May 12, 2012

Bizarre Safari: A Traveler's Guide to Goblin Land, Pt.4

The Nature and Astronomia of Goblin Land

I don't understand Goblin Land quite yet.  I cannot easily explain it's mysterious flora, fauna, or stars.  I've found the celestial curiosities especially inscrutable.  I'm afraid that the best I can do for you is to simply describe the things I've seen.  Even then, I'm sure to do it poorly.  What words of ours will help me paint the colors which I've had to train my eyes to see?  One feels them first at the back of one's eyes. After a time the eyes will then adjust.  Can I then train my pen to write them down?  I shall try my best.

The sky here is not blue at all, but an obstinate shade of green.  It's green like a pool of stirred algae, green as a bright jade stone.  The days are lit by a pair of suns.  The larger is perhaps the same size as our yellow sun, but colored instead a piercing bluish white.  Close beside it is a second sun, tiny by comparison and colored in a deep crimson.  These suns change position a bit each day.  They take turns leading one another across the sky.  About once each week the small red sun hides and is not seen at all, perhaps afraid of the blue who swells up with anger making these days hotter than most.  On the next day the red sun emerges again and seems to have calmed his blue friend a bit.  No matter the day, the blue sun is always painfully bright.  To my eyes, it's light has a certain thickness.  The colors of our clothes and skin all seem slightly skewed.

If anything the nighttime sky is even more bizarre.  The stars are all wrong and I can't make sense of them at all.  I see none of the familiar constellations.  The stars here show far more variety; some of them shine in colors that I've never seen before. 

The nights are lit by three different moons.  You might not see all three in a single night, but to go until dawn without seeing at least one is very rare indeed.  At first glance they each appear to be the size of our familiar Luna.  By stretching out an arm and holding up a thumb for measure, one can see slight differences in their size.  I've compared all three against my thumb on many nights, and impossibly they all seem to take turns at being the smallest and largest moon.  One of these moons is rather blueish, but a thick white-gray haze slowly creeps across it's face; it looks to me like a great milky blue eye now blinded by cataracts.  The second moon is a moving patchwork of color with shades of purple, black, and blue; this moon is the darkest of the three.   The last one is the brightest, and reminds me most of our familiar Luna.  It is mostly white with spots and splotches of grey and black.  Perhaps this is our Luna with her face turned away from Goblin Land, but recently I've come to think of this moon as the lost sister who once was Luna's twin.

Artwork by aanonymvs

The procession of days, nights, and seasons seem to pass much the same in Goblin Land.  The time you spend here is equal to the time you've lost back home.  However, these two worlds have their schedules misaligned.  While England is having a rainy dawn, Goblin Land might have clear green skies with the double suns riding high at midday.  I don't see any obvious pattern to these discrepancies, but I haven't yet made much of an effort to study them.

On the whole Goblin Land seems to be a drier place than England, but at least the clouds and weather seem familiar.  Storms come and go much as they did back home.  When the heavens open, it is good pure water that falls.

Mostly I've seen scrubland and rolling hills, but I've seen lakes and forests too.  The plants here are not green at all, but instead a variety of purples.  Leaves, needles, sprouts of new growth; all purple.  Also, I do not recognize any of the twist of branches or shapes of leaves.  These are not simply purple oaks and pine, but something altogether new.  Among the trees I've found some fruits to eat, and others to avoid.  The most common type of grass has tufts of thick fat purple leaves shaped similar to aloe.  If you find yourself in dire need you can boil these down until they are soft enough to chew.  It's not very pleasant, but it is safe to eat and easy to find.

The most common animals by far are lizards.  Well, either those or bugs.  They scurry here and there in infinite shapes, colors, and patterns.  Some of these grow to enormous size, there are ants here larger than men.  Gone though are the mice, and bats, and bears, and boars, and basically anything with fur.  There are cats now, but we brought those here.  Oh, and once I saw a kind of rabbit thing, but it had big bulging compound eyes like a horsefly so it may have been some manner of hairy insect.

Stay sharp if you head out into the wilds.  Watch for the large flying lizards, they'll sometimes carry off man-sized prey.  Tread careful when you aren't on rocky ground, occasionally a great toothy worm will burst up from below.  Also be wary of large nests that lie upon the ground.  The eggs might belong to a six legged Frostilisk who can freeze you solid with a glance.  Many dangers in the wilderness can be avoided if one just stays alert.  Yet even if the path is known, a wise man hires guides.

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