EVAN L. SNYDER

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Evan L. Snyder

THE CLEF OF THE UNIVERSE

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The planet itself

Xale'ja is the sole moon of the fifth planet from the sun, known as Kah'r, in a moderately sized yellow-starred solar system. Xale’ja is slightly larger than earth, but much less dense, because of the proportionally extreme amount of water on the planet. As a result, it has about 70% of the gravity of earth. The planet is mostly ocean, dotted with small islands around the planet. The largest of these islands, about the size of Great Britain, known as the Xale’jan Prīmrix is the technological hub for the planet, and the original of technologically advanced society there. The islands are moderately cool, and the planets surface is covered in permanent semitranslucent "fog" - the composite of the atmosphere. The planet-wide ocean is warmer, but extremely deep and full of creatures far larger than earth's oceans. The Xale’jan ocean is also subject to constant ferocious underwater storms, make the the waters impassable by any kind of boat. As such, travel between islands only became possible after the invention of flight technology. While an unbelievable assortment of creatures inhabit the ocean, the surface word is fairly calm, made up mostly of large-scale funguses and spore-based life, small and mediumsized amphibious creatures, and a few mammals (the largest of which are the Xale'jan's themselves).

Xale'jan physiology  

Despite some evolutionary influence from amphibious morphology in the mammalian genetics, Xale'jans are primarily humanoid in appearance. They have medium blue/green skin that darkens with age, becoming either deep forest green or royal blue by old age. Although recent advances in technology have begun to alter it, the traditional Xale'jan life cycle lasts about 150 planar years (close to 180 earth years). They reach physical maturity at about 30 and, after extensive education, enter the workforce, either on the planet's surface or as part of the Stellar Argosy. Most have careers from then until about 115 years of age, and which point physical signs of aging have begun to show and most retire for the final 30-odd years of life. Xale’jans are multi-sexed creatures, who need a partner to procreate, but any member of the species can serve as either the engenitor (the one who contributes genetic material, but does not carry the child) or the host or orgentrix (the one who carries the infant to term). While Xale’jans often have romantic bonds with others, they view this as separate from the procreation process - Xale’jan children are raised by their host parent and any romantic partners they have, and often only know their engenitor in passing.

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