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. 😉