Maximilian's Bolide Geographic Location in Manifold Sky | World Anvil

Maximilian's Bolide

Located at the Ventral D/Caudal G inflection layer, Maximilian's Bolide is the only known instance of a naturally-occurring asteroid field in the Manifold Sky. The Bolide is named as such because parts of it are believed to have exploded from internal pressure shortly after arriving at their current location, casting showers of bursting meteors into the cube layers below. The Bolide is a holding of the Burning Hearts Social Club, who have used the unusual object as a core for a private skystation.


The Bolide is comprised of a large, spherical lump of porous rock with numerous smaller lumps floating it in the inflection layer nearby. While the Maximilian's Bolide moniker technically applies to the whole floating debris field, only the largest remaining fragment is typically addressed as such. Over time, weak gravitational forces and vortices in the thin air have drawn the fragments into a loose orbital system with the largest fragment almost exactly at the barycenter.


In previous centuries, Ventral D (like all Ventral Tesseract cube layers) was a site of active volcanism. During its last eruption, a large volcano became a caldera as the result of a violent eruption, casting a large volume of molten volcanic glass high into the air as ejecta. Methane and water steam trapped in the ejecta expanded as foam and larger bubbles in the ejecta, creating what would later become natural lifting gas envelopes. The force of eruption was so extreme that the mass of molten material only reached the peak of its ballistic arc near the inflection layer above, with some smaller fragments raining back down to create craters (later lakes) in the surface of Ventral D.   Some fragments of the Bolide which reached the inflection layer intact would later burst, but those which did not burst retained some methane within them. While a mass of rock would not be significantly buoyed by this gas content at ground level, only a tiny amount of buoyancy is required to maintain a stable orbit in the inflection layer, a fact which is leveraged by skystations for station-keeping. The naturally cold (and therefore dense) air of the Caudal Tesseract further amplified the effect of any lifting gasses present, with the result that more than a few fragments of the Bolide remained floating in the inflection layer into current day.   Adventurers from the Burning Hearts Social Club discovered Maximilian's Bolide in 9975 and, by 9990, had constructed a skystation around the largest fragment of the Bolide remaining in stable position. The interior hollow of this fragment, a glassy spheroid bubble almost 1000ft in diameter, has since been spun up to provide centrifugal gravity and furnished with lavish residential accommodations for Club members ambitious enough to make the journey.


Maximilian's Bolide currently serves as the nucleus of a members-only sky station and hunting lodge operated by the Burning Hearts Social Club. Every summer, when the normally chilly region becomes more hospitable to explorers, hunters from around the Manifold make the lengthy airship journey to the Bolide. The Bolide serves as a staging area for hunting expeditions to the cube layers below. At the close of the summer season, the hunting crowd gradually makes way for a more stoic clientele of meteorologists, geologists, nature photographers, and maintenance staff. For the purpose of Club activities, the occupied parts of Maximilian's Bolide are considered to constitute a Burning Hearts Pub.   The Bolide's hollow contains a cafeteria, cocktail lounge, cigar lounge, residence hall, trophy room, greenhouse 'promenade', general store, and a fully self-sufficient life support system. Dieseltech airships docked with the skystation can top up on lifting gasses and biodiesel fuel, as both can be re-manufactured in limited quantities by on-site refining facilities. These facilities are operated by the Club in partnership with the Navigator's Guild and Petalcap Vale Customs Authority. It is notable that female members of the Guild and Vale customs authorities are often the only women present on Maximilian's Bolide at any given time, though members of the Sorority of Solace have an open invitation to visit the skystation should a need arise. In this sense, the Bolide is the only Burning Hearts pub that can be considered somewhat coed.

Alternative Name(s)
The Bolide, Maximilian's Anomaly
Asteroid belt
Location under
Owning Organization
Characters in Location

Cover image: by BCGR_Wurth


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