Gideon is the fourth planet of the Bountiful A system.
- Geography: Gideon’s surface topography is non-continental in structure. Its surface is nearly equally divided between land and sea, and much of its surface is mountainous. The northern and southern latitudes are known for their bitterly cold winters, and are sparsely populated, but the equatorial belt has vast areas of hot, arid desert. The planet has no native tree life, and its environment is hostile to deciduous trees, however, several species of genetically modified pine trees have adapted to the climate.
- Culture: 1.7 Billion people live on Gideon, mostly in urban settlements on the shores of its seas. Its capital city is Gabriel, wherein 7 million people reside. Its surface area is divided into “sectors” and “zones” by way of political divisions. One region, called Sanctuary, was established by Saintists during the wars of the post-Collapse. It lies among the plains and steppes of the northern hemisphere, isolated in wartime by the Desert of Edom that lies between it and the more populous regions of the planet, and is one of the planet’s most productive agricultural and industrial regions. The capital of Sanctuary is New Damascus. The city of Calno, in Sanctuary, has become a boomtown in the New Commonwealth Era as many off-worlders have settled there, and enterprises conducting business on Gideon have set up local headquarters there. More typical is the region of Fortuna, where nearly a quarter of the planet’s population resides. Fortuna includes the capital city of Gabriel, and many of the planet’s other large cities including Fortaleza, Montego, Ramath, and Alberton; where large numbers of people live at or below the margins of economic sufficiency. Gideon is economically underdeveloped, relative to the rest of the Bountiful system, and its people generally have a lower standard of living, although pockets of absolute poverty are rare.
- Many of Gideon’s orginal settlers were colonists that did not want to live under the strictures of the Galactic Christian Saints Church, which settled the Bountiful System in the 41st Solar Century. During the Federal-Colonial War, the Governor of Bountiful (Wyatt Sheridan) decreed that Federalist colonists who left Bountiful Prime to settle on Gideon would not be harassed or interfered with, and many took advantage of the offer. Later, during the Millennium that followed the Fall of the Commonwealth, the planet became a violent dystopia. The initial skirmishes were sectarian in nature; adherents of other faiths and Federalist refugees settling scores with the Saintists. Later, gangs and tribes fought over the remnants of the fallen civilization. The gangs and tribes became nations, the cities were rebuilt, but the wars continued. Many factions built fortified enclaves to protect themselves from other factions. Conflict on the planet continued into the 70th Solar Century, long after the rest of the Bountiful System had recovered from the collapse. Even in the New Commonwealth Area, deep rifts remain in the planet’s culture. Most inhabitants feel more fidelity toward their region or enclave that to the planet as a whole. The Planetary Government is Notoriously rife with corruption and is regarded as weak and illegitimate.
- Most of the inhabited areas of the planet have well-developed energy, transportation, and telecommunications infrastructures; but there are areas that lag behind the others.
- The planet is noted for its religious pluralism. While a bare majority of the inhabitants are adherents of the Bountiful Church of Christian Saints, there also large numbers of Panglorians, Nacenes, the Nova Sisteria (an offshoot of the Iestan Faith) and, of course, the Church of Gideon (which in terms of structure and Theology looks a lot like the BCCS). Many inhabitants speak Gideonese, a dialect unintelligible to the standard language spoken on the other worlds. Gideon has the longest year of any inhabited planet in the Bountiful System (587 days) and holds a large number of festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Gideon also hosts the Orchid Syndicate (based in the city of Arpad) and the Gadian League (based in the city of Lebanon) … two shadowy organizations involved in illegal activities including underground gambling, prostitution, smuggling, and extortion rackets. Gideon’s people tend to be, on the whole, less prosperous than those on the other worlds of the Bountiful System. While much low-cost manufacturing takes place there, the corruption and theft discourage off-world investors from locating there.