(From the Intro to Spectre Of Dammerwald)
Anter’x, also called the Inworld, is an extremely hostile, often hellish environment baked under three suns. At night, the heat absorbed form the lighted period, called a c’eun, radiates from the ground and rocks. Bathed in the silvery light of and three moons, the temperature in most places on the planet are yet uncomfortably hot.
Because of the suns’ energy, the surface of the vast deep oceans of water simmer. The effects of the gravity of three moons on the tidal currents sweep the superheated water to swirl and mix with the relatively cooler waters of the temperate ones creating dramatic weather events. Storms spanning many c’eun are common place in the world’s torrid and temperate zones.
In the mountains and the upland plains where altitude moderates the extreme temperatures, conditions are more tolerable. Many species of flora and fauna proliferate because of the world’s abundant solar energy, and several plants that cling to the shadows during the c’eun emerge at night to benefit from the reflected light of the three moons.
Despite the harshness of the complicated Anter’xan environment, it is the home of many races of immortal, quasi-immortal beings and mortals. Especially in its temperate zones and closer to its poles great civilizations developed in relative isolation. As they populations grew and expanded and there was eventual encounters and interactions, territorial conflicts erupted into protracted wars.
Because of the planet’s odd cosmic ballet as its orbit changes relative proximity as it interacts with three suns, the method of calculating time is affected by perspective of the observer on the planet’s surface as well as the apparent movements of the celestial bodies through the skies. Many of the civilizations of the temperate zones devised effective methods of predicting the movements of the suns and moons, resulting in calendars that account for seasons and he passage of time.
For purposes of basic understanding the usage of time terms that appear in the text, the following is provided:
cen – 1/200 of an ur, in usage roughly equivalent to the Earth concept of minutes, although it is shorter as an actual interval.
ur – 1/20 of a c’eun, in usage roughly equivalent an hour in use although in actual measurement is longer than an Earth hour. It consists of two hundred cen.
c’eun – ten ur, the period measured from the rising of the first sun to the setting of the third sun, roughly equivalent to the meaning of the lighted time of an Earth day. It varies with the season and the position on the surface of the planet relative to the suns. The period of darkness between c’eun is referred to as night in text for purposes of the story, although in truth the actual night is measured from the first moon’s rising to the last moons setting and may actually overlap the dawning of suns throughout the seasons.
d’eun – ten c’eun roughly equivalent in usage to Earth’s week.
t’eun – a period of the full cycles of all three moons through their phases, roughly equivalent in usage to the Earth term month, though it is considerably longer. Most civilizations measured it as the period between all three moons appearing in new phase. Historically, because of their nocturnal hunting activities, the cat and wolf civilizations placed greater emphasis on measuring time with the phases of the moon into seasons. Therefore, age is measured in seasons, which is not a t’eun per se, but is roughly the same measured time interval as it is the periods between three full moons.
Eun – a period of ten t’eun, in usage roughly the same as the Earth word year, though it is much longer as a period of time. It is the measured span between alignments of all three suns.
C’eun – a period of ten Eun, in usage like the Earth word decade.
D’eun- a period of ten C’eun there is no equivalent in usage to any Earth measure of time. It is one half a X’eun.
X’eun – a period of two-hundred C’eun or one hundred D’eun, used the same was as Century is on Earth, though the time interval is much longer.
Anter’x is connected to Earth, also called Ea on Anter’x and referred to as the Outworld, through an unknown number of dimensional thresholds called mandorlas. The portals appear according to the influence of the gravity of neighboring astronomical bodies upon the complicated electromagnetic fields of each planet. Due to the number of astral bodies interacting in relative close proximity to the planet, such events are more commonplace on Anter’x than on Earth.
However, an alignment of thresholds between the worlds creates a bridge, or wormhole as is the equivalent Earth term for a theoretical tunnel through subspace. Across this stable connection beings could safely negotiate the vast distances of space and time across the turbulent maelstrom of the Continuum. Before Earth settled into its present, more erratic orbit, the opening of mandorlas were regular and measurable events. In historical times the year consisted of 360 days divided into twelve thirty-day months. Due to near collisions of planets in Earth’s solar system, the orbit shifted outward and the moons orbit around the earth shifted inward, making the event of alignment between Earth’s mandorlas and Anter’x’s more rare.
