Planetary Designation: Loki III
Parent Star: Loki
Classification: Class L
Habitation Status: Native pre-warp industrial civilisation
Federation Status: United Federation of Planets Protectorate
Obsidian is rather unique amongst the planets within the United Federation of Planets. It’s one of a few Class L planets where a native civilisation has not only developed, but has advanced to the stage of developing into an industrial society. Obsidian was first discovered over 150 years ago during routine scientific surveys of the Federations outer borders. It was during this system survey that the native population made contact with the Federation requesting assistance to avoid a planetary disaster. Loki, the G-type star of the system had entered an active sequence several years before and was bathing the planet in constant solar radiation due to increased flare activity. The sustained solar flare activity had stripped the planet of its ozone layer, placing future generations of the natives at considerable risk. Although deemed unconventional by modern Federation historians, the decision was taken to offer Protectorate status to the planet to avoid the potential loss of life and civilisation. After careful negotiations a Federation science outpost was established in Kalara, Obsidian’s sole population centre.
Throughout the late 2290’s and early 2300’s Obsidian was a flashpoint for many limited engagements between Starfleet and the Romulan Star Empire. This ranged from orbital demonstrations of force to planetary subterfuge and incitement of planetary unrest from a number of Romulan agents that had seeded themselves amongst the Kalaran’s and the nomadic tribes of Obsidian. Starfleet was eventually forced into establishing a more permanent presence on the planetary surface and established a second, larger outpost in the Taragi-shar Mountains in 2307.
After the self-imposed exile of the Romulans began in 2311, Starfleet began to work with the Kalaran population to reverse the increasing mortality rates amongst children due to the still-increasing solar flare activity from Loki. Federation scientists started working on a method to accelerate the natural restoration of the planet’s Ozone layer, although this project stalled on numerous occasions due to resistance from the nomadic tribes on Obsidian and resulting pressure from the Kalaran council not to interfere too much in the planetary development. Progress remains slow to this day, although the presence of Obsidian Command in geostationary orbit above Kalara has lessened the amount of radiation bombarding the main city due to the shielding employed by the starbase.
Being bombarded by solar radiation, Obsidian earned its name from the vast Obsidian “lakes” that are scattered across the surface. From orbit this gives the planet a uniquely stark appearance – being predominately sandy in appearance interspersed with black glass. The planet shares a lot of characteristics with the many desert planets across the Federation – igneous heavy rock types, large sandy deserts, volcanic activity around the tectonic plates, very little surface water. Networks of aquifers and supporting wells, and condensers are scattered across the surface providing water to the tribes and Kalara City itself. A handful of Oasis’s provide sanctuary from the harsher desert conditions on the rest of the planet, the largest series of which form the area around which the tribes who established Kalara settled.
There are two large mountain ranges on the surface. The Rupathan Range, and Taragi-shar Range. The Taragi-shar Range is a heavy igneous rock mountain range dotted with numerous cave networks which provide shelter to the tribes during the harsh desert day and heavy solar activity. The natural protection from solar radiation also made it the natural choice for the larger Starfleet outpost established in the early 2300’s. The Rupathan range is a smaller mountain range a few days travel from Kalara and although hazardous to travel, provides the city with some protection from the sandstorms which are a fact of life on the planetary surface.