Normally this exercise would be extended only to sci-fi writers who set their narratives in space, but the genre of cosmic fantasy may take place just as heavily in the stars as it would planetside. Space operas can also be composed likewise, and it is something on JWC’s agenda for a later time, so, for now, we will just have at it.
|Photo by Ardi Evans on Unsplash
If you don’t wish to focus on this side of world-building or you feel no need for it’s complexity in the story you’re trying to tell, then delete or otherwise omit, but don’t put it completely out of mind. Joe’s Writer’s Club has plans for these exercises, so you may wish to return to this part another time.
2: Star Map: Crafting a Secondary Sun / Stars
If you do want a solar system map/chart, it will do no harm, and may even furnish some details that a global planetary map does not address. Imposing stellar calendars, astrotheology, ground to sky stellar geodetic alignments of structures or light, and of course the layout of temple compounds based on rare events occurring annually or once every century/millennia,. The sky and bodies therein are the only limit.
Using the JWC SS Template (placing the primary star at the center intersection line) Set up your inner/outer/exo along with an orbit of livable habitation. (goldilocks zone) Once you have these pieces of data, design your system, and make sure that it has regularity and irregularity in its cycles. Stable orbits must dominate, with the occasional wolf body or cyclical visitor, as well as a measurable duration between visits. Here are some example solar systems for the purposes of inspiration…
EX1: The Solar Verge system:
The story setting for Malathoria vol 1 by Richard Andrew Olkusz and David Michael Lockwood, Jr.
The Sol star is a typical yellow sun, with some slight versions to its outer system. The Sol Verge system gets its name from the verge phenomenon which is represented by that set of lines at the graphic’s edge. They are a field of enchanted partials which blocks all scans within the star system, and so make an energetic barrier against probes. You have to pass through the verge in order to get readings within.
This makes for a very specific kind of star system with a preexisting condition revolving around detection. At first glance the scans of the outside of the verge read like a very unstable nebula, but if you scan closer with a veritable field the differences emerge. Few who are not looking for this system will find it, because it is itself surrounded by other gas clouds of varying compositions. Such factors make this star extremely dicey from the outside, so much so that even most explorers would need to access it.
At the outskirts of the system just before the cloud space of the verge crushes in, there sits non-planetary station 5. Number 5 represented the Dead Fleet, a grouping of starships which is de-energized and floating free. It is speculated that the dead fleet was the accompaniment of the Zoetic terraforming machine and that whatever crashed the flagship caused the group to become de-powered. So you see, that with just the slightest bit of stellar mystery, a whole aspect of a story setting or a mythic origin can be suggested, and later such may be explored by the writer.
EX2: Kyrim6 – sentient planet (moving from star system to star system in order to feed.)
Chronicles of Kyrim by Richard Andrew Olkusz & Noah R. Assad, a future Blovel project.
Kyrim6 is a living planet who apparently had six siblings, and is populated by a race of surface-dwelling organisms. They have a constantly shifting sun because Kyrim6 is want to wander and feast on various stars. Its appetites draw it to and fro throughout the universe of its origins. Using its feed energy Kyrim6 initiates a wormhole event through which it passes, thereby going from star to star along its ceaseless journey. So it’s sunlight shifts from day to day, and there is a “wormhole night,” causing the surface world to see great extremes of temperature and radiation. This has caused all life on Kyrim6’s surface to be just as extreme, exhibiting strong survivalism as well as several potent design / evolutionary features.
It can not be said that Kyrim6 does not have sufficient atmosphere and or magnetosphere to shield its own surface, and in fact, it has very powerful planetology all around, though it is not strictly speaking in the habit of worrying for its Kyroges. Having created them to be tough, and being linked with them on a telepathic level, the Kyroges of Kyrim6 are always informed of what sort of day or night they will be facing. Stellar weather and climate are ever-shifting, yet the high energy diet of Kyrim6 serves to provide for itself and what Kyroges need for the most part. There is an abundance of vegetation and animal life, enough where despite all potential volatility does little to bring extinction.
EX3: Primary – The system – Ezzel – bright yellow sun
A future blovel project by Richard Andrew Olkusz.
