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Forums » RP Discussion » Auruta 9ODX: Official Worldbuilding Event 2020

Kim Site Admin

Please read this entire starting post before participating!

This is a FULLY COLLABORATIVE world building project! I hope to make this an annual tradition. Each year, I’ll kick us off with a “seed” concept for a fictional setting. The entire community is welcomed to join in to flesh out the world. Want to write about an entire continent? A single plant species? An alien race? Want to draw maps or illustrate other people’s ideas? Want to compose music that might be played in a village on the world? There are so many ways to develop this world!

This will be open for three weeks. At the end, I’ll round up all the ideas and artwork and try to combine them into a cohesive setting guide of our world. If there are conflicts between ideas people have put forward, or clashes in tone to the project, I’ll try to make my best editorial judgement calls to resolve them.

When all’s said and done, we’ll release the world we’ve created for anyone to start RPs in! :) This will essentially be an “open source” collaborative work.

READY? Here’s your world building seed:

Appearing on most star charts as Auruta 9ODX, this tiny, glittering green world fascinated astronomers upon its discovery. It looked like a world rich in life and mineral wealth, and yet the readings always seemed… a little strange. Maybe a little dangerous.

Too far away from civilized worlds for typical modes of travel to be possible, the promise it held for adventure, a new start, perhaps even great wealth, nonetheless attracted settlers. Everyone who went knew that their travel would be one way, and contact with their home world would not be re-established for many generations, if ever. In fact, it would take so long to get there, it would be entirely possible that their home civilizations would not exist by the time they got out of stasis!

However, what was not known to the settlers was that their home worlds were not the only ones who sent a colony ship -- upon waking from stasis, landing and beginning to build their new township and tiny nations, they began to discover that there were other newly-arrived species scattered across the planet who were doing the same thing! Some met one another right away; others managed to stay isolated for several generations...

It has now been 200 years since the first colony ships landed, and most of the various species have discovered one another as their budding new cultures adapt, grow and spread.

The planet has no native “sapient” life of its own, but is rich in native animal and vegetable species, as well as scientific anomalies that make life on Auruta 9ODX interesting and challenging.

Gravity is slightly lower than Earth standard (which is not to say Earth is necessarily one of the planets that discovered and colonized this world… there might be no humans at all!)

With this world-building project, we are aiming for a flavor of discovery and adventure being common cultural values. Auruta 9ODX is a place where most species are attempting to get along with one another, but tensions simmer beneath the surface as settlers’ different goals conflict with one another… and perhaps some lingering resentments by settlers who thought their culture was the only one sending colony ships. Most, if not all, settler species will have only a few cities at this point, rather than sprawling nations. This is a low to no magic setting.

Feel free to add:
  • Geographic details
    • Continents
    • Forests and jungles
    • Mountains and hills
    • Oceans and rivers
    • Deserts
    • Poles
    • Scientific anomalies
    • Natural wonders
  • Ecological details
    • Native animals
    • Native plant species
    • Invasive species brought by the various settler species and their impacts!
  • Cultural details
    • Settler species designed for this project
    • Towns and cities
    • Important NPCs for certain places or cultures
    • Technology
    • Past times
    • Holidays
    • Religions
    • Political structures
    • Fringe groups? Crime?
    • Relationships to other settlers
    • History
    • What do they look like? Where do they come from? What do they value? What was their culture of origin like, and how has that translated to life on Auruta 9ODX?
  • Got other ideas? Let’s hear them!

Things to avoid:
  • Getting too attached to your creations! Anything you add can be expanded on and changed by other people participating in the project. If you contribute it to this world building project, you are giving everyone permission to play with and expand on your idea.
  • Materials that’s copyrighted to other intellectual properties, ie Klingons, Jedi, etc.
  • Massively overpowered species or technologies that would give the other species no chance.
  • Please don’t add "evil" races to this planet. Cultures or individual people that believe and do unpleasant things are fine. What we want to avoid is describing a race as being intrinsically evil because of some inborn trait disposing them to immorality or criminality.
I'll add a simple insect species here.

The lingering radiant sunwing. A relatively large nsect species no smaller than 12 cm and no larger than 38 cm. Their bodies are covered in an exoskeleton that varies in color depending on the environment they live in. Their thin bodies also have large wings on their backs that seem to refract light like a prism and two pairs of antennae on their heads. During the daytime the sunwings will often be seen performing some sort of sunbathing with their wings spread wide to catch as much sunlight as possible like a solar panel. When not sunbathing they will be gathering up smaller insects with their limbs to bring back to their nests. The nests consist of clumps of materials common to the region they are found in(i.e. leaves in forests, grass and dirt in fields, etc.)

When nighttime rolls around, these insects will all take flight and exchange food and other materials with one another or search for mates. Their wings will slowly shed small dusty material which glows in the dark for multiple hours. This material will glow more brightly and vibrantly the longer the sunwing was in the sun and also how bright the sunlight was during the day. They will attempt to impress mates by "drawing" patterns in the air with the trails of light left behind by their wings. The lingering dust will slowly disperse throughout the night, leaving the surroundings glowing gently by the end of the night as the dust tends to cling to other materials.

They have a high protein, vitamin, and sugar content in their bodies which makes them not only a tasty snack but also one that can be quite healthy in moderation. Their wings can be used as an all natural light source in dark areas. By sticking them onto a torch or something similar and letting them sit in the sun for about half a day, the wings can glow for a good while and will make for a light source comparable to a flame torch.

A few differences between the males and females of the insects is that males have smaller more jagged looking wings that have more vibrant colors while females have rounded wings that are larger and glow more brightly but with less variance, usually only yellow and white. Males wings will glow with green, blue, red, and very rarely purple.


I hope you all like this little addition! Just an idea I had and wanted to flesh out for this world!
INVASIVE SPECIES IDEA

Something about the "Invasive species brought by the various settler species and their impacts!" really stuck with me. The native flora/fauna might be ruthless enough but there's something about settlers bringing something unintended — or maybe it was intentional? — to Auruta.


CHAMAEMORPHA
a blend of the Chameleon and Cicada families

To take things a step further, what if the species was not only invasive, but aggressive too. Unlike the ones we typically deal with in the real world (which are usually no bigger than a medium sized creature) this one should be something to truly fear and worry about. I'm thinking roughly the general size of a lion, just to give it an intimidating feel, not necessarily lion shaped or inspired.

Maybe reptilian-insectoid combo? Like most, their general life cycle might look something like: hatch, grow, feed, lay eggs, die, only to circle back to hatch again to begin their cycle anew.

Perhaps they lay eggs in clutches underground and, much like a cicada, have broods that come out once every X years. This staggers their appearances and can make it harder to eradicate them unless you can find the brood underground at the source. And, like a reptile, would stick to warmer climates but might not need it to survive (i.e. not cold blooded).



