Oasis

 
by Annie Stein
Welcome to Solaris, traveller! Let me get you up to speed.
Solaris is a soft science fiction webcomic set in our own universe, kind of. Learn more by continuing to read, or click here to be taken to the comic.
Q:Where am I?   You're still in the system known as Sol. Except this time each planet is habitable and developed its own life. The people are humanoid, mostly.
Q:I heard something about a comic?   Oh yes! The main comic is still in development, but you can read the first few pages of the Expanse if you click here.  
Q:What's going on?   Sol is invading. The resentful sun sends its angelic armies: the Scourge. For now, they're being held back at Mercury by Penumbra.
by Annie Stein
Mercury is no easy home. Oasis is a place of rest, relief, and repreive. Here there is relief from the harsh climate, and booze and company give reprieve from the constant fear of the resentful Chained Sun above them. Roseah, a native mercurian, owns the tent and supplies. They offer employement to Mercurian refugees, helping them build the required capital to charter a trip out.   The nomad-owned bar is the only civilian establishment that travels with Penumbra. It is a popular haunt of the rank and file.

Under the Canvas

Oasis is a large strap and beam style tent. It was a wedding gift from a life that now seems long past. It takes a couple hours and the assistance of all their staff to assemble.   Two large center beams lift the ceiling of the tent. These beams are attached to the canvas of the ceiling, which is then spread out with shorter wall poles. These poles are strapped back with paracord to lock them in place and increase the tension of the tent. Blankets are added over the sides to become walls.   The beams and poles are created from Walker exoskeletons. The legs of the gargantuan insectoids are harvested, cleaned and processed with chemical baths. This strengthens the exoskeleton, but also lends it some give so it doesn't go brittle.   The tent uses a mylar tarp as its outermost layer. Mylar is a thin heat-reflective fabric that prevents heat and moisture loss and protects against the irradation of the Chained Sun. The innermost layer is the traditional grey canvas of a nomad tent.

Something to take the edge off

Rose Bandung
Rose Bandung by Annie Stein
For most, Penumbra is their final destination. An eternal frontline against an unforgiving enemy. Oasis gives some sense of normality to the soldiers and mercenaries who risk their lives. The proximity to the sun, however, means veering off course can launch someone into a Solar Orbit so supply runs are limited.   The limited supply affects the stock, but Oasis makes due. A good amount of their stock comes from trade with other nomads; syrup-y Mercurian liqueurs and beer so thick it could count as soup. The rest is procured by some of Penumbra's suppliers, who've agreed to bring an assortment of whatever local beverages will keep. Since most shipments come from Venus and Saturn, so too does the stock.
 

A Trickle of Respite

A fountain is somewhat of a luxury on a planet that relies on mined ice to supply its water, but it wouldn't be an oasis without a water feature. The reservoir sits in the middle of the tent between the beams. A hammered metal bowl serves as the receptacle.   It is set up with an hydraulophone for entertainment. When unplayed, the woodwater instrument sounds like any other fountain, but blocking the flow of water from any of the spouts produces a deep resonant hum.   The fountain also generates a slightly more humid and gentle atmosphere in the tent, allowing for easier breathing. It is a welcome respite from the harsh Mercurian air.
Water by Annie Stein
Type
Pub / Tavern / Restaurant
Parent Location
Owner
Characters in Location
Table of Contents
This article is a stub . It will be expanded upon later.


Comments

Author's Notes

The quote in the header is from a poem by Margaret Atwood.

Can this be paradise, with so much loss in it?   Paradise is defined by loss.  
Is loss.

Is.
— Margaret Atwood
  Whether you're curious, or if you could use some soothing tones after this melancholic article: You could listen to what a Hydraulophone sounds like here. It's a fascinating instrument, and very beautiful.   A big thank you to Sky for always letting me brainstorm at her, and to #Challenge-Discussion on the WA discord for helping cheer me on. A special thank you to Archmagos for suggesting one of Oasis's drinks be Bandung.


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6 Mar, 2022 19:32

Lovely artwork!, I see its currently a Stub, But i wanted to say the artwork is lovely!

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
6 Mar, 2022 21:37

Thank you so much! I'm really glad you like the art, even if it's very WIP at the moment.

