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Have you thought about your sun, moon and more?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Wansome, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Wansome

    Wansome Dreamer

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    Hello fellow travellers!

    A few weeks ago I came by a youtube channel named Artifexian, a worldbuilder who gives his worlds a sparkle of science. Really interesting in my opinion!

    So, I tried to give it a go myself and here's a tiny piece of the end result:
    Coffee 256, my planet, has a counter clockwise spin, just like our star. This means that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It also has an axial tilt of 62 degrees and due to this high axial tilt, our polars lay at 28 degrees and our tropics at 62 degrees. On Earth, that would mean that Stockholm almost lays in the tropical zone and Havana in the polar region. Brrrrr….

    Want to see more, here's the full explanation of my galaxy:


    I'd love to hear about your galaxy, tell me all about it!

    Greetings
    Wansome
     
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  2. elemtilas

    elemtilas Sage

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    Nicely done! I've never looked at Artifexian's videos, though.

    The planet I concentrate on is Yeola~Camay, a double planet with a couple moons. Folks on Yeola don't know how many planets orbit their home star, but according to one mythistory, there are twenty. Modern astrologers say there are twenty three. Many are undoubtedly very far away and out of reach of even their best optics.

    They are aware that Camay is a blue-green-brown planet with clouds and storms; they're also pretty sure the two planets on either side of Y~C are somewhat bluish, too.

    Yeola has axial tilt, but rather less than Earth's.

    Sharro, the local star, is the home of Varren, one of the Star People, a very very ancient race of people who swept all dust of the universe together into lovely swirly patterns later people would come to call galaxies. Halem was the first and greatest of the Star People and, consequently, drew together the greatest star in the heavens. Varren and her myraides of siblings look to Manael as their leader as they all dance around him.

    No fancy video, but here is Yeola~Camay:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    I tried to get sciency with Eld and it's assortment of cosmic bounty, but I quickly gave up because the rhyme and reasoning is neither. The number of moons varies (sometimes night to night) and there are supposed to be a set number of planets circling the sun. I want to say five to nine, there's always those mysterious bodies and planet X's that come and go as they please.

    Given most the things in the cosmos are sentient and sapient in some way, including the sun, the stars and the planets and their moons (being deities, Elders, Star Gods and such) that they more or less do as they will. Though at times on a much longer time scale. On a universal scale, all I've came up with is that Eld and it's universe (and multiverses) are quite young.
     
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  4. Wansome

    Wansome Dreamer

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    Nice! I really like your double planet-concept, it gives room for future expansion when your world gets too small. It also can maybe be the beginning of some kind of conflict! Ow, and nice visualisation! Are those the real maps of your planets?

    Greetings
    Wansome
     
  5. Wansome

    Wansome Dreamer

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    The way that your celestial bodies can act on their own, I like it, never thought of that before!

    Greetings
    Wansome
     
  6. elemtilas

    elemtilas Sage

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    Or more like, a place I'll never really get to because even one world is just too big... Even Yeola is mostly here be dragons!

    Yes, those are actual images of the planets. It was a bit of an eye opener going from flat maps to globe!
     
  7. KnightOfLain

    KnightOfLain Acolyte

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    For the current book I'm working on I've created a fairly detailed cosmology due to astrology featuring heavily into the world's magic system. It's a geocentric model with a rotating spherical Earth surrounded by nine other celestial bodies: a sun, moon, and seven "planets." Planet is a bit misleading here because all nine celestial bodies are inhabited and are all roughly the same size, the in-universe distinguishing factor is the "planets" are normally far enough away to only be point sources of light. They move in elliptical paths around the Earth on aether currents and are closely monitored by the world's magic users. Magic relies on the aid of elemental beings from these worlds and thus their proximity can greatly increase or decrease the difficulty of certain spells as well as causing various other effects.

    Beyond the planets the stars are also very important astrologically. Every star is the abode to either a legion or choir of angels of varying size, power, and disposition. The stars have various alliances that make up the constellations, the most important being the twelve constellations of the zodiac. What constellation is you are born under and which one is currently at its zenith has palpable effects on the people of Earth. Besides the normal stars there are also thirty-eight "strange stars," ancient beings from beyond the void that have been sealed away eons ago and are watched over carefully by the angels. They usually do not have much influence but they can occasionally stir and cause problems.

    Lastly the Earth itself it a series of ten concentric shells, resulting in the nine circles of the underworld. Unlike in Dante or other portrayals of Hell these underworlds are not any form of afterlife, they are the home to demons and other creatures that were sealed away at the creation of the world. Despite this they are another potential source of magic and occasionally mages will summon them due to demonic magic being unaffected by celestial bodies, often allowing them to accomplish things currently beyond human means. This is also considered good way to attract angelic attention, however. On even rarer occasions mortals will sometimes venture into these underworlds.
     
