Oasis – Penumbra's Bar · Solaris Wiki | World Anvil


Welcome to Solaris, traveller! This is a slower-than-light science fantasy set in our own solar system.
About Solaris | Guide to Solaris | Prologue
Mercury is no easy home. Oasis provides 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

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

Related Articles

Locations Oasis
Characters Officers ( Sciah ) · Enlisted ( Eun ) · Civilian ( Roseah · Tray )
Technology Weaponry ( Sunbreaker SF-2 · Heretic GA-7 · Blue NM-2 ) · Vehicles ( Flightbase Crawler MCSP-1 )
Society Interplanetary Solar Defence Council · Uniforms of Penumbra
Pub / Tavern / Restaurant
Parent Location
Characters in Location
Table of Contents
Notice: This article is a stub. If you'd like to see this article expanded, please leave a comment!


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.

— 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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Mar 7, 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 and the story of a fictional Ancient Roman trying to rule the world.

Mar 7, 2022 12:44 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 7, 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 and the story of a fictional Ancient Roman trying to rule the world.

Mar 10, 2022 13:45 by Ezra Aldrich

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.

Mar 10, 2022 18:32 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 10, 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.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
Mar 10, 2022 18:35 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 10, 2022 18:19 by Michael Chandra

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.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Mar 10, 2022 18:31 by Annie Stein

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

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Mar 12, 2022 18:05 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

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!

Mar 12, 2022 21:35 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 16, 2022 17:09 by Secere Laetes

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.

Mar 17, 2022 09:02 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 17, 2022 07:39 by Mikael Jokela

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!

Mar 17, 2022 09:01 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 17, 2022 09:05 by Mikael Jokela

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.

Mar 17, 2022 20:32 by rugrat0ne

Very interesting read! I'd love to know more

Debating a third world. No, not that kind.
Mar 18, 2022 09:25 by Annie Stein

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

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Mar 18, 2022 11:52 by rugrat0ne

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

Debating a third world. No, not that kind.
Mar 21, 2022 21:15 by Morgan Biscup

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.
Mar 22, 2022 09:41 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 21, 2022 22:33 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

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

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Mar 22, 2022 09:44 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 22, 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
Mar 22, 2022 19:19 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 22, 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
Mar 23, 2022 10:04 by Soulwing

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.
Mar 23, 2022 14:58 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 24, 2022 12:55

This is beautiful!

Mar 24, 2022 13:01 by Annie Stein

Thank you so much!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Mar 24, 2022 13:44 by Chris L

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!

For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Mar 24, 2022 15:31 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Mar 26, 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!

Mar 26, 2022 13:44 by Annie Stein

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 -— Come Explore!
Jan 10, 2024 12:07 by Keon Croucher

The fountain is a beautiful touch, and such a simple thing, with such a concise description really paints the picture with how important one can picture that being given what we know of Mercury in Solaris. That little touch really is a masterful reminder of the direness of things beyond the Oasis' 'walls' such as they are, but also how even the little things can give hope, renewed belief and respite. Well done!

Keon Croucher, Chronicler of the Age of Revitalization
Jan 12, 2024 19:12 by Annie Stein

Thank you so much! I kind of see it as the Oasis of the Oasis, if that makes sense.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!