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Wondering what our new World is like? Look ahead for updates..

Click this link to go to DanachWorld, an info-site on Danach that is well-organized with lots of good information-Kimberly made it!

Intro
 
The planet of Danach is located in the binary star system of Cor Caroli, itself part of the constellation Canes Venatici. The stars themselves are a large dull orange and a smaller, brighter yellow orbiting each other. Their names are Zar and Andial. There are five planets in the system, Danach being the third. The outer two are large gas giants, often visible in the sky of Danach's northern hemisphere, and the inner two are smaller, volcanic planets, totally uninhabitable.

Danach itself is an ocean planet, with scattered chains of volcanic islands across it's surface. Only in the far north, across the north pole is there a single, small continent, harsh, barren and almost totally devoid of life.

The axial tilt of the planet is exactly 90 degrees, with the southern hemisphere facing towards the sun, and the northern one away from it. The equator, therefore, rather than being the warmest place as on most other worlds, is in a state of permanent sunset, with the two suns usually only barely over the horizon.

This also means there are no seasons on Danach, apart from the climatic differences between north and south. There are however fierce tides caused by convection currents flowing north and south between the drastically different temperatures at the two poles.

The tides are made more extreme by the moons on the planet, the number of which has been calculated by various populations and has yet to be confirmed. There are believed to be between six and nine moons, although some reports suggest far more than either of these figures.

Humans are relatively new to Danach, having only arrived in recent times, as prisoners of war. Previous to it's human colonisation, the planet was, and still is, home to a wide variety of other living organisms, of which a few are sentient, or nearly so.

Primary among these are the dragons, the huge creatures that inhabit the lightside, and their darkside counterparts, the semi-intelligent Tabriz. Related to both these species are the dragonflies, also known as dragonchen, and the nathair. More mammalian species include the ryanths, paards and gledogs, and birdlike creatures much like Terran hawks. Danach has a thriving fish and insect population on top of this, although these creatures are somewhat unknown.

Danach has a wide variety of plantlife, depending mostly on the side of the planet on which they grow. The plants of the lightside are much better able to withstand high temperatures, and their primary means of growth is through photosynthesis. On the darkside however, light is less important, as moonlight alone is not enough for survival, and so other methods have evolved, although what these are have yet to be devised.

People
 
Within a Cathair, the ranks are pretty simple.  The lowest rank is the slave, if slavery is present.  The slaves do all the hard labor alongside the work animals.  Servants simply help people of higher rank in the Cathair and serve them.  Next are the candidates, who are there to wait to imprint.  They learn how to be good riders while waiting, and also help with chores and other tasks.  Next are the staff, who take care of the kitchens, animals, and so forth.  Specialists are miscellaneous people such as doctors or healers, nurses, scientists, teachers, vintners, and so on.  They are the Pernese Crafter equivalent.
Those with dragons are the riders, and they are very important and highly honored.  Even more important than the riders are wingseconds, wingleaders or cathairet trainers, Cathairseconds, and Cathairleaders.  These people focus on and maintain the dragon wings or regiments. 
The two people that ride dragons and run the Cathair themselves are the Cathairte, the female leader, and the Cathairix, the male leader.  The Cathairix is picked when his dragon catches the Cathairte's dragon in a chase.
 
The ranks within the Keeps, which are like Houses or Holds, are similar: slave, servant, the children or the unemployed, low-ranking staff (kitchens, etc.), specialists, high-ranking staff (Protectors--guards or army--stewards, etc.), Morair's family and aides/advisors/etc., Morair.  The Morair is the male leader of a Keep.
 
The 'crafts' on Danach are pretty much anything you can think of, including vintner, hawker/aviarist, singer, harper, healer, scientists, and teachers.  Being a low tech world, there are no computers and so on, and Danach has no dolphins.
Although there are 'crafts' of a sort, we don't have Halls for them, as they're considered more of an employment status than anything else.  People are apprenticed to a master who teaches them all they need to know to pursue a specific talent.  Once they finish training, they find a job somewhere, often at a Cathair or as a wandering specialist.

Flora
 
Nrems
Nrems are a fern-like plant that was discovered by the first settlers on the northernmost and southernmost parts of the archipelago. It is present in the colder, yet still sun-lit, islands, and has been found to be quite hardy.

