Worlds at a Glance: Clarion Population: Approx. 115 million (per 2455 census data) Designation: M-Class Planet, habitable by most species w/minimal acclimation required. Representation Status: Member-Colony; full representational rights in Federation Senate Current Representative: Planetary Governor Rebecca Tarquin (Human) Galactic Sector: Arradis Sector
Clarion is a planet of lush forests, serene rivers, and hazy green sunrises. Often called "The Garden of the Federation", it has achieved fame across the galaxy as one of the Earth Federation's premier tourist stops. Colonized in 2423, it quickly became an agricultural hub and major trade center. Strict development laws have kept the vibrant environments of the planet in pristine condition, and much of Clarion's industry is conducted off-planet, via a network of orbital factories, refineries, and ports known locally as "The Yard". In fact, Clarion has the sixth highest concentration of space-based industry of all Federation colonies.
Among Clarion's ecological wonders are the famed "Zeppelin Tress", pictured here. These remarkable plants have no true "trunk" to speak of, rather they have a tangle of fibrous roots that act as anchors to the ground, holding a membrane of semi-hollow wood filled with natural deposits of helium covered in wide, smooth leaves. On windy days, the Zeppelin Trees can be seen bobbing and weaving in the breeze like giant balloons, tethered to the ground by their natural, life giving "mooring lines". Some eloquent observers have called it "The Dance of the Forests".
The population is heavily concentrated in the planetary capital city, New Baghdad. A cosmopolitan city of 80 million, New Baghdad rests in terraced outcroppings built on Mount Cerberus--the largest mountain on the planet--and nestled in the surrounding valleys. Dominated by trade ports, mega-aquaducts, and housing towers, the whole of the city pulses with life, vigor, and riches of all kinds. New Baghdad also holds the distinction of having one of the most diverse populations in its sector: humans rub shoulders with aliens of all stripes every day, and it isn't an uncommon sight to see a squid-like Jho'tell, tentacles wavering as it floats above the street, eagerly chittering to a gaggle of Human children as the entourage head for the nearest VR Arcade.
Clarion is one of the Crown Jewels of the Arradis Sector, and this reputation will likely be held for years to come.
--Taken from "Earth Federation: A Traveler's Guide", 3rd edition. Published in 2460 by Galactic Press, Cerberus City, New Mars.
Well, this (gorgeous) pic reminded me of "Galactic Encounters" a Sci-Fi book series that I LOVED when I was a kid. The books are written in an in-universe style (history textbooks, travel guides, etc.), and once I remembered the books, I just started writing for the hell of it.
Next thing I knew, I had the lovely wall of text you see above.