CRIDH ("Heart/Courage"), SACRIFICIUM (”Sacrifice”) & OBOEDIENTIA ("Obedience [to The One]")

The tri-lunar system of Anomaly is intriguing from a scientific perspective (for us), and a more superstitious one (among The People). The three moons are named Cridh, Sacrificium and Obodoentia-- named from closest observable moon to the farthest. They are so appointed for three key devotions of The People and coincide with the seeking of The One. Cridh and Sacrificium appear in the west sky and finish the night over the eastern horizon. Oboedientia arcs from east to west. The names mean: Courage, Sacrifice and Obedience (to The One), respectively, and represent the three steps of the “ideal” life path.

Courage allows the individual to become greater than they were even a moment ago. It comes from within…consumes their rivals like fire…and is the most decisive trait of the man or woman in battle. Sacrifice by all for the good of the Clans is important to The People’s ability to thrive…not merely survive.

It is not enough to be courageous and make sacrifices in order to be among the best warriors of the Clans. Only those who have tempered these endeavors with humility and virtue by following the laws of The One will ever be celebrated as a hero. Every Battle Lord must meet this criterion in its purest form, lest the Clans lose their unity. Such an event would spell certain doom for all.

The three moons only align once a month, signaling the time for the Oath of Fealty. The Oath allows all defeated or captured rivals to swear loyalty to The People. Their lives are spared in exchange for adherence to The Law and dutiful labor (we call it slavery—albeit a very even-handed flavor of slavery). Those who take the Oath become subjects of The People, but are also placed under their protection. Muties and Moncs are not given this opportunity. Muties are killed on the spot with whatever tools are at hand because they can never be trusted. Moncs are granted a measure of dignity with a proper execution after refusing to take the Oath of Fealty. The People hate the Moncs, but cannot deny their worthiness as adversaries, and thus deserving a warrior’s death. Every captured Monc has chosen death over swearing allegiance to The People.

The three moons no doubt exercise profound forces on Anomaly’s many oceans. We know these oceans exist, but have not had the opportunity to study them while trapped in the interior desert as we are. The People do not understand gravity dynamics, but the relationship between moon positions and water/soil quality is not lost to them. When the moons pass over the mountains surrounding the desert, their proximity to the oceans/large lakes whips up strong winds. Sandstorms are thus likely. Cartographers (Greys) have described this phenomenon, which makes passage through the mountains even more treacherous. The turbulent airstreams kick nutrient-rich topsoil into the source rivers of the Dragon Spine (to the north), and the Salt Range (to the southwest). The sediment renders the rivers hazardous to aquatic life, but eventually settles and finds its way through the tributaries into the desert. The moons are present every night, but their illumination varies depending on Anomaly’s position in respect to its primary star.

Anomaly’s seasons are based on its orbit around the system sun, but certain environmental changes are noticeable and affected by the length of time the moons are in the sky. The Season of Nights (we’d call it “winter”) brings shortened days and unusually crisp nights. Despite the vastness of the desert, icy rain may fall, but we’ve yet to observe snow. There may be an upper atmospheric phenomenon that is preventing water solidification…or maybe we’re closer to a major mass of water than anyone suspects. Whatever the reason, the pervasive chill puts many Muties into a bit of a stupor, playing to the reptilian side of their genetics.

The Season of Growth (“spring”) is accompanied by increased silt and water from the riverways. During this time, the moons are uniformly bright throughout the night. This period of extra bounty (and the promise of future harvests) is riddled with numerous celebrations. Among these, the most illuminating is the Festival of Vitas (“life”). The People dance with death on a daily basis, so seeing them gather for renewal is…well… A bit surprising. Their joy is obvious, and after a brief few days, their usual battle mindset relaxes. A bit.

The Season of Light (“summer”) brings the most scathing temperatures we’ve ever encountered on anything short of a sun, but is also the most active period for mass warfare. This time is marked by Sacrificium and Oboedientia blazing considerably brighter than Cridh. As The People see it, it is the meeting of Sacrifice (Sacrificium) and Obedience to The One (Oboedientia), and thus the season of tales of bravery yet to be written. My guess is it has more to do with the warmer weather allowing the more reptilian types of Muties to maintain their temperature for battle, but I’m not about to mess with tradition around here. There is also the simplistic logic that longer days mean more light to fight and kill by.

The Season of Fall (ironic, we know) signals a relative calm as the races return to lick their wounds and rebuild their stores for the coming year.