Dahls

Dahls is one of the most important worlds. Maybe not because of what it is, but because most of my writing revolves around its inhabitants.

Dahls is a tiny world: with a good horse (or equivalent) one could circle it in less than a day. That's Earthly day, by the way – the Day in Dahls lasts fifty-five hours, compared to five hours of the night. The sky is dull, pale red, completely permeable to the light of Vhalfr, but mostly the cold part. At night it becomes completely opaque. The weather is dry and chilly, with median temperatures around 17-18ºC.

The surface is mostly flat, with a thin ring of rugged mountains at the base of the sky-dome and a single lake in the center. The only plants are microscopic air-borne algae and the dominating lifeforms are zoophytes: creatures that don’t belong to any kingdom on Earth and which are immovable but require external sustenance. They have black, spiny exoskeletons and dark, blue membranes they use to filter the algae they feed on.

Dahls is very often subjected to meteor rains, but they actually provide its only resource: dallites, color-changing gems, that only exist in this world.

Humans arrived in Dahls after the fall of Ancient Karir, ten thousand cycles ago. Until then, the world was visited by various creatures, but not inhabited. Humans created the first settlement, but as Dahls's soil is rich in heavy metals, it is unsuitable for farming. Thankfully, another group of Old Karirians settled in neighboring Tarviss, and with their support, Dahlsi could survive.
At first, people lived in the caves, since no roof could withstand the constant barrage of rocks, but after some time they built a giant, closed city with thick walls, a vaulted roof, and no windows. Time passed, and the highest classes gathered riches, while the poor had to work harder and harder just to get by, all while Tarvissi were getting more and more bold in their demands, knowing full well that without their support, Dahlsi would starve. Finally though, the situation became too hard to bear and the lower classes rebelled, disposing of all the higher classes and dividing their possessions between themselves. The formation of a new Dahlsian state took time and was not without its problems, but in the end, two laws were passed: that no Dahlsi could have more than others and that every citizen of Dahls was guaranteed an apartment in the city, food, clothing, education, and health care. Money was still used, awarded for exceptional feats, and exchanged for entertainment. Besides, no citizen could have more than an agreed amount that changed with times: if they earned any more, it was confiscated.

For few centuries all was well, but as the population grew, life was becoming harder: Dahls had limited space, after all, and the trade with Tarviss could only provide so much. Houses became smaller until they reached the size of single rooms. Food rations became poorer and although Dahlsi quickly learned to synthesize amino acids and vitamins to supplement the food provided by Tarviss, with each generation they grew smaller and sicker. Furthermore, having spent most of their lives in a closed-off city, they became sensitive to the light of Vhalfr and allergic to other organisms.

The necessity pushed them to invest in the advancements in magic and science, which quickly turned them into the most advanced society in this part of the Great Sphere. Their biggest discovery was unraveling a long-closed merge, which opened them a door to a completely uninhabited cluster. They called it Meon, which in Dahlsi-é language means blossoming of a zoophyte. With new resources, they quickly loosened their ties with Tarviss, which didn't sit well with their old allies.

The only problems were that Dahlsi weren't capable of living outside of their City and the newly gained riches made them an easy target for their powerful neighbors. So they invited the Outworlders to help them explore, map, inhabit and exploit the new cluster. Initially, the exploration brought in many causalities: after all, not all worlds were habitable. This prompted the creation of two organizations. First was Cartographic Society, which dealt with localizing and charting new merges. The second one was Mespana, a military-like organization that provided training and equipment to ensure safe exploration. Thanks to their training they also were quickly burdened with keeping peace among the many inhabitants of Meon cluster.

The story takes place roughly twenty cycles—the equivalent of forty years—since the discovery of Meon cluster.

People of Dahls - Dahlsi - are short and pale, with dark, straight hair, bright eyes with prominent epicanthic folds, and prominent facial features. They are known for their pragmatic nature and minimalist lifestyle. Their language, Dahlsi-é is short and efficient, with hard r and no sh or ch. In mathematics, they use dozenal system (based on 12, not 10).

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