Ten Things to know about Zurvár Arèáná

1: Zurvár Arèáná is one of an uncountable number of alternative Earths (although it’s just as accurate to say that Earth is one of an uncountable number of alternative Zurvár Arèánás). It is a world of island chains with over 95% ocean and no landmasses larger than Great Britain.

2: The Zurvár people are a human species of unknown ultimate origin who traveled between alternate worlds for centuries before settling on Zurvár Arèáná from the 1960s onward. They have a number of minor physiological differences to Earth humans but the species are genetically compatible.

3: The world is loosely governed by the Konsâtèum – an organisation of powerful Zurvár houses and other interested groups established as a settlement authority. Many Zurvár consider the Konsâtèum to be overstepping its mandate by taking on a governing role.

4: Also inhabiting the world are a number of pods of dolphins and small whales from Otherworld One (another alternate Earth) who petitioned for environmental asylum in the 1970s. They officially have their own government, but it might be a fiction to ease relations with the Zurvár, or might be some kind of elaborate joke.

5: The world has eight cities ranging in population from 690,000 (Gorat Bárkalif Ganalû) down to 24,000 (Gorat Mantábon Dìaz). Outside of the cities the population live in towns and villages, none with a population much greater than 2,000. The total Zurvár population of the world is estimated at 18 million as of 2020.

6: Long distance travel across the planet is by matter transmission – a technology so much more advanced than the rest of the Zurvár technological base that it assumed to have been acquired from some other civilisation during the Zurvár peoples’ travels. Those who prefer not to be converted into energy and beamed between a series of transmission towers before being reassembled at the other end must take the slower option of boats or aircraft.

7: Homes, businesses and industry are powered by solar, wind, tidal and limited geothermal power generation. Zurvár battery technology is more advanced that than of Earth, allowing pretty much the entire planet to be run electrically.

8: Zurvár kidneys can handle much higher levels of salt than those of Earth humans. Visitors from Earth are advised to drink bottled water rather than relying on local supplies which may not be sufficiently desalinated for Earth human consumption.

9: Zurvár Arèáná has no native mammals, with the largest land animals being skink-like lizards no more than 25cm long. Bird and fish life is abundant. There are no known oceanic predators large enough to trouble humans, but the cetaceans claim that there are titanic predators dwelling deep below the surface. No one is sure if this is true or part of some elaborate joke.

10: The music of the Beach Boys has been wildly popular on Zurvár Arèáná since their albums were first imported in the late 1960s. As a result a highly profitable industry has grown up devoted to mimicking an idealised version of 1960s California, including the importation (and conversion to electric drive) of classic American muscle cars and, and the establishment of hamburger restaurants to drive them to. Traditionalist Zurvár are (unsurprisingly) infuriated by this.

Weights and Measures

Measuring the distances between Worlds in Probability has always been problematic. As beings limited to perceiving reality in only four dimensions, direct measurement of the fifth is simply not possible. Instead proxy methods have to be deployed, the most common of which defaults to the amount of energy required to either open Gates or move matter directly between Worlds.

The best established measurement is the Wyrymyan ghəι (anglicized as “weyr“). The exact genesis of the weyr is lost to history, although it is noted it is very close to the amount of artonic energy required to directly (ie: without the use of a Gate) transport one ixh* of matter between Wyrymya and the ancient Wyrm colony World of Hfren, leading many to assume ancient travel between these two Worlds as its ultimate origin.

(* One ixh is equal to one 1728th of the weight of a cylinder of Wyrymyan sea-water with a height and radius of 12 ghi – one ghi measuring 6.875 cm. Bizarrely this works out to just over 1kg – 1.069kg to be precise.)

The traditional measurement of Probability among the Zurvár is the kâd, which is the minimum distance traversable via Gate in ancient Zurvár society. One kâd is equal to 16.8 weyr, which provides some commentary on the relative sophistication of Probatial travel in the ancient Zurvár and Wyrm cultures. The kâd has become the standard measure of Probatial distance across local Probability, with the weyr generally reserved for scientific usage.

(The Metaphysical Society of 19th century London created their own measurement of Probatial distance, the “Palmerston”. One Palmerston equals 77.4 kâd (or 1300.32 weyr), and is the distance between Earth and Neanderthan, the first World discovered by the Society. The Palmerston was abandoned shortly after contact was established with the Wyrms.)

The record for minimum Probatial distance traversable currently stands at 0.43 kâd (7.224 weyr) which was achieved at the Werinos Physics Institute in 2007. This is well above the theoretical limit of 0.14 kâd predicted by Probatial Resonance Theory. It is believed by many that the Goatsuckers have been capable of reaching this limit for centuries – if not millennia – or possibly even exceeding it, although the later would raise uncomfortable questions about their motivation in providing so much assistance in the development of an inaccurate theory.

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