A guide to Lilea 4
The foundation and cornerstone of The Lilean Chronicles series, Lilea 4 plays the most important role within the story. Here we find out what the planet is like; we meet her people and discover their belief system and culture.
Lilea 4 is so named because it’s the fourth of the eight planets in the Lilean solar system. Lilea 4 is the only habitable planet within the Lilean system.
The Natural Environment
Lilea 4 is a beautiful world of ancient forests and ultramarine oceans. There are three continents on Lilea 4 covering 45% of the planet’s total surface area. The largest of these is approximately 40% of the total land mass on the planet.
The Lilean forests are ancient and have a central place within the Lilean spiritual belief system. The forests are never ‘managed’ by people in any way but are left to manage themselves.
The trees are never felled and forest is never cleared for building. Only when trees naturally fall and land becomes clear, do the Lileans use the land for building. The forests are intricately bound to Lilean spirituality (see spirituality section below) and as such, are sacred.
The huge ultramarine oceans on Lilea 4 cover the remaining 55% of the planet’s surface and form one huge ocean; there being no inland seas.
The Lilean people never swim in their ocean and no boats or ships can be found on the planet. The ocean water is so cold that if a person were to swim or fall into it, the blood would freeze solid in under ten minutes. Visitors to Lilea usually proclaim the oceans to be the deepest blue of any they have ever seen.
Lileans have chosen not to take the risk and avoid contact with their beautiful ocean. Flight craft always fly close to the shoreline, in case of an emergency landing and any flights across the water are always done at the shortest distance possible.
There are 4 seasons on Lilea, but their summer is longer than any of the other three seasons. There is a fairly temperate climate on the three continents, their position on the planet’s surface ensuring that their summers are hot but not uncomfortably so and their winters, short but cold. Snow and ice are regularly seen in the winter.
As with all worlds, Lilea 4 has abundant animal life on its land masses, in its oceans and in its skies. There are a myriad examples of mammals, birds, fish, insect life and aquatic creatures both carnivorous and herbivorous, wild and domesticated, dangerous and harmless. A full list of Lilean animal life would be prohibitively long, so I will list just a few examples.
Dodik – A harmless mammal, famous for having white fur as smooth as glass. A timid vegetarian, the Dodik is hunted for its delicious meat. The Dodik is reminiscent of an Earth deer and a fully grown male specimen can be well over six feet high at the head.
Malota – A huge bird of the Lilean skies, the Malota are referred to as Soaring Angels by the Lilean people, as they resemble angels when in flight. Their feathers are glossy brown and their wings trail long tendril feathers. Another long tendril trails from beneath the beak. Their meat is dark and strong tasting; an acquired taste and their skin is tanned and the resulting leather is well known for being amongst the softest known. They slightly resemble the prehistoric Earth creature, the Pterodactyl when in flight. Bold and fearless in their nature, they are nonetheless, harmless.
Cabberlug – A domesticated mammal of huge size. Used for riding; they can carry up to five Lilean adults at once with ease. A vegetarian, the Cabberlug is a dependable, slow and plodding animal. All manner of colours and coat patterns are found and they look like a cross between an Earth horse and a rhinoceros. Fully grown males sport a pair of jet black horns that can be anything up to a foot in length, situated one behind each ear on each side of the top of the skull. These are used for display and posturing during the mating season.
Olcum – A predatory amphibious mammal of up to three metres in length that lives in the shallower depths of the Lilean ocean. Its smooth and hairless skin is the same ultramarine of the ocean water and affords it excellent camouflage when hunting its land based prey. Its underside is paler in colour and again affords it excellent camouflage from its aquatic prey. The Olcum has four limbs much like the flippers of the Sea Lions of Earth which it uses when on land and can reach speeds matching that of a fully grown Lilean male when running. A huge, horizontally placed tail fluke enables it to swim in the Lilean ocean at great speed, chasing down its smaller and more agile aquatic prey. It is a speed hunter, chasing and catching its prey rather than an ambush predator which it consumes by using its sharply pointed, conical shaped teeth to rip and tear at its victim before swallowing chunks whole without chewing as its jaws contain no molars. As with all Lilea’s aquatic creatures, a thick layer of fat enables it to withstand the low water temperature, along with a natural anti freeze within its blood cells.
