Introduction to Astilan
Return to Astilan
The Land, The Sea, and The Sky
Astilan is a not a large world with a circumference of just over 3,800 miles. Its diameter is around 1,220 miles, giving it a surface area of of about 4.7 million square miles.
Only 5% of the world is covered in water, with one large sea and numerous rivers.
Time and Seasons
The year is the standard unit of time measurement. It has 360 days, which are defined as a 24 hour period during which the sun and the world above have time to make one trip across the sky. Hours are split into minutes and minutes into seconds.
The year is measured by season, and there are six seasons, as defined as most things were by the Pale Gnomes who were the first to travel the world and understand how the seasons worked and that they were the same around the world.
Unlike the Pale Gnomes, other races needed a measurement in between day and season, and so the construct of the week was developed. Different cultures claim to have designed it at first, but the truth is that several did it independently with influence from the world above. The week has six days and matches up with the seasons so that no week is broken up between seasons. The names of the days of the week vary from culture to culture.
Years are measured from a universally understood and accepted start date when the world was created. When a number is given, 300, 444, 710, etc; it is understood that is the number of years since Astilan was created. Time before that, which is known to have been since it is widey accepted that the world above pre-dates Astilan, is measured in years counting backwards. When a year number is said as 220 Before, or 220 BA; it is understood to mean in the time before Astilan was created.
It takes the world above exactly twelve hours to make its way across the night sky, and that measurement is the basis for how any above ground culture measures time. Twelve hours with the world above, and twelve without it.
The seasons are known by what they bring to Astilan. Because legend has it that it was calm at the beginning of the world, the Pale Gnomes named the time of the peaceful first season for beginning. Then came a time of great rains, during which the seas filled and plants grew, and the season was named for that. Then came a season of light and heat during which time the Pale Gnomes thought the world would end and they would not survive. After heat came winds that cooled until they frightened with the howls that were created by the winds lowing through the gorges.
The winds also dried the land and then the fear of drought came as the rain came infrequently and the ponds and lakes dissapeeared. Only the dark brought respite but a different kind of fear. The sun faded and its child was no where to be seen. Finally, the smaller sun reappeared and te cycle started again. As time passed and th cycle repeated itself, the Pale Gnomes grew confident they knew what to expect and named the seasons.
|Season||Meaning||Days of the Year|
The langauges on Astilan are generally considered to have been gifted to the races by the deities. There are only a few languages that are derivative of another language. The most often spoken languages are what is known as the common tongue, arrogantly named as such by humans; and gnomish, spoken by the Pale Gnomes who travel the world more than any other race.
|Home Race||Language Name||Real Life Base||Alphabet|
|Dark Gnomes||Dark Gnomish||???||Dwarven|
|Mountain Dwarves||Dwarven||Scots Gaelic||Dwarven|
|Night Elves||Night Elven||???||Elven|
The basic alignments of the characters and creatures of Astilan are the same as described in the Players’ Handbook. Occasionally, the description of a character or creature will have an alignment in parenthesis. This denotes that the character or creature has tendencies towards a slightly different alignment. This usually means a change in alignment is underway. A thief in the process of becoming an honest man, a deity whose faithful are coming from a different alignment base than the deity’s, and a fallen knight are all examples of this circumstance.