Nrems are "evergreens," in that once they're there, they stay for a heck of a long time. Pulling up the entire plant is practically impossible: it has a long and complex root system that would befit a plant about three times its size. But if you're lucky enough to pull up the entire plant, at the ends of the roots are edible bulbs that contain high amounts of starch, with a slightly sweet taste.

There are several different varieties of Nrems, some of which have yet to be discovered. They are usually classified by the color flower that each variety produces. The known colors include purple, blue, red, and green. The shadings on the flowers range anywhere from very, very light to dark. The shape of the flowers is large and slightly floppy, and each variety has their own unique smell.

The shape of the plant itself is more like a bush, low-growing and thick. They're usually found around freshwater springs and concealed lakes, although certain varieties flourish in dryer areas, such as the red. Fern-like in its appearance.

Fauna
 
Dragons
The dragons on Danach are large, winged creatures, much like the mythical creature of Earth. They have four legs, two wings, and long necks and tails, which characteristically end in either forks or diamonds, depending on individual populations. Because of the large distances between islands, the populations have diverged somewhat from their original form, creating great variety.

The only thing consistent about the dragons, other than their general body form, are the colours in which they come, something common to all populations, as well as all related species as well.

The largest dragons are the female starries, and the male blacks and silvers. All these colours are metallic, although the black isn't always obvious as being such. These dragons are the rarest, and usually the highest ranking because of it.

Starry dragons are usually the main egg layers, being by far the largest. The colour itself is widely variable, from a colour close to a pale silver, almost white, through to a much darker golden colour. There are also bluish shaded, creamy and many other variations of starry, dependant entirely on where the dragon lives. Approximately 10% of the population are starry.

Silver is also highly variable, varying from almost white, through to a darker silver with chromatic undertones, themselves ranging through the whole spectrum. Black dragons tend to be black, in varying degrees. Some are a dark grey, whereas others can be pure black, or have chromatic undertones. Between them, black and silver make up about 10% of the draconic population of Danach.

The medium dragons are the female purples and lavenders, and the male coppers. These are all softly metallic, often seeming to shimmer slightly.

Of all the dragons, the coppers have the widest array of colours, from pure copper, to shades of orange, pink, red, brown and bronze, as well as many areas in between. Some islands of Danach have split copper down into many separate colours. They are the mid-range dragons, balancing speed and stamina. They make up roughly 15% of the population.

Purple and lavender are two very similar colours, the former in a greater variety of shades than the latter, sometimes overlapping a little. Many areas of Danach have merged these two colours as one, while others have kept them as two separate colours, or split them into even more. Purple dragons are literally that, although sometimes with blue, red or pink undertones, and varying widely in shade, from very dark to very light. Lavenders are much like blue toned purples, although have far more blue to their hides. Some are almost lilac in colour, while others are almost viewed as female blues. Purples and lavenders make up about 15% of the population.

The last two colours are the smallest, and by far the fastest. They are agile, and usually playful, although more serious blues and greens have also occurred. The blues are male, and the greens female. These are the most common colours to Imprint riders of opposite genders, although rarely a purple, lavender or copper will as well. Neither blues nor greens are metallic, although there is always the occasional one.

Blues are perhaps slightly larger than the greens, although the difference is often unnoticeable, and present only in some populations. The colour blue is second only to copper in variability, going from very light to very dark, with shades of green, grey and purple in between. Blues comprise of about 25% of the dragon population of Danach.

The green dragons are small and delicate, but so fast and agile they are usually a pleasure to watch. Some greens have golden tints to their hides, while some are more blue in colour, almost turquoise. Once again, the shades vary greatly. Greens, like the blues, make up about a quarter of the population.

Very rarely, or perhaps not so rarely, unusually coloured dragons will occur in clutches. Only recently have humans been present at dragon hatchings, and so they are only just beginning to realise the other colours in which dragons can come. These colours appear to be different in various locations.

After humans began watching dragon hatchings, it was discovered that dragons, like their smaller cousins, the dragonflies, would Imprint onto another lifeform as soon as they were free of the egg. Usually, this was either their mother, or another dragonling from the clutch, although very soon they began Imprinting onto humans present at the hatchings as well.

