There is no known age for Ganae. The oldest records still in existence (carved into the halls of Throndheim) are over 10,000 years old. Yet these mention civilizations that had obviously developed over some time. There is enough religious diversity to cause quite a bit of debate on this point, as each religion applies its own myths to explain Ganae's origins. Most commoners don't really care.
Ganae is the common name of the world. It is roughly the same size as our own earth, and has 5 continents. These are Melarna, Fe'ansia, Ahvosia, Relidha and Drevollus. Drevollus is connected to Ahvosia by a slender isthmus, and is the smallest of the continents (many just consider Ahvosia to include Drevollus). Relidha is isolated from the other continents; the rest are all near each other.
Ganae boasts an incredible diversity of life. Humans are the dominant sentient race, yet many other races are known to dwell on Ganae. Just as the sentient races are varied, so is the fauna and flora of Ganae. Creatures of almost every description can be found, it is said, if the seacher looks in the right place. New races are constantly being discovered, even those with no obvious magical origin. Sages have pondered how Ganae could host so many diverse races.
Civilizations and cultures on Ganae are also quite diverse.
The common calendar of Ganae is 388 days long, divided into 16 months of 24 days each, and 4 non-month days, which are placed on the equinoxes and solistices. A week is 8 days long, with 3 weeks to a month. The year starts on the Vernal equinox.
The days of the week are called Haweg, Habel, Haphaer, Hadauv, Halind, Hakren, Ha'aes and Hastrin. The first day of a month is always Haweg. The sixteen months, in order (listed vertically by season):
The years are grouped into 13-year cycles. The years of this cycle are:
|The year of Silver||Full Moon||Mineral|
|The year of Flames||Silver Arrow||Fire|
|the year of the Seas||Diving Dolphin||Water|
|the year of Winds||Soaring Bird||Air|
|the year of Stone||Great Oak||Earth|
|the year of Stars||Nova Star||Radiance|
|the year of Darkness||Black Spider||Negative|
|the year of Snow||Ice|
|the year of Jewels||Magma|
|the year of Storms||Lightning|
|the year of Rivers||Setting Sun||Ooze|
|the year of Mist||Golden Heart||Steam|
|the year of the Sun||Crescent Moon||Smoke|
Dynamic Ganae Calendar
The year of Darkness always starts with Alinah in new moon phase. It is considered a bad year by the more superstitious. The first and last years of the cycle are considered "bright years"; these are considered years of good fortune. The calendar year is also numbered, starting from the founding of Ossavia. This year was a year of Silver. The current year is 4760, the year of the Seas. The Elemental Aspect is a calendar scheme used by some mages for divinations and experiments; it is not commonly known to non-mages.
Dwarves generally number their calendars from the date of founding of their stronghold. They also refer to the common calendar when dwarves from two different strongholds meet. Throndheim, the largest kingdom of dwarves, has lost track of the number of years since its founding, and uses the Ossavian year-numbering.
The dwarves divide the year into seven "seasons" of 55 days each (the months are named for dwarven occupations. In order, they are the month of the miner, the smith, the warrior, the trader, the defender, the miser, and the lore-master) and 3 days at the end of the year, called the King-days. The dwarves generally ignore the 13-year cycle; they also do not use weeks in their own calendars. The first King-day is Dorum's Day, named after the Legendary first King. The second day is named for the King of the Dwarves of whatever kingdom the dwarf is from, and the last day is named for the thane of the stronghold the dwarf was born in. In independent strongholds, the Thane (stronghold leader) is given the second day, and the dwarf's clan leader the third day.
The Elves number the 13-year cycles rather than the years. Otherwise they follow the same calendar as humans, but with different names. In fact, the elves assert that the calendar is an elvish creation. The elves attribute each year of the 13-year cycle to a different deity; this deity is given special reverence at holy days during the year. During the year of the Spider, elves are especially vigilant, and tell tales of the downfall of the drow.
