Report on Planet Strora 6TPY ("Rhelomia") And Its Inhabitants
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Report on Planet Strora 6TPY ("Rhelomia") And Its Inhabitants

Irrati Khizaz, Esoteric Warfare Unit

Overview
Rhelomia is a rogue carbon planet with no atmosphere on the surface; it is believed to have once been the core of a gas giant. However, it has an extensive cave system with its own atmosphere, climate, and biosphere that is accessible via several Ways on the planet’s surface. The interior of the planet is hot and humid, and is prone to excessive rain and seasonal flooding. Heat is provided by a few large natural nuclear reactors and other geothermal activity, as well as several dimensional portals that apparently lead to more hospitable environments. The planet’s gravity is 5 times that of earth’s, requiring the use of special exosuits to survive. The caves house an extensive crystalline mountain range with several large but isolated valleys, many of which have unique self-contained ecosystems found nowhere else on the planet. The floor of many valleys are covered with a warm, shallow layer of water. A single large moon creates a strong tidal effect, essentially making each valley a vast tidal mudflat. Many valleys are also littered with deep lakes, rivers, and swamps dominated by carnivorous, myco-heterotrophic plants.

Rhelomia is anomalous; despite seemingly displaying only slightly lower average Hume concentration than Earth (with many of the planet's mountains greatly exceeding Earth's average Hume concentration), it responds to the thoughts and subconscious impulses of its inhabitants in a manner consistent with what is commonly referred to as “dream logic”. For a normal, conscious human, surviving in such an area presents a significant challenge; the landscape changes rapidly, drawing upon one’s memories and subconscious mind to create strange yet familiar environments. The planet can even spontaneously create and destroy life-forms, though several native species and any life-forms that originate from a world other than Rhelomia do not appear to be at risk of spontaneous alterations or destruction. Though the planet is generally stable enough to maintain small settlements, strong emotions can cause wild fluctuations. The use of psychedelics allows one to more easily understand the planet’s unusual properties, and lucid dreamers like myself are able to exert a limited amount of control over the environment.

The planet’s natural nuclear reactors create a weakly radioactive chemical byproduct that readily bonds to ATP. In humans and in several Rhelomian organisms, it has psychoactive and physiological effects similar to adderall, cannabis, and bemethyl. Its most prominent effect is a state of euphoria and mental alertness that promotes the ability to rapidly process large volumes of information. Though further study is needed, I believe that this substance can be of great use to Foundation space operatives.

For exact measurements of the planet's attributes (such as size, chemical composition, and Way coordinates), see Document ERF-36.

Kzugane: Biology and Appearance
Several of Rhelomia’s valleys are inhabited by a sentient species known as the Kzugane. The Kzugane are roughly humanoid creatures with a head strongly resembling that of an elephant and a body that is covered in an armored, insect-like carapace. They typically stand over 8 feet tall despite their hunched posture, and they are invariably broad-shouldered and stocky, though they move with deceptive speed and grace. Their arms are structured similarly to their trunks, but end in hand-like appendages with a hole on the center of the palm. This hole leads to a long pocket on the inside of the arm, which can be used to store liquids and small objects. The arms have taste and scent receptors, but do not have a connection to the respiratory or digestive system; this allows the Kzugane to recognize the scent and taste of dangerous chemicals without actually ingesting or inhaling them. The pockets can also be used to create water jets to propel them in underwater environments.

Their bodies appear to contain a form of anomalous matter with negative mass, allowing them to leap great heights and distances while also slowing their falls. Their nervous system, genetics, and sensory organs are similar to those of an octopus; their limbs are able to make decisions independent of the main brain, they are able to edit their own RNA extensively, and their eyes have a unique structure that lacks a physiological blind spot. However, unlike octopi, Kzugane have excellent stereognosis and proprioception, though this may be the result of RNA editing. They can also change the color and texture of their skin and carapace. While their skin reverts to a “normal” state when concentration is broken, changes to the carapace will persist even after being physically removed from the Kzugane’s body. As a result, carapaces are used for long-term information storage, and the carapaces of the deceased are kept by living relatives. Kzugane rarely make full use of their camouflage abilities, as doing so would wipe the carapace of information.

