Campaign of the Month: January 2012
Star Trek Late Night
- Planet Name: Rigel XII
- Class: H
- Moons or Rings: None
- Gravity: 0.8 G
- Climate: Thin atmosphere, frozen hydrosphere (20%), very cold temperature
- Demographics: 100 mixed species miners (rising to the hundreds of thousands during the Dominion War)
- Civilization: Harsh frontier, mining camps
- Resources: Lithium crystals, dilithium
Rigel XII orbits in a wide, eccentric band between 290 and 300 AU from Rigel A. Its year lasts 2200 standard Earth years; during “midsummer” the temperatures climb almost to freezing, while during the 800 years of winter (ending in the late 23rd century) Siberia or Antarctica seems warmer. Rigel XII’s few native life forms generally hibernate for centuries, or reproduce by cysts or spores that can withstand freezing glaciation. Rigel’s relatively rapid rotation (20 hour day) and smooth geography means that windstorms are common – in a “cryclone” wind speeds can reach 100 kph and drop temperatures to -60 Centigrade.
Nobody would live on such a miserable planet were it not for Rigel XII’s unique composition. Its crust is almost entirely lithium compounds and crystals; Rigel XII is one of the few places in the known galaxy where lithium crystals can be mined at such purity that they will work in warp drives. Dilithium is plentiful on Rigel XII, as well (especially under the frozen sea on the northern pole), but requires expensive and balky equipment to mine and process in the freezing climate. Human and Andorian prospectors establish scattered mining colonies on Rigel XII in the 2190s, with the lithium-cracking plant at Childress Camp the largest. Childress Camp becomes a key refining plant for the entire sector once dilithium extraction equipment arrives in 2287, and serves as a crucial Starfleet resupply station. As the planet warms, and the Starfleet presence becomes more regular, the population grows into the hundreds of thousands by the time of the Dominion War, when fleets stage out of Rigel XII to resupply the Federation’s armadas (and those of its allies) with precious dilithium. These fleets make tempting targets for Orion pirates and Jem’Hadar raiders alike.