Infernus is a planet located in the Trimeka System, within the Lewis Galaxy, in the region known as Herschel Space. Used as a penal colony by the Empire of Mankind, the world has served as a place to send high-end prisoners throughout the early period of the Empire till the present. It was for more than several millenia the only penal colony of the Empire, until the prison colony on Pegnomai was founded to alleviate the stress on Infernus.
Infernus is known for being an infamously lava world. The average lifespan of a prisoner on the planet is only ten years on average. Its survival rate is slightly higher than Pegnomai's due to the more scattered and less frequent encounters with dangerous fauna.
Infernus is one of the largest industrial powerhouses within the Trimeka System. Inmates labor to extract the planet's rich mineral resources, creating metal alloys and other products to be exported all across the Empire. Most of its exports are exchanged for food and water, which are in high demand due to the absence of arable land. Despite the introduction of hydroponic farming stations in the dome-cities of infernus and the orbital stations, food still needs to be largely imported from the agri-regions of the habitable mild worlds in the system.
Infernus is divided into multiple continents separated from each other by oceans of lava. Several dangerous factors such as frequent seismic activity, volcanic eruptions, and the occasional lava flood make life on the planet very difficult. As a result, the planet's population live in domed cities located in the planet's cooler regions. However, most of these cities are isolated from each other due to the cool regions being few and far between.
Known as "The Land of Shifting Extremes", Aurbeiga is a continent located on Infernus northwestern region. It also covers the north pole. It's rivers of lava make the continent unique. The largest lava flows, make the frontier between Aurbeiga and the other two continents. The lowest recorded temperatures, located in the north pole, reach about fifty to sixty degrees, while the highest temperatures can reach more than seven hundred and fifty degrees, the more we approach the ecuator.
Aurbeiga's lava rivers are known for being the habitat of large creatures..
Located on the southeastern region of the planet, covering as well most of the southern pole of Infernus, Halmit is regarded as the most "habitable" continent on the planet. This is due to much of the continent not being covered by volcanic activity, massive lava flows and seismic activity. However, much of the region's western fringes are covered in mountains. smoke geysers, which belch out smoke and gas hot enough to raise the area around them to about three hundred degrees.
Perhaps the worst area on Halmit is a giant ravine known to the locals as "Black Crag", which is constantly pumping out smoke and toxic gases. Any living creature that approaches Black Crag without proper protection will find themselves choking and gasping for air.
Comprising most of the central regions, Junkofar is considered the worst continent on Infernus. Its surface is dotted with lava lakes and contains enormous amounts of volcanic activity. The hottest regions on Junkofar can reach temperatures of one thousand degrees, although it's average is usually aroundfive to four hundred degrees. Any cities found in Junkofar are covered by the heaviest grade protective domes, not just to protect the inhabitants from the atmosphere, but also to protect them from the so-called "lava monsters" roaming around the continent.
Junkofar also houses the tallest mountain on Infernus: a gigantic volcano known as Mount Vorokron, or "King Kron" as sometimes called by the locals. More than sixteen kilometers high, Vorokron doesn't erupt often, but when it does, the force is felt by everyone on the planet.
Infernus was discovered in 27,000 CE by explorers from the Republic of Anthropos. Scanners revealed a large amount of mineral wealth, so its potential as a mining colony was strongly considered. Biologists were also attracted thanks to the unique life-forms found on the planet. Despite these factors, colonists were very hesitant to settle here. Due to this, colonization efforts were very limited and were put on hold when the Second Civil War broke out.
It wasn't until the Empire of Mankind was born, that the authorities really set their sights on Infernus. It was heavily needed for the Empire's various industrial projects, but colonists preferred other worlds within the Trimeka System rather than Infernus. This made the Empire consider turning Infernus into a penal colony to ease the burden on imperial prisons and at the same time, who had proven to be difficult to colonize.
Over time, domed cities were constructed and research stations were built on the planet's surface and orbit. However, most of the planet's governing body lives on Kielas, Infernus' far more hospitable moon. From here, they work to meet the Empire's mineral quota while also profiting heavily off the prisoners' work.
The society of this planet is mostly based on two, prisoners and non-prisoners. Both groups live completely different lives. The prisoners live in domes over the planet, with terrible conditions. The prisoners live in what are called factory domes, who serve to process the materials and the alloys produced on the planet. This penal-workers are supervised by the so called penitenciary administrators. it includes those who supervise the prisoners, those who feed them, those that guard them, etc... as well as those who are needed to make a population be provided with services: that is traders, teachers, sanitary experts, etc. These imperial administrative workers and service providers live in domes that are different, able to elevate themselves to avoid extreme heat as well as in orbital stations. They have well more commodities and to all effects, they have nothing to be jealous from other imperial cities.
Regarding the convicted, all of them are implanted with a chip to follow track of them. No one can scape with the chip implant in them. A large military outposts exists in orbit, able to stop any uprising from the working prisoners. Only the worst of the worst are sent here. To be sure of that, a "visionary" someone that uses psionic powers to read on the past of a person, has to read their past to be sure 100% they are guilty before being sent there.
Habitable Dome cities
Some domes exists on the surface of Infernus, as incredible at it is, this domes are very expensive and shield from the outside world. Some even float a couple meters above the ground and elevate or decrease their height depending on the variations over temperatures in the surface of Infernus.
