Heaven's Hand Settlement in Etrea | World Anvil

Heaven's Hand

WIP - Summer Camp 2023

Current Knowledge

  In 5321 EA, astronomers at the Imperial Observatory in Kaien spotted an anomaly in the night sky that had never been recorded before. Dismissed initially as a star, this object seemed to travel slowly across the sky, behaviour that had never been observed in stars before. This movement was seen to repeat itself every night for several months, every night getting lower on the horizon before it disappeared. The next year, in 5322 EA, around the same time, it began to be seen again, still following a similar path.   Two years later, members of the Golden Telescope Guild, based at a research centre on the coast of the Barren, observed a similar object traversing the sky much later in the year. One of the members had read several papers from the Royal Observatory on their previous observations and hypothesised that it was one and the same.   It took three more years, and the collaboration of mathematicians and astronomers in multiple countries, but in 5327 EA, it was confirmed that all observations were the same unknown object. It was concluded that this object was stuck in a constant orbit of Etrea, making one rotation about once every twelve hours. Further careful study over the years has unearthed multiple references to this object in history and mythology, spanning across milennia and across the whole world.   Not much is known about the object currently, but one of its most commonly noted features its strange shape; it seems to be rather elongated, with sharp angles and what appears to be several constituant parts. It is currently known across Etreas as Heaven's Hand.  

The Truth, Lost

Home... It's gone dark.
— Commander Novalie Crow
  What is now known as Heaven's Hand was once known as The GRS Hope. GRS stood for Global Research Station.   The GRS Hope was one of three research stations launched from Etrea in the century before the Renewal, the event that wiped all civilisation from the planet. It was intended to be the first permanent station in space; the previous two were too low in orbit and were predicted to eventually slow down due to gravity, burn up in the atmosphere, and crash to the planet below. The GRS Hope was established in orbit at twelve thousand miles from Etrea's surface; ten thousand miles had been calculated to be the minimum height for indefinite orbit.   Each research station was manned by a crew of six, taken from different countries around the world. The teams were swapped out every two years. Data was transmitted back to Etrea on a whole number of different topics, such as how different plants grew, how the researcher's vital signs differed compared to those on the surface, the effects of low or absent gravity, and the effect of long term space living. Many of these experiments were in preparation for manned missions to other planets in the Celestial Spiral and beyond.   When the Renewal happened, those aboard the three research stations watched helplessly as Etrea suddenly went dark, all the lights they were used to lighting up the night suddenly snuffed out. They called for information, but all that came across their communicators was static. They tried to contact the other research stations and, thankfully, made contact. Whatever had happened on the surface, it had not cut them off from the others.   Stranded in space, with no way to communicate with Etrea or know what had happened, all the team of the GRS Hope could do was make the best of it. This happened only a month after teams had been switched, so they had two years of supplies aboard the station with them. With proper rationing, they were able to make them last for four.   The other research stations were not so lucky.   The communication that had first seemed to be a blessing turned out to be a curse. The crew of the GRS Dauntless had only enough supplies left to last them a month. From the beginning, they were constantly begging for help, trying to work out a way to ferry supplies between the stations. When all that proved impossible, their communications began to get less frequent but more disturbing. Eventually, after about three months, the GRS Dauntless made its final communication and fell silent.   The crew of the GRS Intrepid were different. They had supplies to last them about a year, and from the beginning they were chipper and optimistic. Communications from the Intrepid kept the crew of the GRS going in that first dark year. Eventually though, the crew of the Intrepid made their final communication, a definite goodbye, and then, they too, fell silent.   About three years after the Renewal, the crew of the GRS Hope watched as the GRS Intrepid burned up in the atmosphere and fell to the planet below.   About four and a half years after the Renewal, the GRS Hope fell silent as well.   The GRS Dauntless crashed to the surface less than a hundred years after the Renewal. Its wreckage - and the wreckage of the GRS Intrepid - has not yet been discovered to this day, though it is out there.

Cover image: by NASA


Please Login in order to comment!
Jul 9, 2023 00:11 by Stormbril

:'( :'( :'(   Amazing writing, Emy <3

Jul 9, 2023 00:23 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thank you so much, I was so nervous about this one. I really hope to expand and polish this one once Summer Camp is over.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 9, 2023 01:39

Quite the creation- reminds me of the anime Doctor Stone. Except those had escape modules. And if some crew members had made it back landing in some remote location......

Jul 9, 2023 09:33 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I've never seen that, might have to watch it. It would have been nice if they had had escape pods. :( Thanks!

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 9, 2023 01:41 by R. Dylon Elder

OOOOF that hit right in the stomach. ouch, this is a sad one. Horrible position to be in and written very well. Nice work!

Jul 9, 2023 09:34 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thank you so much <3 Sorry for the sads

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 9, 2023 08:56 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

D: Those poor people!!!   Did they have a way to zoom in on the ground below and try to observe what had happened? Did they have any theory?

