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The Hirth peninsular (The Blizzard peninsular): Named not just for itself but for all Altair it sums up the planes of snow that cap the planet and the frequent blizzards that beset it. Ironically the peninsular itself is rather sheltered from the prevailing easterly winds so lacks the regular storms[1] but certainly not the snow with only sporadic thaws where human influence dumps a lot of heat into the atmosphere. From any point on the peninsular you can easily see the many towers of Altair but without those even the thousand square miles of bio domes would be almost invisible against the snow.

The Findrum[2] Range (White/Holy Ridge): The Findrum range stretches the length of the Hirth peninsular and is accredited with some of the most spectacular views on the planet. However, with an average summer temperature of about minus ten it is not recommended for tourism and is frequented by blizzards that can burry entire valleys.

Central Tower: The first settlement on Altair and has since been expanded to be about a mile high with several ancillary towers. It possesses the majority of the government infrastructure, large businesses and an extensive network of bio domes. Recent developments have lowered the amount of housing in the main shaft[3] as well as increasing the number of nearby gardens as the major corporations and universities have moved in. Commuting is fairly common to the tower, even though it has a population of about 4 million, as the five further towers are within close proximity[4][5].

Fonvespa Tower (On the Vespa): Built on the very end of Vespa’s canyon[6] it is one of the major population centres and tends to cater to the higher classes with stunning views over the nearby mountains and is one of the tallest single towers on the planet with a spire height of 1.2 miles and a population of 4 million in some of the lowest densities on the planet. Having a twenty tier or above Fonvespa address means you have well and truly made it.

Combe City (Valley): One of the few cities on Altair of the traditional sense with large expanses of city surrounding the squat central tower which is the shortest of the five major arcologies. The main sprawl is within a crater[7] that is roughly the size of London and has been almost totally covered with extensive gardens and farms, to the point where the council is considering just building a single dome over the whole crater. A large proportion of the planets food is grown within Combe and it is the main trading hub for ‘real’ goods, the population is roughly six million.

Stoke on Sea (Small settlement on Sea): Definitely the least well named of the arcologies as it is neither a small settlement or on sea[8]. With a total population of ten million it contains the majority of the planet’s industry, a good percentage of food production and some of the worst living conditions on the planet[9]. With the lowest income per head of any of the arcologies it is not surprisingly considered a slum, forty percent of petty crime occurs within its walls and those with money rarely travel there unless they can help it.

Westen (West Town): Westen is located on the southern tip of the Hirth peninsular, near the end of the Findrum mountain range. It is not huge by the standards of Stoke on Sea and hosts a comfortable four million and is generally home to the more academic residents of Altair with a good majority commuting to Central tower to work. In addition, most of Altair’s famous artists have been resident in Westen, it hosts the majority of the planet’s creative works and it is the dream of many budding artists to be featured in the Bayside gallery which covers a good third of the penultimate floor.

Lyness (Headland into water): Literally meaning water nose Lyness is too built around the future coastline though is far more structured that Stoke on Sea with seven small towers lined along the coast. It had a good spread of social types, industry and business, which makes it the most self sustaining city on planet but it still has about half a million commuters leave or arrive each day. The internal style is rather suburban on the whole and is a rather nice place to live if you want a less hectic lifestyle; some say it is hard in some places to tell you have even left the south east of England at some points.

Hythe Magna (Great Warf): The major start port of Altair, home to about one thousand, most of which are involved in its operation to a greater or lesser extent.

The Morrigan (a Celtic goddess of war): The main satellite for Altair, most interstellar shipping passes though its bays and the main fighter contingent is based there. It is built in the orbit of its predecessor Creid which was badly damaged in a pirate raid and had to be decommissioned.


[1] This being one of the primary reasons that the area was picked for colonisation.

[2] Pronounced fin-drum.

[3] The tower has failed in its last few major attempts to expand so that property prices are artificially inflated. Large business and rich families are the only ones who can really get a look in on the top floors.

[4] Fewer than thirty minutes by monorail.

[5] Net population roughly 35 million.

[6] And probably a little too close to an active fault line for its own good.

[7] Sited mostly as it was a lee from the blizzards that swept Altair.

[8] At least not until the terraforming kicks in and actually gives Altair liquid water. When that happens Stoke on Sea will be right on the waterfront, though that doesn’t stop people building where the water will be in fifty years.

[9] Overall the city is crowded, noisy, breathless and in some areas rather akin to twenty first century Beijing. The towers are low and honeycombed and the city is famous for being only location on Altair to actually possess satellite towns, though these only serve to exacerbate the connections problems.

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