Hro'zamal

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Overview

Hro'zamal is the second planet in the Nrrahrahul system. Formerly named Nrrahrahul Two, it was given the name Hro'zamal after the establishment of a permanent civilian colony on the planet's surface in 2459. The planet is roughly the size of Earth. About 77% of the planet is covered in oceans. The remaining landmass is dominated by lush jungles except for the poles that possess a subtropical climate. Hro’zamal possesses little mineral richness, but it has a diverse ecosystem. Agriculture and plantations have become the staple exports of the colony. Most of Hro’zamal remains unexplored, with few outposts and settlements outside of the central cities scattered across the jungle. Scientists of the People’s Republic have taken a vast interest in the flora and fauna, being so different from their native Adhomai. Expeditionary groups frequently venture out into the jungle, although between the inhospitable jungle and hostile forces, such an expedition is always a risk.

History

The system of Nrrahrahul is home to the first advanced outpost established by the Orbital Fleet; this base was initially used to combat piracy and smuggling, serving as a refueling checkpoint for the ships. As the only other planet in the system capable of sustaining life, it was quickly marked for colonization. Nrrahrahul Two was granted the official status of colony in 2459 following the application of 15,000 civilian inhabitants. Under the new colony status, it was renamed Hro'zamal by the Ministry of Colonial Affairs. Arrleef Pondiskarr, a njarir, was appointed as the colonial governor. The planet's capital and first settlement, Muldhir, was founded in 2460, on the subtropical northern pole. While survivable, during warmer seasons heat regulation is required for Tajara survival and so the colony was outfitted with an outdated HVAC system.

The civil war forced the People's Republic of Adhomai to weaken their colonization efforts, leading to the recall of soldiers, equipment, and ships. As the Republican control over the planet weakened, dissent spread among the population. The Solarian embargo was particularly damaging to the colony; the parts required to repair the precarious HVAC systems were non-manufacturable on the planet and rare in the system. Many believed that the republic had abandoned them and begun to consider a life without the PRA. With growing opposition, general unease, and reports of ALA agents making their move within the colony, martial law was declared. The remaining colonial guard received emergency powers, giving them essentially unlimited control, much to the dismay and dislike of the local population who were struggling to survive.

This would boil over as the final stages of the Adhomai war approached, with an insurrection aimed at overtaking the planet and leading it to independence. Led by the captain of the Colonial Guard, Fakhri Oan, the rebels besieged the colonial capital, Muldhir. The siege was unsuccessful as the Orbital Fleet returned to restore order and the rebels were forced to flee into the jungle. These forces lead a guerrilla war against the Grand People's Army and the Colonial Administration.

After this tumultuous time, life settled on Hro’Zamal and as the planet became more and more profitable, with the introduction of the Ras’Nif carbonated drinks and Schlorrgo exports, it in return received more funding. The People’s Republic continues cutting down vast swathes of the ever-present jungle, more farms are being established and many civilians now head to Hro’zamal under the promise of free land to cultivate. Thanks to a newly installed HVAC system the capital has become a comfortable place to stay, and the SCC has opened its offices there, hoping to carve out their own exports and imports. And while both the insurgency and martial law are in full effect, the Administration no longer enforces the dogged oversight, creating a new, calmer, norm.

Culture

The culture of Hro’zamal is very similar to that of the People's Republic of Adhomai; Hadiism and collectivism are considered vital parts of society due to the rough nature of the colony. Dreams of self-determination are often crushed by the rough jungle, and few Tajara can claim to survive on their own. As a result, the Tajara of Hro’zamal are considered cynical by many and almost comically practical. Frequently smaller infractions are ignored; smuggling, cursing, and black booting aren’t punished by the administration as it must keep its eyes peeled for rebels and seditionists. Not to mention that getting rid of an important Tajara for something so minor, could lead to a domino effect of unexpected catastrophes. Despite this, the Hro’zamal colonists are supportive of the PRA due to their negative experiences with the other factions and ingrained loyalty. To add the Administration has been slightly laxer in regards to private and political restrictions, for which it has been warned by the PRA multiple times. However, there is little they can do, as mass arrests or purges could cause the entire colony to collapse, not to mention halting the propaganda machine that Hro’zamal is an ideal future for a young Tajara. Instead, the PRA conducts interviews, searches, and background checks on all those who wish to apply, judging if they’re loyal enough.

