New Earth

New Earth is the current capital of humanity, and the headquarters of United Galactic. Official population censuses relate a population of 3.73 billion, and the planet receives an average of 63.27 billion visitors yearly. These visitors stay an average of 3-6 days before returning to their homes offworld, depending on galactic/political/economical circumstances.

History

New Earth was originally a garden world in Bhezian territory; its original name was Xazzagos. It sported uniquely comfortable temperatures, very few deserts, and a tree line that extended far towards the poles. It was home to few natural large carnivorous predators, most having been hunted to extinction, and most of its flora could be described as "attractively exotic". It boasted relatively low populations of indigenous insect species, crystalline lakes and streams, and gorgeous ice-capped mountains.

Xazzagos was also home to a warlike, cannibalistic species of lizardlike aliens that called themselves the Aah'kroah. Despite being impressive physical specimens with sharp minds, they were quite primitive due to their warlike culture, and had hardly advanced as far as metallurgy. The bhezians cordoned had off their world millennia before, intending to prevent interference and let the Aah'kroah civilization advance under its own power, until they were deemed ready for interstellar travel.

In 2690, United Galactic arrived at Xazzagos with a fleet of warships, and, seeing the lush, beautiful paradise it was by terrestrial standards, decided to re-christen it "New Earth". By that point in the Galactic Cleansing, roughly 32 years in, it was already seen as yet another species to exterminate on our long and bloody trek towards the center of the galaxy. As such, the Aah'kroah were all but lost to history, not even receiving a proper mention in textbooks.

Over the next 237 years, New Earth's population grew - slowly at first, and then more quickly as word spread. United Galactic took great pains in setting up what they alternately advertised as a "shining jewel in the darkness" or "a sparkling oasis in the galactic desert". Jungles were cleared, and cities sprung up in the plains and the mountains - all carefully planned and manufactured according to United Galactic's vision of the perfect headquarters for both itself and humanity as a whole.

Gradually, as job positions opened up, more people began moving to New Earth - primarily spacers - until in the year 2927, the thriving planet was named humanity's new capital. Given it's luxuriant wealth and beauty, this went unchallenged by most - except the "earthers", who maintained that "Old Earth" ought to remain humanity's capital, as it had been for many years. But there was little in the way of pushback; Old Earth had been officially declared bankrupt of resources back in the year 2814, and earthers had little to cling to except a staunch belief that they ought to remain the rulers of the galaxy. And thus, two years later, the Galactic Civil War started.

New Earth remained completely untouched by the Galactic Civil War. While the "Old Earth" fleets (more accurately, those of Earth and the original surrounding colonies) tried to put up their best fight, striking towards the heart of United Galactic territory, there was little they could do - they simply didn't have the expertise or technology to build fleets that could adequately stand up to United Galactic's fierce onslaught. The war was over in just six years.

Geography

Roughly 57% of New Earth's surface is covered by water. New Earth is divided into four continents; these have only relatively recently (cosmologically speaking) divided from a single supercontinent, and are close enough together that they almost touch in many places; there are no continents like Old Earth's Australia. They form something that very vaguely resembles an X shape across the planet's western hemisphere (although two of the "arms" go into the eastern hemisphere, underneath the south pole).

Of interesting note is that most place names were actually auctioned off (with strict rules). This helped United Galactic make some money on their endeavor without even lifting a finger.

Adela

Adela makes up the upper-left arm of the X, and half of its center. Adela is a highly popular tourist location - both to see the cities and to look at the lush fauna in the forest retreats. It's often boasted that the forests of New Earth are far most lush and beautiful than the forests of Old Earth ever were - however, this isn't entirely true. People have simply forgotten how lush Old Earth actually used to be.

Northern Hemisphere

The upper left arm of the X is more than double the size of any one of the other arms. At one point in the distant past, its easternmost shore in the upper hemisphere was touching the westernmost shore of that of Thyran, but the two continents seem to be drifting apart quickly here, forming the Alila Sea.

The southwest portion of Adela is a high plateau - the Carmania plateau. It rises up to 2000 meters above sea level in the section furthest southwest, and is almost entirely shrubland, grassland, and savanna. This area is almost entirely untouched by humans, mostly because it isn't nearly as pretty as some of the other areas, and therefore less desirable. The rest of the northern half of the continent is saturated with lakes, however - often quite large. The largest lake, the Rania Sea, is over 2000 miles long and contains over 15 times the water of Old Earth's Great Lakes (prior to the icecaps melting). These dense, moist areas provide adequate rainfall for the continent's dense forests and rainforests, of which it boasts the largest on all of New Earth - Iraline, named after the CEO's youngest daughter at the time of New Earth's founding.

Jasalda

Jasalda is situated just inside the northern edge of the Iraline rainforest, on the edge of Lake Xaranda - a rather small lake formed by rivers from both the Carmania plateau and the Clorotta mountain ranges. The city itself in fact extends some distance over the surface of the lake in long "spokes", with all spires rising out of it. "New Atlantis" was a popular suggestion for the city's name, but people learned long ago to never take the advice of people on the Internet, and the advice was thus discarded. Jasalda serves as a very popular tourist attraction and expensive accommodation for the rich and wealthy that want a little more of a tropical feel.

New Esari

Located on the northern slopes of the Corinthia plateau in the northeast, and stretching down the mountain river to Tiruin Lake, New Esari is a highly popular tourist area - especially in the winter. Conifers from Old Earth have been planted in many places on the slopes for a more "rustic", "Earthlike" feel, and intermix with the tall, sparse-leafed native plants for an interesting effect. Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and ice racing are all extremely popular here, and operate year-round. Incidentally, it also is near the forefront of the VR industry - people can get a feel for winter recreation regardless of the season they visit, and take place in completely virtual festivities with people from all over New Earth.

