Part 60: Regarding the Worlds and Their DifferencesRegarding the Worlds and Their Differences
The two worlds of Arcanus and Myrror encompass the limits of mortal knowledge, for those who have perished and returned by the power of the gods are permitted to tell little of the worlds of the gods. In many regards, Arcanus and Myrror are similar, being shaped by the same forces, built of the same substances, and sharing many of the same creatures and plants, but nonetheless they are marked by several sharp differences.
The first difference that may be noted between Arcanus and Myrror is the differences of the heavens. The suns, moons, and stars of the two worlds all differ in aspect, and the differences in the heavens render Arcanus a brighter world whose outdoors are lit by brilliant days. Where the sun of Myrror is a cool white, gleaming like a bright lamp of silver, the sun of Arcanus is a blinding golden-white, warm and bright beyond all comprehension. To gaze directly upon the sun of Arcanus will sear the eyes, and should not be done. The daytime sky of Myrror, of course, is a deep, dark blue, like velvet, lit with purples along the horizons at dawn and dusk. In contrast, the entire daytime sky of Arcanus glows blue like a sapphire in the light, shot with golds and reds at dawn and dusk, with dawn and dusk being as bright on Arcanus as the daytime itself on Myrror. The nighttime skies are more superficially similar, with stars in their brilliancy like gems across the heavens, although the patterns of the stars differ between the worlds. Although both worlds have two moons, which are each touched by the power of gods Bright or Dark respectively, the moons themselves differ in aspect. The largest of the four moons is the Bright Moon of Myrror, which in appearance is a gleaming blueish-white, not unlike the sheen of ice. Nearly the size of the Bright Moon of Myrror are the Bright Moon of Arcanus and the Dark Moon of Myrror, both of a size near enough to the same to defy distinction. The Bright Moon of Arcanus is a bright silver-white, while the Dark Moon of Myrror is an ashen gray only scarcely brighter than the black of the sky about it. Finally, the smallest moon, the Dark Moon of Arcanus, which is visibly smaller than the Bright Moon of Arcanus, is a deep red with brighter streaks, like brick and fresh blood.
Most of the living beings of both worlds are the same, although in the beginning neither shared any kind of thinking being, and savants of nature point out that in far places there are certain plants or beasts unique to that portion of a single world. Still, many trees, food crops, domestic beasts, and so forth are familiar on both sides. Of the thinking beings, elves, men, halflings, and klackons assuredly originated on Arcanus, while dwarves, beastkin, dragonkin, and trolls originated on Myrror. Dark elves, though by now natives to Myrror, were themselves migrants to Arcanus in the past, who grew ever stronger in magic and diverged in aspect from the high elves of Arcanus through the power of their magic. Orcs, although native to Arcanus, have existed for only slightly more than two thousand years, when they were created by Rjak the Defiler. From what records I have recovered, I now believe that the ancestors of the orcs were men tormented by Rjak the Defiler that he might create a race better-suited to the yoke of slavery, stifling the natural inclinations of men so that they would endure misery and ill-use. Gnolls presumably also originated on Arcanus, although my knowledge of their early history is limited at best.
Beyond either the heavens or the thinking peoples, a significant and profound difference between Arcanus and Myrror is that Myrror is richer both in magic and in mineral wealth. The nodes of magic spread over both worlds send magic into the world, but in Myrror these nodes are stronger, and the currents of magic that flow over the world even beyond the nodes are richer. With the power more easily harnessed on Myrror, many of its thinking races have developed widespread use of magic at levels beyond the peoples of Arcanus, although even on Arcanus skilled magicians provide many services to their peoples. The dwarves are unique amongst the modern thinking races of Arcanus in that they have little inclination for any of the magics of Nature, Sorcery, or Chaos, thus making relatively little use of the magical abundance of Myrror. Only in Bright magic do dwarves show any great inclination. Beneath the earth, Myrror is richer in gold, in mithril, and in quork crystals than Arcanus, although Arcanus may match Myrror in abundance of coal. Whether Myrror or Arcanus is richer in silver and iron is less clear to me, although in copper, tin, and lead they are similarly abundant. Beyond even this, however, adamantium is entirely unknown on Arcanus, being found solely on Myrror.
The greater strength of magic on Myrror has led the magical creatures brought forth by the nodes in the troubled centuries after the fall of the Confederation are stronger and more numerous. Although the perils of Myrror were greater, nonetheless it seems that the populations that survived on either world are similar- in large part, I believe, due to the fact that of all thinking races of the worlds, dwarves and dark elves had the greatest natural advantages, dwarves being sturdy, enduring, and ingenious in every mundane field, while dark elves continued to command widespread magical powers beyond those of any other race. These helped preserve these peoples even in the face of greater perils.