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Roger Dean Floating Islands

Floating Islands by Roger Dean

As they were on my Cool List, I claim the Wandering Lands as my first contribution to our nameless world.

The Wandering LandsEdit

Once, it is said, the Wandering Lands were many.  Now they are few.  Higher than the turbulent waters of the Endless Sea, yet lower than the Heavens they drift: the relics of the lost lands wrenched skyward and left to float, and wander...

GeographyEdit

There is little commonality between the dozens of Wandering Lands that dot the skies of our nameless world.  Some are vast, with upper surfaces of thousands of acres.  Others, tiny: large enough only for a single dwelling.  The vast majority are inhabited, although there are said to be a rare few awaiting discovery, their creators long gone.  A handful were once populated but disease, war or some other calamity befell them, leaving them little more than floating mausoleums for those that once lived there.  Such islands are considered cursed and avoided by the sane.

They are, for the most part, well-nourished by the world's atmosphere, supporting farming, providing fresh water and other essentials for building and civilization.  But their resources are insufficient to support the larger populations.  Some islands are riddled with tunnels and densely populated - quite incapable of supporting life independently, such places rely upon trade with other islands and with the wealthier mariner cities to survive.

The Science of the Wandering LandsEdit

At the heart of each of the Wandering Lands lies the source of their ability to float: the Countergravity Chamber.  It is said that, long before the apocalypse, these were like the forges of today's metalworkers: the birthplace of the impossible materials that made our ancestors able to perform miracles at will; to treat the impossible as commonplace.  Today, they hum.  Their contents - exotic matter that should not exist in our universe - is perpetually dropping in and out of existence in a process that causes a slight but significant variance in the way that the matter of the islands interacts with gravitons passing through it.  Barely anyone knows this, any more, and fewer still understand it.  Two things, however, are well-known to the denizens of the Wandering Lands:

First, power must be sustained to the Chamber at all costs.  Second, the Chamber should never, ever be breached.

EconomicsEdit

The people of the Wandering Lands are far less numerous than those who live beneath the waves in the mariner cities, and they have fewer resources to call upon.  But they can still trade with one another and with the mariners.  The Wanderers are, by necessity, great energists.  They have an instinct for the workings of the power grid networks that the ancestors created and which provide Wandering Lands and mariner cities alike with their very lives, but which require constant