One of the three Capital Worlds of the Sophic League

Ararat Forest
Image from Steve Bowers
Ararat had a complex biosphere when discovered, the result of alien terraforming many millions of years ago. Most plants and animals appear to have evolved from coelenterate-like ancestors.

Ararat - Data Panel

StarHD 66740, Athos
Distance from Sol193 ly
Stellar TypeF5V
Luminosity4.1 x Sol
Ararat II
Image from Steve Bowers
The Terragen colonists who live on Ararat have been moderately tweaked to tolerate the local xenochemistry, which closely resembles that of Earth.

One of the three modosophont Capitals of the Sophic League, the other two being Sacred Heart and New Taylor. Additionally the high toposophic capital of the Sophic League is located at Satyaloka, a system mostly off-limits to modosophonts of all descriptions.

Ararat is located on the edge of the Garden of Paradise Cluster (Rho Puppis), and was the first colonized system there. Many of the worlds in the Garden of Paradise Cluster had been terraformed to almost perfect baseline human standards by a long vanished alien race. The Ararat System has two terraformable worlds, the first of which is located 0.77 AU from the local sun. It is appropriately named Ararat II.

Ararat II is a mountainous world with an active geological cycle and a fairly low gravity, creating some of the most well-known mountain ranges in the civilised systems. A particularly spectacular sight for the visitor are the dramatic mountains rising up from the dense jungles, with soaring skyscrapers and cliff-cities extending from their peaks yet further into the air.

On the planet, there are multitudes of plant/jellyfish creatures that have outlived their mysterious alien creators (since it is believed that they were engineered to feed on floating bacteria that in turn use a modified method of photosynthesis), sometimes called the Mysterians.

Mysterian life is only mildly incompatible with Terragen life, and the biota share many amino acids in common with each other. With a minimum of tweaking, humans and other terragens can digest some Ararat proteins.

The first colonization began in 2642 with a ship of colonists making planetfall at Brujj (which later became the capital of the planet). Due to the pleasant temperatures and comfortable atmosphere, there was a rush to collect real estate, and prices soon soared.

The second habitable world in the system is Ararat Va or New Madray. It is a warm, earth-sized moon of the gas giant Ararat V. Some find it surprising that that the long vanished aliens did not terraform New Madray because (by human standards) it was a very much easier planet to terraform than Ararat II must have been.

Today Ararat II is the most populated of the two planets (although the majority of Araratans live in the extensive asteroid belts or orbitals). Although there is no capital planet, most of the AI hardware is located underground in Brujj, on Ararat II. The surface of Ararat II is a combination of heavy urban areas, and traditional Mysterian jungle. On the giant buildings and beanstalks, there are sheet-like vines that slowly crawl up the building and create bulges and large ripples for both the Terran and Mysterian lifeforms. As long as the vines do not interfere with the functioning of the structure, they are considered beautiful and allowed and even encouraged to grow.

Image from Steve Bowers

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Development Notes
Text by D. David Barbeau
Initially published on 04 March 2001.

Plant image and planetary image by steve bowers added November 2014