I'll say that this sounds about right.
I was asking because if the cluster is that big, and you want physical principles to basically apply, as you said earlier, then you can't have ordinary gravity operating in addition to the stellar repulsion. That's the scale at which gas clouds, of which the totality of the Aerosphere is clearly an instance, turn from being pressure-dominated to being gravity-dominated. Meaning, in the long run the thing would begin to collapse into a planetary nebula, which in turn would eventually give birth to an ordinary solar system with most of the matter assembled into the central object or objects, i.e. the star or binary.
And if there is no gravity, then you can't have self-assembling planets or black-holey things in the dead zones.
Three obvious solutions - make the cluster much smaller than that, ignore the physics, or just go with the lack of gravity.
[...] it explains the repulsion as a defense mechanism to keep away anything that might harm the egg.
Oh, of course. The astronomical force-based equivalent of the hard shell, basically. Nice one.
I'm picturing an enormous, serpent-type Eastern dragon.
Any kind of big worm that moves through something solid will inevitably invite comparisons to Shai Hulud
, though. If it's melting the ice anyway, it doesn't have to be quite that streamlined, and you could go with a different kind of animal.
Even if ice does act like a liquid (which I didn't know), it probably doesn't at absolute zero, right?
A viscous fluid might be the technically more appropriate term. If you had a video recording of the advance of a glacier over millions of years, it would look indistinguishable from flowing lava, or from trickle of honey flowing down an uneven slope. Just a question of scaling.
Glass works that way too, which I found even more surprising when I learned it. The solid-seeming panes of glass in your windows are actually veeery slowly trying to become puddles on your window sills. The relative increase in thickness near the bottom compared to near the top, as they assume a more drop-like shape, can even be perceived with the naked eye in windows that are sufficiently old - or so I've been led to believe, anyway. Weird, huh?
I dunno what would happen near absolute zero. Your suspicion may be on target, or it may not, or there may be some funky supersomething (superconductivity, superfluidity, that sort of thing) effect starting to happen before one gets there. Even if it doesn't melt it all the way, the body-heat of any ice swimmer would surely warm its immediate environment sufficiently for that not to matter much either way, though, it seems to me.
Soon the Cold One took flight, yielded Goddess and field to the victor: The Lord of the Light.