Repea is an extensively developed arctic planet, a world of biting wind, frigid waves, and ancient ice. Two relatively mild islands rise from the enormous ocean along the equator, in the broad channel between the northern and southern continental ice sheets. The easternmost island houses a military training installation, and the westmost island is a beach resort reserved for soldiers after their training. Most of the surface has been tamed by the continental and oceanic megalopolises. Expeditions are not allowed out on the open permafrost, as packs of ravenous Howlrunners roam the coast hunting for prey and even large groups of workers with armed escorts have been attacked.