Category Archives: Geography

The geography of Jørn


For awhile, it felt like theirs was the only hover in the world, but as they descended the traffic grew, until it was so thick above them she could barely see the sky.

It was then that the first of the skybridges came into view. The enclosed walkways–some three or four hovers wide and several storeys deep, others as delicate as a spideruck’s web–criss-crossed the spaces between buildings, forming narrow channels through which the traffic flowed.

An enclosed walkway between buildings, often spanning distances of 1-2 kilometers, with some–often found in a city’s lower levels–as short as a few hundred metres.

The record for the longest skybridge was set by the Koobi–Werb Bridge in Sabre’s Upper City. Built 18 years ago, it spans an 38.7-kilometre stretch between the Koobi and Werb United skytowers and is supported at serveral points by its own mag-lev generators.

Sidrat Foothills

The Sidrat Foothills sprawl at the southern end of the Klone Ranges. On the windward side of the Ranges and receiving high annual rainfall, they are blanketed in lush forests and dominated by massive everblues that support a range of wildlife. Most notable among the native fauna are the tree-loving rucnarts.

A notable feature of the Sidrat is the Lisab Canyon, which, over time, has been cut into the landscape by the Sidrat River. Although the river runs all the way from the southern end of the Ranges to the Tsuaf Sea, the Canyon is only a fraction of that length, at 362 kilometers long.

Klone Ranges

The Klone Ranges are a chain of mountains stretching 4,800 kilometers along the Gundar Strait, on the west coast of Toine. Formed by the interaction of the tectonic plates under Toine and its neighboring landmass, Enolc, the ranges start deep beneath sea level, forming spectacular coastal cliffs and plateaux.

Among the mountains are a number of semi-dormant volcanos including Mts. Ecam, Adoy and Olos.

The tallest mountain in the range is Mt Biwan, with it’s peak measured at 8,924 metres above sea level. Situated on the southern end of the range, Mt Biwan, along with the neighboring Mts. Nikan and Madala, serve as anchor points for Cumulus City, holding it in place against the high winds that whistle down the strait.


Centuries ago, humans colonised Jørn, a lonely planet on the far side of the galaxy, only to discover, after a few short years, that the planet was killing them. The culprit, a native spore, carried on every wind to every corner of the globe.

A map of Jørn.

This map of Jørn is a work-in-progress. The five human cities are shown as red dots.

Just over 1,100 light years away from Old Terra, Jørn is the furthest human-inhabited planet from the Sol system.

An Earth-like planet, with planetary rings and two shepherd moons, it’s roughly twice the size of Earth, with a higher gravity and slightly more geological activity (e.g. earthquakes). There is also some space debris left over from when the colonists arrived, as well as satellites from the original survey missions. None of these are visible with the naked eye, and most of the satellites are either defunct or barely functioning. However, there may be one through which {{ DATA SCRUB – ACCESS RESTRICTED }}.

The atmosphere near the surface carries a spore that is toxic to humans, and although there is considerable land, none of it is habitable by humans without some form of environmental protection. Instead humans live in floating cities, bio domes or plateaus/mountains above thirty-thousand feet.

The same toxic spore, known as the Pollen, has also prevented detailed exploration of the surface. Although much has been done from the air, there is still much to be discovered about the surface and the plants and animals that inhabit it.

Industrial level

Sandwiched between the Twilight and Street levels, the Industrial is the second largest of the city’s levels.

For over a hundred years, before the mag-web made the satellite ‘burbs possible, the Industrial level was the heart of Cumulus City’s manufacturing and agriculture, supplying the city with all of its needs. Now it’s mostly deserted, occupied mostly by businesses that either cannot afford to move to the ‘burbs or require specialised equipment and/or premises.

In the last decade, moves to reclaim/repurpose the Industrial have been made by local zone Chiefs.

A massive nano-rail network runs through the Industrial level, its purpose to carry freight to the freight elevators stationed around the city. The nano-rail picks freight up from the huge industrial docking bays, which receive freight from the sky-trains that move goods between the cities. The network is overseen by the city’s AI, with a number of smaller, localised AIs handling the minutiae of shuttling freight to specific destinations.

The Farm

She frowned as a memory from her first day tickled her mind. “Wasn’t your sister expelled?”

Norah’s mouth tightened, but she nodded. “My dads sent her to that boarding school over the New Gobi ice forest. It’s not as awful as they say. At least they let her take Golem, her slale-bear. They could have sent him to the Farm.”

Hero shuddered.

Built partially into as well as around the peak of Mt Stevelin, near the western coast of Tonie, the Farm is the oldest human structure on Jørn, and the largest to be built on the planet’s surface.

The Farm contains the gene-banks, a repository of genetic material (both plant and animal) brought from Earth by the colonists, and is arguably the most important installation on the planet. As well as containing the gene-banks, the Farm is responsible for researching new and better crops and livestock, and is the main hub of Pollen research.

Cumulus City

Surrounded by its sprawling mass of satellite ‘burbs, Cumulus City rose thirty thousand feet through the atmosphere, an endless patchwork of grey and green connected by the silver threads of bridges and the restless movement of the skylanes.

One of the five human cities on Jørn, Cumulus City hovers 36 thousand feet above the Klone Ranges.

The youngest of the five cities, Cumulus City has a population of over 72 million –making it the second largest city after Sabre– supporting 24 percent of the total human population. Like the other cities it is kept afloat via magnetic levitation, powered by massive generators under the city and {{ DATA SCRUB – ACCESS RESTRICTED }}.

Cumulus City’s satellite suburbs, or ‘burbs, have sprung up around the main city over the last 200 years, taking the pressure of the growing population off the original infrastructure. The ‘burbs now support much of its agricultural and industrial needs, as well as providing extra living space.

The city itself is divided into six levels, listed below from the highest to the lowest. The higher the level, the more prestigious, expensive and desirous a place it is to live.

  • the Upper
  • the Horizon
  • the Grip
  • the Twilight
  • the Industrial
  • the Street
  • the Pipes

As well as these six levels, the city is divided into three rings, which spread outward from the centre of the city. They are:

  • the Core
  • the Middle city
  • the Outer city

This creates 18 sectors, including:

  • the Core Grip
  • Outer Upper city
  • the Middle Street