Insects – As on most worlds, the insect life on Lilea comprises a huge array of colours, shapes and sizes. There are flying, creeping, burrowing and swimming insects and many of them bite, sting or carry disease. They are both useful and annoying, beautiful and ugly but they form a unique and necessary part of the Lilean landscape. They pollinate crops and feed hundreds of kinds of other animals and Lilea couldn’t survive without them.
Durrol – A mammal that the Lileans farm for its meat. They are docile, lazy creatures with thick pink skin, covered with black and brown spots along the ridge of the spine. Fully grown males can reach two metres in length and a metre high at the shoulder. The Durrol has a large and rather boxy shaped head with a short, jutting jaw and sensitive nose. In the wild, they grub for food on the forest floor and are omnivorous in their habits. They can be temperamental when the females are ready to mate and injuries to Lilean farmers are not uncommon.
The Lilean People
Lileans are unique in many ways compared to other humanoid races and these qualities make them admired and respected galaxy wide. The most obvious thing about them is their size; an adult male Lilean is never shorter than six feet tall, the women being on average, three to four inches shorter. They are broad and heavily built; an adult male can be anywhere between three hundred to four hundred pounds in weight. They have light brown complexions, black, almond shaped eyes and black hair. They all carry a star shaped birthmark, over the sternum in the middle of the chest, which is known as The Lilean Star and which has a strong connection with their spirituality (see spirituality section below). There are no racial differences on Lilea, there is just one race of Lileans.
The Lilean skeleton is formed from a Hydroxylapatite Supercollagen alloy which gives them a vastly increased weight bearing capability, great strength and endurance. They are not natural sprinters but can run at a steady pace for hours at a time without needing to rest. Their DNA has extra segments but the reason for these extra segments is not fully understood. If a Lilean cuts himself, the action of rubbing the bleeding wound briskly for a few seconds results in an immediate cessation of bleeding and the wound will self heal without a scar in around twenty four hours or so.
The adult male genitalia is typically large, twelve to fourteen inches in length and 6 inches in girth, in the erect state being average. When mating with non Lilean women, males must take great care to make sure their lover is ready to accept them before penetrating the vagina, as serious injury can occur and deaths from blood loss have been known.
Within the brain, the Lilean thalamus is much larger and more complicated than its Earth counterpart and although it serves a similar function, it does so to a vastly higher degree. The Lilean thalamus gives them very much heightened states of consciousness which they access with ease.
The Lilean pregnancy lasts for thirteen months, due to their large size and the advanced nature of their bodies and brains. Newborn Lileans are typically around twice the size of their Earth counterparts and labour typically lasts four to five days. The pelvic bones of Lilean women are formed with very strong ligaments which allow them to open widely to allow such a large newborn to pass through without risk to its health or that of its mother. Lilean families usually consist of up to two children, although some families with three children are to be found and a few with four have been known. Family likeness within Lileans is startling. Male newborns look exactly like their fathers, whilst the famales look identical to their mothers. This is one of the strangest idiosyncrasies of the Lilean race. The Lilean parents will first meet the spirit that is to become their child, at the moment the spirit begins its journey to join with the body that grows within its mother’s womb (see spirituality)
Lileans get sick, just like everyone else and space travel means that Lileans share ailments and diseases with many other worlds where other races have interacted closely with them. There are however, one or two ailments typical to Lilea but the advanced nature of the Lilean immune system means that most illnesses cause them very few problems.
Lilean Flu – This is much like its Earth counterpart, except that the virus does not mutate. It is a disease of Lilean children, who all get it between the ages of one and seven years. Once a person has had Lilean flu, they can never get it again. Lilean flu tends to sedate its victims for the first twelve hours or so, most of whom cannot be woken until the disease enters the second stage of fever, raised temperature and sweating. Some victims cough up sticky brown mucous and the eyes often exude a sticky substance that can glue the eyelids shut. Lilean flu usually runs its course in four to five days.
