note about imagery:
"Hey, we just want to live in a place where we won't get skewered by a big chunk of moon crystal.."
|. Habitat . Preen|
. The cloud covered planet of Preen is the 5th body in the Avo system, located near the center of the Spoonbill Galaxy which borders a great asteroid belt that is all that remains of the planet Tyrone 5. Preen's close proximity to the asteroid belt has made it a frequent target for devastating stray boulders.
. The sun Avo is very old and within the last 10,000 years it has cooled considerably, covering much of Preen in a great ice age with some forested areas and prairie lands still existing at the equator. Sever flooding occurs during Sun Season when Preen's orbit brings it very close to Avo for a few weeks, rapidly melting the layers of ice that shroud most of the planet.
. Preen has four moons with erratic
orbits, three of which are covered by thriving crystalline
jungles whose razor sharp spires can tower as tall as 4 miles
from the lunar surface. During certain orbits called Shard
Seasons these moons pass dangerously close to Preen
where the tops of the tallest crystal spires are caught in the
planet's gravitational field, break off, and are pulled to
the surface like javelins, embedding sometimes thousands
of feet in the surface of the planet. It is no wonder that there
are 118 different words for "impale" in the Avian
. Preen has an unstable crust and suffers from enormous volcanic pressures deep within the planet that cause frequent and unpredictable quakes and eruptions.
. Biology & Behavior
. Very little is known about female Avains beyond that they are rare (only 1 in 30 of the general Avian population is female), and that there is no record of a female ever leaving Preen.
. Since their homeworld is chaotic and riddled with dangers, Avians are often fearful and worried. Prof. Edvard Ng of the Ng Institute, who was the first to make contact with refugees from Preen, has described them as, "a little jumpy." They are also natural scientists; inquisitive by nature and prone to conducting obscure and lengthy experiments.
. Avians exhibit an often obsessive
thirst for new inventions and gadgets, especially those related
to flying. Avians make excellent pilots and are
renowned for their daring and skill at the controls of almost
any flying vehicle.
. Society and History
. Preen is home to a second intelligent
species and no accounting of Avian society is complete
without an examination of the Drakons. Drakons
are enormous winged reptiles who predate the dawning of the Avians
and appear in a handful of racial subsets. The majority are powerful
creatures with deadly jaws and claws, but they are lazy and plodding
by nature and chiefly enjoy napping in subterranean dens.
. For many generations, individual Avians
and Drakons have formed bonds with each other that are
formalized in psudo-religious civil ceremonies. The bonded Avian
and Drakon are responsible for the well-being of the other
and work together as a powerful team, combining the brute strength
and determination of the giant reptile with the clever and nimble
inventiveness of the Avian. Prof. Edvard Ng has
likened this arrangement to an archetypical union of the Bully
and the Geek. Almost every Avian on Preen has
a bonded Drakon at their side, but Drakons will
not bond with fools or liars.
. Avians build small villages and
hamlets near the caves of their Drakon companions and
trade with nearby settlements. Regional jurisdictions are drawn
and overseen by the Moltokbureau (also called The Cloud
Council) which is a bicameral body with legislative and judicial
authority. The Cloud Council is comprised of two equal
bodies, The House of Avian and the House of Drakon,
with each House consisting of elected Barons chosen to
represent the interests of their particular region and species.
This governing arrangement reflects the mutual interests and
interdependency of the two species and has served to keep the
peace for countless generations.
. The Avian Royal Guard also known as the Knights of Avo, are the oldest and most respected Avian military unit. The Knights of Avo ride their Drakon bondmates as flying war steeds and they united are the defenders of Preen, under the command of The Cloud Council.
. Avians and Drakons alike are xenophobic, rarely trusting outsiders and, with a few notable exceptions (see First and Second Exodus), they never leave Preen.
. There are two instances of Avians leaving Preen. The First Great Exodus occurred shortly after Avians achieved space flight and saw 100,000 Avains leave in a massive space convoy of ships, never to be heard from again. The Second Great Exodus began roughly 75 years ago with smaller groups and individual Avians leaving Preen silently in the dead of night. Those who have left the home plant have done so for the same reasons, namely to escape the planet's many dangerous and uncomfortable environmental cycles.
. The Avians are a people divided.
The vast majority stay on Preen and are deeply connected
to their home world. They are obliged to follow a strict cast
system and ancient code of behavior that predetermines the direction
of each Avian's life. The Drakons, who never leave
Preen, are their allies. Avians who choose to leave
are never allowed to return by strict edict set down in
antiquity, but they are afforded an opportunity to explore the
universe and make their own choices on their own terms, free
of asteroids, quakes, deadly shards, freezing
temperatures and restrictive social orders. Great animosity exists
between Avians of Preen and their homeless kin,
referred to tersely as "Leavers."
. Extended Study