Day: 1 day; Year: 317 years
Triaxus’s eccentric, mysteriously slow orbit takes it even closer to the sun than Castrovel during its summer, resulting in a tropical climate that turns harsh and frozen as the world sails back out past the gas giants in its winter. This cycle takes 317 Pact Standard years, with whole generations living and dying in a single season and plant and animal life forming two nearly separate ecologies, each going dormant during its off season. Of the creatures that adapt to both, the most prominent are the humanoid ryphorians, who manifest thick white fur and narrowed eyes to protect against snow blindness in the winter and develop smooth, dark skin in the summer. While the advent of spaceflight has made such adaptations less important for survival, ryphorian biology continues to be inexplicably tied to the planet, which is currently locked in winter. Those ryphorians born offworld generally maintain their current winterborn form, though even without knowing the exact mechanism, some have begun using magic and genetic engineering to transition early.
Even with minor outliers like Aylok, nowhere did the advent of the Pact have a greater effect than in the Skyfire Mandate. With peace—if a tense one—between dragons and humanoids, and with spaceflight replacing planetary combat in importance, the territory’s famed Dragon Legion found itself without a purpose. In response, its leaders took to the stars, and today the rebranded Skyfire Legion forms an elite and highly principled mercenary organization, selling its protection to well-meaning colonists and corporations operating beyond the solar system (and thus outside the Stewards’ protection). Now the dragonkin themselves are only occasionally ridden in atmosphere. Many starfaring dragonkin families have resorted to genetic engineering to reduce their size to better fit in the narrow corridors of space stations and starships, and thanks to their near-telepathic bond with their partners, no humanoid of the legion would dream of flying a starfighter without her dragonkin copilot.
Outside of the Allied Territories, a notable exception to prevailing Triaxian culture is the continent of Ning, long cut off from the other nations by the vast Sephorian Sea. Like backward-looking Aylok, Ning has refused to acknowledge the Pact’s authority, but it has embraced modernization, making it a haven for corporations, criminals, and all others that seek to avoid Pact control. Far from being a lawless society, however, Ning is obsessed with honor and status—traits that attract a fair number of kasatha and vesk immigrants—and its upper class, led by the Immortal Suzerain, keeps its citizens safe from dangers both domestic and foreign. Culturally, Ning is best known for the ukara, or “battleflowers”: lithe, genderless warriors—often solarians—who compete in broadcasted ritual combat in exchange for system-wide celebrity.