Thalamic Breakdown – The origins and causes of this condition are not fully understood but what is known is that sufferers are born with it. Thalamic breakdown cannot be caught. The thalamus is the control centre for all of the data brought in by the five senses, which it sorts and uses in order that the person can fully understand what is going on in the world around them. It is also the gland responsible for enabling them to access the higher states of consciousness and sufferers of thalamic breakdown find their connection with these higher states of consciousness is lost. There is only one treatment – daily injections of Manopterfilamide THZ7 directly into the brainstem via a special uptake valve that allows the sufferer to inject themselves with ease.
Anneloid Tremors – This condition is caused by a parasite carried by a blood sucking insect, the Annel Fly. The parasite travels to the visual cortex of the brain where it causes blindness and the tell tale back and forth flickering of the eyeball. The Annel Fly is always found where the Tramel Bush grows, so the Lilean people always try to make sure that this bush is never allowed to grow within ten miles of their cities, towns and villages. This condition is getting rare as the Lilean people get used to taking care and being observant, but cases do still occur from time to time. The parasite can be killed easily but the damage to the sufferer’s brain is permanent.
The Lilean people have warrior mentality and a tendency to become fixated on one point or idea once it has become a point of focus within their minds. They will pursue this one idea or point, to the exclusion of everything else until they are satisfied that they have followed it as far as they can. They are very trusting when meeting new people and will always display an open and friendly demeanour. They are always truthful and honest and hate lies and deceit. They prove themselves to be loyal and trustworthy friends, without being overly gushing and are reliable and hard working as employees. Due to their warrior mentality, they never forget if they are deceived or slighted in any way and once lost, their trust is almost impossible to regain.
The Lilean parent is loving but firm and although discipline is important to them, it is never physical in nature. A Lilean parent would never dream of hitting their children for even the severest of misdemeanors. The Lilean parent never over indulges their child, nor do they spare them from the truth. They are quiet and reflective in nature and not prone to incessant chatter. In an emergency situation, they are not prone to attacks of panic and can be depended upon to think clearly and act appropriately and for this reason, as well as their physical stature and capabilities, they excel in the military and security forces.
Lilean society is basically patriarchal in nature but women are not looked down upon in any way. Lilean men adore their wives and children and play a very active role in family life. Lileans mate only once in their lives and they mate for life. They don’t ‘date’ like many other races do and until fairly recently, it was customary to remain a virgin until their life mate had been chosen. Consequently when they bond on an emotional level, they bond very deeply and the depth of love between Lileans is impossible to describe.
Once a Lilean male has decided upon a mate, he must wait until she shows her interest in him, before he can reciprocate his own interest and offer her his pledge. Emotional communication between Lileans is done by eye contact and you will notice when conversing with them, that they have a rather unsettling habit of gazing right back into your eyes as they speak to you and as they listen to your response. This eye to eye gazing is their way of communicating on an emotional level and they do it primarily to show truthfulness and honesty. When a Lilean gazes into your eyes as he tells you something, you know without a shadow of a doubt that his words are the truth and he will expect you to gaze back in a similar manner when you speak and he will not accept the truth of your words without this eye to eye contact. It is the same when two Lileans decide to become mated. The female must first show her interest in her chosen mate by gazing into his eyes as she speaks to him. She must hold his gaze for just a moment too long before looking away, to show him she is interested in him as a mate. If he reciprocates her interest, he will hold her gaze in a similar manner. If he has no interest in bonding with her, he will not return her gaze.
Once the pair have exchanged this initial signal of interest, they are free to be seen as girlfriend and boyfriend, but they are traditionally supposed to refrain from sexual activity until their pledging ceremony. When the male decides that the women is definitely the one he wants to mate for life with, he will offer her his pledge and ask her for her own in return. If she accepts his pledge and offers hers, they hold a pledging ceremony in front of friends and family members to seal their pledge. A local official is selected to officiate at the ceremony, where the couple pledge to love each other with their mind, body and spirit, here and when they journey to the land of the dead at the end of their physical lives. It is customary to exchange pledging gifts to each other; a necklace is the usual but it can be any token of their bond. Once the ceremony is complete, the couple are expected to retire to seal their bond sexually. It is customary for pledged couples to marry one year after pledging.
