Sinite is a cold, dry world, where most of the surface water is locked in glaciers and in the water storage roots of the many varieties of hardy trees that grow in some of the slightly less arid areas of the planet. Large regions of the planet are also covered in open lava fields and volcanic mudflats, where geysers of boiling sulphur-laden water erupt at regular intervals. Rivers of steaming mud flow for kilometres in all directions from the major geothermal centres, with the nutrients from the mud nourishing the forests of short trees and tall shrubs. Large areas of bare rock show where the more recent lava flows have cooled, forming a barren, black, fissured landscape for as far as the eye can see.
Despite this bleak landscape and the chilling wind perpetually blowing off the massive glaciers that gird Sinite, the planet boasts a thriving ecosystem. Forests of hardy trees and shrubs grow wherever the land forms valleys or depressions that can shelter them from the harsh winds, sending roots deep into the rock to search for water. Many of these plants have developed water-storing roots and bulbs that the local wildlife, especially the many species of small rodents, have learned to tap. The planet’s swirling winds, caused by the interaction between the hot air from the lava fields with the cold air from the glaciers, has ensured that no native avian or flying mammal species has evolved. Burrowing creatures abound to compensate, ranging in size from small mice as long as an index finger, to massive, carnivorous mole-rats the size of fully grown bantha. This has resulted in local building codes requiring that underground structures include duracrete walls and floors at least a metre thick to safeguard the inhabitants from a sudden influx of ravenously hungry giant rodents.
The native Siniteen have learned to take advantage of their planet’s topography and weather. Clean and renewable energy sources, such as geothermal power and wind turbine farms abound, ensuring minimal pollution. The Siniteen’s superior intellect has enabled them to site cities in the most advantageous locations, be they where hot vents allow for easy access for thermal power or near clean sources of underground water. This emphasis on clean technology also carries over to other sectors of the economy, making Sinite on of the most pristine of developed homeworlds and giving the Siniteen an edge in competing with similar goods produced on more heavily industrialized and polluted worlds – something Siniteen merchants are keen to public