Sunday, 28 December 2014

On Cain

On Cain, why did the dominant species, the Yildivans, suddenly attack van Rijn's traders, then back off?

Per's and Yuschenkoff's Theory
The Yildivans feared that the traders were the spearhead of an invasion. However, when the traders treated prisoners decently and used stunners instead of blasters, the Yildivians realized that they had been mistaken.

Manuel's Theory
Because the Yildivans must struggle to survive, they value courage and combat skills above anything else. Therefore, they despised human beings who used machines and weapons that killed at a distance. However, they changed their minds when they had experienced how terrible human beings are in warfare.

Van Rijn's Explanation
The Yildivans are intelligent wild animals with no idea of a tribe or an army, therefore no fear of invasion. They accepted human beings as their equals until they saw other traders taking orders from Per Stenvik, then concluded that all but Per were equivalents of their Lugals, intelligent domesticated animals. Then Per introduced the idea of God, a master above Per, making Per also a Lugal. Finally, he denied that he took orders from God or from anyone else, making him a wild Lugal, the equivalent of a wild dog.

They changed their minds because they saw Per's men disobey an order, which no Lugal would have been able to do, and also act with restraint, which no wild Lugal would be able to do.

Corollary About Religion
Yildivans have no gods because, as wild animals, they acknowledge no masters.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Pharaoh

Benoni Strang's workers on Babur have a secret base on a Baburite moon. The Baburites' oxygen-breathing mercenary army get a whole planet which they know as Pharaoh.

About a million human, Gorzuni, Merseian and Donarrian mercenaries occupy Hermes with a comparable number held in reserve. Recruited in many places on dozens of planets, either they did not register on anyone's statistics or, if some League company did notice, it did not inform anyone else.

"Space is too big, and we too divided."
-Poul Anderson, Rise Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2011), p. 220.

Isolated for years of training and preparation on Pharaoh, the soldiers have accumulating pay, beer halls, brothels, a multi-sensory library and a hot, wet, barely terrestroid, permanently clouded, planetary environment to explore. The clouds prevent them from learning where Pharaoh is. Falkayn thinks that it is more likely to be inside known space. Outside, it could be discovered by explorers, who continually expand known space. Inside, it might already have been explored once but dismissed as of no interest.

Learning that they are working for Babur against the Solar Commonwealth does not demoralize highly disciplined mercs who were recruited precisely because they were already alienated from Technic civilization.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Ayisha

Ayisha, a Luna-sized Baburite moon, has a dimly lit, airless, cratered, stone surface and a black sky showing unwinking stars and the amber planet with its bands of white, ocher and cinnabar clouds.

On Ayisha's surface, the domes of a secret project hold:

heat;
Terrestrial gravity;
breathable air;
grass;
bushes;
flowers;
a ball court;
fountains;
a swimming pool;
good food and wine;
a handicraft shop;
an amateur theater;
a vice section.

Staff spend a significant part of their lives in the system, have no leaves and receive no visitors and their mail is censored although good pay accumulates at home. Anyone who resigns has their memory wiped. What this shows is that people with technology can master hostile environments while retaining discreditable motives. The motto of Lancaster University is patet veritas omnibus, "truth lies open to all." However, in the future of the Technic History, scientific accomplishment is still accompanied by commercial and political secrecy.

The Mystery Of Mirkheim

The following propositions are facts within Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization:

planetary systems do not condense around giant stars;

Beta Centauri is a giant star with planets because, while it was condensing, its nebula retarded, then captured, a group of rogue planets;

van Rijn says somewhere that scientists are still trying to figure out how the red giant Betelgeuse has planets;

Mirkheim was a planet of fifteen hundred Terrestrial masses orbiting a star as bright as a hundred Sols.

So how did Mirkheim exist? We are told how it was found:

"From the known distribution of former supernovae, together with data on other star types, dust, gas, radiation, magnetism, present location and concentrations, the time derivatives of these quantities: using well-established theories of galactic development, it is possible to compute with reasonable probability the distribution of undiscovered dark giants within a radius of a few hundred parsecs....The most you can learn is the likelihood (not the certainty) of a given type of object existing within such-and-such a distance of yourself, and the likeliest (not the indubitable) direction."
-Poul Anderson, David Falkayn: Star Trader (New York, 2010), p. 653.

