• Jon Bolitho-Jones

Encyclopaedia Edimoria - The Catalogue of Lost Worlds

The following is an extract from the Encyclopaedia Edimoria Volume 17 redacted 17th edition by Alberfungus Betswish Stunk, It is about Edimorian worlds classified as Planetorus Damnatus.

"It is undeniable the size of the Alpharian Confederation is enormous and frighteningly beyond the scope of any sane mind’s comprehension. Indeed Edimor itself is larger still, and despite many great efforts to understand and catalogue it (mine included) it must be accepted that we will never truly understand the full extent of our galaxy. The question is how does the Alpharian government rule over its Confederation of planets, moons, and habitable asteroids? Badly is my short answer. To expand further though the Confederation is such an unwieldy oversized bureaucratic edifice it can only operate successfully when it devolves regional and personal control to a more localised level, something the Smargs are rarely happy to allow. Indeed if it weren’t for the talents of magic users and the guile of navigators the whole thing would quickly break apart. Even when things run smoothly huge, often bizarre and comically tragic mistakes are made, the kind that could only happen in an organisation that operates on such a large and messy galactic scale. However deep within the administrative vaults of Goldensmorg, locked behind ranks of scribes and heavily armed guards is a great tome. A book of such frightening information that the Alpharian Confederation uses to document the changes that occur in our galaxy in relation to asset management. This is the Planetorus Damnatus and it exists to document worlds that have been lost or become too dangerous to use or inhabit. In other words it documents assets and potential assets that have been lost for whatever fiendish or stupid reason.

Mad random things in our galaxy happen and indeed happen all the time. In the grand scheme of existence barely any of it has been documented. It is an impossible task. Species go extinct, suns die, and even whole planets suddenly disappear. Tragic things are bound to be constantly happening somewhere in a galaxy as vast as ours. For example the last Crystalist Butterfly will die undocumented and forgotten simply because there was no one around with the proper intellect to write the event down. However it is with disappearing planets that the Alpharian government have a keen interest. Indeed they have an entire department dedicated to tracking habited worlds within the Confederation that in their words become “lost” and placing them down in the Planetorus Damnatus. It is a frightening name for a book so it is more commonly known as the Catalogue of Lost Worlds. Within this huge ancient tome armies of goblin scribes note down planet names, their galactic coordinates, and the estimated number of lifeforms and species that disappeared with them - where able of course. The more personal figures are normally understated, or “sweetened” as the practice is called by the goblin Scribbulus Corps. It certainly helps insurance companies when dear old grandma isn’t on the list of potential casualties even though her retirement home was located on a planet struck by an ecological catastrophe. Said insurance company can just argue that this dear old grandmother has simply decided to go on an unannounced permanent holiday to a small unexplored corner of the galaxy that may or may exist.

But how does a planet end up on the Planetorus Damnatus? Well there is a number of reasons. For a start said planet must normally have at one time been a part of the Alpharian Confederation (aka an asset), or at the very least affiliated with it (aka a partial asset). There are exceptions of course and any world that is of particular interest (aka a potential asset) is usually on the list though often only in very faint and/or unreadable handwriting that is easy to remove. Then said planet must be indisposed in some way. It might become uninhabitable through a variety of natural or man-made phenomena, lose contact with neighbouring worlds and the central Alpharian authorities, utterly destroyed, or simply too damned to bother with. Some are for entirely ridiculous reasons. For example Arzel Beta II was once thought lost because an inexperienced goblin scribe accidentally put the decimal point in the wrong place when writing down its galactic co-ordinates. Space farers upon travelling to this planet with these instructions then unsurprisingly discovered that it wasn’t there and filed multiple reports of missing planet. Arzel Beta II was then added to the Planetorus Damnatus even though it was happily carrying on with its existence on the other side of the galaxy. This was only rectified after decades in the courtrooms where Arzel Betians had to argue that their planet still existed, that they were indeed from it, and that please could people start visiting them again. Thankfully they were successful. The young goblin in question who made the clerical error was promoted to executive manager of a Scribbulus Grand division and became immensely rich.