That's all I got for now! Just wanted to post this while it's on my mind. Feel free to use this as a jumping off point if you have anything to add! That's the very nature of collaborative, and this is such a wonderful idea for the community that I'm going to look forward to every year!!!
Kim Site Admin

I love the sunwing. I imagine there are whole ecosystems which depend on them as pollinators or seed spreaders, and many animal food chains with them at the bottom.

Maybe one colony ship brought the Chamaemorpha to act as guard-pets to their initial township, but upon the Chamaemorpha discovering the sunwing as a food source, they spread out into the wild and are now putting strain on their local ecosystem through over-feeding?
Kim wrote:
I love the sunwing. I imagine there are whole ecosystems which depend on them as pollinators or seed spreaders, and many animal food chains with them at the bottom.

Maybe one colony ship brought the Chamaemorpha to act as guard-pets to their initial township, but upon the Chamaemorpha discovering the sunwing as a food source, they spread out into the wild and are now putting strain on their local ecosystem through over-feeding?

I like both of these ideas actually! Maybe the sunwings not only could spread pollen and whatnot but also could keep the population of some plant life in check, mainly ones that had a negative impact on other plant life and with their numbers reduced in some areas, larger groups of toxic plants could thrive and make cultivating crops more difficult where the Chamaemorpha had fed on the population of sunwings.
I love this idea! I'll contribute a settlement of my own:
New Aurora
Named after a Terran city of the same name, New Aurora is one of the oldest settlements on Auruta 9ODX. Established when the first colony ships came to settle the planet, New Aurora was established as a home for outsiders, vagabonds, and assorted ne'er-do-wellers where they could find common cause in their differences. Now, the settlement is a sizable city in the heartland of the planet, and its citizens pride themselves on their openness and acceptance of others.

Demographics
New Aurora is mostly made up of humans, however, any alien race is free to take up residence there. As of the last census, the population of New Aurora is approximately 1.5 million people, consisting of 53% humans, and 47% of other various alien races.

Government
New Aurora uses a system of direct democracy, where any citizen can stand for office and vote in elections. The Auroran government consists of the First Speaker, who heads the Cabinet, which consists of representatives from each of New Aurora's districts. They make public policy and establish city-wide laws. At the district-level, citizens in a district vote for their representatives on the Cabinet, as well as in a district-wide governing body called the Assembly, which makes district-wide policy. The Assemblies have wide latitude in their rulings, however, no Assembly ruling can conflict with a Cabinet ruling.
(More to come and this section may be changed to reflect more realistic ideas)

Geography
New Aurora sits at the fork of the Neumann River, an important waterway that runs through the center of Auruta's main continent. The Neumann River runs through the Wegener Mountains, and then splits around New Aurora, leaving the heart of the city on an island in the river. Bridges connect the island to the mainland, where many residential districts and shops exist. Much of the government work is done on the island, called Madigan Island, which is named after the first First Speaker of New Aurora, Richard Madigan.

That's all I got for now! I'll update this post as more ideas are added and I think of more to include.
this was just a small idea i had. i'm going to draw some reference images later tonight, so i'll update it when i do. Also feel free to give a name to it (or the chemical it harnesses) if you have any ideas! i'm not very good at naming things, heh.
FANTASY NATIVE PLANT SPECIMEN
It’s almost volcanic appearance is strange, but it makes it no less a plant. It’s mostly used for medical supplies, or can be kept as a decorative house plant.

literally the quickest and crapest thing that I need to redraw tomorrow
Untitled43-20200801213044.png


The plant has a silver-tinted liquid that runs through it. The said liquid contains chemicals which enhance growth rates, so it is used to help speed up healing processes for broken bones, damaged tissue, etc. Due to the possibility of overgrowth (which can be damaging for a person’s physical health) it has to be carefully controlled and regulated whenever administered or prescribed.

It’s strange volcanic appearance makes it an interesting house plant. As long as it is well-looked after, it is safe to keep out in the open. It needs to be kept in sunlight most of the time so it can produce it’s own food like most plants, but only needs watering three - four times a month.

This plant only dies when the entirety of the liquid has been drained. There are deformations that can affect a plant’s life length, such as a change in the terrain or structure of the plant itself. Once dead, as it begins to deteriorate it releases a somewhat toxic and harmful substance from it’s roots; if in the wild, it will soak into the ground and contaminate the plants around it. Contamination causes discoloration and to some plants can change the strength of the plant. If not in the wild or in a nature-orientated area, the substance will just puddle beneath the dead plant until removed. While it’s not deadly to touch, the substance can and probably will cause irritation to skin, and potentially more severe effects to more sensitive parts of beings, such as eyes. If ingested, or it somehow gets into a person’s bloodstream, said chemicals will cause poisoning.
Natural Resource/Metal Alloy

Luminoxium: An alloy that is black and glossy in appearance, yet emits a temporary glow when struck against a hard surface, exposed to temperature changes, moisture levels change (raining or dipped in water), or when exposed to another mineral or chemical - all of which differ depending on the specific alloy. All forms of luminoxium are black and emit a glow when struck against a hard surface (which makes for some pretty epic sword fights). There are five known forms of this resource, of which can be found in different environments on Auruta 90DX. Studies made on luminoxium reveal that the variations of color and reactions are due to different levels of minerals being present. This is understandable, as different environments and biomes on Auruta 90DX are rich in different resources and are exposed to varying weather and temperatures. All forms of luminoxium can be smelted for use in weaponry, architecture, jewelry, currency, and more.

Luminoxium-geo: The most common form, this metal emits a yellow glow when struck against a hard surface and when moisture levels change - making it particularly easy to find, as it can only be found in underwater veins and caves. This form does not require special equipment when smelting.

Luminoxium-neo: The second-most common form, this metal emits a green glow when exposed to extreme heat and when struck against a hard surface. It is difficult to look at when smelting, as the extreme heat causes it to glow a bright, neon green. It is wise to invest in eye-protection when smelting this form, though not entirely necessary if other precautions are made. It can be found in several regions of Auruta 90DX, but the most common place is near clay deposits.

Luminoxium-posi: An uncommon form, this metal emits a purple glow when exposed to extreme heat and when struck against a hard surface. It is nearly blinding to look at when smelting, as the extreme heat causes an intense purple glow. It is wise to invest in eye-protection when smelting this form. It can be found near the shoreline or salt deposits.

Luminoxium-seni: Just as uncommon as the previous metal, this form emits a white glow when struck against a hard surface or exposed to cold temperatures. It is particularly difficult to find, as it is found near volcanic activity and it blends perfectly with its surroundings. It takes a trained eye to spot this form. On occasion, after a quake in the sea or a particularly rough storm, this alloy can be found washed ashore. This form does not require special equipment when smelting.

Luminoxium-rudi: The rarest form of luminoxium, this alloy emits a red glow when struck against a hard surface or exposed to a variety of minerals, as well as when in contact with moisture. This form is found beneath the surface of just one area on Auruta 90DX, a box valley in the westernmost mountain region - possibly due to unique conditions when the planet was forming - and can only be found under special conditions, such as after a lightning storm (exposure to moisture) or during a solstice. Due to its rarity, it is not smelted often and is therefore more difficult to smelt. Only the most skilled craftsperson can smelt this form of luminoxium. If done incorrectly, the final product can be brittle and shatter easily - but if done with a skilled hand, it is perhaps one of the most resilient materials - and if it is used for a blade then it will never need sharpening.

