4516AD Marianus van der Lubbe reaches Neubayern
[MvdL set fire to the Reichstag on 27th February, 1933 cf. p201]
The colonists aboard Marianus vdL were a mixture of ethnic German and Dutch peoples. They were a fractious lot, and the early colony was wracked with dissent. All of Neubayerns history has been scarred by the argumentative temperament of its people. Perhaps it is for this reason that Neubayern is the only world in all of the Island Clusters 1100 year history to suffer full-scale nuclear war.
Early disagreements centred upon the problem of where best to site the colony. The original settlement lay beside a small inland sea in the heart of the huge temperate forest which became known as the Wald. Within ten years of the foundation of Neumünchen, two large splinter groups had left and set up elsewhere on the planet.
Neubayerns harsh conditions made life very hard for the early colonists. The Wald enjoys Neubayerns most forgiving climate, and is blessed with a wide variety of vigorous native life. However, the trackless forests are a hazardous place. There are many dangerous beasts, and the vegetation is toxic to humans. Some of the plants are so poisonous that simply brushing against them with unprotected skin is fatal. Neubayerns flora out competes earth crops, and is completely inedible to humans. Settlers were forced to laboriously sterilize all of the soil in their fields before crops could be grown.
Tragically this is not the end of Neubayerns catalogue of woes. The planet is highly tectonically active. Volcanoes pepper most mountainous regions, and earthquakes are common enough to make mining an extremely hazardous undertaking. Scarcity of mineral resources remained a significant brake on technical development many centuries after the first colonists arrived.