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Radole was a planet of extremes[1] in the crystal sphere of Winterspace,[3][4] thought to have been terraformed and seeded with life by the ancient Juna.[1][note 1]

Between Sunside and Darkside, the Ribbon is a continuous garden swimming in the eternal morning of an eternal [summer].
  — Famed elven poet and explorer Aldyn Leafbower.[1]

DescriptionEdit

Radole was a rare tidally locked planet, which means that the same side of the planet was always facing its sun,[1] much like the same side of the moon Selûne was always facing Toril.[5] The most obvious effect of this was that the planet did not have day or night cycles. This resulted in extraordinary variations in temperature and climate across the whole planet that barely deviated throughout the year in any given location. Radole's Sunside was so hot that even some lighter metals melted. Its Darkside was so cold, that oxygen could liquefy. Only in the Ribbon, the border between light and dark, could life thrive, and here, the sun was always visible in perpetual dusk or dawn, depending on which hemisphere one resided.[1]

Sunside was free of clouds and appeared red from space, whereas Darkside, being perpetually within its own shadow had few discernible features from orbit. Cloud cover over the Ribbon was variable with gaps.[1]

Radole had a radius of 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) at the equator. It was slightly oblate and had no tilt to its revolution. It had no moons.[1]

GeographyEdit

The rugged planet had many tall mountain ranges and plunging valleys, but there were no large bodies of seawater on the planet, which was thus considered to contain a single continent.[1] Darkside contained one impressive plateau of enormous size called the Plateau of Night.[6] In the Ribbon, the terrain contained rolling hills and fertile plains instead, with many small lakes and rivers providing irrigation.[1]

Scholars who studied such matters believed that Radole was a "dead world" geologically, meaning that it no longer had any volcanic activity.[1]

In Darkside, in the utter darkness farthest from the suns light, there were lakes of liquid oxygen.[1] The largest of these were dubbed the Ocean of Death and the Ocean of Nightmares.[6] In Sunside, it was so hot that there were lakes of molten metals, such as tin, with floating "islands" of half-melted lead.[1] The two biggest were named the Hellspawn Sea and the Dragonbath.[6]

The Ribbon was a paradise by any comparisons. It was a region about 200 miles (320 kilometers) wide. On its border with Darkside, there was a straight and tall mountain range, the Shieldwall Mountains that looped around the planet from pole to pole to pole. These mountains were a little under three miles (five kilometers) high, and from them, fresh water cascaded down into the Ribbons valleys and lakes.[1]

ClimateEdit

Climate for Radole
Average Temperatures
32 ℉
0 ℃

−310 ℉
−190 ℃

Darkside

75 ℉
24 ℃

The Ribbon

620 ℉
327 ℃

Sunside


Source: PP, p. 13

As already stated, the temperature on Darkside was exceptionally cold. On the equator, at the point farthest from the sun, the temperature was −310 ℉ (−190 ℃). This was cold enough to keep oxygen in its liquid form. So, besides being too cold for standard lifeforms to survive, the air was completely unbreathable. Temperatures rapidly increased as one move closer to the Ribbon.[1]

Clouds covered the Darkside, and these frequently—about once every 72 hours—dropped precipitation of "rain" of liquid oxygen or "snow" of water ice and oxygen crystals. The winds were exceptionally powerful and dangerous and resulted in blizzards of oxygen snow.[1]

The total opposite of hellish environments was on the other side of the planet. Here, the highest temperatures reached 620 ℉ (330 ℃). As already noted, this was hot enough to melt softer metals such as lead or tin. As in Darkside, the temperatures rapidly changed to habitable ones as one moved closer to the Ribbon.[1]

There were no clouds on Sunside, as the heat drove all the water away, and thus no precipitation of any kind. Powerful dry winds rushed over the rugged surface.[1]

The weather of the Ribbon, in stark contrast, was idyllic, ranging between 70 ℉ (21 ℃) and 80 ℉ (27 ℃). Pleasant breezes carried with them warm and dry air from Sunside, while the Shieldwall Mountains blocked most of the bitter cold winds from Darkside. Temperate rains fell from the clouds above the Ribbon about once or twice every tenday by Toril's time.[1]

Flora & FaunaEdit

Rumors spoke of giant white worms, similar to purple worms, living in Darkside, but it was hard for any life to exist in such cold temperatures and without oxygen.[1]

In Sunside, there were many types of giant insects with metallic exoskeletons. A common example of such a creature was the steelback beetle. Scholars speculated that these creatures converted sunlight into energy and obtained nourishment from the soil or from eating other such insects.[1]

The Ribbon was home to a wide variety of domesticated animals and tame wildlife. There were no dangerous animals of any kind here but many birds, cows, deer, horses, sheep, squirrels, etc.[1]

The Ribbon was bountiful with all manner of flowering plants, grains, trees, and grasses, with the absence of any dangerous plant life.[1]

