LOCATIONS, COSMOLOGY, & time
Ten thousand years ago, before the time of the Greater Moon, the sun expands into a red giant, threatening to incinerate all life on Aenya. To save their world, Zo engineers attempt to move their planet into a safer orbit, but something goes wrong, and Aenya is forever caught in the gravity well of the gas giant, Infinity (the large turquoise sphere) becoming tidally locked. One side of Aenya perpetually faces Infinity, creating a dark hemisphere, as the Ocean on the opposite side cooks off into space. For most species, life becomes a harsh struggle for survival. This sets the stage for the epic that is the Aenya Series.
Places of Interest
Featuring most prominently in The Princess of Aenya, Tyrnael is located at the north pole. Despite its geographic position, an unnatural energy source emanating from the city maintains an ideal climate. Its borders, however, are marked by ice and snow and an impassable mountain range, The Crown of Aenya. Due to its seclusion, Tyrnael remains isolated from other civilizations and is thought to have been lost to history, or to have been a mere myth, as it is more commonly referred to as Mythradanaiil. Before the Great Cataclysm, circa ten millennia ago, Tyrnael was home to the Zo and the global capital of Aenya. Though its advanced technology has been lost, the genetically modified descendants of the Zo can live for hundreds of years without sickness or the ailments of aging. Tyrnael is distinguished by its white and gold Compass Tower, centered at the pole; a matrix of interconnected bridges; and its terraced, forested megastructures.
Compass Tower by Alexey Lipatov
Secluded from much of the world, this small trading village is known for its rolling hills, windmill houses, and airships. It is situated at the edge of the midland Tectonic Chasm, The Great Chasm, which encircles the whole of Aenya. A continual updraft rising from the chasm provides lift for airships, or "whirlydinghies," that navigate the surrounding Hills of Tororo. An unfettered gale blowing in from the East turns foils built into the houses for grinding wheat. Remnants from an enormous bridge, dating back to the time of the Zo, begins to span the divide between the two hemispheres.
Yefira by Leo Aveiro
With a perfect year-round climate, rich soil, and a flower (the ilm) with remarkable medicinal properties, the Ilmar know nothing of war, greed, or shame. The impassable Ukko Mountains to the north, and the dense Wildwood jungle to the south, have kept Ilmarinen hid from invaders for ten thousand years, that is, until recently, when a shift in climate and an invading bogren host forces its people to abandon their ancestral home. Ilmarinen is home to Xandr and Thelana.
Appearances: Ages of Aenya, The Feral Girl.
Before the Great Cataclysm split the world in two, the nation of Urba served the Zo civilization as a center for commerce and development, with the cities of Tennia and Zenttyr the most industrious Aenya. Urba was known for the luxury and wealth of its populace and for advanced awareness-raising technologies. But as the sun continued to expand and disaster ebbed ever closer to the planet, the people of Urba remained willfully ignorant, trapped by the information bubble created by their hyper-commerce-driven society. Now, only ruins remain where these once great cities prospered.
Appearances: The Feral Girl.
Urba by Leo Aveiro
In a world with only one Sea, coastal land is precious, and the one controlling it rules the world. The most powerful city on Aenya, the "Jewel of the Sea," Hedonia is distinguished by its temples and rotundas and stadiums of marble and by the great pyramid at its center, housing the churches of the gods of Aenya, and a towering idol of the city's patron deity, Sargonus. Built on the Coast of Sarnath c. 5000 AGM by human settlers from Aea, the colonists formed an uneasy truce with the native merquid inhabiting the area. The peace lasted less than a century. As the human population exploded and resources became scarce, the merquid were forced from their coral homes. All traces of merquid habitation was destroyed but for a solitary idol of the merquid god, Gulgola. The idol remained at the center of the city to commemorate the ousting of the merquid and the conquest of the coast. In the centuries that followed, Hedonian colonies spread quickly along the One Sea. Traffic and trading increased its wealth until, by 7000 AGM, barbarians from the north ransacked the Temple of Sargonus for its gold. To defend its borders, Hedonia established a naval army like none the world had seen. This unchecked show of force, and the ensuing disputes over control of the Sea, resulted in clashes with other powerful city-states. In time, Thetis and Thalassar would surrender to Hedonian rule and become subsumed by the Hedonian Empire.
Hedonia is said to be a theocracy, with the god of the Sea, Sargonus, sitting at the head of the political hierarchy. The High Priest, whose lifelong position is conferred during childhood, is said to interpret the wishes of Sargonus through an ancient book of prophecy known as the Ages of Aenya, written by the Prophet Eldin, which is believed to have been brought from Aea. In matters of dogma, the High Priest consults with the red mystics, a monastic order who seek higher states of consciousness through mind-altering agents. The true power in Hedonia, however, may rest in the hands of the regent commanders, the great military arm of the Empire, who govern directly over the conquered provinces.
Appearances: Ages of Aenya.
