The Planet


Lyrane is one of the oldest human colony worlds, located only 6.92 parsecs from Earth. It is a very Earth-like world, slightly smaller than Earth, but with a similar gravity and atmosphere. Lyrane's sun is the K0 V star Xi Bootis (visible from Earth in the constellation Bootes).

Lyrane is a cool, moist planet, with 78% water cover and a perpetually high relative humidity.


Lyrane's native life consists mostly of semi-aquatic vegetation, which chokes every square kilometre of the planet's extensive swamplands. Sea grasses thrive in the shallow continental shelf waters around the landmasses. Animal life is restricted to microbes and small arthropods which swarm in the waters and in the swampland air. The terrestrial arthropods resemble Earth insects and are usually simply called "bugs" by the native population.

Humans have imported larger animals. Some fish do well in the oceans and swamps. Reptiles, mammals and birds make up an extended imported ecosystem, along with dry land plants, of which Lyrane has no native specimens. In general, the native and imported life do not interact, since imported species are usually confined to the hilly and mountainous upland regions, where no native life grows or ventures.

The native arthropods are harmless to large life forms, but vigorously attack and destroy any imported creature of approximately their own size. No insect species have successfully been imported to Lyrane and established in the wild. Strict quarantine checks are made on ships leaving Lyrane to avoid any accidental export of these destructive organisms. Experts believe that, if transported to Earth for example, Lyrane arthropods could wipe out most if not all of Earth's native insect species.


Lyrane is home to some 3.6 billion humans and around 200,000 sentient aliens (mostly Larrokites). The population is concentrated in the interior highlands of the two continents, since the low-lying swamplands that line the coasts make unsuitable agricultural or urban land. The central plateau of the equatorial continent in particular is heavily urbanised.


Lyrane is blessed with an abundance of organic materials, including vast deposits of easily extracted petrochemicals. As such, it is the home base for Spotaro Plastics and Lyrane Petrochemicals (LP). Spotaro has state-of-the-art organic research, conversion and production facilities, and produces some of the most technologically advanced plastics available. LP mines, refines and exports petroleum and related chemical energy products, incuding explosives.

Lyrane's abundance of alien plant matter also makes it an important source of exotic medicinal drugs. The mountain ranges contain large deposits of heavy metals, so such materials are quite cheap, but no company has managed to set up a profitable large-scale extraction and exporting business yet.

Lyrane's few deficiencies include light metals, which are imported in bulk, and luxury items dependent on Earthly insect life. Thus, honey, royal jelly, silk, natural beeswax form lucrative luxury imports. Also, plants which require insect pollination must be hand-pollinated on Lyrane, so several fruits are exhorbitantly expensive to produce on-world, and are sometimes imported.


Lyrane's population is split between two countries, each occupying one of the two continental landmasses. Yandis, comprising the equatorial continent, and Lyratia, comprising the southern, are both representative democracies. Yandis is a somewhat more liberal society, though neither are repressive. Yandis does not require registration of personal weaponry, while Lyratia does.

Yandis and Lyratia have had periods of major tension over the past few hundred years, but no outright war. Relationships are currently peaceful, if aloof. International tourism is allowed, but not encouraged.

Both countries make independent representations to interplanetary councils. Both are on good terms with Earth and other nearby worlds.

The government of the former country of Taiwan on Earth currently sits in exile on Lyrane, in Sennier, the capital city of Yandis.

GURPS is Copyright © by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated.

Last Updated: