Celestial Mechanics

Note: Information in this page reflects the opinions and understanding of IC natural philosophers, provided chiefly for OOC reference and for any characters with an IC interest in that field. Folklore may and will have different IC explanations, and what a character believes and knows will depend upon their IC interests and education.

The prevailing theory among natural philosophers is that the celestial bodies — sun, moon, and stars — are involved in recycling or generating elemental aura that then is integrated into the world's natural cycles. As such, they are themselves composed of pure or lightly mixed elements, and are located on the edge of Space, perhaps defining its boundary. What exists beyond that boundary is a matter of considerable, albeit entirely theoretical, debate.

Sun

The sun is understood to be a source of the substantial elements, especially Fire, and also of Time aura due to the regularity of its motions. It rises in the east and sets in the west, following different tracks across the sky depending on the time of year, which in turn causes variance in day lengths that appear to drive the seasons. As with many other "why" questions, the underlying reason for its behavior remains a mystery, but is generally ascribed to the influence of Time aura.

Moon

The moon is held to be a source of Mind and Water aura, as well as Time and a small degree of Fire. As with the sun, it rises in the east and sets in the west, but its path does not vary throughout the year. Instead, the moon's shape and the amount of light it gives off changes from day to day, progressing from a blank darkness to a silvery circle over the course of about 15 days. The moon appears to have no influence on seasons, and indeed its cycles do not conform to the solar year; instead, it is known to cause oceanic tides, and suspected to have some effect on spiritual magic as well.

On occasion, a full moon rises with unusual color, either Red (orangey-red) or Blue (greenish-blue). This phenomenon is not well-understood, but often considered to have effects on magic and monsters, to be a harbinger of an aura wave or some other strange and dangerous event, and to be an ill omen overall.

Stars

The stars in the night sky are at once both permanent and changeable. They are understood to be glimmers of pure aura hanging in the heavens, too faint (or perhaps distant) to be visible during the day. It is thought that a star can be made of any element, except perhaps Space, and that composition influences its hue. Most stars traverse the sky in consistent arcs, but some move in contrary fashions, termed wanderers.

There are cases of whole groups of stars temporarily disappearing or relocating between one night and the next, only to reappear in their original position on subsequent nights. It is also relatively common for new stars to be born and older ones to fall into the world, particularly those not associated with any constellation. These events are all considered powerful omens, with circumstance determining whether for good or ill.

Constellations

Constellations are groups of stars that are thought to have come into being together, whose arrangement can be ascribed some symbolism or imagery, and that persist indefinitely — it is believed that stars in a constellation can never fall. They are the most dependable astral features, always following the same routes from night to night, season to season, and year to year. It is rare for a constellation to go dark, and even rarer for one to spontaneously shift position; such events are considered to be extremely meaningful.

Zodiac

The zodiac is a series of twelve constellations whose sequential procession marks the passage of the seasons. Each constellation represents an aspect of its associated season, and is considered to have a strong influence both during the period of its ascendance and throughout the life of anyone born at that time. A given zodiac constellation is visible in the sky for half the year, and half of the zodiac can be seen on any one night.

Note: The zodiac constellations have not yet been developed, so please do not make specific IC references to individual signs. Also, they do NOT equate to the RL zodiac.

Decans

The decans are thirty-six small clusters of stars that remain low to the horizon; their appearance and movements subdivide both the signs of the zodiac and the hours of the night. The cycle of decans progresses throughout the year, with each subsequent decan making its first appearance about ten days after the one before; thus there are three decans for each zodiac constellation. The movements of decans throughout a given night can be used to determine the time.

Note: As with the zodiac, the decans have not yet been developed, so please do not make specific IC references to them.

Wanderers

Navigational Stars

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