Gahara: the revived planet

It's been almost nineteen centuries since the first colonists arrived on the dead planet of Gahara, fleeing the chaos and destruction wrought by a war between gods, demigods, and demons back on their old planet. Using a mixture of magic and technology, they began terraforming their new home.

The colonists' original base of operation was the spaceport on an artificial moon. Named Banta, the artificial moon is much larger and denser than Gahara's own two small moons, Rassa and Anamia. With the added assistance of Banta's tidal forces, demigods and magical mortals restarted the dormant volcanic system to reheat the planet's core.

Although the slowly heating core was naturally producing a magnetic field, it would not likely generate a magnetosphere strong enough to protect against stellar winds and space radiation. In order to compensate for Gahara's relatively low density, the colonists's engineering mages tunneled deep into Gahara's crust, building an underground global mechanism to bolster the burgeoning magnetosphere and artificially increase Gahara's gravity.

Even nearly doubled from it's original force, Gahara's gravity is still only two-thirds as strong as their old planet's. However, if the colonists hadn't locked all three moons into their orbits ahead of time, the increased gravity would have eventually pulled them inside the planet's Roche limit and torn them apart.

In order to heat and thicken the atmosphere, colonists combined industrial ice farming with the magic of demigods and sorcerers to melt the frozen carbon dioxide at the ice caps. While tunneling into the crust to build their gravitational mechanism, the colonists also mined for other chemicals, like methane, ammonia, and nitrogen, needed to help increase the atmosphere.

As the greenhouse gases thickened, the arid planet was protected enough to prevent liquid water from escaping the atmosphere into space. Between melting the polar ice caps and the permafrost aquifers in the southern highlands, the colonists eventually released enough water to inundate the northern lowlands, covering almost half the planet in water. Vast oceans now take up almost the entire northern hemisphere.

Witches and agrarian demigods helped extremophile microbial lifeforms, such as phytoplankton, algae, lichen, and cyanbacteria, take root and spread to produce oxygen. To speed the process of creating a breathable atmosphere, the colonists also built oxygen factories.

As centuries passed and Gahara became more and more habitable, and more refugees arrived, the colonists began to build upwards and outwards from the underground colonies scattered across the planet. Small, isolated outposts grew into towering, sprawling surface metropolises that evolved into independent city-states.

Gahara been drastically altered over the centuries, but it's terraformation is far from complete. Currently the sky is mauve, but it will eventually turn more blue as the atmosphere continues to thicken and the oxygen levels increase.

Each city-state is surrounded by its own insulating atmosphere, the result of local oxygen factories, abundant terrace gardens, and water vapor from steam works pulsing throughout the city. These localized ecospheres keep each city's air much thicker and warmer than in the surrounding wilderness.

The conditions in the vast, open spaces between city-states are similar to high-altitude areas on other planets. It's chilly, often windy, and the air is thin. Most people require the use of rebreather masks to prevent hypoxia. However, there are plenty of hardy plants, animals, and even a few pioneers, that have adapted to the unforgiving environment outside city walls.

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