|"For Children The Gates Of Paradise" by William Blake|
Woon, the homeworld of the caterpillaroid Bomoth. It has a reputation of being a closed world, but nothing could be further from the truth. It's true that few not-of-Woon have visited the vast fungal preserves below the planet's surface. Still fewer have witnessed and reported the legendary "butterfly women" said to covort among those dim caverns.
But the surface of Woon sees many visitors from elsewere among the Strange Stars. A few thousand attend the Woon Academies: various small institutions that share what the Bomoth know with off-worlders - often for a great price. All of these institutions have extrance examinations; the application fees are considerable, and examinations occur only on Woon.
Here are a few of the Woon Academies:
- Attarus Academy is the most famous of the Bomoth schools. Here flock travelers from all regions of the Strange Stars to learn vocal and instrumental musical arts from Woon's Spiraculous Masters. A vast mountaintop castle with numerous dead-end tunnels, galleries, auditoria, and air shafts, the Attarus itself is an eerie musical instrument that resonates, whispers, and pipes strange songs into the mountain's winding passes and surrounding ravines and valleys.
- Dchided Towers spears the miasma clouds above a spore-covered dead sea. Its students are the most daring of Phantasists: experimental oneirochemists who use their own bodies to discover and test new cocktails of dream drugs harvested from the dead sea. It's said that the dead sea's spores are the sediment from vast subterranean fungal farms whose caverns collapsed thousands of years ago.
- Cromlech is a series of ancient rock-domed complexes. Some are pressurized, others are open to the elements. The Cromlech admits only the very young among the Strange Stars' multitude of clades. That's because this academy teaches humanoid biologics how to listen to the alien languages of non-hominds, and to the spoken tongues of the wild moravecs, robots, and androids. Only juvenile biologics have neural networks sufficiently plastic to listen to and learn these languages.
- The Mujib Academy is the most secretive and exclusive of the major Woon Academies. The Mujib also exclusively admits biologics, although it only enrolls adults. Its exact purpose is unclear, but its entrance exam is a series of vocal auditions called "The Ordeal."