Gangwon was discovered in 2105 by the Goryeo mission from the University of Seoul, South Korea and discovered at the same time as its sister planet of Kaesong. Settled by an overwhelming population of sub-continental Indians and Central Americans, Gangwon is a diverse planet with many natural resources.
Demonym: Wony, Wonian
Discovery & Colonization
Gangwon was discovered alongside of Kaesong in 2105 by member of the Goryeo mission form the University of Seoul, South Korea. Interestingly, it was considered the more habitable of the two worlds given its more Earth-like seasons and short transit time around the Hwonese star.
After it's discovery, the government of South Korea began a colonization plan for Gangwon that never went into fruition because of a cost-benefit analysis performed that wondered, besides the settlement of its citizens, what real benefit the nation stood to gain. As such, the Korean government saved the vast amounts spent by nations like the United States and Japan but achieved the same goal as private colonization proceeded anyway. By while South Korea dithered, others had already begun to settle.
Within five years of its discovery, over 600 thousand people had made their home on the world. Most of these early settlers were from the Indian sub-continent on Earth. While there were more than a few rich and middle-class settlers, the vast majority were poor and unemployed. To them, Gangwon signified a fresh start without the class issues still beneath the surface of everyday Indian life. Interestingly, the wealthy class that emerged was made up almost entirely of formerly poor families, showing that work ethic was more importance than any arbitrary class hierarchy.
The second wave of colonists that settled on the world were primarily from Central and South America. By 2130, Gangwon had a population of over 15 million, putting it even with most of the then colonial worlds and 6 million stronger than the first settled world of Galileo. And because of the various languages and dialects that existed in India and that had spread to Gangwon, the default language became Spanish as it was more uniform between the new Latin settlers. And while "Colonial English" also began being taught in the schools so Gangwon could effectively compete and sell their goods to the other worlds, Spanish remained the default language at home.
Gangwon, with its sister planet Kaesong was a big supporter of independence during the First Independent Congress. There was no small benefit to Gangwon for such a move. As a major producer of goods within the Republican Star Cluster, Gangwon stood to gain mightily from the removal of UUHA strictures from the planets. Notably, Gangwon had one of the largest arms industries in the former colonies, and while Earth had banned the selling of weapons to or in the star cluster, Gangwon often circumvented this by producing its own. The UUHA took notice and was not pleased.
Gangwon has two major industries and dozens of minor ones that make up the bulk of its economy. The first is that of manufacturing space vehicles. As the relocation site of Nakimora following its leaving of Earth, Gangwon is home to one of the three largest space vehicle manufacturers in the Republican Star Cluster. While in 2168, the year before independence was declared, it manufactured only forty-five ships, by 2174 that number had risen to 164, a large part of those being the Nakimora designed Razorback fighter craft.
After having proved itself able during the Battle Over Darwin, demand for the Razorback rose substantially and Nakimora's participation within the NOVA Group had become a sure thing. And because of the supply lines required to turn out such a large number of space vehicles every year, Nakimora indirectly employes hundreds of thousands of people.
The second major industry is that of arms manufacturing. Gangwon, and especially Calcutta Arms, is the single largest manufacturer of weapons in the Republic. It began early in the colonial history of the world, when weapons were relatively rare and almost impossible to repair for want of parts. Calcutta Arms made a business of tearing down existing weapons and replicating them. It was blatantly illegal, both in terms of law and copyright law, but Gangwon was a long way away from Earth and didn't care. By 2135 it had established itself as the largest arms makers in the colonies. Even today it supplies the Republican Fleet with most of its projectile weapons from sniper systems to projectile based sidearms. And as Plasma Pulse technology became more common, it also began to replicate it as well and, along with Galileo Arms, is one of two major suppliers of personal sidearms for the Republican Fleet officers.
Gangwon has a massive manufacturing base to support these industries as well as industries across the Republic. It has large amount of natural resources that it mines and refines for shipment elsewhere, including so-called "Rare Earths" which have proved to be unusually common on Gangwon. Additionally, its agriculture sector is extremely strong and efficient and it serves to feed most of the Hwon System despite the presence of the same on Kaesong.
Gangwon was the first planet within the Hwon System to join Republican Baseball with the establishment of four teams in 2142 as part of the Gangwon division in the Japanese League. This division was later spun off into a division of what was first called the Hwon-Normandy League and later became the Cross Republic League in 2175.
While several of the teams began life as organizations dedicated to other sports, the opportunity to compete against its fellow worlds saw them transition to baseball as the primary game. As it became better understood, it popularity soared and by 2182, each of the five major cities had two teams apiece.
