|Outdated - The lore here may be partially or wholly outdated. Do not rely on it.|
Be advised, almost everything on this page is currently being overhauled, this is literally the old Ahdomai page being retrofitted to the new Meralar lore. Do not take anything on this page as fact until stated otherwise, get with the designated Tajaran handler for any questions.
Meralar is the home planet of the Tajaran. In general, it is a cold and icy world, which is why the Tajaran have thick, full fur coats to better insulate themselves from its climate.
Zones of Meralar
Meralar Has a lopsided orbit around Rarkajar. As such, it has a much longer winter, with it's winter season being 31 days, Fall and Spring lasting 16, and Summer just 11 days. Along with this, the axis tilt of Meralar is almost nothing, leading to a very large variation in individual climates around the planet. These have been categorized into three main climate zones.
- "Sunny Zone" Hardly ever below freezing point year round. Has mostly direct overhead sunlight from Rarkajar all year. Areas here may be even known as oasis zones with plenty more flora and life
- Horizon Has only horizon sun activity for the most part. Seas thaw half way through spring, and refreeze early fall. Floral and fauna adapted to large temperature changes.
- Polar Dark Areas that hardly receive any sunlight. As such, they are always freezing, and unable to harbor much life, and life there is extremely resilient to the cold.
Regions of Meralar
The Northern Plains
- Mi'jri Peninsula is an area that remains sloped down to the shores due to freezing and thawing constantly chewing away at the land. Much of the sediment is then collected to the shore lines which most of the year are frozen beaches. This area is popular for fishing for the Nazkiin, and is a major source of most of their food.
- Northern Plains Mining Network, a Slavemaster-era mining complex, now owned, operated, and supplied by NT. The Slavemasters cleared out a large portion of the area's mineral wealth, but not all was depleted prior to their leaving. Tajaran employed from nearby towns hail mostly from those days and are glad to see the improvements, safety regulations, and supplies provided by NT (which is to say, any). Nearby towns and cities:
- Mi'dynh Al'Manq, a large NT-funded city, providing (cramped) housing for less-fortunate Tajaran, hospitals, schooling, job training, NT certification, space ports, and more. Many humans also live here, and operate many facilities.
- Contai, a smaller village whose miners all remember the slave days. The relative size of the village is such that they have no local school, and must attend academy in the nearby city.
The Snowy Mountains
- Rhezar's Crown, an area that is separate from the rest of the region by a large glacier between the continents, Has very jagged, icy, and unforgiving peaks, crevasses, and a vast networks of mountain caves.
- Rrhazkal Ice Maw is the area between the main continent and the Rhezar's Crown Continent. It is a large, permanently frozen sea with islands forming mountains poking up around. This strip is filled with cracks, and hidden ravines in the glacier. This path is a major breaking point for separation of culture from the rest of Meralar, and Rhezar's Crown.
- Ah'Fralak Landing is a large area of more rugged terrain than the plains to the south. Near the coast to the Rrhazkal Ice Maw, the area has a long cliff face that steeply falls down to the Maw. Tribes looking to work their way to the Crown may make the sides of these cliffs their home, many times.
- Ruined Land is the area in the northeast corner of the main continent of Meralar is a barren, almost lifeless strip of land. Flora and fauna on the surface are hard to find, even with most of the land flat and white as far as the eye can see, when heavy fogs and blizzards are not present.
Much of the Equator is filled with valleys, mountain ranges, and small oasis dotted throughout thick forests.
- Light's Clearing is the area that is home to Nalyar, and on it's outskirts, Bayan. It is the flattest part of the region, and hosts fertile plains, small patches of forests, along with a few geysers along the path between Nalyar and Bayan.
- Nalyar is a large city located at the most temperate region of the Meralar equator. Although NT has set up small outfits in the city, Human and NanoTrasen presence is very small, and Tajaran of all ages call it home. Among the facilities provided, the grandest is the Nalyar Teaching Hospital, providing training and Nanotrasen Certification to many new doctors both human and Tajaran alike. It also functions as a hospital and free clinic for the native people. Nalyar is filled with ports and trading outposts, mostly built by large human corporations, but run mostly by Tajaran. Because the city is warmer many Tajaran see it as an area blessed by Rarjakar, and take the area as one of his mercy. Nalyar's location also makes it a quite viable farming community, with plots for dozens of miles around.
