Melladdin, the White Pearl
Mean Distance from Oma: 9,004 WA
Orbital Period around Oma: 429 years
Mean Diameter: 31,320 miles
Length of day: 17 hours
Gravity: 8.8 Ethems
Melladdin is the third of Oma’s Very Far Fekxtah. It is a world entirely shrouded by white and pink clouds. If you were to view this planet from space, it would gleam a soft white, as a white pearl might, and thus the name.
The cloud cover is many miles deep but does not extend all the way to the surface of Melladdin. Below the clouds is a world teeming with life. A huge variety of plants populate the world from its lowest depths up to and inside of the thick cloud layer. In addition to its plant life, Melladdin has millions of species of insects and an even larger number of sludge-like creatures that are made from a single cell, though there are instances of where cells have learned to attach themselves to each other to create populations of attached cells. The one life form that is noticeably absent is any kind of animal life or creatures such as we have here on Ethem.
The climate of Melladdin is perfectly suited to sustain the life it bears; it is hot and wet, hotter than the hottest of tropical environments here on our own Ethem, but not so hot that it prevented the Elzheni scientists from wandering the lands and oceans.
There are two factors which contribute to the heat of Melladdin. The first is the thick cloud cover. It ensures that the heat generated by the planet remains on the planet. The second factor is Melladdin’s ultra-hot core that radiates tremendous amounts of heat into the surrounding layers of the planet as well as its surface. The Gollanir scientists were unable to explain why Melladdin’s core was so unusually hot. When the Elzheni scientists tried to explore the Fekxtah to explain the anomaly, their efforts were immediately stopped by the Gollani. The Elzheni were highly suspicious of the Gollanir’s odd behavior; however, they did not pursue the endeavor as they wanted to ensure relations between the two civilizations remain healthy. There is, however, a story in the ancient texts that claim the Gollanir scientists knew the answer to this question, and did not want the Elzheni to discover their secret. There are rumors that the detailed story of this interaction (and a possible trip to the center of this planet) is contained one of the ancient books, but that this book was lost long ago. Current scholars are highly skeptical that the books is lost, but only our Heolas mayam colleagues know for certain.
As we have stated so many times before, there is not sufficient space in this tome to capture the complete picture of this Fekxtah and the vast variety of life that populates it. We will however, briefly describe below several of its most interesting life forms.
Interesting Life Form #1: The Fross
The Fross are enormous plants. They are the largest life form on Melladdin and one of the largest throughout all of Oma’s Family. Their roots begin at the bottoms of Melladdin’s oceans, where they attach themselves firmly to their rocky floors. From there they rise up through the waters, then through Melladdin’s atmosphere, and they finally pierce the layer of clouds that enclose the planet. The ancient texts claim that the Fross also found anchors for themselves in the cloud layer itself. It was unclear to the ancient Elzheni how they attained this seemingly impossible (unnatural?) feat; however, it was believed that there are Energetic anomalies that are a part of the cloud layer and that the tip of the Fross massive stem has an affinity with these “Energy Clouds”, with an ability to bond with them so that the Fross are attached there in the sky.
Fross grow quickly in the hot, wet atmosphere. Of course the distance that they grow, from ocean floor up to the sky, is so great that it takes several centuries before they are fully grown. Once a Fross reaches the clouds it may spend several years searching for, and attaching to, one of the Energy Clouds that can serve as their anchor point. The ancient texts say that one of the most beautiful sights on Melladdin is a Fross soon after it has broken the surface of the ocean. Once they stretch a few hundred yards above the ocean surface they “bloom”. This bloom takes the form of enormous flower-petals that extend up the length of the Fross thick stem and stretch out over the waters below. At this time they also display colorful, roughly round seeds that soon drop off into the water to be carried away by the currents and sink to the bottom of the ocean where they will begin again the process of anchoring and growing.
During their lifetime each Fross will serve as a home to millions of Melladdin’s insects and cellular life forms. There are insect burrowers that tunnel deep into the core of a Fross to make a home for themselves and their progeny, often resulting in long networks of tunnels. Other insects make their homes in the Fross lush leaves and others live on the rough exterior of the Fross where they build nests (see Empire of Drell below).
