- Olympus Mons (1,860,000 pop)
- Valles Marineris (3,950,000 pop)
- Deimos (50 pop)
- One of the most conspicuous features of the Martian geography is the dramatic difference in elevation between the northern and southern hemispheres; whereas the southern hemisphere is dominated by vaulting mountains, the upper part of the northern hemisphere consists of broad lowlands on average several kilometers lower in elevation than the rest of the planet.
- Other differences between the northern Borealis Basin and the rest of the planet exist, including an escalated incidence of dust storms in the southern highlands, in turn leading to relatively higher temperatures compared to the Borealis Basin.
- While water ice exists throughout the planet, most of this water is below ground; the great exceptions lie in the polar ice caps.
- The higher altitude of the highland region controlled by the Mars Republic also results in a lower pressure than in the Borealis Basin.
- In terms of population and size, the Mars Republic is the largest off-Earth polity. As an essentially oligarchic corporate power it has very significant industrial and commercial capacity, including the military ship construction. That being said, though it has built a prototype dreadnought, it has not found it profitable to construct its own superdreadnoughts, though it retains the capacity to do such.
- Widespread heavy industry and manufacturing capacity.
- Shipbuilding production of every type of vessel other than superdreadnoughts, though in practice it restricts its domestic shipbuilding production to destroyers and commercial vessels of all types.
- Although temporary bases had been periodically established on Mars before and even sporadically during the hard years of the Great Contraction, permanent settlement on Mars did not occur until 2118 with the establishment of Mariner Base (eventually Mariner City) in the canyons of the Valles Marineris. Corporately controlled with just the right number of government pay-offs to polities back on Earth, the Mars Corporation was the first major human settlement off of humanity's home. The expenses were vast, the risks massive, and at first there was no concept of political independence, but rather commercial and scientific exploitation.
- As the population on Mars ballooned over the subsequent decades, the Mars Corporation by necessity took on many of the practical duties of a sovereign nation, simply without the common conceptions of political representation. Colony sites and commercial exploitation were rigidly controlled by the Mars Corporation whose directors began to resent the increasingly peremptory demands of State, under whose law the Mars Corporation was technically founded.
- After a series of unsuccessful political maneuvers throughout the 23rd century failed to significantly deter the influence of State, the Mars Corporation took advantage of a severe recession gripping Earth in 2401 opted to nationalize themselves as a means of creating the political pretext necessary to sever State control.
- An angered State was kept in check only by the rapid signing of preferential trade and military understandings with Union, something that had been carefully planned before the nationalization of the Mars Corporation. Union warships rerouted to Mars, though State still legally controlled the moon of Phobos, maintaining a small research station there until 2145 when construction of Laputa Station, a naval base, was begun.
- The new Mars Republic began a deft campaign of playing State and Union against each other as it slowly strengthened its own military and economic position. Before the labor riots in the northern polar region of the Borealis Basin in 2465, the Mars Republic was well on its way to being a powerhouse in its own right as the de facto "Gateway to the Outer Worlds".
- The Martian Civil War crushed this hope, and as hostilities have worn on for the better part of the last decade, the Mars Republic's efforts at containing and subduing the dissidents of the so-called Free State of Mars have proven extremely expensive both economically and politically. Union, well-aware of its position as counterbalance to the military might of State, has used its position to wring concession after concession from the Mars Republic to the point that many in the republic have begun to wonder if Union's patronage has become a devil's bargain.
- The ongoing civil war fought with the Free State of Mars has continued for almost a decade. While the situation is not entirely a stalemate, the conflict has consisted primarily of the Mars Republic's own limited security forces executing surgical(ish) strikes and raids on suspected military emplacements in the subterranean enclaves of the Borealis Basin.
