Edge of Darkness: The Broken Circle
Seasons and Cycles
The Ondoron cosmology is not standard, and that means that everything from the weather to the cycle of the sun and the moon functions in a different way than most “standard” worlds.
The Plane of Ondoron
Most worlds are true planets – a sphere of earth, rock, and water floating in space, usually orbiting their own sun and having one or more moons rotating around them. Ondoron is not a sphere, but a physical flat plane. The boundaries of the planes are marked by walls of mist. None that have ever crossed the mist has ever returned. Wizards and scholars speculate that those that go through the mist fall off the edge of the world and are lost. Though some believe that there is indeed something beyond the mists, as it is rumored that silver elves pass beyond it once they reach a certain age. As Ondoron is not a sphere in space revolving around a sun, it does not have true “seasons” as such. Special rules govern the makeup of its seasons.
In it’s natural state, Ondoron is incapable of supporting life. There is no sunlight, which means that plants cannot exist and the cycle of life is broken. It is the job of Lunarus to make life on Ondoron possible, and indeed even thrive. In ancient times, Lunarus rode across the sky in a chariot, using his divine radiance to effectively function as a sun for the purposes of providing light and life. While the energy Lunarus puts off does warm the air, the brilliance of his aura does not determine the seasons. That is covered later.
After the creation of the Seraphim during the Demon War, Lunarus delegated the task to Solistar, his archseraphim. For thousands of years Solistar has made the daily trek across the sky. Solistar, however, tried to prevent Dracnus from fully returning to the world about 125 years ago. Dracnus struck him down, and there was a day of utter and complete darkness in which the sun did not rise. The seraphim Illuminara was promoted to archseraphim of Lunarus, and took over the task of her predecessor.
Without Lunarus and his designated seraphim, Ondoron would be a plane of darkness that was inhospitable to life.
The moon is perhaps the strangest and most difficult to define feature in the cosmology of Ondoron. The best theory that anyone has is that it is an alternate material plane close to Ondoron. In ancient times, it was the home and stronghold of the Watcher Kuraia. After her disappearance, it was thought to be abandoned for a time before the ascension of Klintendekkerdor. It is now believed to be his home.
The moon is always in the same location in the sky, but appears to be in a different location depending on where in Ondoron you are standing. The purpose of the phases of the moon are unknown, as is how the people of Ondoron can see the moon up in the sky. It is known, however, that the phases of the moon do have some influence upon the plane. A full moon, thought to coincide with the height of Klintendekkerdor’s power, causes subtle chaos across the plane. It is also the time that lycanthropes transform. For this reason, the full moon is often called “crazy moon” or “Klint’s Eye”. One popular gnomish children’s story tells that the moon is actually the eye of Klintendekkerdor. When the moon is full and his eye is wide open, he runs all over Ondoron and causes mischief. But then he grows sleepy and his eye droops shut. Then he sleeps and slowly comes to wakefulness once again, ready to play once more.
Many gnomes actively work on the secret of the moon, but none have yet pieced its many mysteries. The moon is sacred to the church of Klintendekkerdor, and many of its rituals and ceremonies happen in the moonlight.
Like the moon, the stars of Ondoron are constant and virtually unchanging. The wide Ondoron sky is filled with thousands of stars, which rarely change position or wink out. There are numerous theories as to what the stars may be. Some say that they are sparks from the anvil of Vagrius as he forges the world. Others say that they are distant worlds. Yet another theory is that they are individual seraphim standing vigil against some unknown outer threat. Among the hisskarssi, they believe that the stars are the lost legions of Bahar. The glimmering celestial servitors Bahar commanded still hover in the sky and await orders that shall never come, or perhaps for the return of the Lord of Shining Scales.
Agaltha regulates the flow of the tides in Ondoron (high and low tides), while Trabirus controls the flow of the currents.
Agaltha and Trabirus split the responsibility of the winds as well. Agaltha establishes and modifies the flow of warm air, which originates from the south and west of Ondoron. Trabirus establishes and modifies the flow of cold air, which originates from the north and east of Ondoron. Trabirus and his twin, Bratirus, delight in the power and elemental fury of storms. The interaction of the cold air and the warm air creates storm systems in all seasons and across the plane of Ondoron. The cold and warm air systems circle each other in an elaborate and entirely unpredictable pattern. While the vast oceans of Ondoron see cooperation between Agaltha and Trabirus, the winds are seen as a battleground between the two Watchers as their powers constantly circle and clash.
Ondoron shares a close connection with the fey realms of the Seelie and Unseelie courts. The planar home of the Seelie and Unseelie courts exist very near Ondoron, and the realms touch in many places. Ondoron shifts into phase with both the Seelie and the Unseelie realms in sequence. As Ondoron shifts into phase with the realm of the Seelie court, the warmth of the realm “bleeds” over into Ondoron, increasing average temperatures and bringing spring and summer. During the spring and summer months, crossroads into the Seelie Court (otherwise known as the Summer Court), are easier to open and seelie beings are able to cross over easier. Likewise, gates and crossroads into the Unseelie Court (otherwise known as the Winter Court) are more difficult or impossible to open and unseelie beings find difficulty in crossing over. As Ondoron shifts back into phase with the Unseelie Court, the frigid weather “bleeds” over into Ondoron, bringing autumn and winter and making crossing from the mortal world to the unseelie realm easier and crossing to or from the seelie realms becomes difficult or impossible.
On Lighherald 20th, Ondoron is most closely aligned with the Unseelie Court and in the full grips of winter. On Lightherald 21st, Ondoron begins to pull away from the Unseelie Court and begins to align with the Seelie Court. On Eragold 20th, Ondoron is most closely aligned with the Seelie Court and the power of Summer is at its height. Starting on Eragold 21st, Ondoron begins to slip out of phase with the realms of the Seelie Court and begins the steady phase towards the Unseelie Court once again.
During the reign of Summer, the days are longer and the archseraphim of Lunarus makes longer trips across the sky. When Winter reigns, the hours of light are shorter.