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  8. Wansome

    Wansome Dreamer

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    HI Knight of Lain!
    Your astrology is very original. Although it isn't realistic, it sounds very real (and that's the point of worldbuilding). I tried to visualise your idea, I hope it matches your vision!

    Greetings
    Wansome

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  9. In my universe, stars are living beings, called star children, and there's only moons in one section because that section is the only one that 'needs them'. There's eight moons, but to prevent fluctuating tidal changes, they take turns. The smallest is made of cheese.
     
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  10. elemtilas

    elemtilas Sage

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    Are there any potato or ravioli moons to go with that?
     
  11. Unfortunately, no, but that's a good idea.
     
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  12. Gotis

    Gotis Scribe

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    In my WIP I've kept it fairly earth like and that extends to the cosmology. The only thing I've thought about in detail are my three moons. The moons have different names depending on the culture. There's the red moon, the white/yellow moon. These two are often called The Twins. They appear to be similar in size and shape and have a very predictable orbit. The third is greenish smaller and non spherical. It's orbit is seemingly erratic and is not always visible to the naked eye.
    These moons and their position have an effect on certain types of magic. Werewolves are heavily affected. Whether you become a regular wolf, a hulking rage monster, or just a hairy dude who's way more impulsive depends on which moon is full. Sometimes more than one moon is full as well, but I'm still working that out.
     
  13. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    In fact, I have thought about the sun and moon and more, but the story takes place in a mostly localized area, and sky is actually kind of hazy so big objects don't really appear in focus, and the characters, so far, have not had a lot of interest in them. There are a few legends about the objects, and even some of them are important, but I don't think it will come out in the story any of their detail, so I wonder why let it occupy space in my head. But it does.

    For me, I find a little grating that the objects have names and the characters at times use them. To say 'The Sun' and the 'The Moon' is much more relatable than names I made up, so I wonder if it would just be easier on the readers to sub in Sun as a generic term as opposed to what it might actually be called.

    Generally, I shaped a bit of the world to be easier for me. The days are about 30 hours long, and the months are all 30 days. That does not come out either, but I know its true. Keeps me from having to explain a Julian calendar and how that came about. Most often, I talk about time and distances in non-specific terms so as to keep from painting myself into a corner with details. It was over a day away as opposed to it was one day and 10 hours.
     
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  14. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    The world where my series takes place rotates the same as Earth, with the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.

    The planet itself is a moon orbiting a gas giant. What makes this fun is that the gas giant takes up a huge chunk of the horizon at any given point. At night, it lights up and goes through phases as they orbit it. This meant that I had to build an entire race of humans adapted to it, as well as a society that rarely saw true darkness. I built a lot of superstitions into their world around darkness, and when I built out the conlang, I used the same word for dead and dark.

    Their planet completes one orbit around the gas giant every 110 days, including a six-day period of occultation when they're thrown into a planet-wide solar eclipse. The eclipse marks the passing of each season. So, I worked a lot of stuff about darkness and scary things into their beliefs about the six day dark period, including a huge Return of the Sun party when the last candle burns down.

    The gas giant completes one orbit around the sun roughly every 440 days, with four seasons to a year and one 110-day month per season. This is where I wish I hadn't cut corners; it's a little too neat for me, but it's expedient and seriously, f*ck leap years. I didn't want to deal with it. 30-hour days if I did the math right.

    Where this gets really interesting, though, was working out the second- and third-order effects of having months that long. Everything that, on Earth, is tied into 28-day cycles--tides, crops, fertility cycles--I made 110 days long. It had an amazing effect on the society when I carried it forward. Birth rates are a third of what they are on Earth, so I had to construct an entire society in which children are rare. This meant that I couldn't build huge standing armies with long supply chains and tens of thousands of forward-deployed expeditionary troops. Some wars are fought with maybe a dozen soldiers or knights on each side, rarely to the death, and it's not unusual for entire battles to be forgone in order to have a champion from each army fight, winner take all. A hundred troops on a side is a huge battle. The nation fielding a "vast military" that all the other realms are so worried about has about ten thousand actual fighting troops, and its economy and society are leveraged around its military identity.

    Socially, long cycles had startling repercussions: it's a culture in which sex is recreational and encouraged, and in which polygamy and polyamory are accepted as normal, particularly with one woman marrying multiple men. A highly sexualized culture meant creating a language that was full of profanities and innuendo, which was fun. It also led to doing away entirely with the rape trope, which is so prevalent in grimdark fantasy. There's not a single episode of sexual violence or even gender bias in my entire second novel. There won't be in the third, either. I ended up engineering the idea right out of their society.

