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Orbital photo of Capsica, a small world hotter and drier than Earth Orbital photo of Capsica, a small world hotter and drier than Earth. Capsica: Noktu Islands

by Chris Wayan, 2016

This one's for you readers, who pestered me until I had to build it

The Noktu Islands stretch for nearly 3000 km (1900 mi) across the Arctic Ocean. Given the native Capsican fear of frostbite (reasonable, since they burn almost on contact with snow or ice), it will come as no surprise that these polar islands are uninhabited. They suffer winters so harsh it sometimes freezes even at sea level--like, of course, half of Earth.

Map of Noktu Archipelago, an arctic island chain on Capsica, a small world hotter & drier than Earth.
The Noktus are uninhabited, but not unknown; in summer ships pass along the north shore of Bel in great numbers. Capsicans find their Arctic Ocean threateningly cold, but unlike ours it has no sea ice at all in summer. And, in a world with narrow seas and convoluted sea routes, it offers a profitably direct shortcut between many regions.

Sadly, the Noktus are splendidly placed to cause shipwrecks. Even an Arctic summer is prone to fogs and navigational confusion--the sun just wheels, blurring east and west, when you can see the sun at all.

But these tragedies are most often economic. They rarely result in the sort of grim Arctic survival tales (or more often non-survival tales) of Earth's Arctic. For Capsicans can fly. And the one thing every sailor knows about the Noktus is that if you can get a clear bearing south and fly all day, you're likely to hit the coast of Bel by next morning. It's hard to miss. Huge, wild, cold and thinly populated--the Capsican Siberia, basically--but at least in summer, you'll find help.

The Noktus are, then, wreckers but not killers. Villains with a heart.

Map of Capsica, a hot planet.
Nohaa Island Ralopa Islands Arctic Is. off Bel Notahi Peninsula Eastern Bel Fulisse Peninsula NW Bel (upper right) SW Bel, deserts Chai Cape Corona Kurai Peninsula Hi and Vepra Yaku and Az Isle of Goret The Eel Prath Peninsula Kifura Isle of Valiha Ri Kshen Isles Tlasi Caldera in NE Arch Arch: NE Mt Artho, NE Arch Arch, north coast Arch: tropical west Ekurre Range South Pole Giant World Map

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