|Planet Type:||Flat Water Body|
|Planet Size:||D - roughly 2300 miles in diameter, 12 miles thick|
|Escape Time:||30 minutes|
|Distance From Primary:||1600 million miles|
|Day Length:||N/A (24 hour rotation period)|
|Year Length:||13500 days|
|Population:||Humans, uldra, furchin halflings, darfellans, other arctic races|
Aeslir is a small disc-shaped water world in Gatespace. It is Size D, roughly 2300 miles across, and about 12 miles thick. It faces its primary, and rolls along in its orbit like a wheel. The planet is always perpendicular to the sun, so it has a sunward side and a starward (or more frequently, iceward) side.
Because of the extreme distance from the sun, Aeslir is a harshly cold world. Sunward, about 30% of the surface is icebergs. Rocky Islands make up less than 5% of the surface. Iceward, less than 10% of the surface is water; the rest is sheets and mountains of ice. The ice is usually very thick, and the underside (which faces sunward) is very jagged. Since this also serves as the "bottom" of the ocean for the sunward side, many hardy deep-dwelling creatures live in caves carved in the ice.
At the center (where the gravity plane runs through the planet), rocks have settled. Most are small, but a few are sizable chunks. Like the still-larger ones that extend above the surface to form the islands, these are usually havens for some life.
On the iceward side, the world is in twilight. Enough light filters through the water and ice to provide some small illumination.
Aeslir's location in the sphere make it an ideal planet to refresh a ship's air envelope. Since the air envelope extends considerably beyond Aeslir's edge, many ships simply drop though the outer air envelope while giving the planet itself a wide berth. The air is pure and clean, although cold. The air over the rim is frequently filled with snow or slush, and ships can get a coating of snow when they skim the atmosphere.
Aeslir has a small cluster of asteroids in a tight orbit around it. These asteroids, known as the Falagos, are mostly composed of small (type A) bodies and rocks too small to hold an atmosphere. These orbit in the same plane that the planet itself occupies, so an observer at the center of the disc may not see the cluster.
Some local legends tell that the Falagos were once whole, and the home of a god. Ages ago, the moon was struck by a fiery comet from another god, shattering the moon. Whether this tale has any truth to it or not is unknown; skeptics of this tale simply believe it came from when the Aesliri were transported here ages ago.
On the sunward side, the weather is relatively dynamic. Snow showers and freezing rain are common. The prevailing winds follow a radial path around the center of the planet's spin, with stronger winds closer to the rim. On the iceward side, the weather is relatively static, with little winds except near the rim. Precipitation of any kind is rare.
This environment is fairly static except for every 6750 days, when Aeslir is in close proximity to the Dancers. At this time, most of the ice melts for several months, and the inhabitants of the dark side must adapt to the climate change. It is a time of great troubles and danger.
Aeslir's sunward side resembles a marbled blue and white disk. It has cloud cover over roughly 20% of the surface at any time, and the waters below are clear blue. The iceward side looks like a white disk, with a very small amount of translucence.
There are only a handful of rocky islands on Aeslir. These are rough rocks which are believed to come from the Falagos which have somehow crashed into Aeslir, and are large enough to extend above the water line (or in rarer cases, float). The islands are all used for growing food crops by the human inhabitants, and are fiercely guarded.
The sunward icebergs are also used by the fleets. Many of the icebergs support arctic lichens, which the Aesliri use for spicing their food or as padding.
Collisions between icebergs and ice-sheets are uncommon. There is a flat sheet of ice around most of the rim on the sunward side, which usually prevents icebergs from falling off the edge of the world. Radial winds blowing near the edge help to divert icebergs from smashing into the ice-rim. Very rarely an iceberg will slip out of the ocean though. Usually it will flip over the edge, reverse gravity, and come crashing down on the iceward side. More rarely, the iceberg will float outward on the gravity plane, eventually escaping the planet.
On the iceward side, the water that flows off the edge (at the few places it does) turns to snow high in the iceward air. The snow then precipitates back down onto the iceward side, packing down. Farther in on the iceward side, there is hardly ever any precipitation. There are winds which blow radially near the edge, diverting icebergs from falling off the edge of the world.
Normal arctic creatures, such as polar bears, seals, walruses, and penguins, live on both sides of Aeslir.
There is a small enclave of polar were-bears living on both sides of Aeslir. They will sometimes join a fleet for a time; the Aesliri consider them blessed.
Yeti roam the iceward side, and a few make it to the sunward side. These ferocious beasts are generally voracious and quite dangerous. They are extremely well adapted to their life on the iceward side, and most exiles meet their end from a yeti's claws.
A few white dragons also claim territory on Aeslir.
