Arcatia’s name is recognized across all languages, and is one of the only surviving terms from a failed attempt at universal language that occurred early in the Era of Communication. It is a matter of great linguistic and philosophical debate as to whether Arcatia translates to ‘The Survival of Tragedy’ or ‘The Tragedy of Survival’.
The planet itself is a slightly smaller than Earth world with a number of similar natural features and many all its own. Most estimates place orbital periods around its star at once every 327 days, though ‘years’ are arranged into 300 day cycles. The planet spins around its axis once every 19 hours, though days are extended to a round 20. This adjustment leaves an extra 6 day week each year, typically used as a ‘break period’ to shift between cycles (i.e., employees are given additional personal days, records are reviewed and analyzed, elections are held). The closest thing Arcatia has to a satellite is its close-in ring system, and so there are no lunar months. Instead years are subdivided into 10 30-day subcycles (or decycles), which are further divided into 5 6-day weeks, one day of which is typically granted for rest. The average sleep cycle tends towards 6 hours, though it is almost unanimously agreed by medical, social, and psychological professionals that 8-10 is optimal. Many employers pay no heed to these findings.
The current cycle is 471 S.E.C.
Arcatia is divided into eight inhabited subcontinents: Serica, Rastakgan, Jah, Kharak, Vuskov, Hiasin, Dassadin, and Vilum, as well as an unclaimed northern Polar Region. An estimated 1.2 billion human beings walk the planet.
Currently, four governments acknowledge each other’s sovereignty. The Serican Commerce Republic, The Dassadin Protectorate, The Pax Equilibrium, and The Great Unity of Progress. In the past The Jahangi Coalition and The Rastakgan Hierarchy were also recognized, a situation changed by the onset and outcome of The Reformation War.
Supercorporations are the other significant players in Arcatian affairs. Most umbrella across several fields with a more general specialization, such as medicine or transportation. Others prefer to control all of the elements of their trade, from the acquisition of raw materials to retail of finished products. Some of the most specific are those with a focus on weaponry, the delicate and controversial nature of which often drives them to pursue a single craft.
Of course, no human population would be complete without its outliers. Mercenaries, terrorists, pirates, cults, and criminals all push their own agendas, frequently to the detriment of others. Aside from corporations, these are the only organizations to stretch between nations.
The deadly nature of the landscape forces most Arcatians to dwell in Supercities of some form. As a result, personal land ownership is restricted to the absolute wealthiest citizens. While structures and even settlements beyond the city limits exist, they are almost never considered permanent. Mining complexes, research outposts, and some power plants are notable exceptions.
The only unified policies of Arcatia are the mortality enforcement of the Natural Hand Accord and the Universal Credit, a purely virtual currency available in all storage forms and encryption levels. Corporate, private, and government banks offer financing options for those who need Credits on credit.