Frequently Asked Questions


If you have any questions that are not answered here, please let us know.

The Xilon Universe

How does the Xilon stardate system work?

Zaian = one trillion years
Lyren = one billion years
Caearna = one million years
Jotha = one thousand years

The highest digit from each set (trillion, billion, million, thousand, hundred) is placed before the letter representing that set, with other numbers within the set directly after the letter, ignoring any zeros at the beginning of a set. A backtick separates each set and BZH or AZH are noted at the end.

For example, the date 13,702,610,008,092 AZH becomes 1Z3`7L02`6C10`8J`92 AZH. A simpler date like 9,002 BZH becomes 9J`2 BZH. There is no special notation for "hundreds" so a date like 912 BZH would remain as it is.

What race or ethnicity would the Xilon be classified as?

None. There are two parts to this question; first, skin color. Xilon are not made of flesh and blood and therefore have no pigmentation. They are literally beings of pure energy, encased in a humanoid form. Their skin is naturally translucent, leaving their internal energy visible. The brightness and coloring of the light emitted may range from a soft white glow to blinding gold or even a dark reddish-purple. With training, or a biodimmer, they can alter their "shell," dulling the crystallic skin as needed to achieve a more opaque effect, resulting in either a smooth, chalky appearance or a light golden brown, determined, again, by the light pulsing beneath the surface.

Beneath the glowing lights, Xilon facial features span the spectrum of the human perception of racial classifications, most with characteristics that are hard to place or that appear to be a mesh of racial backgrounds by our standards.

Don't the Xilon stand out on other worlds?

As a rule, the Xilon only directly interact with araathi, kengar and rydra class species, although even then they rarely divulge the details of their power and heritage. To cultures that are already in contact with or composed of many different life forms, Xilon visitors are just another alien species of uncertain origin. In many cases, they might keep their wings retracted and/or wear kevelesks, thus drawing even less attention to themselves.

Do non-humanoid species exist within the Xilon universe?

Of course! The Nyazim and the cybernetics, for starters. The quorec form (biped with at least two arms, a torso and a head) is common amongst the more evolved species, but the universe is far too big for it to be the only one.

For a species to advance technologically, it must have some form of dexterity or an acceptable alternative, in order to build the necessary tools. For a species to progress on an interstellar scale, they would likely need either hands with opposable digits, numerous tentacles or tendrils that could accomplish the same tasks, the ability to bond with or control a species that does possess those physical attributes, or the ability to manipulate objects or elements without even touching them. With that in mind, we are currently exploring more non-quorec species for future stories and artwork, to develop a more intricate overview of what the universe has to offer.

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The Exhibition

Why do some Xilon look more human while others look so much more alien?

Ultimately, this comes down to the artists' personal interpretations, creative choices and available tools. The most accurate portrayal of a Xilon in its natural state would be a huge humanoid figure with massive wings, glowing eyes, shining silky hair and translucent crystal skin, through which can be seen a swirling, exploding stream of energy coursing through the entire body. The effect would be something similar to Andy's depiction of the inner Xilon, although less transparent, more golden-white than multicolored, and with very different effects applied to the hair and eyes.

The simple truth, however, is that this is not an easy look to achieve, especially if the artist also wants to convey the details of the character's features and expressions, so methods of portraying the species tend to vary greatly from artist to artist. Agaave's dying Xilon is a beautifully accurate example of how they should look, showing semi-transparent skin with moving energy beneath.

Other artists have chosen to approach the same idea in a very different way, as in SeedyDeedy's scene of a young couple, where she paints a more opaque skin that glows red and white from within, illuminated inside the body like a shaded bulb. This is a wonderful compromise because it allows the character details to come through while holding true to the concept of visible internal energy.

Some have chosen to go with more of an ethereal albino look, with streaks of energy snaking across the body. Since this is actually quite close to the nephilim in Madeleine L'engle's books, which were the primary inspiration for the appearance of the original Xilon, it is a valid alternative depiction.

The majority of artists who contribute character art may be unable to use the effects noted above either because they do not have the necessary tools or because those approaches are simply not ideal for their particular scenes, and have gone with a more human appearance, later brightening the skin or adding an external glow, or incorporating a kevelesk, which allows them to dull the skin to a more opaque appearance without breaking from canon.

Why can't just anyone upload artwork?

