Everything concerning T&D backstory: world, events, myths, characters …


The events of “This Side of Darkness” (and it’s upcoming sequel, too) take place on a earth-like world named Amaro, which is the larger of the Miamone twins, a double planet similar to the Pluto-Charon pair in our solar system.

I have to admit that this is not an idea I had right from the beginning, but one that evolved while I was working on TSoD and started to ask myself, what the story of that large moon would be, which kept slipping into the TSoD’s panels.

So I discovered, that this is no moon (but no, it’s NOT a space station either 😉 ), but yet another planet, very close to the one Cin’Thele just explores – one, that is tightly coupled to Amaro by gravitational forces, and rotates together with Amaro around a common center of gravity, two objects that behave like one, shaped like a huge, asymmetric dumbbell.
Seen from each other, Amaro and Amian appear at fixed, observer-position-dependent locations in the firmament, just like satellites in a geostationary orbit.

While Cin’Thele travels west, she can see Amian deep over the Eastern horizon, on a clear sky.

Amaro and Amian have three larger moons, which also orbit around their common center of gravity, and several hundred smaller satellites forming a ring around them.

The Anukhai, who live in the grassy highlands of Olveare, see those small moons ascend from the horizon like a chain of pearls, touch the shape of Amian and disappear behind the twin, and finally reappear in the firmament, on their journey from one horizon to the other.

One of their legends is inspired by this nightly view: it tells of the moon wanderers, who descend from the stars to escort the bravest among their hunters, to the world beyond …

Admittedly, there are a number of consistency flaws in TSoD concerning this astronomical aspect. In particular, as far as I understand (I’m neither Physician nor Astronomer), such a twin planet should have a much slower day-night-cycle than what we’re accompanied to, because at a given energy level, the large “dumbbell” would rotate much slower than a single planet of the Miamone system mass would (see Wikipedia: Rotational Energy).
Meaning, that the sun-rise scene in the first chapter would occur dreadfully slow, Cin’Thele would probably have to dive several hours to see the sun rise by that distance. On the other hand, no one says she did not. 😉

A few Remarks on Cloth (or their absence)

As I guess this is probably one of the first thoughts most of you’ll have while reading the comic – why is she naked completely right away – I decided to provide a couple of thoughts on cloth and nudity in T&D.

First of all: it’s not meant to be sexistic!
Later on, you’ll find., that male clothing conventions are … relaxed, as well. 😉

Tanai clothing habits

Tanai clothing habits

But why?
I wrote a bit about it in the FAQ section. I’ll do it a bit more extensively now.

It’s a pair of questions actually, instead of a single one:

  • Why is Cin’Thele naked right from the beginning?
  • Why do Salharin wear no cloth at all., or very frivoulous ones?

Answering question two also partially answers question one, so let’s start here:
Salharin are a different kind of people, when compared to men. There are visible differences, like their pointed ears (a classic), but the mental differences are of much more importance.
Salharin don’t have the same type of social and group instincts as men: in short, they don’t tend to form large colonies involving tight social structures, hierarchy, authority and obedience. Their individual behaviour is much less influenced by the desire to comply to social “rules”, than it is with human individuals.
They are loners by nature. Shame as an emotion caused by failure of compliance to expectations of one’s social environment, is alien to them. Instead, as they usually meet for the purpose of sharing pleasure in various flavours only, cloth, except from mere practical purposes like protection, solely fulfills a decorative role within their culture.

Nogh Clothing #2

Nogh fashion

Salharin, as I envision them, are an approximation of “perfect” individuals. They live forever, if not killed, in their world they never catch any disease, they don’t age, they feel few physical restraints, and are hardly troubled by discomforts like these in our world as well.

A “perfect” personality however would probably not perceive itself as split into two discrete entities – “mind” and “body”, one “superior” to the other, but feel as one, whole entity without intrinsic contradiction, existing in harmony with itself.
Such a being would certainly not see any reason to hide it’s physical appearance from view.

Nogh Clothing #1

Male Nogh fashion

So, finally coming back to question one … as far as it’s not answered already:
Cin’Thele just lost everything she had, including her memories, but also every single piece of matter she might have had with her, before she somehow got into that forest. As she is Salharin, she, probably unlike a female human, just doesn’t care much about the absence of cloth.
There just are lots of other questions to worry about at the moment.