Vendiroth is a hell planet, one that can barely be described as habitable by human standards. It is the moon of a gas giant, one located within close enough to the sun to be a hot Jupiter. Thus, it’s seasons are eclectic. Being close to the sun, it is normally hot. It’s own axial tilt means that there are no true ‘seasons’, only night and day. The area in full day is hot to the point that standing in direct sunlight is quickly fatal. However, the reflection of light from it’s host planet means that even at ‘night’ it is rarely truly dark. Only during the brief time in which it is obscured by the host planet does it ever truly get dark, and this winter drops the entire planet into brutal cold.
It is not a colony world, at least, not intentionally. In the years before the cataclysm, Vendiroth served two purposes. There was a prison, used to incarcerate some of the worst the universe had to offer. It was said that summary execution was preferable to imprisonment on Vendiroth.
There was also a military training facility, designed to give elite soldiers a taste of what it took to survive in extreme conditions. Prisoners and soldiers were often both used as test subjects for research taking place on the planet.
When the gateways went down, both groups were trapped. Life on Vendiroth became even more brutal. As time passed and the survivors began to realize no help was coming, the two groups were forced to rely upon each other for survival. Coldly pragmatic decisions were made due to the lack of food and resources. Those who could not provide became provisions.
Necessity dictated Vendiroth culture. The women, en masse, moved into the research facility, turning it into a single underground habitat where they could raise children in relative safety as well as improve their chances of actually being able to bear said children. They created hydroponic gardens, creating systems of glass and mirrors to carry light when technology broke down. Even then, childbirth took its tole on women, with an almost 25% chance of death for each pregnancy.
The men went to the surface, becoming nomadic as both weather and the drive for prey forced them to stay on the move. They provided additional by sending shares of their food to the women and receiving produces from the gardens in return. As time went by, the men began competing for the attention of the women. This served to keep their numbers down, but ensured that what children were born were products of the strongest and most able of the survivors.
As gateways are rebuilt and ‘lost colonies’ are rediscovered again nearly a thousand years later, some explorers question whether actually making contact with Vendiroth is a wise idea….
(Note, the artwork is by no means finished. I just can’t decide what colors I want the planet to be, or if I want there to be other visible moons. So, the image is just a starting point.)