Oort Cloud

 
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
Far beyond our borders it lies; the offcuts of our creation. A vast array containing everything that once made us, stretching thousands of times vaster than our own system. In the dead silence of space, it whispers.
  Far beyond Neptune, the Kuiper Belt, and the Scattered Disc, the Oort Cloud envelops the Sol System. It is wider than the Inner and Outer World combined, and is believed to be a wasteland of frozen debris and cosmic dust. The Cloud is little understood, primarily due to the presence of ancient and malevolent entities.

As Old as Sol

Billions of years ago, long before life as we know it had come to be, rejected remains of the protoplanetary nebula were slung out into distant orbit by Neptune and the other outer planets. The majority of this protonic debris was concentrated in a dense inner cloud that still crests around the orbiting planets today. The inner ring of the Oort Cloud begins about two thousand AU out from the sun, thousands of times further out than Neptune. It would take a spaceship travelling at interplanetary max speeds eleven years to reach the beginning of the Oort Cloud. For reference, it takes two months to travel from Venus to Neptune.   This inner cloud feeds into an outer halo that forms a sphere around the entire Sol System. The outer halo is far sparser, and it would take the aforementioned spaceship a thousand years to reach the far edge of the Oort Cloud. The entire cloud, both the dense inner ring and the sparse outer halo are home to eldritch entities best left undescribed.   Further study is near impossible. The Oort Cloud is hazardous to intelligent minds, as is any information gathered within. Probes sent into the Oort Cloud return garbled and warped information. Attempting to interpret this information poses a great risk of Deep Space Syndrome.

As Unforgiving as Sol

 
The protonic debris contained more than just dust and dead rock. Among it was the same seeds of creation that led to life in our solar system. In the deadlands a different, hungrier, kind of life began, overseen by somethings, or someone, as old as Sol itself. Though today we have the brave Sentinels to protect us from most of the physical dangers of the Oort Cloud and beyond, and the Sol Sanitation Union to contain the cognitive hazards, ancient civilizations were not so lucky. Cosmic cults proliferated across the system, seeking to appease the entities in the Oort Cloud.   The more fortunate cults never drew the attention of the entities they attempted to worship. Those that did would invariably drive themselves extinct. As better methods of dealing with the dangers of the Oort cloud were developed, these cosmic cults have naturally faded away.    

by Annie Stein

A Beacon from Afar

  The Sol System is always in flux. As the Galaxy yawns, the galactic tide pulls comets out of the Oort Cloud and into the Outer and Inner Worlds. Other comets have orbits that take them into the Oort Cloud. All entities that enter the Oort cloud are irrevocably changed, however, regardless of their origins.   The sight of a comet streaking across the night sky entrances many. Warnings are issued when a comet contaminated by the Oort Cloud is detected. People are advised not to look up as it passes by, but many skirt the rule by viewing them through specially crafted goggles that purportedly reduce the risk of exposure.   Far more dangerous than the mere sight of a comet is the debris left in its wake. The SSU recommends people stay inside during particularly heavy showers of dust and rock, and special cleaning crews are deployed to contain the event if and when solid matter reaches the surface. Oort-tainted meteoric substances are extremely dangerous, causing a large amount of adverse mental effects. Many artefacts from ancient Cosmic Cults were made from meteoric metal, and the trade of these artefacts flourishes in black markets despite the risk.
Distance from Sun
2,000 to 200,000 AU
Location under
Table of Contents
This article is a stub . It will be expanded upon later.


Comments

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2 Jul, 2022 17:30

I already told you this elsewhere, but I really love how much story and context you've crammed into the article. You've set the stage for so many things I really want to read more about know. Deep space syndrome! Cosmic cults! Meteoric metals and tainted asteroids that threaten all life! Black market dealings and more!   All these things and more, I can't wait to read about :)


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
2 Jul, 2022 18:49

Thank you so much! I have to try keep up with the rest of y'all!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
2 Jul, 2022 17:37

Spooky

Check out the worlds of Solis Empire, Magic Earth, Ithir and Vyraj
Check out my Worldember 2022 Progress Page
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
2 Jul, 2022 18:13

Thanks! I do try ^^

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
2 Jul, 2022 17:59

I love this concept so much <3 And those meteorites are really fascinating, with all the debris they rain down on planets and the contamination risks!   Distance are hard to judge once they get so big, but you did a good job by adding how long it would take people to reach them with their technologies.   Like Q, I'm always fascinated by all the little glimpses into local culture and the plot threads you introduce in those articles :D

To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
2 Jul, 2022 18:50

Thank you so much! It took a bit of math to figure it all out, but I'm glad I took the time to do it!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
2 Jul, 2022 18:54

This articles was such a great read. Like both Q and Amé mentioned, the level of story and local culture is so great. What an excellent article! There so much more to explore in Solaris, and I cannot wait to read more <3

Check out my On the Shoulders of Giants article: Satlonia
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
2 Jul, 2022 19:18

Thank you! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
4 Jul, 2022 19:05

Oh wow, this is utterly fascinating. I did NOT expect the info-hazard-esque twist on the Oort Cloud when I started reading this. Like Q said, I love how many things can be built off of this! :O   Amazing concept and amazing work :D   *now to begin worrying about my love of zoning out staring at the night sky*


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
7 Jul, 2022 13:40

Thank you so much! Don't worry, the Sentinels and the Sol Sanitation Union are looking out for you and keeping you safe.

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
6 Jul, 2022 19:15

I guess shooting stars aren't always the lucky event we believe them to be! Fantastic article!

Check out my world World Behind the Veil!
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
7 Jul, 2022 13:39

When you wish upon a star, eldritch beings aren't that far... Thank you so much!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
6 Aug, 2022 23:10

You know, space is scary enough without malevolent clouds. I really love your worldbuilding and all the little details you have put in that I want to know more about. :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
7 Aug, 2022 09:36

Thank you! Space is super spooky. Thankfully the Oort cloud is very, very far away.

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022