This isn't a general user-based community but rather a visual-narrative experience depicting an original concept. The stories and artwork here all function as a collaborative whole, to give visitors a detailed look at a unique place. If just anyone uploaded their work without moderation, it may or may not properly depict the concept, which would defeat the purpose.

Are there any content restrictions for contributors?

All exhibited work must have substance, but there are no content restrictions. If mature themes are required as an integral part of the story or scene, then they are acceptable.

Can I portray specific stories or characters in my own artwork?

For the general stories and myths, yes. But all of the character pieces were written specifically for the artists who designed those characters, so if you've got a great idea and are interested in tackling a particular individual or storyline, please contact us first.

How do you choose which images are featured throughout the site?

In addition to the galleries, many images are also selected to be displayed throughout the site, as in the Cosmic Encyclopedia or as visual supplements to the stories. These images are chosen based on their relevance to the individual stories or informational pages on which they appear, and are switched around from time to time with other graphics to provide the best overall representation of what the concept is all about.

Why are some images shown in the stories and overview but not in the galleries?

Given the thousands of images that have been created for this website, we simply can't feature them all; it would be too overwhelming for people to be faced with pages and pages of artwork. We have therefore limited the gallery collections to those works that are both of the highest quality and that best reflect the Xilon universe. When the site was first created, we did accept and feature absolutely all submitted artwork, but as time went on and the site grew, it became impractical to have every single image on display. Certain works of art, while not featured in the galleries, may be used on the site to supplement the stories, overview and so on, and are included in that fashion.

Do you know that some words are pronounced incorrectly in the glossary?

All words and terms that appear in the glossary have the proper Xilon pronunciations listed. Remember that although some words are completely unique, other words do exist in English, Latin or other languages, but are intentionally given alternative pronunciations or are meant to sound different from how they are written (for example, Zenon is not zee-non but rather zeh-nen).

How realistic is the science behind the Xilon universe?

The sci-fi concepts here range from ideas that were researched in great detail to those that border pure fantasy. The nature of the exhibition is that it is very much a combination of the two genres. If you are interested in hard science fiction that focuses on realistic projections for humanity's future, we recommend the worldbuilding project Orion's Arm.

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Site / Technical

What are the benefits of being a member?

Membership to this site is free and it takes only seconds to register. Members have access to additional features such as artist resources (2D and 3D freebies that may be useful to those wanting to create Xilon artwork), video and font downloads, and a number of great Xilon wallpapers.

How often do you update the exhibition?

There is no set schedule; we update whenever there is new content to add. For the first two years, updates were made almost daily with all of the material coming in as things first took shape. Now that the exhibition is established, we only tend to add new material a few times per year. When great new artwork is done, or a new video is made, or a story is written, or the director gets a new idea and is inspired to tweak or expand on elements of the Xilon universe, updates are made.

What is the official Xilon font and where can I find it?

The font that has been used for most things Xilon since it first became a website is a fantastic sci-fi font by Nick Curtis called Laconick. This is not to be confused with the Jzesan font, which is an original set of alien glyphs that was created specifically for The Xilon Project. The page titles on the current version of the site use Procyon. All of these can be downloaded from the fileshare section.

How do you type special characters with the Jzesan font?

lif = pound (#)
ryx = quotation mark (")
saen = ampersand (&)
kal = period (.)
jks = question mark (?)

Can I buy prints of artwork shown on this site?

At this time, we are not selling prints through the project site. However, individual artists may offer prints of their images directly. You can find links to their personal sites in the artists list.

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Are the Xilon meant to be religious, social or political metaphors?

No, the Xilon universe and its inhabitants were not created to make any kind of social commentary and should be treated as completely free from all human preconceptions. Different aspects of the species were influenced by a variety of sources and you can read about the project's background in the how it began section.

The Xilon do, however, represent a wide array of personal moral dilemmas, and it can be argued that even the most advanced beings, made up of pure energy, in control of space and time itself are, in many ways, as flawed as the most primitive life forms. The stories and imagery on this site are partly influenced by and much in the spirit of ancient Greek, Norse and Celtic mythology and folklore.

Are the Xilon supposed to be the basis for all human religions?

Within the realm of this exhibition, yes. Humanity, along with countless other species and civilizations across the stars, based their mythology and religious beliefs on various appearances over the years. From the ancient Greek pantheon to the Abrahamic god, the deities of Earth have been inspired by encounters with the Xilon since the dawn of human history.

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