A lush, temperate world, Betazed is a member of the United Federation of Planets and home to the Betazoid species. It is famed for its scenery, natural beauty and pleasant climate, as well as its enlightened and gentle natives. Its gravity is exactly that of Earth’s, and water covers 78% of its surface. Betazed is located near the Argolis Cluster, in a region of Federation space very close to the core worlds, and sectors of great economic and cultural importance. Almost paradoxically, it is also adjacent to regions that remain unexplored. Betazed is one of the closest Federation planets to the Cardassian Union, whose foreign policy it has long been a vocal opponent of. It is, however, considered to be well within Federation territory. Although Betazed is not a major political player, it is a popular tourist destination, and is visited regularly by interstellar traders. In particular, it has become economically significant due to its position conveniently near to the Tagus/Kaelon shipping lane. This is a contributing factor to its being chosen to host a biennial Trade Agreements Conference.
Betazed is shockingly blue, resembling an O-class pelagic world when viewed from space. Still, although its hydrosphere is indeed slightly more prevalent than Earth’s, the temperate (albeit occasionally stormy) climate means that more of the land mass is habitable. Betazoids therefore live on just about every part of the planet. Because Betazed is less geologically active than Earth, mountains are rarer and less severe on its larger landmasses. Only two of the continents have more than a single range of central mountains, with the most mountainous being Kharazad. Kharazad boasts three major ranges; the Loneel, the Vathax and the Cataran. None of these are particularly impressive by the standards of the wider galaxy. Native Betazoids who see the more severe mountains of Earth and Andoria often have difficulty comprehending their sheer starkness. Indeed, the climate and geography of Betazed generally serve to install in Betazoids a sense of security. The continents are riddled with a disproportionate number of placid lakes, while the planet’s many islands remind Human visitors of Earth’s Pacific regions: warm, tropical and boasting serene shorelines. Betazed may not be a deliberately formed vacation world like Risa, but it is almost consistently pleasing to alien tourists. As for the natives, they consider their world a near-paradise. Used to its temperate climes and forgiving terrain, many Betazoids find other worlds bleak or even hostile by contrast.
Due to the ecological sensitivity of Betazoid civilization, the planet still hosts a wide variety of native fauna found nowhere else in the galaxy. These range from the elusive nightwind falcon, a type of raptor that can be domesticated through empathic training, to the mysterious whispering men, a sort of proto-Humanoid similar to Earth’s legendary sasquatch. These are named for the telepathic “whisper” they produce, a form of conscious interaction that never quite reaches the level of language. Other Betazed animals include the Amra, the Eridat, the Flanarian Bird, the Ollafish, and the Spoon Whale. Rodents infest the mountain wilderness, and are known to carry Rigelian Fever microbes even to the modern day - the only ones known to exist outside of Federation medical laboratories. Plants native to Betazed include Betazoid Weeping Willlows, Cavat, the Chameleon Rose, Corzon, Gavaline, Hilrep, Jul trees, Katarian emerald grass, Muktok, Oskoid, Poinciana trees, Sadi, Tarna, Toyar, Uttaberries and Zintaba. Plants originally native to neighbouring Darona, such as Teskalli trees, have also been introduced to parts of Betazed. Many Betazoid plants and animals have very specific tolerance requirements. On Betazed itself, where the ecological balance remains stable and the world is not subjected to unusual heat or cold, such requirements are rarely an issue. However, efforts to export Betazoid life-forms, whether for transplantation or zoological programs, almost always fail.