Name : Quphieth

Allegiance : Independent

Government : Rule by force of local Barons

Economy : Feudal

Coordinates : -3,0

Population : 1 Million

An independent world in which feudal land barons are propped up with 'aid' from the Empire, to avoid this world and its interesting biology being consumed by the Federation.

The Quphieth system was first visited by Augustus Brenquith, a rich eccentric from Old Earth who spent the latter half of his life exploring and opening up new stellar systems. He was one of the great early explorers, and left Earth in a highly modified Griffon class freighter. His ship was extensively altered, to enable it to make very long jumps (for the time) and most of the cargo space was converted to life support and message capsules. He left Earth just after the third algae war and vowed never to return. His aim was to explore the surrounding stellar systems and provide a legacy of inhabitable planets for the people of Earth.

For a period of 35 years, message capsules from Brenquith returned to the Sol system, bearing news of new worlds or hazardous planets which he had encountered. Each new arrival spurred a wave of colonists out from the home planet to the new world. His descriptions of the planets he visited were often poetically tinged, and after so long without human company became rather unreliable, but were always great media sensations.

His initial description of Quphieth centred mainly on the rich and diverse life of the main continent, and he wrongly concluded from his initial aerial survey that there was no large animal life present, only a rich variety of plants and insects. The world is now famous for the peculiar biology which has produced the most successful non-standard (i.e neither plant, animal nor fungoid) life form so far encountered. All the creatures of Quphieth combine features which lead to classification as plant and animal, according to Earth standards and they continue to surprise and amaze scientific surveys to this day.

The system is now most famous for the so called 'whispering palms', which produce sounds and mimic the cries of local flying creatures. These plants form huge forests and the din created when the planimals echo the sounds of a violent thunder storm have to be heard to be believed. Visitors to the system are restricted, and export of the local species has been strictly controlled ever since the Doleviera incident. It is unusual for permission to be granted for individual trjps to any of the islands, where scientists are still attempting to catalogue the local life forms.

Entry by David Massey

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