Mars is the fourth planet from the sun. It is located between Earth and the Asteroid Belt and is the second-smallest terrestrial planet in the Solar System. Before terraforming began almost a century ago, it had a thin atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide, but now trace amounts of oxygen can be found near the polar caps. Lakes of liquid water have been discovered across the planet. Exotic plant life and bizarre organisms can often be found in or near these sparse pools of water.
The surface of Mars is covered in ancient volcanoes, including Olympus Mons – the largest volcano in the entire Solar System and a massive fissure known as Valles Marinaris – the deepest canyon in the entire Solar System. Mars’ northern hemisphere is sparsely cratered, whereas its southern hemisphere is heavily cratered. Likewise, the crust along the southern hemisphere is much thicker than the northern crust. Massive dust devils, 10 times larger than tornados on Earth, constantly reshape the surface of Mars. These dust devils can be as large as several miles high and hundreds of meters wide. Any character caught outside during a dust storm must seek shelter immediately or be ripped to shreds by the powerful winds.
Evidence of habitation by both of an ancient alien race have been found scattered across the surface of Mars, including the famous “Face on Mars” and a massive complex which has become known as the “Cydonia Complex.”