Thursday, September 28, 2017
Wolf Moons And The Kingdom of Day
One thing I don't like is having such powerfully symbolic things like full moons and sunrises and seasons and so on be on a strict timeclock. It's terribly boring to keep track of. This bit of worldbuilding has solved that issue without it being entirely a matter of GM fiat, and made Astronomy a cool adventuring skill.
The sun is a god, named Helios because its a big unsubtle setting feature and it needs a big unsubtle name. The world is flat. The world is also dark. Therefore, "Day" and "Night" are just measurements of how nearby Helios is.
The central circle, the Noonlands, are where Helios usually is, for over 12[[6d3]] hours at a time. So the climate there is summery, Mediterranean, tropical.
The inner ring, the Daylit Kingdoms, aren't pitch black night when Helios is in the central circle though, and he visits 8ish(2d6) hours at a time so it gets direct sun too. I'd call the inner circle 'temperate ranging to warm' since they only get true night when Helios is on the opposite side of the inner ring.
The outer ring, the Moonlands, are night most of the time, enjoying only indirect light 8 hours a day when Helios is visiting the inner ring. It isn't arctic, but it is autumnal leaning wintery, a land where having light and fire isn't just nice, but necessary.
And beyond that is the forever dark, great blind glaciers gnashing like teeth and grinding the past to dust under the unblinking gaze of pitiless stars.
Why does Helios tread this path of fire through the sky? Why, to drive off the Wolf Moons, pretenders to the sky, that drift in from the dark, bringing laws of nature foreign to the Daylit Kingdoms. Whenever a moon trespasses in the Daylit lands, Helios is sure to arrive within a few hours[[2d6]] to drive them fleeing all the way back to Beyond, for the Wolf Moons are as cowardly as they are dim.
Skull- Large and yellowed with age, Skull appears as a vast skull(sans bottom jaw) within a broken egg. Its leering visage animates corpses exposed to its light, and from the pale mists stride the restless spirits of the dead. Undead in the light of Skull are at their most powerful.
Blood- Like a crimson eyeball, the Blood Moon wanders in from Beyond into Vint-Savoth, only ever Vint-Savoth. The crimson light does not cause the Scourge, but it exacerbates it, fanning the flames of plague into outbreaks of beastly rampages and madness.
Winter- Shrouded by grey clouds, the peeping glances of Winter cause animals to grow fierce and shaggy, if they aren't frozen outright. Water and blood alike freeze, and plants sleep when Winter passes over, and the effects last for many visits of Helios, the snow and ice slipping away only reluctantly. Winter avoids Saresare, the nearest it ever gets is when it traces a bridge of ice across the lost bay.
Spring and Autumn- Twin moons, wax-yellow and gourd-orange, orbiting and eclipsing each other. First they cause plants to grow fruitful and lively, then thorned and wicked. They attract birds and insects, bright ones for Spring and dark ones for Autumn.
Iron- Said to be the prison of the fey, the partholonians and the fomor and the little people all. The great iron chain it drags behind it it is the size of a town, and flattens forests and gouges trenches as it passes, and these wounds in the earth boil over with things
New- The invisible moon, seen by the shadow it casts on the land and the reflection seen in water. The corruptions of New sometimes are subtle- a door in a cellar leading to dark depths unknown. And sometimes, overt- an island in the lost bay rising from nowhere, or a cow giving birth to a monster.
These are the common moons, that children are warned of. They come and they go every few sleeps, usually alone, sometime together. But there are other moons, known only to historians and astronomers. The Giant's Moon, so named because it was carried on the back of a giant. The Rolling Moon, which floated within 100 feet of the ground and drew things to its surface, and kept them. The Screaming Moon, which almost made it to Heleologos as it ripped across the sky. The Broken Moon, which limped across the sky shedding corrupted, bleeding fragments of stony shell before it crashed into the beast islands, becoming an island itself in a sea of its own blood as it died. Or at least it is hoped it is dead- the alternative is too horrible to entertain.