The world of the "Besieged Cities"

Since I'm going to publish stand-alone stories about the world of Yaghan, I think that I need to describe the world very quickly to provide a modicum of background. But I need to do just enough so that you understand the setting without me rehashing things at the beginning of each text, but so as to not spoil you from any discovery.

The thing is, the average Yaghanite's knowledge of history and geography varies greatly from one city to the next and from one continent to the next. So I'm going to list a few of a citizen of Petrel's rock's beliefs. It should be a good overview of the world.

Petrel's rock is a coastal city that serves as a hub between the biggest and most advanced city on the planet, Gond, and the rest of the world. Thanks to this, its citizen are aware of the biggest human settlements on the planet:

  • the people from Gond, which are best known for having the greatest machines and for being masters of the wind. Some people from Petrel's rock have even had the chance to travel by wind train there, and to see moving pictures in the Great Theater of the Battle School. They come back saying that all the legends are true, that humans indeed come from beyond the stars, and that they indeed used to live freely on the face of Yaghan, and also on the face of another planet where trees were a slightly different shade of green.
  • the people from Callista who are the most decent looking and that trade a lot of food products from the rich fields of their fortified valleys. 
  • the people from the archipelago that really don't quite look like us, and that are awesome to have on a boat's crew because that can stay underwater forever and therefore are extremely useful for ship maintenance.
  • the people from Enqa, the great city of the desert, that live at night and are silent and private
  • the people from the Rainforest, that don't quite look human either with their prehensile tails and oily skin and long fingers, that  live in trees that dwarf some of the hills of the Plains

Because they always know at least one family member that has sailed to another continent or that has been to Gond and its amphitheater, most citizens believe the legends that say that humanity came to Yaghan from the stars and did not always live behind walls, even if it makes them anxious to just think about it. They have seen and touched artifacts from the Age of the Stars and they understand that humanity once lived on another, similar planet.

They also have witnessed a lot of different types of magic thanks to the cultural melting pot and center of learning that Gond has become. They don't really know how magic works however, just that some people can command the wind, or light a candle with nothing, or condense the water in the air.

Every citizen actually has a good global knowledge of basic mathematics, writing, as well as basics of biology and medicine. They know about infections and diseases and sanitary precautions thanks to old documents from before the First War and they have superb surgeons, a consequence of being constantly at war against the morlocks. They also receive a good general education because the life in small besieged cities need very strict rules.

The origins of the morlocks, the humanoid monsters that roam the land and make it impossible to leave the protection of a city is not known. Most people have a hard time believing they were not always there, even after seeing the evidence. Everybody knows that morlocks were once humans because a human killed by a morlock turns into one and raises from the dead as a brainless killing machine but they have no idea what happened, what or who created them in the first place. The most prominent legend is the legend of the First Child, the first morlock that was the herald of the First War, where humanity was almost destroyed. There is also a clear different between a morlock that rises from the dead and the wild morlocks that live and reproduce in the wild and that have mutated so much that they don't look human anymore.

The history after that first war is obscure at best, and most people in Petrel's Rock only know about the discovery of the valley of Gond four hundred years ago, and  then the discovery of the Rock two hundred after and its recent history.

There you go, I hope this provides a general picture of the planet that makes my novellas understandable.

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