Merin is a planet approximately 70 lightyears from Yeddo. It is a prosperous settlement as the galaxy's largest exporter of oceanic-based goods.
Merin is covered entirely in oceans. With its two moons causing extreme tides, permanent settlements are very difficult. As such, the population lives almost entirely on large ships that use hydropower to generate electricity.
Merin also possesses a ring system which automated drones mine for minerals. It serves as a much easier alternative than mining the sea floor. Oceans on Merin are much deeper than average making it difficult to reach without special equipment.
Merin is also one of the few known locations in the galaxy with a thriving alien ecosystem of multicellular life. Life on the planet is thought to have origins around the microbial environments around the geothermal vents. Species similar to Earth-based arthropods evolved which superficially resemble crabs and lobsters. One such identified species is known as the lobber - the name of which is a corruption of the ancient English word for "lobster". When they were discovered to be edible by humans, Merin became a major exporter of exotic food.
Points of interest
The Noble Fleet is a series of seafaring ships, several which are dedicated to specific noble houses. Each noble house has multiple smaller ships of their own to serve them. The ship known as Poseidon is the largest of the fleet as well as that of the entire planet. With its earliest parts dating back 7,000 years, it is large enough to be a city of its own, while the bridge is where the monarch's throne is located. It is thought that the virtual life form of the same name originated within the ship's computers.
A large expanse of flat, underwater land around the planet's equator and one of the areas closest to the planet's surface. As one of the easiest to reach drilling locations, it is one of the most disputed areas of the planet over mining rights. The area is also home to an impressive coral reef with life forms that evolved very similarly to ancient Earth's sponges.
- Main article: Atlantis
Named after a mythical city from Earth's history, Atlantis is an ancient Valerian complex built entirely underwater. It consists of a complex series of glass tubes and large panoramic windows likely designed to be able to view the wildlife outside. While it has remained abandoned for millennia, it is curious that Poseidon's programming is compatible with the computer systems found in Atlantis, suggesting a possible shared origin.
The Rift is the deepest part of the planet's oceans with pressure so immense that it has never been fully explored. Rumor has it that a subspecies of giant lobbers lives here. They were thought to be extinct for millions of years as their fossilized remains have been found all over the planet, but remote scans of the Rift have detected highly unusual activity. A lack of availability of direct observation has given rise to many myths and legends of sea monsters.
Merin is ruled by a council of noble families under the leadership of a king. However, Merin became the start of the Virtual Wars which sparked after the king was mysteriously found dead. One active conspiracy says that Virtuoso was meddling with the political affairs of the nobles in order to turn Merin into a puppet state.
House Langusten popularized the fishing techniques to catch lobbers. As such, their family crest is that of the lobber. They do this by piloting underwater drones to hunt them down. Because these drones are very expensive and must endure the dangerous conditions of Merin's seafloor, lobber hunters must train extensively in virtual reality before making real-world attempts.
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