|Atmosphere||Nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere with ozone and carbon dioxide content, at Earth-normal pressure|
|Hydrosphere||Arid, with no surface water|
|Climate||Hot and dry|
|Primary terrain||Expansive desert swells and flats, mountain ranges, volcanic areas|
|Length of Day||20h|
|Length of Year||316d|
|Technological Classification||N- (A in more rural areas)|
|Imports||Foodstuffs, minerals, metals, high technology (usually illegal)|
|Exports||Delican hamin, Renaaran whiskey, Eottan berries and by-products, high-tech skills, smuggling talent|
|Affiliation||officially, Valcarian Imperial Republic; unofficially, Independent|
|Government||Organized crime and tribal councils|
|Delica system||Star • Belt I • Belt II • Belt III • I • II|
- Culture: Crime, smuggling, trade
- Ship Facilities: Delica has two major land-based starports
Having no apparent value to the untrained eye, Delica is an inhospitable world of rare black desert swells and flatlands. Its hardened, volcanic ash and sand surface determined its peculiar name, which in old Renaaran means "scorched earth." The largest of two planets in the system, Delica orbits Delik, a volatile red giant that dominates the system.
The Giasin Badlands, a vast expanse of desert wastelands, covers three-fourths of the planet's sable surface. The Badlands are inhabited by a number of nomadic tribes. These native peoples are believed to be the descendents of colonists who either rejected the technologies that landed them on Delica or those who were cast out to die in the desert.
Thermal winds and sandstorms are common in the open desert, particularly in the polar-regions, where temperatures remain an even 43º C. Normal desert temperatures range between 35º and 40º C. These readings drop drastically in the mountain regions to a near constant of 21º C.
Despite outward appearances, the majority of Delica's dormant volcanic basements are full of hidden water reserves. These areas are renowned for producing coveted Eottan berry crops, which are harvested in earnest over a three-month growing season and used in the preparation of Delican hamin, Eottan berry juice, extract, and a specially brewed tea.
Delica is host to three distinct cultural groups. Early colonization efforts led to the creation of both the numerous nomadic tribes and their close cousins, the superstitious Delicans who inhabit the cities and permanent settlements. While the nomads tend to be suspicious of outsiders and their technology, the Delicans accept and embrace off-world ideas, items and peoples. The final cultural group is made up of criminals and smugglers, predominantly Renaarans, who have relocated here in recent decades. While always a feisty bunch, most of these new arrivals have also accepted the Delican ways of family, tradition and respecting the space of others. In the end, these three groups now form a single undivided culture united in its opposition of outside authorities.
Due to this factor and its relative isolation – in the wilderness regions of the Outlying Territories near the Par'tha Expanse – Delica remains wholly sequestered from the main space routes, making it an ideal haven for pirates and smugglers.
Delica has a number of regions and readily identifiable landmarks. Visitors to this world would be wise to acclimate themselves lest they be regarded as ignorant outsiders by the natives.
- Rukyri Tribal Lands
- Slakui Tribal Lands
- Giasin Badlands
- Riali Tribal Lands
- Lilni Tribal Lands
- Tsij Mountains
The ever-changing and seemingly lifeless face of Delica is an illusion that has fooled many discerning eyes. Despite inhospitable heat, ash-storms, and an arid environment, the planet is home to an abundance of life. In the wake of its creation, through a significant network of volatile volcanoes, Delica holds a life-giving secret: hidden caches of water occupy vast cellars of long-dormant volcanoes and hardened lava grottoes. As night approaches and the desert winds cool the sand, moisture seeps up from these hidden underground caches. For brief stolen moments before dawn, small pockets of water actually lay on the surface. Repeatedly filtered through the planet's ash mantle, the water possesses a rare natural purity for drinking and has a unique quality that brings out a remarkable flavor.
