Region: Outer Rim
Suns: Naboo, main sequence yellow star
Orbital Position: 4th
Moons: Widow has one moon, known as Pinnacle. It is roughly spherical, with a diameter of 20-23km.
System Features: As noted here
Coordinates: 9, 22
Rotational Period: 36 hours
Orbital Period: 480 standard days; 320 local days
Atmosphere: Type I, bordering on Type II due to dust and low pressure, comparable to somewhat high altitude. Humans can live there, but it takes some getting use to.
Climate: Arid and chilly
Primary Terrain: Widow is largely rocky and barren. A pre-Dark Age terraforming project made it habitable, but barely. Some areas have dusty grasslands and scrub conifers.
Native Species: None
Immigrated Species: Human (72%), Gungan (12%), various others (16%)
Primary Languages: Basic
Government: Semi-independent federal republic answering to the Naboo constitutional monarchy
Population: 480 million
Demonym: Widowling, Widder
Major Imports: Food, pharmaceuticals, technology
Major Exports: Refined minerals
Affiliation: Naboo, Galactic Alliance
Ruins of the Elders: Worn down by the elements and hidden in the sand, numerous ruins cover Widow. Many sites date as far back as 15,000BBY. Gungan scholars have noted some visual and linguistic commonalities with prehistoric Gungan artifacts, as well as the Naboo ruins which commemorate an ancient species’ unsuccessful invasion.
Hall of Sight:
- Force Nexus: One of Widow’s most significant ruins is known only to a very few. Buried in the sand-choked niches of canyon wall, the Hall of Sight is virtually intact. The statuary, as with many Elder representations, depicts vaguely reptilian humanoids with closed eyes and a (probably symbolic) third eye on their foreheads. The Hall of Sight centres on a subterranean freshwater pool whose worn stone steps indicate that it served as a frequent site for bathing, drinking, rituals, or meditation. Whether from ancient use or some natural quality, the Hall of Sight is a powerful, ancient Force nexus. Strange tablets and records on gold leaf have been found in the Hall’s side chambers. The images on them bear strong resemblances to other ancient species across the galaxy, such as the Columi, Killiks, Duros, and Gree. It is theorized that groups among the Elders used the Hall of Sight to learn of their contemporaries, perhaps with an eye to contacting or avoiding them. Those Force-sensitives who meditate in the flowing pool and/or drink the water may experience vastly greater clarity of visions and farsight, proportionate to their relevant skill. The experience is physically exhausting proportional to the importance, precision, and duration of the vision. The water has no effect if taken from the area. The nexus has no intrinsic bias or inclination toward either side of the Force. Its main defense is secrecy.
- Size: Location - the Hall complex and its offshoot caves; self-renewing and persistent.
- Intent: A strong nexus focused on farsight.
Panaka City: The largest population centre on Widow, Panaka City is home to both the Governor and the representative assembly, as well as the planet’s most capacious spaceport. Its architecture is best described as ‘Theed with tumbleweeds.’
Daily Life: Your average inhabitant of Widow is a miner, rancher, or moisture farmer, or is employed in support industries (hospitality, etc.). Food tends to be simple and straightforward, focused on the grains and tubers that grow locally, with a bit of offworld fruit and vegetables as practical. Those Gungans who live on Widow tend to seal their suits and residences, or rely on significant amounts of moisturizer.
Society: ‘Naboo gone frontier’ is the general consensus. Naboo’s focus on rationality and pragmatic pacifism has become bone-deep practicality and a strong culture of forbearing self-defense. Widders are not given to flights of fancy. Society tends to organize around extended families, homesteads, and far-flung towns.
Government: Each town and village self-governs by election and by town hall meetings as necessary. Town and village representatives advocate in the planetary assembly, which is somewhat large and unwieldy. The assembly largely fills the legislative function, while much of the executive function lies with the Governor, who answers to the King of Naboo.
Arts: Widders don’t have much time for the arts, except for whittling and such music as is conducive to frontier socialization.
Sports: Animal races and rodeos of all kinds.
Military: Most of Widow is protected by local militias, private security, and unions. Theed Hangar maintains a network of monitoring satellites and a small airfield outside Panaka City with two squadrons of Naboo fighters.
Religion: The Naboo religion, with some local adaptations and variations, more pronounced and varied since the Netherworld Crisis.
Technology: Outer Rim or a bit better.
History: Somewhere in the vicinity of 15,000-8,000BBY, Widow was the site of a colony of the enigmatic Elders, the Force-sensitive reptilian humanoids who colonized Naboo and its moon Rori during a similar period. The Elders’ mismanagement of Widow’s ecosystem eventually led them to abandon the small planet, much as they are believed to have abandoned (or been driven off) Naboo. The Elders’ notable proclivity for swampy regions, as well as certain geological data, suggests that Widow was once considerably damper and warmer. How it became this cold and arid is a matter of much debate.
When the human Grizmallt colonists arrived on Naboo ca. 3900BBY, Widow became the site of various sensor emplacements and frontier prospecting operations. It received only intermittent attention from Naboo explorers and settlers over the ensuing millennia.
In 165ABY, the ambitious partnership of Queen Celice and her Chancellor Brin Cardei set the stage for a terraforming project. By 225ABY, the project was terminated due to diminishing returns, leaving Widow with a breathable atmosphere, a struggling hardscrabble ecosystem, and almost two million dedicated colonists.
In the early days of the Gulag Virus, Naboo refugees flocked to Widow, hoping that the remoteness of the planet and its far-flung settlements would insulate them from infection. Widow’s population increased drastically overnight, major Gulag outbreaks crippled the planet’s few population centres, and Widow was largely cut off from Naboo for several years. However, most of the refugees had been proven correct: in scattered towns and remote homesteads, many of them newly built, a large number of Naboo citizens were able to avoid the plague entirely. Throughout the Dark Age, Widow became one of Naboo’s primary sources of raw materials due to the system’s isolation from a broken galaxy.
The Netherworld crisis hit Widow about as hard as it hit Naboo. In the crisis’ aftermath, frontier superstitions began taking the Naboo religion out of an allegorical space and using it to create explanations for individual experiences. Various sects, both traditional and not, became increasingly popular on Widow.
Currently, Widow remains one of Naboo’s most significant colonies and sources of minerals. As the Naboo shipyards have blossomed, Widow has become increasingly important. Liberal-arts graduates from Naboo’s universities have retrained and come to Widow to work in and around the mining and refining industries. For a chilly, desolate frontier with low gravity and thin air, Widow’s future looks bright.
Notable PCs: None at present.
Intent: To flesh out the canon planet Widow in the Naboo system, and to spend the prize that I won.