Winter Wonderland

A town square in the winter wonderland of Norpol.

Nestled in the Hailidi solar system of the Annolis galaxy, Norpol is a large planet with a fascinating connection to and influence on cultures and races stretching across the universe. This is especially interesting considering Norpol is quite the hermit kingdom and engages in no interplanetary interaction except for on one day of the year according to its calendar system. An account of this special day and the events that pertain to it are described later in my report.

Candy cane trees growing from the snow-covered grown.

The whole of Norpol is subject to a polar climate, causing its surface to be thoroughly covered in snow and ice year round. In spite of these seemingly extreme conditions, the weather is remarkably mild: temperatures often rise several degrees above freezing, snowstorms are light, and dangerous blizzards are unheard of. The climate provides a perfect environment for coniferous trees to thrive in. A variety of such species exist in enormous groves across Norpol, and their snow-laden boughs lend to the splendor of this winter wonderland. These are in addition to the great striped plants endowed with cane-like limbs that grow from the ground in almost unbelievable fashion.

World of Work

The people of Norpol are marvelous little creatures: small, studious, and very hard-working. So much can be said about them that they deserve their own entry within the Analects. As this is being written, I know not whether to pen a separate entry for the leader of the Norpols, for he is so dissimilar to the masses that I must think he is a different kind of being entirely. Alas, that is not a decision I must presently make; rather, I must focus on the intricacies of the planet. One word I shall use to describe the Norpol leader for now, and that is jolly.

A city hall amid the wintery landscape of Norpol on the edge of a cold river.

Despite my digression, my mentioning of the Norpol people was relevant, as they uniformly subscribe to a work ethic that seems to exude from the core of this planet; indeed, even I felt an increased level of vigor during my time here. Day after day after day, the Norpols work diligently, crafting and constructing small trinkets and gadgets. By the millions and billions, they amass these objects in great hordes and stashes until one particular day comes in which their leader gathers all of these trinkets together and flies away with them to planets beyond. It seems that this day is referred to as “Carasmas,” but this may be a crude butchery of the Norpol language, a tongue that I have yet to grasp. Regardless, this is the special day I earlier noted in my entry. How these billions of objects are distributed in such a short time must be through some magical means. Many questions I have about this day, but it is clearly a momentous event for the Norpols, as all their work for the year seems to be in preparation for this one day.

Following Carasmas, their leader returns to Norpol and the planet enters a week of rest. I had the pleasure of being on the planet during this restful week, and I was privileged enough to experience the incredible feasts and festivities that marked the week. Indeed, the Norpols were so hospitable that I was given the seat of honor at many celebrations, which are often held in town squares or spacious city halls. The capstone of the week was the final day, which stood out because of its prolific firework displays and parades. A remarkable day, it seemed like it would never end; but it did, and work resumed like usual on the next day. Impressively, there was no drag in the Norpols’ steps as they returned to their work but an eagerness that I never saw wane in the slightest.

A Norpol village during the week of rest, with lights all over houses and trees.

I wish I could have stayed and studied Norpol and its people at a finer level, for the time I spent on the planet was truly wonderful, but I found myself too comfortable. An odd qualm, admittedly, but an excess of comfort can be a danger to me, for it can distract me, or even completely dissuade me, from fulfilling my commission to record the wonders of the universe. Consequently, I had to leave Norpol, which was certainly saddening, but even as I explore new planets, I find that Norpol has left a mark on them, providing me with happy memories.

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