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The Dachlyd word for Dathis II translates to "nest", with similar connotations as Terran "earth".
Dathis is a F-type subgiant star, luminosity class IV - as such, Dathis appears white when seen from space. However, it appears yellow from the inhabited portion of Dathis II, due to the planet's atmosphere.
Meteoroids are a significant threat to unshielded space craft and satellites. These smaller bodies are all that remain after the Dachlyds harvested the once-numerous asteroids.
Like most of the Dathis system, Dathis II is host to a large, rotating number of Dachlyd freighters. Asked on one occasion for a specific number regarding this fleet, Cadet Inarr Rogg only remarked, "More than once the orbiting freighters have partially eclipsed the planet's surface."
Points of interest
Seckrops University orbits Dathis II. The campus is on one of the only remaining planetoids near the planet.
Since early in its history Dathis II has been subject to frequent meteoroid bombardment. More rare (though more common than comparative Terran history) were regular asteroid impacts. Fossil records indicate that life on Dathis II has been subject to several extinction-level events. Early Dachlyd History is punctuated by cataclysms resulting from the impacts of one or more asteroids. Due to developments in Planetary Defense, asteroid-related disasters remain in the past of Dathis II.
Impact craters in various states of erosion are a unique feature of the planet's surface (some researchers propose that the craters remaining from previous asteroids may have sheltered Dathis II life from subsequent asteroids). Many craters have become overgrown with the abundant flora. A couple of the craters from ELEs have since become seas.
Floating rafts or "islands" of fused tree litter may be found in the oceans near the equator. The largest surveyed had an astonishing area of 5,022 km2. Typical litter islands average around 100 km2. Wave action usually breaks a litter island apart within a week, but several have been recorded to last years. According to Dachlyd legend, there is a litter island which has persisted since before recorded history.
The north and south poles of the planet are capped in glacial ice.
Dathis II abounds with plant life, ranging from prosaic ferns to eerie, triffid-like lifeforms. Visiting Terrans have compared the ecosystem to that of early 20th century (Terran) notions of Venus, albeit poetically. More erudite botanists note that the planet has ten times more plants than planets of comparative volume and atmosphere. Many theories have been put forth to compete for explanation of the seemingly superfluous species of vegetation. The wide variety of flora has an almost as broad range of uses in Dachlyd culture; the plants are used for food, utensil, decoration, religious ceremony, etc. As a result, many Dachlyds appreciate flora even on worlds with comparatively sparse vegetation.
Each region of Dathis II has a native plant associated with it:
Towering "lung" trees can be found on Dathis II. These plant structures are colossal when mature, and may grow to titanic dimensions. The largest lungs are located near the equator; in this region, sigma radiation limits the threats the trees endure. Equatorial lungs only have to survive frequent precipitation, giant insects, old age, and gravity. Another unique aspect of the forested equator is the massive accumulation of duff. Sigma radiation adversely affects decomposers, which combined with the rampant plant growth creates a thick layer of barely decaying tree litter. An entire subset of Dachlyd botany is devoted to the epiphytes endemic to lung trees.
Twiyll is a plant similar to Terran hemp, with the notable difference that once dried it has elastic properties. For this reason, the Dachlyd people have long used it in clothing, jewelry, or in other applications where skin comfort is as much a concern as durability.
Despite research expeditions by xenobotanists, no sentient manner of plant life has yet been discovered on the surface of Dathis II.
The animal life of this planet is notably reptilian with almost no mammals (excluding various bat-like forms). In addition to the lack of mammalian life, there are no avians (birds) - this ecological niche is filled by large, flying insects and the aforementioned bats.
Comparative xenobiology suggests that life evolved on Dathis II as it might have on Earth, had mammals not ascended to dominate the food web.
The insect life on Dathis II is not of particular interest to the native Dachlyd, apart from certain delicious larvae. The armor-like skin of the Dachlyd allow them to safely ignore most insects. A notable exception are the giant insects. These larger arthropods can injure or even kill an adult Dachlyd. Fortunately, most giant insects are rare outside of the equator region.