The continent of Artunne has been a single sovereign nation for almost 200 years. In our year 2112, a Continental Constitution was signed by representatives of 11 countries, abolishing all national borders in favor of a single Continental Union, a nation known as the Continent.
The unification of the Continent was a natural social-political outcome of decades of cooperative rebuilding in the aftermath of the Asteroid Shear of 2046, which claimed millions of lives and caused destruction to virtually all parts of Artunne.
Artunne is the largest continent on Luratia, slightly larger than the country of Canada with a land mass that includes the northern pole. The southern 1/4 of the continent enjoys tropical climates, while the northern 1/6 is considerably cooler and drier (by Luratian standards). A large mountain range runs north to south. Rain falls here for much of the year, and 4 large rivers and their tributaries have been used for thousands of years for irrigation and hydroelectric power. Prior to the advent of solar power technology, these rivers provided hydroelectric power, one of the Continent’s major sources of electricity until 200 years ago.
Surrounding the mainland are 20 islands: 4 to the north, 5 off of the eastern coast, 6 off the western coast and 5 along the southern coast. Three of these islands are home to the campuses of international boarding schools for teenagers, known as the Transition Schools.
Location & Climate
Situated in the Northern Hemisphere, The Continent’s broad southern coastline lies within the tropical latitudinal zone, providing it beautiful expanses of beaches and tropical coastal towns. Our temperatures are much warmer than those of Earth. It never snows on Luratia, not even on the tallest mountain peaks. Despite Luratia’s thick and quite contiguous cloud cover, we do not experience severe amounts of rain all across the world. There are, in fact, relatively arid regions on our planet. The most well-known of these is the Clarkon Flats, located at the North Pole. Due to the lower density of cloud-cover here, the Clarkon Flats was the birthplace of the Continent’s space exploration and solar energy research.
The North Pole
The Continent’s North Pole is the driest area in the world. Here the atmosphere and cloud cover are relatively thin. The greatest number of pure sky conditions occur here; some amount of sun shines here over 180 days of our 299-day year. Luratia’s first solar energy collection took place here in 2061. Over the next 50 years, methods for collecting solar energy in space were developed. See Space-Based Solar Power.
Just over 139 million people are permanent citizens of the Continent, which has experienced 2 significant reductions in its population in the last 250 years:
- In 2046, a massive series of earthquakes, tidal flooding and volcanic eruptions resulting from an asteroid shear claimed over 2 million lives across the continent of Artunne. See the Asteroid Shear of 2046.
- In 2092, a well-tested genetic procedure designed to reduce congenital disease claimed the lives of more than 350,000 children in 14 years and decreasing the birth rate of an entire generation by 28%. See the Genetic Disaster of 2092.
The Continental Union has a representative form of government with a national capital that is centrally located. Governing officials hold office for no more than two terms; this is true for the highest national offices as well as the elected officials at the regional, local and city levels.
The Continent has dismantled its stockpiles of offensive weaponry. It has no intent to wage war within its borders or against any of the less developed nations of Luratia. The Continent does, however, possess a simple yet powerful military defense against any potential aggressor. A breakthrough in particle beam technology lead to the placement of 4 military satellites that provide a defensive shield against a ballistic attack of any kind. The defensive field uses focused particle beams to vaporize the offensive weapon. These satellite defense shields have been used only once, during a demonstration that was noticed by all the world.