Chayffen, the Planet that was a City
Mean Distance from Oma: 16,200 WA
Orbital Period around Oma: 531 years
Mean Diameter: 102,400 miles
Length of day: N/A hours
Gravity: 4.2 Ethems
Chayffen is the fourth, and outermost, of Oma’s Very Far Fekxtah. Chayffen is the name that is given to this Fekxtah planet, and also to the city which spans the entirety of its surface. It was known to the Elzheni as the “planet that was a City”. The Gollanir called it “the unending house”. Each name was equally apt.
The other notable fact about Chayffen is that it is a frozen world. By that we mean that this world goes far beyond cold. It is wholly without heat, other than what is brought by those who visit. Gollanir believed that at one time the planet Chayffen had been a world of warmth and abundant life. They believed that something, perhaps some ancient being of the wide universe, occupied the core of Chayffen, and that this ancient thing created its own heat, that in turn produced an atmosphere on Chayffen that nurtured a rich abundance and variety of life, including a brilliant race of creatures called the Ultar who built the great city that occupied their planet.
According to the Gollanir (and the Elzheni concur) the ancient Ultar were the first sentient beings to populate any of Oma’s planets or moons, and they appeared long long before any the sentients of our own planet Ethem. In our accounting of the Ages of the World we would mark their beginnings at some time late in the The Fourth Age of the World which was the Age before our own. The Fourth Age of the World was known as the Time of Energies. The Six Energies came into being at the beginning of this time period and the Age ended during the ascendance of the primitive, but powerful, beings known as the “Energy Avatars”, each of which embodied in a living form one, and only one of the Six Energies (Emotion, Mental, Body, Physic, Mystic, and Shadow). If this account of the Ultar is true then it brings into question the veracity of the document we hold so very dear to our science; namely, The History of the Created World. This document, which was written by the ancient Elzheni and came down to us from them through the Heolas race, claims to be a record of all creation since the world began. Current scholars simply do not believe that any contradiction to this tome can be true. Many Guild members, and their powerful leaders, believe that it is nothing less than blasphemy to speak of it. Because of this kind of disapproval (and, we daresay, condemnation), there are very few Guild scholars who are willing to consider this alternative account. They have theorized that the Ultar were a race whose origins were from outside of Oma’s Family, which would imply that there are other (perhaps many) other races and creatures in the distant world of the stars and the Great Universe. To our great disappointment (and the joy of Guild Leaders) these scholars have offered no substantial evidence of this, and so is considered nothing more than pure speculation.
Whatever their origins, the Gollanir spent many years investigating the history of the Ultar since they rose to prominence on the planet Chayffen. According to their accounts the Ultar lived for millennia in peaceful co-existence with the other living things of their home world. They were curious about the world around them and were constantly learning about Oma and her Fekxtah Family, and even about the world beyond Oma. They created devices that allowed them to see clearly the smallest niches of distant planets and even planets and stars far away from Oma. It was said that they could even detect the movements of the Walkers, those creatures who had lived since the beginnings of the Created World and could move to all places in it. In addition, it was believed that the Ultar had created chambers of special material that allowed them to travel inside of Oma herself. These were virtually indestructible vehicles that could withstand not only the immense heat of Oma, but could withstand the Energy storms that constantly thundered throughout its interior.
The Ultar lived in this manner for thousands of millenia when suddenly disaster overtook them. The fire that had burned in the center of Chayffen, the ineffable flame that provided life-giving warmth to Chayffen throughout its long existence, suddenly, without warning, was extinguished. The cause for the catastrophe was never found either by the Gollanir or the Elzheni, but its consequence was indisputable and fatal. When its inner fire died, Chayffen no longer had protection from the cold cruelty of the space that surrounded it. The deep atmosphere quickly dissipated and was soon utterly swept away leaving no air to breathe or warm airs to keep living beings alive. In a matter of months Chayfeen and all of the things that lived on it had died or were frozen in place. Soon after the mass extinction of all of its life the Fekxtah itself died. Bombarded by the cold force of deep space its rotation slowed and, eventually, stopped altogether.
Some scientists speculated that at least some of the Ultar must surely have survived. Perhaps migrating to one or another of Oma’s Fekxtah to start over again. We can only guess, but there is general agreement among current scholars, and the ancient Elzheni, that the catastrophe must have been so immediate and profound that none could have survived.
For many thousands of years Chayffen, the city and the planet, lay desolate; a dead world continuing to circle Oma, but with nothing breaking the stillness and its unchanging cold.
Eventually the Gollanir found their way to the frozen expanse and empty buildings of this world. When they first arrived they were in awe at the enormity of the endless city and the immensity of the structures which populated it. Over time they discovered the libraries of the Ultar. They discovered their name and translated the relics left behind by this ancient, powerful civilization. As the years passed the Gollanir learned more and, as they did, they began to understand the magnificence of the Ultar and the enormity of their tragic extinction.
Eventually the Elzheni joined the Gollanir in their quest to uncover all of the secrets of the Ultar and that mutual effort was mentioned even into the final documents written by the Elzheni before they, themselves, were destroyed.
Fekxtah Station #15:
Shortly after they began inspecting Chayffen the Gollanir established outposts for their investigators. Since many of the structures built by the Ultar were still standing and sturdy, the was no need to build their own homes. They simply selected Ultar buildings that appealed to them and added the necessary accommodations. Many of the outposts were situated in tallest buildings, some of which rose miles above the planet’s surface. From these vantage points the Gollanir could view miles of the cityscape below them or look out far over the oceans. Other outposts were constructed at the surface level of the planet to make expeditions easier, and still others used places that the Ultar had built deep below Chayffen’s surface. Over time the Gollanir refurbished hundreds of structures to serve as outposts.
It was a simple process, when the Elzheni joined them in their explorations, to share some outposts and to give the Elzheni the freedom to construct their own within remaining structures. The ancient texts handed down by the Elzheni tell of three outposts they had created for their own, with others shared with their Gollanir colleagues.