But the "...given type of object..." has to be possible, however improbable, in the first place. Surely Astrocenter would not have been able to compute the probability of a condensing giant star capturing several rogue planets? So how was Mirkheim's probability computed?

Monday, 22 December 2014

A Few More Details About Hermes

(This may be the last post for December although I am not sure yet. We have just returned from a solstice ritual.)

Hermetian trees include stonebark and rainroof.
Ornithoids and buzzbugs fly between them.
One flying predator is called a steelwing.
Athena Falkayn wears "...a necklace of fallaron amber." (Rise Of The Terran Empire, p. 216)
The Falkayn manor house derives its name from the nearby Hornbeck brook.
Wyvernflies fly above the brook.
Terrestrial food and drink taste odd to Hermetians so no doubt the reverse would be true.

Sandra Tamarin flies near the Palomino River as it crosses an agrarian property of the Runeberg domain. She sees red-tiled houses of Follower families and the Runeberg mansion which, she knows, contains ancestral portraits and long tradition.

The Insignia Room, its walls decorated only by the colorful devices of the thousand Kindred, is on a high floor with  a view of sky and distant ocean. Grand Duchess Sandra sits at her desk before a three dimensional communication screen occupying half a wall and displaying the image of a hydrogen-breathing Baburite conqueror in his ship in synchronous orbit above Starfall.

The theme of Mirkheim is that times change. They can hardly change more than this.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Valya

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 19 Dec 2014:

The terrestroid planet Valya, close to its dwarf sun, Elena, has:

a forty plus hour day;
a calm ocean;
land covered by russet shrubs and turf;
tiny flyers, not insects;
long-limbed, spindly, blue-furred, mountain-dwelling, dancing, bronze-age natives with antennae on pointed heads and a strange grammar of personal pronouns;
a rich deposit of gold.

Gold attracts Stellar Metals. Bronze age natives are unable to resist extra-planetary invasion. Like Tametha, another atrocity committed by a League company.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Sky Cave As Seen From Within

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, Fri 12 Dec 2014.

I wrote in the previous post that there is not much more to be said but, of course, I cannot do better than to quote directly from Poul Anderson's own description of the nebula where a star and its planetary system are condensing:

"Flandry himself saw sinister grandeur: great blanks and clouds of blackness, looming in utter silence on every side of him, gulfs and canyons and steeps, picked out by the central red glow. He knew, objectively, that the nebula was near-vacuum even in its densest portions: only size and distance created that picture of caverns beyond caverns. But his eyes told him that he sailed into Shadow Land, under walls and roofs larger than planetary systems, and his own tininess shook him."
-Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (New York, 2012), p. 284.

- as when, millennia later, Daven Laure sails into the Cloud Universe nebula, except that that one is many times bigger, containing millions of stars, some condensing, some going nova, others at every intermediate stage.

It is the "...walls and roofs larger than planetary systems..." that are truly awesome, generating the impression that this is not interstellar space but a vast three-dimensional material structure, like a cathedral explored by a fly.

To its credit, the very first Star Trek feature film showed the Enterprise dwarfed by some sort of interstellar cloud that it had to pass through.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Seas

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 28 Nov 2014:

On Earth, the World Ocean covers two thirds of the planetary surface.

On Poul Anderson's fictitious planet, Nyanza, a single ocean covers everything except one island and some tidal reefs.

Anderson's fictitious planet, Kraken, is also described as oceanic so it is appropriate that, late in the Flandry period of the Technic History, a Krakener man is married to a Nyanzan woman.

By coincidence, I have interrupted rereading Anderson's "The Game of Glory," set on Nyanza, to start reading China Mieville's The Scar, only to discover that this fantasy novel begins with a four page section describing a sea, the life in the sea and an event affecting one specimen of that life. This section has no speech, just sights, sounds and sensations of the sea.

I am getting the message that the sea is important. One of Anderson's Time Patrol stories hauntingly links the deaths of seafarers, spacefarers, timefarers...

Exploring The Center Of The Cloud Universe

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 26 Nov 2014.