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
7 Mar, 2022 08:16

Interesting. Can't wait for the final version! :D   By the way, how did you do the uneven 2-columns like that? I can't find it elsewhere.

Come visits Terraloga, the story of the fictional Romans on how they are going to rule the known world.

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
7 Mar, 2022 12:44

Thank you!   It's done using containers rather than columns, which you have access to as a grandmaster! You don't need to make any css for it, because it's using the default css.   You make the rows the same way as usual, but rather than (col) or (col3) use (container:col-md-x)(/container) where you switch out the x to make it different widths. You want it to add up to 12, so here I used 8 and 4. Of course switch out the ()s for square brackets, I just wanted to make sure it'd show up in this comment. ^^

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
7 Mar, 2022 14:41

So that's the magic of bootstrap after all. Thank you!   I'll try that in my work soon :D

Come visits Terraloga, the story of the fictional Romans on how they are going to rule the known world.

10 Mar, 2022 13:45

This looks like a wonderful start to the article so far. I enjoy the art (especially the tasty looking drink on the menu). The world "tie-ins" are always interesting to read about, like how they utilize the exoskeletons and such.

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
10 Mar, 2022 18:32

Thank you! I'm glad you like the art. I was thrilled when I realized I could work the Walkers in to this article. I suppose that's the benefit of doing very localized worldbuilding!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
10 Mar, 2022 14:46

So   1. Hydrophones are super cool, thank you for sharing that link. I may have spent the last half hour or so just listening to various hydrophone youtube videos.   2. You have taught me about containers. I shall have to play with them in articles now in an effort to improve layouts so that they can be awesome like yours.   You already have a pretty great article, cant wait to see what it is like after you finish it.

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
10 Mar, 2022 18:35

Aren't they awesome? I've been listening to hydraulophones loads myself too. They've got such an excellent sound that fits the mood of Oasis so well.   I am happy I could teach you some more tools of the trade too!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
10 Mar, 2022 18:19

The art really helps paint the picture of the Oasis, I love it. It sounds like a great place to relax in such a stressful environment.

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
10 Mar, 2022 18:31

Thank you so much! I'm glad the art helps to tell the story, even in it's WIP stage.

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
12 Mar, 2022 18:05

Nice article! I really love how Mercury an the rest of the world is slowly starting to take shape with all those articles :D Does the Oasis travels with Walkers alongside the nomades? Does it goes into the sun directly or does it stays in the between zone like the nomades? I love that you focus on one drink and the hydraulophone, it really helps set the ambiance :D And great illustrations as always!

To see what I am up to:WE pledge and article list.
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
12 Mar, 2022 21:35

Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it and my drawings ^^   The Oasis travels with the migratory military settlement Penumbra. Penumbra does not have any Walkers, instead things are transported with various motorized vehicles. Both of them travel in the Terminator like most nomads do (though some nomads migrate underground during the sun instead.)

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
16 Mar, 2022 17:09

A very original tavern. I'm glad that the people of Penumbra at least have a nicer place, which is certainly good for morale there. I also find it nice that there is at least a point of contact with the actual nomadic inhabitants of Mercury. That can be a good starting point for many stories. Thank you for the article.

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
17 Mar, 2022 09:02

I'm glad you enjoy it, and I am also glad to give the Umbrans a nicer place to relax too. Roseah and her collegues definitely serve well as point of contacts and insights into the Mercurians that remains. Thank you!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
17 Mar, 2022 07:39

I am not sure why, but the whole tavern gives me this slight Quantum Thief - feeling to it! Really enjoy the mix of feelings it offers. I will just join the long queue of people who can't wait to see the final version!

Que the wardrums! Check out my bloodied river, running from the heart of the jungle:River Arteria!
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
17 Mar, 2022 09:01

Thank you! I've never heard of the Quantum Thief before, but I'll have to take a closer look. The themes of exomemory, surveillance and control seem relevant these days.

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
17 Mar, 2022 09:05

Those are the core concepts in Quantum Thief! It is a bit of a rare read, but a very succesful book in Finland since its author is Finnish (But the original books were written in English). And indeed. Through fiction, we can learn some terrifying possibilities to avoid in our own future, atleast hopefully.

