CHILD ROCKS is the collective name for the numerous small islands on a watery planet in the Deinste system.  They were founded by Deinster misfits and outcasts who wanted a solitary environment very different from that of their desert forebears.  Each island suffices to house a single individual, who gathers local aquatic life for food.  Their traditional craft involves carving miniature artwork onto the tiny bones of those marine creatures.  The children who are actually born on the Child Rocks are the result of occasional visits between neighboring islands.  Raised by only one parent, each child is then sent off to their own uninhabited Rock when they are old enough to fend for themselves.  Limited genetic diversity and the attendant dangers of recessive diseases threaten the precarious balance of the population.


ALBA was the second Earth-like planet in the Lullingstone sector to be colonized.  There are few hazards to be found, and ample nutritious food grows year-round.  To protect this gem of a world, its founders insisted upon fundamental patterns of kindness.  Everyone is treated as brothers and sisters, and all must treat their brothers and sisters decently.  If anyone feels that their safety is being threatened, they may report the offender to an appointed Monitor of Magnaminity.  Usually the mere suggestion of making such a report is sufficient to dissuade anyone from doing wrong, or to elicit a panicked apology if the wrongdoing has already happened.


LESTOCK is a savage world in the Ventura sector.  Its three continents are filled with numerous untamed carnivorous lifeforms, the most dangerous of which are the Kellrosses.  Twenty meters long and able to leap that far from a standstill, they are an instantly fatal threat to an unprotected human.  Even the most powerful weaponry may not count as sufficient protection, because a slain Kellross falling on a person is also quite deadly.  The few settlers brave enough to make Lestock their home must generally rely on "superpowers" to protect them.  Paraíbite is rare on Ventura and even more rarely exported, but it is the most reliable source of such superpowers for ordinary humans.  When one can turn a Kellross inside-out with a thought, or teleport it into the nearest volcano, life on Lestock is not so bad.  The meager government that exists is led by those who are most proficient with their psionic abilities, as no one has any reason to challenge their authority.


ORLA is a gas giant in the Terris system.  The hypnotic patterns of its swirling color bands have always attracted the attention of stargazers there, and those with the means to do so have found themselves drawn to actually visit Orla.  Once there, those most susceptible to Orla's influence actually take up permanent residence, orbiting endlessly and writing poetry about it.  These people are uniformly assessed as being incurably insane, but their poetry is so hauntingly beautiful that the people of Terris lovingly support them.  Supply ships crewed by staid and sober-minded individuals bring the poets food and other necessities, and return to Terris with more books of Orlan verse.


DEINSTE is a desert planet with an ecology that is driven by highly-localized random precipitation.  Every day, a different few acres of land receives a generous rainfall, which collects in depressions of the rocky soil to form a temporary oasis.  The fast-growing plant life native to Deinste immediately takes advantage of this moisture to germinate from dormant seeds, flower, and propagate.  All animal life must then chase after these oases in order to survive.  They are aided in this by avian creatures that are usually the first to spot the next downpour and fly towards it with shrieking cries.  The humans who live on Deinste live in mobile fortresses called "stades".  Bowl-shaped and the size of a small village, they move forward on motorized tracks.  If they are able to arrive at their destination before the rain stops, it will fill the bottom of the stade, so habitation begins at a higher level.  Deinsters are a throroughly caste-oriented society.  If your father was a front-track-maintenance-technician, that is your job as well.  Careful management of population growth is therefore essential, with discreet adoptions taking place when absolutely necessary.


LULLINGSTONE is a beautiful and temperate planet, a literal garden.  Some of its places are even more wondrous than the generally prevailing splendor -- towering waterfalls, fathomless crystal caves, and rainbow-hued canyons.  These have been walled off as the personal preserves of the planet's elite, whose sense of superiority is visibly expressed in their ridiculously large hairstyles.  One is not considered truly powerful unless one is practically incapacitated by an enormous pile of hair that one can scarcely lift.  The remainder of the population is content, though, to enjoy the rest of the planet, and let the 1% enjoy their superiority in their beautiful castles.

... But all of this splendor, all of this joy, all of this happiness, would be instantly destroyed if one family were not forced to live here:

There are those who will not accept this inhumanity. They are The Ones Who Walk Away From Lullingstone.

VENTURA is wracked by storms, which are thankfully (and curiously) confined to particular corridors that criss-cross the planet's surface.  Hence the storms effectively divide Ventura into regions that can never safely interact with one another.  The one thing that inhabitants of all the regions want is a very rare substance, Paraíbite, that unfortunately (and curiosly) can only be found in the most stormy areas.  Paraíbite unlocks powerful mental abilities, which have naturally been weaponized by the Venturans in their never-ending wars between neighboring regions.  The rarity of actually seeing a foreign Venturan does not stop them from hating each other.

Most Venturans are named Ace. Or Jesse. This May be the true root of their anger.

SUNDERLAND is a fully-urbanized planet that is dominated by competing corporations.  Through some fluke of societal development, what they mostly compete at is the invention of increasingly vulgar devices.  Life on Sunderland revolves around its frequent holidays and their "pranking ceremonies".  Status is earned by personally humiliating one's neighbors, using novel equipment that supersedes any previously seen.  The corporations cleverly target their advertisements so that everyone somehow manages to purchase such pranking kits.

“Got your nose!” is a sick burn on Sunderland.

TERRIS is so distant from its sun that its surface is almost entirely snow and ice.  Its hardy inhabitants are firm believers in democracy, but their politics are of a very agressive sort.  Every citizen has one vote, which must be cast according to the will of the last person to defeat that citizen in a government-scheduled martial arts tournament.  There is therefore a great deal of societal emphasis on learning how to fight.  Hardly anyone will publicly admit to having an interest in any science not directly related to their combative skills.  In secret, however, many people of Terris learn other ways to improve their world, and they teach these subjects to others in private.  It is considered impolite to wonder who provides the hydroponic gardens and fusion reactors necessary to support life on Terris.

Residents of neighboring planets pride themselves on peace. They derisively refer to physical altercations as “riding the terris wheel.” Advocating retrograde views is mocked as “terrisforming.” The Terrines would object but are too busy selecting an ambassador by round robin.

FILÉ is an ocean planet, completely covered by water.  The gill-breathing Filéans constantly follow its currents in peace.  They are ostensibly ruled by a hereditary king, whose laws are absolutely obeyed by everyone on the entire planet.  The only laws which are seen as fit for the king to proclaim, however, are the laws of mathematics.  So no one may claim that 2 + 2 = 5, for example, but other than that everyone is free to do as they wish.  Mathemeticians on Filé keep busy in proving new laws for the king to enforce, but their society is otherwise decadent.  They have never heard of Kurt Friedrich Gödel.

It's perfectly legal to claim that one is the loneliest number.

"Two can be as bad as one" once got a minstrel in hot water, until he added a surprisingly moving line about multiplying by zero.
What about for very large values of 2? Wouldn't two of those 2 make almost 5?
Although there are true statements that cannot be proven, there may yet be an infinite number of true statements that can be proven. There is hope yet for the mathematicians of Filé, even once they catch wind of Gödel.