The Moon

And the Moon! Oh, the Moon!
She shines down her silver light on me!
— Old Caillan folk song
  The Moon is a constant presence in the night sky of Etrea. Though it is known by many different names, it always serves a bright companion on a dark road or a lonely night.  

The Moon

  The Moon is an astronomical body that orbits Etrea as its only satellite. It is made primarily of rock, and some scholars theorise that it was long ago a part of Etrea itself before it broke away in some natural calamity. As it orbits Etrea, it rotates slowly on its axis.   The Moon is encircled by two overlapping rings of rock and dust. These rings spin in harmony with the Moon itself, but they have been observed to grow and shrink in size over a period of time.  


Blemishes
Several distinguishable landmarks have been observed on the surface of the Moon. These are the ones that are visible with the naked eye:

  • The Fingers - this blemish looks like a hand reaching across the south half of the Moon. Whilst it is visible, it is spring in the northern hemisphere of Etrea and autumn in the southern hemisphere.
  • The Eye - this blemish looks a lot like an eye that is wide open. Whilst it is visible, it is winter in the northern hemisphere of Etrea and summer in the southern hemisphere.
  • The Dark Ocean - this blemish spreads across the surface of the Moon like a stain. Whilst it is visible, it is summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.

The above names are used in Serukis and Kaien

 

Timekeeping

  Through the observation of certain landmarks, scholars in several countries have realised that the rotation of the Moon closely matches the length of the Etrean year. That is, certain landmarks are only visible at certain times of year and they are always visible at that time of year. As several of these landmarks - or blemishes, as they often known - are visible with the naked eye, they have been used as a measure of timekeeping in many countries before it became a scholarly fact.   The Moon is also crucial to timekeeping in other ways. As the moon orbits Etrea, it appears to change shape. This is caused by light from the Sun hitting the Moon at a different angle. Every 28 days, the Moon changes from appearing full and round to almost disappearing from the night sky completely.

This phenomenon happens a total of thirteen times over the Etrean year, and many countries split their yearly calendar to tie into these thirteen moons - or months.    

Eclipses

 


An eclipse occurs when the Moon crosses in front of the Sun, blocking sunlight from reaching Etrea. In some rare cases, conditions will be precisely right for a total eclipse, where the Moon covers the Sun completely. For a short while, everything on Etrea goes dark. To observers, the Sun appears black, surrounded by a bright halo of light.   In many cultures, an eclipse is a sign of impending disaster or tragedy.

Blood Moon
A blood moon is also a kind of eclipse, though it occurs when Etrea passes between the Sun and the Moon, and can only occur when the Moon is full. In this case, the only light reaching the Moon is reflected from Etrea's atmosphere. This gives the Moon a distinctive red colour.   As is the case with an eclipse, a blood moon is considered an ill omen in many cultures.

Name The Moon
Type Natural Satellite

Mythology

  The Moon features prominently in the mythologies and religions of many cultures across Etrea.   In several cultures, the Moon is worshipped as a god or a goddess, or is symbolic of one. For the Koushan Mai, for example, the Moon represents one of their goddesses, Kore. Nights when the Moon is full are considered sacred.   Other cultures have different mythology surrounding the Moon unrelated to deities. In the Jasperic Isles, for example, several tribes believe that the Moon is the eye of a great shark that swims through the night sky.   On the continent of Sarsand, there are tales of men who turn into beasts under the light of the full Moon.  

Moonlight

  Though many scholars now believe that the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, moonlight has always been believed to have different properties to sunlight. In some places, moonlight is even considered to be magical.   Though different cultures have many disparate views on the properties of moonlight, two themes are common: healing and madness   Water collected from a pool touched by moonlight is often an integral part of curing disease in several cultures. In others, some herbs must only be collected under the light of a full moon.   In Tao, burials may only take place under a new moon. Moonlight shining down on a burial means that the dead would not sleep easy and may rise.   In many countries across the continent of Viretia, however, a pregnant woman who goes out under a full moon is likely to miscarry, or else bring into the world a child prone to madness or seizures.


Comments

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Grandmaster CoffeeQuills
CoffeeQuills the Coffee Quaffer
8 Jul, 2020 01:18

Great part showing how the moon acts as a companion, and your article is set up beautifully!

Grandmaster Serukis
Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Jul, 2020 01:22

Thank you so much! :)

Emy x
8 Jul, 2020 01:21

Excellent article Emy! Beautifully laid out and well written :) I really liked the section about timekeeping, and the way certain blemishes are visible in certain parts of the world at specific times. Great names for them too!

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Grandmaster Serukis
Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Jul, 2020 01:23

Thank you! The timekeeping section turned out to be much more involved than I thought it would be, but it was worth it! :)

Emy x
8 Jul, 2020 04:54

Another great article, Emy. You killing it this year!

Grandmaster Serukis
Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Jul, 2020 09:54

Thank you, Laura! <3

Emy x
8 Jul, 2020 06:11

What a beautiful article. Silly me to think that we didn't need another article about the Moon in the contest. We didn't need one written my me, probably. But yours...Beautifully written and presented, I love everything about it. If I have to choose one thing, I think the Blemishes it's what I'm in love with the most, and the illustrations.

Grandmaster Serukis
Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Jul, 2020 09:53

Aww thank you so much. <3 I'm looking forward to being able to delve into some of the mythology behind the blemishes!   Also, hush, your articles are wonderful. :)

Emy x
8 Jul, 2020 10:26

I love the Tao burial belief. This is so detailed and beautifully set out.

Cait x
Grandmaster Serukis
Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Jul, 2020 14:07

Thank you :D

Emy x
8 Jul, 2020 21:47

Wow - this is beautiful to look at and fascinating to read. The section about the blemishes was great (and I loved how it stood out visually, almost echoing what it was talking about). I could say loads but as a final comment, the mix of technical and subjective/mythological is spot on for me!

Grandmaster Serukis
Emily Vair-Turnbull
8 Jul, 2020 22:15

Aw thank you so much! Definitely looking forward to diving more into the mythology around the Moon as I work out more cultures. :)

Emy x
9 Jul, 2020 17:29

I love the art you have and the descriptions of the blemishes on the moon! Well done!

Grandmaster Serukis
Emily Vair-Turnbull
9 Jul, 2020 17:40

Thank you so much! :D

Emy x
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
14 Jul, 2020 20:01

I love how the moon is personified by those who consider it important. They way they name elements of its surface is true to life and I don't think I've seen anyone else do that in their worlds. Well done.

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Grandmaster Serukis
Emily Vair-Turnbull
14 Jul, 2020 20:22

Aw thank you so much! :)

Emy x