The Sabatin are one of the elder quasi-immortal sentient races of Anter’x. They have an extremely dark appearance. Their physical nature absorbs solar energy and stores it for future use. Probably the origin of many ancient human people’s ideas of demons, they have horns, tails and small wings that are remnants of flying ancestors. They dwell in the torrid regions of the planet where temperatures routinely exceed the boiling point of human blood. The highly technologically advanced Sabatin culture became dependent on slavery to function. They enslaved the Hovdin, exploiting their natural cleverness to construct their advanced cities and establish the roads and infrastructure throughout their empire.
Following generations of learning from their masters and developing a language and culture independent if their masters, the Hovdin staged a series of rebellions to liberate as many of their kind as possible from bondage, continuing their campaigns until nearly all Hodvin were free. They fled through the mountains and across a desert to establish their own civilization free of the tyranny of their former overlords, seeking an area far enough away and in the more moderate climes of the world to establish their civilization.
Although the area of the world the Hovdin chose was not one the Sabatin covets to inhabit, the Sabatin attacked periodically in their attempts to capture them and return them to Sabatin slavery. Over time, the Hovdin resisted and thwarted Sabatin attempts, sometimes in battles they won as a result of the fortuitous timing of weather events more than skill in warfare or tactical advantage. Many times violent sand storms decimated Sabatin armies.
Independent of the Sabatin, the Hovdin established a thriving civilization in the a more temperate region of Anter’x, north and west of a vast desert, eventually developing an Empire. Physically isolated by mountains and the desert from the Sabatin regions of the world, the Hovdin proliferated to become a dominant force in the world to rival their former Sabatin masters.
The repeated failures to return the Hovdin to slavery and the continued rebellious uprisings of the remaining Hovdin forced the Sabatin to seek another, suitable slave race, once they sought to create with their superior scientific knowledge. The Sabatin used the naturally occurring thresholds (mandorlas) to establish breeding colonies on primitive Earth. Selecting several species of apes, they spliced Hovdin genetic material into their DNA matrices producing several types of creatures resembling both Hovdin and apes. These early humanoids were subject to further experimentation as the Sabatin strove to infuse a set of attributes that would make an intelligent race of beings tolerant to the demands of the Sabatin environment on Anter’x and amenable to serving their masters.
Although the proto humans were not considered viable for the Sabatin needs, their DNA was used as the foundation for fusing the genetic materials of other Earth animal species in and effort to produce humanoid variants with wolf attributes and others with the traits of great cats, two aggressive and successful predatory species among Earth animals. Through selective breeding of the humanoid cats and wolves, the Sabatin were able to intensify key characteristics of each, though neither species was suited for the conditions of the harsh Sabatin world.
Through further experiments they produced a number of blended beings with spliced genetic materials bonding human traits with other creatures. The results were responsible for some mythological beings of legend that were later destroyed as the Sabatin focused on further developing the humanoid cats and wolves, eventually blending each species together to produce a being known as the wolfcat.
When the Vala’hak, a race of trans-dimensional beings, learned of the Sabatin experiments on Earth, they reported the violation of the Covenants of Creation to the Spectrals (immortal beings of light who participated in creation) who sealed the thresholds as much as possible and removed the blended creatures from the Earth, except for humans who were considered grossly incompatible with the Anter’x environment. A race of guardians was appointed to monitor the development of humans and limit their impact on the fragile Earth ecosystem.
The humanoid great cats and wolves were brought to Anter’x, along with the prototype blended being, the wolfcat, and a number of advanced humanoids the Sabatin had infused with wolfcat traits, called Wiccans and Warlans. All these creatures appeared to have access to the cosmic energy flowing beneath the veils of reality that the uninspired and uninformed term magic.
The Sabatin continued their experiments on Anter’x, using samples of other Earth species they had collect and returned to Sabat. Bonding the DNA of wolfcats with that of an scorpion from the Earth, for example, resulted in an interesting hybrid that closely approximated what the Sabatin were attempting to create, tolerant of the heat in their part of Anter’x while being strong and intelligent and perhaps trainable as warriors for an campaign they hoped to wage on the rebellious Hovdin to eradicate them from the world. This new creature, the mang bhong, exhibited the best attributes of the species that were blended into its genetics while seeming much more willing to submit to authority.
In ancient times, the Earth’s orbit shifted outward causing fewer natural alignments of the thresholds, diminishing the accessibility of mandorlas and isolating the guardians and impaired their contact with higher races of immortals who assigned them to monitor the Earth. Yet, the histories of the Inworld and the Outworld have always been interconnected. The scars of ancient cosmic wars fought on Anter’x and the Earth are still evident, and eventually the final events of the conflicts between immortals will be settled on both worlds.