Jul 9, 2023 09:35 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

The only thing thru could observe was that the city lights were gone and they couldn't get in contact. Theories varied between power cut/natural disaster and the end of the world.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 9, 2023 19:47 by Caitlin Phillips

* SCREAMS WITH INCOHERENT FEELS *   This is so good. My heart can't cope. I love both of its names.

Cait x
Jul 9, 2023 19:51 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thanks <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 10, 2023 20:17 by Catoblepon


Visit Daeliha, Iphars, Khulgran & Shattered
Love to code, but this one is driving me crazy!
My world Shattered won as the "Most ground-breaking premise new world"!
Jul 10, 2023 20:19 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull


Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 12, 2023 19:00

behaviour that had never been observed in stars before. That... is a trap. I can smell it.   Ok. Ya know what, I thought it was going to be ominous not depressing af. Damn. That's just... Imma go think about puppies and kittens or something.

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
I'm a Comment Caroler! Click to learn more
Jul 12, 2023 19:13 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Sorry :c   Thank you for the comment. <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 12, 2023 22:41

XD Never be sorry when your writing makes people feel things. That's a good thing - in both the ability to invoke a response and that people can still feel things. Consider it a backhanded compliment! 8D   In all seriousness, it is great. I liked that it didn't go the way I was expecting and because I can totes empathize with those guys, it hits. Which is good. <3

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark?
I'm a Comment Caroler! Click to learn more
Jul 12, 2023 23:42 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thank you, I really appreciate that <3 :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 13, 2023 15:53 by Morgan Biscup

You are going to break my heart further with prose about them someday, I just know it. This is a horror story in slow motion. I can't even imagine delaying the Inevitable for four years, wondering what happened to my loved ones. It's a credit to them, the efforts they put in to keep moving despite it all.   I wonder what records they left behind.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Jul 13, 2023 16:08 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Audio recordings, most definitely. Some written journals. Log notes.   It must have been really hard.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 14, 2023 15:07

its sooo much more sad for the fact they were on the "Hope". I imagine that its even more cruel to hold out hope in such a situation. Amazing writing!

Yours truly, Nino.
Its Worldember!I am building out a spooky world, which you can read about here! (psst, its a link)
To learn about my main world click on this link! (if you want to ;) )
Jul 14, 2023 15:22 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Yeees. ;-; Thank you so much <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 14, 2023 20:44

Just uff. I can imagine because of various readings what the crews were going through. The horror of experiencing the other stations going silent, the provisions which were going to get empty or bad, the helplessness... that hits differently. Good job.

You wanna see what we did for the last events? Go, click here: Eddies Major Events
Jul 14, 2023 21:04 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thank you, Eddie <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 18, 2023 22:31 by Reanna R

Ouch, my heart. This is one of those really good but really sad stories. How everything just...went dark or fell silent. Really great writing, though!   Also, this isn't super related, but Novalie Crow is such a cool name.

May your worldbuilding hammer always fall true! Also, check out the world of the Skydwellers for lots of aerial adventures.
Jul 18, 2023 23:11 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thank you so much! I'm sorry for your heart.   I love the name Novalie Crow too. I plan on writing this out as a novel at some point and she will be my protagonist. :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 19, 2023 02:10 by Reanna R

Nah, don't worry about my heart, it's good to feel stuff - especially for me, since I don't cry a lot when reading.   Super cool idea for a novel! You'll write a fantastic one :D

May your worldbuilding hammer always fall true! Also, check out the world of the Skydwellers for lots of aerial adventures.
Jul 19, 2023 08:40 by Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)

Gosh, I absolutely love this! Wonderfully written, I had goosebumps reading it.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
Jul 19, 2023 09:50 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thank you so much <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 21, 2023 17:18 by Lilliana Casper

Chilling. I love how you managed to tell such an emotional and horrifying story so well with clinical and detached words. Amazing.

Lilliana Casper   I don't comment much, but I love reading your articles! Please check out my worlds, Jerde and Tread of Darkness.
Jul 21, 2023 18:34 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thank you <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 22, 2023 13:33 by E. Christopher Clark

Wow, getting just a small bit of what it must've felt like to be up there on those stations as the Renewal happened—that was intense! Well done!

Check out my progress on the Cabinet of Curiosities
Jul 22, 2023 14:03 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thank you <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 30, 2023 23:28 by JRR Jara

Wow, this is so sad and heartbreaking. How you describe the void of what they felt by using the motif of silence... it hurts so good...

Creator of Hanzelot and many more.
Jul 31, 2023 10:03 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Thanks, Julian <3 Love youuu.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Aug 2, 2023 00:59 by Rachel Bentz

Space Ghost Story! Space Ghost Story!   There's so much potential for this Space station! Will the people still on the ground ever learn the truth of Heaven's Hand? What stories do they tell about this Wandering star? I'm aflutter with possibilities!

May the Creator ever guide your Footsteps
Aug 2, 2023 10:06 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I am so excited to polish this up after the award ceremony and add more. One day they will discover what it truly is and it will be horrifying. :O   Thank you!

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Powered by World Anvil