Race of long-vanished xenosophonts specialising in terraformation

Orobon - near the frost line
Image from Steve Bowers
A spoontree forest near the north polar frostline of Orobon, showing how trees on this world orient themselves towards the tiny white dwarf star, which hangs motionless in the sky.
The name used by the local populace to describe the long-vanished terraformers of alien origin who terraformed Ararat, Orobon and a number of other worlds in the so-called Garden of Paradise cluster. This race is classified by the Hamilton Institute as Unknown Xenosophont Species HIE014CZE, and vanished 39 million years ago.
Ararat Forest
Image from Steve Bowers
Ararat strobilatrees and skyfish are typical of Mysterian biota.
The Mysterian jungle consists of a range of diverse plant/jellyfish creatures which outlived the Mysterian race and has evolved significantly since. Each terraformed planet in the Garden of Paradise cluster now holds a unique ecosphere, which share a common genetic ancestry but also show distinct signs of alien genetic engineering. Although the Sophic League has amassed a large database of Mysterian genetic data, all attempts to discover the characteristics of the Mysterian race has failed.

After the Mysterian civilisation disappeared, a fully sophont species emerged on one of the planets the Mysterians had terraformed. In the HIP 40138 system, 240 light years from Sol, a race of intelligent colonial organisms evolved; this species is known by its Hamilton Institute identification number, HIE019CZE but because their home planet is called Hutamah, they are also called Hutamaheen. This species terraformed several more worlds, including two in the Inner Sphere, before they died out following a conflict with yet another civilisation, known today as the Lost (HIE-121-CZE). This race of colonial organisms resembles many other creatures in the Mysterian biota, and some xenopaleontologists have speculated that they were closely similar in form to the Mysterians themselves. However the scant remaining evidence for the size and shape of the Mysterians does not seem to bear this out; members of the HIE019CZE species were roughly as large as a Terran cow, while the Mysterians were probably much smaller.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Additional material by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 08 December 2001.