As Lileans age, they remain within the family unit or very nearby and as their health deteriorates, they are looked after by the younger generation who do so with love and compassion. They would never dream of abandoning their elderly to struggle alone and even when their minds begin to falter and wander, they are cared for with love, tolerance and compassion. It is quite normal to find several generations of Lilean families in one house.
Lileans express their emotions freely and openly. They show their feelings, whatever those feeling may be in an open and honest way and the notion of bottling up their emotions seems totally unnatural to them. The men will cry openly and without embarrassment, they hug and express their love for each other often and openly. Other, more emotionally repressed races find this a little strange and this is one of the reasons why the Lilean can find it difficult to make real friendships when alone and away from his home world.
Spirituality is perhaps the single, most important fact of life for the Lilean. They cannot begin to imagine how to function without an active spiritual life and their emotional comfort depends upon it. The size and complex nature of the Lilean Thalamus (see physical characteristics) allow them easy access to a very heightened state of consciousness whereby they can interact freely with those Lileans who have passed from the physical life and now dwell in what is known as The Land of The Dead. Every single Lilean is allocated a Lilean spirit at the moment of conception. When the spirit of the child is ready to begin its journey to join with body that still grows within its mother’s womb, its spirit guide will take it to the Hinterland to meet it parents for the first time. The child’s guide will introduce him or herself to the parents and give them a short overview of the child’s destiny, before requesting the child’s father to announce the name that has been chosen for it. Once this has been done, the parents can meet their child’s spirit and spend a few moments with him/her. This spirit being will accompany them throughout their entire life and guide them towards their destiny. The Lilean spirit guide is bound by strict rules when interacting with the person under their guidance and on no account must they ever reveal the future to them more than is absolutely necessary. When the Lilean is first getting to actively know their own spirit guide, they will meet in a place called The Hinterland. The Hinterland is a place between sleeping and waking. A safe place where they can get to know their guide and learn the art of communication with them without the distractions of the physical world and without the dangers of the wider spirit world. Later on, when the person is comfortable and easy with communicating with their spirit guide and when they feel at home when in the Hinterland, the spirit guide can, and often does manifest visibly and can be seen as any other solid physical person by anyone around who happens to see them. The Lilean Star birthmark carried by the Lilean spirit people, glows with an ethereal blue light.
Some Lileans (and occasionally a non Lilean) are known as Chosen Ones. These people have a special destiny to fulfil, almost always something connected with the safety and/or well being of Lilea or its people. Life as a Chosen One can be hard, as the burdens of such a destiny can be very heavy. The Chosen One often suffers greatly in many ways but the rewards are equally great. Some are Chosen for one particular task or endeavour, whilst others are Chosen for an entire life of service but all are Chosen because no one else can fulfil their destiny nor carry the burdens that accompany it. Those from another race who may be deemed worthy of being Chosen Ones, are given the Lilean Star birthmark and a Lilean spirit guide to walk beside them and are regarded by the Lilean people, as full Lileans and automatically have the right to declare themselves as being of dual race, even though they may share no genetic material.
When a Lilean dies, his/her spirit is met by their spirit guide, who guides them to the land of the dead and oversees their reunion with the spirits of previous generations of their family. A time of adjustment is allowed for the newly arrived spirit to get used to their new condition and to work through any emotional issues that may still be unresolved. Once this has been achieved and the newly deceased spirit has found peace, they are allowed to return and meet with the loved one they left behind, in the Hinterland to say their goodbyes and to assure them of their safe arrival in the Land of The Dead. The spirit guide will remain in contact with the spirit with whom it spent many years, but will at some time return to guide another who is just beginning their journey to the Land of The Living.
