did the planet see much industrial development as its mineral wealth was buried so deep it would be prohibitively expensive to exploit using the technology and science know-how of the Diaspora. But with the rise of the Second Republic, Hotan attracted new interest. Its proximity to Capital Secundus, together with its considerable mineral wealth, made Hotan valuable enough to be given a priority charter for terraforming and industrialization development (GD 3500).
Life on Hotan remained uninviting however, forcing the central government to devise a new settling scheme – non-violent criminals were offered early parole in return for voluntarily colonizing and mining. Mining efforts were restricted when evidence of Primmortal terraforming came to light (GD 4000).
Hotan presented colonists with some peculiar problems, as veins of magnetic bedrock minerals garbled radio communications, although this did not affect the high plateaus. Second Republic high-tech tachyon communications mended some of these problems however, but by then the elite (“highfolk”) had relocated to the plateaus, leaving the less fortunate (”lowfolk”) to live for without much communications infrastructure on the plains and valleys below. Other dangers inhabited the lower lands as well, including wildlife, flood dangers, and rock and mudslides, so the tradition of the mighty seizing the plateaus and the meek the valleys and plains continued throughout the Second Republic.
When the Fall happened, Hotan was cut off from the Republic, trapped in Barbarian space. Civil war spread throughout Hotan, and without their central backing the once-mighty highfolk faced enraged lowfolk bent on tearing down their ivory towers. Some plateau cities resisted the rabble while others fell, the once-mighty chased down onto the plains and valleys below. This spelled ruin for both factions, for the lowfolk were unable to maintain the cities and the highfolk lacked the training to thrive in the wilderness. Even the highfolk who managed to remain in their plateau cities experienced cultural and technological decline, as the economy, the exchange of expertise, and available resources were swept away. Slowly however, a semblance of order began to manifest as highfolk cast low managed to administrate and organize their neighbors, and the lowfolk risen up and remaining plateau-highfolk maintained degenerated societies in the cities. Still, wars, slave raids, and looting were commonplace, and soon Aesir forces also descended upon Hotan to plunder.
In 5002 GD, the Jarl Eystein Stormhorn of Hrim, conquered one of the plateau cities and made himself thane. His claim of thanedom was accepted by the Great Althing on Raven in 5006 GD, but Eystein fell prey to an assassin on the journey back to Hotan and his young son, Thagdar inherited his realm.
Hotan is a world divided, with more than a thousand local rulers competing for resources and prestige. A coalition of plateau cities, The Sovereign Sky, is trying to establish an international society of sorts on Hotan, but they hold little power outside their immediate city states.
Another plateau state of note is Gonjeen, a munitions industry community ruled through military dictatorship with strong trade relations with certain off-world Aesir thanes. Gonjeen is the rival both of The Sovereign Sky and the thanedom of Stormhorn, and it is also paranoid towards the military power of the Star Throne, its small Starfleet carrying standing orders to destroy any envoy of the Galactic Imperium.
The some 13.5 million inhabitants of Hotan are divided into highfolk and lowfolk, with the distinctions signifying both social standing, political power, living conditions and actual physical environment – the highfolk live at the top of great plateaus, heirs to the material wonders of the Second Republic, while the lowfolk eke out a harsh existence on the plains and valleys below. A third group, the “underfolk”, hide away in the planet’s ancient terraforming tunnels and mining shafts, composed of strange powered Posthumans and Stoucrix clans of unknown numbers.