The Ezzel / Ozzel system is a binary star system whose primary and secondary suns orbit each other and interpose their orbital planes into common space during rare conjunctions and or cycles of planetary catastrophe. There are many factors that might give rise to such events, and they should be measured and meditated on so that the deep time of your own parallel setting can be reckoned.
The Three Solar Zones:
Inner = closest orbit relative to the sun
Outer = farthest orbit relative to the sun
Exo = having no orbital relation
Circular Orbit on ecliptic plane
Elliptical Orbit off ecliptic plane
List of planets and stellar bodies:
Star Map Outline:
(1- 9 is keyed on the map)
Designation / Range of Solar Zone
1: Ezzel – Primary Sun – axis
2: Ezundro – Dead Planet – Inner /
3: Ezeoth – Planet – “Mother World”
Sat1 – Ayeoth – forest moon
Sat2 – Zureoth – ocean moon
4: Ezsentri – Outer Planet
5: Zozish Belt – Asteroid Belt
6: Nahmanee – Planetary Comet – its dull glittering is occasionally seen through the belt
7: Gestriss – Gas Giant – protector
8: Gondrox – Planet “The Wanderer” elliptical orbit – destroyer
9: Ozzel – Secondary Sun – binary orbital axis to Ezzel
Stellar / Cosmic Catastrophe Generator:
Using geology and planetology, as well as the Star Map outline, the muse will help you to establish if or not the secondary world in question has had cataclysm or any extraneous conditions imposed by stellar bodies in motion. This will help to shape a planetary deep time, enough to shape the surface and ages of ecology and biology.
Epochal / Deep Time Outline:
How many “ages” or eons of time, and how are they reckoned with any historic record?
Are there comets or wandering bodies that enter the system? If so, what is the duration and or flight path of said bodies?
Ezeoth has two moons. For story purposes, what are the cycles of eclipse?
The gravitation mass of two moons would contribute to a wild tidal cycle. Not mentioning the Panelemental Ankhara, this would amplify the storminess of Ezeoth: Storm World. So even this detail adds to the flavor of planetology nicely.
The primary bodies are simply named after gods of your home world’s myth. Other exo systems (constellations) may be plotted for those on the ground level, and these should be considered by the wise men, used to predict or formulate an age, and or employed as a ground to sky GPS. (Remember the megaliths of earth and how they were aligned of old to the zodiac, and by these, the sky and earth were connected, as above so below…)
The way a person can use the stars to navigate the sea, these may also be used to locate temples in cities, and so may serve to facilitate seasonal tribute, census, or even as a means of coordinating atmospheric flight plans. Air traffic is a thing for dragons, vimana pilots, or wizards transformed into winged horrors, so don’t forget to ornament your ancient world with such places laid out with geodetic precision, so that your contemporary story setting can be crusted with haunted ruins ready to be shunned or explored.
With such knowledge comes envy or fear, and so many wonders come and go under the fire of reaver or annihilator, otherwise known as those who seek to cleanse the way for their own version of history to dominate. When the truth of cosmic dimensions is learned, such knowledge alters consciousness, imposing the stars as brother-sister lanterns amid the vast night of stellar expanse unending. To those who master such things is granted the gateway to the gods, and to perhaps one day ascend to join them.
Establishing the Known Universe: Core to Frontier
Planets – A homeworld?
Stars – A home system?
Parsec zones – how many charted stars?
Galactic zones – how many charted quadrants?
Trans-Galactic zones – how many perceivable galaxies?
All this data may seem heavy duty, but there is method to the madness as always. This exercise will bear fruit not long from now when the next phase, JWC Secondary Sun, will have us leave the confines of one world for the endless starfield. Each secondary world might be used to stage a multi-world setting (if the planetary crafter has provided for that and wishes it) where space operas and cosmic fantasies can be interwoven, so our entire JWC online community might collaborate in a grand tale, and so network the minds of all the primary world! (Earth) More details on this to follow.
Please do give this exercise a try and see if it doesn’t stoke your muse’s fire. Tell stories involving as many planets or stars as you can factor in, and by so doing you will thicken the overall setting for the rest of us creative obsessors to read and write for. Stay tuned for the JWC secondary galaxy contest…