Despite the fact that it's not as serene as other planets like Eden Prime and Elysium are, Constantine still maintains some (minor) tourist value. Most of its surface is covered by large, shallow seas, full of vast systems of coral reefs that house an overabundance of diverse marine life. The planet's total landmass consists of several insular continents and archipelagos, covered with primitive forests similar to that seen on Earth during its Devonian period. The largest of these islands are New Zante and New Rhodes, with each being roughly the size of Earth's Australia. New Rhodes is also where the colony's capital is located.
Constantine is orbited by two small moons, Fausta and Minervina. In 2158 the Systems Alliance established a small outpost on Minervina to keep an eye on the region as the Byzantium system turned out to be of significant strategic value, since it was the gateway to the rest of the Carina Nebula and a large portion of the Attican Traverse.
The planet, along with the rest of the system were discovered and first explored in 2153 by the Alliance survey ship, SSV Gurdon which came to the system via it's relay, connecting it to the Asgard system. The humans's arrival coincided with the 700th anniversary of the fall of Constantinople 1453, and the ship's captain, Commander Jay Preston, christened the star Byzantium and named the planets orbiting it after Byzantine emperors to commemorate the occasion. The system's only garden world, in the second orbit around Byzantium, takes its name from the Emperor Constantine the Great and its two small moons from his wives.
After the Gurdon's discovery several secondary survey teams were dispatched to the system and began studying Constantine's ecology and drawing plans for a future colony. A few years later, the first colony ship arrived. The first settlement, and later the colonial capital of New Nish, was founded by Trevor Nikolic on the Preston river Delta. The colony proper is now 32 years old.
For many years, Constantine remained a small, backwoods colony, with only moderate mining value that wasn't worth of any big investments, and a small tourist industry that was supported by cruise and diving expeditions in the planet's many coral reefs and barriers.
A population boom was noted in the early 2160s, when several resource-rich systems were discovered deep in the Carina nebula. Constantine's population rose from just a few thousand, to a few hundred thousand. As the Alliance claimed planets rich in eezo and heavy metals deeper in the Nebula, Constantine reached its height as valuable materials kept flowing through the world's markets to other places. This, coupled with humanity's then recent first contact with the Council, attracted huge investments from both human and non-human interests as well as many lower class Earthers, who sought to begin anew. They opened a large variety of small businesses all around New Nish, centered around catering providing services for the travellers passing through the colony as well as handling, selling and reselling anything that came through the space ports. Though, nowadays the spike in the population rising rates has long calmed, Constantine remains an important crossroad for many fast trading routes.
The colony developed slowly but steadily in the following years. It's spaceports, automated farming fields and shipyards made Constantine hummanity's jump point to the rest of the Carina Nebula. Many colonies from all around the cluster still maintain very good trade relations with Constantine, making it's spaceport the colony's primary source of income. Because travel through the dense nebula is still not easy, Consantine, being the gateway point as well as most habitable planet in the resource rich Carina Nebula, made it an important crosspoint.
Geography and Environment.
Constantine is a small planet, with more than two thirds of its surface covered by large shallow oceans. Archipelagos and atolls from it's rich coral reefs are the norm, while its two largest landmasses, New Rhodes and New Zante, make up whatever little arable land there is for the locals. It's primitive vegetation, though not toxic, is not all too palatable to the human colonists. This encouraged the introduction of burngrass, in hopes of creating better conditions for farming and constant import of 'terminator seeds' to feed the population, as well as provide supplies for the many ships that pass through. The climate is humid and warm, with no glaciers covering the poles. The colony's fresh water needs are covered by rain collection water pumping from few large rivers. The vast majority of the coastline consists of long, sandy beaches, populated by small primitive arthropods which are considered a delicacy among the locals. Pollen tends to get quite thick during pollination seasons, so colonists living in more rural areas with higher concentration of vegetation are advised to wear breathing filters for their comfort.
Geographic Locations and Settlements.
- New Zante Island. The smaller one of the two largest continents of Constantine. It is located on the north hemisphere, relatively close to the pole and consists mostly of wide plains, hills and plateaus. It isn't as populated as New Rhodes as it has little of value to offer.