In terms of hierarchy, the Lilean spirit people look to those whom they call The Ancient Ones as advisors in times of need. These highly evolved Lilean spirits oversee the spirit guides, make the decisions as to who should be Chosen Ones and are held by the Lileans and the Lilean spirit people as one step down from their deity.
The Lilean deity is a goddess named Lilea. The legend says that long ago, a beautiful woman named Lilea was the first to walk upon Lilean soil. She was two hundred feet tall and as she wandered the planet alone, she became lonely and longed for a mate and children. God saw her loneliness so as her tears fell upon the Lilean soil, the ancient forests grew and became ever lovelier and God hoped that the beauty would lessen her sadness. When she passed, the first to dwell in the Land of the Dead, her physical remains sank deep into the Lilean ground and became a fabulous crystal. Lileans believe that the star birthmark they carry, is her gift to them and many of them refer to it as “Lilea’s Kiss.”
The holiest place on Lilea is called The Crystal Grotto and it is believed to be the actual bodily remains of their Goddess Lilea. It is a huge spherical cavern, 500 feet underground and can be accessed only from the small opening in the forest floor. The cavern is filled with crystals known as Lilean Crystals, some being many feet long. The crystals are hexagonal and as clear as glass with a milky white, star shaped core at the centre. This is the reason why they believe their star shaped birthmark to be a gift from their Goddess and it is why they often refer to it as Lilea’s Kiss. It is a custom for every Lilean to make a pilgrimage at least once, to visit the Grotto to thank the Goddess for keeping their world beautiful and for her gift of the star. New married Lilean couples often make their pilgrimage right after their marriage and are given time alone within the Grotto, where they are expected to seal their vows by making love amongst the crystals. Before they leave the Grotto, each pilgrim must walk amongst the crystals in silent meditation. As they walk, the crystals begin to vibrate. The Lileans call it singing. Just as the singing becomes a little uncomfortable, one crystal will break itself off from the bedrock and fall at the feet of the pilgrim, thereby becoming that pilgrim’s personal crystal which they treasure for their whole lives and which is laid to rest beside them when they die.
Lileans have churches, where they honour their Goddess rather than worship her. It is here that newborn children have their Renewal service. This is similar in nature to a christening. The child is welcomed to the Land of The Living, presented to the general public as a new member of the greater Lilean family and is formally given its name. Pledging ceremonies need not be held within the Lilean church but marriages and the Casting ceremonies are.
The Casting ceremony is held when a Lilean dies. The body is brought into the church so that all who may wish to, can come and say a final goodbye. The Goddess is thanked for the life of the person and the people give their well wishes for the spirit to safely make its journey to the Land of the Dead. The body is traditionally cremated naked, wrapped with their own Lilean Crystal within a plain natural fabric wrapping, and the ashes buried in burial grounds. Each successive member of the family that dies, has their ashes buried within the same plot so that all the generations can lie together. As they lived within the same family unit and dwell together within the Land of The Dead, so their remains lie together. The spirit guide of the deceased will usually manifest and make a speech to those left behind, give them a message to reassure them or simply to pass on love and gratitude from the deceased.
Every aspect of Lilean life is lived according to their spiritual beliefs. They believe in destiny and trust that whatever happens, does so because the universe wishes it and although they may not understand what is happening or why, it is never a mistake.
Lilean society is governed by a body of elected individuals who make policy by majority agreement and public involvement. There is no royalty or single head of state. The Lileans govern themselves as a body of people working together to make their society work. Many of their policies and laws have stood for many hundreds of years without the need for change.
Lileans are very sociable and friendly and love nothing better than getting together with friends and neighbours and having a party. Anything and everything can be looked upon as an excuse for all the neighbours to get together with mountains of food and have a wonderful time.
Due to the physical size of the average Lilean, they eat large quantities of food. An omniverous diet is universal amongst Lileans; any dietary changes are purely a result of medical need. The Lilean people love food for many reasons. Not only does it fuel their bodies but it allows them a time to bond with their family and friends and the sharing of food and drink is, to them, part of their spiritual belief system. The giving of physical nourishment is symbolic of giving emotional, mental and spiritual nourishment and helps them to bond together as a community.
