Adhomai

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The Tajaran homeworld.
Adhomai, the third largest planet in the S'rand'marr system. Homeworld to the Tajara.

Geological Information

Adhomai is the fourth planet from S'rendarr and the home planet of the Tajara. It is a cold and icy world, suffering from almost perpetual snowfall and extremely low temperatures. Adhomai is the only habitable world in its system and is composed mostly of rock and ice, and has a mass one quarter larger than Earth's. Adhomai was discovered in 2414 by a Sol Union funded expedition and has been classified as the third largest planet in its home system of S'rand'marr. Despite its higher mass, the diameter of the planet is only slightly larger than Earths with 13,103 km. This is because the planet has a higher concentration of heavier metals, and therefore a larger density.

Value

Adhomai is prized highly for its rich mineral deposits and the abundance of heavy metal ores located in the planet's crust. Mining, as well as logging and hunting, have traditionally been the most important of Tajaran roles, given that nearly all pre-discovery buildings were constructed using wood and stone with animal fur as insulation. It was not until the involvement of humans, however, that the true potential for mining was discovered. With scanning equipment capable of penetrating down to the planet's core, vast quantities of valuable metals have been discovered and the majority of manual labor finds itself in the mining trade now.

Exports of animal fats and fur have also brought riches to the planet. Tajaran furs are prized for their insulating abilities and certain species of animal have been noted to have 'luxurious, velveteen fur coats' that make good luxury furniture, coats, clothing, and blankets. Because of the nature of their ecosystem, Adhomai also has a monopoly on the exportation of these materials; creatures exported from the planet, unless taken care of under specific and expensive conditions, quickly experience heat stroke and die. This makes the off-planet breeding and selling of these creatures of dubious monetary value.

What it lacks in manufacturing power, Adhomai makes up for in the presence and exporting of raw materials. Given that the Tajaran had only reached the height of their industrial revolution prior to stagnation, they were unable to achieve the level of technology that other species were capable of. While more factories are being upgraded and built to facilitate the cheap construction of important products by untrained workers, Adhomai is valued amongst supercorporations and other high profile individuals because of the abundance of raw resources, which has quickly led to a human-funded expansion of the resource gathering industry.

Raskara (Adhomai's Moon)

The planet of Adhomai has only one moon which is named Raskara. The moon is approximately 36% the size of Adhomai by surface area and is similarly packed with dense metals. However, unlike the planet is revolves around, it lacks an atmosphere, water and it has no tectonic or volcanic activity. The gravitational pull of Raskara on Adhomai creates more severe tidal activity which is largely responsible for the sections of water which are not frozen over by the planet's cold surface. Due to the large gravitational pulls between these celestial bodies, days on Adhomai are shorter than Earth days by nearly 30%. Raskara is confirmed to be in a decaying orbit around Adhomai and astronomers theorize it will collide with the planet in 59,000 years.

Climate

Adhomai is a planet that is characterized by it's harsh winters and barely noticeable summers. Out of all four seasons, winter lasts the longest due to the planet's distance from the system's suns as well as the tilt of the axis. Heavy snowfall is the norm on Adhomai, with uncolonized areas suffering from an overabundance of 'snow drifts', making travel difficult without motorized or animal assistance. The harshest winters and strongest blizzards are found near the poles of the planet, with the warmest weather being found closer to the equator; very few areas on Adhomai are prone to the melting of snow at the height of summer, and most of them are located on the equatorial line.

Most of Adhomai is dominated by temperatures ranging from cold to freezing.

The temperature regularly dips well below the freezing point in human measurements and rarely ever goes over. The lowest temperature ever recorded was a record low of -119 Celsius (-182 Fahrenheit). Though Tajaran are more insulated against the cold and have evolved to handle it, they are by no means immune to its effects. The same can be said of Adhomai's native fauna, though to a lesser extent.

