View Full Version : In The Brightness of Night

2007-09-11, 08:37 AM
In the Brightness of Night
A haphazard series on the world of Ærth given a reworking for a possible new edition of Dangerous Journeys: Mythus. (Assuming Wizards has no problem with it. Think of this as a sort of audition.)

First Part: A Peculiarity of the Universe

Unlike our universe in Ærth's matter and energy are separate things. One cannot be converted into the other. And while most of the time both are mixed together, and the task be difficult indeed, still it is possible to separate the two. In the one case to produce Heka (energy), and in the other to produce Tau (matter). All other forms of energy are fantasias on Heka, while all other forms of matter are fantasias on Tau.

One such thing is hekalite, a crystaline form of Heka---though not really---that is a natural source of heka. Hekalite is found here and there throughout the universe, but most especially at the core of each and every world larger than just a bit smaller than the Moon. It is this hekalite core that gives each world having such its configuration.

Consider the Ærth. At first glance it appears to be a sphere some 8,000 miles in diameter. A closer inspection reveals it has two openings, holes about 1,000 miles in diameter where the poles would be. Inside there is a hekalite sun. A star 100 miles in diameter that shines both light and heka. It is this star that has a most peculiar property in that, unlike mass, it bends space-time up. So that things fall away from it. A sort of reverse gravity; though not an anti-gravity, for that is a different phenomenon entirely.

It is this reverse gravity that creates a gap 1,900 miles wide between the hekalite sun and the surface of the inner world, and which provides the "gravity" that plants things firmly there, where otherwise objects and creatures would float off and eventually fall into the interior sun.

So finally we come to the shell that is the Ærth people know. While called a hollow world, it is a torus instead, a sort of flattened doughnut. Which is where we shall stop and prepare for the next installment in this essay at essays.

2007-09-12, 07:52 AM
For the World is Hollow, And I Live on the Sky

We consider now the inner surface of the Ærth. We do this because things are a bit simpler here. No nations really, which simplifies matters immensely. The interior world is geographically the mirror of the exterior world. Where there is water outside, there is land inside. And where there is land outside, there is water inside.

The interior world is also divided into five bands. The northern-most and the southern-most are home to mammals. Ancient mammals now long vanished on the surface Ærth. Mastodons and imperial mammoths, smilodons and calicotheres roam, graze, browse, and hunt. In the north bands of Cro-magnons rove the north, following the herds and gleaning roots and fruits as groups of Autralopithecus afarensis follow along behind to scavenge what the humans leave behind. While in the south Neanderthals wait in ambush with infinite patience. The climate here ranges from sub-arctic to temperate.

The next two bands are the northern intermediate and the southern intermediate. Here the flora and fauna are Permian, for here that age never came to an end. Here it is the therapsids who hold sway. They and the ancestors of the thecodonts and their descendents, the suchians, pterosaurs, and dinosaurs. And not just the survivors of eons past, but more evolved versions that never got the chance to arise either on the exterior Ærth or our world. The climate is sub-tropical for the most part, arid for the post part, with scattered swamps and marshes.

Last is the center band, the land of the dinosaurs. This realm is divided into three regions, the Triassic (arid), the Jurassic (humid), and the Cretaceous (semi-arid). Each has species appropriate to their era, though the pterosaurs and pterodactyls roam where they will. (Indeed, it is not unknown for pterodactyls to range as far as the great southern and north oceans. Legend has it that once a quetzlcoatlus flew as far as Pohjola in the land of the Saami.) The center band is the home of the Theriopodid. A cold, cruel people but newly come to the status of sapient. They are known to be cannibalistic, and even eat humans.

Interior Ærth is the source of a number of animals, furs, skins, feathers, plants, roots, leaves, bones, and horns among numerous other things. While travel between interior and exterior Ærth is arduous, still it happens often enough for there to be a profitable trade between the two. A number of merchant houses on the surface world have made their fortunes dealing in triceratops horn and various amniote leathers. Most any outer world zoological director would sell his soul to obtain a breeding pair of velociraptors.

There is more to be asid of interior Ærth, but we don't have the time or space right now. When we return to this thread we will turn our attention to exterior Ærth and an overview of its lands and seas.