- Bayan is the largest of the villages outside of Nalyar, and also the closest. Almost all goods traveling from the other villages (mostly produce from the farms) stop at Bayan before heading to Nalyar. The paths leading to and from Bayan are also some of the most well kept on the planet, because of how much traffic it gets. These paths also encourage more Tajaran to pass through Bayan, instead of taking direct routes to Nalyar, as it is easier passage. A large system of tolling and service station greet many Tajaran as they bring their goods from Bayan to Nalyar, claiming all forms of service from transport to vehicle maintenance. It is well-known that many of these stations are attempting to take advantage of the native farmers, and it is advised not to take part in any service offered from them.
- Af'ral-ki/Li'ral Pass The longest Canyon stretching out from the edge of Naylar's boarder, it splits into the Af'ral and Li'ral Sections. It starts back from the Ral-qui River from the west coast. The Li'ral Pass starts just south of the Northern Plains region, and curves it's way to the edge of Naylar. From there, the Af'ral-ki Pass begins, and winds it's way across the coast until it empties into the ocean on the east coast.
- Nif-Khal Forest is a large area of forestry that spans most of the equatorial region that the Pass does not. This is the largest cluster of Chur'eech trees to the northern part of the forest, with Sanu'dra found largely to the southern end. Many of the villages and communities in the area forage most of Meralar's medicinal herbs found deep in the forest, along with the largest source of wood for the Hadii, giving them an advantage in exporting it to the other clans for higher prices.
Once an area pre-Slavemaster rule that was heavily mined. During the Slavemaster rise to power, the interior of the island now known as Messa's bounty had hit a lake of molten Sulfur from under Meralar's surface. This gives it appearance of blue lava and magma that now is over the surface, with now active volcanic activity in the area., giving the area a stigma of supernatural fear, believing to be the entryway to Messa's realm. As such, the island has been abandoned and by some, restricted from access, mostly leftover from Slavemaster restrictions. As of recently, a few more expeditions are being lead there, with the slightly growing post-Slavemaster religious movements
Situated south of the equator, the Etari Archipelago is a tightly clustered chain of dormant volcanic islands. Throughout parts of the year a sheet of ice covers the shallow ocean between the islands, allowing for foot traffic across the chain. This feature ends on the north most terminator of the island chain, where the ocean very suddenly plunges to particularly deep levels. This land feature is known as the Etari Channel. Roughly seventy percent of the Tajara in the Archipelago live on the edge of the channel, which serves as an aquatic trade hub and hosts the spaceport Jormitar.
The Etari Archipelago did not have a heavy Slave-master influence prior to the exodus, due to the region being poor for farming and believed to also be mineral poor. More recent explorations into the ocean, started thirty-seven years ago, have discovered fairly substantial deposits of oil and uranium. The clan who discovered this, the Kaytam, have successfully warded off Hadii attempts to take the resources over and have since become a major regional power. The Archipegalo also hosts an extremely high number of Paramilitary Corporations (Mercenary Companies) and their members are known even off of Meralar for their exceptional discipline and obedience.
The Kaytam rule the Archipelago as a loose republic. Any Tajara on the island chain are given honorary clan membership should they request it, and each island is given a representative with a number of votes proportional to clan population on their island.
- Jormitar a large city, spaceport, and the defacto capital of Kaytam-controlled lands. Many, many ships (of both the aquatic and space variety) travel to and from Jormitar on a weekly basis. Through Jormitar the Kaytam export Uranium, manufactured plastics, and extremely well-constructed kinetic (and more recently energy) weaponry. The Kaytam import food, textiles, advanced machinery, and manufacturing machinery. The City is almost entirely Tajaran, except for the Nanotrasen and Terran embassies. Travel at night in Jormitar is not recommended, and it has without equal the highest crime rate of any city on Meralar.
- Erstaz Islands, Encompassing the southern part of the Archipelago, these areas tend to have an ice bridge between them more of the year than the rest of the Archipelago. As such, quick transfer of information and ideas between them is possible.
Flora and Fauna of Meralar
Plants on Meralar consist largely of coniferous trees, lichen, thick bushes, herbs, and grasses.
- Chur'eech is a stout tree oft used by the Tajaran for its hearty nuts and leaves.
- Chur'eech Nut - A hard, sky-blue nut, has a very sweet and moist inside the hard outer center, the nut is shaped specifically so moisture runs off the smooth sides, and collects at the tip, to form icicles and protect the seed bearing part of the plant, should the winter be humid
- Chur'eech Leaf - Harvested the same rate as the Chur'eech nut, just in smaller quantities, the Chur'eech leaf is a musky, tough herb that adds flavor to many traditional Tajaran dishes, including soups and stews.
