About Dusk

The Planet

Galebound takes place on a planet called Dusk, a habitable tidally-locked planet which orbits a red dwarf star once every 32 earth days at approximately 0.1347 AU from its parent star. Dusk is the second (possibly third) planet in their star system, with a larger planet closer to the sun. That planet, Foncé (and Ombre, if there are indeed two on the same orbit) causes a global eclipse once every twenty-seven hours

The Dark Hour

The Dark Hour is an eclipse which occurs ever 27 hours. It is caused by one (or possibly two) planets which transit the planet's star at regular intervals. The known planet is called Ombre and the theoretical second planet is called Foncé. They exist on the same orbit at ~0.04 AU from the parent star and orbit at 393.95 km/s (or 196.975 km/s if there are indeed two planets sharing the orbit).

The Dusk

The Dusk is the primary habitable band of permanent twilight wrapping around the planet. The majority of human life on the planet lives here.

Cymaria

Conan's pocketwatch
The emblem of the city-state of Cymaria.

Cymaria is the largest city in the Dusk with a population of 39,720 as of 1120AV, sitting on the limestone hills east of the Altirian Ocean. It was founded in 6AV by Éduin Aster, the first king of Cymaria, after the destruction of his birthplace Ivelia.

The city is currently ruled by Queen Vivian Aster Cymaria after the death of her father Crawforde Aster in 1118AV. While the queen is the sole monarch, most of the day-to-day business in the city is managed by guildmasters.

Evenheim

Conan's pocketwatch
The emblem of the city-state of Evenheim as seen on Conan's pocketwatch.

Evenheim is a city-state on the Evenheim Steppe located between the Altirian Ocean coastline and Vestroen Mountains. It is a de jure monarchy, last ruled by Matthias Valert Renaud, but has been ruled by a guild oligarchy since the crown prince's disappearance in 1073AV and the king's subsequent death in 1077AV. Its emblem is the gilded scales, a symbol of justice and commerce, flanked by two small triskelions, representative of the sister cities Evenheim and Cymaria separated by the sea. It has a population of 18,862.

Evenheim was founded in the year 127AV by Evangeline Aster, a Cymarian princess. The city began as a small town and trading post, but grew exponentially in her later years due to lumber and mining exports passing through the city. Evenheim's status as a trading center solidified it as a permanent city-state independent of, and eventually rivaling, Cymaria. The queen Evangeline married a trader, William Renaud, and together they ruled the city-state until their death.

Duskbridge

A trade city located on a web of isthmuses between the Altirian and Orianian Oceans. It is the center of the only land route between Evenheim and Cymaria without venturing far to the north.

Lier

Pronounced "lee-air". A city sandwiched between the Orianian Ocean and the Galelands to the east of Duskbridge.

Norin

Norin is a small town south-by-southwest of Evenheim. It is a caravan stop on their route between Iridesa and Evenheim and is known for its animal exports such as wool and leather.

Orden

One of the Ordonian sister cities on opposite sides of the Altirian Ocean.

West Orden

The other Ordonian sister city. West Orden is the home of the Shrine of Saint Owain.

Fihr

A forest city bordering the Orianian Ocean's northern coast near the Shadowlands.

Vespas

A theocratic city-state on the border of the Galelands on the coast of the Altirian Ocean north of Orden and Cymaria. It is the home of the Church of Saint Martyn and was recently the site of a major assassination plot by the Regicide.

Aireshrough

A city nestled between the southern Vestroen mountains and the Orianian Ocean. It is the home of the Shrine of Saint Aeryn.

Galelands

The Galelands are the eastern regions of Dusk. It is a land of heat, storms, and roaring winds. The border of the Galelands are approximately 250 miles from the meridian at the center of the Dusk, although the exact border generally follows where humans can confortably live. Marsorcea, for example. is hundreds of miles into the Galelands, but it has a comfortably tropical climate due to ocean currents.

Lucasovia

A lakeside city in the Galelands.

Marsorcea

An independent island nation in the Galelands off the coast of the Ilerian continent. Queen Vivian's mother is the duchess of the nation.

