Velcyan'holarch - Planet

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World: Velcyan'holarch
Universe: Chaos
Size: 14,516 km diameter
Type: Earth-like
Population: ~900 thousand (600,000 tanniyn; 300,000 naphanak; negligible others)
Books: Steel

Pronunciation [Vel-see-an' hōl'-arc]

Velcyan'holarch is a resource-poor, mostly arid world with a few temperate and arctic regions closer to the poles. It is home to three native kinds: Tanniyn - complex society of dragons, Nephanak - giants who often hunt the Tanniyn, humans - small, scattered tribes that stay out of the way of the other two. There are also a few Phantim settlements, a splinter group from colonization efforts a thousand years past.


Velcyan'holarch has an axial tilt of only 10 degrees making the equatorial regions largely desert or arid savannahs. Sixty percent of the surface is covered with oceans, but those oceans are on average ten kilometers deep. There is life in the desert regions, creatures and even some civilizations that have adapted and thrive there. In the bands north and south of the arid zones are two bands approximately 2500 kilometers thick of temperate forests, plains, and swamps. A few jungles exist along the coasts as the oceans are very low in salinity. North and south of these zones are the sub-arctic and arctic zones spanning roughly 1500 kilometers.


Tanniyn - dragons divided into breeds akin to the chemical periodic table. These dragons have a rigid society ruled by the aloof noble houses and protected by the might of the massive Sideron (Iron) dragons. It is one of two mortal sins in their society to crossbreed.

Nephanak - giants divided more by region than physiological differences. The Nephanak in the temperate zones hunt the Tanniyn as resources thinking them dumb animals despite the coordinated efforts of the Sideron dragons to prevent the hunting parties from succeeding. The Nephanak are not malicious and often trade with the Phantim and even the humans. They simply don't realize or accept that the Tanniyn are sentient. The arctic Nephanak lead more simple lives and do not hunt the Tanniyn. Their main resource are the arctic myr-crystals that grow only in the cold and the giant polar wyrms, a vicious predator and prolific breeder that have some kind of cyclic relationship with the myr-crystals.

Phantim - a society of shadow-skinned humanoids with advanced technology, including at one point, interstellar travel. When their starship crashed on Velcyan'holarch, they could not find the resources necessary to repair their ship. It did not take long for them to recognize the intelligence of the Tanniyn and so they refused to hunt them, though the dragons could have provided all that they needed to leave. For a thousand years, the Phantim society has grown while their ship deteriorated and all hope of leaving and rejoining their brothers among the stars faded.

Humans - adapted to the desert and savannah regions, most humans on Valcyan'holarch are darker-skinned. They have a peaceful relationship with all the other kinds in the world, though the gigantic kinds rarely interact with them. Since the arrival of the Phantim, the humans have advanced in their own technology, moving from oasis-centric city-states to a labyrinthine system of highways, villages, and cities under the shallow sand in the solid rock below. Contrasting the potential for darkness in such a civilization, the humans have developed a rapid glass-making and shaping system and their underground cities are wonders of light and beauty. Only the Phantim and other humans ever get to see this wonder as the Tanniyn and Nephanak are too large to fit.