This Imprintion served a double purpose. The dragons benefited from additional intelligence when bonded to a human, by comparison to those bonded to other dragons, and the humans were able to use the dragons for their own defense, against the Tabriz of the darkside. Only the dragons were large and powerful enough to fight them.

The dragons also helped with other things, labour on farms, and guards for the Keeps, although in general, most of the new dragonriders chose to stick together, living in places that soon became known as Cathairs.

The dragons themselves are able to breathe fire, like the traditional dragon of earth, although just how they do it is still somewhat unknown. No scientist on Danach has yet been able to dissect a dead dragon to find out much of their inner workings. The riders themselves just accept that their dragons can and do breathe fire.

Dragons are also capable of traveling large distances in virtually no time, a process known as para-shifting, or going parallel, as well as several other names across the planet. The dragon, and whatever he is carrying is transported instantly to the place the dragon imagines himself to be. This transportation is what allowed the dragons, and dragonchen, to populate the entire planet's surface, extending even a few miles into the darkside. They are also capable of traveling through time with this ability, although this is frowned upon because of a few accidents near the beginning. Travel to parallel worlds is far more common, and openly encouraged to increase the genetic base of both humans and dragons.

There is much that is still unknown about the dragons, although some Cathairs have dragons capable of knowing when a human is capable of Imprinting a dragon. Other Cathairs use different methods, although they still use Finders or Seekers to find the lucky Candidates themselves.

 

Tabriz

The Tabriz are similar in size to the dragons, although perhaps a little smaller. They aren't as intelligent though, about as smart as a Terran lion or tiger. Like the rest of the species related to dragons, they come in starry, black, silver, copper, purple, lavender, blue and green, as well as the occasional rare colour.

Physically, they are not as beautiful as dragons, but are very well streamlined for swimming in the sea. They have powerful hind legs, used for propelling them both through water and off of the ground, and small, narrow wings that are used mainly for guidance rather than actual flight. Their front legs are short, and near the front of their body, so that food can be passed directly from paws to mouth with little effort, as the neck is also very short.

They live only on the darkside of Danach, in holes they have dug for themselves in the snowbound terrain. Rather than waiting for food to fall into them however, they go hunting, swimming though the sea towards an island, where they launch out of the water and glide across the island, snatching a ryanth or paard before dropping back into the water. Occasionally, one will land, although this is rare.

When humans arrived on Danach, they became increasingly the favourite food of the Tabriz, and had trouble defending themselves until dragons were Imprinted. Due to their larger size and greater intelligence, dragons usually win the great aerial battles, although the Tabriz can sometimes have superior numbers.

New hunting techniques were developed for keeping the Tabriz even further under control, having dragons fly over their holes and their riders drop ceramic pots of a sticky, flammable substance into the hole. This causes no real harm to the Tabriz, which comes out of it's hole and launches into the air to fight the dragon. The Tabriz's large jaw and inherent aggression will serve as it's advantage in the battle, but the dragon nearly always wins.

Killing the Tabriz is not a duty for the dragonrider, and some simply refuse to do it, although many enjoy it, and will collect the small horn from the nose of a dead Tabriz as a trophy. The horns range from a length of 3 feet on a starry or black to only 1 foot on a blue or green. The very best riders will have many horns displayed in their quarters as proof of their skill, and such riders are valued, both by the Cathair and the people of the Keeps.

Tabriz are incapable of para-shifting, using only their limited flight capability and their innate swimming ability to move across the planet. They rarely cross over into the lightside, except when hunting, as there is more life on that side, although they appear to dislike the higher temperatures. As far as can be determined, they Imprint on hatching in the same way a dragon does, although this has yet to be confirmed.

1

Paard

The paard, discovered by the first settlers on Danach as a few widely scattered, wild herds, is a horse-like being.  It has the neck of a horse, as well as the body, with an angular face, small nostrils, big eyes, and long ears  Its mane is rich and full, as well as its tail, quite unlike a horse, and more like a raccoon's bushy tail.  The colors vary, from a dark brown or black to white, as well as sandy yellows, grays, and the norm of horse colors.  A paard has very long legs, and runs very quickly, and has hooves, like a horse, that are very tough and sharp, and seemingly metallic.  A paard would be very hard to catch, both because of their speed and their sharp hooves and strong teeth, but somehow the first settlers managed to, and now there are only a few wild herds in existence.  The rest of the herds are domesticated, used for racing and transportation.

