The scientific method is well known on Arnâron and has been applied by its learned men for thousands of years. While gods and religion play an important role in the lives of the people of Arnâron, a true scientist would never accept the existence of gods as a fact without good proof.
When you talk to a historian in the civilized parts of Arnâron, he will tell you that he does not know the exact causes of the great cataclysm that destroyed his world. He’ll scoff at the idea that the gods turned on the people as “pretentious and preposterous”.
While few written records have survived the cataclysm, it seems to be clear that Arnâron – Dukaydor as it was known in those times – was a world covered in vast, shallow, pleasant oceans, and that it was a world without moons. The arrival of the two moons is what seems to have caused the cataclysm; the scholar understands the basic theory of gravity and he will point out tidal effects and so on. If he’s an optimist he’ll conclude by pointing out how lucky Arnâron was that the moons didn’t crash into the planet.
After the cataclysm, civilization did in fact survive. It was not the terrible, all-consuming event that the priests scare their flock with. There is a lot of evidence of perfectly intact cities in the highlands that seem to have been unaffected by the cataclysm itself, and were probably abandoned because the oceans receded. The people of Arnâron are tough and inventive, and there is a great monument to their will to survive: They built a global network of canals to channel water to their settlements and farms. The scale of the project should not be underestimated; no kingdom today, even those who maintain the existing canals, is able to build anything on this scale.
As resources continued to dwindle, and the population shrank as a result, the people also lost more and more of their knowledge and of their technological capabilities. And even though the drying up seems to have slowed down in the past centuries, the people of Arnâron saw themselves forced to go to war over resources, over water, over arable land, and of course also over more petty issues.
For the past century, a relative balance of power has set in. There are four major kingdoms, roughly centered around the four main remaining bodies of water, as well as numerous smaller city states. The four kingdoms have always been at war with each other, allying when it seemed like a good tactic, and breaking any treaty as soon as it seems to be more advantageous to do so than to honor it. The smaller city states were usually loyal to whatever kingdom they were connected to by a canal.