Jaccavrie identifies and approaches a star of a particular type;

Laure descends in his sled to the surface of an orbiting airless body while Jaccavrie hovers directly above;

Laure takes analytical readings and mineral samples and observes the larger bodies from a distance;

they repeat this procedure for different stellar types;

because of the radiation levels, he finds no life;

next, he plans to measure element distribution on the surface of a planet with an atmosphere even though the air will impede visual contact and the charged ionosphere will prevent radio contact;

spectra, spots, flares, prominences and coronas indicate surface turbulence on the stars in the Cloud Universe;

however, infalling matter continually changing their already unusual compositions makes their cores also violently variable;

a nova-like outburst from the sun "...might be akin to the Wolf-Rayet phenomenon..." (Flandry's Legacy, p. 781);

either the increased irradiation triggers a cyclone or the conductive dust transfers energy into a vortex or something else happens;

the sudden wind wrecks Laure's sled.

Flandry's Deductions About Nyanza

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 28 Nov 2014:

Dominic Flandry:

travels five parsecs from Brae to Nyanza in a high-speed flitter;

lands at a spaceport of grav-grid, field and buildings with forest to west and south, a small ancient city to the east and a cloudless sky above blue ocean to the north;

is flown to the resident's mansion in an aircar by the Portmaster;

from the air, sees steep narrow streets of native stone with many pedestrians but few vehicles and busy modern docks where -

- a majority of sailing ships implies a leisurely, aesthetic life-style;
but their hydrodynamic design implies appreciation of efficiency;
sea-water processors, factories and sea weed delivered to a plastics plant imply that most Nyanzans harvest the ocean and trade with this one island for industrial products and technology.

The widow of the murdered resident is an Ayres of Antarctica. Thus, that Terrestrial continent is occupied in the Imperial period. I seem to remember something about the urbanization of Antarctica in the Psychotechnic History? 

Details On Nyanza

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 29 July 2014:

(This is the 150th post this month so possibly the last until next month.)

I missed certain details on previous readings of "The Game of Glory" by Poul Anderson.

Marker lights were:

"...color-coded for depth so that all Jairnovaunt was one great jewelbox..."
-Poul Anderson, Captain Flandry: Defender Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2010), p. 326.

This is both neat and plausible: not only marker lights above tidally submerged buildings but also color-coding for depth and the visual impression that this would generate.

Air-locked buildings are alternately below or just above the ocean surface. At low tide, Nyanzans swim, guided by buoys, between buildings on rocks. At high tide, they swim down to, up from or between submerged buildings wearing aqualungs. Between cities and countries, they travel in sail boats and also have submarines. Thus, their entire lives are spent in, on, above or under water. We knew that but what does it imply about their deaths? When Dominic Flandry tells John Umbolu that his son, Tom, died in combat on another planet:

"'Drowning is the single decent death,' whispered the Nyanzan. 'My other children, all but Derek, had that much luck.'" (p. 325)

How many Nyanzans die by drowning? How many children has John Umbolu lost? A warrior culture would see death in combat as the best. Since drowning is the single greatest hazard to Nyanzans, they accept it and regard it as "...the single decent death..." We are not told whether they have their equivalent of Fiddler's Green or Aegir's Hall.

On Kirkasant

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 25 Nov 2014.

The Kirkasanter crew are of the Hoborkan clan and speak its tongue. Reyad is the need to search, to hunt, to find the new or to be alone in wild places. The crew are fifteen men and five women. Women are included because they are better at some jobs but every woman is accompanied by an older male relative!

Kirkasanters are instinctively, not culturally, motivated to have children and will not limit their population in any circumstances. With an initially small population in a hostile, radioactive environment, the race survived only by reproducing as much as possible, helped by mutations. The Hoborkans initially refuse to give cell samples for chromosome analysis because this would violate the body which is the citadel of the ego. This attitude hinders medicine but encourages dignity and self-reliance.

Graydal tells Laure that, on Kirkasant, they will:

watch the sunset in the Rainbow Desert, followed by the bright night with auroras;
see flying flocks rise from dawn mists over salt marshes;
stand on the battlements of Ey beneath the banners of knights who "'...rid the land of firearms...'" (Flandry's Legacy, p. 748);
watch dances welcoming the new year.

