Pavo Zed is the name given largest moon of the eighth planet of the system 66 214 Pavo; a system of eighteen planets orbiting a binary red giant star pair. Despite its status as a moon, the planet has nearly 85% of the mass of a typical Terra Class world and a life-sustaining biosphere. However, its orbital path takes it out of the “Goldilocks Zone” of the 66 214 Dorado system for a period of six years out of every fifty-six years, during which time the planet lapses into continuous winter and into a near ice age that can last up to ten solar years until the planet returns to normal.
Pavo Zed is a Terra-Delta class planet with an oxygen-nitrogen-argon-methane atmosphere. Its seasonal climate is heavily influenced by its orbital period; some of which is in the shadow of its mother planet “Big Blue.” The planet endures hot, humid summers that last up to four solar years and deep, severe winters lasting as long as sixteen years. The planet’s surface contains a number of sub-continent sized landmasses ranging from 400,000 to 1,000,000 square kilometers in area, as well as numerous smaller islands, many of which submerge when the planet’s icecaps melt and re-emerge as the planet thaws and freezes. The fierce currents and cycles of the planet’s weather, coupled with tectonic stress from the nearby giant, tend to alter the coastal margins of the continents with each season. Gravitational interaction with Big Blue is an engine for dramatic seismic activity on the planet. Volcanism consistently replenishes land that is eroded by the sea.
According to the few mission notes that have been recovered, most of the population of the planet resides in two large city complexes (Urban Protectorates) ... Shi Qua Ngo and New Baltimore; which are in a state of constant conflict with one another and which, furthermore, have high rates of violence and deprivation within their resident populations. Both cities have extensive underground networks of tunnels and chambers to which the populations retreat during extremes of climate. Both cities harness geothermal energy as their primary source of energy.
At some point in the planet’s history, a quirk of environment and genetics began turning the skin of some inhabitants blue. As many as a third of the planet’s inhabitants now carry the gene for blue skin and blue blood. Some of these inhabitants consider themselves the “True Blue” and have sought to exterminate those whose skin is not blue. The conflict has gone on for centuries. The belief is so ingrained in some inhabitants that children born of normal skin to blue skinned parents may be abandoned or left to die.
The True Blue reside outside the cities in the wilderness of the planet’s largest subcontinent. When the winter freeze lowers the sea level, an isthmus emerges connecting the secondary continent with the larger continent where the cities are located. They carry out savage attacks and raids to secure supplies, and clash with the Urban Protectorate forces. Their attacks have made it impossible for non-blue inhabitants to live outside the Urban Protectorates; which are surrounded by barriers and heavily defended. The True Blue have been known to exploit the hostility between the two cities, inciting skirmishes that open the cities to outside attack.
Only one starship has visited Pavo Zed since the time of the Great Silence, the Fast Attack Scout Corvette Fighting Mongoose of Wolf’s Head colony, who reported only that the planet’s inhabitants were “mostly dangerous,” and the planet had “nothing to offer or contribute to the greater galactic community.” The crew recommended no further contact. A number of personnel from Fighting Mongoose were killed in the attempt to explore the planet and make contact with its inhabitants.