The paard is an herbivore, grazing on a wide variety of thistles, grasses, and leaves that it can find, and so it is easily fed.  Most of these plants are inedible to humans and most other animals, so the paard helps keep the growth from getting out of hand.  Paards do not chew 'cud,' instead they pick up small pebbles while eating and swallow them, to help mash up the digesting food.

A paard, although not Imprintable, will bond with its owner, and will grow irate, sick, and/or lazy if their owner doesn't tend to them most of the time, because usually they will be stubborn and refuse to do anything if their owner isn't there.  Paards in the wild are not found to bond so easily, and instead insist on staying with a herd member that they 'choose' at all times, and that is usually how they find mates; wild paards are especially hard to catch and tame nowadays because of this.

Female paards are 'in heat' at all times since they reach the age of three, unless they are pregnant.  There is only up to a month until they are mounted by a male and become pregnant again after giving birth, unless they have reached the age of six, which renders them barren.  It has been found by owners of paards that because of the herd instinct, paards cannot be kept separate, and for a few years there was the problem of too much multiplication.  However, one year, a young man noticed while tending paards that although one of the male paards was near a group of females in heat, he ignored them completely.  After weeks of research, the young man found a purple-red berries on a nearby bush which the male paard must have ingested.  After eradicating the bush from near his paards, the young man decided to sell this miraculous 'male birth pill' of a sort, and it instantly became a hit among other paard-herders who were tired of multiplying paards.

Baby paards are born knowing what kind of food to eat, how to mash it up, how to run, how to fight, and anything else they need to know.  At first they are very cute, so that their mother will want to protect them until their instincts kick in, but after that they're on their own, because of course, their mother will be pregnant again, and won't have any time for their little paardling.

Paards live about eight years, three of those years spent 'getting frisky.' They are eaten once in a while, usually when starvation threatens, but other than that usually get along without having to worry about any predators attacking. The owners of paards wonder why paards hadn't taken over Danach before; they could only guess that the large spaces of water, filled with hunter fish, coupled with predation of the Tabriz had kept them from spreading.

 

Ryanth

The Ryanth is a herbivore, about the size of a terran musk ox, or cattle. Primarily, it is four legged, with strong hind legs and much shorter, spindlier front legs. It doesn't have feet as such, but more like pads of tough skin at the end of each leg, ideal for running across rough terrain.  They have long, flat, almost human like faces, with expressive blue eyes and unlike most herbivores, it has forward facing eyes for depth perception, although it's flat head allows for easy viewing all around it. On the very top of it's head are two ears, much like the Terran rabbit ears, although somewhat smaller in proportion to the animal's body.

The skin is a pale grey in colour, and on the face, ears and feet, totally hairless in all ryanths.  There are two main types of ryanth, hairy and hairless. The hairless one is covered all over in the same grey skin as it's face and feet. On it's body is a few, sparse hairs, but not enough to form any insulation. The hairy ryanth is much different, having hair all over it's body except it's face, ears and feet. It's tail is thus much like a horse's tail. The hair is typically varying shades of brown.  Halfway between these two types is the maned ryanth, possibly a crossbreed of the former two. Like the hairless version, it is hairless, apart from a mane of golden hair around it's neck and shoulders, and a hairy, horse-like tail.

Other than the hair differences, all three types of ryanth are the same, and capable of breeding with each other and producing viable offspring.

Ryanths breed once a year, giving birth to one or two young in the spring. Like so many herd animals, the young ryanths are capable of walking, and then running within half an hour of birth, to provide some sort of defense against local predators. 

When a ryanth runs, it stands on it's hind legs, tucking it's forelegs close to it's body and then starts running. This is where it's huge back legs, powerful muscles and strong feet come into play, allowing it to pound over any surface without losing grip or falling.

Despite it's sometimes very human appearance, particularly when getting ready to run, the ryanths are not intelligent, any more than a cow or sheep is. They must be kept in herds of at least 20, or they become skittish and refuse to eat. When panicked, the whole herd will stampede, and anyone caught in the path of what can be up to 200 ryanths on the run are very likely to get hurt.