Lumi = light or to glow
Nox = dark or night
Ium = metal or alloy
Native Fauna: Deinocanis ("Horrible Dog")
Bestiary Entry - Wegener Hound
image0.png
  • Introduction:The Wegener hound, named for the location upon which it was initially discovered, is an incredibly large, and strangely colorful animal. Sporting tusks, an incomplete beak, sharpened canines, and flat incisors, it is incredibly opportunistic in its diet, but it's large size requires a hefty protein intake, which is compensated by its preference of consuming animal matter. The beak is used both for shearing off tough plant matter, and piercing into tough hides.
  • At an immense 8 feet and 2 inches tall on average, females of the species grow the largest of the sexes, as the males typically only reach a height of 6 feet, and as such, typically exert the most physical prowess. The only way to identify the genders of the animals other than their sizes are the tips of the sensory organs that line the back of the neck, the jawline, shoulder blades, and tail, which differ from yellow for females, and red for males. These organs function similarly to whiskers, and the ones lining the jaw are the most sensitive; the rest of them serve their purpose, but far less efficiently, and effectively serve as useful display organs.
  • Anatomy:The structures that are present throughout their bodies are fairly complex; an example are the bulbous sacs located under the blue crown of the cranium, and behind the nostril opening. These are used both as resonator chambers to amplify sounds produced in the vocal chords, and to analyze particles brought into the nostrils as scent, thus further enhancing their sense of smell. Large ears sit on the rear of the skull, and their bat-like appearance amplifies the input brought in from the outside world. The seemingly leaf-shaped, joined limbs on the edges of the top jaw are used only to aid in intimidation, and communication among members of a group. When in use, they flare outwards, displaying the bright blue and brown surface that makes their faces look much bigger. Coming from heavily armored ancestors, traces of their heritage remain in the carapaces that line their shoulders and run down their back, forming a vent, but it has become completely vestigial, and actually has the potential to result in injuries to the lower back if extended too far. The vent that runs along it is also fairly useless now, as vents along the neck serve its purpose much more effectively. These vents serve to increase airflow and to cool down the animal, which allow it to exert massive amounts of energy even with its immense size.
  • Hierarchy:These hounds live in extended family groups, which are called 'prides,' and are matriarchal. The massive sizes of the females cement their positions in the pride, and when disagreements emerge, they become incredibly violent. All individuals except the most feeble and young participate in hunts, especially those around larger animals, though they rely on a system of swapping out individuals that have just gone with those who need experience. Designated individuals will watch the young, and forage for plant matter to supplement their meat-filled diet.
  • Hunting: When tracking large prey, they rely on sheer strength and numbers to overwhelm their victims; but this consumes energy quickly, and as such, if the initial tactics fail, they will be too exhausted to continue. They have been recorded utilizing stealth and time-based tactics, but these are incredibly rare to observe, and are usually secluded incidents among much smaller and cut-off prides. Very rarely, lone individuals will utilize prolonged pursuit, tracking the animal over long distances until it eventually succumbs.
  • Danger: when coming across these animals in the field, due to their sheer size and strength, they pose quite a threat to both lone individuals and small groups alike, but are relatively unlikely to attack humanoids due to the risk not being worth the reward, as the calories gained are very unlikely to satisfy the needs of an entire pride of hungry hounds. In the unlikely event that you are targeted by a pride, simply standing your ground can be enough if you can stay out of reach, as large groups are prone to throwing their weight around immediately, and giving up fairly quickly. If anything, lone individuals are the biggest danger, as when hungry enough, they may resort to becoming man-eaters out of necessity, or out of a perceived threat. Unlike being targeted by a pride, these loners may stalk their target for hours on end if desperate enough, waiting for them to give up. To thwart this, expending as little energy as possible is recommended once a safe location is reached, in order to ensure that it runs out of energy before you do. When facing an individual head-on, especially if you are descended from any race shorter than them, the best option is to aim for the eyes and hope you can disable it before it locks its jaws. If this is unsuccessful, it's hopeless unless external aid arrives. Facing a pride head-on is impossible, as the sheer flurry of claws and gnashing teeth are immediately fatal. Thankfully, due to their sleep cycles, encounters during the day are incredibly rare, and prides usually go out of their ways to steer clear of any settlers due to population culling, which has instilled an almost instinctive fear upon them.
  • Intellect: With an intellect similar to corvids, they are capable of basic problem-solving, understanding and experiencing empathy, and have the ability to remember faces in great detail. This aids them in interactions among both members of their own pride, and outsiders, which can be vital when assessing hierarchy and authority within the pride, which prevents possible fatal insurgences. They also posses the ability to determine the connections between tone of voice and emotions, along with facial expressions, though this only applies to members of their own kind unless they reside in an area where settlers have begun to establish themselves. When the latter is true, occasionally, weary individuals and prides will actively investigate and snoop around settlements out of curiosity, but these events rarely end in conflict unless threats are perceived, whether intentionally or not. The misunderstanding of interactions on the parts of the hounds during these explorations can pose a great danger to the settlers, and due to this, prides surrounding areas with a greater population density are typically culled to prevent mishaps.
Scientific Anomalies: The Four Triangles of Azreal

This odd creation was supposedly named after the person who founded it, however no one is quite sure where they are now. Perhaps they died to the wonders of this anomaly or perhaps they spent their whole life wasted away trying to explain it.

It consists of a remote island in the middle of an ocean. The curiousness of this is that you begin to be confused before you even reach it. As you approach the island, the ocean begins to turn a cascade of colors from green to purple to red. The salt disappears from it, dissociating itself with the sea. The island itself looks normal at first glance. It is in a loose triangular shape, but once you take a closer look it starts to look weird.

There are three corners of the island. One of them, the highest peak has a volcano. A certainly active volcano. The molten lava inside roils and burns viciously. However, this volcano hasn't erupted in far too long. Is this to lead it will never erupt? Or is it to lead that it is waiting, biding its time to explode? This corner is barren. Covered in wasteland. There may be a few remnants of what was once living, but they are burnt and shriveled up.

The next corner of the island is the lowest peak. It has snowy hills. The hills seem to have no specific pattern, and they could not have been made by tectonic plates as none have been recorded near that specific area of the sea. Perhaps extreme weathering? The snow is at least a few feet thick at all times. It melts almost excruciatingly slow despite being in the general area of a volcano. And almost as soon as it does melt, it snows right back again.

The last corner of the island is the middle peak. It consists of tall trees and grass along with excesses of flowers. It stays at an almost perfect 72 degrees Fahrenheit and rarely deviates from that temperature. There are a few groups of lingering radiant sun wings along other species. The small ecosystem is in perfect harmony. Everything that eats something, eventually helps that species knowledgeably or not, and everything that gets eaten benefits the eater. The trees are oddly tall for trees and the plants seem to thrive a little too much for plants that have most of their sun cut off by the trees. Sometimes, the leafy branches of different trees seem almost to interlock, creating on wide roof above the forest.