Kzugane have a sleep state similar to humans, but they are never fully awake; half of their brain is always asleep, and they maintain a sort of constant hypnagogic state as a result. This state presents a number of evolutionary advantages in the Kzugane’s environment:
-Kzugane have an innate understanding of Rhelomia’s “dream logic” while in their half-asleep state, better enabling them to adapt to and predict sudden changes that occur as a result of subconscious influences.
-Kzugane can communicate telepathically over vast distances when dreaming or half-asleep; they essentially have a built-in telecommunications network. This network is also the only means available for them to raise and educate their water-dwelling children.
-Kzugane can experience brief premonitions in the form of hypnagogic hallucinations.
-several organisms on Rhelomia (including a prolific blue moss that serves as the Kzugane’s primary source of food) cannot be perceived or interacted with outside of a hypnagogic state without the use of psychedelics.
-Kzugane are able to contact an unknown race of entities in their dreams and hallucinations; these entities are vital to their reproduction and pharmaceutical knowledge (these entities are possibly connected to the oneiroi collective and/or SCP-1394).

The Kzugane hypnagogic state does not result in illogical thought like it does in humans; Kzugane can generally function reliably in this state, though they are disinhibited, suggestible, and easily distracted, and perceptual distortions are common. Because of their telepathic abilities, Kzugane can sometimes confuse the thoughts of others with their own, leading to an increased connection with others and a more predictable environment but decreased individual expression.

Interestingly, the Kzugane frequently make use of a drug that brings them to a fully awakened state. While they lose the benefits of their normal hypnagogic state, they gain the ability to devote greater focus and attention to various tasks, and they consider a fully awake state equivalent to being intoxicated; the drug is used primarily for recreational purposes. However, they also used it extensively in order to communicate with me and my team.

Kzugane lack reproductive organs, but have several genders that do not appear to be tied to biological sex. They reproduce by budding, but require an unknown form of input from dream-based entities in order to begin the budding process; all groups that I have come into contact with have either been unwilling to describe it or have had difficulty properly explaining the concept to me, even using telepathy.

Kzugane begin their lives as aquatic, jellyfish-like colonial beings composed of highly specialized organisms that cannot survive on their own; they must link together to function properly. Each parent produces a full set of organisms, but most larvae are combinations of organisms from multiple parents. As the larva matures, these separate organisms gradually combine into a single, mature creature over the course of 70 years, after which point the creature lives for 30-90 more years. Fully developed Kzugane molt every 5 years to accommodate the growth of their carapaces; they become sexually mature after 3 molts.

Kzugane are both chemoautotrophs and chemoheterotrophs, able to gain energy from consuming plant or animal matter and by oxidizing inorganic materials using special chemicals in their saliva; these chemicals can damage human tissue in large concentrations, and it is almost instantly fatal to several would-be predators of the Kzugane. They can also directly absorb heat and radiation, though too much of either can be dangerous.

Kzugane Society and Culture
Like humans, Kzugane are a multicultural species with multiple economies and forms of government. However, their long-range dream communication ability resulted in a high amount of cultural diffusion very early in their history.

Whereas most sentient species evolved to control and alter their environment, Kzugane evolved to control and alter themselves. Many Kzugane cultures focus on the alteration and expansion of the mind and body, and as a result of this, they have extensive knowledge of cybernetics and pharmaceuticals (especially when it comes to psychoactive substances). Cybernetic augmentations are a regular sight, even in the least advanced Kzugane cultures. Most of their augmentations involve enhancement of existing senses or the creation of new senses. For example, Kzugane are naturally color-blind, but neural implants granting color vision are nearly universal.

However, other than this, most Kzugane cultures have made little technological progress; the Kzugane value leisure, adaptability, and oneness with nature more than technological advancement or innovation.

The Kzugane have had little need to develop telecommunications technology due to their dream networks, and are only now beginning to develop motorized vehicles. Weapons technology is similarly stunted, as the Kzugane have never fought a major war in their entire history; violent thoughts and the stress of combat quickly result in dangerous changes to one’s surroundings on Rhelomia, and it’s difficult to survive and function on the battlefield in a hypnagogic state. However, this aversion to conflict has also led to an unwillingness to revolt in the face of injustice. In many Kzugane cultures, the non-lucid dreaming minority is oppressed and marginalized in varying degrees by the lucid dreaming majority, though a few societies have developed drugs or meditative techniques to induce lucid dreaming.

