An inhabited world in the Beta Quadrant, home to the semi-Humanoid Benzites and noted for its unusual atmosphere. A recent member of the United Federation of Planets, Benzar is reasonably prosperous but has not yet become a major political player. Despite being located in the general vicinity of the Federation core worlds, it is considered a minor - if promising - contributor, and has opened itself up to outside contact comparatively recently.
Benzar orbits the star Delta Pavonis, at co-ordinates (-4.3; 6.8; -18.2). Delta Pavonis is a subgiant of spectral type G8 IV, meaning it is about to stop fusing hydrogen in its core and begin the process of transitioning to a red giant. Because of this, it is slightly brighter than Sol despite being cooler. It has 99.1% of Sol’s mass and is 122% of the radius. Benzar is the third planet, orbiting at 1.2 AU; other planets include an unnamed A-class planetoid in the first orbit from the sun, and three K-class worlds with manned outposts; Tavlia (Delta Pavonis II), Manzan (Delta Pavonis IV) and Kalev (Delta Pavonis V). Kalev has a single moon. Next come two D-class worlds, the second of which has three moons, followed by the J-class gas giants Tenloz, Krath and Endar. Endar is the largest of the system’s planets, and sports 33 major moons alongside dozens of moonlets. Next out from the sun are another two D-class worlds, neither of much interest, although the latter does possess two large moons. The outermost planet is a G-class body named Kerda. The system contains two asteroid belts, one orbiting at 2.43 AU between Manzan and Kalev, 1.83 AUs thick, and the second at 9.22 AU between Krath and Endar, 4.57 AUs thick. Artificial objects include the Pavonis Solar Observatory at Kalev, Merria City in orbit of Benzar, the Tenloz Mining Facility and Processing Station (along with Dytallix Facility 55), and Krath Station Alpha.
Benzar itself has two moons, Herti and Dwora, and is also orbited by Merria, a large spaceborne city. Merria has become a major port and repair facility in the sector, and may soon be given Starbase status. Spherical in design, it supports a permanent population of 600,000.
According to Starfleet’s planetary classification system, Benzar is borderline M-class. A starkly beautiful world, its atmosphere is relatively low in oxygen and high in ammonia and chlorine. The overall properties of the atmosphere are otherwise not dissimilar to class-M norms, but do feature a mix of trace gases unique to the planet. Most Humanoid species could not survive here without life-support suits or domed structures. Benzites likewise can’t breathe unaided in the atmospheres preferred by their Federation neighbours.
Benzar has eighteen small continents spread across its surface, including twelve in its northern hemisphere (though one of these lies on the North Pole and is uninhabited) and the remaining six in the southern. Because the oceans of Benzar cover nearly 80% of the planet’s surface, the “continents” resemble country-sized islands more than anything else. The oceans are officially divided into eighteen seas, which correspond with the continents and the sixteen major geostructures of the Benzite people. The oceans, while possessed of significant mineral content, are easily purified for drinking.
The continents, and their attendant seas and geostructures, are named Andross, Belross, Chadock, Dathet, Entock, Farkoss, Grevan, Gelkot, Ker, Lartak, Lustoss, Mantoss, Mordass, Panthak, Renas, Tarkat, Tatock (uninhabited), and Toruk.
Elaborate crystalline rock structures dominate the Benzar landscape. Small, heavily armoured animals skitter across the surface, feeding on tough-skinned plants and one another. The sky appears green to violet, depending on atmospheric conditions, and is streaked with blue and orange clouds. Massive bursts of static electricity periodically discharge in the atmosphere, filling the sky with light and emitting a loud cracking noise. This can commonly be felt in the bones of those on the surface. Humans typically find the planet beautiful but intimidating.
Contrary to rumour and popular belief, the Benzites are not truly amphibious, and cannot breathe underwater. However, they tend to remain close to the sea, owing in part to their need for moist conditions. The scarcity of liveable land space on Benzar also makes coastal dwelling a necessity for most communities. As on Bolarus IX, urban development has extended to the seabed itself, and the planet boasts several submarine cities. Among these, the most exquisite and elaborate is Methot, located in the sea of Mantoss, with a population of close to six and a half million Benzites. It is rivalled in size only by the land city of Bersot, built along eighty miles of the Bersot River on the southern continent of Belross. Other major cities include Anlov, Freptas, Gral, Lorveth, Morneth and Tekra. Cities almost always share an initial letter with the continent on which they’re situated.