Torm Geographic Location in wow that's a lot of stars | World Anvil

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February 3229

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wow that's a lot of stars is a sci-fi setting about adventure, exploration, and discovery. Every person, place, and thing has a story to tell, if you listen closely.   Setting Intro | Visitor's Guide | Author's Intentions
Torm is a TL4 water planet. It has such little land, its cities are on the backs of giant aquatic creatures known as zaratan.


When Torm was first surveyed in 2378, many believed its only use would be supplying ice and preserved fish to other systems. Explorer Taiseer Udinn then suggested using the gigantic zaratan to hold their cities. Miles across at adulthood, the zaratan coast the water’s surface most of their lives with their tough shells open to the sky. They dive just once a decade to mate and occasionally during particularly bad storms.
It took teams of engineers, physicists, zoologists, and biologists to construct the cities safely. Some early attempts went poorly, and despite safety measures, the first dive cost lives. Many histories state the first city, founded in 2416, was named Leviathan. That is inaccurate. To remind people they're on a living creature, the names are for the zaratan, not the cities. Therefore, it’s more accurate to say the first city was on a zaratan named Leviathan, who still lives today.
The Scream in 2665 affected Torm less than many other planets. Telekinetics had helped maneuver much of the heavier equipment, and related psitech amplified other equipment, but surviving engineers were able to make repairs to keep all but one city alive in the wake of the catastrophe. To this day, the planet has a low psionic population.
  There are an estimated 2,000 cities on Torm today, each with 50,000-100,000 inhabitants. They rarely see each other except for zaratan mating, and take the opportunity to trade goods and people they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Governing such isolated cities poses problems despite technology to keep connected. Each city governs itself and develops its own culture unique from others, but a strong focus on togetherness and family helps bridge that gap.


Only occasional small islands dot the surface on occasion, depending on tides and underwater volcanic activity. Due to the volcanoes, it’s possible the planet will see land on it someday. For now, the ice at the poles is as close as it gets. Eternal ocean may seem uninspiring landscape, but the true marvels are beneath the surface. Whether its the coral in the shallower areas or the seas of colorful algae that provide the planet’s oxygen, one need only look into the depths to find something fascinating.


Each city is a marvel of engineering that many citizens take for granted. Inertia dampeners prevent the ocean movement from causing motion sickness in inhabitants, or excessive sway in larger buildings. Yet even the most advanced dampeners can only support buildings up to about ten stories, prohibiting too much verticality in Tormian architecture. Gravitic stabilizers ensure buildings and people remain secured to the zaratan's shell, even in worst storms.
The most intensive equipment on these cities, however, is the shield emitter. Though the zaratan remain on the surface most of the time, they dive during The Joining and during exceptionally bad storms. Without the shield emitter, any city on the creature's back would be swept away and destroyed. The shield creates a protective dome around the city, triggered instantly by sea level sensors on the underside of the zaratan's shell.
Being an engineer or a zaratan doctor are among the two most highly-respected careers on Torm, as both have a direct hand in the survival of the city. Fishers, hydroponicists, and architects aren't far behind.


The dense living situations combined with restricted population growth has instilled in Tormians a close sense of family and belongingness. A standard Tormian household is 2-6 people, often spanning three generations as grandparents help with childcare or adult children help with their parents' end-of-life needs. Unmarried or childless Tormians often share living space with close friends and other life partners.
  Marriage and other unions have high importance because of this, as they are ways to bind two or more families together. Joint weddings are common, and groups may pool funds to hire bands, artists, caterers, and other entertainment. Large weddings are often open to the public, so anyone may join in the celebration.
Everyone living on Torm sees their host zaratan as a member of their family, in need of care as much as any human. While the zaratan carries their city, they must take care of the zaratan - keeping them clean, ensuring they're healthy and well fed, and keeping predators away from vulnerable flippers and hatchlings yet unable to defend themselves. Much of this mindset is described by the planet's main religion, Ahl-amaqism.
Icon - Torm.png
Icon for Torm


2378Planet first surveyed
2416First city founded on Leviathan
2665City aboard Cetus suffers irrepairable damage in the Scream
3073Torm joins the Protectorate alliance
Included Organizations
Characters in Location
Related Tradition (Primary)
Inhabiting Species

Author Commentary

The way cities work on this planet was partially inspired from the video for "From Finner", a song by Of Monsters and Men.

Cover image: by Aaron Lee, Nick Ong, Norah Khor


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