Underwater colonies tend to be built into sturdy cliff sides, with massive trade districts behind huge thirty meter tall triple-paned walls of glass which give a view of the exterior seas and their submarine docking facilities, showing the bounty of the ocean as well as the beauty of the undersea forests in the sub glacial Sea of Asgard.
Aquilon was born alongside the first generation of humanity to never see earth. It began life as a research station situated on the Perpetua Glacier. At that time it was simply known as Glacier Run. The facility dug into the ice below for storage space, and eventually was forced to use that same space for living quarters as colonists moved north.
Aquilon's defining moment came when an outbreak of animus caused the residents of Glacier Run to seek shelter in their buried storage facilities. Trapped beneath the ice for more than a year, the colonists were forced to make due with whatever they had available. Necessity saw the invention of space and resource rationing techniques that would turn a casual scientific outpost into a culture of extreme efficiency. When the animus threat was cleared from the surface, many of those underneath the ice decided not to return. These one time storage facilities were expanded into the city of Deep Aquilon. Those who chose to return to the surface began to explore the furthest reaches of their frozen homeland while the inhabitants of Deep Aquilon set their sights on the bottom of the ocean.
The Aquilonians were earning a reputation as explorers and visionaries, with many other colonists admiring them. They lost much of their appeal when they drafted a national military spearheaded by their recently formed knightly order, the Templar Aquilonia. Turning their scientific might to the development of high energy weapons, the Aquilonians earned a reputation as warmongers among some factions as these developments were widely unpopular outside of the Kingdom of Ice. These fears proved mostly unfounded, as Aquilon focused more on internal protection than external violence.
In more recent times, Aquilon has worried the global community with its ever increasing rivalry with Xanadu. As two of the most powerful factions on the moon, an impending war between the two could be disastrous for more than simply the factions involved. The Nations of Aquilon and Xanadu have an uneasy relationship. Both are members of the Avalon Council, but they are often at opposite ends of discussion. Making things worse is the fact that both factions compete in the production of state of the art technology, and each has some of the best academic institutions in the world. The factions see each other as rivals both economically and culturally.
For now, Aquilon seems content to be seen as the slightly eccentric visionary of the world. They still push the bounds of science. Though they do not always go as far as the Quisivati, their wares are often much more useful in daily life.
What few outside of the frozen north are aware of is that Aquilon cannot claim credit for all of their advancements. As the Deep Aquilonians dug ever more into the glacier beneath them, they began to discover a network of tunnels already present. These tunnels appeared to be crafted as living arrangements for some civilization of the past, one that has left behind many artifacts buried in the ice. Some of Aquilon's biggest scientific advancements were simply the result of researching the many strange finds that they dig up in their ever expanding empire.
The rarest of jewels in the known galaxy
The Star System and Planets
Epsilon Eridani is a star that is less than a billion years old. It is a main-sequence star of the spectral class K2. It’s only 10.5 light years away from Earth’s solar system, and it’s the closest star in the constellation Eridanus. Epsilon Eridani is both smaller and less massive than the Sun. Epsilon Eridani weighs an estimated 82% of the Sun’s mass and 74% of the Sun’s radius, but possesses only 34% of its luminosity.
• System: Epsilon Eridani
• Mass: 1.658 x 1030 kg
Epsilon Eridani IV (Nastrond)
• Planet: Epsilon Eridani IV
• Semi-Major Axis: 0.9475 AU (141,750,195 km) from star (sun)
• Mean Radius: 41,947 km
• Mass: 1.899 x 1027 kg
• Surface Area: 2.211 x 1010 km2
• Volume: 3.092 x 1014 km3 (approximately 380 times larger than New Horizon)
• Orbital Period (around star): 372 days
Epsilon Eridani IVb (New Horizon)
• Moon: Epsilon Eridani IVb
• Type: Terrestrial
• Semi-Major Axis: 0.009 AU (1,346,382 km) from Epsilon Eridani IV
• Mean Radius: 5,786.3 km
• Circumference: 36,356.4 km
• Mass: 4.985 x 1024 kg
• Surface Area: 420,738,018 km2
• Surface Land Area (45%): 189,116,497 km2
• Surface Water Area (55%): 231,621,521 km2
• Volume: 8.115 x 1011 km3
• Surface Gravity: 9.936 m/s2 (approximately 1-2% more than Earth)
• Length of Day: 28 hours
• Length of Year: 372 days, 12 months / 31 days
• Orbital Period around Epsilon Eridani IV: 10.09 days
Epsilon Eridani IVb (New Horizon) is the second moon of the fourth planet in its star system and the only planetoid in the system to sustain life. Epsilon Eridani IVb orbits a very large, reddish terrestrial desert world (a non-habitable planet with a rust desert which is very rich in ore) named Epsilon Eridani IV (Nastrond). Epsilon Eridani IVb has a barren sister moon devoid of atmosphere, named Epsilon Eridani IVa (Nifelheim). The Epsilon Eridani star system has a yellow orange dwarf star and it is orbited by several planets although only the first five planets have been found of interest. A couple of asteroid belts also orbit the star.