What may be oddest of all about this island is not just the complete opposite environments but that they seem to cut off entirely from each other. They don't effect each other at all, each staying to their own corner. In fact, you can sometimes see snow falling from the sky but not appearing on the ground on the border of other areas. The snowy area is the only place with snow, no matter what time of the year it is. And it has been theorized that if the volcano erupted, and spread lava throughout the island, it wouldn't reach the other corners. One theory is that it would stop at the edge as if there was a wall.

If you cut a triangle into four triangles, there is a triangle in the middle. If each corner is a triangle, there will always be one left right in the center.

But what happens to the triangle in the middle? The area that belongs to none? Absolutely nothing. This area is completely nothing. The only thing that you could use to describe it is packed dirt. Dirt with no grass sticking up underneath it, no weeds, no flowers. Nothing. Perhaps even odder is that people who stand inside it have reported feeling more weightless. As if there was less gravity in that one area. Not the rest of the island, just that one area. One or two people have even heard voices. Unable to understand them, they descended into chaos and depression. Perhaps one was Azreal...
((Attempted lineart of a Chamaemorpha design idea))

https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/658781942308798499/740006295972872192/image0.png?width=807&height=630

Sorry about just posting the link, can't put it in the normal format for some reason
Ecological details ---- Native plant species

Scientific name: Equimola
Common name: Walking shadow

This plant has a short stem which has some petals and seeds on it. Basically the top of stem, is the heart of it. all essential functions happen there. at the bottom of the stem, four long broad red leaves cover the ground.

Equimola is very toxic. the main production of it is a fatal poison that will kill many creatures specially other plants. this plant has no benefits except it's spectacular and wonderful color. the color of petals changes. in the sunlight it is red or sometimes pink but when there's no light (absolute darkness) they will be glistening blue.

Equimola can move. in the day the roots are stable, deep in soil. but sometimes in the night when it gets so dark (don't know if the planet has moon or not so it would be very rare for them to move) the roots get out and spread on surface (under the large leaves) and kinda crawl (but they're immobile even under artificial light - there should be no light so they can move). when Equimola reaches to any other living thing, it's roots (which have very sharp points) slowly penetrate it and secrete the poison inside. usually the process takes all night. most of it's victims are other plants as they don't move or react.

The stem has a vibration sensor which will make the leaves round all over it when any creature approaches. besides the bottom level of leaves have also diminutive teeny poisoned thistles which will also protect the stem.
These species are endangered as their pollination is a slow process. they release a gas and find other species of their own to intercross.
it's pretty much it but i was thinking we could blend it with Sunwing and Chamaemorpha. the only benefit of Equimola could be it's leaves and stem eaten by Sunwing which has the antidote for the poison. and also Sunwings can sometimes light up the night which will prevent Equimola of moving. and eventually they will be extinct because of Sunwings.
but when Chamaemorpha reduces the population of Sunwings, Equimola will flourish agian. which will bring many problems.
Auruta 90DX as a planet.

The Star system surrounding Auruta 90DX is a small number of planets and moons surrounding a red dwarf star. No planet in the system is larger than Earth-sized, and there is no life on the subsequent planets. There is also a heavy comet belt that orbits around the far end of the system, which will occasionally hurl comets into the inner solar system. These comets, however, are unique in that they are made of pure ice.

Auruta90DX is the closest planet in its star system. Its star small size means that it is actually the star’s habitable zone. Being so close to the star means that the star in the sky looks relatively the same size as our sun, but noticeably dimmer and reddish in tint. Also because of the close proximity, Auruta90DX is tidally locked. One side is permanently facing the sun while the other is permanently facing away.

The side that faces the sun is basked in its solar heat and energy. This side is where 90% of the complex flora is, and us such where most of the herbivorous fauna are. The lower gravity and atmosphere means that both are capable of being much larger than they would be on Earth. Trees can grow higher than they normally would on an Earth-sized planet. The central point of the equator is the hottest portion of the planet.

On the side away from the sun, the temperature is still relatively habitable save for the farthest end of the equator. However, it is significantly colder on the away side, and with little to no sunlight, complex plant life is rare (though it does exist). Creatures on this side are almost exclusively either carnivorous or feed on raw ore. The away side is significantly more dangerous to outsiders, but there exists a raw material in relative abundance that is next to non-existent on the sun side. (Anyone can create this material, I am just adding some enticing reasons for setters to be on the dark side).

A small planet (slightly smaller than Earth), Auruta 90DX’s smaller size is what allows the gravity slightly lower than a conventional Earth-like system. Because of this, the atmosphere itself is also thinner; humans (if they exist on the planet) would have difficulty breathing, but it wouldn't be impossible. It would be the equivalent of living on top of a mountain everywhere.

Those comets we mentioned earlier? These comets of pure ice have bombarded Auruta90DX since it was formed, and it is still being bombarded. As such, the planet’s surface area is composed of 90% water. However, the water is relatively calm. Without a moon, tidal forces are fairly nonexistent outside of wind forces on it. Most of the water on the away side is frozen.

Because of the 90% water portion, most of planet’s land masses are islands, with some larger exceptions. Even so, the largest landmass is no larger than Australia.
Kim Site Admin

I was sitting in my living room reading this thread out loud and kicking ideas around with my quarantine pod (which includes a naval officer with a lot of maritime meteorology expertise, so the huge ocean + wacky orbit kicked off a LOT of stuff). Here's a big dump of ideas we've had --

Orbit, seasons and physics
We suggest an eccentric eliptical orbit (high wobble factor because it has been bombarded by comets a lot more than Earth ever was, and the bombardments continue which prevents stabilization) rather than a perfectly tidally locked one, to allow for a little more variation in season and weather in different areas. However, there is one side that gets dramatically more sun than the other, and during "summer" daytime can last for weeks at a time. The slow rotation allows for corealis, which allows for enough dissipation of heat to prevent the permanent planet-wide storms that a full lock would cause.

Because of the closer proximity to the sun, Auruta 90DX is subject to high radiation hitting its atmosphere. However, the planet core is dense molten nickel-cobalt, that creates a magnetosphere of sufficient strength to protect the planet from its sun's cosmic bombardments and protect life, maintaining relatively earth-like levels of radiation at the planet surface.

The interaction of the intense magnetosphere and the intense radiation from the sun means that the planet has STUNNING auroras, that extend from the poles nearly all the way to the equator.

This strong magnetic field made the planet very detectable by space-faring civilizations, which is why you have so many colonists arriving on it.

Flying creatures can use magnetic fields more effectively, allowing them unerring navigation capabilites.

Local magnetic fields on the ground are much greater than on Earth, which makes navigating with a compass VERY difficult and exploration can be challenging.

