Exploring Azorath Part II- Settlement

Nyr II, or “Azorath” was considerably different from Earth. Most notably, it’s path around the center of the galaxy never intersected the Rho-Field and it was younger – a mere 1.5 billion years. However IT had come through it’s systems bombardment era with no major impacts, and its somewhat more massive (and thus hotter) sun and slightly thicker atmosphere spared it Earth’s two billion year precambrian glaciation – effectively giving the evolution of life on Azorath an almost two-and-a-half billion year head start on Earth. The usual panspermia spore-seeding had lost little time, but, even so, life was a bit primitive compared to Earth – roughly equivalent to the Carboniferous Era. (There may be some temperature trouble in the future as the local star reaches its full luminosity).

The high radioactivity, abundance of heavy elements, 1.07 gravities, and extremely active plate tectonics, were a bit disconcerting – but the most serious initial problem was atmospheric. At 1.3 atmospheres and 29% oxygen the atmosphere was quite invigorating – but high-oxygen areas could reach the toxic level readily, making the depths of heavily-vegetated areas intoxicating and dangerous and the higher altitudes more comfortable to live in. The somewhat-confusing two (modest) moons, six asteroid-sized moonlets, intense auroras, volcanic dust diffracting light (creating quite spectacular sunrises and sunsets), and entirely new set of constellations (including the four of the eleven other planets in the system that were visible to the naked eye), were all harmless enough – if initially frightening. The 29.78 hour day and 320.68 day year would cause minor sleep disorders for millennia to come, but could be gotten used to. Still, the lesser axial tilt, and less pronounced seasons, were (if anything) mostly helpful. The equatorial zones were a bit hotter than Earth, and the poles colder – but again, not enough to be really worrisome. The 62% of the surface that’s covered by water is less than Earth’s 71% – but the oceans average a bit deeper thanks to the active geology. Similarly, while there are only four major continents and one minor one, there are a tremendous number of island chains and individual volcanic islands.

Azorath lacked true trees, although enormous “weedy” plants and fungi reached heights of fifty feet – but their “wood” was weak and fibrous. While it could be treated with saps and varnishes to harden it, or enhanced with spells, such manipulations were labor-intensive and relatively small-scale. Fortunately, there was little need for spears and stockades on Azorath; the most advanced local lifeforms were insectile; they were big for insects, but were no match for humans – or even, in most cases, for the dogs and proto-chickens they’d brought along or the aurochs they’d driven through the vortex. Much of the local (if ominously very dark green and red) vegetation proved edible, if often poorly-flavored by earthly standards.

The Elder Ones had chosen fairly well.

Unfortunately, the tribespeople hadn’t brought much in the way of seeds – although a few species of fruit trees and other earth-staple edible plants managed to seed themselves from the trash the new colonists discarded. Thanks to one of Azor’s daughters having a farsighted stroke of brilliance, those initial plants were treated as precious resources and spread, rather than being harvested to extinction – a service which would, in later centuries, turn Laraneli, the bringer-of-abundance, into a goddess-figure second only to Azor himself for several millennia. Even now, tens of thousands of years later, the goddess who brought grains and fruits is still vaguely remembered with occasional offerings of fruit and flowers.

While the initial colonies would stick to the more-comfortable highlands for several generations, Azor’s powers allowed him to divide his tribe without losing control. He could remain in contact with his children/lieutenants across the Azorath, and transport himself from one colony to another, in mere hours. Even better, Azor’s children – and their children after them – apparently inherited some portion of his powers. They swiftly became established as the ruling class, and soon accepted that position as entirely natural.

For a time, Azorath moved ahead rapidly.

Progress and expansion soon slowed however. The All-Father, Lord of the Infinite Depths, the Creator of Azorath who had brought his people to this bountiful world and made it theirs (great was his beneficence and terrible his wrath!) did not approve of his people getting out from under his eye – or of them getting too inventive and changing things too much from what he was used to. Not even HE could supervise the details of a massive population.

And Azor appeared to be immortal.

Some few wildling heretics would attempt to escape the rule of Azor and his Children the Azuri to live in the wilds – but such blasphemers were outlaws, and the rightful prey of anyone who wished to hunt them down. With the Azuri against them, such groups usually met death or enslavement soon enough.

And so a loose network of tribes spread across the highlands and mountains of Azorath, living off the now-vast herds of wild cattle, avoiding the wolfish feral dogs, and engaging in primitive agriculture – thus avoiding the terrible wrath of the All-Father when he (ever more rarely) took some time away from his own divine affairs to survey the state of his world or to hold back some natural disaster beyond the powers of his children.

For the most part, for thousands of years, the people of Azor were pretty happy.

One Response

  1. […] Azorath: Part I – Prehistory, Part II- Settlement, and Part III- […]

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