Hiigara (pronounced [hiː'garɑ], alternatively: [hiː'gärɑ], [haɪ'garɑ]) is the world from which the Kushan originally came as well as the throne world for the Taiidan Empire during the three millennia of the Exile. Considered a jewel of a world, Hiigara is remarkably untainted by environmental damage and renowned for its beauty. During many of the major wars in recent history Hiigara was considered the singlemost important world to hold in the galaxy, partially due to the prestige associated with it (as well as its strategic position near the Galactic Core).
Hiigara's climate is one of the more pleasurable in the galaxy, an interesting contrast with the world of Kharak which served as the Kushan's surrogate homeworld during their Exile. Whereas Kharak is desolate and barren, Hiigara is a lush paradise. As such it is easy to imagine why the Exiles, as their civilization devolved on the desert wasteland of Kharak came to see Hiigara as heaven, rather than as an actual world.
This appears to be even more lush than most other worlds, during which the forests of Hiigara have expanded along with the tropics. Most of the world's agriculture is supported by seasonal monsoons and rich volcanic soil.
This actually caused some problems for the returning Kushan after the Homeworld War. Having adapted over three millennia to a life of low humidity and harsh weather they were unable to grow many of the staples they had domesticated on Kharak. Rains drowned the crops during the monsoons and those that managed to survive were plagued by various diseases and pests which found the alien vegetation easy prey.
In most cases however Hiigara's climate is considered extremely pleasant and it is this, along with its strategic location and vivid history, which helps make it such a prized world by its various rulers from the early Hiigarans to the Taiidan to the returning Kushan.
Hiigara is a beautiful world, often remarked on as a "jewel." It has several large oceans and at least two major continents. The surface appears to be about 75% water and 25% land. The humidity of the planet is also high, with a warm climate. This has allowed lush vegetation to spread across much of the planet's surface and the oceans are similarly teeming with life.
It also is very geologically active, as well as there are several active vaults and volcanoes. Many of Hiigara's most prosperous crops are grown in volcanic soil. With such a dynamic environment much of Hiigara's geography is charecterized by tall snowcapped mountains, vast rainforests, and wide open oceans. Tundras are rare, deserts even more so.
Bodies of WaterEdit
Certainly the oceans of Hiigara are its most defining features. From a distance they make Hiigara appear a blue marble, clouded by occasional swaths of green. To the returning Kushan Exiles they were unbelievably vast and were enough to convince them that the journey home was worth the costs it had exerted on their people. They were certainly as vast and seemingly infinite as the sands of Kharak's deserts and probably in the past played as important a role in the lives of the Kushan.
The oceans are also very alive. They contain most of the planet's ecosystem, located along oceanic mountains or continental shelves. The evidence of this can be seen even from space where the algae in the sea gives them a greenish tint and giant coral reefs remain visible to the naked, unaided eye.
The tropics of Hiigara cover most of the planet's surface. Temperate regions are to be found in the north and south of the planet but it is the rainforests, grasslands, and swamps of Hiigara that characterize it. Here is an abundance of diversity unusual to the galaxy. The rainfall here is several times greater than that of the temperate regions and is characterized by seasonly monsoons that return each year.
These tropics have also proven benevolent to civilization. Not only is the environment pleasant despite the hostile effects of its climate (such as a predisposition to rot and parasites) but it also is a perfect environment in which to grow crops. As such, though Hiigaran agriculture was put back for a decade following the Homeworld War Hiigara has become something of an interstellar breadbasket.
Hiigara's ecosystem is incredibly diverse, the result of a planet which is very accommodating for life and plentiful in life-giving resources such as water. While the oceans and tropics are the most populated regions of Hiigara even the temperate regions contain vast amounts of life, which even one hundred years after the Hiigaran Landfall were still giving Kushan scientists plenty of research material.