Edessan is a major Turian Hierarchy colony world, located in the outer regions of turian space. It among the oldest and most populated Hierarchy worlds and holds a significant amount of both strategic and sentimental importance for turians.
- World type = Garden
- Orbital distance = 0.9 AU
- Orbital period = 302.8 Days
- Radius = 7798
- Day length = 27.1 hours (up to 6 Edessanian Months in the colonised polar areas)
- Atmospheric pressure = 1.1
- Surface gravity = 1.21g.
- Mass = 1.1 Earth masses
- Satellites = 1
Role in the Hierarchy
Though officially classified as a garden world, Edessan is hot and massive, with a climate much like that of Illium. The colony is mostly built around the two polar oceans where the temperatures are cool enough for ground-level habitation. It has considerably large agricultural industry (not large enough to rival that of worlds like Gothis though) and hostile environment infantry training facilities which are renowned throughout the Hierarchy, but what Edessan is most probably best known for is its highly prestigious flight academy.
Edessan was one of the last worlds to be discovered during the first wave of turian expansion into space. Though it wasn't as hospitable to life as other, more temperate garden worlds, its rare, dextro-amino based biota nevertheless made it an attractive target planet for the Hierarchy. The first colonists were settled around the northern polar ocean, where conditions were pleasant and most of the indigenous life was centred. The thin band of habitable and arable land surround the polar oceans was immediately appropriated for agriculture whilst hostile environment training outposts were established further south, at the outskirts of the massive dessert that rings roughly sixty percent of Edessan's surface.
As time passed and turian expansion reached its height, goods and resources flowing in from the colonies brought a new golden age to the Hierarchy, causing its population to grow once again. As such, the need for agricultural goods soon increased rapidly and colonies like Edessan had to be further developed in order to cope with demand. This resulted in the initiation of one of the largest localised terraforming projects in Hierarchy history. Using climate control, strategic irrigation and plantation, Edessan's desert ring was slowly and gradually pushed back, creating an artificial prairie and slightly expanding the total arable land.
In recent years, as the colony grew and expanded, the shortage of viable living space around the polar ocean's shoreline lead to the gradual resettlement of portions of the population further south. Cities with supertall housing arcologies were built to shield the population from the baking-hot conditions near to the surface. As a result of this gradual population transfer, Edessan became more and more urbanised while the agriculture industry underwent a process automation. The original ground level settlements around the shoreline were significantly reduced, allowing local flora and fauna to recover and reclaim some areas and giving a more peaceful and pastoral look to the original colonies. Notably, over the past couple of decades, as a result of the urbanisation of the colony, the focus of Edessan's economy started to shift away from agriculture and towards heavier industries like manufacturing.
During the Unification War, Edessan was one of the colonies that suffer large-scale internal conflicts due to strife between loyalists and separatists that were both present on the planet. Most of Edessan's loyalists were centred around the older colonies ringing the northern polar ocean while the separatists were mostly located around the southern ocean. The immediate grounding of the colony's local spaceforce by the Hierarchy resulted in a conflict that's known today as the Desert Battles. Loyalist and Separatist forces clashed in a large and bloody battle on Edessan's hostile equatorial desert. Countless turians perished during the battles. The large majority of the casualties were due to the extreme environmental conditions rather than combat, though. Edessan was one of the first worlds to be reclaimed by the Hierarchy, merely half way through the war. The separatists were defeated with a joint airstrike conducted by Edessanian loyalists and Hierarchy soldiers. Each year since then, the anniversary of Edessan's reclamation by the Hierarchy is celebrated by the locals as 'Liberation Day' and nowadays, alongside Unification Day, is one of the biggest celebrations on the planet. As a result of the events that took place on Edessan during the Unification War, the colony enjoys excellent relations with Palaven and the central turian Government while turian worlds with more deeply rooted separatist sentiments usually treat Edessanians with contempt.
A popular morale-boosting propaganda poster from that time showed a smiling, muscular turian holding an assault rifle, dressed in farmer gear and standing in the middle of a grain field, proudly looking up to a Hierarchy fighter squadron flying overhead; the caption reading "Loyalty is Victory, Victory is Pride." This poster has largely been responsible for the formulation of the modern stereotype of Edessanians: Coarse, fiercely patriotic, half-witted and overly-optimistic farmers; with a strong liking to heavy weaponry and a strong admiration for the turian air force.
Due to its high economic and strategic value Edessan was one of the earlier targets for Reaper forces. Edessan, being a large fleet depot for the Hierarchy had a substantial naval force stationed in its system. The planetary defence force was severely weakened though, due to the majority of the fleets being ordered to the Apien Crest to assist with the protection of the turian homeworld. Despite the majority of the Hierarchy fleets leaving the system, the garrison that was left behind was still very strong. When the Reaper forces arrived, both the colonists themselves and the military forces that were stationed there fought fiercely, even managing to force a temporary retreat of the Reapers. Despite these achievements though, the fight against a reaper fleet of such size was futile and Edessan eventually fell. All of the spaceports and military outposts were destroyed and habitation centres were sieged. The vast majority of the automated agricultural fields were glassed from orbit, leaving just enough to sustain the population while it underwent harvesting. By the time of the Crucible Event and the end of the Reaper War, more than a third of the total population is said to have been processed while the raw number of casualties is even larger. There were unconfirmed reports of suicide attacks and bombings by locals who would rather die than submit to the enemy.