Shine Cycle Background: Reignalmia

On Mondays I write background essays on the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation.

I began the last segment of the outline by mentioning the “Reignalmia incident.” Today I’ll describe the world that the story calls Reignalmia.

Reignalmia is a basically earth-like planet, with water covering about half of its surface. There are nine continents, one on each pole stretching down into the temperate zone and the others scattered in between, along with many islands. The continent over the north pole is mostly tundra or glacier, a frozen wasteland, but there are small regions surrounded by mountains that are warmed to nearly tropical environments by the thinner crust there. Similarly, most of the southern continent is temperate if not tropical, though some of that is not precisely natural (see below).

Societies and governments vary across the planet. Many countries and regions have variations on a basically feudal system. There has at various times been a single (federal) government over the whole planet, with varying amounts of control, and there is ample precedent for countries trying (sometimes successfully) to convince the rest of the world to accept them as ruler or leader for a time.

Applied metaphysics as such is very rare, but “gifts” that have similar effects—the universe listens to a person in small things in a particular category—are quite common but not universal. The categories of Gifts include healing, short-range teleportation, minor telekinetics, and the like. Gifts are nearly invariably very draining, and so are generally used only at great need. They require rather strict mental discipline, preventing accidental invocation, and so are not taught as such nearly everywhere. There is a school on an island somewhere to sharpen the skills of the Gifted; this training (or self-training from long, repeated practice) can lessen the fatigue rate somewhat.

Some of the more advanced societies in the planet’s history domesticated and bred some of the more intelligent animals native to the planet for intelligence and loyalty, producing a variety of companions with intelligence comparable or superior to dolphins but capable of understanding and in some cases even producing speech.

The planet’s current scientific-technological level is basically equivalent to ours during the Renaissance, varying significantly from country to country and region to region, but there are some artifacts–and even some books—from previous high-tech eras left over. Art is highly prized, and a primary trade good, even more than most resources. Sculpture, painting, and the construction of weapons and armor are the most important arts in most places.

Thoughts?

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