George Talivon, of the United Provinces of America (UPA) was the first person to catalog the existence of the dwarf planet Falcoron in 2633. As is common tradition in the UPA, they granted him a sizable portion of land on the dwarf planet. In 2918, Malaree Toi discovered the first signs of life inside the dwarf planet via the overabundant levels of organic molecules found within its vast ice caps. Later that year, an exhibition was sent to explore the planet’s interior. It was discovered that underneath several kilometers of ice was a massive ocean making up nearly the total internal volume of the planet. It was here that multitudes of alien species were discovered. The largest and most miraculous of these is the Friendly Shadow.

Research on the planet’s miraculous wildlife, however, would be halted after the First Fall of Humanity. Nevertheless, by the Third Age, the planet would again be visited and studied by Earth‘s people.

Since then, the Friendly Shadow has earned the interest of various xenobiologists due to its highly divergent anatomy.

For starters, they are massive, with specimens averaging around 2 kilometers long; What at first glance might appear to be its tentacles is actually its tongue, which has evolved into 5 forked tongs that it uses to move around under the planet’s surface; and due to this, its lower torso is actually its mouth. These creatures are so massive that the irregularity of their planet’s spin is caused by them rapidly moving around inside it. Just like all species on their planet, they lack any form of skeleton, making it almost impossible to calculate evolutionary lineage.

These creatures are seasonal endotherms (as their planet is on a highly elliptical orbit and only passes into the habitable zone of its star for a fraction of its year); their bodies absorb their sun’s radiation as exotherms during “summer”, and slowly release it back into the environment the rest of the year as endotherms. Their bodies are actually highly specialized for keeping their planet habitable to both their own species and the rest of its ecosystem. Their bodies produce a form of ink that gets absorbed by the ice and slowly makes its way to the inhospitable surface, where it becomes the dust buildup that keeps the sun from melting away almost any of the outer ice. Their genus is the only group that breathes CO2, as all other species found on the planet breathe oxygen.

They have a series of 6 orifices around the top of their bodies used for multiple purposes: hearing, smell, and electroreception. Most of their internal anatomy is taken up by their stomachs; experiments have shown that it can take upwards of three solar months for them to fully digest their food. On the topic of food, they generally eat large blobs of symbiotic algae that grow on their bodies. Their lungs, which can be seen as the two rings around their bodies are also home to the breeding grounds of many parasites that infect them. This too serves a useful purpose to the ecosystem.

In fact, almost half of all species on the entire planet spend at least some portion of their existence living in or on the Friendly Shadows. They are the closest thing that their energy-deprived ecosystem has to a reliable energy source; all forms of life that we might call “plants” live off thermos-synthesis and chemo-synthesis generated by the heat and chemicals that the Friendly Shadows produce.

They are so pervasive in their planet’s environment that it is currently unknown how life evolved within the dwarf planet in the first place without the Friendly Shadows already existing. All current models show that the dwarf’s highly rare internal ocean would have frozen millions of years before any complex life could have come into being. For the Friendly Shadows to evolve, there would have needed to already be Friendly Shadows. There are several theories as to how this can be resolved, and all of them are highly contested, but one of the most popular is that the Friendly Shadows existed before the planet – an implication of them being seeded here by an unknown entity.

This entry was created by member, A.I. Muffin. 

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