Type: Class O
Location: 2nd planet in HD53143 (Outer Ring space; 1,000 ly from Sol)
Satellites: 1 - "Pandora"
Surface Gravity: 1.5 g
Atmosphere: 75% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 4% noble gases, 1% other
Primary Faction: Pre-revolution Confed
Population: < 1 million (no census)
Demographics: Human/Recom mix (no census)
System Overview: HD53143 is a bright young K-sequence star, orange, subject to frequent magnetic field reversals and somewhat smaller than Sol. Its planetary system, is more properly termed a "proto-planetary disk", not quite done forming its share of planets; so far there's only a Venus-like hellhole, a far-flung gas giant, and a blue droplet ocean-class planet between them. To make up for this lack, there's a daunting number of smaller objects. There are TWO dense asteroid belts between the inner and the outer system, known collectively as the "boneyard" both for their death toll and their occasionally macabre shapes. Throw in a rogue's gallery of comets and kuiper belt objects, mix, stir, duck.
Meredith itself, aka HD53143 II, is a beautiful Earthlike planet gone strangely wrong. The globe is obviously flattened and far too heavy. What looked like ice caps turn out to be permanent cloudcover, stretching to completely cover the ocean-drowned, flattened poles. These oceans are divided at the equator by a craggy crocodile-back of continent circling the entire planet, forming a serpentine ring broken by water-filled rifts and one enormous crater. Many smaller lakes are also curiously round...
Halfway obscured behind the world is Meredith's lopsided doggie-bone excuse of a moon, "Pandora". The moon has its own moon, a puny kilometer of basalt in a ball-of-wool orbit. This mote should drift safely into solar orbit in a few dozen years, 3/4 simulations agree.
Despite its faults this odd world is alive. Nearest the equator, everything but the water and mountaintops are vibrant green, but nearer the north and south coasts, it's tinged a curious violet, producing layered colors like one striped leaf of a gigantic organism. A fitful light glimpsed along the nightside coast points to life of another sort.
The expedition was one of the last grand-scale efforts in the Confederation's Golden Age colonization boom; four enormous colony vessels equipped to strike for the edge of known space and retake Otarin's famous Dead World. Public enthusiasm in their 2255 departure was at a low ebb after 50 years of ho-hum exploration; the expedition's disappearance a few years later was noticed by few but its creditors. Historians later decried the whole idea as an expensive mistake, the Dead World being far beyond recovery by mortal hands and capable of burying, asphyxiating, corroding, and poisoning an expedition of any size. No traces of them were remarked at either at Otarin or any of their planned stopovers; most assumed they were consumed by the Dead World. This remained the official cause for nearly one hundred years until they were rediscovered clinging uncomfortably to a strange planet in an improbable system well off their planned course.
In truth, the expedition was forced to make an unexpected detour to HD53143 when a ruptured exterior tank vented nearly half their air and water into deep space. The star's wildly flipping magnetic field made high-resolution distant observation difficult, but the spectrum at least showed plenty of water and other clutter. Far, far more clutter than expected, far farther out than expected. The Boneyard nearly swallowed the expedition whole; only two of four ships escaped to find the unexpected gap between the two belts, and the habitable Meredith therein.
There are two populations, founded by different colony ships.
The most prosperous inhabits a sprawl of farms and wooden structures surrounding the landing site, surrounded again by a wooden palisade, and ringed yet again with more farms. Average life is primitive, but no longer horrible; light after dark means torches, water is carried, travel's slow by foot or animal, but there is water, food, and places to be. The inner residents are somewhat better defended from the local tiger-equivalents than the outside folks, of course... Recruited, promoted, descended, or surviving (!) command crew are the core of their government. The colony vessel is the seat of government, as well as their hospital, library, purified well, and power plant -- though there's little use for electricity beyond recharging the comms and utility vehicles they brought with them.
Meredith already had a thriving ecology before they landed. So far its stood up quite well to the alien intrusion -- some bits of it find them quite tasty. Their population is still tiny, and they've had to compromise their tech base a great deal, having neither numbers, time, nor tools to efficiently exploit the abundant local energy and mineral resources.
The other ship is lost in the wilderness; probably wrecked on landing, from what little the wandering tribes descended from its crew are willing to explain. They're old-fashioned hunter/gatherers, probably nomadic, and neither talkative nor friendly though they do trade with the city-dwellers.
Meredith slept through two civil wars and one major war before being recontacted -- shortly before the birth of the Terran Empire. That's three simultaneous planet-of-the-apes moments. Needless to say, Meredith's administration has given up all hope of rescue by their parent civillization... Most natives in fact consider Meredith to be all that remains of the golden-age Confederation, or effectively independent, though their own government has mutated away significantly from Confederate ideals since the disconnect.