However despite these mistakes and oddities there are a great deal of planets that deserve to be on the Planetorus Damnatus. Most of which are ones that the Alpharian government strongly encourages citizens not to visit (aka locations not to waste assets on to attain), largely for health reasons for their often foolhardy/stupid/brave/mad citizens. Most of these can be found in regions that are known to be frightening, unstable, and downright deadly, such as the Ediclomian Haze, the Dread Zone, and most recent, the Heart of Unreason. Other planets are on the list due to various forms of disasters and tragic events. This can range from apocalyptic wars to climate disasters started by over farming/mining/polluting worlds, or ecological disasters where the wrong kind of pet amphibian has been lost by a child during a visit which in turn has brought on a series increasingly unprecedented/unbelievable events that has resulted in carnivorous mega fauna. In other cases planets have been entirely eaten. Indeed Sentra's tomb world of Thar was reportedly gobbled up by a huge Grimwhale along with all his treasure. This place was listed on the Planetorus Damnatus believing the planet itself must have surely been chomped into pieces and then broken apart further by the stomach acids of the great space whale, and such been entirely destroyed. However when reports arrived that infamous pirate lord Grollp Pungdark had not only rediscovered the planet but had indeed found it deep within the beast's belly in one piece, the argument could be made to strike it from the Damnatus records. Sentra's family did just that, and after years of courtroom drama and a huge number of bribes it was removed from the list and placed back where it normally resided in the Alpharian Planetary Administrative Catalogue (aka the big book of assets). Though now of course it has to be almost constantly updated. A number of junior goblin scribes are tasked with tracking the movements of the grimwhale so they can constantly update the co-ordinates of the tomb world so that they are correct. It is a thankless task.

There are a number of cases of lost planets being re-found and re-stabilised. A combination of a lot of passion, money, and magic can transform even the most benighted of worlds back to health and off the Planetorus Damnatus. Others are simply rediscovered either by adventurers, pirates, and explorers, or even by the simple quill strokes of a scribe correcting an error. Such famous explorers as Altaria Vulk rediscovered hundreds of worlds, most of which though were only inhabited by apocalyptic savages with a perchance for violence and cannibalism. However in one such surprising case Vulk discovered that a planet had only been lost because the entirety of its population (made up of the narcoleptic Mooooorsdon race) had decided to take a communal nap. This “nap” lasted for just under 900 years, and with no communication being made with central Alpharian authorities for such a long time, it was put on the Planetorus Damnatus. Vulk in one of her books notes that she was greeted by a number of disgruntled grumbling creatures, rubbing the sleep from their eyes, and asking for just a few more centuries in bed.

Of course with adventurers being what they are, a number of the worlds on the Planetorus Damantus are quite famous. Excellent locations for stories to scare young snoglings to sleep or into good behaviour. A young Limothy or two has certainly washed the whole streets laundry with the fear that if he didn’t their entire homeworld would be turned into the nightmare of Rysxx. Rysxx itself is a real planet once inhabited by an entrepreneurial band of fauns. They have since been lost and the planet itself is an overgrown hell scape, with an unpredictable night and day cycle, as well as nightmarish monsters. Nearly everyone stays away from it. Skallathraxus is perhaps one of the most famous lost worlds though very few have actually visited it. It is commonly known as the planet of the dead though what this entails is entirely in the realms of fantasy. Its very name sends chills through the hearts of the bravest explorers. What rumours there are states a world wracked by war, tragedy, and hardship, once populated by two ancient races, ones that are now long dead, and only inhabited by spirits, ghouls, and the general undead. I will not write much more on the matter. Even writing what I have has given me the jitters. I have heard the tales myself of the forsaken planet so I shall move on. The very fact that it is now one of the planets locked in the Heart of Unreason just makes the thought of it much worse.

In other rare and bizarre cases it seems some planets simply just disappear. Not even a bureaucratic error by a young goblin scribe can explain it. They simply disappear leaving no clue or reason as to why. To many it appears they have just disappeared entirely, as if some great being had picked them up and put them away in their toy box, or, being in a particular malicious mood, decided to squash it like an overripe berry and then tidy up the remains so as not to get in trouble with the even greater beings that are their parents. Though such ideas are of course nonsense I have my own particular theories on the matter. These are ones I sadly cannot go into here, that is if I do not want the Alpharian enforcers knocking on my door, or have the Grand Inquisitor himself make me disappear to one of his prison worlds. No I shall say nothing except that with the appearance of the Heart of Unreason it appears the number of worlds randomly disappearing is increasing at an alarming rate. My main suspicions are that it is that boy and his carer up to mischief. Indeed I have it under good authority, with plenty of evidence to boot, that makes it highly unlikely to be anyone or anything else. Indeed I have [XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX redacted by the Alpharian Peace, Information, and Censorship Corps XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX]. Franky though that is all I believe I can put down without getting in severe trouble. To conclude the Planetorus Damnatus is a frightful list that is sadly growing. Indeed growing so much that I believe that almost every planet in Edimor will be added to it in the near future. Though of course with such an event it is unlikely that any scribes will be left to note them down in this notorious tome."

Artwork done by the wonderful Bethan Vann, so if you would like to check out more of her work you can find her via the following links:

Instagram - @somethingbybeth

Facebook - @bvillustration

Twitter - @BethinTransit

With that it's bye for now. I'll be back soon.


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