Tor, World of Moons and Rings
Mean Distance from Oma: 4,088 WA
Orbital Period around Oma: 296 years
Mean Diameter: 93,408 miles
Length of day: 11.8 hours
Gravity: 14.6 Ethems
Tor is another of Oma’s massive Fekxtah; however, it was better known to the ancient Elzheni as the “World of Moons and Rings” because of the extensive rings that surrounded the planet and its many moons. There are three major rings that surround Tor. Each is unique in its composition and structure. In addition, Tor has hundreds of moons in orbit around its massive bulk. The moons vary greatly in their size and composition, and in their distance from Tor (one moon in particular has an elliptical orbit that brings it very close to Tor several times per year — measured by Ethem’s years). In some ways, it is reasonable to think of this Fekxtah planet as a small solar system of its own rather than simply another of Oma’s planets.
The Elzheni wrote many tomes dedicated to Tor and its system of rings and moons. Interestingly, they state that much of their information was provided by the Gollanir scientists, and that other parts of their understanding came from joint work performed in collaboration with their Gollanir colleagues.
Sadly, we do not have sufficient pages in this book to describe in any detail the world of Tor or the collaboration between the Elzheni of our world and the Gollanir Civilization; however, we can provide a sufficient overview so that those who have greater interest can explore those interests on their own. We encourage these motivated individuals to contact our Guild offices so that we can provide you with the guidance you will need. Our segment of the Guild, the Division for the Study of Fexofamilial Communities and Genealogy (DSFCG), is housed within the Guild Energetic Research Collective’s offices on the Second Tier of Naldrin City. The door is always open.
We will now describe some of the key parts of the Tor planetary system.
The Rings of Tor
The Inner Ring
There was debate among the ancient Elzheni Astronomers as to whether this ring was in fact a true ring or if it was no more than a massive cloud surrounding the planet’s equator.
This ring is a billowing mass of icy shards and clouds of thick gas. It shows itself throughout most of Tor’s year as various shades of blue and white. At times though (due to interactions with Fekxtah Lines of Force) it will shine in bright oranges, reds, and a variety of other colors. This gigantic cloud circles Tor at a speed much greater than the rate at which Tor, itself, revolves. This was a conundrum for the Elzheni Astronomers (and the Gollanir scientists); however, it was a boon for “Ring Watchers” who could stand in one place on the planet and watch the Inner Ring pass swiftly across the sky above them.
The source of the Inner Ring is gas and ice that exits from the tops of extremely tall mountains on Tor. These mountains are called The Spouts or The Spikes. There are hundreds of Spouts that thrust out of Tor’s flat surface, all of them clustered around the equator. The Spouts are steep, cone-like mountains that extend fifty miles or more above Tor’s surface. At the very top of each Spike are large, open vents that constantly spew hot material into outer space. This material is a rich mix of slushy fluids and small shards of dark stone and rock-hard ice. The accumulated ejecta from all The Spikes clings to each other to form the Ring that circles Tor’s middle.
The ring is most notable for the unusual life form that inhabits it. Along with the icy slush that the Spouts of Tor throw into space, there are also small living creatures. These beings have bodies in the shape of hollow tubes no more than a few inches long. Along their smooth, cold bodies they have a thick layer of hair-like appendages that can be extended or contracted at will, and are used to help them navigate the thick clouds of this Ring. These living beings are called Egcells, a name given to them by the Gollanir and adopted by the Elzheni. Egcells are intelligent creatures with an odd form of social interactions. They are creatures that live deep below The Spouts, far below Tor’s surface, in a nutrient-rich, thick briny slush. When they are expelled from their warm, wet homes, they immediately, and frantically, look for some way to survive the brutal cold into which they have been cast, and they seem to have found a way to do that. According to the ancient texts, the Egcell learned to link themselves together in long chains by tying their hairs with each other. By clinging to each other along their sides or at their ends, they have found ways to generate and share the heat needed to survive by funneling warmed moisture through their tubes. They do this by consuming various substances in the Ring that surrounds them. These chains of Egcells can survive for long periods of time and, because of this, the length of their chains can grow to become quite long; hundreds or even thousands of miles in length. When the distant light from Oma strikes them at just the right angle the chains shimmer and swirl. Seen from the surface of Tor they appear as thousands of bands of necklaces or linked jewels constantly twisting, turning, sparkling, and weaving themselves into playful patterns.
