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.

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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.