The Night Skies of Vaal
Zhenaenna is the First One most revered by the elves, not only for having created the elves, but also for setting in motion the heavens above. The priesthood of Zhenaenna, both human and elven, have dedicated their lives to the study of the motions of the heavens as set down by their patron deity. What follows are some of the teachings every Zhen apprentice must know.
In the daytime the sun hides the stars and Wanderers from our eyes, appearing as a bright fiery orb. It is believed by the Zhen priests that all other objects save only the fixed stars travel around the sun which is sometimes referred to by the name of the god said to reside there, Okkim.
At night a host of other objects make themselves known, the brightest of which is Vaal's pale, greenish moon Selanya, named for the Krondorian goddess of healing. Selanya's movements through the heavens are what the Khonaeryan Calendar are based upon. The many festivals throughout the year are timed to coincide with different phases of Selanya.
There are four stars of varying brightness that seem to move in the night sky relative to the fixed stars in the background, the Zhen have designated these as The Wanderers.
Rhyn is the brightest of the Wanderers, and also the fastest moving. This bright white star is called Anandele by the elves, and is often see just before sunrise and just after sunset. Rhyn is sacred to the elves, and they believe that it's power was involved in their creation.
The next brightest object after Rhyn is known collectively as the Nine Sisters. The Sisters appear as a group of 9 white stars that seem to travel along across the sky together in a tight cluster, sometimes shifting in their orientation to each other, but always moving along together. The Sisters are an omen of change and Chaos, and woe is predicted to fall on those forces represented by the constellations the Sisters cross over.
Myrr is a bluish star that moves slowly and gracefully across the sky. The Zhen have been able to make out some surface features of Myrr with their telescopes and other instruments at the Temple of Zhenaenna in Khonaerya, and theorize that it is a cold planet, covered in snow and ice which give it it's blue cast. Myrr has long been held sacred by the dwarves, who bow towards it's direction to pray whenever undertaking the creation of holy weapons. At certain times Myrr is seen to apparently move backwards through its path in the sky.
The faintest of all the Wanderers is the mysterious Ilia. Barely visible with the naked eye at most times, Ilia appears as a faint greyish blue smudge on the sky that shifts it's appearance and brightness somewhat every year or so. The Zhen have many theories about why this occurs, and what the nature of Ilia truely is, but they keep this information to themselves for the most part. Ilia is viewed as the mistress of ghosts, and other restless spirits. Some say it is the destination of those who die without consecration, and who were to wicked to be allowed to walk the earth. Ilia has also been recorded as having moved backwards along its path in the sky.
The fixed stars fill the rest of the sky like so many diamonds cast across a velvet cloth. Many groupings of stars have been catalogued and named in the Zhen archives, and many cultures have their own view of what those stars and groups of stars represent.