The Ring of Broken Moons
The Ring of Broken Moons is Tor’s second ring. It comprises dozens of sub-rings where each band is slightly separated from its neighbors. The contents of each ring are created from the debris of Tor’s more ancient moons that have, over eons, been shattered by collisions with each other or simply from the competing tides of gravity from Tor and other moons.
The result is a ring filled with clumps of rock and ice. Some have assumed strange shapes that are miles long and may still retain the curvature of the moon from which they broke away. Others are as small as boulders or pebbles or even grains of sand.
The ancient texts claim that there are many scientific stations that were built by the Gollanir on some of the larger pieces that make up this ring. They were used for some very specialized scientific experiments, such as attempts (primarily by the Gollantir) to grow plant-life on these barren slabs of stone. The Gollanir had made many attempts over many years without success. It was the Elzheni scientists who finally solved this problem for them, allowing a very strange plant-life to grow in outer space. If true (and many of our current scholars do not consider this to be at all credible), then it was a truly amazing victory of science!
Finally, this ring contains three tiny moons that are still whole. They are Kempert, Yoodruts, and Sollasha. Each is less than 50 miles in diameter, and, at the time that the ancient texts were written, each was in a process of decay and eventual collapse. Records include observations of long cracks running across much of their surface, cutting deeply into their cores.
Given how old the ancient texts are it is reasonable to conclude that, since that time, one or more of these moons may have already disintegrated their remains becoming a part of one of the bands of detritus — provided, of course, that the Elzheni texts are credible accounts.
The Silent Ring
This ring extends far out from Tor. It is wide and thin and almost invisible. The nearest parts of it begin well beyond the end of the second Ring, and it extends almost half of the distance to Cantoss. It went unnoticed by the Gollanir scientists for thousands of years and was discovered only by accident when they noticed small perturbations while traveling along Lines of Force between Cantos and Tor.
At the time this Ring was little explored. This was due in part to its great distance from Tor, but also because of its ephemeral nature. It seemed at times to be present, and at other times it could not be found. When it was observable by the Elzheni and Gollanir scientists, they found a wide, thin body comprising small, fist-sized stones and a great deal of raw Physic Energy that both bound them together into a ring, but that also pushed them apart sufficiently so that there were great distances between the objects. Most surprisingly the entirety of this Ring was very still. It seemed to revolve around Tor very slowly, almost imperceptibly, and the gravitational fluctuations created by Tor and other planets, Cantoss in particular, seemed to be flattened out, dissipated, by the Ring as if it would not tolerate any disruption to its usual stillness.
The Surface of Tor
Other than the Spikes, Tor’s surface is mostly flat and is made of either jagged, black stones (and small mountains of them here and there) or it is made of unmoving oceans of dense liquid that span thousands of miles across the planet’s skin.
There are two large tomes in the ancient Elzheni writings that talk of Tor’s surface and the composition of the planet beneath. However, sadly, we do not have room here to say more.
Fekxtah Station #13 (Gollanir Outpost #3174):
This is an ancient outpost built by the Gollanir Civilization many millennia ago. It was given to the Elzheni as a gift; a token of their desire to collaborate with the Elzheni.
The Gollanir named this outpost Errin Tair Camma Batassad by the Gollanir, which means “Search for Wisdom in the middle of the Shallow Sea”. The Elzheni, being ever the pragmatists, renamed it to a “Station” and gave it a number.
The station was built at the crown of a small desolate mountain that jutted out of one of Tor’s many shallow oceans. The jagged stone rises several hundred feet above the ocean surface and atop the mountain’s crags is the building itself. It extends several stories above the top of the mountain, but it also reaches far down through and below the mountain and continues deep into Tor’s mantle. The ancient texts say that the lower levels of this Outpost link to many of Tor’s natural tunnels that run just below much of the planet’s surface from one side of the planet to the other.