Much of Adhomai's surface in covered in water, and most of the surface is permanently frozen. Large portions of the planet's landmass is graced with high-rising mountain ranges that are comprised of tough minerals, fighting a constant battle with Adhomai's high winds against erosion. The highest peak on Adhomai comes in shy of Olympus Mons by about seventy thousand feet, and the pressure at the peak is too little to survive without special equipment.

Flora & Fauna

Most of the life on Adhomai has evolved to compensate for the extremely cold weather conditions of the snow world . The smallest animal recorded matches the size of a sheep; small animals lose body heat too quickly and would quickly find themselves defeated by Adhomai's low temperatures. The fauna of Adhomai are highly adapted to surviving the freezing cold temperatures they brave, and almost all share similar traits such as elongated tusks, coarse, dense fur, and heavy amounts of blubber. Further, very little animal life is bipedal; rather, to avoid damage from the unforgiving winds, almost all animals have evolved to be quadrapedal. It is thought that at one point in the Tajaran evolution the species was quadrapedal, but how they came to be bipedal has not been explained. Below are some of the more familiar or interesting creatures that inhabit the tundra wastes.

Fauna

Undomesticated Fauna

Mata'ke Rafama (Steed of Mata'ke)

The Mata'ke Rafamas, or steeds of Mata'ke, are large, hairy animals that inhabit the mountains of Central Adhomai. While known to be herbivorous, their name was given to them by the myth of Mata'ke as they're extremely territorial and aggressive. It used to be said that in his mortal life Mata'ke was so strong of a warrior, he could wear armor and wield weapons that no other Tajara could. While the rest of his men would ride into battles and tournaments alike on normal steeds, only these strong, robust animals could carry Mata'ke into battle. Mata'ke Rafamas are also well known for their tusked jowls and buff stature, sometimes growing as large as a Terran sedan, and their tusks as long as three feet outwards. Aside from these tusks, the Ma'take Rafamas also possess thin horns atop their heads that grow around two inches out before sharply pointing forwards.

Hma'trra Zivr (Glacier Worm)
The Tajaran homeworld.
An Adhomian Glacier Worm.

The Hma'trra Zivr are a species of extremely large tube-shaped and segmented worms that inhabit the deep oceans of Adhomai. Their biology is simple, as they possess seemingly no sensory skills and have no eyes, nostrils, or limbs, instead having merely one giant tube-shaped, ring-segmented body that can be as wide as Adhomaian buildings are tall. At the front end of this body is a large, three pointed slit in the front of the worm that opens to reveal a great pit of a mouth that is lined with rows of sharp, ice-cutting teeth. Using this mouth, they break up icebergs and glaciers by digesting them. While terrifying, their niche is extremely important to the ecosystem of Adhomai as they drift in the oceans, swallowing entire glaciers and breaking them up so that the oceans do not freeze over. They are known to be as long as a mile in length and capable of swallowing glaciers their size. Something that terrifies Tajaran sailors is the fact that ships are commonly swallowed by these monstrosities in deep waters. The foundation of the ship is indigestible by the worm's digestive system and the worms are killed as the half-broken down ships tear them open from the inside. The ice prevents their carcasses from rotting, and large half-eaten cadavers have been recorded to wash up on the ice of Tajaran shores, their stomachs swollen with the remains of battle cruisers, which was how this species was first discovered. The largest length so far, of 1.2 miles, comes only from officially documented statistics. In the deeper, barren oceans of Adhomai, much larger 'glacier worms', as the Tajaran name translates, certainly exist.

Ha'rron (Tundra Hound)

The Ha'rron are a carnivorous species of large animals that range in size from a grizzly to an arctotherium, they're common in most regions of Adhomai with varying breeds. These tundra hounds, as their name translates, are canine in appearance, and have agile, digitigrade limbs with large padded claws that both carry them quickly over most terrain and as protect them from roads and ice respectively. Their sharp muzzles and big floppy ears give them a variety of ways to detect prey while hunting, but their real value when hunted by Tajara is their thick pelts and the large tusks jutting from under their jowls. Due to the variety these creatures possess, they can be domesticated with time and care for a variety of purposes and make excellent hunting companions, and larger breeds can even be tamed and ridden.

