Pilgrim Sky

Welcome to the Spiral

A Geopolitical Map of Space. A Pilgrim Sky worldbuilding article by millenomi.

We were born here, but we're not from here. It's been a millenium since the ancients crossed over into this universe with the nanoswarm in tow, faced the struggles of the Irradiated Zone, and fragmented over that failure. Today, the spiral is full of human life, splintered into cultures embroiled into a long hot-and-cold war — but most of all, it's what the ancients didn't live to see: it's vast, full of habitable space.

This is the spiral. This is where we live.

A schematic map of the spiral. Follow the link to expand, or read below for the full description.
Detailed image description:

The schematic shows a sinusoid spiral, seen from the side; it starts from a hollow dot from the left side, grows, and shrinks back on the axis on a dot labeled '৷'. It does so three more times, at dots labeled 'Ⅱ', 'Ⅲ' and 'Ⅳ'. After dot 'Ⅳ', it grows and then starts shrinking again before interrupting.

The growing and shrinking divides the schematic in five parts, between each pair of dots, including the bit after the last dot to the interruption. Each part has different labeled features, and they are, from left to right:

  • In the leftmost part, the starting hollow dot is marked ❶ (this is the Center, below). Smaller dots cluster randomly around it; these are the Ancient Graveyard, labelled ❷. A large spherical area centered upon the hollow dot covers most of the area in this first part; this is the Irradiated Zone, labeled ❸. Just outside it, a faint glow starts at the symmetry axis of the spiral; this is the Path, labeled ❹. (The glow continues forward in other parts, interrupting only around dots.) Finally, the dot that delimits this part to the right is labeled: "The First Conjunction: Ignis Isola."
  • In the first part between two dots, there are no features except for the dot that delimits it to the right. The dot is labeled: "The Second Conjunction: Terra Isola."
  • In the second part, there is a gray glow interrupting the part diagonally; the Path ends at one side of it and starts again at another, and the notional trajectories of the spiral are hidden by it. This is the Wall, labeled ❺. Two small dots very close to the end are labeled ❻; these are the Inner Plates. Finally, the dot delimiting this part to the right is labeled: "The Third Conjunction: Aerean Isola".
  • In the third part, the regular trajectory line of the spiral is enveloped by another set of lines, larger than it. These are the Greater Isola Fields, labeled ❼. A single lone dot is in the map three quarters of the way to the end; this is the Silean plate, labeled ❽. The final dot is labeled: "The Fourth Conjunction: Hydra Isola and its moon, Paracelsus."
  • In the fourth and last part, the phenomenon where the trajectory is enveloped repeats, though the enveloping is much less thick. These are the Lesser Isola Fields. This section has two small dots, the Outer Plates labeled ❾, and a smattering of dots at the end where it interrupts that look to be the source that is drawing the spiral and leaving trajectories in their wake. These are the Pilgrims, at number ❿.

Under the schematic, areas are marked with different colors to indicate different areas of influence:

  • From the end of the Irradiated Zone to the point labeled with Ⅲ, a light blue strip is labeled “Occupied Territories of the First Civilization”.
  • From just after Aerean Isola all the way to just before Hydra Isola, a red strip is labeled “The Thousandfold Cultures of Third Conjunction Space”.
  • From Hydra Isola to halfway through the last portion of the spiral, a peach strip labeled “Alliance of the Outer Spires, or ‘The Bloc’”.
  • From there to the end, a yellow strip labeled “Domains of the Outer Cults”.

Direction icons are at the bottom. The direction pointing to the Center is labeled “inward”; the opposite direction, “outward”.