Holiday festivities are restricted by the administration, although with limited success. The administration claims that because of the hard work needed to settle Hro’zamal, holidays such as Ma’ta’kyr and Coming of Dawn serve as nothing, but pointless distractions, and Victory Day is supposed to be celebrated at home with a simple toast. The truth is that most of the Pioneer Guard couldn’t care less, many taking part in the illegal festivities themselves. Only the Expeditionary Force bothers to enforce these standards, thus the capital city itself tends to be rather quiet. Due to its spotty political appearance, the administration has given special care towards creating its own Youth Club, which is flown out to Adhomai to participate in parades and contests. These members are frequently bullied and made fun of by the other, Adhomai based Youth Clubs, creating the exact opposite effect and stirring an unintentional rivalry. As with everything, religion is in big contention on the planet.

Another point of contention is religion, wishing to see a Hadiist society arise without the need for it. Since the start, all priests and clergy have been banned from Hro’zamal. This was unveiled only years after the colonization efforts began and has led to many protests and complaints being raised against the Administration. After Martial Law was enacted, these complaints fell to a near-zero, the Pioneer Guard don’t care enough to enforce irreligion, but also don’t really want to deal with any reports, simply handing out beatings to Tajara who are too loud. Meanwhile, the Expeditionary Force purposefully omits these complaints from their records, and those who complain often find themselves being shipped back home.

Clothing and cuisine are different from Adhomai due to the climate. Colonists wear simple cotton overalls, with or without a shirt. Large, brimmed hats to offer protection from the sun are also common and many opt to wear ponchos, protecting both against sun and rain. The population relies heavily on the local fauna and flora for sustenance and while not needed, army rations are a highly desired commodity, appealing more to the native Tajara palette. New dishes appear every year on Hro’zamal as the colonists become more accustomed and experienced with their local cooking ingredients.

Leaving Hro’zamal

Tajara who wish to leave Hro'zamal can find it surprisingly difficult. Engineers, doctors, scientists, and other critical members of society are often “persuaded” to remain, either through threats of violence or promises of better living conditions. If neither works, the transfer papers get lost, sent back due to error, or simply misplaced, extending their stay. Those the Administration considers unimportant have, ironically, an easier time getting off the planet. But the PRA doesn’t want the bad reputation associated with a sudden mass exodus of colonists, and so the civilian transports off-planet are limited to one every three months. These are often packed to the brim and preferred seating is given to those applying the longest. These waiting lists can be so long that some have been hoping to get off of Hro’Zamal since the colony was established.

The easiest way to leave is to go with the SCC, their small office is always cramped and there are always more applicants than the executives can handle. And while the administration has no power inside the SCC spaces themselves, those caught waiting outside are often detained for loitering. Some of them find a way off of Hro’zamal, but in a prisoner transport. For this reason, Hro’zamal has a disproportionately high hiring rate compared to Adhomai on a per-capita basis. It also means that those leaving Hro’zamal often leave bound with terribly predatory contracts, even worse than is usual for Tajara to have. Then there is hitching a ride out of there, while smugglers mostly import gear, sometimes a sobered freedom fighter will pay these smugglers to hide inside their ship to get away from the jungle hell. Other times a worker from a factory might slip an extra few credits to the crews who manage the soda exports, hiding between the crates, heading for either Biesel or Adhomai. Lastly, there are the prison ships, while less in number now that the Administration has decided it is better to deal with things on the spot. They still operate, now mostly carrying insurgents, seditionists, murderers, and other criminals of high caliber who the Pioneer Guard don’t want to deal with.

Those who finally manage to get off of Hro’zamal won’t have it easy with the PRA, but they are afforded a bit more freedom than others. Hro’zamal as a planet serves greatly towards the Republican propaganda, and so its image must be maintained. To this end, officers and investigators are told to intervene, personally, rather than using the official PSIS channels. A colonist behaving a bit more rambunctiously than the PRA would like can always be excused as “human influences”, however, having such a colonist marked on official papers as a degenerate or a seditionist would be undesirable. Still, Hro’zamal colonists can’t get carried away, while they’re afforded a bit more freedom in non-PRA space, anything obvious and loud will still get them sent off to Adhomai for trial.

