Jhoutaioan Coral is a species of coral indigenous to Jhoutai. It is a keystone species of the planet, and of many other planets as well due to its use in terraformation. One of the notable things about table coral is the speed and pattern at which it grows. Over the course of millions of years in Ethnis, the table coral has grown to account for a majority of its landmass, raising it from 20% to 36%, which is a higher amount than even Eden can boast. In some places the table coral of Jhoutai is kilometers thick, so thick that the core samples of the deepest layers above the bedrock reveal it to be an entirely different organism to the surface layer. It has evolved over time with each new layer added. These deepest layers, of course, are dead—ancient, minuscule bones which have compressed together over time.
Sometimes small, localized earthquakes will break out, sending 2 to 3 magnitude surface earthquakes rumbling throughout the area as an entire table of coral fractures and splits. Usually this doesn't cause much damage other than opening up a rift in the earth, but it causes a bit of a stir if that rift is through a town.
Much more common and thusly more dangerous than Fracturequakes, sometimes entire corralums will collapse. This can cause chain reactions as levels after levels of the corralums crush eachother, and at its worst has resulted in holes kilometers deep. On the other side of this, these holes make great places to build communities. The Ka will often roof these off, reinforce the existing layers, and make cities within them.
What lurks within
As previously mentioned, the Corralums are ecosystems all their own. Crustarthroflect live in droves within the Corralums, which makes them extremly dangerous to explore. New species are easy to discover in their depths, new and dangerous creatures which quite likely would see a Sophont as prey.
CorralumsCorralums are the paths through the table-coral which have formed over time. Like swiss-cheese, bacteria causes the coral to develop passages and chambers, often running hundreds or even thousands of snaking, branching, and converging miles. These passages are homes to ecosystems all their own—largely unexplored even to this day. These corralums also allow water to travel thousands of water inland from the sea, filtering it slowly into freshwater. This means that the tides can flood lowlands far, far away from the ocean. This entirely changes the climate of the world of Jhoutai, and heavily affects any planet it is put on.
PillarsA combination of fracturquakes, corraluming, and erosion causes the coral in some places to grow into columns where they grow hundreds of feet tall. These often become hanging gardens of nature and homes to predators and prey alike, and are wonderfully ideal for small towns and outposts to be setup in as well. Over time, given the fact that corral wil spread outwards, many of these pillars will reconnect, form arches, or even form stratified layers and chambers. These are quite dangerous and may very well collapse, but are breathtaking to behold.
TablesTables are massive areas of table coral some kilometers across where the way they have grown over the land causes them to affect each other if any breaks or seismic activity happens.
DangersJhoutai Table Coral is an excellent way to convert barely liveable planet into land, but it doesn't come without its dangers.
Affect on cultureA dead belief (though one still often referenced in many cultures) held by the early Verin and some superstitious sects Sazashi cultures of is that the corralums are the paths to the underworld and the afterlife. They believed that if you traversed deep enough into them, reality as you know it would slowly shift into a dreamlike quality and you would pass over from this world to the next. Verin culture is rife with tales of heroes who went deep into the corralums to find the soul of a loved on and bring them back to life. On Kyzan, some said that he returned to life when his soul found its way out of the corralum, and for a while this also was attributed to the Kyzanists as the source of their death-denying powers.
Use in terraforming
Making landJhoutai Table Coral needs very little care. It gets the nutrients it needs from whatever touches it, absorbing it into itself slowly over time. On Jhoutai, the nutritious rain alone is enough to do this. On other worlds, it's common practice to pump vitamins into the waters near costs and drop chunks of modified table coral into the sea to help build the landmass.
- Modified Table Coral
- A type of table coral modified to switch into a growth state more quickly and intelligently than default table coral. This can result in the coral growing 3-10 in a year depending on nutrients, which over the course of the Lacuna caused 2-3 km of growth. This process can be abated with starvation or with a growth hormone spray which permanently stunts the growth of the generation and aall subsequent generations to the levels of a normal table coral.