• NJ Holden

Weirdest Worlds

As you may know, my stories take place in a universe that spans hundreds of worlds. That is, hundreds of worlds that I made up. Here are some of the weirdest ones, in no particular order.

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Mornia

The world would be strange enough for having no sun or moon or any other source of light, but it seems like even lights brought from the outside – fires or lamps or magical wisps – provide far less illumination than they would otherwise, as if the darkness itself was a physical entity, drowning out anything that tried to disturb it.

There are no maps of Mornia, although some spaces are frequented by outworlders seeking the world’s strange treasures. All that is known that Mornia has its own ecosystem unlike anything seen anywhere else. Furthermore, few groups of sightless tlaloi—tarvabe or hatis—decided to settle here. However, the world lays at the Seventh Circle, closer to the Upper Abyss than most inhabitable worlds, so the magic and the daemonic influence are stronger here. Many who came here to trade or study, came back convinced that its inhabitants are simply evil—though few dared to elaborate.

Kryadi

No one travels to Kryadi of their own will, but many stumble upon it by mistake. Of those, most never come back. Those who do, speak of great caverns of transparent crystal, never-ending tunnels and crevices, flooded by sourceless white light. Some speak of seeing their own—or others—reflection in the crystalline walls of the world. Some speak of strange chants coming from nowhere.

Many return insane.

Because of that, not much is really known about this world. It isn’t even sure if this is one world, or some similar places scattered around the universe but similar enough to warrant only one name. There is no native life as far as people have been able to determine and no civilization has ever inhabited it.

Daesi

Daesi is unique in that it doesn’t have a surface. It’s just a perfect world bubble, filled top to bottom with water. Near the edge, there is some illumination that suggests the bubble is entirely permeable, but most of it is bathed in darkness.

As Daesi is one of the junction worlds in Meon Cluster, Dahlsi people were determined to colonize it. In order to do that they employed the help of hatis, an underwater tlaloi, who helped build underwater habitats and special capsules that allowed air-breathing tlaloi to explore merges.

Some inhabitants opted instead for a magical mutation and grew gills.

Sereza

Sereza is in a way similar to Daesi—except it’s filled with rock, crisscrossed by innumerable caves and tunnels. Despite that, many parts are illuminated by strange glowing rocks, glowing lichens, or rivers of moonwater.

Sereza has a rich ecosystem, based on bacterial mats and algae that feed by chemosynthesis. The biggest animals are gigantic reptile-like beasts with heads like battering rams they use to push their way through Sereza.

Multiple sentient species call Sereza home, there’s even a talk about dark elf colony, though not much is known for sure.

Garlop

A world of mud. The surface is covered by a mud plain, but the mud also drips from the skydome in a never-ending deluge. Luckily, the mud emits a slight luminescence, so at least it’s possible to see if a giant drop is about to fall on you.

The mud from Garlop has amazing healing properties and although no one has ever made a permanent habitat here, many people came to extract the mud. A condensed version is sold to other worlds as healing clay.

But Garlop is not a healthy place, as many people who spent a long time here developed diseases even the mud couldn’t heal.

Shusila

The world that seems to be filled not with a conventional matter, but clouds of pure color. No one knows exactly what it is, as any attempts to transport it to other worlds fail, and people who enter the world succumbed to a strange, transfixed state, and even after exiting, they often remain in catatonic-like state for a time. Their memories of a time spent in Shusila are also off, but many recall hearing strange chants and music. A few musical pieces are believed to be composed by people who visited Shusila and they are universally lauded as both inhumanly beautiful and unsettling.

Han Zahta

The surface of Hahn Zahta is covered with ocean, but a second ocean is locked within the skydome. The only light comes from fireballs of unknown nature that dance between two masses of water. There’s also a surface in the shape of multiple floating rocks, but they are not connected to the bottom of the ocean.

Taman Sahr

A chaotic world where matter doesn’t seem to be completely formed. Most of the surface is covered by ocean, with two steady continents, one floating island, and innumerable lands emerging from the chaos just to disintegrate again. Overall, it seems like the matter in the center is steady, while closer to the edges it becomes more unstable. Some sorcerers tried to explore it, hoping to learn forming magic in a greater capacity than anywhere else, but with mixed results.

Living organisms mutate faster in Taman Sahr than in other worlds, so not much can be said about its native life as it constantly changes.

There is no constant habitation.

U'Dher'nya

Unlike other worlds, U'Dher'nya is not shaped like abubble, but more like a flat disk – a frisbee-shape, if you will. At the highest point, the skydome only rises about 10m/33ft above the surface. An interesting thing is that the trees grow from the skydome and drop towards the ground. Teardrop-shaped organs growing from the treetops (or treebottoms?) are the only source of light and heat in the world.

The surface is rocky and covered in soft, yellow grass that can be made into one of the softest fabrics in this part of the universe. Only water exists underground, but it’s dark and bitter and full of venomous creatures.

Humans arrived here from Varpul to study local trees in order to better understand the process of turning chaos into matter. The research allowed Varpulians to extract minerals from the Outside, which made losing mining colonies not that detrimental in the war with Heskalun Empire. Also, many local plants and animals turned out to have healing properties. The world was never important enough to warrant invasion, but when many of neighboring worlds fell, the scientists fled and their knowledge, scatter across the universe, became useless.

Cereci

It seems like it used to be two worlds, stacked one on top of the other and smashed together until they form a single bubble. Still, there is a distinctive, rocky barrier between those two. Both have very different atmospheres and it’s speculated that if they were to merge, the resulting explosion would rip Cereci to shreds.

The original sky of Cereci is the color of copper, with single sun and six moons. The lower level is illuminated by a strange, dark green light of an unknown source. Both levels have distinct lifeforms. The rocky layer between them is rich in minerals and was intensely mined by keshamran until a web of fissures threatened to merge the atmospheres. Then, for safety reasons, keshamran has left the world, though other species occasionally swept in to continue mining.

Niun

Not as strange as some other worlds, but distinct because of its translucent skydome. Is permeable to the light of Vhalfr, creating quite pleasant natural conditions, except looking at the chaos tends to drive people crazy. Even beings without sight don’t seem to do here very well.

The Heskalun Empire uses it as a penal colony.

Shamiima

A living being traveling the Outside, big enough for a world-bubble to form on its carapace. It is thought to be a relic of old times, possibly remembering the Great Sphere before the war of the gods bathed it in chaos.

When humans arrived on Shamiima, they taught it a simple world. It took many cycles for them to realize its true nature, but by then Shamiima’s mind was entwined with that of its inhabitants. Now they are completely prone to its will—though it’s not much more demanding than gods. If someone offends it, it can destroy their life, or sometimes entire civilizations.

Ysvhau-zhi

The House of Life. Giant, multilevel, steel labyrinth of a world, build by unknown architects so long ago, that people trapped in managed to create their own civilizations and animals evolved into their own distinct forms. No one has ever left it.

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