Hyl Op
Planet Ghane Map
Image from LordOther
Comparative map showing the extent of flooding on this world after the Civil War
Human-derived clade inhabiting Ghane III (Solar Dominion).

The Hyl Op launched their colony ship in the mid First Federation era, and reached HIP 11923 in 2400AT. In an attempt to build a relatively low-tech utopian society they deliberately simplified their technological base and declined the assistance of any transapients. Ghane II was a relatively Earth-like world, but with no life or oxygen. Autonomous ecopoesis systems ensured that the atmosphere became breathable in less than two hundred years. The original colony developed rapidly, but soon became engulfed in a series of bloody civil wars that led to the destruction of the polar ice cap maintenance systems, flooding most of the main cities and causing a major dark age.

During this period the gathering of tools, material and sacred objects from the flooded cities became central both for survival and religion, and the custom of Diver Princes developed. Rulers had to prove themselves by diving into the city depths and retrieve unique objects (which were placed in temples to the City Gods).

When the Solarian scout probe Opening the Endless Light 5 arrived in the system in 3105 the long isolation was broken, and Solarist missionaries and relief organizations began to help the Hyl Op. Although the political system and religion soon changed to a more traditional Solarist hierarchy, the symbolical diving remained and still continues to this day. The romanticism of the struggling diver princes remains one of the classical myths of the region.
The submerged cities of  Ghane III
Image from Steve Bowers
Divers search the submerged cities of Ghane III for salvage and sacred items

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Additional material by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 07 November 2001.