Que the wardrums! Check out my bloodied river, running from the heart of the jungle:River Arteria!
17 Mar, 2022 20:32

Very interesting read! I'd love to know more

Actually considering doing NaNoWriMo.
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
18 Mar, 2022 09:25

Thanks! Is there anything in particular you'd like to know more about? ^^

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
18 Mar, 2022 11:52

Nothing in particular, it just makes me want to explore your world more.

Actually considering doing NaNoWriMo.
21 Mar, 2022 21:15

I adore all the thought you put into Penumbra and the science behind survival on Mercury.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
22 Mar, 2022 09:41

Thank you so much! It's been fascinating to learn about Mercury and adapt that for worldbuilding. I do have to say I am very grateful to have an engineer girlfriend who can help out with the math!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
21 Mar, 2022 22:33

I really love all the little details that hint at the world beyond the Oasis. I can't imagine how harsh life on Mercury must be, and the respite this place must provide. I love the art - it really suits the article. I think the picture of the drink is my favourite. :D

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
22 Mar, 2022 09:44

Thank you so much! It was a perfect prompt to weave together some of the worldbuilding I'd already done. Doesn't the drink look delicious? I hope I can try the drink it's based off of one day!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
22 Mar, 2022 18:20

Effective design choices with the colors and the beautiful artwork! There is quite a bit of atmosphere in the text, given the descriptions of the customers, and the harsh climate intermixed with the water and oasis themes. Since the central fountain is so important to the place, have they considered making it a more permanent building? It seems the tent is made to be moved, but I assume this isn't a consideration given they would lose water access?

If you have some time, I would much appreciate your feedback on my entry for Adventure April: Carbon Copy Paradise
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
22 Mar, 2022 19:19

Thank you! The reason they migrate is because Mercury gets intensely hot during the day and insanely cold during the night. Permanent structures used to exist back when Mercury had more atmosphere, but today only underground facilities are sustainable. However, a Mercurian day lasts two years, or 176 days, so it's actually viable to travel so that you can always stay in the twilight. We did some calculations and if they travel to the edge and stay until it starts to dawn, they can stay put between 3-8 days depending on how generously you define twilight. As for the fountain, it's really a bowl of water with a hydraulophone in it, and doesn't require a connection to a water supply.

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
22 Mar, 2022 19:26

That's very interesting, I love the migration in connection to the long days. Thanks for clarifying!

If you have some time, I would much appreciate your feedback on my entry for Adventure April: Carbon Copy Paradise
23 Mar, 2022 10:04

The Oasis, a place to seek normality in the unforgiving flora and fauna of mercury. Strange drinks, insect eggs for breakfast, insect legs as support beams of the tent.   The definition of normality is here quite…interesting and makes me wonder just how weird and cruel anything past the tent might be.

Creator, artist and writer of the science fantasy world Kingsmaker
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
23 Mar, 2022 14:58

Thanks! The threats on Mercury are mostly the sun and its frequent invasions. It has scorched the surface and left the atmosphere stripped, so the day is way warmer than any desert on earth, and the night way colder than the artic. Compared to those extremes, the Oasis is very nice indeed.

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
24 Mar, 2022 12:55

This is beautiful!

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
24 Mar, 2022 13:01

Thank you so much!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
24 Mar, 2022 13:44

This is evocative and lovely. Makes me want to investigate this world more and find out why a place like this is needed. Love the custom artwork as well!

Come see my Sppoktober Prompts!

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
24 Mar, 2022 15:31

Thank you so much! I am really glad you found it lovely, and I hope you do come dig through it all one day!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
26 Mar, 2022 12:30

Beautiful article of an interesting place. I love the beautiful artwork and especially colour scheme in it, as it fits well to the overall layout. The article had enough explanation of the world for one who is not familiar with the world not to feel confused. The name fits well to the place and the whole article gave a good feel of the place of relaxation and refreshment in a harsh place. I like how the tavern changes place with the people. The idea of limited resources and how the tavern is also affected of it is also intriguing. I would have actually liked to read more of this as that is a thing that I find interesting. The profound quotes are also wonderful add to the article. Overall great job!

Sage nnie
Annie Stein
26 Mar, 2022 13:44

That's really high praise! I'm very glad to hear it isn't confusing for a new reader, and that the themes come across strongly. Thank you so much!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022