And while baseball is equally as popular on its sister planet Kaesong, Gangwon has had a much better track record. By 2219, a Wony team had appeared in the Republican Series a total of fourteen times, bringing home the championship title a total of six.
The teams are:
- Gangwon Division
- New Calcutta Cricketeers (2142)
- New Calcutta Bowlers (2142)
- (New Bombay) Gangwon Players (2142)
- New Bombay Bangals (2142)
- New Madras Browns (2152)
- New Madras United (2152)
- Little Delhi Night Callers (2166)
- Interstellar Division
The climate on Gangwon is very fair. Most often compared to that of the United States, the center of its large continent is wide and flat with fertile soil. The coasts are on average wetter than the center. Gangwon, during its relatively short winter can receive a large amount of snow on its northern and souther hemispheres but it quickly melts in the early spring, feeding into its vast underground water tables as well as the abundant lakes and rivers. Because of this, Gangwon is unusually rich in fresh water.
Gangwon orbits the Hwonese star in an almost entirely circular fashion, with the shortest periods being the winter and summer seasons, leaving the world with long growing seasons and only reasonable temperature highs and lows during the summer and winter seasons.
Along the equatorial region, Gangwon does have a tropical belt that remains mostly unsettled as this is where the majority of its native plant and animal life seems to live and both have proven to be very aggressive toward Earth species. Also, being the hotest region on the planet, it is the least desirable for human settlement and farming.
Native & Transplanted Species
The vast majority of the native species, both plant and animal seems to exist along the equatorial region of Gangwon and the life that grows here is very aggressive indeed. Naturalists have seen native vines consume an entire tree in a single day then a species of "moss" consume it over the course of two weeks. It is a constant turmoil for survival and that is just the plant life.
Most of the large animal life also lives within this area and large predators, ranging wolf-sized stalkers to bear-sized pack hunters, make their way by feeding on the quick breeding lower orders.
Both the plants and animals in this region have proven to be inhospitable to human settlement, both in terms of the plant life quickly reclaiming any hard fought for farming land and the predatory species being hostile to both humans and domesticated animals. As such, human colonists have tended to settle the northern and southern regions around this belt where the plant life is much less aggressive and most of the animals are a variety of large grazing beasts. However, even here, the tropical plants appear to be making a push and the adapted varieties regularly have to be burned to keep them from taking over. Still, the further outside the tropical region one goes, the more docile the life seems to become.
Here, humans have found that after burns to claim the land from the native plants, Earth species of plants can survive with little difficulty. This has spawned a massive agriculture industry. Additionally, while the tropical native species appear to be aggressive about reclaiming any taken land in the area, the northern varieties do not seem to make the same push. As such, the native species have been mostly pushed back to the unsettled areas of the world.
Perhaps because of this lack of aggressiveness in the plant life, the same is reflected in its creatures. Escaped pigs from farms have been a terror on the smaller native animals, all but wiping them out in many areas.
The notable exception to this is with the native snakes. Sometimes twice as long as Earth snakes with heads as growing to be as large as anvils, the native snakes are fierce carnivores. The species appear to have to main methods for killing their prey, venoms and strangulation, not unlike Earth varieties. However, none posses the ability to dislocate their jaws and but all have sharp teeth, capable of tearing off meat and swallowing it whole. Thus, it's not unusual to find several snakes feeding on a larger beast, a process that can devour a whole Earth cow in less than six hours, depending upon the number and size of snakes.
Additionally, these snakes have proven to be a tough opponent for Earth settlers, being far more agressive and hardy than the majority of species in the northern and souther climes beyond the tropical belt. A rancher with any large herd can expect to lose over a two dozen head to these predators. Because of this, a routine of checking the trees--where the snakes will often spend their days--and killing them has become a part of a farmer's everyday duties.
Many biologists believe that the snakes of Gangwon were the beginning of a push from the life in the tropical regions out and that, had several more thousand years been allowed for evolutions, more species might have been found in the northern and southern climes.
The one difficulty transplanted life appears to have is with the introduction of insects, namely bees, to help with pollination of crops. Gangwon has not native insects and most native pollination appears to take place through distribution via wind. This would not suit Earth species, however, and bees were introduced early on to help with farming. But year after year, entire hives would die off. It was discovered this was because the native pollens, while merely an irritant to larger creatures, were poisonous to the bees. As such, a wider burning campaign was pursued to push the native plants further back in the hope of keeping the bees alive. This has appeared to be a success and bees have since taken hold on the world as well as many other, sometimes accidentally, introduced species.
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