The most famous of all is the city of Yaklarion, the capital city of Infernus. Its a large settlement, with up to 2 billion inhabitants. Most are servants and workers.
The cities of Kertel and Obligona are mostly inhabited by prisoners. While Kertel is used for "good" convicts as a reward for good behaviour, and work in final metalurgic products, alloys and overall better quality jobs, if they can be called that way, Obligona is a dome city with the worst of the worst among convicts and they work in mining, dangerous jobs and risky tasks. Obligona is based as well on chemical productions which are highly contaminant while Kertel could be more "healthy" somehow. Kertel and Obligona have a total population of 3 billion each.
As much as five orbital stations rotate around the planet. Two of them are military large bases, two reseach minor stations and one is a large habitable place, normally used for well off merchants and other products. This one is largely new, and minimize the risks of potential destruction from extreme temperatures. It is also capable of holding people in case a large scale evacuation needs to be made from one of the dome cities.
The Military base of Jakolion is the largest one, heavily armed and secured. Most of the prisoners arrive here first before being sent to the planet surface to comply with their sentence.
Fauna and Flora
The Mauru is a "hervivore" of Infernus. Much like the Abox, they roam the lava fields and the rocks in search of free melted nutrients. They run on four feet and are quick and agile to survive the many predators on the surface of the planet. They live in groups of 30 to 100 individuals roaming the sterile lands of the hell world.
The Mauru lay eggs on the rocky warm surface of the planet. Most females leave their eggs in nearby areas and the group stays there till they hatch. Due to temperatures, the eggs take less than 10 days to do so and the Mauru do not live longer than 12 years in general so their lives are short and intense. The number of legs they lay is between 10 and 25.
Known as the "fire hound", this majestic animal has been exported to other worlds. Specially any among the nobility it is one of the emblem animals of House Lavey. The Xenexes is a predator and lives in the colder regions of Infernus. Here they hunt many animals and do live either alone or in small packs.
They have a total of 2 to 3 cups each time and they live together with their mother for over 1 year or so before they reach independence. The hounds might live as much as 20 years.
Giant frog like creature that roams the lava. It's skin is one of the toughest thing ever encounter in the universe. This animals can resist as much as 5000 degrees and their skin is made in such material that it is completely regenerating itself. The Afilons however need to come out of the Lava to lay their eggs. This is a very dangerous time for them. Not only because they can be hunted, but because they can die for being out into the cold too much. Lava temperatures are their ideal and dropping of temperatures has a terrible effect on them.
The Afilon can live to up to 15 years. The total amount of eggs is around 50 to 70, most of which never made it. It is said that only 10% of the eggs make it to the lava fields.
Creature that floats on the surface of the planet in between 1 to up to 36 meters high. This creatures never set foot on the surface of Infernus and roam the skies of the planet. They are numerous and a prolific sight on the planet. Their exoskeleton is so hard that high temperatures do not burn them or hurt them, however, it is not prepared to touch the grown of the planet which will burn them to death instantly. They have very specilized sensors to notice the changes of temperature which allows them to elevate themselves into the skies accordingly to avoid being burned. They feed on poli-placton. That is placton that roams the winds of the surface of infernus. They can also digest ashes and other solid materials, in a similar way as plants do to take energy out of it.
This creature of a rather agresive nature, it's actually not a predator. It drinks the Lava in search of small particules of minerals and silicon melted away by the high temperatures. This strange creature is the focus of many researchers within the planet biological researchers. This animal is however intimidating, this is a normal behaviour adapted in order to defend itself from predators or other threats. The Tarsnakor, also nicknamed "Lava eaters", are territorial and usually a male has a territory which includes the territories of several females.
They can live up to 60 years for females and 40 years to males. Most change territories at least a couple time in their lives. The Tarsnakor live on their own and reproduce themselves through a strange mix of viviparous reproduction. Females usually care for one offspring at a time, although twins aren't rare. They care for their offspring for about 5 years before they are left on their own.
They are monsters, nominally nicknamed worms or centipedes. This creatures were imported from the Tersuna system and have adapted pretty well to Infernus. This worms where brought to the planet because they dig deep into the planetary surface and pull the minerals from the depths of the planet to the surface which makes collecting valuable minerals easier for the colonists. About 30 Shunkalai where brought from their native planet. They have thrived here and now there are around 1000 to 5000 of them swiming under the crust of the planet. They can reach lenghts of 400 to 600 meters.
Despite their looks, the Abok are pacific creatures, very numerous all over Infernus, that roam the lava in search for minerals that feed them. The Abok are also the target of most predators in the surface of Infernus. They live in large packs of over 500 to 700 individuals but some packs have reach as much as 1000 individuals. This animals are used by some of the colonists as walking forges. They reproduce under a curious system. They lay face to face to exchange biological material and then, both of the Abok "vomit" an offspring through their large mouths, that they do not care for. The offspring is adopted by the group learning thanks to all individuals on the pack that teach them. This has lead to speculation over if the Abok have some sort of communal hive mentality or communial connection of some sort.
The Abok may live as much as 30 years, but those cases are rare due to being target of many predators. Usually the average live of an Abok is around 10 to 15 years. The Abok offspring is born smaller but almost completely as an adult and the the main focus of it's first year of live is growing to the point of being as bigger as it can get. Some of the biggest Abok are left alone by predators but those kind of Abok are rare. Usually around a dozen in a pack of a 500.