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[History] The Planet Albia 
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The Nymph (Administrator)
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Post [History] The Planet Albia
The Planet Albia

The world of Albia is, bizzarely, a disc rather than the usual sphere. This coin-shaped world spins rapidly on its axis (a day being only a couple of hours long), and produces such a strong centrifugal force that life has been unable to colonise the broad 'faces' of the planet, and instead has been confined to its edge. The inhabitants thus live on a narrow rim, where 'east' and 'west' are the dominant directions, and 'north' and 'south' correspond to the very much smaller (and largely irrelevant) distance from one face to the other.

Living on Albia is therefore rather like being in a narrow corridor: travel is possible to east and west, but there is only space to north and south for limited storage, etc. Most attempts at development have therefore chosen 'down' as the most fruitful direction in which to proceed, and so the inhabitants of Albia tend to live in burrows (there being a little more space below ground for walls and such, due to the lenticular shape of the tiny planet).

Liquid water exists on the surface, but has been bunched up by the centrifugal force until it too rides on the edge of the planet, forming narrow 'seas', trapped by higher ground to east and west. The tension between the centrifugal force, which tries to fling everything outwards, and the force of gravity, which tries to hold them in again, is a major influence in dictating the oddities of Albian existence.

Gravity is clearly strongest where the thickest amount of rock exists, ie. acting towards the centre through the radius of the disc, thus objects on the rim of the disc do not fly off into space, but remain firmly, if gently, attached. On the faces of the disc, gravity acts more weakly, and also at an angle of less than 180° to the centrifugal force. The resultant of these two forces is thus planetwards and outwards, making the faces untenable for anything not firmly fixed to the ground. This interaction of gravity and spin causes important groundwater and atmospheric circulation patterns.

Albia has a single sun, which moves across the sky from west to east (the direction of the Norns' Journey). Because the plane of Albia's rotation coincides with its plane of orbit, the sun appears to slide directly overhead. The game viewpoint will therefore never allow the sun to be visible, but the colours of the sky, etc. will change from dawn through to dusk. At night, stars will be visible. Because Albia is merely a thin disc, sunlight is scattered easily from the edges of the atmosphere, partially illuminating the night side of the planet. Nights are therefore never totally black, and Albians have never needed to develop lighting. Two discoid planets could not orbit each other without crashing, and close proximity between Albia and a conventional, spherical planet would have prevented Albia forming as a disc in the first place. Therefore, Albia has no moons. Incidentally, the inhabitants of Albia have always assumed (incorrectly) that the sun and other planets in that solar system are discs too, and they have often marvelled at how all of the other heavenly bodies are aligned so that their 'faces' are turned towards Albia (one never sees a planet edge-on). They cite this as conclusive proof that Albia is the most important world in the Universe.

Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:13 pm
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