On occasion, sand wells create a rift in one of these underground grottoes and supercharged heat will cause secondary eruptions of pressurized steam spouts. Going from cool to blistering temperatures within seconds, the water boils to the top of the lower cellars and escapes through whatever means possible – normally superficial cracks in the rock. These spouts are extremely dangerous as the water exploding through these fissures is hot enough to burn the flesh off anyone caught in the blast.
Clouds are a rarity on Delica, but there is a period (once or twice a decade) where there is enough moisture in the atmosphere to bring on a rainy season. The period is known as auri, which is an old Renaaran term meaning "mucking out." Covered with a two- to three-week shroud of rain water, the Delican landscape is reduced to a dangerous obstacle course of quagmires and quicksand pits. Residents generally confine themselves to highland areas and venture outdoors only in cases of emergencies.
Delik eventually appears from behind the blanket of cloud cover and quickly bakes that softened surface back to a solid permanence. Safe travel can usually be resumed within 24 hours of sunrise. Any person who has had the misfortune of being trapped or having animals and vehicles trapped in the sand as it hardens can tell you that it is much like being encased in ferrocrete.
After the rains, there is an explosive growing season. This productive period goes mostly unnoticed on the surface because it takes place in the water-filled grottoes and cellars of dormant volcanoes. As the moisture recedes back into the ground or evaporates, temperature and humidity levels are perfect for Eottan berries, triggering a growth cycle that can last for several years.
Delica's chief commodities of ice (from Ocedra), distilled spirits, Eottan berries, and Itar gas are monopolized by current resident factions, excluding all off-world interests. The controlling powers of Delica have greatly profited from the marketing of these resources and have redistributed that wealth to the planet's greatest resource – smugglers. Criminal elements comprise a large portion of the population, thus keeping Delica a unique and largely closed society.
While the populace is heavily dependent on imported foodstuffs, life can be sustained with a diet of Eottan berries, water beetles, and uarra meat products. Not the best of provisions, but few people ever go hungry.
Of the original six colony ships that landed on Delica over three millennia ago, there is only evidence of four that survived. From accounts left behind by those early colonists, this world is an unforgiving entity that puts even the hardiest of pioneer dispositions to task. The cities of Tasios and Cinandra, and the fringe settlements of Muran and Uanan are believed to be located where the original colony ships landed.
There are several theories concerning the fates of the remaining two colony ships. According to colonial data-records, the fifth ship sustained considerable damage on entry into the planet's atmosphere, going down in the northern polar region. All attempts to find and rescue survivors failed. The settlers were simply unprepared for the harsh realities of sand wells, volcanic eruptions, and dangerous concentrations of Itar gas, which permeate the northern polar area of the planet. Survivor descendents are believed to be members of the Slakui tribe, a rather unpleasant and territorial group that populates this area, which is considered to be the most inhospitable region on Delica’s surface.
The sixth colony ship was forced to deviate from its proposed course; whether this was by choice or accident is unknown. The colonists managed to establish a settlement nearly 14,200 kilometers from the western base of the Tsij Mountains. Despite a safe landing and several weeks of contact with its sister colonies, the settlement vanished suddenly without any traces as to what became of its settlers.
Expeditions discovered that this area is heavily comprised by "sand wells" or sink holes. Fascinated by the unusual phenomena, they conducted numerous experiments on these seismic aberrations. Their reports recorded probes descending to depths of over 100 kilometers before the planet’s volatile subterranean plates shifted to seal the rifts, leaving no surface evidence of their existence and apparently destroying the probes.
At a loss to explain the disappearance of their sister colony by any other means, the settlers on Delica accounted their fates with a sand well that opened up beneath the colony, consuming all buildings and everyone within. As such, the name Dinanna was given to this treacherous section of the desert. It is an appropriate title, taken from an old Renaaran myth about a woman, one of four sisters, who controlled the inevitable dissention and uncertainty of life; the Dinanna Rifts remain an unpredictable, seemingly malevolent region.