Esoteric Planet

An Esoteric Planet (or Esoteric Moon) is a celestial body possessing extraordinarily deviant characteristics compared to regular ones. While the definition can be loosely interpreted, most such deviations are generally recognized by all sentient races.

In the galaxy, every celestial body was formed either completely naturally, or the Shapers guided their formation in such a way to keep it as close to real astronomical phenomenon as possible. As such, they all follow the patterns known by science - aside of two key points: life and structure.

Life

According to human understanding, life, especially carbon-based, is extremely fragile to environment factors, and celestial bodies both residing in a habitable zone and having a non-hostile chemical composition are exceedingly rare.

Yet, the number of planets (and especially moons) in the galaxy capable of supporting life is disproportionately large. This is especially true if we include organometallic life forms to the count.

Celestial bodies which are habitable despite the odds are generally called Low-Esoteric Planets. Such defying odds have a huge range, from above-average radiation levels in other parts of the solar system; being close to the edge of the habitable zone; or even being outside of the habitable zone, with appropriate temperature supported by natural anomalies. (e.g. xenochemical compounds)

A notable stereotype are Low-Esoteric Moons orbiting gas giants. By their nature, gas giants create a hostile environment: their gravitational force affects orbiting bodies, and their shadow can influence natural temperature on those. Still, in many cases, these moons were found to be capable of supporting life.

Terraformed planets also fall to this category, even if the result was achieved by constantly working mechanical devices, instead of passive influence over planetary climate.

Structure

Considering the lengthy history of the galaxy, planetary modifications happening is not a big surprise. Both the Shapers and some of the upcoming races could retain the amount of resources required to significantly alter the shape and the face of any planet.

High-Esoteric Planets, or in public speech, specifically the Esoteric Planets are those which have been permanently altered by artificial means. “Artificial” includes any Shaper involvement being large enough for the effect.

High-Esoteric Planets are among the most sought-out alien artifacts known to races, as given their nature, they are comparably rare, yet contains many other artifacts of smaller scope, as well as copious amount of resources - and most often, designs that are nowhere to be found elsewhere and that can provide either economical or military advantage.

Some example of High-Esoteric Planets:

Converted Planets have all their available surface area either covered or converted to materials not supporting ordinary life. Some of these were done for providing a stable foundation for artificial constructs for civilizations - these include factories, robotic components, computer-like machines, any buildings up to and including housing, and various facilities, among others.

Some planets were converted with the opposite purpose of eradicating all life, civilized and natural alike. As no civilization possesses the ability of total planetary annihilation, most often the surface is targeted with extremely thorough mass destruction weapons. The material covering these planets also have a wide range - most notably obsidian, quartz glass, salt, lime, or in general cases, lava, nuclear debris, toxic materials, or xenochemical compounds sustaining permanently inhospitable environment by other means.

Converted Planets are almost always devoid of any life altogether, though some civilizations exercise control and actively use some such planets. Vessel’s own homeworld and permanent residence planet Mesektet is the most notable Converted Planet known to be still in active use.

Hollow Planets are arguably the most extreme example - these bodies were carved-out on the inside, usually starting at the mantle, containing a Shaper Tectonic Engine. Such an engine generates a planet-sized force field and converts the movement of tectonic plates (or any mechanical movement in general) into electromagnetic energy. A part of this energy is utilized for a gravitational field that holds the planet together and to provide light and heat inside.

Due to the nature of the gravitational field, the force of attraction is centered around the Planet Monument Mantle Web - on the surface, this causes no visible change; as someone digs deeper, however, gravity is suddenly shifted. As a result, the inner surface of a Hollow Planet also has gravity pushing objects down: the inner side acts as an extra planetary surface, supporting life the same way as on the outer side.

On the inner side of Hollow Planets, the Planet Monument Mantle Web is very often exposed to the surface and is part of its geography.