With this orbit + rotation Auruta would have basically eight seasons, which go from super cold to super hot. When the planet is titled eccentrically away at the furthest extreme of its eliptical orbit, portions of the planet's sea freeze entirely. This creates a sort of temporary landmass where some species gather to reproduce.

Some sea creatures can survive in frozen blocks of ice and simply wait out the cold seasons; many others simply migrate to other parts of the planet.

In some areas of the planet, there would be enormous biodiversity as plants that are dormant in the super-summer thrive in the super-winter, meaning some landscapes can be COMPLETELY different during different parts of the year.

Most of the time, because of the slow rotation, weather patterns are generally extremely predictable and easy to plan for. There are periods of time where there is almost no "weather" at all. Everything seems to slow down as the planet moves away from the star and winter approaches and things begin to cool down. When it's at its further point from the star, the energy is being dissipated from the planet, the lack o fthe star's heat is even more pronounced bcause it's a smaller star.

Because of the low gravity, and the proximity to the star, there has to be something which generates a particularly dense atmospheric layer to prevent the atmosphere from being boiled off, despite the weaker star.

So, in addition to the intense magnetosphere, we suggest...

Algal blooms
An ocean-based algea that produces carbon dioxide (and maybe some other greenhouse gases) as part of its digestive process. This makes the sea seem to fizz where there are algal blooms; you basically have areas where the sea is carbonated.

This algea lives in a natural balance with the environment. Overpopulation of it would create global warming, but too little would create global ice ages.

When Auruta is closest to the sun in its eliptical orbit, the planet heats up enough to be outside of the algea's preferred temperature, and it begins to die back. This slowly decreases the green house gases in the atmosphere by rain fall effect, allowing the planet to begin cooling again even though its slow orbit has it still quite close to the sun.

As the planet moves away from the sun again, temperatures drop enough to allow the algae population to expand, creating a protective bubble around the planet and trapping heat within the greenhouse envelope, resulting in mild winters at the equator.

The oceans of the planet tend to naturally be a little on the acidic side, but these algal blooms create a strata of more neutral water at the planet's surface.

Planet = battery
The deepest parts of the oceans on the planet stay very slightly acidic. The slow rotation of the planet means that this more acidic layer of the ocean is not disrupted too much, and there are clear stratas to the water.

The deep ocean is not so acidic that you couldn't safely drink it, but on a planetary scale, that amount of gently acidic water eating into the plentiful nickel deposits of Aurata creates an electric charge. This means that the planet itself functions as a natural battery, providing a near endless source of power for those that can delve deep enough to tap it. This property is likely what attracted many of the colony ships.

The planet has some natural method of storing this power in many places (something to do with geodes???) However, current runs through the deep ocean, and as such many sea creatures can survive lightning strikes. Perhaps they have highly conductive scales so it passes right through them.

Some creatures use the magnetic fields of other creatures to navigate and hunt. Many sea creatures, even in shallow areas, do not rely much on vision because of the low charge given off by so much sea life.

Camoflauge from this sense for sea creatures includes: methods of discharging your charge more efficiently, or being magnetically neutral.


Natural Disasters
Here are some natural disasters a planet of this description might uniquely have, which GMs might enjoy throwing in to their plots when they run games on Auruta90DX!

Vicious thunderstorms
The fact that most of the surface is water creates a large amount of evaporation, especially with the weeks-long days that the planet experiences. With the battery-core to the planet and the huge amount of evaporation, the planet is prone to vicious thunderstorms.

The largest land-mass has an arc tower built on it which harvests energy from clouds, but also helps to channel lightning strikes away from colonies nearby and makes life for settlers a little more possible. It's not just a stick into the air, it has massive tree-like vanes branching for miles and miles in every direction.

Triple winter
Triple winter; moving away from the sun; tilted away from sun, even colder on that part of the planet; oceans freeze, so no more algea, which means lower greenhouse gases so heat more readily escapes. When all three of these circumstances line up at once, it can result in EXTREME winters.

"Nuclear" hurricanes
When the planet is at its periapsis, tilted towards the star, the closest point of the planet to the star functions like a magnifying glass to create a hot spot where the ocean evaporates at such a rate as to make the air shimmer in clouds of steam. This has the dual effect of increasing the salinity of the ocean and due to water displacement, creating currents that flow from all parts of the world. Because of the speed of this evaporation, a low pressure area is created in the atmosphere at sea level. This effect is a natural disaster unique to planets of this type. This could not happen on any other planet. It's a super-hurricane. Creates a mushroom-shaped cloud. because of the slow rotation of the planet, it doesn't form into thunderheads like it would on Earth. Instead, it forms an almost perfect mushroom shape. This effect is more prominent in the super-summer.

High winds
Because there's so little land to create barriers, the surface winds can get much higher than they can on Earth; wind at hundreds of miles an hour.

Sea-geysers
If a pocket of nickel is breached by salt water suddenly, you can get a massive underwater electrical charge that the planet is unable to store. Much like lightning striking the ocean on earth, what would be visible from the surface of the ocean would be a sudden geyser of steam surrounded by a massive explosion.


This has been an enormous idea dump, but I see a ton of ways to link it to the other ideas already in this thread. Will try to continue on after dinner. :D Thanks for the incredible creativity and inspirations everyone!
I've been thinking about a few ideas, and I have one for a group of settlers on the planet/alien species: Selenoids.

Etymology: 'Selene' is known as the goddess of the moon in some versions of Greek mythology, and literally means 'moon.' 'Oid' is a Greek suffix meaning 'resemble' or 'like'. Essentially, the name 'Selenoid' translates to 'moon like' or 'resembling the moon.'

Obviously, this species would be related to the moon and night. They are a nocturnal species, sleeping during the day and primarily active at night. They've been on the planet for quite some time now, and certainly can't be considered a new group of settlers. Due to this, they have adapted a bit to life on Auruta 90DX, specifically climate and weather.

They'd inhabite the colder, darker side of the planet, straying away from places where light is more prominent. They've adapted overtime to the cold, though early settlers struggled with the tempuratures. Of course, this is all due to the species being nocturnal, forcing them to seek darker places to take up residence.

Their eyes have extremely wide pupils, and a film over the eye that allows them to see and adapt easily to dark areas. Due to the pupil size, bright lights (especially sunlight) cam damage the eyes, possibly permanently. This makes venturing in bright daylight almost dangerous for them.

Selenoids appear almost human-like in physique, though many elements stand out. Their eyes, for one, with extremely diulated pupils and a bright colored ring around the edge, varying in color. Their skin also appears to have a metallic sheen to it, often silvery but ranging through various metallic colors (such as copper, gold, etc.) These appears to be the natural skin tones of the species. Another thing that stands out is the hair. It is not uncommon to see longer hair in both men and woman, in fact shorter hair is rather rare. This is due to the cold climate they have taken up residence in.

Birth marks and beauty marks, or something resembling them, are possible to be found on selenoids.
They range in shape and size, though if a selenoid has them they usually have many in a deep bronze color or silver, depending on the skin tone of the individual.

