Ponya is a planet disturbingly similar to Earth's, at least superficially. It has a small active ingredient that allows for magic to occur: magnum. More on magnum after the stat dump.
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Ponya is a medium-sized terrestrial planet. It has a remarkably circular orbit, with an eccentricity of 0.007 – comparable to Venus’. Orbiting at 0.94 AU away from its parent star, it’s the innermost planet in its system, with the other planets orbiting significantly further away.
Ponya is constantly being pulled on by its massive moon, a close 200 000 km away and almost one-third the size of Ponya itself (for reference, the Moon is about 300 000 km away and one quarter the size of Earth). It creates massive tidal stress on the planet, cause it to go haywire and create one of the strangest terrains, especially when compared to Earth. It also makes tidal drag a much more serious thing, which meant that the planet has to be manually/magically pulled by the natives to ensure a roughly stable day length of 23 hours and 36 minutes. If this does not occur, the day will lengthen by as much as 3 seconds an Earth decade.
It takes about 340 local days to orbit the sun once, and that means about 333 Earth days. It spins with a very large axial tilt of 28° 44’ 30”, which is a full five degrees more than Earth’s. As this goes, its seasons are very, very pronounced.
Ponya is almost 1.4 times the mass of the Earth. Its size, however, turns out to be about 7127 km, which is just big enough to cancel the added mass and return the gravity of Ponya to be just shy of 1.0 G. That means, just like Earth, things fall at 9.8 ms-2.
It has an iron-nickel core, again similar to Earth, which gives it an Earthlike density of 5.4 gcm-3. It again is split into five layers: two cores, a mantle, a crust and an atmosphere.
Ponya retrieves pretty much the same amount of sun as Earth, but takes in somewhat less of it; the worldwide extensive shallow seas make reflection all too easy and make sunbeams bounce back to space. In fact, Ponya is dry: if you swap Ponya’s water with Earth’s, Earth will have both continuous continents as well as seas, and Ponya will have a situation much similar to Abyssia. The seas are shallow, 1 km deep pools that just so happen to fill the whole globe into a pretty much contiguous sea. This is because that there are no large gas giants to hurl comets at Ponya and give it the water it may need. Ponya only has 30% of Earth’s water! The amount of planet surface area flooded, however, is much more Earthlike: about 60% of the surface is water, compared to Earth’s 71%.
Ponya has an extremely rugged terrain however! The String, a large continent that bisects the Midyon Ocean, is a giant mid-sea spreading ridge, like the Mid-Atlantic for us, except the String passes the water-line almost contiguously, like a snake across the ocean. This is because of the moon’s extreme tidal drag; the tectonic activity is intense and continuous, and inward coronae (also known as sunspots) are common features of Ponya, like they are in the Sun or Venus.
This of course means that the volcanoes belch out a lot of gas. This is where most of the water comes from: the volcanoes give out, in addition to lava, lots of steam, which then become clouds as they enter the atmosphere. They also give out CO2, which means that the CO2 of Ponya is much akin to what environmentalists of Earth may fear: 600 parts per million. This relatively high CO2 level raises the global temperature to a 25°C average, with ice-free poles and the Equator averaging somewhere in the high 30s, lashed with lots of storms. However, there are fewer storms than what pure science will dictate, because of a little thing we call magic. We’ll get to that later.
The prolific volcanoes are also a factor of the atmospheric pressure being much higher than ours. The atmosphere here is on average 2540 bar, or about 2.5 times the pressure on Earth. This extreme pressure makes the air much more like liquid, and that allows for a lot of heavier creatures to take flight. More importantly, sentient creatures can rule the skies without the need of tools. You should know who they are.
Speaking of atmospheres, the atmosphere of Ponya is again similar to Earth’s. It has about 60% nitrogen, 30% oxygen and 2% water vapor. (The massive volcanoes and strong evaporation contribute to this proportion.) With the dense atmosphere, the sky appears as a bright blue throughout the day, with the thick atmosphere making twilight last a full hour on each side. During the night, the bright moon makes darkness near-impossible: a deep blue even in the darkest of nights. Occasionally, strange colors can be seen, such as lavender, purple and pink.
There are lots of clouds on the planet, helped no less by the humid air and the volcanoes (again!) Clouds occur far more often in Ponya than on Earth, except in places where magic is present. Due to this and certain other characteristics such as shallow seas and the anomalous snowfield at 75° N 83° E, Ponya reflects lots of sunlight back into space, a vital fact that prevents it from overheating.
The first thing you’d realize when you enter the seas of Ponya is: my god, it’s full of fish! That’s because of the simple fact that sea life are suited to the 0 m – 200 m range, the range where sunlight can penetrate. This zone is extant on Earth, but even more so on Ponya, because of the shallow seas and rare deeps. Lots of strange creatures are down there, and it’s most likely an untapped resource.
The land, however, is much more Earthlike, with your average insects (that are twice as large as any insect on Earth), birds (can be up to fifty kilos!) and mammals (that can fly as well as swim). There are also a couple oddities, like dragons and griffins that occasionally have to share the same place.
This creates a large patchwork of biodiversity unparalleled in basically anywhere on Earth except Australia. The tall mountains force everyone to follow several strict paths and create natural walls for parallel evolution, but then the fliers appeared and cleared that. The oceans still pose some obstacle, but they’re now being cleared due to the discovery of small islands for resting.
This all boils down to six or seven civilizations all over Ponya. Sometimes, especially under crisis, they’d learn to live with each other, but usually, they still have certain grudges against each other.
Magnum is a magical double of oxygen, with the electrons replaced with magnons. Magnons are almost undifferentiable compared to electrons except when they interact; they allow electromagnetic rays to amplify themselves, creating lots of power.
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