Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Orphos, the Stars and the Blacksun

The world Crux sits upon is named Orphos.  That name is taken after a ancient Salish word, based on the classical goddess the Salish called Orphasa the Flame.  The Ancient Salish believed her to be the mother of the world, her flames melting the frozen heart of the primordial Giant Skagnir.

Orphos has eight continents: Ainesia, Borealia, Necruxa, Shan, Rani, Antarolia, North Ocrid and South Ocrid.  Crux sits at the connecting straits between Ith and Ainesia, called the Sleeping Straits by some.

Orphos is, according to ancient Ursyklon lore, not a remarkable specimen of a world.  Although much of their technical specifics are now lost to us, the space-faring ancient Ursyklon viewed Orphos as an average world, comparing it to dozens of others that they and the aboleth fought over.  Orphos is the third planet to orbit the sun, it's own moon large enough to garner some folklore, albeit never enough to compare to the Blacksun. 

The Blacksun
Blacksun is the colloquial term for Hecastes.  Hecastes is not a star, but is a  gas giant that orbits much closer to the sun than Orphos.  Massive, Hecastes is made up mostly of purple, blue and black gases.  To the naked eye Hecastes looks like a shining black orb, like a second sun made of utter black.

The Blacksun is always visible in the day sky.  Sometimes it also can be seen at night.  It and the sun have been at the center of countless folklore all over Orphos.  Their twin orbs casts strength on storied faiths like the Church of the Twins or the ancient gods of Old Salira.  

When the Blacksun eclipses the sun, such times are known the Darkness.  The Darkness can trigger premature winters or worsen winters into almost year-long cold spells.  Darkness only lasts for six months at a time, and only happens once every two hundred years.  Darkness often comes and brings hard times to those who live on Orphos.  

The last Darkness to hit Orphos was almost a hundred and ninety years ago.  A new Darkness to expected, but the priests of the Machine have predicted it'll happen in five years, advising various nations to prepare.  The last such darkness coincided with an Othebean Crusade, a dark and cold affair that put Ith under Othebean control.

A Darkness only lasts a week or so, as Hecastes totally eclipses the sun during that period.  But the Blacksun will cause the sun to wax and wane during the year it passes.  Summers grow short, and autumn tends to arrival earlier.

The Constellations of Orphos
Thirteen constellations define the night skies of Orphos.  Old Salira identified each with one of their gods,
using them to divine futures.  The Saliran names stuck, at least along the Maru sea they did.

The Church of the Machine and the Esoterium Machina have identified many more constellations.  The Esoterium Machina recognizes power in the original thirteen, often citing various magical constructs that rely on them.  Some constellations and their position also enable some ancient rituals.  The Ursyklon and the Sundered Star both have favored aligned constellations, referring to ancient powers best summoned under the correct auspices.

Here are the constellations of Orphos:

  • The Mother
  • The Sleeping Giant
  • The Torch
  • The Twins
  • The Bottle
  • The Crown
  • The Flying Head
  • The Fat Goat
  • The Singing Cat
  • The Mountain
  • The River
  • The Scroll
  • The Doorway


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Ok.  Another blog down.  Thanks for reading about Crux and the minutia I post up here.  All comments are welcome, good ideas praised and great ideas stolen outright.  See yah around the Net.