4518AD Voyageur reaches Amondiage
Amondiage is a hostile, though habitable world. The earliest colonists were not overjoyed at the prospect of living there. The narrow habitable belts move slowly from the poles in high summer, to about 30 degrees latitude in the depths of winter. No point on the surface of the planet is habitable for all of the 3000 day year.
Conditions were considered to be so unpromising, that colonisation was postponed for almost 3 years while a Strategy Committee (made up of Crew specialists and senior colonists, woken for the purpose) pondered how people might live on this strange world. Eventually it was decided that a nomadic lifestyle was the only real option.
Fortunately much of the planets surface is rolling grass-hills and tundra. It was discovered that Earth grazing animals such as sheep and hardy cattle could survive on the coarse grasses that grow abundantly in Amondiages temperate bands. Lucky too, was the worlds long year. The colonists would only have to travel about 3 miles per day to keep within the Vert, as the temperate belts came to be known.
While the majority of the colonists still slumbered in their cold-sleep, the task of cloning and raising a vast herd of grazing beasts was begun. As the animals reached maturity, groups of colonists were woken, and flown to the surface with their new charges. For the first nomads, used as they were to city or agrarian life, the culture shock was enormous. Much of the colonisation equipment brought with the Voyageur could not be adapted to the nomadic lifestyle. Conditions were primitive. Many, if not most would have died if Voyageur had not been there to answer distress calls. It soon became apparent that many years would pass before all of the colonists could be woken.
While the colonists were being slowly revived and introduced to their new homes, a second, complementary strategy was investigated. Although no point on the planet is habitable all year-round, there are temperate areas at about 60 degrees latitude where the temperature variation is not too great. It seemed possible to settle these areas by digging underground shelters against the summer and winter excesses. Lakes and small seas at this latitude always contain liquid water, even if little remains in summer, and you have to dig through metres of ice for it in winter. For this reason, all of Amondiages permanent settlements are built on these shorelines.