Njrarir Adar'eira (Ruler Pig Bird)

A species of flightless omnivorous birds discovered recently in the far polar regions of Adhomai previously controlled by the Adhomai Liberation Army. They possess fat, blubbery bodies with flipper like wings that go from just below their head down to their feet, dragging alongside their body in the snow. On average both men and woman stand upright at the height of most Tajara, mostly women or young men, coming at around six feet tall. Discovered by the Adhomai Liberation Army in the deep polar regions of their Capital of Quizosa. This sleek, white, highly statured animal was clumsily named the ruler pig bird after the royal race as it quickly became a common choice of target practice among Liberation Army sharpshooters. None have been officially documented ever since the bombing of Quizosa, but they have been described as being completely white or gray in color, with a single set of small black eyes and an elongated, curved, and red beak that juts from their faces. The Njrarir Adar'eira are said to sleep on their faces to cover their colorful beaks, which are extremely eye-catching and used as trick bait for fish swimming in the arctic waters.

Sham'tyr (Wind Devils)

The Sham'tyr, meaning wind devils, are a terrifying breed of flying creatures often mentioned in Adhomaian folklore as devilish, evil things that snatch small children who wander from home and carry them into the night sky to never be seen again. They look somewhat like imps of legend, with tiny limbs and a snarling, rat-like face. Using their pair of sinewy, bat-like wings, which can range in size up to two times that of their own gangling bodies, these creatures are capable of soaring high above the clouds to avoid Adhomai's blizzards. They are known to use loud, breathless wails that can be heard far below the clouds they soar above. They behave much like vultures, but are known to be carnivorous towards small Tajara, which come in the form of children, only returning to the ground to scavenge and rest for scant amounts of time, perching near the tops of Adhomai's tallest peaks. It's for this reason that they're often seen as bad omens that bring death or terrible weather.

Rrak'narrr (Cave Geist)

One of the most feared wilderness creatures of Adhomai is the Rrak'narrr, whose name roughly translates to something close to both cave and geist. These Rrak'narrr have been documented to inhabit the Northeastern tundra of Adhomai by dwelling in the infamously deep caves that fill the Ha'marr mountain range. Not much is known of the Rrak'narr, aside from their vicious behavior and unimaginable ferocity. They are known to be ravenous, crafty, intelligent, and are even rumored to feel no pain as they tear into their prey fearlessly with no regard to their wounds, giving rise to a superstitious rumor that they regenerate any wounds and are invincible. On the eve of 2450 as the New Kingdom of Adhomai expanded into the far Northeast of the continent of Harr'masir to help carve out a territory to call their own, every expedition sent North was completely lost as each passed a certain point – the valley adjacent to the Ha'marr mountain range. As expendable supplies diminished, one last expedition was sent out with great hesitance to document what must have happened. The infamous Rrak'hadd (spirit hunter) expedition ended once the dismembered remains of previous expedition staff were found scattered along the mountainside of the Ha'marr mountains, trails of blood and viscera leading into the large cave entrances. Convinced that this location was a hidden People's Republic prison center, the entire Rrak'add crew supposedly entered the caverns, hoping to document such war atrocities. Of those that followed these trails into the caves, only a fifth returned. They arrived at the settlement of Barj'ar starved, terrified and freezing, frantically stammering hysterical stories of beasts taller than any Tajara and four times as strong, tearing into and devouring anything that wandered into their vast network of tunnels and caverns. Any future expeditions were abandoned almost immediately along with every promise to colonize the Northeast. Each member of the New Kingdom knows to turn back once they reach the tattered banner of the first expedition, forever staked into the frozen snow of Ha'marr valley.

