Back when I first designed Enderra, I decided that it had three moons and a (thin) ring system. I did this mostly for the imagery, not really thinking about the consequences much. Multiple large moons can have severe effects on the planetary environment. Universe Today has a summary of some of the effects of adding a second, Moon-sized, moon to Earth.
The scenario they describe is extreme, and I am not quite sure where they get some of their numbers (tides “thousands of feet” in height seem off) but I am sure they know more about this stuff than I do. Anyway, even with lessened effects, I have come to think of three moons as excessive.
At the same time, I do like the “exotic” visuals. Let’s ditch one moon and the ring system.
I’ve done some math to make sure the moons don’t cause huge problems. I mostly used GURPS Space for this, since I couldn’t find formulas easily, and ran the numbers for the Moon (of Earth) through the same process – for verification. Even when the two moons align, their effect on tides should be at most twice that of Earth’s Moon. The actual tidal levels, though, depend a lot on geography and local conditions. Yes, we will have some tides that are more extreme than on Earth, but it won’t mess with the fundamental state of affairs. Nights will be a bit brighter, and there will be a little bit more volcanism on Enderra than on Earth.
Both moons are tidally locked to Enderra – that is, they always show the same face to Enderra. The White Moon’s synodic month is 30.33 days, the Red Moon’s is 43.22.
What’s in a Name?
The two moons are simply named “the Red Moon” and “the White Moon”, similar to how Earth’s moon is just called “the Moon”. I might give them name later (the three original moons had names) but I think I like the simplicity of “Red Moon” and “White Moon”.
Stone Lake – so called because it petrifies (literally) animals.Awesome, awesome, awesome setting, as Realmwright points out. I do have some doubts about the validity of this, and even if it actually works about the details mentioned on Gizmodo, but for a fantasy / sci fi story, you can always bend reality enough to make use of it.
Enderra is also quite close to Andorra, though this also wasn’t my inspiration for picking the name.
None of which are related to how I actually came up with the name. I think I didn’t tell that anecdote to many yet: When I was building my world way back in ’92, I urgently needed a name for it and I just couldn’t think of anything. At the same time I was listening to the radio, tuned in to a station with the code/abbreviation NDR2. And when I rearranged and twisted it, NDR became En Der Rah. Enderra. I liked it, and it stuck.
I think the map of the collapsing world is now almost done. Of course it’s just a high scale world map, and only the surface world, but as such it’s now fairly complete. I probably need to add some detail here and there – a few more rivers, but not too many; a bunch of former islands, maybe some more cracks and canyons that cut through the surface. And finally I should place at least a handful of cities and assign different parts of the world to different races and cultures.
I am really happy how this map turned out and I can’t wait to do some regional maps. Paint.Net works quite well but it still lacks some features to make it a really “good” raster editor; still, it’s free and quite good already.
I took a short break from the Earth 2174 map because I just had to do something else… and because episode 10 of Game of Thrones gave me fantasy fever for a moment. I created a new version of the Collapsed World map, (More about the concept in that posting.)
I created the template myself, but the method I got from The Piazza’s The Edge project.
It’s clearly not done yet, and it is only the surface world (plus exposed part of the “underworld”), but I am quite happy with the map so far, I think it is definitely superior to the old one because it has more variety of terrain planned in.
The first step of the Sandbox experiment turned into a much longer post than I had anticipated, and when I was done it was very late. I simply did not have time to do the last part of the first step, namely placing rivers and forests.
I did well by that decision; it took me two evenings to get it done. Now the world looks much less barren:
It probably still needs some additional rivers but this will do for a start. Some details for illustration purposes:
In the next step, I will finally get around to actually writing some background about this world. Stay tuned.
I added the last mountain layer, edited the coastline in many areas, and decided against depicting ocean depths. The map really benefits from the “cleaner” seas.
Looking at it, I think I do not like the way the mountains are placed. I’ll want to have a good variation of landscapes, including some deserts, and I think I shall have to move some of the mountain regions.