Epsilon Eridani IVb, known to the settlers from Earth as ‘New Horizon’, is about 75% the volume of Earth. The moon has a breathable atmosphere, a hydrosphere, a crust, a mantle and an outer and inner core, much like Earth. Its biosphere is generally believed to have begun evolving roughly 0.7 billion years ago.
One year on New Horizon lasts for 372 days. The year is divided into 12 months. Each month has exactly 31 days. New Horizon requires approximately 28 hours to rotate along its own axis. New Horizon’s axis of rotation is tilting away from the perpendicular of its orbital plane, which similarly to Earth causes New Horizon produce seasonal variations on its surface.
New Horizon is occasionally hidden from its sun (the yellow orange star) by its mother planet (Epsilon Eridani IV). This causes Epsilon Eridani IVb to experience a solar eclipse that occurs approximately three times per month and lasts for approximately two hours.
New Horizon is occasionally also hidden from its sun by Epsilon Eridani III, the dual planet to its mother planet Epsilon Eridani IV (Nastrond). It causes New Horizon to go into a short period of deep winter which occurs approximately every five years and lasts for approximately five days. A short period of twilight will also occur just before and just after the five day period of total darkness. This of course considerably favors nocturnal creatures. Some scientists believe that it is the most likely reason to why vegetal life on New Horizon is extensively composed of fungi and often luminescent, but others scientists argue that the period of darkness is too short to make this the only reason. Nevertheless, during the period of darkness the only sources of light are the luminescent growths, the stars of the night sky and the light reflected from the grayish countenance of New Horizon’s sister moon Nifelheim.
New Horizon’s largest landmass is called Youzem, followed by Neo Titania and Verdura. Youzem has several large settlements; among which is the fortified Warhead Keep, the law-enforcing Avalon, the dry-around-the-edges Trapper Town and the tropical tourist resort The Port of Narehl. Neo Titania currently houses only a small number of settlements due to its less hospitable environment. The main settlement is called Xanadu.
The northern polar icecap, Perpetua Glacier, is quite developed and sustains several settlements that make up Aquilon’s Reach. One large island can be found south of Aquilon’s Reach, housing a settlement by the name New Chania. The southern pole’s icecap is much smaller due to undersea volcano activity and the presence of the connecting landmass, the vegetation-rich Verdura. Crossing from an extremity of the Azuremar Plains in Youzem to The Forsaken Land in Neo Titania is a large network of islands - really just a network of tall mountain peaks not swallowed by the ocean - dubbed ‘The Chain of Tears’ after the jagged teardrop shape many of them have when viewed from orbit. The only settlement of significance there is the Union Hold and its industrial complex, though this mostly serves as a quiet retreat or a major port between the four city states (The Port of Narehl, Xanadu, The Council of Avalon and Aquilon’s Reach) with naval concerns. The moon has two great water masses, one in the north and one in the south. The northern, dubbed Lansdale Ocean, feels the icy bite of the looming Perpetua Glacier. Because of this it is not well suited for swimming, unless done by specially outfitted divers. The southern ocean has been dubbed Cain Ocean. While the ratio of land to water on the surface of New Horizon is roughly equal, there are very few large bodies of water on the landmasses. The most notable of these, however, are the frigid, fog-shrouded Moon Lake or the irradiated Caledonia Sea.