- While the Mars Republic is far more powerful, there are many inside its administration that are skeptical the cost is not worth just signing a deal. For now, pride has kept the conflict going, and the dominant factions on both sides are in no mood to temporize. In the Free State of Mars, the abject conditions have generated a wave of patriotism resulting a deeply committed population that has already paid such a high price in blood that at this point any major compromise has become inconceivable.
- The Mars Republic maintains close ties with Union as its principal military patron, and is on quite frigid terms with its former patron, State.
- Close ties with the Alliance have given the Mars Republic an economic conduit and major channel for its goods to the Outer Worlds. Many in positions of power in the Mars Republic believe that the growing power of the Outer Worlds may eventually allow the creation of a common cause there to counterbalance the overwhelming influence of Earth.
- Some factions within the Mars Republic have begun quietly exploring ways to dilute Union's influence, either with the Southern Bloc or the Eastern Federation, though most believe any alliance with the latter would simply be exchanging one senior partner for another.
- Territorial disputes over the Martian Trojan asteroids with the Sovereign Republic of Ganymede have led to tense stand-offs, though with the Mars Republic embroiled in a civil war and Ganymede with its neighbor the Commonwealth of Callisto, neither has been in a position to advance its claims.
- The Ceres' government is strongly influenced by labor interests, but also partly for strategic reasons, as both the Mars Republic and Earth and the Outer Worlds.
Politics and Culture:
- The Mars Republic is a thinly-veiled corporate state. Politically, it is still very much structured as a corporate entity; its Prime Minister is essentially the Chief Executive Officer, its President a popularly elected but purely ceremonial position with virtually no real power. Franchise in the vote is restricted, requiring economic or other investment to earn the shares that are used to determine the election of the members of the Plenary Council, which in turn elects the Prime Minister.
- The business of the Mars Republic is business. Financial power and the machinations of the various factions to acquire and hold on to financial power represents the mainstay of Martian politics.
- The Martian Terraforming Project is a generations-long project designed to modify the atmosphere to allow for a minimally-viable surface ecology, including human habitation without breathing or pressure apparatus. While the Martian Civil War has largely stalled the effort, the truth is that the Mars Republic itself was never enthusiastic about the project, as it would undermine its current total control of its citizenry. For both practical and philosophical reasons, however, the Mars Republic's patron Union has made the progression of the terraforming project a requirement of its support. Given the amount of money being poured into Mars from Union as a result of this, the Mars Republic has tepidly allowed the efforts.
- While some resentment of the class-tiered structure of Martian society exists, outside of the Borealis Basin this is overshadowed by a strong belief in "you get what you earned". As a rule, Martians are utilitarian, practical, and inclined to personal independence and responsibility bordering on classical libertarianism, and this is as true in the Mars Republic as in the Free State of Mars .
- Life in the Mars Republic is quite comfortable, and though class differences are noticeable, even the lower classes of laborers enjoy a basic standard of living that in many cases exceeds that of their brethren on Earth. While culturally the population of the Mars Republic is not inclined to luxury, in truth their standard of living ranks quite highly compared to the rest of the solar system.
- Martian settlement is closely controlled by the Mars Republic. Legal settlement charters are extremely expensive and often fraught with contractual restrictions and limitations that make them problematic to obtain. Illegal settlements do exist, however, and since the outbreak of the Martian Civil War have become extremely common as the attentions of the Mars Republic are focused on stamping out the Free State of Mars's beleaguered forces.
- Militarily, the Mars Republic has been slowly improving its infrastructure and reach, although military might has never been its focus, and as such it is actually somewhat behind in this regard other polities including the Sovereign Republic of Ganymede, the Commonwealth of Callisto, and the Alliance. In particular, the reality of the Martian Civil War has led to a significant increase in the size and sophistication of its ground forces, one area in which it has achieved parity or better over the solar system's other powers with only a few exceptions on Earth.
- As with the rest of Mars, the dominant language of the Mars Republic is English, albeit a linguistic patois with a significant contribution of Hindi vocabulary stemming from early, pre-Southern Bloc colonization efforts.