The Map of Esurio

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Lore

  This is one of a series of guides to the Shadeward Universe. You can read the others here. With a relative lack of technology available to the inhabitants of Esurio, the means of navigating long distances across the planet has been lost to most. There are no compasses or GPS systems available. However it is still possible to determine your location to a high degree of accuracy. The map that Meru finds in the first book is based upon the design below and gives clues as to how it operates. With this knowledge it is possible to navigate successfully. Latitude Whilst Esurio does have a rotational pole like the Earth, it is not useful as the basis of navigation as the rotational period matches the orbital period (tidally locked). All measurements are taken from the ‘substellar pole’, (the point on Esurio where the star is directly overhead). Lines of longitude spread out in circles from this point measured in traditional degrees. Measuring your latitude is thus done in the same fashion as it is on Earth, calculating the angle of the star above the horizon. However, it is reversed numerically. Overhead = 0, On the horizon is 90. Longitude As it was on Earth prior to the invention of clocks, longitude is much more problematic to determine – most cultures are unable to do it. There are no clocks on Esurio, and whilst the sand-timers used to regulate activity can measure elapsed time, this method is not accurate enough. Fortunately Esurio benefits from an additional phenomena that Earth does not, the regular transit of a large planet in an interior orbit. Mayura is a gas-giant (a hot jupiter) in an orbit closer to Lacaille 9352 than Esurio. From the perspective of Esurio, it cross the face of the star on a regular (roughly monthly in Earth terms) basis. This ‘Pass’ is the basis of all time-keeping on Esurio. As Esurio orbits in the same plan as Mayura, it possible to calculate longitude based on the observed angle of the transit. if the transit is ‘flat’ you are observing from the ‘centre’ line of the planet, the meridian. If the transit is measured at an angle, you are away from that centre line by the observed amount. Habitability With the star constantly over the substellar pole, the areas immediately below that point receive immense amounts of infra-red energy (heat). As latitude increases, the star is lower in the sky until is lost from view. With the star motionless in the sky some areas are too hot and others too cold, with a relatively narrow temperate area between them where conditions are suitable for life. You’ll note on the map above that most cities are between 50 and 70 degrees of latitude. Outside of this, Nireus (Lat 74) is particularly cold (on the borders of the Frozen Wastes) and Airea (Lat 43) is extremely...

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Introduction to the Shadeward Saga

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in Lore

  This is one of a series of guides to the Shadeward Universe. You can read the others here. Introduction. The Shadeward Saga is a four part SF series cataloging events upon the planet Esurio. The Planet was colonised by refugees from Earth at some point in the distant past. Unfortunately, most of the records of the colonisation have not survived to the present time. The following history has been put together from incomplete records. Red Dwarf Colonisation Target The Lacaille system, officially ‘Lacaille 9352, Red Dwarf Class M2V’ in the stellar catalogue, was not originally a primary colonisation target. Red dwarf stars were considered generally poor candidates and the system was relegated to the lower end of the league table. The only reason it was considered at all was that, at a distance of just over ten light years from Earth, it was within range of ships powered by the new atomic pulse engines, a factor that eventually became critical. It had been known for some time that there were several planets in the system. Esurio, along with four unremarkable gas giants and a series of rocky dwarf-worlds, had already been catalogued and studied in some detail by Sol based orbiting telescopes and, more recently, by high speed atomic space-probes. The returning data was greeted with initial enthusiasm. Esurio lay just within the outer boundary of Lacaille’s ‘goldilocks zone’, close enough to support liquid water and far enough out to prevent it evaporating away. It maintained a thin oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere with sufficient greenhouse gases to raise the ambient temperature above freezing. Around a more familiar star the planet would have been considered the ideal target, a close parallel of the home-world. A red dwarf would naturally mean that metals would be in short supply, but that could be countered by technology. It might support a simple agrarian culture. Difficulties in establishing a Colony Lacaille’s peculiar properties made the colonisation of Esurio problematic for many reasons. The star was extremely faint and cool, with the planet in an alarmingly close orbit. Conditions on the surface ranged from the extreme to the astonishing. Tidally locked to its parent star, one side of the planet always faced the glow of ruddy sunlight; the other was shrouded in eternal night. An everlasting hurricane raged on the sub-stellar pole, fed by ferocious evaporation from the surface due to the intense heat. At the terminator, kilometre high cliffs of eternal ice and glaciers that dwarfed anything ever seen before marked the transition onto the dark side. Images showed a temperate zone between the two extremes. High wind speeds due to enormous convection between the hot and cold sides were noted in a number of places, coerced by significant mountain ranges. The atmospheric pressure was too low to support humans unassisted. Either some significant terraforming would need to be undertaken or genetic modifications would need to be...

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