Shadowlands

The Shadowlands are a region encompassing nearly half of the planet Dusk, called such due to the permanent night caused by the planet's rotational period. As the planet is tidally-locked and therefore the Shadowlands in constant shadow, the region is extremely cold and untraversable. It is predominantly covered in a think sheet of ice; what precipitation the area receives is exclusively snow, although precipitation ceases entirely approximately 500 miles from the border of the Shadowlands, rendering the majority of the area a desert.

The simplified border of the Shadowlands is ~250 miles away from the meridian (the exact center of the Dusk). The true border of the Shadowlands follows geographic lines, such as the top of the Vestroen mountain ranges west of Evenheim. The western side of the Vestroen range is cast in shadow from the mountains and therefore is considered part of Shadowlands despite being slightly east of the simplified border. In some areas, the Dusk extends past the simplified border due to low elevation (no topographical shadows) and a more temperate climate due to ocean currents. For example, the coastal city of Iridesa is technically in the Shadowlands and is much darker than the rest of the Dusk, but is still considered a Duskland city due to its "warmer" average temperature (24°F).

Iridesa

Sunset in Oia, Santorini
Iridesa takes architectural and artistic inspiration from images of Santorini, Greece. Photo taken by Pedro Szekely, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Iridesa is an independent city. While formerly a monarchy (until the death of the last queen) and briefly an annexed province of Evenheim, Iridesa is currently self-governed by citizens elected democratically to a city council. The city itself has shown to be hostile to Noble attempting to insert themselves as a king. This hostility to monarchs fosters democracy, which has been thus far successful despite the loss of communication with the city's daemon.

Due to the constant frigid temperatures, Iridesa's primary export is ice, which it has in abundance—unlike the Dusk, in which ice is effectively nonexistent.

Shadowbay

A city nestled deep in the Shadowlands against an Orianian bay and the northern edge of the Vestroen mountains.

Other World Concepts and Events

Pyreflowers

Pyreflowers are plants planted to memorialize a deceased person. While flowers are most common, other plants such as trees or shrubs can also be used as pyre flowers depending on the preferences of the deceased or their survivors. The concept of pyre flowers stems from the concept of "reincarnation" within the Dusk in which, after death, a human soul can become part of a daemon. By combining ashes from a pyre with seeds of a plant, the deceased becomes part of the plant's daemon. Due to the custom of pyre flowers as a grave marker, flowers are not given as gifts due to the morbid implications.

Cremation is the most common last rite within the Dusk, particularly in the areas bordering the Altiria Ocean. To prevent a body from becoming reincorporated into nature through methods such as a coffin burial is considered taboo, only done when the deceased has been considered irredeemable in nature due to crimes committed in life.

Upon death, the deceased is brought to their home and a short wake is held for their survivors. Their next of kin—usually their spouse or eldest child—washes the body, enshrouds the body in cloth, and lays it upon a pyre. On the first day without rain, the pyre is lit and allowed to burn completely. The ashes are collected and mixed with the seeds or a sapling of the chosen pyreflower and then buried near the deceased's home. The ashes of the deceased then fertilize the flower, therefore becoming integral to its life; as such, some part of the deceased can then be considered to be part of the amalgamate daemon.

The choice of pyreflower is usually left to an individual before their death, indicated either verbally or in a written will left for their survivors. If the deceased did not indicate a preference before their death, the next of kin chooses a flower based on symbolism they feel descriptive of the deceased or their relationship. However, some groups have a traditional flower that may be used if no other preference is given:

  • Aster, the traditional flower of the Cymarian royal family (who shares the surname 'Aster')
  • Rainflowers, the traditional flower of Magicians, signifying their connection to the Gale.
  • Sweetbriar Rose, planted by a parent for a lost child.
  • Tulip (any shade), planted by a widow or widower.

War of the Blind Kings

The War of the Blind Kings was a series of wars, both civil and foreign, starting in the year 438AV and persisting until 488AV. While wars between Noble houses were not uncommon before, the War of the Blind Kings was unique in that every Noble household became involved at some point in 438AV or shortly after, and the war appeared to start and end with no clear reason. The first conflict of the war is considered to be the fall of the Iridesan household, caused by the death of the Queen Idoine Glafonce at the hands of her Court Magician Arcein, potentially under orders from an unnamed princess. The war officially ended in 488AV when Jaffre Martyn of Vespas executed his father, King Damon Martyn Vespas, for crimes of war.