On the frozen planet of Daglaci, a deep blue sphere of frozen ocean is cocooned by thick sheets of ice. From metres to miles in thickness, this ice protects the naive from horrific monsters lurking beneath. Creatures so devastatingly large they could wipe out towns with a single breach, intelligent enough to avoid larger cities with defensive weaponry, powerful enough to slice the native daglacians in half.
The rich live an isolated life of pleasure and power, sat high on their thrones above the poorest of the cities. As their megacities, megayachts, megacoptors and assortment of gadgets become more advanced, they pollute the planet. Global warming is a rising epidemic on Daglaci, with unimaginable consequences. Abyssal creatures that live in the oceans of Daglaci have sensed the rise in temperatures and the melting of the ice above that protects them from radiation, and have begun rising to the surface to wipe out those responsible.
As expected, the rich did not want to fight these monsters. As they put it, "the poor were lounging around doing nothing, so we made them fight,". The highest class advertised monster hunting as something to strive for, something to work towards for a great part of their lives.
Propaganda posters hung up around the poorest districts of major cities presented monster hunting as a time for bonding, a chance to show yourself as someone with some amount of worth, and unfortunately, due to how desperate some people were, they joined in on the risky operation.
The rich have some interesting strategies with monster hunting. The most unusual strategy is to give the hunters inadequate weapons. Why you ask? Because they don't want the poor to rise against the rich. Yes, they are more concerned about their own welfare than the welfare of the planet they live on.
These weapons might be inadequate but they could easily kill a daglacian. Each licensed weapon used to fight monsters can be remotely accessed by officers in charge of distributing hunters, in case they decide to rebel. It happens quite often, and rebels are quickly eradicated. The poor can't leave certain cities once they enter either. They are forced into signing documents that forbids them from seeking residence elsewhere, and forces them to get jobs within a certain wage bracket, essentially keeping them poor.
To maximise their chances of survival in the terrible conditions that are the slums of cities, most poorer people have more children. From as early as infancy, subtle propaganda is fed to them to turn the monster hunting lifestyle into a fantasy they strive for. The poor feed this operation, keeping the monsters at bay while the rich live their lives of luxury.
I couldn't save her. I froze. When that thing dove for me, she jumped in the way. And it dragged her down through the ice.
Monster of the Abyss
The biggest creatures of the planet live below the ice, in untouched, vibrant ecosystems. The wildlife of the Abyss hasn't been documented aside from the few animals that breach through the ice, in a desperate attempt to wipe out daglacians and protect their planet.
One of the largest annelids on the entire planet, arrow worms are one to fear. Their angular skulls make breaking through thick sheets of ice a breeze, capable of ripping through up to a kilometre of thick ice without a second thought.
Arrow worms are one of few animals to successfully destroy entire settlements, having destroyed parts of Daglaci Space Legion's logo.twice before, and completely devastating several neighbouring cities. A single arrow worm features on the
Truly one of the largest tentacled beings in the Yonderverse, goliath squids are equipped with poison-tipped, razor-sharp arms. Their eight arms (and two tentacles) are used to stab at the ice where cities lie, in an attempt to fracture the ground and submerge entire cities.
I'd never seen anything like it. All you could hear was the ground crumbling beneath, buildings plunging into the ocean, people's screams as their loved ones perished in the frozen water.
Much less of a threat than other Abyssal creatures, titan isopods are a giant nuisance in warmer months. When the thinnest ice sheets melt, these creepy crawlies migrate on to land, infesting the streets of cities, even breaking into unguarded houses and trying to eat people.
Monsters of the Frozen
The Frozen is equally as dangerous as the Abyss. It is just as unknown and mysterious to daglacians, and what lies deep into the wilds remains unidentified. Most life in the Frozen are calm and gentle, but attack when provoked. This is why so many daglacians die in battle - they assume all life is out to get them.
Masking themselves behind thick ice storms are daglacian yetis. Not quite sophontic, these particularly intelligent animals are known to be ruthless. They're the sole reason that daglacians don't trespass into the true Wilds of the Frozen, sticking to their territories quite firmly. Encounters with daglacian yetis are messy and violent, because people unfairly presume them to be dangerous and bloodthirsty.
Adult siren orcas are one to fear. These titanic semi-aquatic mammals can grow to over six metres tall, capable of swallowing a daglacian in one bite. They are also fiercely protective of their babies. Kill the parents while the babies are young enough and they can be trained to follow every order given.
Some richer folk will cybernetically enhance their pet orcas, equipping them with weapons and defensive gadgets, forcing them to fight others for entertainment.
Life is harsh on Daglaci. Nobody can truly escape the horrors that lurk beneath the thick sheets of ice coating the entire ocean planet.