This is the home world of the Inari. It is also the homeworld of the original dwellers, the ocean-living Ahben. It's thought that the Inari evolved from the Ahben because of the extra fins on the backs of the Ahben, who are humanoid in form but live under water.
Inar'Ahben is covered entirely by ocean. The only dry land is the searoot islands, which float up from the ocean floor. The roots grow beneath the ocean floor, spreading over hundreds of years and filling with gases. Tectonic activity loosens them sometimes before they gain much size. In other places, the roots go on for miles, twisting and growing sometimes for a thousand years under the ocean bed. Once they separate the rocky base from the ocean floor, the island floats to the surface and drifts with the water currents. After some time of continued growth, the roots increase in size and convert enough gas to lift them into the sky. Once in the sky, they stay for hundreds of years—often more than a thousand—until something punctures the roots, which harden in the open air.
In the open sky, the thickest roots at the bottom point can grow to be the size of a house in diameter. They tangle and twist around each other, vying for a way to the upper edge.
Once in the sky, the plants send up shoots to the upper surface that produce spores. These are edible with seeds inside them. Each seed contains a single sprout, which, if left in the air, will harden and die. It must reach the ocean before this happens. In the ocean, it burrows into the rocky floor, a slow process from the acid produced in the tip of the sprout, and grows as it absorbs nutrients. Once it reaches a specific size, it stops releasing its acid and grows outward along cracks and fissures and loose sediment, expanding and filling with gas it produces as a byproduct of its growth. It tangles with hundreds of other roots; and eventually, the shelf under which the roots grow breaks loose and rises to the surface.
Not all sprouts settle on rock to burrow within, however. Many don't anchor and often die before settling, or are eaten by other creatures. It can take hundreds of seeds to produce enough sprouts to lift an island.
Inari depend on the islands for agriculture in the form of plants and support for the many creatures they raise as livestock and are careful to deposit all seed pods into the ocean at sites remote from Ahben cities.
Inar'Ahben is orbited by four moons, the closest and most influential called Lis.
The Inari are one of two sentient species on Inar'Ahben. They appear as humans with wings but are genetically incompatible with humans. Also, their wings require immense back strength and muscles to support them, which is why they often appear to have thick backs. Inari feathers are sturdier than bird feathers in that they are a network of microlinks. Inari don't preen as birds but pull their feathers when necessary. New feathers usually grow back in a week.
Keepers are Inari with Starfire in their genetics. The Starburst marks on their hands give away their status and provide an outlet for the power. (More on this on the Starfire page) Meistal are Inari with Starfire in their genetics but no Starburst marks. In Inari, the term meistal means "middle" because, while both Keepers and meistal can use the Starfire's power to shrink and grow their wings at will (alter their appearance slightly), only Keepers can release the energy of the Starfire within them.
Inari are an ancient species, technologically advanced long before humanity formed cities and governments. Early in their history, they were a matriarchal society, with males as the smaller of the two genders and only considered for mating. Over time, they have changed, although by the time Jasheir Elis came to be one of the tallest of any Inari of his generation, male and female had equal status.
Because of their matriarchal history, children are given the family name of their mothers. The fathers were irrelevant for a period of history when males were chosen as mates based on genetic compatibility to produce strong female offspring and one male could be paired with several females.
Marriage has never been a formal institution of Inari society. However, because the Starfire is present in all Inari, it has altered their mating habits. Since it first bonded to form Keepers in an effort to communicate its will, the Starfire has sought to unify the species. Male and female form a permanent bond through regular, prolonged physical contact. This bonding process between two Inari creates a telepathic link through the Starfire to the exclusion of others.
The Inari have contacts with numerous other species. They train an elite diplomatic corps known as the Eloushar Dosan to assist in negotiations with other worlds and the Ahben civilizations living in the ocean depths of their homeworld, as well as mediate for other worlds.
McClarron, North Dakota
(NOTE: In reality, there is no McClarron, North Dakota. It is a fictional setting combining several small towns familiar to the author.)
McClarron is a small town of approximately four thousand residents set in central North Dakota about fifty miles northeast of Bismarck or about thirty miles east of Washburn.
Ch'tor is the homeworld of the chameleonic species known as the Risaal. They were an arboreal species of different clans which fought each other for domination of their world. Twelve thousand (Earth) years ago, they possessed a second Starfire Crystal, which gave the dominant clan, the Nakor, the power to rule their world. Rebels smuggled the crystal to a visiting Inari dignitary, who returned with it to Inar'Ahben unaware of the desire of the Risaal to reclaim it. Inar'Ahben was nearly destroyed by the Risaal, but the crystal slipped by them again.
In the time between the invasion of Inar'Ahben and our present day, Ch'tor was decimated by unknown forces.
More to come