Domesticated Fauna

Nav'twir (Snow Strider)

For much of Tajaran history, the herbivorous and graceful Nav'twir were the main prey of Tajaran hunters, and still are today in rural areas of the planet. Their meat was nice and hearty and healthy, and the thick furs were good for making clothes to keep themselves warm in the snow. As the modern ages came, the hunting of the 'striders', as their name translates, slowed as the Tajara started to learn how to capture and farm them for their resources more efficiently. That being said, not that the modern day Adhomai needs their resources less thanks to synthetic fabric and more efficient food sources, both the meat and the fur of the nav'twir has become an export of the Adhomai people. In the olden days, carved nav'twir antlers were used as decoration for pelts and armors.

Zhsram (Climbers)

Termed by Tajara scientists as Anerpis hippolupus familiaris; “Climbing Horse-wolf (Domesticated)”. The zhsram is a rideable beast of burden, large enough for one adult rider only but perfectly adapted for the rough terrain on Adhomai. It has shaggy fur, and long legs adapted to picking through snow-drifts and running over ice. Its narrow track left in the snow enables it to move efficiently through treacherous, rocky, icy or narrow terrain with its tiny, sure-footed paws, quite similar to a mountain goat's incredible sure-footing. They can be led and ridden and are quite biddable for a trustworthy owner, and sometimes can be driven before a cart or a sled; they can be harnessed into teams before sleds and can be mushed, as long as they all get along. However, individually they can bear only up to a maximum weight of 300 lbs dragging, 200 lbs ridden. They have a pack mentality, which leads them to submit to a dominant lead matriarch, with the lead patriarch protecting the pack and guiding their movements. They have a horse-like herd structure with a wolf-like family dynamic; they will stay together, the harem of interrelated females and their co-parented whelps under the lead pair.

Khur’miurr Raharr (Nose-Horns)

A domesticated beast of burden used for hitching-and-dragging. They don’t move very efficiently, but they are best for dragging sleds and carts with huge loads up to equal their body weight, around 4,000 lb. They most resemble a woolly, hoofed Paraceratherium that is only the size of a draft horse, with a rhino-like nose horn, and short elephant-esque tusks from the upper jaw, all angled down and outwards. It has many uses domestically, but requires an enormous investment of time and resources to keep. Only wealthy ranchers can afford it, but profit enormously from it. Its ivory and horn are status symbols used in decorative crafts, carvings, and instrument keys; its huge bones, while rarer, are great for building and decorations as well. Raharr have a large, stocky body, with thick short legs, and can be up to 6ft 6in tall at the shoulder with a long horse-like neck and a large head, and large eyes that can see a wide angle as well as forward. Powerful, built for moving through underbrush or snow rather than running over terrain, they are unparalleled long-distance travellers through ice, snow, slush, and hail.

N’hanzafu (Fatshouters)

Termed, “woollers” for their only real practical purpose. They are a cheese & wool producing beast, and are fat-bodied with feet that end in hippo-like toes. They have thick coarse fur all the way down the limbs and between the digits, and over their bodies grows long wool that resists frost and keeps warm while wet. Frequently herded by zhsram. Both its cheese and its meat are rather large time-sinks that require careful management of the herd; but they live in cramped conditions and tolerate it, and flourish when left to snowy pastures in herds of hundreds, and thus are commonly kept by many farms, moreso than raharr. Their diminutive tusks are used for small crafts and trinkets, of a lower quality than other ivories.

Sfahn’nfran (Ice Tunnelers)

An egg producing beast, they are small, fluffy lizard-avians with four limbs and big, mole-like foreclaws used to burrow in ice and snow. They nest there to preserve body heat, and flocking instinct keeps them together for both warmth and protection, from little fluffy chicks to adulthood. Males dig other burrows nearby and try to attract other loners, and form new colonies with loud, shrill whistling calls that can be heard even through snow’s dampening effect and the howling wind. They produce 2-3 large eggs at a time, quite large in proportion to their bodies. They are capable of producing two clutches a week as long as they are well fed, enough to make them chubby.

