|Orbital distance||0.6 AU|
|Day length||64.2 hours|
|Year length||155 Earth days|
|Composition||96% carbon dioxide, 2% nitrogen, 1% sulfur dioxide, 1% other|
|Surface pressure||120 atm|
Krizaelius is the second planet in the Szon system. The planet is roughly twice as large as Ucharpli, and its high gravity combined with its intense pressure leaves most of the surface uninhabited. This has not stopped the Karalian Empire from undergoing mining operations to extract the valuable, rare mineral known as Dragonrock.
For a terrestrial planet, Krizaelius has one of the densest atmospheres known in the Milky Way Galaxy. Its atmosphere is composed mainly of carbon dioxide with a small amount of nitrogen, and a pressure about 120 times that of Earth. Combined with thick clouds of sulfur dioxide, the planet has a brutal greenhouse planet making it just as dangerous to enter as the lower altitudes of a gas giant.
The middle to lower cloud layers are far more forgiving, and here is where floating settlements have been established. Airborn extremophile microbes have been discovered in these areas suggesting the planet was much more hospitable in the past.
Krizaelius's atmosphere has been flagged as a major source scientific interest. While Szon already has three habitable planets, Krizaelius was believed to be one at some point, but it seems impossible that Krizaelius could have existed within the life zone at the same time as Pelietta, Ucharpli and Ackarra. Even with the aid of computer generated models, scientists have yet to confirm how exactly the planet formed.
It is believed that during Szon's earlier formation, Krizaelius sustained a similar atmosphere as Ucharpli. It is unknown how exactly it acquired its thick atmosphere, but one theory proposes that Krizaelius was a large planetoid that migrated from another star system long before Szon's gas giants were formed. As it approached its new, energetic parent star, the water and carbon dioxide locked inside the ice on its surface was torn open as the sun jumpstarted the planet's vulcanism, releasing these gases into the air. This would make Krizaelius the oldest planet in the Szon system, at least six billion years.
Although this theory has become the most widely accepted, the discovery of Omni ruins on the nearby planet Pelietta has given rise to an alternate theory where instead Krizaelius was the result of a failed terraforming experiment by an ancient alien race, either the Omni or another species that preceded them. No evidence of past artificial structures on the surface has yet to be found which discredits this theory.
Krizaelius, while only roughly twice the size of Ucharpli, is over five times as dense. The planet's core is made nearly entire of iron with enough pressure to form the rare form of iron Dragonrock. It has a very thin, dying mantle which promotes minimal volcanic activity. Krizaelius lacks tectonic activity, but the presence of large amounts of iron and Dragonrock in its core makes its magnetic field incredibly strong.
Until the late imperial era when a probe mapped it out, Krizaelius's geography remained a mystery. The surface is covered in volcanic plains, though there is a surprising lack of craters. This is likely attributed to meteors burning up long before they touch down on the surface; any impact craters will be at least several kilometers in diameter.
Points of interest
Most of Krizaelius's surface today consists of vast fields of strip mines. The abundance of iron has allowed the Karalian to become a major trader of minerals. Krizaelius's most famous artificial landmark is the Dragonrock Mine of Krizaelius. Robots are the main travelers to the mines, though some can be directly controlled by individuals on the floating colonies. The mine itself is essentially a giant hole in the ground around 10,000 kilometers deep and fifteen kilometers in diameter. Large elevator shafts bring the valuable Dragonrock ore from the planet's dangerous lower levels. The mid layers which are rich in iron help to remedy the cost of digging such a deep hole. This mine is the deepest hole ever drilled by the Karalian Empire, making it among one of their greatest technological innovations.
Kaszar is a large captured asteroid about thirty kilometers in diamter. When it was first discovered, it was set for a collision course in approximately 1,000 years. Artificial rockets were installed on it later to redirect it into a stable orbit. Today, the asteroid serves as a checkpoint for delivering Dragonrock as Kaszar is much easier to reach by supply ships. Kaszar has large patches of strip mined regions. Materials from this asteroid were extracted to help build the Dragonrock Mine of Krizaelius.
While most of the population is on the asteroid Kaszar, low orbit villages float high above connected to the ground with long tethers which serve as space elevators. This makes the transport of the minerals off the planet much easier.
Krizaelius was the last terrestrial planet in the Szon system to be colonized due to the amount of careful planning and technological devices required to build such settlements.
Travel on the surface is largely limited. Most surface regions maintain lower gravity through rapid rotation. Geothermal energy powers these mechanisms.
While Dragonrock was discovered with planetary surveys as early as 130 4E, the resource itself could not be reached until 500 years later when the Karalian had developed high enough technology. Despite this, the planet still provides a steady supply of iron.
The discovery of Dragonrock on Krizaelius has made the Karalian Empire one of the largest distributors of the material. The ore is usually exported to Yolkor first for refinement as that planet is the only nearby body hot enough to actually forge the mineral properly.
Dangerous amusement parks were also created to take advantage of the rapid rotating facilities that maintain lower, more comfortable gravity.
The Death Run is a 20 mile race through an open patch of land on Krizaelius. Participants wear envirosuits and try to make it to the goal on foot, watching their own oxygen supply.
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Taka • Dizir (Khovet)
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