 

Beast/Bovine

A beast or bovine is a large herbivore, used as a dairy and protein source.  They look almost exactly like terran cattle, dairy cows or meat cows, and of course bulls, except that they can have 'normal' colors as well as solid technicolors like blue or yellow or red.  They produce either a thick, creamy white fluid from their udders, or a thin, wholesome fluid.  Both are white in color.

Beasts are quite popular to the people of Danach, as they are the main meat and dairy source.  They can be kept for meat, milk/cream, or simply pets.

 

Hawk

Domestic hawks are normally bred by the local aviary/falconer, or by the aviary/falconer who hatched the female hawk. Two different breeding methods are employed. First, a pre-set pair can be mated. If the female already has a mate, or her owner has picked one out, then those two will be mated and the resulting eggs will adopted out by the breeder, giving the owners of the male & female first choice of one egg each. The second method is almost like a dragons mating flight. If the female has no mate, and her owner has no males in mind, she can be brought to the aviary/falconer and signed up for a Flight. A Flight consists of a total of 4 birds maximum. The female and three males. Any male may enter unless he has a mate nesting. The hawks are let loose, with their masters near of course, and are left to decide who will get the female. Whether they try to chase and catch her or impress her is up to them. There is no human intervention in a Flight. It is left entirely up to the hawks. The resulting eggs are adopted out by the breeder, and as in the pre-set clutches, the owners of the parent hawks get first choice at one egg each.

Occasionally nests of wild hawk eggs are found. If no female is present or the eggs appear to be in a dangerous area/situation, they are taken back to the aviary/falconers home and kept there with the assistance of a surrogate mother. Once they are ready to hatch, the will be put up for adoption.

The number of eggs in a clutch can vary between 5 and 10 eggs. Domestic hawks usually produce more eggs that survive than the wild onesfor obvious reasons. No one female produces more eggs than another, and any color chick can be found in any color females eggs, even white, though it is quite
rare.

Females are ready to mate when the patch of feathers on their neck turn a darker shade of orange. When this change occurs, the hawks owner may choose to mate her, or do nothing. Males will mate whenever they find a willing female.

Hawks can be used as scarecrows are used on Earth. If trained properly, they can be left unattended in the fields and counted on to keep the area pest free. For those people who are not compatible with or interesting in owning a Dragonfly/Dragonchen, hawks are the alternative companion and message carrier. They are quite obedient and when delivering messages, are just as fast as the Dragonflies, although only when flying directly. When hunting, hawks are excellent hunters and retrievers of small game.

Hawks come in ten different colours, totally unrelated to the colours of the dragons and their relatives. The females are found in copper, grey, tan, faun and white, and the male colours are gold, black, chocolate, rust and white. White is a very rare colour, and only rarely seen in clutches.

 

Hunterfish

The hunterfish is mostly a resident of the deeper waters of the ocean. A solitary predator, it looks much like the extinct Terran Ichthyosaur or a Terran shark. It has six limbs though, all of which have become adapted for balance and direction while swimming. Two dorsal fins are prominent on the creature's back, and these, along with the tip of the tail are often seen protruding above the water.

Like a dragon or dragonchen, the hunterfish's skin is in fact a smooth hairless hide that comes in shades of blue-grey, from being dark enough to be almost black for those hunterfish found out in the deepest waters, to a very pale blue-grey for those found in shallower water. For camouflage, the hunterfish's underside is always significantly lighter than it's back.

Each jaw sports a row of backward pointed conical teeth, of which those in the top jaw are more numerous yet smaller. The bottom jaw has far larger and powerful teeth, but there are fewer of them, sometimes as few as only 6 or 7, and sometimes as many as 20, depending on the age of the individual. The top jaw has between 10 and 30 teeth. An older hunterfish will have fewer teeth than a younger one, as over time teeth are lost.  The teeth grow larger each year, and when sliced, have growth rings inside, like those of a tree. One ring appears to equal roughly a year. The lifespan of a hunterfish is unknown, yet believed to be about 100 years barring accidents.

The hunterfish's eyes are a pale blue, and multifaceted like a dragon's, allowing for excellent vision underwater, it's primary method of hunting. It does not have binocular vision however, since it's front vision is poor due to the position of it's eyes. Therefore, when stalking it's prey, it will swim around it, gazing at it with one eye, usually the right.

