Cosmology of the Lands
Learned men agree that despite appearances, the planet on which the Lands are located does rotate, creating day and night, whilst also revolving around the sun, which only appears to move in the eyes of the uneducated. The sun “rises” and “sets” with very little variation, compared to other worlds: in winter, the daylight hours are two to four less than in summer, so that sunrise and sunset vary from 5 to 7 o’clock. Perhaps the most visible point of demarcation is the fact that the Lands have two moons, Aral (the lower moon) and Unal (the upper), which transit the sky from north to south rather than east to west. Aral sweeps through at a very quick pace, traversing the entire sky twice most nights and taking less than two hours to rise and set: those camping in very open ground near the middle of the Lands claim to feel the “moonwind” upon its passing, which is held to be lucky but also indicates that it could be very close to the surface of the land. Unal follows a pace more familiar to those of other worlds, and references to “the moon” in astronomic or astrological tracts almost always refer to Unal. The conjunction of the two moons and their various phases results in one full and one new moon for each orb every month: once every six months both moons are full at the same time, and once each half-year they are both new simultaneously as well.
The Hopelands calendar is organized into twelve months of thirty days each, further divided into five weeks of six days each.
The stars overhead bear no resemblance whatsoever to those of other lands; but curiously, there is a range of visible planetary bodies that seem quite similar to those of the aforementioned Earth. These planets are named for heroic figures with whom sages have noticed a consonance of philosophy and influence. Other planets are named for each of the other major heroes but they are smaller, more difficult to see with the naked eye, and in the estimation of most of the learned do not exert measurable influence on human events. This has a crucial impact on the science of astrology and the practice of divination, particularly tarot, as seen in the Lands of Hope. Those looking to the sky, or the cards, for prophecy see many of the ruling principles found in other lands still at work, though in several cases operating upon different objects than before.