Kariba is one of the old human colony worlds, located 6.300 parsecs from
Earth. It has a marginally breathable atmosphere, and is a small planet
dense with heavy metal deposits, resulting in a somewhat lighter gravity
than Earth. Kariba's sun is the M1 V star Beta Hydri.
Kariba is tidally locked and so has perpetual day and night hemispheres.
Most surface water is locked into the nightside icecap, but trickles of
meltwater run from the terminator in rivers that eventually peter out due
to evaporation on the dayside. The dayside is warm to hot. Kariba is
really a marginal location for a human settlement, but its location as the
nearest supply of heavy and industrial metals to the planet
Arawne makes it an important outpost.
Hardy photosynthesising microbes make up Kariba's quota of native life.
Several Earth species of plants and animals have been imported, some
gentically modified to the planet's harsh conditions.
Kariba holds a population of around 160 million humans and a few thousand
aliens (mostly Chatka). Most of the population is involved with Kariba's
primary industry - mining. There are few other reasons to live on Kariba.
Kariba exists as a viable settlement mainly because of the vast, easily
extracted reserves of metals on the planet. Mining and export of refined
ore comprises over 90% of the world's domestic product. The remainder is
manufactured goods reliant on these metals.
Most of Kariba's exports go to Arawne. In
return, Kariba receives much of its food and other organics from its
nearby neighbour. Remaining wealth is used to import luxury items from
all over human-space. Although naturally a poor place to live, Kariba's
mineral wealth makes its living conditions generally very good.
Kariba is somewhat of an oddity amongst the old colony worlds in that it
is still administered as a colony, by Arawne.
The two worlds formally comprise the interstellar nation of Arawne, with
Kariba having proportional representation in Arawne's government. Due to
the population difference, however, this amounts to virtually no
influence at all.
Over their 500 or so years of history there have been several attempts by
Kariba to gain independence from Arawne, but its lack of self-sufficiency
has always been a fatal impediment to these plans. Native Karibans grow
up with an anti-Arawne chip on their shoulder, but are not often spurred
to action because the quality of life on Kariba is genuinely as good, if
not better, than on Arawne.
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Steve Jackson Games