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Larine

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Larine
Demonym: Larinian
Allegiance: Ashkathi Union
Capital: Haana-gan
Governing Official: The High Council
Population: 10 billion
Moons: 2
Star System: Lukara
Larine is the home planet of the Ashkathi, and the capital of the Ashkathi Union. Larine is located in the Lukara system, and is the second planet from the star.

GeographyEdit

Larine is 1.5 times the size of Earth, and has slightly more gravity than Earth as a consequence. It orbits about 0.95 AU from Lukara. A Larinian day is 26 hours long, and a Larinian year is roughly 308 days. Almost all of Larine's surface is covered in water, and the highest point on Larine is 15 feet above sea level, on a "mountain" that the Ashkathi call Faltaraan, or "The Terminus". Most of the planet's "mountains" are underwater on mid-ocean ridges, such as the Borellian Ridge, which is as long as two Rocky Mountain ranges put end-to-end. Also on Larine are trenches, like the famous Gaaka trench, which is twice as deep as Earth's Mariana and over three times as long.

ClimateEdit

The atmosphere is thick and foggy above the surface of the water. Above water, the temperature averages around 80 degrees Fahrenheit/26 degrees Celsius, in the summer reaching 95 F/ 35 C, and in winter dropping to about 60 F/ 15 C. Below the water, the temperature tends to hover around 70 F / 21 C. Because of the surface area being dominated by water, the weather of Larine is nigh-unpredictable. One moment, the sky can be clear and sunny, and another moment a hurricane the size of the continental United States can rip across the planet's surface.

BiologyEdit

There are almost no land-dwelling organisms native to Larine. The few rocky outcroppings that do exist are barren and lifeless, with the exception of moss-like plants or algae. Almost all of the life on Larine, plant or animal, is aquatic, and is extremely diverse.

Plant lifeEdit

Most plants on Larine take the form of algae and phytoplankton that lazily float in the current. One can often see clumps of these plants bobbing at the surface of the water to reach sunlight. However, to the southwest of the Borellian Ridge is the Shuulua, a giant forest of kelp-like aquatic plants that stretches across an area roughly the size of France. Many varieties of animal life depend on the Shuulua for survival.

Animal lifeEdit

Ashkathi-hunter

An Ashkathi hunter and her torra chasing a school of kull

Aside from the Ashkathi themselves, the most common animal species on Larine is the kull, a fish-like armored crustacean that swims in schools all across Larine. Kull are roughly the size of herrings, and are the primary food source of the Ashkathi. Hunting parties are often sent out to gather schools of kull. Other common species on Larine include the amorphous jellyfish-like rala-a, the slow-moving and gentle spoori, and the playful shark-like torra, which are native to the Shuulua. Torra in particular are incredibly friendly with the Ashkathi, to the extent that torra are often used to hunt kull alongside the Ashkathi.

However, the most well-known Larinian animal is the gaaka-den, or "trench dragon". The mere mention of the word strikes fear into the hearts of young Ashkathi. The gaaka-den resembles a 40-foot long viperfish with luminescent eyes and teeth as long and as sharp as rapiers. True to its name, the gaaka-den mostly dwell in deep trenches like the Gaaka. They are opportunistic predators and scavengers, typically eating anything smaller than they are that swims within range of their dwellings. For this reason, an Ashkathi who is acting selfishly is said to be "acting as the gaaka-den".

This does not mean that all life on Larine is aquatic, as two prevalent species native only to the area around Mt. Faltaraan demonstrate: the beach-kull and the naako. The beach-kull is a species of kull that has adapted to a life on the sandy beach, its legs growing longer and allowing it to crawl upon the ground and bury in the sand. They superficially resemble Earth's giant isopods. The naako is an ampibious animal resembling a fishy bat with a short-faced, toothy mouth. They spend most of their time on the water, but go onto land to lay their eggs, and to lift off in order to hunt for food from above. They are Larine's only native flyer, and so have dominated the skies around Mt. Faltaraan.

DemographicsEdit

Most of the Ashkathi dwellings on Larine are near the tops of the "mountains", including the capital city of Haana-gan. However, most Ashkathi dwellings take the form of towns, villages, and tribes bordering the mountains. Haana-gan has 50% of the planet's population at 5 billion people, with the second biggest settlement, Dokua, having just a quarter of that.

SatellitesEdit

Larine is orbited by twin moons. One of them is roughly half the size of Earth's moon, and is known as Naatia, the Sister. The second is a quarter of the size of Naatia and seems to orbit closely to it, and thus is named Lakoora, The Child. Naatia and Lakoora orbit around Larine once every 33 Larinian "days". In addition, the largest artificial satellite is Point Grace, a research station and radio/optical telescope.

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