Rainer III is a Terra Class (Beta+) planet in the Perseus Sector of the Perseus Quadrant. It is one of the "Major Worlds" within the New Commonwealth. It has a notably mountainous topography, with mountain ranges stratching across nearly half its surface area. Most of the flatlands lie in valleys between and among the mountain ranges. There are no oceans but several large longitudinal seas divide the mountain ranges, and a larger frozen sea rests over the planet's northern polar region.
The planet's atmosphere is more dense than most worlds in its weight-class, as well as being relative poor in Oxygen concentration (8%) with higher contrations of Argon and Xenon, which lend a purplish hue to the planet's sky. Coupled with the planet's unstable rotation axis, the atmospheric conditions create surface conditions that support a range of native flora and pseudo-fauna.
In order to improve habitability, Terraforming operations have been ongoing since the early days of colonization and have produced inhabitable zones centered on the planet's larger valleys. Terraforming airships circle the planet at altitudes of 10KM to 20KM, processing the atmosphere and seeding rainclouds. Larger ground-based Atmospheric Processor Arrays have recently been built to accelerate the process.
Rainier III was mapped and settled during the Perseus Expansion; the period at the conclusion of the Nine Crusades when the establishment of colonies into the Perseus Sector was at its most aggressive.
The Rainier System was mapped by the crew of the survey ship Hudson Bay. The crew classified the world as Terra Beta Minus, and that may have been generous. (The crew, at that point, had surveyed 57 systems over the course of seven years without finding a habitable world, so they may have given Rainier III the benefit of the doubt.) The surface conditions were harsh, and the world would require extensive terraforming. The contract for colonization was purchased by the LandSea Consortium of New Albion, Avalon Colony... at a very, very low commission.
Its early colonists were probably lured by the challenge of settling and terraforming a harsh and forbidding planet; you know, saps.
As was the case with other terraformed words, such as Aurora, the early colonists dwelt underground while the surface was being prepared for habitation. In the case of Rainier III, the complex they carved underneath a mountain range in the planet's northern hemisphere became over time their principle city and capital. Mountain Home, as the city is called, was carved entirely out of a mountain range, the rocks painstakingly chiseled into buildings.
The people of Rainier III are the most tight-assed people in the galaxy. Worse the Bountifullians. Worse even then Republickers. They are anal retentive pains in the booty. The only reason people put up with them is that they are extremely good at science, engineering, accounting, and other nerd professions.
The language they use, even in ordinary conversations, is baroque because their desire for accuracy often leads to the inclusion of multiple qualifiers. A simple declarative sentence, "I am going to visit my mother," would be rendered as "It is my intention to travel to the vicinity of my maternal biological forebear and spend a certain amount of time in her presence."
- Planetary Population: 1.8 Billion
- Capital City: Mountain Home
Magnus and Kayliegh Driver Morgan settled on Rainier III at the end of the First Aurelian War. She became one of the planet's foremost botanists and helped design the life support system for Rainier III's Explorer Class starships. (Book 11: Charlemagne)