I am not sure what is meant by ridding the land of firearms - Graydal carries a gun - and, of course, I do not remember noticing this phrase before I started to summarize information about Kirkasant. Graydal also wears a uniform, a practice that has become obsolete in the Commonalty civilization.

Serieve II

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 25 Nov 2014:

In the region of space where the planet Serieve has been colonized, stars are an average of four parsecs apart whereas Sol and Proxima Centauri are about 4.24 light years apart. Since one parsec is about 3.26 light years, this is a big difference. In the Serievan region, stars are just over 13 light years apart.

The thin interstellar medium has not been greatly enriched by earlier stellar generations. Local systems, including that of Serieve's sun, are poor in heavy metals. Hence, the extraction of minerals from ocean currents in the arctic waters around Pelogard.

Laure, who feels young and awkward, just as Falkayn had been conscious of still being only a journeyman, is annoyed when Vandage patronizingly lectures him about:

"'The interstellar medium from which stars form...'" (Flandry's Legacy, p. 720) -

- but, of course, what is really happening here is that the author is ensuring that his readers understand the cosmological context. It is not possible to tell Laure that.

Imagine living not in the northern hemisphere of Earth but near the northern verge of another spiral arm with only the galactic halo beyond; also working in an office high in a tower of Pelogard with automated extractor plants visible down at the waterfront; and knowing that, beyond the nearby Dragon's Head Nebula where human beings are barely beginning to explore, lies the unknown.

Serieve

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 25 Nov 2014:

When human beings colonize a planet, they spread across its surface and therefore build low. When the planetary population has become considerably larger, then they:

build higher;
preserve wilderness areas;
discourage procreation;
encourage emigration.

At least, these generalizations apply to the civilization served by the Commonalty - although they seem to make sense for most interstellar colonists? (We were told earlier in Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization that the Gorzuni spread their dwellings underground, regarding the planet as a Mother.)

The narrator of Anderson's "Starfog" refers to "...our race..." and to "...our own culture..." and mentions something of what "We know..." about "...other branches of humanity..." (Flandry's Legacy, p. 718). Thus, this narrator is not able to give us an overview of the two or three spiral arms that have been humanly colonized. Maybe Donvar Ayeghen, President of the Galactic Archaeological Society, who commented on the much earlier Terran Empire, would have been able to do so.

Despite the usual practice of building low, the Serievan city, Pelograd, is on an island where minerals can be extracted from sea water and is therefore built high. From an office high in a tower, Laure looks down across metal, concrete, glass and plastic buildings linked by trafficways and freight cables to the automated extractor plants, warehouses, sky-docks and cargo craft at the waterfront.

Serieve is near the northern edge of the spiral arm and the galactic halo of thin dust and widely scattered ancient globular clusters. Do any explorers venture out into intergalactic space?

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Trillia

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 13 Nov 2014:

In Lenidel, the principal nation on the planet Trillia, most cities are spread through a large forest and park. The city of Annanna has two million busy inhabitants, with perhaps three aircraft visible at once. Pedestrians and cyclists proceed along The Pathway Of The Beautiful Blossoms And The Bridge That Arches Like A Note Of Music.

Number 1337 on The Pathway Of The Beautiful Blossoms And The Bridge That Arches Like A Note Of Music has, over an otherwise doorless entrance, spicy-smelling, sunlight-trapping flowering vines. The interior has a wooden floor, stools and an intricately faceted rock crystal. The occupant, Witweet, reads poetry and addresses a visitor with endearments, offering Lapsang Souchong and sweet cakes. There is occasional trade with the Polesotechnic League and the Trillians, like the Merseians, have bought tea. Trillians can sell arts and crafts but, lacking the means to buy modern technology, are developing it themselves. I do not think that Trillia will need to join the Supermetals Company.

Around number 1337 are colorful flowers, red tree trunks, bright fluttering wings and the distant sound of The Waterfall That Rings Like Glass Bells. An armed Terran whose vocalizer transforms his speech into song knows that to omit honorifics and circumlocutions without apology is to issue a deadly insult.

Avalon appears in three short stories and one novel whereas Trillia is mentioned and described in just this single short story, "A Little Knowledge." Nevertheless, it is yet another colorful alien environment imagined in detail by Poul Anderson.

