Skellium was found by mistake, or as some would call it, a statistically impossible stroke of luck. The planet was picked up by one of the last non-faulty scanners on the Dorchester. Supportive of life by the cool blue star believed to be a giant star of Earth’s constellation Virgo, faulty calculations may have pushed us beyond our own Galaxy’s realm of known Earth records. Currently unexplored, Skellium possesses two bright moons. Talbut circles in a near orbit and appears blood red, possibly due to high iron content. Retrograde is a silvery moon and appears to be chasing Talbut across the sky. Combined, the two moons paint the nighttime landscape a dangerous picture.
Due to the planet’s size and distance from the star sustaining its life, rather than an Earth cycle of 365 days in an orbit, 4 seasons, and a 24-hour day, Skellium seems to function at approximately a 300-day year with a slightly longer, 30-hour day-night cycle with milder seasons. These seasons changed between a cool rainy season, one in which the Landing occurred, to humid and warm before melding into a hot dry summer. The wet season cycles after the summer with each season lasting approximately 75 days.
These mild seasons and abundant plant-life appear to contribute to a consistent green haze that envelops the planet, similar to a mild fog, throughout its days and nights as well as each season. Heavier in the rainy seasons and clearer in the heat, this is a constant inconvenience that humans have adapted to. It is unknown what the green haze is entirely other than a nuisance. However, it does dissipate at nighttime, revealing the crimson glow of Talbut.
While these milder seasons seem to contribute to the planet’s strange fog, the seasons themselves may be due to the planet’s geography of low sloping hills and abundance of jungle-like fauna and trees. From what has been explored, high mountainous regions and huge bodies of water are nonexistent. Clarity scientists have determined that there are various underground lakes and rivers that we have yet to tap into. These unseen wells continue to support the abundant plant and animal-life.
Thus far, Skellium appears uninhabited by intelligent humanoid life other than the humans that arrived via the Dorchester. Various animals, including both vertebrates and invertebrates, resemble Earth’s animals in types. Minimal mammal and primate life appears to exist on this world within the areas explored, as well as evidence of some marsupials. Reptilian, amphibian-like creatures are in great quantity. Some as small as the Gleekos are sold in many of Macedon’s marketplaces while others such as the aquatic Selkies in the lake are hunted for their meat and hides.
Despite the dangerous creatures known and unknown on Skellium, the plant-life has always appeared more threatening. Stories have been told and witnessed of Ghom trees silently lifting their roots to entangle anyone who gets too close. It is unknown if this is a defense mechanism or the way the Ghom trees hunt. Other carnivorous plants exist, include the felbell flowers, which are mainly desired for their perfume on the open market and their poisonous venom in the underground market. While felbell flowers are dangerous, few have survived encounters with the larger mobile plants such as the Lilac Dandy. Avoid at all costs.
Though there are many dangers, some of the fauna and plant-life have proven to be useful in creating serums for healing common ailments, or even to sustain life as a food source harvested for the colony. Where some harvest the plants for the healing and productive nature of Skellium’s ecosystem, there are others that have harvested plants for more nefarious reasons, sometimes discovering poisons and drugs. These experiments and discoveries often lead to fatalities among the lesser experienced. Clarity, Inc., in particular, has delved into the research of these various plants, leading to discoveries such as eco-steel and newly-developed greenhouses for the colony’s food sources.
Some of the plants have even become traditional dishes during holidays on Skellium such as the bitter gulroots and ruvas nuts roasted with herbs. Even the sweet plumas are tasty syrupy treats for little ones on a warm day.
Despite being cleared out and cut down by inhabitants of Macedon, the plant life can quickly regenerate and grow. One botanist discovered that a severed sliver of a tree branch placed within inches of soil on the planet’s surface would re-attach itself in seconds, instantaneously creating new growth. This miraculous feature of the plant-life is being tested and harvested as we speak to potentially sustain humans in the new greenhouses for months, if not longer, based on production and flowering time of the fruit and vegetable.
Much of the animal and plant-life is unknown as emancipated factions from Macedon may be more familiar with animal and plant-life residing further outside Macedon’s imposing walls.
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