The Stars Are Wrong

There used be lights in the sky. Thousands of shining diamonds, burning across the night. Now, there's just darkness.
  Before the End of All Things, the night sky of Ithekshem was like any other; filled with stars, planets, and distant lights that left sages wondering, what were they?   In Ithekshem, they were the hints of planar glories. Every heavenly realm, every gate to some distant place, every secret demi-planar paradise or prison, all of them shone on the black void. No matter how far, or how disconnected from the world of Ithekshem, the realm had a brief connection to the mortal plane every time that darkness fell.   Then, the End of All Things happened, and the stars winked out forever. As the Planes collapsed to a single point and into a single world, a black drape was pulled across the skies and left only void behind. When something shines, it is never a good omen, for it is more than likely a meteorite hurtling towards the ground - a fragment of another plane, still raining down through cosmic distances since its destruction.  

Unknown Skies

But it isn't completely empty. Though unpredictable and depending on where in Ithekshem one happen to be, the sky is sometimes busier than ever, though closer to the ground. The moon has been joined by several other, refugees from the destruction or reanimated by their desperate inhabitants. The beholder dominion hangs in the sky day and night like a clump of hateful stone, visible from days away.   No matter what it is, the new sky of Ithekshem are all much closer to home than the stars ever were. Those who miss them can comfort themselves knowing that whatever they held now is probably splattered somewhere across Ithekshem.  
What's Beyond?
A few fliers, mad or daring, have crossed out into the fresh, starless void to find what lies beyond. Those who get to the Edge of the World and return speak of a cold, airless world where one would before enter into the Astral Plane. Those who enter do not return at all.

Unidentified Floating Objects

As with anything in Ithekshem, there's plenty up there that people are still trying to figure out just exactly what they are, with little success.   Magic interacts strangely, sometimes manifesting things that shouldn't be. Remnants of elemental planes drift across the sky as solid cloudbanks, sheets of fire, or an entire sky of molten metal. The stars are gone, and their children are many and strange.  
For some, their view of the nightsky is less poetic - an impenetrable, infinite black, with only the moon to hold vigil over the darkness.
 

Navigation

Without the stars, sailing and travelling have gotten significantly more difficult. No longer can people rely on the celestial to figure out where they are or what direction they are heading - and sages are still trying to figure out a replacement for it.   With the End of All Things, many species and creatures that would (or could) never before interact have, by misfortune or cirumstance, now been forced to ally to survive. Some creatures have an innate sense of direction and can lead their crews with all the sense of a star-filled sky, and their services are highly sought after.
Saen-kaw cover
by Miguel Eins

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
1 Dec, 2020 09:20

I really love the concept of this law, it makes for such an interesting world! I am especially intrigued by all that is still in the sky, I'm looking forward to reading about them :)

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my submission to the costume challenge!
1 Dec, 2020 12:37

It's probably aliens!   (or dragons, dead drifting gods, astral predators, hollow moon, bubble-worlds, and all that sort of good stuff :D)


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: Corporate Mascot Costumes!
13 Dec, 2020 13:08

This one is pretty good! I may have had to fight the immediate association between "the End of All Things happened" and "ah yeah he's talking about 2020" but this is a very interesting concept nonetheless! I want to see more about the creatures working to guide sailors now :o


Would you like to check my costume challenge entry?
14 Dec, 2020 08:56

Haha, 2020 isn't that bad, in comparison to what Ithekshem went through. As I'm thinking about it right now, it's something like if every fantasy apocalypse happened at once   Ooh.. I'll see if I can write something about those then ;)   Thank you so much for reading and commenting :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: Corporate Mascot Costumes!
Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
26 Dec, 2020 22:15

The opening quote is so spooky and unsettling, I love it! I am fascinated by the whole set-up of this world. How utterly beautiful and terrifying!

Cait x
27 Dec, 2020 09:08

Thank you :')


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: Corporate Mascot Costumes!