Yve’kha (Wasps)

Pollinators, a major industrial essential. Capable of eating and digesting extremely hard woody growth, they can digest the hardy evergreens with thick protective fiber over the leaves, stems, etc that grow on Adhomai. They are a paper wasp that give honey and small amounts of wax. They chew woody material and use the pulp to make hives’ exteriors with hollow chambers full of air.

Flora

Plant life, similarly, has evolved to combat the freezing temperatures. Insulated much like their animal cousins, plant cells are reinforced to prevent the water in their systems from freezing and thus kill the plant itself. As Adhomai is distant from the system's sun, less light is needed for photosynthesis and given the rich mineral make up of the planet, there is plenty in the frozen soil to live off of. Non-Tajaran have noted that plants used in Tajaran dishes are exceptionally chewy and tough, almost like a piece of meat.

N’fri-hi (Blizzard Ears)

Flour producing plant that forms a meal which can be dried and stored for a long period of time. A large, meaty, tough fungus with an earthy taste, resembling a more savory jicama. It grows underground with a thick starchy rind, which is peeled off and is not edible raw. The rind dries, and is pounded into flour, which dries to fine meal, and has similar usage to potato flour. The raw peeled lobes can be dried, and ground into a more hearty, coarse meal, used like both cornmeal and whole-wheat flour.

Zhu’hagha Nifs (Dirt Berries)

An above-ground evergreen shrub which grows sweet, starchy legumes underground in thick pods, in a huge profusion. Their nifs grow like peanuts but bear a number of nuts like peas in a pod, typically around 8 thumb-sized nifs in each pod. Their flavor is rich, fatty and savory, and they are used to produce oil. Each pod when matured produces runners that grow out of the soil and extend like strawberry runners, typically around a foot or so, and are woody, hardy vines.

Nm’shaan (Sugar Trees)

Invaluable for sugar production on the planet. A hardy snow-bamboo. They are unique in that on every stem it bears a single spherical fruit at the very top, surrounded by a white woolly rind. Short stems which end in thick-leafed fronds grow along the length of the "trunk", giving it an appearance like Terran bamboo. The stalks tend to be as thick as one's thigh with very hard, protective woody shells around its vulnerable interior. They grow in giant groves like the bamboo forests in on Earth, and can be applied in similar uses.

Binajr-nab'at (Earthen-Root)

The Earthen-Root is a herbaceous plant native to the region of the Northern Harr'masir. The taproot a is a firm, globe shaped blue colored vegetable with no visible soft areas. The herb is highly adapted to the rough and cold climate of the New Kingdom of Adhomai, being able to survive the rigorous winter that other agricultural products can not stand. Being cultivated by farmers in the region since immemorial times, it is considered a symbol of the regional culture of Northern Harr'masir. Common uses for the Earth-Root, besides being used in dishes, include distillation with the purpose of brewing alcoholic beverages, extraction of the blue pigment for the fabrication of dyes and the production of sugar, even if the plant is not efficient as the Nm’shaan, the sugar trees.

Alyad'al S'rendarr (S'rendarr's Hand)

A dark green bush which grows above ground in areas around bodies of water. They are typically found in the equatorial region along the coasts where many bushes grow together, but also are often planted on church properties as well as plantations. These bushes are prolific due to their medicinal fruits which are both eaten and used in salves. Another use which is prolific among Tajara is to dry them out and stuff them in pipes or roll them into cigars for smoking. S'rendarr's hand dominated the markets for smokeables until the introduction of tobacco following contact with humans. Tajara who worship the suns become extremely offended when these plants are placed in rubbish bins or with refuse in general.

Prraza'al Messa (Messa's Tear)

Growing in patches in many places in the Adhomai wilderness, this grassy medicinal herb can also be found on many church properties much like S'rendarr's Hand. These plants grow to heights between 50 and 75 centimeters and are harvested by scythes. The harvested plants can be eaten, but more typically are ground up and used as ointments for burn treatments.