Sunbleached Wastelands · Solaris Wiki | World Anvil

Sunbleached Wastelands

Welcome to Solaris, traveller! This is a slower-than-light science fantasy set in our own solar system.
About Solaris | Guide to Solaris | Prologue
Ever since the Scorching of Mercury destroyed the atmosphere, the planet has been pushed towards two extremes. The sun sears the life out of every square inch it touches, and in the scrapes, crevasses, and craters where it doesn't the landscape turns space-cold.   As wildfires burn the forests to ashes, as the water boils out of the oceans, lakes, and swamps, and as the sun bleaches the sands and rock, Mercury slowly becomes a homogenous skeletal grey.

Flora and Fauna

The sunbleached wastelands are barren, but not entirely devoid of life. Those who could burrow deep, or otherwise withstand the extreme cold and heat remain. Mummified exoskeletons litter the landscape, their bodies nourishing the few plants and creatures left.   The walkers continue to be cornerstones of the ecology even in death. The shade from the gargantuan husks provides shelter from the searing sun, allowing bold critters to dart between the shade.

Extreme Weather

Without the atmosphere for protection, the wastelands experience frequent micro-meteor storms, especially during the twelve days of dawn. The thin coating of dust and regolith can be a blessing, revealing the otherwise invisible tornados that form in a snap as the solar winds hit the planet.   Each Solar Pulse ravages the surface further with magnetic storms, and as the storms sweep through the Iron Spires abberant electric charges power the long-dead cities. All lit up, like ghost cities on the horizon.
More and more of the surface becomes sunbleached with each passing day, competing with the permafrost of the shade. In the boundaries between them, the earth thaws and re-freezes repeatedly, reshaping into a mosaic landscape.

Related Articles

History Scorching of Mercury
Locations Caduceus · Penumbra · Biomes ( Sunbleached Wastelands ) · Iron Spires ( Hokusai · Hun Kal ) · Enheduanna
Characters Blue NM-2 · Eun · Sciah · Roseah · Tray
Species Keras ( Mot · Walker )
Politics Ruling ( Mercurian Triumvirate · Interplanetary Solar Defence Council ) · Keystone of Mercury
Society Ethnicities ( Refugees of Mercury · Nomads of Mercury ) · Borealis Ice Mining


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Oct 21, 2023 11:50 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Poor Mercury. :( I'm glad some life is still able to survive though.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Oct 24, 2023 22:07 by Annie Stein

It's really unfortunate for any location to be the main site of a story I write, because then it has to have all kinds of devastating things happen to it. I'm not a very kind author, heh.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Oct 21, 2023 15:58 by Aster Blackwell

Such a stark and terrible contrast to the vibrant worldbuilding in the other planets you've done! Sort of reminds me of how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful, peaceful place, while other parts of the world are in terrible turmoil. I'd love to learn about some of those last surviving critters hiding in the shade!

Oct 24, 2023 22:08 by Annie Stein

When you put it like that, wow! I'm really flattered and glad they serve to highlight each other. I also hope to write about some of the critters, once I figure more out about them!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Nov 6, 2023 15:48 by Rin Garnett

The poetic quality of your writing here makes the scene it paints all the more haunting.

Nov 7, 2023 08:57 by Annie Stein

Thank you, I'm very glad it reads as poetic.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Jan 28, 2024 20:32 by Reanna R

Ouch. This really is like a post-apocalyptic world. Every time I read your articles about Mercury's tragic reality it feels like I have to take a moment of silence for everyone who died and everything that's still struggling to survive.

May your worldbuilding hammer always fall true! Also, check out the world of the Skydwellers for lots of aerial adventures.
Jan 29, 2024 13:37 by Annie Stein

Yes, Mercury is very much a post-apocalyptic planet at this point. Many people were lost, but thankfully many people were saved too.

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!