- Thaa'dra is a completely white lichen that thrives in the cold, soft, delicate, peppery flavor, Occasionally produces a 'flower' When ripe, which is really just a purple/white spore-producing growth, which has a very strong, sour and peppery flavor, akin to earth's grapefruit.
- Thaa'dra Bloom (See Above)
- Jurl'mah is a thin, reed like plant that grows to about three feet in height, before producing several pods, these pods condense plant sugars into a syrup, before freezing over. These pods then snap off and bury themselves into the snow, where it lays in a cryo-stasis point before it manages to defrost partially, starting a germination period to produce more Jurl'Mah, allowing it to germinate and sprout at any time between a day and hundreds of years from dropping.
- Jurl'Mah Pod is a hard-skinned pod needs to be opened with a knife before being used, at this point it can be sent to the kitchen to be split open for food, or placed as itself into another planter, as it's a seed itself.
- Sanu'dra is a fast-growing tree typically found in the mountains. It produces many thick branches on which grow many soft, blade-like leaves and several largely inedible pods.
- Sanu'dra Blades are completely edible off the branch of the tree, but are typically ground up and spread on other foods or boiled in stews. Their general taste is mildly sweet with a small bit of bite.
- Sanu'dra Bark - Is also entirely edible, and its fibers are such that they can be digested by Tajaran and Human alike. Its native flavor is mildly bitter and its texture somewhat hard and chewy. However, when boiled in water, it quickly absorbs the flavors of whatever is boiled with it. This, combined with its general abundance, makes it a solid staple of mountain cooking.
- Telriis is a ubiquitous ground cover in the grasslands of equatorial Meralar. It is a tall, gray grass that can grow, based on species, anywhere from three inches to five feet in height, maximum. They are not that edible by Tajaran or human, but they make for decent feed for livestock.
- Ii'rka is a tall brown reed that grows in the northern hemisphere wetlands. Known for its strength and flexibility, Ii'rka reeds are often used for clothing and ropes.
Meralar is said to possess many medicinal herbs. This list will be filled out as they are named.
This list is largely incomplete, but most animals of Meralar possess thick layers of fur and fat for insulation. The Tajara make good use of all parts of each animal, and use the fatty blubber for a number of applications. Many Tajara dishes are very rich as a result.
- Rraasi - A one-eyed fish that is most commonly found on the Meralar Equator.
- Elu'a Eil - A hoofed mammal most well-known in the plains regions of Meralar, but seen occasionally in the mountains. With its thick, fatty limbs and long fur, its appearance is best described somewhere between a horse and a black bear. It grazes on the rich supplies of Thaa'dra found across the plain and mountain regions.
- The Elu'a Eil was historically used as a beast of burden, due to its incredible endurance and generally docile nature. Its high layers of fat and flesh also make it quite viable for slaughter. Its hide can be tanned and turned into armor or rugged winter coats, and their bones could be filed down for the construction of sled skids. They are not the quickest animals, but their endurance and balance has made them indispensable in historical migration of the Tajaran across wide regions and on treacherous mountain trails.
- Farwa - The Farwa are the most intelligent species on Meralar, not counting the Tajaran. They resemble a mongoose, though they have long reddish fur, whiplike tails, feline ears, and dextrous hands. They can be found just about anywhere, even in The Ruined Land. They are omnivores, with a penchant towards eating prepared and stored food. They are sneaky, and excellent climbers. They communicate by barking, though they sound unlike dogs, or any other Earth mammal. It has been theorized that they and the Tajaran shared a common ancestor, much like the relationship between humankind and monkeys.
- Sa'r - The Sa'r resemble hairy birds, with very large wings. Unlike birds, they have small, sharp teeth, and canine ears. This has led to some human visitors to deem them "dogbirds". They may appear to have feathers, but, while similar to feathers, they are covered in modified hairs. They are very capable flyers, able to soar for up to a day without stopping to rest. They eat smaller creatures, such as the Arnab and the Farwa. A closely-related species, the Sa'ar, lives on the coasts of Meralar, and eat sea-dwelling fauna.
- Dubaab - A small creature that resembles a cross between a small bat and a cockroach, and is about the size of a human knuckle, not counting the wings. They have leathery wings, multiple limbs that end in a single nail, sharp teeth, long antennae, and no eyes. They are most often covered in coarse grey hair, though the varieties on the equator oftentimes are bald. They are an ubiquitous pest in the summer on Meralar, found in some form or another worldwide. The Dubaab are omnivorous with a penchant towards refuse, with their young being raised in the corpses of larger animals. Their "favorite" food, however, is Dubaab of other species and family groups. They breed often and have short life spans. While some forms are diurnal, nearly all Dubaab hate bright light, and have a particular fear of fire.History shows that they were exterminated en masse by the Slavemasters: one shudders to think of the numbers they must have been in the past.
