(1) The Great Crater / (2) The Summit:
First see Hamilton's post at, http://www.forceofarms.com/msgbbs/index.php?topic=31.0
The Great Crater's tear drop shape occurred because of the low trajectory the comet had when it hit in an event known as The Impact. It is still considered a Neutral Zone and no conflict is allowed except for on the crater floor. The Great Crater has become the center of humanity. It separated the Corporations enough to prevent an all out war during the first days after the Affliction, but every one was close enough to support each other, and there is a much weaker Tridecca presence immediately around the crater, resulting in fewer incidents. It is believed this is due to the radiations surges, tribal lore and superstitions or a combination of both.
The Summit in its center was formed, it is believed, by an upwelling of magma against the earths crust immediately following the comet impact. The damage caused by the comet left the crust incredibly thin and scientists are still baffled that the crust did not burst. It now functions as the neutral territory for negotiations and for the hosting and observation of arena competitions on the crater floor. The universal defenses placed here are the best hands down since they are one of they few examples of true cooperation between the Corporations. Starting a fight on the summit is tantamount to suicide. The defenses attack those who fire and will not stop until all that is left is a molten puddle of metal. Also if you ask the right people there are rumors of te black market operating here.
Connecting each of the Corporations to The Summit are the Summit Bridges. These are certainly the greatest man made feats on this planet and maybe in the history of man. Hundreds of feet high, miles and miles long, they were created during The Illumination and still are used to this day. Each bridge is a reflection of the Corporation that built it. The only exception to this is the Independents bridge which ended up as a hodge-podge of the other bridges. Being too poorly established at the time to build with anything other than the scraps from the other 4 corporations. During the escalation of hostility prior to the renewed fighting all of the bridges were heavily fortified against invasion. They were armed to the point that a saying was developed "It would be easier to tunnel to the next corporation than to try and cross anyone of the bridges." The only exception to this rule was the Independents. In a bid to swell their number the Independents created an open door policy that exists to this day. It worked. But just remember not to attack one of their members. They fiercely defend their own.
The Great Crater worked exceedingly well for a combat arena. Fighting was contained and more importantly the surges of radiation that occur on a regular basis cleanse the crater floor of any hidden mechs or other items that might give an unfair advantage to those wishing to fight for spectacles sake. Scientists were able to determine the source of the radiation is a result of the initial comet crash. Most of the radiation from the crash was impact was directed into the planets mantel. The convection currents there that pushed up The Spine (3) also take the radiation down around and back up at regular and known intervals. Just don't get caught down there when the radiation hits or you are a goner. (This area would be allowed for open PvP at the crater floor. Each Corporation would have its own path down to the crater floor. Usually the arena would be in place for open fighting, but when the radiation release comes (every X real-life days) competitions could be held for prizes and such. The radiation can and will kill anything/player if they stay there. This will allow the game to clear out the crater for the competitions.)
On the western edge of The Great Crater is The Ridge (1.1) . Here the inertia from the comets impact pushed up against the hard bedrock of the tectonic plate and caused the ground to buckle. On top of that the heavy debris settled on top and down the back side of the ridge. It is also here that the cooperation between Zekcom and Senka for forged AND broken. It was thought that with in the ridge would be the remains of the comet and material from deep in the planets crust. As such they set up the first joint mine (The Sen-Com Mine) to try to recover the exotic materials they hoped would be there. But shortly after news of a new material was discovered the forged alliance was strained almost to the breaking point bye a double-punch. First an earth quake hit that buried the entrance to the mine then as rescue workers began to race to the site to begin a rescue mission the craters radiation surge hit, killing the rescue crew. Both sides blamed the other and war almost broke out. The only thing that prevented this was contact from survivors of both sides in the mine. While the radiation had not killed them it had done much worse, protected by what ever minerals were under the ridge the dosage of radiation the miners received was dampened enough to let them live. But only two days later, before the radiation surge died down enough to allow rescuers back in, the radiation took its toll. The messages from the miners became almost unintelligible, and it was feared that they were now changed. Eventually communication was cut off. But the last understandable message caused enough fear to prevent any further resue attempts. The garbled message states "You had better hope we never get out. With what we found down here, we will exact ultimate revenge." While some are curious about what they found, fear prevented anyone from further attempts to reopen the mine. It now sits collapsed and abandoned for fear of hauntings. Both Zekcom and Senka prefer now to search for minerals from on top of the ridge.
The Slide occurs along the eastern edge of the Crater and its gently rising slope is the easiest way in and out of The Great Crater. Unfortunately this path leads one directly into areas controlled by the Tridecca.
The Spine (3) / Hostile Territory(4):
Other than the Great Crater this land form is the most noticeable object from space. This mountain range, running roughly south, south-west to north, north-east runs nearly unbroken from the line of perpetual dark to the line of perpetual light. Toward the extreme ends the range become more like foot-hills but they still compose a physical barrier the divides the plant neatly in half. Through the center of the range the peaks push heights and sizes that drawf those of Everest back on the home world Earth. The center of the range not only creates a boundary for those traveling on foot, but even typical air craft are hard pressed to make it over the range due to the extreme height and fierce prevailing winds that blow up the western face.
