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Wolf’s Head is an advanced and well-populated planet in the 77 821 Vulpecula System, where it occupies the fifth orbit out from an F-Class sun.
Wolf's Head was originally charted by the Survey Ship Okhotsk circa Solar Year 4400. It was colonized circa Solar Year 4800 by the Jericho Consortium. Preparation for colonization began roughly a century earlier when orbital bombardment was used to clear a few areas of the planet for initial settlement.
Colonists were drawn to Wolf's Head by its abundant natural resources - the planet is rich in minerals and hydrocarbons. On the other hand, the planet's dynamic ecosystem has evolved the most rapacious predators in the galaxy. The planet's carnivores exhibit a degree of cunning, viciousness, and intelligence exhibited only in a few extraordinary species on other worlds. The ground, air, water, and even subsoil of the planet are home to thousands of species of dangerous predators; from airborne Ultra-Drakken that swoop out of the sky to claim unwary victims to subterranean Carnivermii that will pull a man under the ground and digest him into compost.
Wolf's Head is a heavily forested planet, with relatively small areas of desert, tundra, and savannah. The trees are abnormally large. Heights of 20-40 meters are typical. Tree growth is facilitated by the planet's mild climate outside the polar regions, abundant freshwater, nutrient-rich soil, and generous sunlight. There are also a number of active volcanic ranges and mountain ranges.
The planet Wolf's Head has eight small continents.
The planet has a single large moon called Gulo.
The Civilization of Wolf's Head has been shaped primarily by two factors: The planet's abundant natural resources and equally abundant predators.
The planet's cities are surrounded by fortifications as a defense against ground-based predators. Outside the fortifications are agricultural zones and smaller settlements, which are also fortified. The larger cities are linked by fortified highway systems. Most travelers along these highways travel in convoys, with heavily armed predator defense trucks at the front and rear. Intercity travel by night is discouraged. Maglev high-speed trains run under the highways. in tunnels fortified with concrete and alloy. Predators have been known to infiltrate the tunnels, and safety between transit points cannot be assured.
Even though Wolf's Head is considered a technologically advanced society, predation remains the most common cause of death among humans. Its predators adapt rapidly to counter-measures and are even capable of infiltrating its urban zones; although most casualties occur in the wilderness, in hunting parties, extraction camps, or agriculture zones.
Each of the seven continents is a Self-Governing Territory (SGT), and each has a distinctive, though essentially democratic, form of Government. Fire Tower, in Principia, is considered the planetary capital, but planetary government is limited to negotiating trade and settling disputes among the seven SGT's. Ontonagon on the coast Akaria is the planet's largest urban area and a major commercial and industrial center.
Nearly two billion people reside on Wolf's Head. Because of their renowned courage, strength, acuity, and prowess in hunting and tracking, Wolverians are well-regarded starship officers.
Wolf's Head is a Member of the Free World Alliance. It fields a fleet of Fast Attack Corvettes and Medium Frigates and participates, via the Space Exploration Consortium, on the construction and operation of Explorer, Excursion, and Defender ships. It's relations with the New Commonwealth are good. It maintains diplomatic outposts on many other worlds, including Sapphire, Republic, Independence, Denali, Bella La Cava, and the Chapultepec and Chapterhouse Starlocks.
In Solar Year 7387, Wolf's Head asserted territorial claim to the nearby planet of Lycaon, a failed Earth colony that had been uninhabited since before the Tarmigan Apocalypse. The claim was disputed by the New Commonwealth of the Galaxy, and became a source of prolonged interstellar conflict. [Book 14: August Burns Red.])
The Culture of Wolf's Head has been shaped, of course, by the constant conflict between man and predator. In the early days of the colony, it was all but impossible to maintain herds of domesticated animal, especially cattle, as they were not adapted to the rapacious predators of the planet and were wiped out quickly. Hunting became an essential survival skill, and assumed a central role in the culture. Ultimately, this gave rise to a social order dominated by males.
Every seven years, they hold what are known as 'The Combat Games,' which consist of (usually) non-lethal forms of Gladiatorial Combat. The games are hosted in the city of Norse. The national sport of Tordenjack is played in settlements across the planet. It is played on a mile-long field. Two rival teams attempt to advance a ball to the goal at the end of the field. The first team to move the ball across the goal wins. Games can last entire days.
Wolf's Head's post-colonial history was replete with armed conflict; both against the aggressive predators that infested the planet and between the numerous tribes and clans as they battled for resources and land. As a result, the planet has well-evolved martial culture.
Currently, the planet has five service branches that encompass all the tribes of the planet;
Wolf's Head Lancers
The lancers are the Domestic Planetary armed forces that intervene in conflicts that arise on the planet, conduct rescue and relief operations in emergencies, and provide security for the Chieftains.
The seagoing forces that patrol the planet's oceans using a fleet of hydrofoils, submarines, and cutters. They protect the planet's shipping lanes, conduct search and rescue operations, eradicate hazardous creaturess, and provide relief after severe ocean storms.
Wolf's Head Vorsguard
The Vorsguard encompasses both the System Space Fleet and the Deep Space Fleet that participates in Star Force operations and protects Wolverian interstellar interests. They field a number of system patrol ships and a fleet of Fast Attack Corvettes and Medium Heavy Frigates for interstellar duties.
Wolf's Head Jaegers
The Jaegers are the planet's Expeditionary Off-World Marines that complement the Vorsguard by providing tactical "boots on the ground" support.
Wolf’s Head Strikers
The Strikers provide air and space fighter forces to defend the home world and the Lycaon colony. Their primary aerospace craft is the Thunderbolt; a two-man fighter capable of atmospheric and space operations.
All of these services have headquarters in the planetary capital at Fire Tower.
Wolverian culture has historically been polyamorous, owing to the need to maintain family structures against high animal predation. Within clan families, there has been a custom of "First Wife" and "Second Wife" and "Assistant Wife" among tribal leaders.
By Custom, a woman whose life is saved by a man must become his concubine, even if either is mated to another through marriage. The man is likewise obligated to assume the role of her lifelong protector and defender. Naturally, this sort of custom is ripe for abuse, and the arrangement can be challenged by either party, and by the spouse and family of either party, and is subject to adjudication to determine that the rescue was legitimate and "devoid of conspiracy."
Women in these arrangements enjoy heightened social status, and access to hunting parties, lodges, that normally exclude females. The Wolverians once referred to these women as "Sexually Bound," but their words for the arrangement were frequently translated in the languages of other worlds into "Sex Slaves." Subsequently, the word "Consort" became more commonly used to avoid this confusion.
Another custom is the Cult of the Gameline Sisters. These are groups of women living in communal arrangements who train in "erotic arts" and make themselves sexually available to men, usually for payment of some kind. When children result from these arrangement, the Gameline Communes keep the girls to raise them within the sisterhood, whereas the males are turned over to their fathers. These is no loss of status with being the son of a Gameline, and the boys are raised within their fathers' families. Again, this was useful in maintaining population in the face of high mortality rates. The Gamelines are also notoriously thorough record keepers; in order to prevent sexual relationships between close relatives that might result from their ordinary operations.