Interesting Life Form #2: Empire of Drell
Most of the most abundant and long-lived of the endless number of insect species on Melladrin are called the Drell. They are also the most aggressive and, so the ancient texts argued, were the dominant insect species on the planet. Each Drell has multiple pairs of fluttering wings, similar to those of dragonflies on our own world. They have large heads with multiple eyes and antennae, and they have a long segmented body comprising multiple hairy abdomen connected by a slim, black filament. The smallest are less than an inch long, but the largest of the Drell can grow to be several yards in length.
These creatures have an intricate social structure that includes an Emperor or Empress (thus the name “Empire of Drell”), a leadership caste, a soldier caste and a variety of castes that are born to perform very specific construction tasks such as those who build their massive nests and fortifications and hunters who constantly forage for food (usually other insects). There are even large groups who have the ability to link themselves together to perform specialized tasks such as transporting large, heavy objects or sustaining themselves underwater for long periods of time. These groups are most prominently displayed in the Drell’s warrior castes who can form vast flights to smother and kill their enemies, often at great cost to themselves.
There are tens of thousands of Drell communities, or Empires, on Melladdin. Each is led by its own Emperor or Empress (or sometimes both) and each has their own distinct customs and caste system, and the texts say their own language or some variant on the common Drell language. The many Empires, though, are very similar in their highly militant nature and their desire for conquest and the domination of other Drell Empires. Because of this there is constant fighting between and among these warring communities that has existed for countless years.
Interesting Life Form #3: The Bee Elzud
We cannot mention interesting life forms on Melladdin and not include the Bee Elzud. These plants are similar to the fungi of our world. They appear in different forms in different places and under different conditions. At times they are a lush, soft moss that covers large stretches of earth or even the hard stone that comprise much of the dry surface of this planet. At other times, they are soft stems protruding a few inches above their mossy floor, and then there are the magnificent, complicated, twisting filaments that weave their way several yards. Each soft tendril contorts itself around the others that surround it, and often around other plants or hills that stand in their way. Some of the chaotic structures created by the Bee Elzud have spanned hundreds of yards from the top of one hill to another prominence, and then spurs will reach out from these.
This abundant plant provides a home to many insects and to other plants, including flowering varieties that layer a cornucopia of color across the otherwise consistent tans and light brown of the Bee Elzud. Though their intricate structures are soft and light but are also surprisingly strong; able to withstand the fierce winds that frequently range across the largely flat surface of Melladdin. However, from time to time, powerful hurricane-like storms rage across the planet upending everything in their path. The Bee Elzud structures will succumb to these angry winds, but, over time, rebuild themselves to re-occupy the territory that they had once dominated.
Fekxtah Station #14 (Gollanir Outpost #1209):
The Gollanir scientists had many outposts on Melladdin. This included places on Melladdin’s surface, high in its cloud cover, and deep under its oceans. They shared many outposts with the Elzheni, though not all. They also gave the Elzheni several outposts to be used entirely on their own for their own purposes. The ancient texts claim only one of these as the Fekxtah Station for Melladdin. Some current scholars believe this showed the rigidity of Elzheni thinking — one and only one Station for each planet. Others believed that the Elzheni installed their Astronomical Transportation machinery in only one of these outposts and would travel to the others through more conventional (non-astronomical) methods.
Whatever the case may be, this station was large, covering dozen of acres with multiple buildings each connected to the others through a set of underground tunnels.
One of the tomes from the ancient texts that was written near the end of the Elzheni’s existence, referred to an Elzheni “colony” that had made their permanent home in this place on Melladdin and had lived their for several generations at the time of writing. Though this author trusts the integrity of the Elzheni who wrote the ancient texts, that is an unusual position. Most scholars consider this story to be nothing more than an apocryphal tale built on top of a host of other apocryphal tales. We hope that someday we may resolve this dispute with empirical evidence.