The hunterfish can be sized anywhere between 2 metres at birth, to a full 25 metres as an adult, approximately the same length as a green dragon. The very oldest individuals, mere fisherman's tales, can length up to 40 or more metres, the size of a starry dragon, but these legends are often disregarded.

The smaller individuals, those between 2 and 7 metres, tend to eat mostly fish, as well as weedballs and the occasional weak seabird. The adults will eat anything they can catch, including younger hunterfish, and the occasional dragonchen. There are legends of the largest hunterfish swallowing small boats, but it is known that an adult will eat a human in the water if it finds one. The almost mythical hunterfish of 40 metres or more would be capable of eating a six month old green dragon.

The female hunterfish is adult and able to breed at the age of 10 years, when she has reached the size of 15 metres. The males are adult much younger, at 5 years and 7 metres, but it is rare such a young and small one will get to mate until he is much older and larger.

The hunterfish is the only Danach reptile to give birth to live young. Much like dragons, the female will have certain times when she is receptive to the males, and at these times she will swim as fast as she can, while the hopeful males chase her. Once caught, she is mated, and then the male leaves, since hunterfish are naturally solitary.

The young hunterfish inside her start off as eggs, but after about a month, when normally the eggs would have been lain, instead the shells degrade, leaving the embryonic hunterfish on their own, with only a yoke sac to sustain them until two weeks later they are born, at the length of 2 metres. From then on, they are on their own.

Many survive their first year, which is why the female often only gives birth to one or two young, although triplets can happen on occasions. Nothing eats hunterfish, so they are the top predator of the ocean.

 

Kiliwaaja Fly

The Kiliwaaja fly, discovered originally by one of the original dragonriders, is a parasite. At around 6 inches long in it's adult form, both males and females suck the blood of mammals, usually ryanths, but with the recent human colonisation of Danach, the flies have taken a liking to human blood.

The Kiliwaaja fly has six limbs, six wings in fact. It lives in a state of almost permanent flight, using the four claspers on it's tail and the two finger like protrusions on it's middle set of wings to grip onto it's prey. Roughly half of it's length is taken up with it's tail, and it's wingspan is roughly eight inches, giving it powerful flight capabilities.

The females, with their need to remain unnoticed are found in subtle shades of brown, and are often very difficult to see. The males however, come in a variety of colours ranging from vivid red to a deep green, largely depending on it's location and age. It's colours grow brighter as it ages, so the oldest, strongest males are the most brilliantly coloured and so attract the most mates.

The life cycle of the Kiliwaaja fly is complex, beginning with the female being fertilised by up to five or six different males, each mating producing one egg. The female's next task is to find a suitable host, a ryanth, paard or even human. She lands on the host, embedding her tail into it's skin so she is not casually knocked off by the host, and laying her eggs there. Often she will hold the host with her middle set of wings also. Her tail claspers are so well embedded that it is incredibly difficult to remove them, usually resulting in the female losing them in the process of laying her eggs. A new set will grow next time she sheds her skin.

The eggs, once inside the host, begin to incubate, the higher temperature required for the process to start fully. Most of the egg is in fact a yolk, which absorbs nutrients from the host's blood. The young fly inside the yolk gradually grows and matures, until three weeks later it is a miniature version of the adult, being roughly two inches long.

At this point, it has consumed the yolk faster than it was able to absorb nutrients from the host's blood, and so the young fly feels the need to escape the host, by burrowing it's way up out of the host's body. Undoubtedly, this process is painful for the host, having a two inch insect bursting out of it's skin. The young insects, once free of their host fall to the floor and require a few minutes for their wings to break free of their protective membrane before they are able to fly away. At this age, each one is a uniformly brown colour, the genders indistinguishable from each other. It is later on, when they grow enough to shed their skin for the first time that their true colouring shows. With each progressive skin shed, the colouring of the male grows more intense.

Of the five or six eggs laid, no more than four will survive, usually less in the host for the simple reason that the host would be unable to support them, and it is necessary for the Kiliwaaja fly's survival that the hosts live to be used again in the next breeding season.

There are certain chemicals excreted by the young flies when they are embedded in the host that alters the sweat of the host ever so slightly so that other Kiliwaaja flies know there are already young there. A host with too many eggs laid in it will not survive very long because all the nutrients will be absorbed by the flies, leaving none for the host itself.

More info soon