Aligare weather and its lack of coldPosted: January 21, 2013
The Aligare land is one country-sized area protected by magic. It’s a self-contained biome, basically. The Great Gem in the sky provides heat and light like a localized sun. That heat and light is distributed evenly with the help of the Great Barrier, a field of casting energy that reflects most light and heat inward.
Inside the Barrier, weather behaves pretty much as we humans would expect it to. Rain comes and goes. There are occasional severe storms. Wind currents can pass through the Barrier, so they move clouds around, sometimes exchanging moisture between the outside wastelands and the habitable land. Okeos the water god might move rainclouds around if he doesn’t like the way they’ve distributed. Similarly, the high gods Bright and Dark might alter temperatures to keep the land running smoothly.
Other than the occasional thunderstorm or dry spell, weather in Aligare is fairly stable. It’s temperate all year round, averaging about 18 degrees Celcius (64 degrees Fahrenheit), and never coming anywhere near the freezing point. There are three seasons: budding, reaping and waiting season. Budding season is prime growing season, warm and rainy. Reaping season is when harvests are gathered, as the weather becomes less favourable. Waiting season is cooler and dryer than the others. The seasons are subtle and they’re not a life-changing event to anyone other than farmers and foragers. Plants can still grow in waiting season: they’re just not as productive.
Because Aligare weather don’t have dramatic changes in temperature, a warm season or a cool wind are relative. The difference between warm weather and cool weather is just a few of our degrees. So korvi often dislike the cool of shady forests, and aemets might put on more clothing for warmth — but a human would find their world pretty comfortable. Ferrin have fur to help conserve body heat — but it’s not the dense, layered fur of a creature that needs to survive cold climes.
And because the inclement weather never produces snow or ice, Aligare characters have a poor grasp of the idea that water freezes at a specific temperature. They don’t even use the word “cold” except in reference to the fabled Cold apocalypse where plants die and water turns to stone. Frozen water is perceived as very, very scary.
But despite thinking of frozen water as some kind of terrifying supernatural rock, Aligare folk do know more or less how it behaves. They describe it as either crystal that burns when you touch it, or rounded piles of nothingness. How did they get this information? Maybe a watercaster once honed their technique enough to discover ice. Maybe someone worked up the nerve to step through the Great Barrier and peek at the snowy wasteland outside. Whoever saw the phenomenon of snow/ice would surely tell everyone they knew — and the urban legend would spread.
The author who developed this world? I’m Canadian. My surroundings go from 30 degrees C in the summer to -40 degrees C in the winter. I’m used to extremes of temperature, so I guess my idea of an exotic fantasy climate is unchanging mildness. And I hate being cold, so there’s wish fulfillment mixed in there, too.
- The Middling circle, an aemet tradition (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
- Aligare’s Barghest, the Legend Creature of judgement (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
- Aemets’ airsense (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)