Skyfall is set on a world its inhabitants call Nova. This article describes some of Nova’s characteristics, many of which its inhabitants are entirely ignorant.
Nova is a planet very much like Earth, with a similar orbit, mass, size, composition, ocean coverage, axial tilt, rotation, and atmosphere. It has a single large moon, like Earth’s. Even its flora and fauna are essentially terrestrial. Nova’s sun, referred to simply as “the sun,” is a class G2V star very similar to Sol.
Nova has five continents, referred to by its inhabitants as Nova Primus, Nova Secundus, Nova Tertius, Nova Quartus, and Nova Quintus. Though all five continents are known to Novan legend, only one is inhabited by humanity.
Nova Primus is the only human-inhabited continent on Nova. It is about half the size of North America and straddles the planet’s equator, running from roughly 22 degrees north latitude to 28 degrees south latitude – roughly equivalent to central Africa. Nova Primus is almost entirely forested in its natural state, with large swaths of tropical forest in the lowlands and temperate forests closer to the center, where three great mountain ranges divide the continent. Human habitation has cleared large swaths of forest for farmland, but where humanity has not settled, the native forests and jungles hold sway. There are no deserts to speak of on Nova Primus, and even few native scrublands.
Nova Primus has a largely tropical climate owing to its latitude. It has few true rainforests, but it is still a very wet continent, with most of its inhabited regions receiving about 48 inches of rainfall a year (about twice the planetary average of Earth). Nova Primus is rife with rivers.
Nova Primus has a significant southern isthmus, the Green Cape, that is infested with orks, south of House Darry lands. The Green Cape is part of Nova Primus from a geographer’s standpoint, but it belongs wholly to the greenskin. For most practical purposes, Nova Primus ends at about 20 degrees south latitude, at Skullbreaker castle.
Nova Secundus lies to the south of Nova Primus. It is Nova’s smallest continent and the closest to Nova Primus except for Nova Tertius (which is part of the same landmass as Nova Primus). It is believed that Nova Secundus is inhabited by orks, but continents other than Nova Primus are so far beyond the usual realm of Novan consciousness that this is of little concern.
Nova Tertius lies due north of Nova Primus. The two continents are actually part of the same landmass; Nova Primus is traditionally thought to end beyond House Mac Deuwel lands, with Castle Far Range marking the practical northern boundary of the continent. Almost nothing is known of the northern reaches of Nova Tertius, but it is well known that its southern forests are infested with orks, who constantly beleaguer the northerners.
Nova Quartus lies to the northeast of Nova Primus, about 3600 kilometers at the narrowest crossing (roughly 25% longer than the traditional transatlantic crossing). A few hardy Novan explorers have traveled to Nova Quartus’ western coast, and were surprised to find no trace of ork habitation. However, the crossing is far too difficult for Novan ships to make colonization of the continent a realistic prospect.
The darkest of Nova’s continents (at least from the perspective of its human inhabitants), Nova Quintus lies to the west of Nova Primus. Its coasts are blistering tropical jungles full of strange flora and hostile diseases and fauna. Orks inhabit these coasts, occasionally arriving at Nova Primus, but for the most part the inhabitants of the two continents are content to be separated by storm and sea.
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