    Huge, multi-acre farms would only exist around large cities, because a family that only had one child could get by on small-scale subsistence farming. Food grows slowly but the yields are massive, the realm of hundred-pound pumpkins and onions the size of a man's head. The lack of reliance on large-scale farming efforts let me develop a society and economy based around an artisan class, which would be far larger than the peasant/farmworker class, and a social strata that looks much more like Kamakura-period Japan than the European Middle Ages, replete with fiefdoms, shogun-style warlords constantly jockeying for position, and what military technology they have (late Dark Ages) concentrated in the hands of a small and highly specialized fighting class. Diseases caused by overcrowding and overpopulation are unheard-of. And so forth.

    The moon also makes the tides massive, and the waves are so large that the seas are impassable. So, no Exploration-Age trading economy; no Golden Age of Sail. Lastly, the tidal effects of the moon on the planet contribute to catastrophic, slate-wiping earthquakes and volcanoes every thousand years or so, which keeps them in a constant state of Late Dark Ages technology. They're always rebuilding, and knowledge gets lost to history and has to be constantly rediscovered. Castles and cities are rebuilt on the ruins of the last, going back eons. This creates a justification for the Medieval Stasis trope, and it all kind of wraps up into a neat little ball.

    Wow. This got long. This didn't happen overnight; I spent about 15 years and wrote several failed novels working this all out. But it goes to show how many follow-on effects of worldbuilding you can develop once you understand the way the world goes around.
     
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  15. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I've not really put any detailed thought into the sun and the moon at all. The only thing worth mentioning is that a lot of my characters refer to both the sun and the moon as "she" rather than "it."
     
  16. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    I find it interesting that something as loaded with mythological and superstitious significance (and is still not terribly well understood by the average person) as space is the area of a setting that worldbuilders try to make resemble reality so closely.

    You know, save for those worldbuilders who think they’re being creative by having a flatworld on the back of a turtle or whatever.

    So anyways, in my setting, the moon is a castle, the sun is a dead genie, the sky is water (like in real-life, I guess) and the stars are an optical illusion.
     
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  17. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    It all depends on what you're trying to do. I wanted to write a fantasy series with the levels of detail and accuracy found in historical fiction and modern technothrillers. For me to write the books I wanted to write, every last thing had to actually (or at least theoretically) work. It may not necessarily be historically accurate, but it all had to at least be feasible, and top-to-bottom feasibility is what has taken it past suspension of disbelief and apparently into the realm of plausible deniability, which I imagine is why I get the messages from readers that I do.

    It makes you no more or less of an author if your world is historically or technically accurate. It just means that we create differently.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
  18. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I don't believe I've touched on cosmology in any of my settings. For my sprite setting in particular I'm shooting for more of a fantasy "everyworld" so that I can highlight the ways that the sprites stand out and to have their more localized worldbuilding feel like a small but deep part in a crazy world. Worrying too much about the moons and the cosmology shifts attention to the broader world instead of on the sprites and their crazy details.

    That said, I have two settings which have touched on... kind of cosmological-ish details, but not really. The first is the sprites' "fairy realm" which is a hollow parallel world. You go deep underground, you cross a portal, and you come out in the underground hollow world. I have a little bit of a notion that it's parallel to all worlds, and that every point in the fairy realm corresponds to a fixed place in every world, but that might not come up in-story. In the center of the sky there's a bit of a hot magma core, with a magical wall-castle-thing screening it like a visor or window shade, while different magical mists float across the inner surface of the planet to substitute for the weather.

    In another setting, I have the Scriptorium, which is set in a world between worlds. It's a city-state built on massive floating rocks that have been crashed or welded together to form a beautiful city landscape floating in a purple sky. Normally this realm is too chaotic to inhabit, under the unlivable wild forces pulsating from the realm's epicenter. But a sliver of it has been blocked right next to that epicenter, creating a cone of safety growing outward from that center. The Scriptorium is meant to be a shared-world fanfiction project, sending people into other stories while having a worthwhile plot and setting of its own. As such I've got a rough map of all the semi-spacial stuff happening in this sliver-cone setting.

    Again, neither of those are planets and stars, but they are a fantasy substitute for them.
     
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  19. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    That's fair but I think I find it a bit frustrating when I see writers limit themselves in how their worlds are put together when the fantasy genre is supposed to be about doing anything so long as it all remains internally consistent. I definitely don't think that a setting would need to resemble the real world in order to avoid breaking the reader's suspension of disbelief.
    I mean, I've seen fantasy stories that say that mortal beings were materialized out of thin air by gods rather than evolving from earlier primates and I just kind of accept it as the reality of that world.
    Just think about all the different creation myths and god stories you see in fantasy settings, and all the different ideas of how life beings, but still there seems to be only a handful of cosmology archetypes (for lack of a better term) out there.

    The reason why it especially bothers me with cosmology is because a writer could do almost anything and they probably wouldn't have to worry about any implications from this cosmology since most fantasy stories don't directly deal with anything like space travel or astrophysics.
     
  20. Well said, so wonderfully well said. *applause*
     
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