Bella La Cava is a technologically advanced human colony in the Vela Sector of the Perseus Quadrant. Nearly a billion people live there. It was re-charted by the Pathfinder Ship Sapphire.
Bella La Cava orbits a double system of two G-Type stars, which gives the entire planet a warm, sub-tropical climate. It has eight moons, but only four are prominent in the night sky, and only six are visible to the naked eye. None of its moons are life-supporting.
There is one large continent on Bella La Cava, Vought. More than half the land area of Vought is arid desert. There is a polar chain of mountains where the climate is relatively cool; it is said to snow on these mountains perhaps once a century. There are a number of subcontinent-sized islands on the planet straddling the equator to the south and west of Vought. Most of the planet’s population lives on the six largest of these islands, which are cooler and more temperate than most of Vought continent due to the circulatory currents of the Southern and Northern oceans and the partial deflection of sunlight afforded by the planet’s ring system.
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The planet has thriving human civilization with an Alpha 1 rating on the Commonworld Evaluation Scale and participates actively in interstellar trade and galactic exploration.
Each of the large islands has an independent governing body which, although their structures vary, are all elected representative bodies of the people. Vought Continent has eighteen sovereign territories on it, each anchored by its largest city. Austerra – (Santa Cruz) Bangarra – (Coolhaven) Far North -- (Whitney Pass) Far Westlands – (Knifesmith) Interlands – (Catalina) Kayabarra – (Avro Duigan) Longlands – (Keystone) Pantera – (Aichi) Sealand Coast – (Corsair) Outerlands – (Atholl Base) Overstrand – (Saro) Northwest Umbria – (Blackburn) Southern Umbria – (Reggidor) Vought Midlands – (Marshall) Ventura – (DeHaviland) Vultee -- (Tachikawa) Rivadavia -- (Ikaruss) Extremis Terra -- (Hudson)
These Continental Territories, similarly, have independent elected representative governments. Human rights throughout the planet are assured by a Charter of Basic Social and Economic Rights.
The western desert expanses of Vought continent (the Outlands), in contrast, are a lawless outback. These lands are inhabited by predatory tribes of outcasts and savages known as the ‘Outlander Clans.’ The clans have rejected both civilization and planetary authority, and are known for violent raiding parties on cities and other outposts. The Continental Governments maintain security forces to patrol the interior and protect their sovereign territories from these clans.
Total planetary population is just under 1 billion people. The planet’s largest city is Corsair, a metropolis of 9 million people located on the eastern shore of Vought continent, part of a ‘Quadropolis’ of four cities (Corsair, Boyington, Santo, and Nakajima) linked by transportation and infrastructure along the coast, with a combined population of over 25 million people.
The 36 722 Vela System was charted in the 40th Solar Century by the Survey Ship Hudson, under Captain Lysander Vought, subsequent to the detection of life sustaining words in sector 36 Vela by earlier long range probes in the 36th Solar Century. The system was designated Gamma 36 Vela, a name it would retain until its colonial emancipation 750 years later.
Colonization rights were won at auction by the Eridani Solomon consortium and the first colony ships were sent to the planet in the late 42nd Century. In the 48th Century, the Chinook Starlock was constructed 400 light years away, and with the transformation of one of its outer moons into a spaceport, Gamma 36 Vela became a key transfer point for ships trading in the Vela Sector. Shortly thereafter, the colony’s population voted for independence from the successor consortium to Eridani Solomon. The transition was peaceful, and the colonists voted to rename their colony Bella La Cava. The reasons for this name are obscure, but it is reckoned that “Bella” was a corruption of ‘Vela’ that had seeped into the local dialect due to linguistic shift. ‘La Cava’ is believedto be a contemporaneous slang term approximately translated as “The Best.” Hence “Bella La Cava,” the best colony in the Vela sector.
At the time of the Tarmigan Apocalypse, the colony likely supported a population of fourteen million people; fairly high for a colony in the Perseus Quadrant. The loss of contact with the rest of the galaxy resulted in a massive social breakdown. Over the next century, the planet devolved into a Feudal-like society, with highly fractured statelets (Tarras) controlled by hereditary authoritarian despots (Sovereigns); connected by ties of marriage and brokered economic agreements.
These were concentrated along the temperate southeastern coast of Vought continent in what are now the Territorial States of Bangarra, Kayabarra, Pantera, and Sealand Coast. To escape the oppressive conditions and deprivations imposed by the Sovereigns, people began migrating westward into the largely uninhabited expanses of Vought continent. The Sovereigns ignored the movements at first, but over time began to covet the resources the settlers in distant lands were producing; cattle, linens, cotton, agricultural products, and metal goods. Efforts to claim colonial areas led to long and bloody wars that lasted for nearly 300 years.
Furthermore, some of those who had fled west into the harsh, inhospitable “Interlands” of Vought continent resorted to savagery, and raided settlements for supplies; sometimes killing off entire villages. These people became known as the Retrogrades. And the settlers formed paramilitaries to protect their settlements from them.
At the time of its rediscovery in the 72nd Solar Century, Bella La Cava had resolved most of its conflicts. The Territories outnumbered the Sovereign States in population and economic power and so were able to maintain independence. The Sovereign States had moved away from hereditary monarchies after a series of internal coups and constitutional reforms. However, remain a problem and require the Western and Northern Territories of Vought to maintain security forces to protect their settlements and outposts.
After its rediscovery, the nascent New Commonwealth of the Galaxy lobbied hard for Bella La Cava to join. With a population of just under a billion souls, the planet was just shy of the number needed to qualify as a Major World within the commonwealth (it later surpassed this number). However, the citizens rejected membership in a planetary referendum, fearing a loss of self-governance and considering some of the requirements too onerous. Bella La Cava instead became a part of the Free Worlds Affiliation and developed a prosperous relationship with other colonies in the loose alliance. Its ancient Vela 36 Gamma Spaceport reopened in the Solar Year 7227. Bella La Cava maintains a small fleet of Fast Attack Corvettes, and it contributes crews to Explorer and Defender Ships via the Space Exploration Alliance Consortium and its military equivalent, Star Force.
During the Second Aurelian War, Bella La Cava was attacked and occupied by Aurelian Forces. The Aurelians were driven off the planet some years later in the face of stiff and constant resistance from ground forces.