A selenoid's lifespan is shorter than that of an average human, lasting approximatly 30 - 40 years. Due to this short life span, the species is a rather innovative one. They love making new discoveries and finding adventures. They tend to lead fast paced, no regrets life and will often try anything at least once.

The reason for the species coming to Auruta 90DX was to explore and learn. Wanderlust and a thirst for innovation and adventure drove the species to decide to send settlers. It was a new, bright planet flush with resources and strange new phenomenon. This was an enticing promise for the species, and many eagerly signed up to be the first pioneers for their species of the planet. Very few settlers and travelers had arrived before the selenoids, making it much more difficult for them to get a settlement started and keep it going.

Many perished at the first settlement, but through perseverance they established a now sprawling and isolated city of wonder, that awakens once the world is alseep. All otherd that pose no threat are welcome, and their are non-nocturnal species who inhabit and thrive in the city to welcome and greet those that sleep by night and walk by day. Thus, the city is alive and operative perpetually.

Any other ideas to add to the species and their role in the world would be awesome, hopefully they fit well enough :)
Native Fauna

Scientific Name: Serpenti Tedeum

Informal Name: Sky Leviathan

Sky Leviathans are a native species to Auruta 90DX that live almost exclusively in the high sky of the planet. These creatures are similar to serpents in structure, with long and narrow bodies. However, their bodies are different in several ways; particularly, their bodies are bonier, similar to that of an insect’s exoskeleton. Along with it, the body is composed of several dozen long segments that allow the body to freely bend. Each segment (save for the head and tail segment) has four long flap-like appendages and feather-like bristles; two for each side. On its head segment, it possesses no eyes but a very large mouth with no teeth or tongue. The head also has two large antennae that flow freely in the wind.

Sky Leviathans are massive creatures, with the largest individuals having been recorded at about 3 kilometers in length, with a segment thickness of about 100 meters. Despite their territory being in the upper sky, they are easily visible overhead. They will often be found in small family units. While the sky is not typically crowded with them, it is uncommon to not be able to see at least one in the sky at any given point.

Because of the lower gravity, high winds, and their biology, Sky Leviathans are capable of remaining in the upper sky indefinitely, even when sleeping. They will spend their entire life in the air, only rarely coming down to take in big mouthfuls of water every so often. Their wings allow them to glide through the air with minimal effort.

It is currently unknown what Sky Leviathans eat. They are certainly not carnivorous and they don’t appear to be herbivorous (they only come down to drink). It has been theorized that they may simply subsist off of sunlight or some other natural phenomenon, but none of it has been observed or tested.

Sky Leviathans rely exclusively on electromagnetic sonar to navigate through the sky. This relies heavily on their antennae, and one with a damaged antennae will have their ability to fly hindered. It is also this same sensation that allows them to either travel to rain storms or avoid thunderstorms/hurricanes. In fact, a Sky Leviathan quickly moving out of an area can indicate that a terrible storm is approaching.

In spite of their tremendous size, Sky Leviathans are docile. They do not directly attack other organisms, as they’re used to other creatures on the planet not being able to harm them. There are only two times a Sky Leviathan can pose a serious risk. The first is when they are coming down for water. A thirsty Sky Leviathan’s open maw shoveling in water as it flies along the surface has been a creature’s doom on several occasions. The other risk is when a Sky Leviathan dies, as the corpse falls from the sky. It is, again, rare for this to happen; most Sky Leviathan die above open water and simply collapse into the sea below.

Sky Leviathans are believed to be extraordinarily long lived. Because of their altitude, it is difficult to track and age individual specimens, but casual observation has seen the same Sky Leviathans in areas, often times for generations. No Sky Leviathan has been observed from birth to death so far.

As noted above, when a Sky Leviathan does die, it collapses to the surface. In spite of their sheer size, a Sky Leviathan falling to the surface will not result in a violent crash. Being directly under one when it hits will be deadly, of course, but the landing will not result in a significant impact. This implies they’re lighter than they appear, which makes sense given that they can stay afloat indefinitely.

Similar to how whale corpses can create a miniature ecosystem, Sky Leviathan corpses will draw in their own ecosystem. The segmented exoskeletons are not as thick and tough as they appear, and can often be hollowed out. Curiously, though, there are not notable organs inside save for flesh similar to muscles, as well as a very simple digestive system for the water they intake. The meat, while bland and thin, could feed a population for quite some time.

Because of the odds of landing, being able to see the head of a Sky Leviathan corpse is extremely rare. Those that were found and survived long enough to be dissected have yielded more interesting results. Even in the head, Sky Leviathans do not possess a significant nervous system, much less a complex. There is a mass of nerves in each segment, but humans would be inclined to compare the tremendous creatures to armored flying earthworms; these creatures have clearly not relied on intelligence to survive. The antennae, however, would be of great interest. These sections store a significant amount of electric currents; if utilized correctly, it could be used as a very reliable power supply.
Kim Site Admin

Throwing in a bit of detail on the algal blooms I detailed in my last post. :D

Scientific name: Aestasphyta (Aestas= Summer)(Phyta = Algae)
Common names: Chokebloom, Gaspcloud, "The Fizz"

There are many different varieties of this algae. The most common variety is red in color, but green and greeny-blue variants also exist. The vast majority of aestasphyta species are edible and provide a wide range of nutrients, including protein. However, it tends to be extremely bland and if not carefully processed, tends to take on a rubbery or gel-like texture in recipes.

Some colonists call it "The Fizz" because of the way the sea bubbles when this algea grows in high concentrations. Others call it Chokebloom or Gaspcloud because of the highly efficient way it converts oxygen to carbon dioxide, making it difficult for most colonizing species to breathe around it.

Small amounts are used in scientific labs where a low oxygen content is required as CO2 displaces oxygen present in an atmosphere. It has even been considered as a natural fire suppressant additive to water.
Kim Site Admin

Visualization of average global temperatures on the predominantly light side of the planet during different seasons, and relative season duration

averageglobal.png
Kim Site Admin

The Zkirax
(zz-kear-ax)

Basic description
This insectoid race originally came from a world with low gravity, much like Auruta's. Their spindly bodies are elongated and covered in a hard, segmented carapace. Picture a Wandering Violin Mantis.

They have six legs, each of which ends in a tiny three-fingered "hand." Their two back legs are larger and stronger than the other four, and they use them to kick-off and jump longer distances in the low gravity. The two front-most "legs" are longer than the others, and each of the fingers on the front arms are tipped with a long talon.

Their life cycle contains 3 highly distinct phases, with different social rules and behaviors. Over the course of their life time, they go from being feral, barely sentient little marauders to increasingly "cultured" and intellectual beings who are ever more devoid of hormonal drives.

They are masters of camouflage in natural environments, using mud, leaves, and other found items to blend in, and are capable of moving very stealthily. They can even stand still for hours if necessary until their prey (or an enemy) walks past, at which point they strike with lightning speed. They prefer sneak-attacks to direct confrontations.

The Zkirax like climbing, and much of their architecture involves elaborate latticework.