Hedonia by Evan Kyrou
Flowing from the stronghold city of Northendell is the Potamis River, "The Lifeblood of Aenya." It originates from the icy Crown of Aenya (also called the Pewter Mountains), feeding all the lands of Aenya. Being so near to the dark hemisphere, Northendell has been in a perpetual state of war for centuries, as subhuman races from the sunless hemisphere mount annual sieges against it. The city itself is marked by walled fortifications seamlessly adjoining the surrounding mountains. Upon its highest hill sits Hoarfrost, the enormous mead hall of King Frizzbeard, which is said to have been constructed for heroes to gather and to sing songs, the same heroes who are thought to have laid the first stones of the city. The Delian people chronicle their history and their myths in song, the most renowned of which is The Song of Strom.
This cloudy peak is home to the avian race, or "bird people." Once human, avians achieved flight after centuries of "controlled" evolution. Their home city rises thousands of feet from the peak of Mount Spire and consists of a peculiar light mix of elements called "whisperstone," allowing for structures that defy known building conventions.
This tiny island was once home to a powerful, matriarchal civilization. Though largely forgotten, its people continue to thrive. In temples from another age, an all-female priesthood venerates the three goddesses, Zoe (Life), Maki (War), and Irene (Love and Sex). It is believed that the people of Hedonia originally migrated from here. Aea was featured in the short story, The Gorgon's Lover, or The Ballad of Titian and Midiana.
This village, north of the Endless Plains (it’s not really endless!), is home to an equestrian culture. It was featured in the short story, The Nude Equestrian.
This small fishing village and trading town is known for its lighthouse and astronomical observatory. It is commonly used as a wayport for goods to be transferred between the western city-states of Hedonia, Thalassar, and Thetis, and the eastern oasis-kingdom of Shemselinihar. This town is prominently featured in The Magiq of Aenya.
Located in the midst of the Great White Flat, this domed city, also called "The White City," is home to the assai, or Shemites. The assai are notoriously territorial, placing considerable emphasis on tradition, and on their monotheistic faith, to the one "true" god, "Un." Shemselinihar is prominently featured in The Magiq of Aenya.
The Twilight Boundary
Situated between the dark and the light hemispheres, the Twilight Boundary is hospitable to life and is where most of the story takes place. Its precise area is indefinite and changes depending on the planet's orbital location and the time of year, though it is typically measured at 2000 km, from Nimbos in the West to Yefira in the East. Hedonia is located in the western hemisphere, while Tyrnael and Ilmarinen can be found in the eastern. During High Moon, when Infinity is most visible in the sky, the dark hemisphere creeps nearer and temperatures are at their lowest. Bogren armies stage annual incursions into the Pewter Mountains at this time.
Time on Aenya
Instead of hours, people on Aenya measure their day in passings. A passing is roughly 80 minutes, the amount of time it takes for the small moon of Eon to cross the face of the Greater Moon, Infinity, the gas giant about which Aenya orbits. You can imagine this like a giant clock in the sky. But the value of a passing is not always accurate, as the orbital speed of the heavenly bodies changes depending on location, viewing angle, and time of year. In certain parts of Aenya, people will refer to a half-passing or a quarter-passing.
The Day-Night/Eclipse Cycle
Because Aenya is tidally locked to Infinity, the eastern hemisphere perpetually faces away from the sun. Nightfall occurs when the gas giant moves between Solos, the sun, and Aenya, which is why night is sometimes referred to as eclipse. At dawn, the sun rises from the western horizon, and at dusk, eclipses behind the moon in the East.
Sunlight reaches the eastern hemisphere far less frequently, with an exponential decrease in solar radiation as one moves east of the Twilight Boundary. The easternmost region of Aenya, the Dark Side, receives too little warmth to maintain a verdant ecosystem. Here, the Greater Moon dominates one-fourth of the sky and is considerably luminous.
The westernmost region of Aenya receives too much sunlight for life to flourish and is therefore referred to as The Dead Zones. This region consists of an arid plain known as The Great White Flat and a rocky desert called Ocean.
Depending on where you are and the time of year, the length of day can stretch from nil (no sunlight) to near perpetuity. The closer one moves into the West, toward the Dead Zones, the lower Infinity sits on the horizon (looking east), and the longer the day. In the desert oasis city of Shemselinihar, for instance, the sun can last for 30 passings. Moving eastward, toward the dark hemisphere, Infinity looms largest on the horizon (looking east), so that, if you’re living in Yefira, the sun eclipses after only 8 passings.
A cycle is ten days and is similar to a lunar cycle on Earth. It is measured by observing the phases of the Greater Moon.
High Moon / Low Moon
These represent the two seasons, which split the year in half. On our world, seasons are determined by the Earth’s tilt and rotation, but on Aenya, high and low moon coincide with the apogee (furthest point) and perigee (closest point) of Infinity. During high moon (perigee), Infinity is closest and appears largest in the sky. Because more of the sunlight is being blocked, high moon brings lower temperatures, but this effect is much more pronounced in the North and East. Closer to the equator, where Ilmarinen is located, the change in climate is negligible.