THE STAR CONSTELLATIONS

The night sky of Caelereth is bright with an abnormally large number of stars. Approximately 3000 stars are visible at one time. Most of them are clustered in constellations, which were named primarily by elves, humans, and dwarves. However, you have to discern between fixed star constellations and those which are being carried in clusters by the Darkwinds in various directions and various speeds. The latter are said to have been torn away from the brightest gem in the universe, the Injr, the sun, which was created by the Burning God, Foiros.

Star Constellations

According to elven myth the darkwinds once upon a time were Winds like the other Gods but the High Goddess Av the Beautiful didn't assign a task for them at the Beginning of Time. They hid far off and became minions of the Shadow Himself, Cor. When returning to destroy the work of the other winds the power of the Gods within Ar'a'chn resisted their ambitions and the darkwinds started moving chaotically around the world. The other winds, which were not selected to become Gods, the auras, entered the heart of the things in order to shape them from within, and their cause is goodness and beauty. The Auratic Winds were given the names of virtues while the Darkwinds were named by the elves according to the malices they represent.

Santharian astronomers observe and take it for more or less granted that the main Darkwinds continually circle around the world of Ar'a'chn from all possible directions. They mainly flow from each of the 16 main directions, making the night sky drastically different from day to day, or from month to month. It is also an important topic of discussion among Santharian astronomers of how exactly the paradoxically intertwining of Darkwinds can be described scientifically and if an explanation of this theory indeed can be only found in myth only (e.g. the movement of two Darkwinds from N to S and from S to N at the very same time without resulting in cosmological havoc). A few of the movements and purposes of the Darkwinds are also roughly sketched in the books of the Axhi, the elder elves, in the famous Crpa'dosa. It is also written there that the seemingly chaotic turns of the Darkwinds are part of a greater order and constitute cosmological harmony. They flow above and below Ar'a'chn, along the edge of the encircling Etherial Void, in the area in between what is real and what is unreal, thus accounting for the great beauty and luminescence of the stars which they chase.

The constellations themselves do not follow a set rotational time or path, as the Darkwinds that carry them are uncertain in their very nature. It can never be predicted where a constellation will move next. There is a range of sky in which the constellation can be found, a broad strip of sky stretching from one compass point to the opposite compass point, but there is no certain path that it takes through that range. Constellations are constantly changing direction, speed, and course for no apparent reason, without warning. The moving stars of Ar'a'chn are therefore useless as navigational aids. Only the fixed stars, of which there are only a few (including the brightest of all fixed stars, Av's Tear, always due South), help travellers and ship captains in this regard.

As suggested by Crpa'dosan myth the moving constellations are considered to be attached to the elements, to the malices, and to the Gods. Chaotic by nature (also from the elven ethical and aesthetical point of view) these constellations are moving in an unpredictable manner and spotting them is quite a challenge even for the most famous Santharian astronomers - the constellations also change their shape constantly as they are chased by their Darkwinds. The stars of the ten-odd constellations of the Gods more or less rotate around a Guiding Star, a star which determines when the constellation's final form will take shape. Once in a year the true shape of the constellation can be seen. This occurs whenever a Guiding Star snaps into place and thus initiates the forming of the true shape of the constellation. For one night only the complete constellation is visible, marking the beginning of a certain month, before the Darkwinds tear the guiding star away from its precariously stable location.

See also: The Wind Constellations, the Earth Constellations, the Water Constellations, the Fire Constellations.

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