Many Kzugane cultures also have a strong tradition of theatre and roleplay; to the Kzugane, acting is an altered state of consciousness that should be thoroughly explored, especially since it lacks the potentially harmful side effects of many drugs.

The telepathic abilities of the Kzugane have largely replaced conventional language in everyday conversation, but many cultures maintain spoken languages for artistic purposes and written languages for long-term information storage. Unlike almost all known Human languages, most Kzugane written languages are not connected to their spoken languages; symbols do not represent sounds, instead existing as an entirely separate medium. Languages tend to be descriptive and adjective-centric, making them well-suited for poetry and artistic expression. Telepathic communication is often accompanied by the display of written symbols on their large, fan-like ears.

Most Kzugane cultures are very deeply connected to their mythology; hypnagogic hallucinations make their myths and legends as real to them as anything else in Rhelomia’s constantly-fluctuating environment, and their hallucinations shape their mythology in turn. Spiritual leaders in Kzugane communities combine the roles of shaman and psychotherapist, and are as practical to them as engineers or doctors would be to us. Many Kzugane religions worship a water deity (associated with birth, life, fertility, community, dreams, strength, medicine, and learning) and a land/soil deity (associated with death, change, the waking world, art, technology, food, music, and games). Ancestor worship and animal totems are also common.

Kzugane childrearing is a communal affair, mainly consisting of providing food and telepathically broadcasting lessons and information. Like childhood in many human cultures, Kzugane childhood is a time of personal development, yet has decreased freedom compared to adulthood. However, rather than cherish their childhood, Kzugane view it as a hardship to be overcome in pursuit of increased leisure. Kzugane childhood is long and somewhat boring; most Kzugane larvae never leave the small pond or lake in which they’re born, and they have no form of entertainment except that which is provided via telepathy. Adult Kzugane, however, have few responsibilities other than gathering food, and are mostly free to pursue their own interests (something that is done much more easily on land). Punishment and negative reinforcement are nearly nonexistent among the Kzugane; engendering negative emotions provokes a dangerous response from the environment. Kzugane instead prefer to let children make their own mistakes, teaching mainly through positive reinforcement and direct telepathic transfer of information. Among the Kzugane, a preference for aquatic environments is considered a sign of immaturity, though most Kzugane are unlikely to care one way or the other, preferring a non-judgemental “live and let live” additude.

Most Kzugane societies are confederations of small communes associated with a relatively weak central government. The nature of these governments varies; some are theocracies, while others are democracies, monarchies, or chiefdoms. All Kzugane societies have an adhocratic element to them; the Kzugane find bureaucracy far too tedious and cumbersome. The majority of Kzugane cultures are hunter-gatherer societies with a gift economy, though some bartering also occurs.

During my time on Rhelomia, I primarily interacted with a cultural group known as the Kroozel. The Kroozel are a group of leaderless nomadic traders who value a lack of material attachments and believe that dreams are their natural state; they are only ever awake to gather information for dreams. They have a particularly strong connection to the inhabitants of their dream world, and often engage in the trade of dream-based pharmaceuticals while asleep. They lack personal names, instead referring to each other with descriptive terms like “the shortest one” or “the one by the rock”; they also make heavy use of their telepathy in identifying individuals. Many of them follow a variant of the Ortothan religion centered on the belief that the First and Second Hytoths were created as works of art, and that it is the duty of all sentient creatures to create art, both in dreams and in the waking world. Using special drugs, the Kroozel are able to give all members of their society the ability to lucid dream, an ability they use to shape their environment into artistic works. They even create whole new life forms for artistic purposes; some of these life forms have integrated themselves into various Rhelomian ecosystems. The bodies of revered artists are often consumed to gain their creative energy.

The Sawaizu are a notable Kroozel subculture that worships Rhelomia’s many dimensional portals, which they believe to be the source of all life on the planet. They regularly travel through these portals, making contact with the cultures there and recording information about their travels in cybernetic data storage devices. Their use of these devices has led to the Sawaizu filling a unique cultural niche among the Kroozel; they are the group’s historians and diplomats, storing the history of their society in their cybernetic implants and using mind-altering drugs to better connect and communicate with foreign cultures.

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