Parasol, Parasol's home world, is an extremely cold planetoid, two thirds of which is covered in water. The planet itself is not part of any star system, and the image of a star it holds in its blue sky is completely artificial, the result of a giant screen. Sunsets are similarly faked, but less by necessity and more for the sake of comfort. It is noteworthy that the sunsets of Parasol are, as a result, often far more beautiful than those on any other world, although the citizens of Parasol are so used to it that they take it for granted.
Power is drawn from special lines sunk into the molten interior, and used to heat the important areas. This heat dissipates quickly, however, leaving the unused, and "unimportant" areas colder than the rest of the planet. The thick atmosphere helps retain some of the heat, but is incapable of capturing all of it.
The planet's surface area is divided into eight "Divisions", each division's number corresponding to a geographic code, such as that of Division 3. The residential and commercial portions of Parasol are, by and large, above ground. Underground there are various utilitarian facilities and military depots, kept out of sight of the population, both for comfort's sake and the sake of security. Parasol's factories and laboratories are housed beneath its oceans, utilizing the cold ocean water as a natural coolant.
As with any sizable population, there is a need for food. Matter replicators have not been invented and have been deemed impossible, so farmland is necessary. A great majority of Parasol's underground area is made up of farms that provide sustenance for its ten billion plus citizens and employees.
Parasol's citizens commute from one area to the next on foot whenever possible. More wealthy employees may own a private hovercar, while others may prefer to travel by hovertaxi or miniportal. Hovertaxis charge fares, and miniportals require fees to utilize. The only completely free method of transport is the planet's world-girdling shuttlecar system. Parasol's Shuttlecar Control Service (SCCS) maintains the system, providing fast transport to anywhere, including the laboratories and factories beneath Parasol's oceans. However, Shuttlecars are primarily for long-range transit, and are far slower than simply portaling from one place to the next.
Each division of Parasol's world contain multiple "cities". These are not cities in the typical dwarven sense of the word, but rather far larger conglomerations of people. Towns are practically nonexistent, by virtue of the fact that farmers and other middle-of-nowhere employees are able to portal to their farms and back to the larger cities at will, making smaller outpost towns obsolete. In fact, it is common for the division's capital to contain up to 98% of the division's population.
Residents are often unintentionally divided into separate groups by means of their income and social expectations. There are the merchants from other universes, who normally rent expensive, temporary homes near the top of skyscrapers, both to intimidate them and raise their morale. Special discounts are given to merchants to live in these areas, although it is not strictly enforced. High-ranking Parasol employees often take up a permanent residence in these areas as well.
A second caste is the shop owners, laboratory directors and military officers. These generally live in the higher towers, in places like the Rubywood Apartments pf Division 3, where Scheck Kenzon resides. Lambshire Estates is another similar area, although it is worth noting that Lambshire is far more expensive for homeowners.
A third caste are regular employees, such as scientists, security officers, and other people earning higher than minimum wage. These generally live in lower apartment buildings closer to the mid-to-outskirts areas of the Parasolian cities. It is often quite beautiful even there, although it is rare for Parasol to make special exceptions to provide extra areas of beauty such as parks and flowing water. It is often cool outside, although not quite cold.
The lowest caste, the construction workers, janitors and other employees of manual labor, live in slums removed from the rest of the population, such as Shallowroot, where Eltsha Nomal Diel lives. Security guards generally avoid these areas, keeping a loose eye on them, if at all, and crime often runs rampant. This is considered completely normal, and citizens living in these areas are forced to put up with these hardships, in addition to the frigid air outside, as the temperature regulation hardly reaches there. Graffiti is more than a common sight, as it is in fact abnormal to see a bare patch of wall, as well as abnormal to see a place where the paint is not peeling from the walls. Anyone living in a Parasol slum generally tries to get out through any means necessary, and as fast as possible.
In addition to providing services to multiuniversal customers, Parasol also has its own economy, and is completely self-sustaining. Thus, there are a variety of supermarkets and department stores in all cities, particularly the capitals. These are often arranged into large "Malls", which are basically large covered areas with miles of shops. There are generally multiple floors, separated by airways through which hovertaxis can shuttle citizens and employees from one area to the next. The entire area is heavily patrolled by Parasol security officers, to deter any thievery that might otherwise occur.
Oceans; industry and researchEdit
The industrial and research areas of Parasol are located, as a rule, on the ocean floors. The ocean floors of Parasol's planet are much unlike those of other planets, as they lack smaller microorganisms to help speed along decay. As a result, the waters of Parasol are much clearer than those of other planets. Parasol sometimes makes use of this fact by basing tourism centers underwater in great palaces of glass, to awe and inspire newcomers. Underwater wildlife such as glowwhales often greatly assists in this pursuit. Access to these areas is done primarily through either shuttlecar tubes or portals, as hovercars cannot submerge themselves underwater without ceasing operation.
Most laboratories and factories are given both a serial number and a nickname at the time of their construction, the nickname being one such as "Narwhal" or "Lioness". They are liquid-cooled, utilizing the clear water of Parasol's oceans, and take great care to portal out their waste rather than dumping it into the seas. A great many laboratories are held as top-secret, and their location and identity kept from any but those that absolutely need to know.
Most of Parasol's building structures are automatically constructed by automatons known as "construction bots". These robots are multipurpose and mass produced, capable of forming themselves into the walls, floors, ceilings, stairs, or structure of the building they are assigned to. These robots can later reposition and rebuild themselves to easily expand a building, raise the roof, or even add another floor, complete with lighting and heating. These secondary operations can be controlled at ease by the owner of the building in question, through the use of special control panels located in utility closets. It is worth noting that some construction bots are specially manufactured for use in creating other systems such as power stations and shuttlecar tubing.
For more detailed work, human or dwarven labor is often used to help create what the greater minds of Parasol find necessary for their work. While robots are completely capable of building shelving, for instance,
The Parasol AIEdit
The Parasol AI is rarely spoken of, as it takes pains to keep itself hidden in the background of day-to-day life. Its primary purpose is to keep Parasol, as a planet, running smoothly and efficiency through whatever means necessary. It takes little to no part in any political or scientific matters, and is completely capable of maintaining its own systems. It has spawned several phrases in Parasolian culture, one of these being, "Parasol is forever".
The AI is capable of taking control of all the construction bots on Parasol, particularly in areas which are either destroyed, needing repair, or needing expansion, and building or repairing whatever it deems necessary. In this way, the cities of Parasol have undergone complete transformations several times in its history, even changing the style to better reflect Parasol's changing color schemes.