It was on the lower eastern slopes of this range that Lukron staked its first claims for mining expeditions. These were short lived, and nearly all were abandoned. After The Affliction, contact was lost with the few outposts still operating. The already aggressive Tridecca were even more fierce along the length of the eastern slopes of The Spine. Hence "Hostile Territory". Their aggression is believed to have resulted from territorial wars fought between tribes as many fled over The Spine to seek protection from the fall out after the creation of The Great Crater.
The Tridecca Passage (5) / Boulder Field (6):
This Tridecca Passage is a great gash in The Spine, and is the only reasonable way to cross the range other than at the poles. It's creation is obvious. As the comet low trajectory brought it into K-9WD the comet smacked right into The Spine blasting off the top half of the range in this sections. (Scientific minds have likened this event to a pneumatic hammer hitting a melon.) This event was so powerful it blasted rocks the size of mountains themselves miles to the west. This formation is now aptly named the Boulder Field. The Boulder Field, a perfect place for stealth and ambush, and Passage are incredibly dangerous. It is here, that the right of passage to adulthood for the Tridecca takes place. Here the they battle each other for dominance and pretty much will try and kill anything that moves. Due to examining corpses it is now known that the right of passage includes collecting a certain number of heads from rivals. Unfortunatly the severed tops of mech's apparently also count. While several scouting parties have made it through and back, a trip through these areas is never a good idea.
The Scar (7) / The Wave Fields (8.):
These two formations are a direct result of The Comet impact. As it impacted the planet and pushed up material and bedrock in front of it the entire tectonic plate began to give way and the crust split. This split cut sharply east to the south of The Great Crater into The Spine. The Scar cuts off the tail of the Great Crater and from there heads hundreds of miles almost straight north. It is almost 3 miles deep in some places and over 2 miles wide in others. The only feasible way to cross it is to fly over. Although it is rumored that several places are narrow enough for jumping mechs to make the crossing.
The exact mechanism that created the wave fields is unknown. Since they run north and south from the Great Crater, they obviously were a result of the impact. The common belief is that this was a second Scar type events and that after the crust split the rear plate slammed into the front one, closing the gap. The terrain here is a grab bag of different forms. Rolling hills, sharp drop offs, small cliffs, standing stone monoliths, fissures... you name it. Its name is a throw back to the Lukron surveyors, who named the formation after seeing it from space and noting that it looked like the ripples of a sandbar. Large mechs and hover tanks can pretty much forget about making a crossing here. Small nimble and jumps mechs are the way to go.
The Wastes (9):
This was one of the few locations to be names after The Affliction. This area consists of one large dune field pushed up against The Ridge by prevailing winds. Unlike most dunes consisting of a course sand The Wastes is made up of pulverized rock blasted hundreds of miles west by The Impact. This "sand" is more of a fine powder. And being a fine powder it is a menace to mech's and tanks alike. Hover tanks loose have no visibility and mechs are slowed to a crawl as they slowly sink in the fine footing. Both have their internal working gummed up to the point that many components are totally worthless after a trek here. Dozens of scouting missions have been lost over the years. Once The Settlement was established it was hoped that mining expeditions here could pick up where the Ridge mines left off, but the material of The Wastes made long missions here nearly impossible. And if that were not enough, it appears that an evolved form of the Tridecca have flourished here, giving up wings for what can only be described as fins. These allow them to practically swim through the fine soils. Most mining and salvage operations take place near the top of the ridge where there heavier and more stable blast debris is found. It is hoped that at some point after the Terra forming takes place and vegetation is allowed to take hold, that this area will be more accessible to the Corporations.
The Corporation Holdings:
Being the first on the planet had its advantages. They chose the second best mining location known, after the mines in the Hostile Territory. Here, southeast, of the crater, and up against The Spine many successful mines are already operating at full capacity.
This area north of the crater, and separated for the spine by the crater offed the Genoma scientists two great opportunities. One is that this area was deemed the most suitable for terra forming, and it is here that the first vegetation may take place, if the Genoma can keep there efforts on track. Also The Scar contains the most docile Tridecca discovered. Small than other forms of Tridecca they are the result of the lack of food found after The Impact. The Genoma hope to pull some useful genetic codes out of their sequence to add to their gene pool.
Senka: Wanting to keep an eye on the Genoma, the Senka settled to the west of the Genoma. They wisely placed the Northern Wave Field between them, and thus provided enough separation to avoid an all out war for the first few years Post-Affliction. Also this location gave them unique access to the blast debris of The crater. They hope to find some exotic minerals to advance their technologies.
Zekcom: They same reasoning behind the Senka holding applied to Zekcom they to settled to the west of their rivals the Lukron, separated by the Southern Wave Field. They also had access to The Crater Debris. And The wastes serve as a more than ample border between the Zekcom and Lukron other than The Ridge. But the rough terrain here and adherence to the initial treaties have limited the conflicts to this point.
Independents: The last to get their act together during The Affliction, they were forced to settle some what isolated from the rest. Although it is believed their leader at the time was all to eager to settle this hostile but key location nestled between The Scar and Spine. The entrance to their lands watches over The Tridecca Passage and it is felt by the Independents that this location will give them strategic dominance of this area once the Tridecca are pacified. They also are the only Corporation to have two bridges to The Summit. One larger bridge from the slide up to The Summit, and smaller one crossing one of the narrowest areas of The Scar at the tail of the Great Crater.
Most of my names are desciptive so please feel free to comment on bettername for the different areas.