Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Colony: Major Settlements

The Colony's population centers consist of five major settlements, five minor settlements and 10 research centers, seven being minor research centers. Landfall commons was the first settlement founded in C0. Additional settlements were founded in C100, C200, C300 and C400. The Seek begin building research centers in C75 and continued building them through C481. Many of the research centers were dismantled and recycled once their purpose was served (See The Colony: Construction Techniques for additional information). Dozens of outposts were also built and recycled between C0-500. Currently the Seek maintains no outposts. However individual Seek Bands maintain dozens of seasonal outposts for continued exploration of remote areas. Most of these outposts are on the fringes of The Billowing Cordillera.

The Seek maintains three 5,000-foot plus research centers in C500. Those three centers are in some of the furtherest reaches of the valley. Those centers are reachable by graveled roads connected to the main road system. The centers also have a skyport capable of accepting cargo and transportation skiffs for resupply.

Another seven remote research centers less than 500 square feet are also maintained in exceptionally remote areas of the valley. These centers can only be reached by skiff or foot. They have a landing pad that can recover a 4-seat skiff. They are resupplied by a 4-seat skiff that has been reconfigured to carry a limited amount of cargo.

Major Settlements:
Fringefield: The Seek completed basic construction on the Beta Site in C97. The project was carried out haphazardly over a 20 year period, primarily because the Colonial Directive required the Seek to explore a tremendous amount of territory in the first 100 years. Fringefield is an agricultural community that supports about 6,000 people. The town's name was derived because it lay on the fringes of the agricultural fields. Until C206, it remained solely agricultural based. In C206 Hadrian Simmons constructed a dock and built the first sailing ship capable of navigating the rough waters of the Hennashores. He launched the Columbus in C210 and discovered three islands about 150 miles offshore. After discovery of the islands, the Seek commissioned three more ships, the Coronado, De Soto and Magellan, and Simmons established Simmons Shipbuilding Company. Fringefield has been the major shipbuilding operation in The Colony since that time. After Simmons death in C263, the Columbus was decommissioned, refurbished and the Seek created the first national park in Fringefield.

Hollowgrove: The Seek made a drastic change to the Colonial Accord in the formation of this settlement. The third settlement was supposed to support mining operations, but a discovery by Jonathan Cardwell in C236 drastically changed construction techniques in The Colony. Cardwell discovered a plant hollow plant, similar to bamboo, that grew to diameters of 3-feet. The plants grew to 20 feet in warmer months and completely withered to the ground and died in the fall. Cardwell discovered that by harvesting the plants and superheating them, they could be formed into hollow columns with the tensil strength of steel. This opened construction options the Seek would not have available until the 9th Expedition (Using packed earth cylenders for wall construction. This opened the possibility of building earthship buildings). This colony was founded in C237 and was fully established in C241. The plant was named Shimmerwood because it has a faint bioluminescence. In C500 Hollowgrove has a population of about 3,000. It's primary function remains the production of Shimmerwood. The plants no longer grow randomly. They have been cultivated into groves and genetically engineered to meet specific construction techniques. The city is the primary producer of construction materials. It also houses The Colony's first museum, which chronicles the pioneering of Shimmerwood development and environmentally sound construction practices.

Landfall Commons: The Landfall Commons is the first and largest city in The Colony. It is the home of 13,000 people and supports The Colony's central transportation infrastructure. The monorail hub runs a freight and passenger line to each of the other four cities in The Colony. It also houses the only landing sites for incoming Expedition Transports. The Skyport also runs 10 Transportation Skiffs daily and had another five skiffs in reserve. It also has landing fields and support facilities for small, private skiffs. The Landfall Commons also has a lake port with docks and slips to support 15 transport/passenger vessels and 300 fishing and private vessels. The city also houses all government buildings, a 377 year old public university, and a wide variety of private corporations ranging from software development and Internet/television media to food processing and manufacturing plants. The Seek's Main Guild Hall is also in the Landfall Commons. Originally the city was referred to the Alpha Site in C0 and at some point became called Landfall. By C75 the name of the settlement had become the Landfall Commons. In C500, the city is most commonly referred to as The Commons.


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