Halflings follow the human calendar. Humanoids generally don't follow a calendar of their own, but tribal leaders use the human system when necessary.
Ganae has 4 bodies which are considered "moons", as well as bright stars throughout the sky. The nights on Ganae are just a little brighter on the average than our own.
Alinah has a period of 26 days, and is the basis for the length of the month, just like our own moon. When someone refers to "the moon", they are referring to Alinah, which is the largest, brightest and most beautiful of Ganae's moons. (it appears to be a little smaller than our own moon).
Gloran appears about twice as bright as Venus, and its roundness is visible. Gloran has a period of 8 days, and forms the basis for the length of the week. It is not nearly as bright; no surface features are visible either. It also appears bluish. It moves in a direction opposite to Alinah.
Vensuri is also not nearly as bright as the others; it has a period of 41 days. It also does not have "phases", as the others do, but is sort of a uniform gray color at night. When it eclipses the sun (or a particularly bright star), the sun can be seen thru the moon dimly, as if thru a very dirty lens
Herlom, also known as "the Omen", does not have a regular period or orbit. It is the smallest of the moons, and considered a harbinger of fate. Appearing as a brilliant red-orange disc most of the time, the Omen goes thru several different phases. The disc rotates on edge (like a spinning coin), so observers on Ganae see it as a round bright star, then shrinking to a flat line. At random times, it occasionally (and without any pattern) "flares" into a comet-like body, leaving a fiery trail. This always occurs when the moon is "edge on" to Ganae, and is interpreted in various ways by different astrologers. When Herlom is flaring, it is said to be angry; the flaring sometimes lasts for a few nights.
From Ganae, the planets appear to move, and their movement is tracked by astrologers. The following notes are from the pages of Librus Astrolae by the astrologer Vendranthus of Nelistan:
Besides the sun and moons of our world, there are other objects moving in the sky. Through careful observation, hidden mysteries of the heavens will reveal themselves in the patterns of the wanderers. Phaeris is by far the brightest of the planets, a fiery red-orange in color. Light from this angry traveler can sometimes be bright enough to illuminate a man's face well enough to make it out, and it is the cause of the red mornings or evenings when it is high in the sky. It is usually the first of the planets visible in the sky at night, and sometimes can be seen during the day, attending the sun. Dauveron is also a bright planet, although its color is not as strong as that of Phaeris. Dauveron is one of the brighter of the wandering planets. Wegrya is the attendant of the sun; very rarely seen because of its proximity to the sun, and only shortly before dawn or after dusk. Belagin is fairly bright, and another inner planet that "attends" the sun. Lindrac is a slow-moving planet, not very bright. Sighting Lindrac is used as a good test of vision. The dimmest of planets is Aeslir. It is slow moving, and barely visible only when Alinah and Phaeris are not in the sky.
The Dancers also should be mentioned here. They are a cluster of bright stars that do not follow the normal ecliptic, but rather move perpendicularly to it. They also do not follow a straight line, but meander around within a path of the sky, and appear to move around within their little cluster. They move at a moderate rate, and their movements are of great astrological significance.
The planets of Gatespace are provided in more detail for those interested in exploring via Spelljammer.
Stars are grouped into constellations, which are readily recognizable. From Ganae, only certain types of stars are visible. However, since the visual capability of races varies, some stars are visible to non-humans and not to humans (or vice-versa).
The following are some of the constellations of the Sphere, in no particular order:
|The Crown||The Dragon||The Sword||The Pentagram|
|The Nomad||The Galleon||The Archway||The Mage (and staff)|
|The Flames||The Anchor||The Chalice||The Glyph (or Rune)|
|The Oak||The Wolf||The Rose||The Hearth (or Campfire)|
|The Falcon||The Masks||The Tome||The Teardrop|
|The Key||The Skull||The Crab||The Anvil|
|The Phoenix||The Serpent||The Gauntlet||The Snowflake|
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