From the Collected Student Lectures of the Academy of Recognized Truth:
Attend me now, O runemother. Hear my plea, and grant me the words to convey meaning and force learning into the ears of these lazy pupils.
To begin with, the world is round. In the center of the world – and therefore, the center of the universe – there is a voracious monster who seeks to consume all things, into the infinite maw of which everything is forever being pulled. We have given a name this beast, which appears to our eyes as a burning-hot sphere of metal: it is the Foulness Called Gravity.
Above the Foulness is miles and miles of uninhabitable rock, eventually giving way to the Underworld, and above that, the Sea of Creation. These are diverse regions, and the subject of other lectures. Rising up from the Sea, which covers surely ninety percent of the surface, are a handful of islands: the Mother Countries.
Above the Mother Countries and the Sea of Creation, there is a high hollowness through which the Sun circles the world warily, as it spirals slowly but inexorably down into the maw of the Foulness Called Gravity. One day, the Foulness will consume the Sun, and after that day there will be no light.
Also spinning through the void are the Two Moons, which are like the Sun but much less bright, and the Three Planets, which are like the Moons but further from the world. Scholars believe the surfaces of these celestial bodies may be habitable, but in recorded history no one has visited them and spread the word. In any case, since the bodies spin as they circle the world, any person on them would have to take care to avoid falling off.
Above the planets is the Celestial Firmament, a tremendously vast fastness run through with holes through which the light of Beyond leaks. We see these holes, the stars, in the night sky, and observe that the Firmament slowly rotates, just as the Moons and Planets do.
Beyond the Firmament, none know. The Cult of the Pelgaic Mysteries teaches that upon death we are transmitted to either a public heaven or a private hell, depending upon our alignment with the Pelgaic Harmony; these heavens and hells are supposed to lie beyond the Firmament. Other cults, suppressed or not, give their own account of the afterlife, and more often than not it involves the Beyond. Those creatures aristocratic magisters conjure and beckon forth, they come from somewhere, though debate rages on as to whether they come from the mind of the conjurer or some fairyland Beyond. The Dark, that greatest of magical powers which energizes the Undying and supports all the most potent of spells, is rumored to have its source beyond the stars.
Personally, I don’t believe a word of it, but it’ll be on the exam, so take notes regardless.
SEE ALSO: The Academy of Recognized Truth, Religion in the Mother Countries, the Origin of the Dark