Sunday, February 15, 2009

World Information

The Land
The broad plains of Athanor are covered with a thick, spongy, ochre colored lichen. While this is hard to cut or burn, it is a common source of nutrition for the herbivores of Athanor.

Some areas of Athanor are covered with stands or even forests of huge fungi, some 20, 30 or more feet tall. These fungi are often orange, red, brown or violet, have hard silicate endostructures, and noxious or even toxic spores that kill most non-arthropod life forms. Few venture into the fungal forests as a result, and some consider them a blight to be purged or contained with fire.

A few areas are covered with tall, reddish trees, though most of these are cultivated orchards in civilized lands. These trees often have deep red, magenta or even violet leaves. Wild groves are often home to dangerous plants such as strangle-vine or great carnivorous plants.

Athanor's red sun hangs over an arid land where most of the world's oceans and seas have retreated or disappeared completely. Most of the land is covered in dry plains or deserts. Where great cities once stood explorers find the ruins of the world's faded glory.

Two moons hang over the dusty land, the swift-moving Selune and her larger sister Miera, making most nights bright. The phases of Selune mark the seven days of the week: Sunday, Moonday, Stoneday, Waterday, Windsday, Fireday, and Godsday. The fourteen-week cycles of Miera mark the three seasons of the year: Storm, Earth, and Fire seasons.

Technology in Athanor is somewhere between arund the late Age of Sail , with printing presses, simple optics, muzzle-loading firearms, crude germ theory, and crude steam technology. In addition, rare advanced technological items exist, too.

The metal orichalcum is refined as a salt to use in firearms, used to make the gas provides fills the lift tanks of Athanor’s airships—expensive and rare lighter-than-air craft that provide some of the trade between the great cities.

Still stranger items exist in the Tombs of the Ancients, where artifacts survive that men can use to make themselves kings.

Overland travel usually involves riding on parasauralophus. These dinosaurs can carry two riders and gear or four riders without gear. Some travel may be done on howdahs atop triceratops. Rarely, gigantes are tamed and used as beasts of burden or to bear great howdahs. Faster travel across the desert may be made by great sailed sand-ships, flat, catamaran-like craft that skate across the desert under great sails. But the fastest long-distance travel comes in the form of airships, held aloft by orichalcum gas and propelled through the use of sails or steam engines. Airships are the key to naval power, but are expensive enough that trade still depends on overland travel.