- Baqara (aka "bison slugs") - A large herbivorous creature common to the plains in the southern hemisphere, though domestic breeds have been propagated worldwide. They have coarse fur, short horns, and large humps. They lack back limbs, instead pulling themselves along with their short front limbs and resting their back weight on a smooth bony plate. These traits have given them the nickname "bison slugs", due to the resemblance of a cross between the two Earth species. They are oviparous, laying up to three microwave-sized eggs. Their thick fur, fatty humps, tasty meat (said to be "not unlike pork loaded with steak sauce"), large eggs, and sedentary nature unless provoked make them an ideal food source. They were one of the first creatures domesticated by the Tajara, and the Slavemasters spread them all across Meralar. Domesticated bison slugs are on average larger, less hairy, and less mobile than their wild counterparts.
- Xaanzir - Xaanzir live on Meralar's great equatorial grasslands. They are bipedal creatures with a build not unlike an ostrich, though that is where the similarities end. They are about the size of a large antelope, with scraggly brown and gray striped fur, okapi-like necks, theropod-like feet, short arms, piglike snouts, and tusks (and by extension, skulls) closely resembling those of the prehistoric Earth elephant Deinotherium. They are very fast and gifted with high endurance, making them ideal mounts for tribal Tajaran. However, the combination of modern transit, the relative inability of Xaanzir to survive in the frigid regions, and the Slavemasters actively stamping out that sort of thing, very few Tajaran know how to ride a Xaanzir.
- Arnab/Arjeb - The Arnab are small herbivores that dwell in the northern plains, though a related creature, the Arjen, live up in the mountains. Their fur is thick, soft, and very insulating, and Arjeb fur even more so. As such, they are hunted for their pelts, though they are edible as well. They resemble a bandicoot, though they have blunt faces, spotted fur, and short tails. Arnab can be tamed and kept as pets, though they are picky eaters and are temperamental. They are known for being very difficult to catch, especially in an urban environment. The Arjeb have smaller ears and grey fur, and are an endangered species. Therefore, Arjeb fur is illegal to own, but a prized black market commodity.
- Samak - The Samak are the apex predator in the various plains regions of the northern hemisphere of Meralar. Unlike many creatures of Meralar, it does not have any fur to speak of. Instead, it is completely covered in thick armored plates which act as a barrier between the Samak's internal warmth and the cold environment. However, this is still not that efficient, so the Samak feed often to keep themselves warm. The Samak have six thick legs tipped with broad claws, and roughly aerodynamic bodies. They burrow underground, detecting prey through incredibly keen thermal detection. They pop up suddenly, grab their next meal, and return underground just as quickly. They prefer larger prey, such as the Baqara, Elu'a Eli, and Tajaran. Due to their voracious appetites and tendency to ruin mine shafts and infrastructure, they have been hunted almost to extinction, mainly by the Slavemasters. For the Tajaran, being able to kill a Samak singlehandedly (and without "cheating", such as saturation bombing and the like) is an incredible feat, and any individual who pulls it off is lauded greatly.
- Diyaab - A predatory creature whose various genuses dwell at the upper latitudes of both hemispheres of Meralar, and on most continents. They resemble wolverines in appearance, but are slightly larger, and with longer legs. They also have long ears and leonine tails tipped with a contrasting color, the specifics of which vary based on species. They live in packs of up to seven individuals. They are omnivores, consuming Chur'eech nuts and Thaa'dra, as well as fish, eggs, Arnab, and Dubaab. However, they are most notable for being able to take down larger creatures, including Tajara, by using group tactics. They communicate through body language involving the ears and tail. If forcibly seperated from their packs with no means of returning, a Diyaab will lay down and die. It has been theorized that they are related to the Farwa.
- Nas'r - The largest predator of the equatorial grasslands. They are about the size of an Allosaurus, with disproportionally large heads with razor-sharp beaks and strong jaw muscles. They lack arms, but have broad shoulders reinforced with bone. They have spined backs, reddish brown fur, and tails that are tipped with a bone club. They hunt their favored prey, the Xaanzir, by hunting in packs of three to four individuals, cornering their prey, breaking their bones with their tails and shoulders, and then eating them when they can no longer resist. They do not often go after Tajaran, but when they do, resistance is most often futile.