- New Rhodes Island. New Rhodes is the largest and most populated continent of the planet. It is mostly mountainous, with tall mountain ranges criss-crossing its surface and rivers flowing down large valleys. Most of the settlements are located here as well as most of Constantine's vegetation, as opposed to the barren New Zante.
- Astacus Archipelago. A dense group of chained islands and atolls that serve as a bridge between the continents of New Rhodes and New Zante. They basically serve as a 'bridge between the two continents, while baring home to numerous rich corals in the shallow waters between the islands.
- Crispus Mountain Range. Named after one of Emperor Constantine's sons, the Crispus Mountains are the tallest mountain range on the planet. They form the backbone of New Rhodes, rising from the northernmost part of the continent and ranging down throughout its length before gently fading into the Minato Sea, south of New Rhodes. They are half again as long as Earth's Andes and the tallest peak is Mount Braun, standing at 12,034 standard meters.
- Preston River. It is the longest river of New Rhodes, starting from the Delphi hotsprings, close to the top of Mount Braun, flows down the Sava Valley and finally into the Izmit Gulf, forming a large and fertile expanse of land on its delta, in a similar way to Earth's Nile. It was named after Jay Preston and is the biggest population center of the planet, with the capital of New Nish situated close to the edge of the Delta.
- Sava Valley. A relatively fertile region north of the Preston river Delta and New Nish. It's muddy and fertile soil, brought by the Preston river that flows through the valley, has created pleasant conditions for a lot of the planet's primitive flora to thrive, creating a long and thin chain of marshlands. The southern end of the valley, closer to the delta, also harbours a large part of the colony's agriculture industry.
- Izmit Gulf. A shallow, semi-circular gulf on the southeastern tip of New Rhodes into which the Preston River flows. The gulf's shallow waters, along with the continuing influx of matter from the river and the constant tidal fluctuations caused by the planet's two moons has lead to the formation of several intricate patterns of semi-submerged sand dunes in the gulf. Many small species of fish seek refuge in between the dunes. At the same time, they are considered to be a popular hiking destination at low tide.
- New Nish. The largest settlement on Constantine as well as the colony's administration center. It is built upon three sandy islands located at the shallow delta of the Preston river. The core of the city is made up mostly of modular arcologies similar the ones used on Eden Prime. They house the colony's administrative buildings as well as centers of trade and commerce. Outside the circular core of the city on the central island, most of the residential buildings are located. Though standing at a lower height than the core arcologies, the residential buildings of New Nish are bulky, angular and virtually identical to each other. They are spread thinly, leaving ample space in between for wide roads, maglev lines and even natural growth. The outer edges of the colonial capital are populated with all of the other city utilities and their workers. Two large shipyards and a spaceport are present on the eastern island while the majority of the western island's surface is occupied by large warehouse complexes where most of the materials, that are mined elsewhere in the Nebula, are stored before being distributed to the galactic markets. Minor metallurgical processing facilities are also present in case a shipment is in need of further processing. The streets of the central island, adjacent to the river are lined with numerous shops, establishments and other businesses run by the locals. This area of town, famous throughout the Nebula for its food, drinks, music and people, is referred to by the locals as 'The Porch' and is often considered to be the beating heart of New Nish.
- Balere Ocean. This ocean covers the entire western hemisphere of Constantine. Its vast coral reefs, under water ridges, volcanic chains and deep trenches have yet to be surveyed. Scientists who have had the opportunity to, briefly at least, study this world claim that an almost uncountable amount of various species is awaiting discovery. But constant storms, cost cuts and of course the privatization of other worlds has made progress sluggish at best. Nevertheless, interests among the xenobiologists' community is evident and many freelance and amateur scientists flock to the colony and do their own research.
- Minato Sea. A large body of water stretching south of the Izmit Gulf. A very shallow sea with an average depth of no more than twenty metres whose boundaries are generally defined by the submerged part of New Rhodes' continental shelf. Its western coast, on the southeastern tip of the New Rhodes continent, is lined with wide beaches and cliff faces with primitive Stromatolites while at the bottom stretches a vast field of underwater Constantinian seagrass, much like the Posidonia Oceania that can be seen throughout the bottom of the Earth's Meditteranean sea.
- Lepa Reka.
- Porto Delle Stelle.
Flora and Fauna.
- Cabana Crabs.