Hey there, dear Evenfellow!
Kenneth here, and I am in charge of the second day of our Evenfell Primer series.
As explained in the Day 1, when we built out the setting for Evenfell, we all brought together certain ideas of what we wanted our world to look like. One of these foundation aspects that the world took on was flavored by Spelljammer, taking from it the science-fantasy aspect of space-travel and flair of physics defying planets, we set out and created a loose cosmology. As opposed to a singular planet, we were left with dozens, each with their own quirks and peoples and nonsense. Drawing from pulp sci-fi novels and everything non-Newtonian, we've assembled a solar system that can expand alongside our freedom and desire to do bizarre and strange things outside of the traditional realm of Fantasy.
For today's subject, I am going to be going over the heavy hitters in the solar system which is host to our podcast. This extends to moons, planets, and the odd floating and corrupted pile of debris or two. I won’t be hitting on everything we have, and what I am hitting on will be described from a 30,000ft view, of sorts..
Let's start off with Tempest! Our biggest boy, as far as planetary heft goes.
Circling around the star at the heart of our solar system is Tempest, as massive, azure gas giant not unlike our own Jupiter. While many have long pondered on the planet's formation, and particularities of its own magical aura, not a single mortal has visited and returned. Though a Gate was long ago formed which connected to it's swirling surface, nobody who has passed through its boundaries has come back. Most famous of these doomed voyagers is the founder and deified empress of the Athalan Empire, Athala Divine.
Moons of Tempest
Thirteen (known) moons swirl around this giant, orbits uncanny in their patterns. Formed from the ruins of the original solitary moon which once danced with Tempest for an untold millennia, which was destroyed by a magical force thrown out of the blackness of deep space. In the shattered remnants of this intermingling of chaos and the material plane, moons were brought into existence, and in the eons that passed, these moons grew their own peoples and gods.
Some of these moons have played host to the most important events of this age, while others have been woefully unexplored or cataloged, their mysteries unplumbed. The unifying trait of any of The Sisters however is, of course, the Gates which dot their surfaces. Eternal and origin unknown, these Gates forever bonding peoples across the moons, or at less hopeful times, driving them to war.
With a temperate equator, a single northern polar cap, and an ash-choked southern sea, Bastion is a chaotic and thrilling moon, full of oddities and ancient ruins. Long abandoned since the last Closure, Bastion has in recent centuries reopened to many of the mortal races of Tempest, and the intermingled mortal races dance and discover along its surface with childlike vigor. Though not the largest of the moons, Bastion is home to a density of population unseen anywhere but Dawnhome.
Though I dearly would like to talk at length of Bastion, I must now hold my tongue till Day 4, when it will be featured in it's own post.
A massive planet (in fact the largest of the Sisters of Tempest) with a temperate equator and two frigid poles, Dawnhome is most like the Earth we all know and love. Populated by the prolific race known as humans, and containing a stunningly rare non-hostile-to-life-geography, Dawnhome is, quite expectantly, the most populated of all the Sisters.
The home-world of our humans has a history spanning far beyond the most recent opening of the gates, their native peoples untouched by the sickness of other moons commonly felt during an age of Closure. As such, their lands and peoples have been left to prosper and learn to an extent unknown of by many other races along the Sisters. Countless baronies and kingdoms dot Dawnhome's surface, their lineages and feats beyond counting. Their own histories however, have blinded most of these human kingdoms to the stars beyond, just as the ages of strife and turmoil have wiped many of the remnants of an older age from their home's surface. As such, many kingdoms throughout Dawnhome are remarkably short-sighted, and rarely (if ever) set their scope above their own clouds.
One last particular note before I leave this planet behind: The Gates leading to and from Dawnhome, already sparser in number than many of its inhabitants would have liked, have in the past few years entirely shut off. Not even the greatest minds in the Academy of Evenfell is able to ascertain why this may be. All attempts astronomers have made to view the moon from a distance reveal it entwined in a glowing, golden mist which covers its entire surface. The devastating ripple effect of Dawnhome being removed from the cosmological map is still being felt across the solar system, as nations struggle to find their footing in a world without the (relative) stability of these human kingdoms.
This small, ochre moon is an arid and infrequently visited place. A single polar cap lies along the southern axis of the moon, and no seas fill its depths, the entire northern hemisphere a barely habitable desert of high dunes and scorching sands. Stick far enough to the south however, and in the equilibrium along the rivers which flow down from the pole, and you will find yourself in the company of the shamanistic and honorable Orcs.
Drawn by necessity to the rivers and lakes which infrequently form on their planet, the orcs of Hig have long since adapted to the slow and thoughtful ways of the root and wind. Solitary and gruff, many orc clans find peace far from any others, their towns and homes sculpted into the red rock of canyons, hidden from the harsh sun.
Hig can be quite easily broken down into three distinct geographical areas:
This revered Polar Cap of Hig is small by most standards, but provides more than enough water for the sparse creatures and flora which call the moon their home.
The high elevation of the Frostwreath and its surrounding mountain ranges make it difficult to survive for the stoic and unadventurous orcs, though in the times since the opening of the portals and the wars which followed, many Dwarves have begun to call this land their new home. Even calling it Ha'brek - The Red Fortress.
The Contested Lands
The temperate land which runs in a moon-encompassing ring along the northern edge of the Frostwreath, it is here that the majority of living things on Hig make their nest. Flowing rivers play through stone canyons and babble through the forests which spring up around those precious waters.
Named in a dark period of time when bloodlust and rage filled the land, The Contested Lands still hold their namesake as a constant reminder of what the orcs have become.