Development

Hro’zamal is known for two things, a large amount of space and that space being occupied by flora. For this, colonists use flamethrowers and machetes to clear any area they are required to settle. Following that comes the hab-blocks. These are modular multi-purpose blocks that can be fitted together to provide shelter, electricity, and water throughout multiple households without the need for extra digging or work. While these hab-blocks were intended to be only a temporary solution, they’ve become a permanent staple of many towns. The colonists are either too busy or in too much danger to create their own permanent households from the native materials. While traditionally white, the colonists have come to personalize these hab-blocks, painting them with a variety of colors and motives. While this is to the dislike of the Hadiist mentality, it is largely tolerated by the administration. Initially, these houses were supposed to come pre-equipped with furniture, however, scarcity has led to only the most critical buildings, hospitals, post offices, and military barracks, being equipped as such. Thus, most settlers make their own furniture, which is often highly personalized. The one exception to all of this is the capital, which has been built since the start with the idea of an ideal Hadiist city. Large, grey blocks dominate the cityscape with little in terms of monuments to speak of outside of the large and dominating statue of President Hadii, pointing a finger towards the sky with a small child looking on in awe. It also houses the relatively large military presence, with very few army bases established outside of the capital.

In regards to travel, most transportation in the jungles is done with the new autogyros, or by the many seas and winding rivers. In terms of land, the settlers themselves prefer using animals or threaded vehicles, while those closer to Muldhir can make use of its established roads and use regular trucks and cars. One critical vehicle are the Jungle-cutters, large, repurposed tanks equipped with massive sawblades, capable of clearing miles of jungle terrain within minutes.

The Jungle War

Hro'zamal is currently one of the silent fronts of the Tajara Cold War. What started as an attempt to secede from the negligent and incompetent government, has now become a struggle for survival. While the rebels continue to gain support, they are generally disliked by the populace which considerably cripples their attempts at guerrilla warfare, as they cannot rely on the support of the locals. While third parties have supplied them generously in the past, as the conflict drags on and the rebels lose more and more troops their support has dwindled. As these same parties now turn to other, more promising fronts.

Hro'zamal Pioneer Guard

The defense of Hro'zamal was in the hands of the Orbital Fleet until most were recalled back to Adhomai. As a result, Governor Arrleef Pondiskarr decided to establish a militia force to replace the Republican soldiers: the Hro’zamal Pioneer Guard. Taking pathfinders, farmers, and other colonists and turning them into a ramshackle defense force. While not very well supplied, these men and women are determined to defend their homes. These militiamen are armed with outdated Tajaran weapons: bolt action rifles, bayonets, and pistols, rarely a group might receive a machine gun or demolition gear. When deploying in the jungle, they are outfitted with reinforced jumpsuits equipped with primitive water-based cooling systems. Machetes and axes are also a popular choice, and due to the low visibility often become the main armaments of these Tajara.

The Pioneer Guard also acts as the colony's police force outside of Muldhir, justice is delivered swiftly and often on the spot thanks to their emergency powers. Most small crimes are given a fine, if they don’t have money they are instead beaten or brutalized. While officially criminals should be sent to Adhomai for trial, it’s much easier, faster, and more profitable to simply extort them. Not to mention the danger of sending away someone useful to the colonization effort who might not be easily replaceable. While the locals could turn to the Expeditionary Force, they themselves would rather face the local militia rather than whatever awaits them back home. This doesn’t apply to major criminal offenses, like murder or sedition, perpetrators of these crimes are sent away as they should be, although frequently the evidence and witness gathering leaves much to be desired.

The Pioneer Guard are seen as unreliable by the Expeditionary Force, while loyal they’re much more dedicated to defending their homeland rather than the ideas of PRA. The Pioneer Guard itself does not provide much pay, and so most of them are stationed near their home territories. Eating, sleeping, and working in their houses with their families and neighbors.

Grand People's Army Expeditionary Force

To put down the insurrection, the People's Republic dispatched their soldiers to Hro'zamal. These troops are known as the Grand People's Army Expeditionary Force. These loyal soldiers were shipped to an alien world to protect the Hadiist galactic interests. Despite their superior training and equipment, the soldiers were not prepared for jungle warfare. Many were killed in ambushes and surprised by traps. After considerable losses, the Expeditionary Force developed new tactics to deal with the guerrillas; the use of air assault to directly engage the rebels and then retreat to safety. While considered wasteful, it has proven highly effective, inflicting massive casualties against the rebels.

Expeditionary Forces are equipped with Tsarrayut’yan rifles, Icelances, and armored environmental suits. The Expeditionary Force is supported by a contingent of the People's Air Force, named “Hro’Zamal’s First and Only”. They make frequent use of both gyrodynes and autogyros, for transportation and bombing respectively, and tend to operate in smaller and more cohesive groups than the Pioneer Guard.

The Expeditionary Forces also function as a police force in the city of Muldhir from which they conduct operations. Officially they’re also supposed to oversee the Pioneer Guard, but their efforts are mostly focused on the rebels, they’re also partially impeded by the locals who would rather face immediate punishment at the hands of their neighbors. This isn’t helped by the fact that the Expeditionary Forces are clearly much better funded and regarded by the PRA, leading to them having a hostile rivalry with the Pioneer Guard.

