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Gate of Twelve Suns

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This article contains spoilers for the following products: The Thirteenth Gate
Gate of Twelve Suns
(Cosmos)
Type Solar system

Source: The Thirteenth Gate, pg(s). 3

The Gate of Twelve Suns is an artificial solar system, built by the ancient kishalee, consisting of twelve stars orbiting the entrance to a demiplane where they hid the Stellar Degenerator.[1]

History

The Stellar Degenerator is a massive superweapon originally built by the sivvs in their war against the kishalee. Before the Stellar Degenerator's first testing run, it was seized by the kishalee, winning them the war as the sivvs were demoralised and bankrupted. Many centuries later, the kishalee activated the Stellar Degenerator for the first time to defeat a powerful, aggressive race; the result horrified them and caused them to decide that the Stellar Degenerator should never be used again, but the government decided to hide the superweapon instead of destroying it when military officers warned about the threat of another unwinnable war.[1]

With the energy siphoned from the Stellar Degenerator's activation, the kishalee created a pocket demiplane to hide it, and demarcated its location by moving twelve nearby stars to orbit it. After decades, the Gate of Twelve Suns was completed. While it was originally staffed by living kishalee, the government foresaw the need for an artificial intelligence that could function and maintain the megastructure indefinitely in case their civilisation fell. This was unsuccessful until two researchers, Eltreth and Osteth, discovered a way to upload their own minds into a magical mainframe to create an immortal AI.[1]

After the kishalee empire fell, the two AIs continued their eternal vigilance. However, the Devourer took advantage of Eltreth's doubt that he was trapped and only oblivion could free him, and over decades hearing the Devourer's whispers, he became convinced that all beings were similarly trapped and that only he had the keys: the Stellar Degenerator. Osteth noticed her peer's behaviour, and imprisoned him in hardware while finding a way to purge his corruption.[1]

Geography

The Gate of Twelve Suns is a perfect circle of twelve stars, stationary in respect to each other and orbiting the gateway to the Stellar Degenerator's demiplane. A single planet orbits each star at exactly the same distance; all have roughly the same diameter, mass, and rotational period, and their orbits are synchronised so that every so often they all face the demiplane at the same time. Within each planet, accessible via a hole from the crust at the equator to the core, is a massive technomagical device that maintains a cosmic string, which produces a gravitational wave when the planet reaches its pericentre, keeping the gravity in the system in a balance. Due to this gravity, it is very difficult to navigate and impossible to use Drift engines within the system; the safest time to approach a planet is when it is at its apocentre.[2]

The star called Gate 1 is the focal point of the Gate of Twelve Suns, and the planet orbiting it is the only habitable one in the system; all others are lifeless hunks of rock. Its atmosphere is rich in oxygen, its weather is dynamic, and it supports one large ocean and a few small continents with varied biomes. Technomagical ley lines emanating from antennae that encircle most of the planet formerly tightly regulated the wildlife and weather, but after the fall of kishalee civilisation, Eltreth and Osteth could no longer afford to maintain this system, although the planet's oxygen level and temperature remain optimal.[3]

Inhabitants

The planet orbiting Gate 1 was originally staffed by rotating kishalee technicians, and to ensure that the planet was habitable and the scientists did not feel bored or homesick, various flora and fauna were seeded on it. Their natural evolution was once controlled, but they have experienced natural selection since the kishalee fell. The planets orbiting the other stars were only inhabited by armies of maintenance bots that keep the computers and cosmic strings functioning; every month, two kishalee technicians would travel to the core facilities on to check over them.[1][3][4]

Most of the systems of the Gate of Twelve Suns are self-regulating, and have been kept smoothly operating by Eltreth and Osteth since the end of kishalee civilisation. If not for the Devourer's corruption of Eltreth, the Gate of Twelve Suns could operate forever.[5]

References