In the blissfully long time that has passed since the near destruction of the Orcs by their own hands, many towns along the Contested Lands have grown large and strong, Though trade between cities is rare, the isolation of various orcs does not drive them to hatred of their siblings.
The Dead North.
Sweltering. Unlivable. Dry beyond any imagining. North of The Contested Lands which ring Hig is The Dead North. Outcast and crazed orcs live here, making ritualistic raids and blood sacrifices to long-denounced gods. None who come to The Dead North do so willingly, as entering into the sands is sure to destroy them.
A perpetual storm plays across Einbrek's surface, blanketing the small moon in a perennial snow. Staggeringly large mountain ranges soar into the upper atmosphere, and at their roots, magma jets from the core of the moon, coating its surface in obsidian. Centuries without clear skies have made this moon all but unmappable from the safety of other Sisters.
The entirety of this moon is a tumultuous pattern of these impossibly large mountain peaks and wide valleys between them. Perhaps the most dangerous part of this foreboding planet, however, lies in those valleys, where the storms can churn snow to razor blades which can shred to bone, as hidden creatures prowl the lowlands, unseen.
This hellscape is home to the Dwarves. Surviving by grit and fury, the Dwarves of Einbrek have long since made their homes where the storms can be trusted to not rend flesh from their bodies. Many cities are commonly established above ground, as the wind can be broken by surrounding ranges. However the grandest machinations of the Dwarves are those cities that exist under the ground, cavernous and deep in the hidden places deep within mountains, or the enchantingly beautiful peaks, where a truer relief from the storm may be found. These civilizations of Dwarves came to be known as mountainhomes, and offered warm respite from the deadly embrace of their mother moon. In those safe places, the Dwarves learned to thrive.
All is not safe in Einbrek though, even with the relative comfort of a mountainhome. Generation-spanning blizzards have commonly separated these cities for decades at a time, and when finally the storm subsides, a party of Dwarves may venture to see their neighbors and families, only to find nothing but the ruined remains of another mountainhome, destroyed by some primordial force whose eye they caught. The leviathans which also call Einbrek home are as ill-tempted as their are powerful.
Since the opening of the gates many Dwarves of this land have mostly fled to other, less hostile moons, leaving behind abandoned keeps and remnants of their past. Though, some remain, holding to their land and the honor they believe it holds.
The moon known only as "The Rent" hangs in a celestial dance, shattered in its orbit around Tempest, a perpetual reminder of the grave consequences of unrestrained avarice. What once was a beautiful moon, second only to Dawnhome itself, is now a broken and magic-choked land of terror and death. Those who can bear to look on its broken visage from the safety of another moon, will see floating chunks of its surface pulled along by gravitational force, evoking the image of an impossibly large comet. What large landmasses still manage to survive are clouded in a purple miasma, swirling and silently malevolent.
In the time since the creation of The Rent, much has been forgotten of the societies which once graced its surface, their gentle and well-meaning pursuits, their art and songs. For when caught in the greed of the strong and few, they sought to control the very wellspring of magic, they doomed their home, warping the very planet and killing millions. This happened long ago, past the memory most living beings, before the settlement of Eventide. The moon now is a beacon of chaotic magic, drawing untold evils to its surface. Deep underneath the mists, in the permanent dusk of the Purple Sea, corrupted beings still roam.
For all of its dangers, there are many who live on The Rent, and manage to survive, if not thrive. Powerful kingdoms and alliances are established, and assist each other in protecting against the dangers that prowl the deep places of the planet.
The Purple Sea
The Miasma which covers the remaining land of The Rent is known as "The Purple Sea". It is the residual chaos magic of those long-failed experiments. The Sea corrupts and confounds when given time, and while many can manage to live in the Sea for years at a time, eventually their flesh begins to corrupt, and many die before their days.
People do however, travel down into The Purple Sea, either to make the necessary and dangerous travel to other settlements or to plunder the riches of a long-lost world.
This is not to be confused with the very-much-so still around seas of the planet, which exist far below the Purple Seas surface
Many higher elevations of The Rent have been spared being engulfed in the Purple Sea, as they exist above where its grasp can manage. It is in these high places you will find (should you make the unfortunate journey to The Rent) the last remnants of civilization
The planet of Keenor exists far beyond the sight of any mortal, though not a mortal's telescope. Those trained astronomers who watch the stars at night may very well find themselves looking to the peculiar and aptly named Emerald Star. Long figured to be another planet caught in the grasp of this solar system's sun, these thoughts were transformed into fears when, as gates opened across the Sisters to the Emerald Star, the elves of Keenor began their long war.
While not much is known of Keenor to many, a few attributes can be ascertained:
It exists as a singular supercontinent, ringed in by a warm and well-tempered ocean.
A series of rivers flows to the center of the uncanny continent, at which lies a vast city.
Though weakened by the Elfwar, the elves of Keenor still display a murderous pride in their home, and will not allow the disrespect of mortal lives in its sacrosanct forests.
The elves have long since taken dominion of the entire planet, which now bends to the will of The Great Council and their Sovereigns of The Eons, The God-Rulers of Keenor.
There is so much more we have! I didn’t even have the time to get to the tragically lost (or rather stolen?) moon of the Gnomes, Behrdoo. Or the Alien and strange Plateau of Uubreth. I even managed to set aside the sandy and alien beaches of the planet from which sailed our Tabaxi.
However, I’m sure we’ll get to these in time, and I’ll be excited to share them with you then.
Come back tomorrow, when Brenden will be hitting on one of the most exciting blog posts we’ve had so far: The Past.