Their carapace makes them highly resistant to piercing or slashing attacks, but their spindly bodies make them vulnerable to crushing damage.

They prefer the more temperate zones on the light side of the planet, and that is where most of their colonies are found.

Most Zkirax do not make it to their "teen" years, but if they do, their average life span is then 70 years.

Adult Zkirax are about 5 feet tall.

Diet
They are carnivorous, and prefer a diet of bird-meat above all other kinds of meat, though anything with small and delicate bones also rates highly enough.

Cannibalism can happen when there is not enough food, and is considered an unfortunate but morally permissible necessity in times of starvation, especially in the nymph life stage. In adulthood, it is very rare that even starving Zkirax attack each other; they seem to have a certain sense of self-sacrifice and one older individual in the group will generally volunteer to lay down its life for the others.

Life cycle
Stage 1- nymphs in exile
Zkirax lay their eggs in special facilities built at the edge of the colony. Nymph Zkirax are able to see and walk moments after hatching, and within a few days, are able to begin using and honing their natural abilities to hunt flying prey and camouflage.

They understand the basic body language portion of the Zkirax language at hatching, and are ready for some basic schooling within a few weeks.

Nymphs do not have the hard carapace that adults do, and are physically weak and vulnerable.

Nevertheless, nymphs are independent and essentially feral, chafing at having to spend any time in proximity to other Zkirax and sometimes becoming violent in their quest for personal space and independence.

Within a week of hatching, adult attendants outfit the nymphs with some basic supplies, and turn them out of the colony to care for themselves. The nymphs are eager to go. Crucially, among their first supplies is a "game" unit that teaches the basic curriculum the Zkirax value in their colony-members; it gamifies the lessons and rewards nymphs for successfully completing lessons with treats designed to be irresistible to the young. The lessons grow progressively more advanced over time, and in the final stages, contain essentially randomized "specializations." The curriculum units detect their students through facial recognition, so even if a nymph were to obtain or share another nymph's unit, they would be graded and advanced individually.

The majority of Zkirax do not survive their first year outside the colony, and many more will be lost in the following years. They are still young, small and weak, despite their brimming over-confidence. This is a wild and heady time in the life cycle of the Zkirax, when hormones drive them to make a wide assortment of bull-headed mistakes, and despite the curriculum units, a large amount of learning about the world around them is done through trial and error. On Auruta, temperature extremes take a heavy toll on Zkirax nymphs, and those that survive the weather are a favored source of food for Deinocanis.

Around five years of age, Zkirax begin to grow their first carapace, and their odds of survival past this point increase with every passing year.

Over time, nymphs begin to tolerate the company of their own kind again. During this period, usually from about 8-12 years old, they are quasi-colony members, living on the outskirts of the colony. The colony extends a certain amount of care and resources toward their upkeep, and they are often a first line of defense for the colony should it be threatened, as they are still full of youthful hormones that make them quite willing to fight intruders and less fearful of death than anyone who is fully rationally thinking.

Stage 2 - Returning as young adults
From 18-22, Zkirax reach their final adult form, and have left their rambunctious days behind. They feel ready to leave behind the thrills of adventure and near-death scrapes for society, comforts and intellectual pursuits. At this point, they are now ready to return to the colony as full members. Usually, this is their colony of origin, though sometimes circumstances will dictate joining a new one.

During this stage, they are housed inside of the colony in co-ed dormitories, and the colony hosts a wide range of social events and advanced group classes in specialized skills. However, education is voluntary during this stage, and the emphasis is heavily on the social aspects of working together. Indeed, the jam-packed event schedule is really just social "mixers" of every kind -- the entire purpose of this stage is for individuals to identify others with whom they get along, communicate well, and share interests; in other words, your best friends for life.

It is also during these years that nearly the entire reproductive cycle of the Zkirax takes place. See "reproduction" and "cultural standards of beauty" below for more on that.

Stage 3 - Forming the "Clasp"
As Zkirax identify their favored social peers, they form "family" groups of 8 - 12 individuals, called a "clasp." Clasps can grow as large as 30 members, though this is rare. Clasps leave the dormitories and live together for the rest of their lives.

Individuals in a clasp are not usually blood-related, and a clasp is instead chosen family.

For a human analog, imagine if a devoted hobby group that were all passionate about a specific topic and got along famously - let's say a tabletop group for this example - decided to pledge loyalty to one another, move in together, and behave as if they were all one family.

Once a clasp has been formed, most Zkirax have limited contact with individuals outside of their own clasp by choice; these are their favorite people, carefully chosen. This does not mean that clasps are hostile to one another, and indeed, they can and do work together on occasion. However, much like a human family can live in a house next door to a neighbor without ever spending social time with that neighbor, clasps often don't feel the need to socialize outside of themselves.

Clasps work and play together, and often, individuals within the clasp will have complimentary skills to one another. This streamlined ability to work together means that many clasps also represent small businesses, research labs, ranches; any enterprise that requires a number of individuals to work together. They then trade their output with other clasps, or are cared for by the colony if they produce a "knowledge" product that can not be directly traded but contribute to the overall survival of the colony. Clasps lend themselves to specialization, and are the source of engineering or science breakthroughs.

Most Zkirax stay within their first clasp for their entire lives. Most clasps do not add additional members unless one of the original members has died, and doing so is a difficult process, as all members of the clasp will need to agree that the new member is a person with whom they wish to spend all their time for the rest of their lives.

Reproduction
Zkirax females only need to mate once in their lives. Afterward, they can store the same genetic material to fertilize every clutch of eggs she will lay from then on. This means that picking her one-time mate is VERY important, and may even involve an interview process and trial tasks. Many colonies impose match-making on their returning youngsters. The mated pair may or may not bother to keep in touch after this "transaction" has been completed. An adult female can lay a clutch of up to 40 eggs every 3-5 years for the rest of her life.

Romantic relationships among the Zkirax are uncommon, and indeed, most members of the species do not recognize romantic love as a feeling they can have. The species has a large number of individuals who identify as asexual for most of their lives, especially after they have been an adult for a few years. When the concept is explained to them by other species, they generally also identify as "aromantic" as well.

However, during the phase of life from 18-22, many individuals briefly find themselves intensely interested in courtship and courtship rituals.

Cultural standards of beauty
For most of the year, the Zkirax tend toward dull colors, but at the height of summer the males begin to turn shades of patterned violet and teal. During the super-summer, which gets hotter than they ever evolved to expect on their original planet, the males sometimes become so hyper-pigmented that they suffer mineral deficiencies as their bodies divert extra material to their carapace. This color-changing continues throughout their adult lives, though it's largely vestigial once they have chosen a clasp and lost interest in courtship.

