Imperial Garrisons (2)
Life on Lantare has been extraordinarily difficult for the abandoned colonists on Lantare I since the Empire left some 24 years ago. When the Imperial colonists from the Core Worlds first entered the Minos Cluster, Lantare was selected as a possible colonization planet by the Imperial Survey Corps. Although there was little free water on the surface, billions of cubic meters of free water were suspected to have been trapped in the subsurface of this geologically active planet. The initial Imperial plan was to terraform the entire planet and make it a new, lush home for the colonists. With a higher than normal gravity and several dozen well protected valleys and windfalls from the harsh Lantare windstorms, this planet was more than suitable for Imperial terraforming. In fact, some lifeforms were even imported from other desert worlds (i.e. such as Banthas from Tatooine) to round out the sparse local ecologies. Unfortunately for the Lantare colonists who came so willingly to this world, the Empire simply shifted its priorities some two to three decades ago, as the Empire often does. As such, the Lantare System was no longer desirable for human colonization and the colonists began to leave. For those that remained (some 20%-30%), life was harsh but they were free from all Imperial and Republic influences. Some have found this desirable to a life of comfort on an Imperial or Rebellion Core World.
For the past 24 Imperial Standard years, the citizens of Lantare I have been hard at work trying to make a basic subsistence living. Moisture farming and other water conservation measures as well as some larger scale cooperative drilling projects have yielded some promising results. However, water is still the most valuable commodity on Lantare I and is never wasted. In fact, in some outback portions of the equatorial regions, wasting or spilling of water is considered a capital offense.
With the recent return of the Empire and resulting interest of the New Republic, Lantare has (over the past month or two) seen renewed interest and life is beginning to return to the larger colonial settlements. To date, the Empire (i.e. Emperor's Hammer) has set up 2 Standard Imperial Garrisons (see description of Aurora herein for standard garrison complement) planetside, adjacent to the one StarPort planetside, Jaggerbund...However, it is suspected the Rebels now know of this System and may make attacks to gain a foothold in the Minos Cluster. Being the least desirable of the Minos Systems, Lantare is also the least defended.
Lantare's colonists, although fiercely independent, are still not quite sure what to make of the new Imperial presence planetside. Local leaders of the various feudal governments are typically selected simply based on physical strength or local political influence. As such, their suspicions and skepticisms bare little meaning However, the planetary ruler, known locally as the "Commandant" (an obvious holdover from the old colonial days), is selected in a brutally efficient ceremony. The Rite of Rulership (or 'Rite of Rule') is simply a fight to the death between an incumbent Commandant and his/her challenger. These combats can be held at any time and there have been recent years where dozens of Commandants were chosen by rite within one local year. The current Commandant, Shrrinn Kruaan, is a savage Bothan native with an equally savage temperament. It is said he tore the limbs off the last challenger who faced him in the Jaggerbund Arena...The Empire has recently named him a wanted creature. The Bounty Hunters have reportedly been searching planetside for weeks without any tangible clues to his whereabouts. He is rumored to rule Lantare from a hidden palace within the largest colony...Jaggerbund...
Imports to the planet now include almost any foodstuffs, medicines or technology as the colonial settlements begin to return to an Imperial technological level. The only significant exports of this planet are a local variety of Spice known as targa and some minor mineral and metals refineries that have sprung up in the last several weeks. Although targa is grown and refined locally in secret plants, it is a genetic strain of the real Spice (found on Kessel) and almost as addictive. All visitors are cautioned against its use, which is also classified a Class-I Imperial felony. The majority of the native population is already addicted to this drug which produces a profound and long-lasting euphoria without too many undesirable side effects.
Visitors planetside are also cautioned to avoid the local fauna. The lifeforms and even some of the native colonists have been found to be extremely aggressive and violent. All attempts to penetrate, hold and/or garrison the interior portions of the equatorial regions have been met with limited success. Various reptilian, insect and mammalian species of the huge and nasty variety can be found in these hinterlands...long ago products of bad genetics or poor Imperial import policies, let loose in the deserts of Lantare.