The Lanskar aliens are unique in the known universe in that they are the only known life forms who hail from somewhere outside the three biozones. The assertion that they are indeed living creatures is supported by a meager but consistent line of evidence, based on several discoveries of gem-rich grains in association with the locales of historical sightings of Lanksar “ships”. The molecular structures of these grains have been compared to supposed “devolites” – the material concretions of deva essences described by ancient Vetani scholars. More recently, however, Neorationalist naturalists have postulated that these grains are actually Lanksar waste products, having been collected and compacted during intergalactic travel. If these devolites are truly Lanksar droppings, this would verify that at least one of Hannegan’s Four Criteria of Life apply to the Lanksar, supporting the hypothesis that they are living beings.
Hannegans’s other three criteria – living things have membranes, living things consume, and living things reproduce – may also apply to the Lanskar. There have been no sightings of Lanksar ships since the Greatest Sundering, so confirmation of their extrastellar nature and of their status as living creatures is currently impossible. Historically, their “ships” have only been observed in Naal Shob space, along the far outer border, opposite to what would become the general location of Hell and surprisingly near Naal Shob’s contact point with Vetani space. They are mammoth super tubes which extend for thousands of chelos.
At one point in history, between the Third and Fourth Sunderings, the Zelatic Spiral Galaxy was known to host a Lanksar ship which stretched across the entire astromass, from far side to far side. The name, “Lanskar” is probably derived from the Central Zelatic words “lang” and “skar” meaning “long scar” in the related Eckian language (it is believed that the Zelats were originally an Eckian colony), a reference to the presence of the ship in the Zelatic Spiral. Though the Zelats must have been familiar with the Lanskar, most knowledge of their civilization, rivaled in the Naal Shob cluster only by the Berrune and Grendex, was wiped out in the Fourth Sundering, along with their resident super-tube.
- contribution by Shishil Doon Crow