Although a bright and colorful carapace was part of their evolutionary mating practice, Auruta has created some strange cultural pressures; so much wild-life on Auruta is colorful, even phosphorescent, that the Auruta colonies of Zkirax have come to view bright coloring as being "animalistic," and associate dull colors with intellect and culture. This being a colony that depends on its scientists to keep it safe and thriving, intellectualism is now considered a highly desirable social trait. This has driven a hundred year trend toward a modesty culture that has popularized drab-colored make-up. This started with just the males during summer, but now even females can be seen daubing on matte beige in an effort to look as refined as possible. This is done especially for social capital and respectability, not just being "attractive" in the sense of attracting a mate.

Day to day social structure
Clasps are considered the most important social structure and each individual is thought to have first loyalty to its clasp. A Zkirax colony may be made up of hundreds or even thousands of clasps.

Loyalty to the colony is a close second in importance. Different colonies can take on different cultural flavors and values over time, leading to some nationalistic effect.

Colonies also maintain guilds and trade organizations, where clasps or clasp members with similar interests can interact and coordinate projects together.

Governance and law
Each clasp chooses one representative that will speak for it at council meetings. In larger colonies, each of the councils will then choose a representative to speak for it at a super-council. Most governing is done by consensus, but a vote of the super-council is binding law.

Particularly divisive decisions may see the literal splitting of a colony, with those clasps that disagree with a new policy leaving to start a new colony. This type of split is very rare, and the disagreement to cause it would have to be severe.

Each clasp is expected to police its own. A clasp that contains a repeat offender that causes harm to individuals outside of its home clasp is considered to not be capable of policing itself, and the entire clasp is then punished as one, often through exile from the colony. This threat of harming all of your best friends and chosen family is often enough to keep crime exceedingly low, and when this norm is violated, clasps are often draconic in their punishments toward their offending members. After all, the offender has betrayed the entire clasp's trust and endangered all its members.

Language
In adulthood, the Zkirax place a high premium on effective and deeply meaningful communication. They have a large vocabulary devoted to describing feelings and the processing thereof. Lying to other members of your clasp is seen as a deep shame not for the liar, but for those being lied to, as it is culturally assumed that the clasp members must not be being supportive enough to be viewed as safe to be honest with.

The Zkirax language can be spoken with only vocalizations, but to give full meaning and context, it is properly combined with body posture and antennae position. For specially emotional conversations, antennae touching may be involved. Humanoid translators find they need to employ "prosthetic" additional legs and antennae in order to give their words full richness. It is hard for "out of context" misunderstandings to happen when all the elements are being properly utilized. For this reason, the Zkirax dislike audio-only communications and can find conversing with other species frustrating and fraught with misunderstandings.

Religion and philosophy
Much like romance appears to the Zkirax to be a confusing and unnecessary annoyance, the Zkirax just don't seem to need or want gods. They never developed any, and generally maintain respectful silence when the concept is explained to them by other colonists. Attempts to convert them are met with polite brush-offs, subject changes, or direct questions about how one can maintain a close relationship with a Clasp-Member who can never be directly seen, or, worse, never antennae-touched?

Instead, much of Zkirax philosophy, art and culture is based on the elevation of groups of friends. The highest purpose in life is thought to be emotionally and mentally supporting and elevating the other members of your clasp, as well as providing physical support for basic needs, so that together your clasp can reach its full potential.

The Zkirax tend to hold very practical and utilitarian beliefs about resource usage and decision-making. But once basic survival needs have been met, individuals are encouraged to work on artistic or research projects -- particularly well-off clasps may involve every individual to collaborate on a single artistic pursuit from time to time. Slow-moving dances, sculpture and elaborate metal engravings are popular pursuits, and such pieces may be used to represent their clasp to other clasps.

Some Zkiraks view life not as inherently valuable on its own, but of extreme importance in relation to the clasp.

How they came to be on Auruta
The Zkirax homeworld long ago built a colony ship, filled with basic supplies, curriculum units, and hundreds of thousands of eggs held in stasis - there are no hatched Zkirax on this ship at all. All maintenance is done with robots and ship AI. This ship travels from solar system to solar system, depositing eggs, supplies and curriculum units on planets within certain parameters that make survival a possibility. The ship then immediately moves on without waiting to see how the results. Again, the Zkirax do not begin to value life until that life has survived to adulthood and becomes capable of showing full personhood.

Even if only some of these colonies survive, they have accomplished their goal of assuring the long-term survival of their species.

There are two Zkirax colonies currently present on Auruta. The first contains about 2500 individuals. The second contains only 400 individuals. They prefer larger landmasses for their colonies as opposed to small islands, given the drive for nymphs to roam away from colonies.

Although they have the blueprints for space craft in the databases left with them, as yet the Auruta-based Zkirax have not seen fit to invest the resources in a space program.

Ideas for adventuring Zkirax
Some clasps choose to specialize in adventuring/exploring together, and so maintain only extremely loose association to any colony at all.

An adult Zkirax that has lost most or all of its clasp, or that has been evicted from its colony, will occasionally attempt to form a make-shift clasp with colonists of other species. This is one way that adult Zkirax end up in mixed species adventuring groups. Despite being deadly in a fight, they may often gravitate to a caretaking/protective role for the other group members.

Occasionally, a clasp may decide to specialize in import/export, and one clasp member may become the designated trader that interacts with not just other clasps, but entirely different species and cultures.

Advantages on Auruta
  • Well-adapted to the low-gravity environment.
  • Zkirax clasps working together excel at teamwork, essentially giving each other massive bonuses to actions undertaken.
  • Despite their "cultured" adulthood, every Zkirax that survived to adulthood made it there by gaining a deep understanding of survivalism in the wild.
Disadvantages on Auruta
  • They do not tolerate cold very well, and struggle during winter. Most colonies shut down completely for super winter and hunker down as best they can. All travel and work comes to a halt.
  • Their "independent" phase of life where they do not wish to be part of a colony, combined with the extremes present on Auruta, means that a much higher portion of their young do not make it to adulthood than on their home world. Therefore, their Auruta-based colonies grow slowly.
  • The Zkirax's life cycle causes them to devalue children, mainly placing the value of life with adults. This view often extends to callousness and neglect toward the children of other races, who find this attitude extremely alarming. Rumors about Zkirax eating children take root in other cultures, fueling biases and conflict.
Native Fauna/Unexplained Phenomenon:

Offere Spatium (or literally Space Goo)

Covering the icy sheets of the night side of Auruta90DX is a teal jelly-like substance that can cover significantly large areas. While adhesive to itself, it is not terribly sticky; it often feels more like slime or paste. While not able to have significantly studied yet (often due to the harshness that is the night side), it is speculated that this is not some inanimate geology but a living organism.

Specifically, it is a clonal colony of microorganisms. Specifically, they are similar to bacteria in some ways. However, there is one key difference that sets it apart from bacteria; its seeming ability to survive without any sunlight at all. Researchers on the planet have been baffled, but it seems to only need the icy water to survive the extreme conditions.

Because of these low survival conditions, Space Goo is actually quite abundant on the night side. This is important because it serves as the bottom of the food chain for many fauna on the opposite end. Without it, there would likely be no life at all on the night side.

There is still much to learn about this strange substance, there is no detriment to it… even if there is quite a bit of it...

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