Turning

Paradigm is a tidally locked world, which means that one side of the planet is always facing its sun, Ocheron, and the other side is always facing away. This creates a perpetual day and night on either side, and twilight on the terminator, the small region between the two. This has been the case for this world since at least the First Godswar. However, from time to time this all changes in a sudden, often catastrophic event known as a Turning.

A Turning is when Paradigm will suddenly start to rotate until the sides of the planet are flipped: the Day side is now facing away from Ocheron, and is plunged into night, and the Night side is facing Ocheron now, and forced into constant day. The process takes a day or so to occur. There has never been any warning that a Turning is going to happen, and there seems to be no pattern to their occurrence. Recorded history tells us that there have been 11 Turnings thus far on Paradigm. So far, the shortest periods between Turnings was 1367 years (the 8th Turning), and the longest period was 3704 years (the 10th). The average time between Turnings is somewhat over 2000 years. No information from before the First Turning exists any more, at least, any information that mortals have access to. The Gods and other immortal creatures surely know what happened before then, but they are reluctant to talk about that time period and what was before.

The consequences of a Turning are impossible to overstate. The entire ecology of the planet undergoes a rapid shift that creates a mass die off, mass migrations from the old Day side to the new Day side, the collapse of civilizations, and leaves the world very different when it is done. The Ice Cap will rapidly melt, causing flooding and a temporary rise in sea levels until water starts to freeze on the Night side. Water on the Night side will start to freeze as the temperature cools down. Plants across the world (except on the terminator) begin to die out in the cold dark. Fortunately it takes a while for surface temperatures to reverse themselves, thanks to wind and air currents. Unfortunately, the abrupt change in air and water temperatures across the planet creates massive, unpredictable storms.

During a Turning there is a massive exodus of people and animals towards the other side of the planet, one that wreaks havoc on all that stands in the way. Many die in the panicked migration to the the Day side, whether from starvation, lack of shelter, disease or more violent ends. The agricultural collapse that comes with every Turning is perhaps more deadly than everything else. When crops start to die, everything else starts to die as well. Fights, battles, even wars over dwindling resources are something that have come to be expected in the event of a Turning. Desperate people will usually do whatever it takes to survive, and this means that bloodshed is far from uncommon during such times. Settlements and nations in the terminator regions will have to deal with masses of people moving through their lands, the banditry that comes along with this, and other troubles that can’t be foreseen.

Turnings are well enough known now by civilized folk that preparations are usually made to survive in the event of one. At least, preparations are made by those with the means. Major nations or cities will often store large quantities of food in case of a shortage, as well as a source of fuel for warmth. Especially benevolent regimes will also prepare for the mass movement of people, livestock and supplies as well. Rich and powerful individuals or families will often make preparations for a Turning, preparations that might be in place for decades or even longer. Stockpiles of food, arrangements for transportation, even homes or estates purchased ahead of time somewhere in the Terminator are common preparations. Even grander preparations are sometimes made by especially powerful or resourceful nations: they take efforts to prepare the grounds for the rebirth of their nation somewhere on the other side of the planet following a Turning.

A Turning is also known as a Shift.

It has been 2048 years since the last Shift.

Turning

Day and Night/ Night and Day DonalGraeme