New Esari also happens to house a famous shrine to the Norse goddess Skadi: Skadihuus. A good fraction of New Esari's traffic comes to pilgrimages to this shrine and to travel the four ski trails that are said to have been blessed by the goddess herself. Stories abound of visitors coming upon a large, lone wolf out on the trails - a wolf that shone with light and spoke to them, asking them to devote their life to Skadi. There's no actual evidence that this has ever occurred, but it happens frequently enough that a lot of people visit the trails just in the hopes of seeing Skadi's wolf.
Population: Approximately 2 million
259 million tourists per year

Bianka Beach

A lovely megatropolis on the (artificially) sandy shores of the glittering Rania sea, Bianka Beach is a mildly popular tourist destination (by New Earth standards) that is also quite well known for having an ever-booming job economy. Laws in Bianka Beach (especially those related to corporate interests and recreation) are quite lax compared to not only the rest of New Earth, but also the majority of the human-populated galaxy. This brings not only tourism, but also trade. The Bianka market is cutthroat even at the best of times, and people joke that if it wasn't for the lax drug laws, prospective businessmen would see their hair turn gray in under half a decade - and that joke doesn't even touch on the city's wild politics.
Population: Approximately 54 million
1.25 billion tourists per year

Southern Hemisphere

The southern half of Adela is far more slender than the northern and slims as it progresses farther towards the south pole. It is almost entirely composed of the enormous Clorotta mountain range. The Clorottas, at their widest point, reach cleanly from one side of the narrowing continent to the other in a mountainous cluster that Earth's Himalayas can barely hold a candle to. There is little vegetation in this area, and it isn't until near the south pole that the range ends and the forests begin again. While regulations are strict, mining operations - mostly drone-based - do occur in the Clorottas, primarily for minerals and metal such as diamonds, gold, and platinum.

Garanna

The megatropolis of Garanna is situated on a large bay to the east of the Clorottas, just off the continent-spanning Elerana Strait, and a little south of the Iraline rainforest. It is by far the largest city on New Earth,
Ethnicities here tend towards a mix of Brazilian and Indian ancestry, and the city has a large population of former Earthers. Although it's possibly the least aesthetic by New Earth standards, it's still considerably more wealthy and glamorous than almost any midworld city. While in its past it was famous for its pornography, this has since been put a stop to by heavy taxes; it's now mostly known for its production of movies. Movies with an excess of special effects and flashy, flamboyant, and often cheesy stories are said to have "a touch of Garanna" in them, and the term is not always used as an insult.
Population: Approximately 97 million
813 million tourists per year

Twin Lakes

Located on the western side, nestled in among the Clorottas themselves, are the meltwater-fed Twin Lakes and the city named after them, often known affectionately as "New Esari's older brother". And indeed, while New Esari is more focused at creating an almost religious experience, Twin Lakes is the Christmastown of New Earth. While Twin Lakes does have some ski slopes, the major attractions are ice cross downhill, dozens of shopping galleries packed wall to wall with toys and goods of unparalleled quality, the ever-popular (since the mid-2300s, at least) "Christmas bars", and other things such as Snowsoft Dart Tag, Laser Cliffs, Bumper Tanks and so forth. However, the noisy tourist attractions carefully conceal a quieter, more gentle city that just wants to enjoy the serenity of the mountains. If it weren't for the frequent avalanches, living here might be much more popular than it is.
Population: Approximately 9 million
528 million tourists per year

Thyran

Northern hemisphere

New London

New Vesilla

Without question, New Vesilla is the most beautiful city on all of New Earth - and unlike most New Earth cities, the cost of its construction was kept shrouded in secrecy - as are the designs for the vast majority of the buildings. New Vesilla serves as a grandiose, sparkling, diamond-studded sanctuary for classical arts and sciences, from old movies to sculpture to paintings and more. Most aspiring artists can say (or claim) to have visited New Vesilla at least once in their lives, and many of the galaxy's best contemporary artists say (or claim) they lived there for at least a few years - no small feat, given the terrible costs of permanent housing. Given the government's strict limits on the city's population, apartments here can cost as much as a midworld mansion or even a small space station's upkeep, and many try to skirt around this by living in hotels - still quite expensive, but mildly cheaper. It's capitalism at its finest, but many would say that the breathtaking, dreamlike views and architecture more than make up for it. New Vesilla's docks arch outwards into the crystalline waters of the Lapellan Sound, and its backdrop is a lovely genetically-grown Earth forest of oaks, alders, and birch that grow several times taller and wider than would be natural, soaring hundreds of feet into the sky. Even without taking the buildings into account, New Vesilla is beautiful beyond compare.
Population: Approximately 10 million
3.5 billion tourists per year

Southern hemisphere

Trick shot around the back of the planet oh my god what the fuck

Makeda

Cosina

The continent of Cosina is the smallest of New Earth, and the mainland is not only off-limits to the general public, but almost entirely unpopulated. Only those with very specific governmental grants or high-ranking positions are even allowed to set foot on the mainland, and satellites regularly scan for intruders (especially in close proximity to the nearby cities of Carrigan, New Tokyo and New London). The only city that is known to exist here is Vaucta, a small settlement bordering a marshy lake in the far north of the continent. Almost nothing is known about this city - it's even wiped automatically in satellite readings. Conspiracy theories abound, and given the vast quantity, at least a few of them are likely to be true.

New Tokyo

Carrigan

Vaucta

Stuff.