The Favorite Pastime
The stars of Safeharbor
The earliest stargazers found stories in our brand-new sky, mapping countless constellations and exchanging their fictions with each other in late night meetings. They met in secret, afraid of what their elders might think of their foolish, romantic endeavors. It was only a matter of time. They were discovered, but The result was quite the opposite of what they feared. Their elders stared too, and often watched the nighttime sky long after the children went to sleep. These youths stood alongside their mentors, parents, and fellow citizens. Couples, who haven't shared an intimate moment for years, reached for one another's hand while the mind was kept busy by the overwhelming sights. From then on, even the most stubborn of Safeharbor journeyed up the dark steps to the rooftops. They would listen to the younger generations, weaving their tales of heroism, sacrifice, and love. A tradition emerged, one that burned itself into our very identity as a species. We keep our heads in the clouds, and beyond. We watch the stars.
Only if you know where you are, can you can know where you're going. These distant systems explored by the Wayfarers are off the star charts for most species, and therefore, navigational equipment would be useless if someone was lost. Constellations in Navigational Zodiacs provide a means of knowing where you're going by knowing where you've been. Humans can see things many species can't. They can easily guess whether stars are further or closer compared to others. They can estimate distance as well. Sometimes, they reach a destination just to see what the sky looks like, and create constellations for the system accordingly. These navigational zodiacs function as a map of sorts. The wayfarers make one for every system they find themselves in. These constellations act as landmarks, allowing one to know the general location of a destination when lost, or without proper navigational equipment. One can pick a constellation, travel there, and use constellations known in that system to find their way back, or onward to a different destination.
The young men and women who began the tradition would later become the first Wayfarers, driven by the wanderlust cultivated in their late night tradition. They didn't just want to watch the stars, but wanted to be lost among them. They took their inspiration with them, each of their vessels named after the constellations they helped create. The wayfarers use these constellations to navigate. Since they are the ones filling in the star chart in these distant places, standard navigational equipment just won't do. The wayfarers continue the tradition everywhere they go. Surveys and maps sent across the galaxy often come with charts of the night sky on distant worlds, their constellations marked accordingly. To the wayfarers, it's a mark they leave on the worlds they discover, a declaration that humanity was there first.