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Rigel III is the third planet of the Rigel system, and homeworld of the Chelon. It is a member of the United Rigel Colonies and the United Federation of Planets. Chelar, the native name for Rigel III, means "deep place" or "the pit."
- The only canon reference to Rigel III is from "All Good Things..." The Chelon are a canon species (from Star Trek: The Motion Picture), though which Rigel planet they hail from is not specified in the film. All other material, unless otherwise noted, comes from the Last Unicorn Games and Decipher RPGs.
- Planet Name: Chelar (Rigel III)
- Class: M, bordering on O.
- System Data: Chelar has two very small moons, Uäno and Uvor
- Gravity: 1.1 G
- Atmosphere: Oxygen-rich atmosphere, higher than average pressure and typically humid, with a powerful greenhouse effect. Oxygen levels aren't high enough to require protective gear, but are sufficient to noticeably affect human emotions and fatigue levels.
- Hydrosphere: 91.8% surface water, very diffuse. One oceanic band, with the rest being spread among Chelar's many wetlands, rivers, lakes, and small inland seas.
- Climate: Warm to hot, extremely humid. Minimal variation in climate zones, minor but noticeable seasonal variation.
- Intelligent Life: Chelons (6.3 billion), with numerous others representing less than 5% of the total (highest non-Chelon concentrations are Orion and Kaylar).
- Tech Level: Tech level five overall, but with many pockets of more primitive levels. The starports are closer to tech level six.
- Government: Several nations, mostly heavily-bureaucratic republics with a few oligarchies.
- Culture: Spiritual, agrarian culture with considerable value placed on intelligence and tenacity.
- Affiliation: United Federation of Planets member (2206).
- Resources: Rich botanical resources of every kind.
- Places of Note: Löablanëe, the major starport. Rotoächko, a "wild Kaylar" kingdom.
- Ship Facilities: Relatively primitive service available in the minor starports. No shipyards.
Chelon myth tells of a time when Rigel III was "seeded" with life by an ancient race, and the early Chelons believed they were place there by the gods to serve as their emissaries.
Early Chelon civilizations took their role as divine emissaries seriously. They quickly established a system of communications between their communities, which encouraged trade and prevented war. In time, the Chelons boasted a sophisticated network of interdependent communities, creating large states without developing the imperialistic mindset common to most other cultures.
However, the planet's peace did not come without a price. Rigel III was ripe for the picking by the various Orion empires that arose in the Rigel system. But despite their broadmindedness, the Chelons proved unruly subjects, launching several rebellions against Orion rule. Eventually, the Orions abandoned Rigel III (historians still debate why) and left the planet to the Chelons.
The Federation first visited the Rigel system in 2189 and the Chelons, unlike the Orions, welcomed it to their homeworld. The Starfleet contact team was impressed by their pacifistic and cosmopolitan culture, and recommended Federation membership for Rigel III in 2203. Admitted in 2206 over the objections of the Orions, Chelar has been staunch, if low-key, member of the Federation ever since.
Rigel III is a warm, lush world dotted with small seas. 700 million square miles of wetlands, swamps, jungles, and smoking volcanoes cover the planet's continents, providing habitats for diverse species of plants and animals.
Civilized Chelar is a modern network of plastic cities, polyrail trans-tubes, and glassteel structures.
Due to the thick, cloudy atmosphere, Rigel III is often described as soggy-looking by offworlders and a powerful greenhouse effect warms every part of the planet's surface, blurring the climactic zones into very broad and indistinct bands. Chelar ranges from steam-burn tropical at the equator to a warm-temperate at the poles. The coldest spot on the coldest day on Chelar is barely "cool" to a human, and the humid, oxygen-rich air can render newcomers drunk, giddy, and exhausted all at once. Along with the beauty of the greenery and smoking mountains, this creates a profoundly romantic impression on many visitors.
The surface of Chelar is 92% water, but a casual glance from space wouldn't make it apparent. The planet is blanketed by two enormous continents – Löoqua and Lüebra – separated by a thin strip of briny ocean that runs from pole to pole like a belt. These large continents, however, are themselves barely "land," and the green masses of foliage rest on a blend of marshy soil and open swamp, riddled with rivers, lakes, and tiny seas.
To find genuine "dry land" on Chelar, one needs to climb a volcano, many of which are active.
Rigel III is a literal "hotbed" of life; every part of the planet is in a constant cycle of birth, growth, and fragrant decay. The rich, the rotting vegetation perpetually feeds Chelar's spongy soil, and provides the planet with an unmistakably fecund perfume.
- Rigel III at the website of S. John Ross, a writer for the LUG and Decipher Star Trek RPGs, from whence much of this data is taken.