Livewell And Tempests

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 12 Nov 2014:

A few posts ago, I highlighted a fictitious place, Livewell Street, in Poul Anderson's The People Of The Wind. Now, rereading "Rescue on Avalon," I am reminded of what "livewell" is:

"After the wind-howl, this stillness felt almost holy. The air was chill but carried odors of plant life, sharp trefoil, sweet livewell, and janie."
-Poul Anderson, Rise Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2011), p. 312.

Every detail of an Andersonian environment connects with some other detail, here the name of a street in a novel with the scent of a plant in a short story. "The wind-howl..." is another aspect of the Avalonian environment:

"...sudden tempests. The rapidly spinning globe was always breeding them." (p. 310)

The colonists have settled some of the Hesperian Islands and, from there, have moved to the Coronan continent and even begun to divide it between their two species. However, their ability to cope with or even to forecast the violent weather is as yet grossly inadequate. Thus, here is another story premise: how does a man who is allergic to Ythrians cope when he alone is close enough to rescue the Wyvan of Stormgate who has been injured in a storm?

Livewell Street

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 11 Nov 2014.

Any fictional series can make a fictitious place seem real by presenting it as a constant backdrop of the characters' activities:

Conan Doyle has 221b, Baker St, and Victorian/Edwardian London;

Poul and Karen Anderson have the city of Ys;

Poul Anderson has Manse Everard's New York apartment.

Although Livewell Street appears only twice in a single novel, Poul Anderson's The People Of The Wind, its fictitious ontological status is comparable to that of the other places listed. This street is in the city of Centauri on the Gulf of Centaurs on the planet Avalon in the Domain of Ythri. Christopher Holm and Tabitha Falkayn walk down Livewell Street. They see:

barges on an oily, littered canal;
dingy, ten- or twelve-storied buildings;
glaring signs for drink, food and fun;
ground vehicles and twelve kinds of pedestrians - one of Anderson's descriptive lists.

Sounds and smells are also listed. Chris calls the street a sty; Tabitha calls it fun. She insists that the Founder wanted nothing but freedom, not a purer way of life.

Later, an Ythrian flies above the Livewell Street canal. When the Terrans strike, she burns and falls into a burning house beside the boiling canal.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A Mixed Ecology

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 11 Nov 2014:

Ferune is an Ythrian:

his ancestor's shields hang in his house;
outside grow Ythrian trees - thick hammerbranch, high lightningrod and water-gathering sword-of-sorrow;
a trumpet calls his sons and chothmates to fly with his litter, led by his widow and torch-bearing daughters.

However, Ferune has lived on Avalon, where his choth is Mistwood:

cold, wet fog blows from the sea;
inland is Old Avalon;
the noise of a boomer tree frightening away animals rolls beneath the house and echoes from the shields;
flying as high as they can, the litter-bearers see on the horizon the sunlit snow peaks of the Weathermother;
at sunrise, the new Wyvan of Mistwood blows the horn, calls the dead and speaks the New Faith;
the litter is tilted above crags, boulders and streams;
Ferune's widow leads a sky dance by a hundred Ythrians watched by hovering human Avalonians.

Life On Avalon

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 9 Nov 2014.

So many extrasolar planets are being discovered, including I believe one thought to be similar to Earth, that I am hopeful that some of them might after all be colonizeable, as in Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization. In the early 1960's, reading comic strip sf and starting to read sf novels, I took extrasolar planets for granted but was then surprised and disappointed to read in a book by British astronomer, Patrick Moore, that no such planets could be detected. If they were there, then they were too small and far away and not luminous so how could they have been detected? How are they detected now? Gravitational perturbation is one answer. One theory of planetary origin, cited by EE Smith, implied that planets were rare, not the norm.

Poul Anderson knew that, even if some planets were terrestroid, it would not be a simple matter to go and live there as if they were previously undiscovered continents on Earth. Space travelers learn to change their circadian rhythms. Human colonists on Avalon adjust their fluid balance and kinesthesia to 80% G. Ythrian colonists shift their breeding cycle to a different day, year, weight, climate and diet and have low fertility in their first generations but survive and then flourish.