Lileans are physically superior and as such, are lovers of sport and physical exercise of all kinds. The favourite sport of most Lileans is their own form of wrestling. Lilean wrestling is a dangerous sport and those who take part are always physically the largest Lileans to be found. The sport takes place within a circular arena twelve feet in diameter. Lilean wrestling is a dangerous sport involving not only body contact but also the skilled use of the Bashlam. This is a stout wooden club like weapon; each one made bespoke for its user as it has to be exactly the same length as his right arm whilst the handle has to be exactly the same measurement as his right wrist. The last quarter of its length is formed into a bulbous head which is used to try and push the opponent out of the ring. As the wrestlers rush each other, they hold the weapon out in front and aim for the circular target on their opponent’s tough armoured breastplate. If they miss the target, the sensors in the breastplate signal an alarm to sound and they start over again. Once a Bashlam makes the target its owner tries to push his opponent out of the playing area. The object is to push your opponent out to win and avoid being pushed out yourself. The wrestlers are allowed to try to disarm their opponents and once disarmed they are not allowed to retrieve their Bashlam but must use body contact against their opponent.
Hover bike racing is a sport beloved by the younger generation of male Lileans. It is very dangerous and injuries occur pretty regularly. The object is simple; be the first to cross the finish line to win. Hover bike champions tend to come from families where racing has been a tradition. They will build their own bikes and learn to ride at a very early age under the guidance of their very experienced older family members.
Martial arts and body building is something all Lilean males do. It has become so much a part of the Lilean personality that to deprive a Lilean male of the opportunity to work his body, would be to cause him great emotional stress. As soon as the male child can walk, he is introduced to the basics of physical fitness and will be coached and encouraged on a daily basis. This usually takes the form of games designed to teach them manoeuvres that they will later use in the Lilean martial art Cantalon. Cantalon practitioners are experts in unarmed combat; the speed and dexterity of the expert Cantalon practitioner belying his size and weight. This martial art also teaches the practitioners to use bladed weapons with terrifying skill.
There are many other sports and physical activities Lileans enjoy but to make a comprehensive list would be exhaustively long. Suffice to say that Lileans enjoy most activities that challenge them physically.
The Lilean Tragedy
This event in Lilean history has become legendary and illustrates just how strong and enduring the Lilean people are.
Many years ago a race of evil beings called the Transmortal Army received a prophecy that told them of their downfall at the hands of one single Lilean man. In order to outwit this prophecy, the Transmortals descended on Lilea and almost wiped out the entire Lilean race. The great cities were razed to the ground and the people almost destroyed in their bid to kill the one prophesied to bring about their downfall. They found the one prophesied, newly born from his dead mother’s womb and the Transmortal leader himself killed the child within minutes of his birth. Thinking they had successfully outwitted the prophecy, the Transmortals left Lilea triumphant.
The Lileans however, had their own prophecy given to them many thousands of years previously that told of a baby boy who would be born and grow into Lilea’s great warrior and save their world from extinction. That baby was Vincent Richard Domenico, known as the Prophesied One, who was born as the Transmortal Army raged across Lilea and who died at the hands of the Transmortal leader. Vincent’s spirit guide Syra stepped in and, with the help of the Ancient Ones, brought his spirit back to his body and brought him back to life in order that he grow to fulfil the prophecy and end the tide of evil that was the Transmortal Army.
The Lilean survivors of what became known as the Lilean tragedy, were smuggled out to safety and resettled on Mexalon 6 until they could return to rebuild Lilea and repatriate their world. Vincent fulfilled the prophecy when he was forty years old and killed the Transmortal Army.
One year later however, the spirits of the now dead Transmortals returned to seek revenge upon Vincent and Lilea and plunged the Lilean people into a nightmare that became known as The Sleeping. Once again Vincent, as Lilea’s great warrior was called into duty as the Prophesied One to end the Transmortal threat forever.