Thursday, January 12, 2012
Zaoth: The Planet
Zaoth orbits around the giant red star Aldebaran. As the red giant has expanded, Zaoth has experienced drastic changes in its climate and ecology. The change has been so gradual that the current beings that call Zaoth their home have never known anything different (except for those eldritch beings said to dwell deep beneath the surface of the world.) To most denizens, Zaoth has always been this way.
The planet itself is mostly a wasteland filled with seemingly endless deserts of barren and prismatic rocks. What few forests remain are dying slowly as water becomes more and more scarce. The atmosphere itself is thin, and a traveler from another plane might find it difficult to breathe for extended periods of time, and often find themselves exerted much faster than on their homeworlds.
Spotted throughout the land are ancient cities, mostly fallen into ruin, but still occupied by the various men of the planet. Some are nomadic, merely using the cities as shelter for a few weeks or months, while some remain, trying to pick up the pieces of civilization. As to whom, or what built many of these cities, it is mostly a mystery to the men of Zaoth. Evidence suggests that there was, at one time, a race of superior and refined beings who delved into arcane magics and a high level of technology. It is said that hidden within the ruins are secrets and treasure beyond comprehension if one is inclined to brave the dangers.
Gaseous marshes and swamps can be found here and there as well as vast mountain ranges whose peaks shimmer and glitter with various colors. Most of the surface itself is reddish in hue, with an almost rust quality. Mysterious black crystaline towers can be seen dotted along the landscape, some in ruin, while others still as majestic as they were eons before.
Beyond the dangers of starvation, thirst, and the various creatures of the planet (most of which are extremely vile and dangerous), are pockets of intense gamma ray exposure from holes in the planet's atmosphere. Extended exposure in these areas can cause horrific mutations, and in many cases, death.
There are, however, certain areas where vegetation and water can be found, and men can live comfortably. The Valley of Tesk is one such example. Situated in an isolated valley, this region is home to one of the major underground springs still in existence. Many more of the civilized races have flocked here, yet the people of this region remain in a constant state of war due to the vast and limited natural resources available.
Covering the north region of the planet is the massive glacier known as the Icy Flats. The glacier itself is ever expanding at a slow pace and has grown exponentially over the past millennium. This region, with its harsh year round freezing temperatures is home to the Albino men of Zaoth. Brutal and barbaric savages who call the wasteland their home.
The Zaoth calendar is effectively non-existent. Due to the size of Aldebaran, it can take many earth years for the planet to orbit the sun fully. A Zaoth day is roughly 36 hours with periods of increased darkness in the later part of the full revolution as this is the point at which Zaoth is furthest away from the giant star.
Seasons on Zaoth can last for the equivalent of many earth years, rather than a few months. Winter is the most brutal of seasons, as the planet already sees generally low temperatures due to the fading heat of the sun.
The planet has 4 orbiting moons. They are Hastah, Ymrak, Zeruk, and Rylek. It is said that once in a thousand years the moons align in orbit, and when this happens, it is rumored the eldritch beings wake from their slumber below the surface and wreak havoc on the world.