InhabitantsEdit

Radole was inhabited by humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings but entirely absent of goblinoids, orcs, or other typically evil humanoids. These all lived, of course, in the Ribbon.[1] There was one account of a dracon colony as well,[2] and some further said that unicorns could be found in the Ribbon.[1]

Beyond the humanoid life of the Ribbon, metallic dragons inhabited Sunside, including a particular subtype of metallic dragon known as mithril dragons. The dragons enjoyed riding the thermal winds over the mountains. Some sages insisted that these dragons could not be the same metallic dragons seen on other worlds, as Sunside was too hot either for them, but others saw no issue with magical beings like dragons adapting to such hot conditions.[1]

Rumors claimed a population of shadowy creatures roaming the barren landscape, and these were true—a gate to the Negative Energy Plane existed at the coldest point on the planet, and through it passed many sentient shadows. The shadows never passed over the mountains into the Ribbon, since it was never night there.[1]

SocietyEdit

The inhabitants of Radole were keenly aware that their world was a ultimate paradise within the Ribbon, and for this reason, they were exceedingly hesitant to permit visitors to their planet and viewed any rare visitors with high levels of distrust if not outright xenophobia. The planet was defended by the Radole Navy, the Imperial Radole Fleet, which had over a hundred vessels consisting of 35 hammerships and about 70 smaller support vessels, including damselflies, dragonflies, and wasps. These space vessels formed an orbiting wall of defense against incoming spacecraft.[1]

On the ground, the planet was protected by the Radole Planetary Defense Force (PDF), which included warriors, mages, and clerics. Anyone permitted clearance to land on the planet would be escorted down by the navy and then escorted anywhere they traveled on the planet by members of the PDF.[1]

Some spread rumors that Radole necromancers had placed "minefields" of skeletons in orbit about their planet, which would unfold when entering the air envelope of a passing ship to attack, but these were only rumors.[1]

Other than the navy and the PDF, however, the planet was contained a pacifist culture. The Ribbon acted as a single planetary-wide nation. Its citizens tended strongly towards lawfulness, and their law books even included rules on birth customs or romantic relationships. Lawbreakers were essentially shunned from society, and this alone was usually sufficient for maintaining law and order.[1]

Visitors were treated to a tougher standard and were guilty until proven innocent of any alleged crimes against even the most mundane laws. Rulings were carried out by a Judiciary Committee, who had complete power over judging and sentencing of off-worlders. Typically, the sentence would be death, but actual executions were rarely carried out; instead, sentences were usually suspended in exchange for the convicted person performing a monumental task in benefit of Radole society. A "convict" successfully completing the task—which might involve something as dangerous as recovering specimens from either Sunside or Darkside—would be banished instead of executed.[1]

To be a citizen of the Ribbon, one must have been born on the Ribbon. Only two cases have been recorded of a visitor being granted even the freedom to travel without PDF escort, and both examples involved elves.[1]

HistoryEdit

The recorded history of the inhabitants of Radole covered several thousand years, but the ancient history of Radole was shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless, nearly all historians and scholars agreed that the central region of the planet must have been both terraformed and seeded with lifeforms. The Shieldwall Mountains were too regular to have been natural; they must have been artificially constructed, most likely with the intention of holding back the glaciers and winds from Darkside so that life could thrive in the Ribbon. Likewise, the rivers of the Ribbon always occurred at regular intervals of 10.25 miles (16.50 kilometers) apart. Furthermore, the stable balance of non-hostile animals, plants, and intelligent life could only have been planned; someone or something must have brought all of these lifeforms to Radole intentionally.[1]

Beyond even these mysteries were the archeological evidences of life before the current civilizations. Deep within the Shieldwall Mountains, gigantic, smooth-walled tunnels were discovered that led deep into the mountains where they ended in enormous chambers hundreds of feet high and thousands wide. The walls of these ancient chambers were covered in murals and carvings with abstract symbology.[1] Among these symbols were the distinctive markings of the Juna,[note 1] three-pointed stars and three-pointed petals.[1] According to dwarven archeologists, the tunnels were not bored into the mountains; the mountains were built atop the structures of the tunnels and chambers! Most held to the theory that the Juna once called Radole home before bringing other creatures to live there.[1]

In 1362 DR, in Realmspace, the Cloakmaster, Teldin Moore, was able to, by means of a magic amulet, see through the eyes of the Spelljammer. When he described what he was seeing to his friends Hectate and Vallus Leafbower, they suspected that he was seeing Radole in Winterspace. A course was plotted for this crystal sphere in response,[4] and it was in Winterspace near Radole that a major battle of the Second Unhuman War then occurred.[7]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels
The Radiant Dragon

NotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Juna are not specifically named in the text of Practical Planetology; however the descriptions of their three-pointed symbols make it undoubtable that the Juna described in the Cloakmaster Cycle of novels are being referred to here.

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ReferencesEdit

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