Seasons and Weather
View shows a woman in a long yellow wraparound, clearly a chiurgeon of some sort, leaning over the corpse of a man on a high table. The man’s chest is cut open, flaps of skin pulled to each side to expose his chest cavity. The chiurgeon is poking the interior of the corpse with a long glowing rod that gives off a clicking hum.
Off-view voice: What did this man die of?
Chiurgeon: He appears to have flowers for lungs.
View adjusts, moving over the body of the man to show dark purple blossoms filling the interior of his chest.
Off-view voice: How is it possible to live like that?
Chiurgeon: Well, clearly, it isn’t.
Off-view voice: I meant . . . how does such a thing happen?
Chiurgeon: I presume you have not yet had experience with the mad nanites, those abominations of the Iron Wind?
Be glad, then, for death is the kindest gift such monsters can give you.
~footage from a recorder headband for “The Wonders of Our World: The Weather Will Kill You Us All*” (*working title)
In the Steadfast (and in many other subpolar regions), there are six recognized seasons each year, based on a combination of the quantities of available sunlight, weather patterns, moon phases, and ocean shifts. Four seasons each last for about one-fifth of the year and roughly correspond to spring, summer, fall, and winter. The other two seasons are each half as long as the others. The first of these, occurring at the very beginning of each year, is called sable, characterized as a period of short days; very little moonlight, starlight, or sunlight; and a lack of fluctuation in the weather. The final season of the year is called the tempest. This is the period when the weather becomes particularly unpredictable and dire. It’s the time of year when the Iron Wind is most common, but other storms are also more likely to appear (and are much worse than at other times of the year).
In other parts of the world people recognize only two or three seasons, such as wet and dry, hot and cold, or tempest and mild. A few places also have “special” seasons loosely based on the timing of important natural events, such as animal migrations, volcanic eruptions, the movement of the giant machine in which their city is built, or the complete evaporation of the local lake.
Dealing with the weather is a hazardous proposition no matter where you go. The Iron Wind is perhaps the most dangerous, warping every bit of matter that it touches, living or dead. Other storms and weather patterns are nearly as deadly—zapping all of the oxygen or gravity out of a place, causing temperatures to rise and drop so suddenly that a living creature’s internal fluids freeze and boil in a matter of seconds, or depositing creatures, bits of the numenera, or other oddities down on unsuspecting explorers’ heads.
Some areas of the Ninth World, such as Vralk and Rayskel Cays, have weather patterns and storms that are specific to those climates, existing nowhere else.