Hro'zamal Sham'tyrs

Following his failure to take the planet's capital, Fakhri Oan fled into the jungle to escape from the Republican forces. It was there that he had founded the Hro’zamal Sham’tyrs, a liberation forces whose stated goal is to create an independent Hadiist republic upon Hro’zamal. The Sham’tyrs launch sporadic hit-and-run strikes against the towns and expeditions on Hro’zamal, which has complicated guerrilla warfare as they turned all surrounding villages hostile. They clash with the Pioneer Guard often, as they need to raid and pillage in order to survive since the Expeditionary Forces air dominance makes it impossible to establish any farms in the jungle. While the Hro’zamal Sham’tyrs stress that their fighters come from the local population, most of the killed fighters are never identified by any of the colonists.

The other major source of gear and supplies have been smugglers, who were always suspected to be funded by both ALA and NKA, hoping to undermine the PRA. But with the armistice signing, these smugglers have reduced in number and amount of gear delivered, forcing the Sham’tyrs to escalate their raids. Oan’s mental state has also come into question as he’s been locked into an impossible to navigate situation, struggling to maintain a fight that his own troops nor the Hro’zamal locals want.

Fauna & Flora

Fauna

Rrak'marr (Ghost Light)

The Rrak'marr is one of the predators that dwell in the forests of Hro’zamal. They are large snakelike creatures, with their limbless body covered by hard scales and quills. This animal hunts at night, making use of their large and well-adapted eyes to snatch prey with their gargantuan jaws. They were given the name "Ghost Light" by the colonists due to their capacity of emitting lights through their eyes and quills. Pathfinders have confused their lights with lanterns or outposts, foolish wandering into these monsters. Xenobiologists suggest that bioluminescence is used to attract mating partners.

Ishnarak (Jungle Dweller)

This creature has a mythical status among the colonists. Many claim to have spotted them before, while xenobiologists have denied any evidence of their existence. The Ishnarak is described as a tall humanoid with a strong body covered in red fur, their small head possesses only one eye and a single largemouth located on their stomach. It is not unusual for pathfinders to have their own stories about meeting the jungle dwellers during their explorations. Tales describe them as wary beings, avoiding any contact with the Tajara. Scientists have attempted to find and record the Ishnarak, but no expedition has had success so far.

Hro'zamal N'hanzafu (Hro’zamal Fatshouters)

The Hro'zamal Fatshouters, despite its name, bears little resemblance to the Adhomian animal. This small fat herbivore is covered by brown leathery skin, its head has tiny eyes and a long trunk used for feeding. They are pacific creatures with a herd mentality, traveling in large groups across the planet. They are hunted by colonists and native predators for their fat meat.

Schlorrgo (Fat Baby)

A Schlorrgo.

Schlorgos are native inhabitants of Hro'zamal, they live in the jungle mountains, from where they jump down large cliffs, to move to greener pastures in the summer, protected from the impact by their fat blubber. They come in a variety of colors, are described as perfectly smooth except for their beaks, and move by pushing their bodies and rolling in the desired direction. Schlorrgos are now domesticated, serving as either pets or livestock to the Tajara. Schlorgos are particularly popular for their blubber, used as an insulator, industrial lube, and glue. They can also be harvested for their meat or even milk, however, both are described as low quality and bitter. Schlorrgo milk, in particular, is known to cause violent stomach cramps to Tajara, but has seemingly no effect on other species. Due to their resistance to impacts and brute force, children will often throw or kick around Schlorrgos for fun.

Flora

Hro'zamal Ras'Nifs (Hro’zamal Heart-Berries)

A climbing plant found on the trees and bushes of the jungle. The Heart-Berries have large leaves, colorful flowers, and red fruits that are known for their seeds. The seeds of the Hro’zamal Ras’Nifs are grounded into a powder that is prepared as an herbal tea. The drink is sweet and is usually consumed cold; it is quite popular among settlers due to its caffeine-like stimulating effect. This plan has become the colony's most important crop after the introduction of Hro'zamal Soda to the People's Republic.

Szhigat'shaan (Cinder Trees)

Invaluable for their quality wood, the Cinder Trees make up a large part of the jungle in Hro’zamal. The plant has a dense, orange-red heartwood that takes a high shine, and is used in construction and in the fabrication of gun’s stocks. Red dye can also be extracted from this tree.