1317     Clamp     D-553231-3    Po         700   Na     G3V, M1V

     Clamp is a small, idyllic world often overlooked by traders and governments alike. Its 700 inhabitants are the last remnants of a slowly dwindling colony that has fallen from an industrial society to a largely agrarian one. Clamp was originally settled by the Zhodani, and the language currently used is a much evolved form of the Zhodani tongue. The inhabitants though, are so dissimilar from their ancestors as to be thought by some to be a completely different strain of humanity, or erroneously, perhaps a strain descended from Imperial stock.
     The small 'starport' is mostly automated, and a remnant of a more advanced facility that has since been cannibalized for materials, and finally abandoned. The sole remaining population center, Dvaditz, is home to roughly three hundred people, living in the once feudal estates of a class which died out several centuries ago. Farmland abounds everywhere, as does native life. Though the indigenous life never evolved past the amphibian equivalent stage, Clamp is a lush, densely forested, imposing planet. Ruins dot the landscape for miles around the starport, as Clamp once was home to almost five million inhabitants living in fairly small, tightly knit communities. A plague (In local lore, called the Judgment Strain) in 867 Imperial devastated the local populace, and only those with a very rare genetic condition were spared before an offworld cure was arrived at. Unfortunately, the survivors' 'savior gene' also carries with it a very low birth rate, and several minor genetic defects that plague the inhabitants to this very day. Deformities aren't uncommon, and many births result in miscarriages and stillborn young.
     While faith is very important to the locals, they aren't ruled by their fears of impending extinction, still many generations in the future. They look upon their state, and their history with a sort of quiet stoicism that offworlders find peaceful, if somewhat disturbing. Imperial visitors have remarked that the strange double shadows, the broken moon and ring system, the deep silent forests, and ruins of this world, along with its enigmatic inhabitants, give one a feeling of disquiet, or even imminent apocalypse.
     The Gerrunt, a bivalve shellfish native to Clamp, is known locally for its beautiful blue and black pearls, though merchants have been mostly unsuccessful in trading for them as they're only gained at great personal risk by relatively small number of natives, who are much more interested in immediate practical or luxury goods than in any form of 'money' for their prizes. The local economy still uses an old form of currency, but barter is very common and in many cases a preferred form of trade.
     Although no major geological survey of Clamp has been done since the earliest colonial days, a few locals know that rich veins of gold can be found in certain abandoned shafts in the formidable Aktltl mountains, a massive range in the southern hemisphere. The majority of trade that leaves Clamp is either in the form of preserved foodstuffs, collected raw metals and materials, or lumber destined for a nearby world deprived of such a luxury.
     Clamp has two natural satellites, Tzivca and Qiss, size 1 and S respectively, as well as a ring of dark remnants of a third moon, long since shattered by a ancient cataclysmic collision. Shooting stars are a common phenomena on Clamp as bits of the ring occasionally get caught by atmospheric drag and a slowly decaying orbit. Clamp is notable in that its not only the only world with any atmosphere in the Clamp star system, but it and its moon are the only things besides the stars themselves that are larger than size 1 anywhere in the system. Rogue worlds, asteroids, and cometary bodies abound throughout the system, though not in any concentration to be classified as a 'belt'.
     The government of Clamp is essentially made up of a elected 'Primus' that takes office upon majority approval of the mayors of any community larger than thirty. The Primus makes executive and judicial decisions, with legislation handled by the consul of mayors. Most of the time the Primus and Mayors have little to do, these titles usually being something of an addition to another, often more demanding, profession.

Referee's Notes: Clamp