Welcome to another exciting adventure in Toonaria! Where the moon never rises and the sun never sets. Today’s mystery is the sky arks, enormous floating structures that hang above a seemingly endless sea. Home to countless strange and wonderful monsters, sprawling communities, incredible technology, amazing magic, fallen gods and more, the sky arks are the centerpiece of Toonaria.
Sky arks are made up of seven layers of floating island chains held aloft by mysterious obelisks, aethyrstone and the will of the gods. The primary sky ark that we’ll be focusing on includes the following seven layers from top to bottom: Xanadu, Elementara, Arcasia, Colossea, Storm Garden, Everdark and Zothmaru. The PC core species start on either Arcasia, home of the gubblings, or Colossea, realm of the titans. We’ll explore these layers more and more in the days ahead, both here and in fiction, setting books and games, if all goes well.
The sky ark is lit by its own artificial sun, which rises from the GodStorm-infused Storm Garden and travels through the center of the island chains past Xanadu into the Cosmos above the sky ark. The two lowest layers of the ark never see the sun nor moon, though some say they once did. There is a great body of water in the center of Storm Garden.
No one has ever reached the bottom of that sea, but some theorize that in the distant past, the sun and moon passed through it to the layers below. How this is possible is but one of many Toonarian mysteries. Will the truth ever be discovered? Who knows?
It is generally believed that the sun rises into the heavens, loses its energy and falls back to Storm Garden as the moon, where it recharges in the GodStorm-charged sea to rise again the next day as the sun.
Those who dwell above Storm Garden enjoy beautiful, bright, cloud-laden skies and breathtaking views. We’ll talk more about the sun and moon in another post, but I will say that this magical realm is not scorched by the sun, nor badly disrupted by the moon, for they are far different than such celestial bodies in the real world.
As for the floating islands themselves, only the smaller ones have much to fear regarding falling out of the sky, barring world-shattering calamities, of course. Over mining a small island’s aethyrstone could cause it to sink in the sky and eventually plummet, but fortunately most of the islands are not held aloft by aethyrstone alone.
Throughout all of the sky realm, air is in abundance and properly suited to the species who dwell within it, therefore as long as one doesn’t travel into the far away Mysterium, high above into the Cosmos or down below the endless sea into the Void, breathing isn’t generally an issue.
Each island chain layer’s obelisks provide a rectangular prism of stable gravity pulling everything straight down. Ships and dirigibles can travel freely between layers. Some ships are capable of reaching the enigmatic Cosmos, others are not. As soon as one goes beyond the gravity planes of a sky ark, the risk of falling is zero, because they enter zero gravity. Floating about without proper mobility, a person could get stuck and eventually enter the Great Sleep for lack of food and water if not rescued by a passing ship. And few ships go beyond their sky ark’s gravity planes.
There are three sky arks linked together thematically, technologically and magically into a triskele structure floating above the sea. (A triskele is that shape you see representing the dot on the “i” in the Toonarian logo. The symbol has appeared in many ancient cultures. We’ll get more into the triskelion structure of the sky arks down the road.)
Technologically advanced cultures living in Toonaria have identified three triskeles, each with a seemingly unapproachable floating structure in its exact center. In addition to the sky arks, there are also other floating islands and exotic structures that appear to be independent, some fixed, others adrift in the endless sky.
Toonaria will never focus deeply on the science behind how everything works, though I always look first for scientific explanations before striking off on my own. Typically, the more you try to explain something fantastic scientifically, the more likely someone smarter than you will find a way to poke holes in it. For example, some of the greatest minds on the planet stand on opposite sides of the fence regarding major topics like global warming, future technologies, economy, and politics.
Those who insist that everything must be deeply entrenched in science probably aren’t that interested in floating islands, magic, adorable monsters, titans too big to support their own weight, or other fantastic things that can be found in epic settings anyway. I don’t fault them, but I won’t limit my creativity to that which is currently believed to be true or possible scientifically by earthlings. Instead, Toonaria will bask in its fun and fantastic elements, and leave it at that. If you are okay with our approach, then jump on and I promise you will have a lovely ride through Toonaria for many years to come!
That’s all for today. I hope you are enjoying our “mystery” series. We’ll be covering a lot more ground on various Toonarian topics in the days ahead, as well as delving deeper into Epic Destinies, the roleplaying game designed to enable players to go off on epic adventures in Toonaria. As always, I’d love to hear from you. Till next week—cheers!