When Rochefort and Helu crash land on an Avalonian island, Helu, grateful to be alive, asks how such a planet has a standard Terran atmospheric pressure. Rochefort explains but, for once, I find it difficult to summarize the technical explanation, on p. 540 of Rise Of The Terran Empire. Ironically, Helu's gratitude is premature. He is soon killed by an Ythrian.

Anderson's vocabulary again: on p. 541, the sea is "...syenite..." This is a kind of igneous rock so Anderson's omniscient narrator or his viewpoint character, Rochefort, must be comparing the colors.

Diomedean Evolution II

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 2 Nov 2014.

Intelligence requires a long childhood during which behavior is learned. Therefore, both parents must protect helpless infants and ignorant children. Diomedean adults are kept together not by permanent sexuality but by the need to cooperate to survive migration. The prolonged effort of migration concentrates sex hormones so that arrival in the tropics triggers indiscriminate mating. Children must all be born at about the same time if they and the mothers are to survive the long migration. The family is not a couple and their children but a matrilineal clan. However, Diomedeans living at sea near the equator have continual labor and sexuality and therefore also patriarchal monogamy. Migrators and sea-dwellers see each other as perverse.

A long childhood is our glory and our tragedy. Helpless, ignorant children can be:

educated or indoctrinated;
encouraged or intimidated;
taught how to think or told what to think.

The conflict between these two kinds of upbringing will decide the future of humanity. My upbringing: I was given good advice, which I ignored, and taught nonsense, which I took on board. No good, either way. I should have started zazen twenty years earlier. However, my daughter, now grown up, was not indoctrinated.

A human organism, as soon as it has been activated by social/linguistic interaction, has a unique and distinctive personality from an early age but I think that this comes from genes and environment, not from rebirth as many of my fellow meditators believe. The personality then responds to inputs which, however, can have contrary effects, as suggested above.

A possible future form of the conflict: Poul Anderson's Psychotechnic Institute began well, applying psychology, not imposing an ideology, but went wrong, doing too much too fast and taking disastrous short cuts, thus provoking a "Humanist" backlash. But that is in another future history.

Diomedean Evolution

Copied from Poul Anderson appreciation, 1 Nov 2014.

A small arboreal carnivorous glider inhabited a large forested tropical island far from the extreme polar seasonal changes. Rapid geological changes on the low density planet deflected ocean and air currents which, because of the great axial tilt and large fluid masses, bear considerable heat and cold. Drought reduced the forest to woods scattered across pampas.

The gliders:

developed wings to fly between woods;
grew in size to prey on large grass-eaters;
spread into different environments;
but, because of mobility, remained a single species;
developed intelligence to cope with environmental diversity;
flew north and south from the home continent;
found good hunting territories but could not survive the polar winters;
therefore, returned to the tropics where, however, they could not survive indefinitely;
consequently, learned to migrate regularly.

(To be continued.)

Diomedean Geography II

Copied from Poul Anderson Appreciation, 2 Nov 2014:

See here.

A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows presents a little more information about Diomedean geography. Kossara Vymezal and her ychan companion, Trodhwyr, arrived at Thursday Landing for a research project around the Sea of Achan. We already know that Thursday Landing and Achan are separated by the Ocean. We additionally learn that Thursday Landing is on the equator and on the east coast of a continent called Centralia. Originally a Polesotechnic League trading post, Thursday landing is now the seat of the Imperial resident.

Being on the equator, the Thursday Landing area originally had few permanent inhabitants. Instead, migrators annually arrived from north and south and agreed to hunt or harvest in exchange for portable goods. Later, "...a large contingent of [sea-faring] Drak'ho moved to these parts." -Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (New York, 2012), p. 431.

The Drak'ho were on the Sea of Achan so they have subsequently crossed the Ocean, having learned of Thursday Landing from van Rijn.

Like van Rijn before her, Kossara spends some time in mountains near the fortified town of Salmenbrok on the island of Lannach which separates the Sea of Achan from the Ocean. Scenes on Diomedes are scattered through A Knight... so a few more data may emerge.

This is an astronomical, not a geographical, datum but it is of interest to note that the two moons of Diomedes are twice the apparent size of Luna. Further, one is swift, the other slow, as on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars/Barsoom and Anderson's Aeneas.