There are a few human inhabitants which make a living on the sunward side of Aeslir. These individuals are northmen who have been transplanted here. Most of the northmen live on one of their ships, as the few rocks which are large enough are used to raise food crops. The northmen still live on their ships, transplanted here over a century ago. A few of the longships are capable of spelljamming, and will occasionally launch forays and raids into space. This raiding is a major source of income to the northmen who have adopted Aeslir as their home.
The humans live in groups they call fleets. The fleets are matriarchal - young men generally seek other fleets to prove themselves and find wives. Each young woman has a guardian who defends her until she settles on a husband. Men serve the fleet as warriors or priests; women are the captains, scouts, and rune-casters. Women stay with their birth-fleet, while husbands join the fleet of their bride.
The boats are now made from bone, hides, and whatever vegetable fibre can be gained from the plants. Wood is extremely valuable; the few fleets that have trees growing on their islands are highly regarded. Metal is also highly valued; since the Aesliri will not forge whatever metal they do find, they are quite willing to trade for metal weapons. However, they have developed techniques to make their bone weapons very hard and sharp.
Because of the meagerness of their environment, the Aesliri use every part of an animal. Small bones are used as jewelry, and hides for clothes. They wear multiple layers of hides, some of which are cured into leathers. Weapons are made of bone and sinew; knives, short swords, clubs, and hooks are common.
Fire is very rare, and considered far too dangerous to use. Meat is eaten raw. Burning something is considered removing it from the circle of life. Extremely horrid criminals are burnt alive.
Some of the fleets living farther out from the center of Aeslir use the Falagos as a pilgrimage. Many young Aesliri warriors prove their adulthood by traveling to the outside rim of the great wheel and gaze at the Falagos in their full glory. This journey is also undertaken when someone wishes to start fresh - for instance if a spouse dies, it is considered taboo to re-marry without traveling to the edge.
The iceward side of the planet is used as exile by some of the fleets. Many exiles resort to cannibalism, while others simply live by ice-fishing. Places where the ice is thin are highly valued, since these are some of the only sources of food.
Aeslir is also home to several tribes of Uldra. The uldra avoid contact with the humans, and form communities on floating icebergs. Some of the uldra create magnificent carvings and structures in the ice. More xenophobic communities hollow out living spaces inside the iceberg, leaving only small cave entrances visible.
Furchin halflings also inhabit Aeslir. They live in a similar fashion as the humans, and some furchins even join smaller human fleets.
Darfellans claim the waters of Aeslir as their own. The aquatic race thrives in this environment, and they consider themselves the true masters of Aeslir. Their relations with the humans and uldra are good. Their relationship with the furchins is strained - some furchins consider darfellan meat to be a delicacy.
Aeslir itself has relatively few natural resources. The most abundant resource on Aeslir is actually trained crewmen. While few natives have any spelljamming experience, most are at least aware of spelljammers, and have a lifetime of living on ships. Traditionally, the Aesliri expect their captain to be compensated in goods for a crewman who hires onto a spelljamming vessel.
Some of the Aesliri create masterful carvings or various small decorative items made from bone or walrus tusks. The Aesliri offer these in trade, and master carvers are particularly esteemed among the fleets. Aesliri also trade foodstuffs, though they have little to offer. Fish, algae, and lichens are the most common form of food.
The few stable Aesliri villages serve as trade hubs. While the bulk of the Aesliri dwell on their boats, the few villages do accept spelljamming visitors openly. Visiting officers typically receive a warm greeting and a moderate feast from the Aesliri.
The Aesliri villages have ship repair facilities for bone or wooden ships, but because of the scarcity of wood, the cost is high. The Aesliri shipwrights are talented, repairing vessels using much less wood than usual. They also frequently use other materials instead of wood, integrating it into the design.
Crustbreak is the largest Aesliri village, situated on one of the largest stable rock islands. The rock island has been tethered to several nearby icebergs to prevent it from tumbling in the water, so the island is stable. Crustbreak includes a moderate port and facilities.
XXXX is one of the uldra settlements, situated on a large iceberg. It has been carved and shaped to resemble a fantastic castle, with rimefire used to create an otherworldly feel to the community. The uldra of XXXX use this aura to instill a supersitious awe in the Aesliri, but they welcome spelljammers openly.
|Moon Type:||Cluster Earth Body|
|Moon Size:||A (individual asteroids)|
|Escape Time:||10 minutes|
|Distance From Aeslir:||23000 miles|
|Orbital Direction:||Clockwise (in same plane as Aeslir's disk)|
Some of the civilizations living farther out from the center of Aeslir use the cluster as a pilgrimage. Many youths prove their adulthood by travelling to the outside of the great wheel and gazing at the Falagos.