Geografia

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                    the heft and the edge                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     26/5/2017 wkj fantasy
 

 

 

 

 

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    “An enquiry into the true geography of Earnor”

    (from the “New Introduction to Edison’s Geografia” by SARAYAN, Philemon; Gombret Publications, Astoril 3069)

     

    “Whatever the world may have been in Ages past we are left now with four major landmasses and two great
    oceans.

    “Sullinor is the greatest continent stretching from the ice lands - the Adiathemos of the North - down through
    many changes of topography and usage into the steamy forests of the lower tropics.  It is wide too: four
    thousand miles from furthest east to furthest west.  It is a land of great contrast but for all its size and variability
    the entire continent is subject to the rule of a single polity: the ar’Andálan Empire. The Andálans have held
    sway over Sullinor for so many years that, outside the Great Collegia, common knowledge of anything preceding
    the Empire has sunken into the grass.

    “Asteranor (1)  strays to the east of Sullinor across the Sea of Birds. (2) A less sprawling land, on the whole
    more temperate and protected from the Sea of Ice by the High Dedicae: the world’s mightiest range of
    mountains.  The Sea of Ice, a terrifying place of grinding floes and precarious existence, denies all passage to the
    northern coastline making of this an unknown land. Below the Dedicae, Asteranor is home to the four countries
    of Aegarde, Pars, Gothery and Masachea. The loose arrangement of The Holy Isles, utterly independent of the
    four countries, rides the currents of the Errensea to the south of the continent.

    “Oxitor and Oxitor’ulta are named clearly enough for West and Far West but these continents are
    largely unexplored by the people of the Middle and East, the only exception being those four city states of the
    north, recently allied in the face of renewed ‘Andálan aggression, and named in their own terms the
    Tetra-Ka Republic

    “The two oceans are great opposites. 

    “The Pelagos is navigable in her kinder months, she abounds with fish and bird and mammal, she is decorated
    by many chains of islands, the chief of these being the Arco Sulli, and is seen by all as the great provider. 

    “Vastos, covering three fifths of this world, as far as it can be known, is utterly empty of land, of life or hope of
    life.  The few brave souls that have made adventure on that sea and yet returned have described the waters
    as corrosive and sterile.(3)

    “This then is the object of our attention: Earnor, a world blue-green and full of life on the one side, but grey
    and dead on the other. Edison’s Geografia is concerned exclusively with the living and offers no conjecture as to
    the nature, origin or purpose of the waste or the contrast between the two.  Given the significance of recent
    events and raised interest in such questions I have made suggestion of further reading alongside the bibliography
    and index in the latter part of this volume.”

    ________________________________________________________________

     (1) A cautionary note: it is often explained on Asteranor that “Sullinor has the sun but we have the stars!” however it is worth saying
    that in Parsee while Aster may mean star, Aste can mean East; and even more confusingly Sul may well mean Sun, but  Sule indicates southerly and sullin may be translated as middle.  Things are not always as they seem; explanations given within, whether popular or scholarly, are not necessarily always true.

     (2) An inadequate name. To give him his due Edison said as much to the residents of the Kelling Isles, masters of this stretch of sea, but they were insistent – to the north was barren ice, they said, and to the south the wider ocean had skies unhindered by the beating of
    wings. While this was not wholly true Edison wisely decided that further argument was unnecessary, the Kellings being renowned for
    their strong opinions and fierce disposition.

     (3) Their return was invariably a desperate ordeal with the acid waves cutting into the timbers, the spray shredding the sails and the crew dying of thirst, starvation and need of good air.  Their ships were so damaged by the trial they were left unfit for further voyage;
    and the same could be said of the mariners.

             

 

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Wilf Kelleher Jones
A Song of Ages