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The Way Things Are is an energy source that regulates Reality according to Authlanis mythology. Because of its precision and rigor, poets have sometimes described it as a clock or clockwork device.

No mortal in recorded history has ever seen The Way Things Are, and it is kept that way on purpose. It is catastrophic enough when a mortal stumbles upon "ordinary" immortal knowledge, but to see The Way Things Are would surely incinerate the mortal's soul.

Creation of The Way Things Are[]

The Unveiling of Reality was an experiment by the Cosmos. Not knowing what kind of an effect Reality would have on Reality, the Cosmos were pleasantly surprised at how well the Authlanis's birth went. It was not completely perfect, however, and over the course of a few hundred thousand years, the Cosmos prepared the Remodeling of Reality, to iron out some glitches.

One of the main problems that Reality had at its Unveiling was that there was no fixed natural order of things. Creatures evolved in a constantly changing environment. Nothing physical could be relied on to do again what it had once done. Water failed to remain in the oceans, mountains failed to remain grounded, grass failed to remain non-sentient, and so forth. So, for the Remodeling of Reality, the Cosmos presented Authlanis with The Way Things Are.

Life and Death[]

Part of the function of The Way Things Are is to monitor Life. Each living creature in existence, whether a more intelligent creature, less intelligent creature, plant, or fungus, has Life.

The precise definition of Life, obscure and difficult to the mortal intellect, is the single most profound creation of the Cosmos. The way Life proceeded through Reality and interconnected with other Life is a Cosmological dance that not even the most well-learnt wizard could explain.

Nevertheless, the Wizard Halmon attempted just such an explanation in his book Life from Mount Because.

Weights and Measures[]

All Life on Authlanis uses units of measure based in the clockwork of The Way Things Are. Scholars disagree on why the exact values of these units are so consistent across eras and cultures in spite of the well-documented fact that the clockwork of The Way Things Are is purely metaphorical.


Name Definition Conversion Basilican units Earth units
Great League Width of the clock face. 120,000 short leagues 1430000000 MDU 231120 kilometers
Short League Breadth of one of the hands. 3,500 teeth 11917 MDU 1.926 kilometers
Tooth Width of a tooth of the smallest gear. 400 hairs 3.4048 MDU 0.55028 meters
Hair Width of the seam between two fitted parts. -- 0.0085119 MDU 1.3757 millimeters

The short league is also called the league.


Name Definition Conversion Basilican units Earth units
Epoch The slowest hand makes its full revolution. 312 sweeps 280000000000 STU 478340 Earth years
Sweep The pendulum travels the full width of its arc in one direction. 45 gongs 897430000 STU 1533.1 Earth years
Gong From one sounding of the chimes to the next. 52 seasons 19943000 STU 34.069 Earth years
Season The longest hand makes its full revolution. 729 beats 383520 STU 7.8622 Earth months
Beat The swiftest hand makes its full revolution. 210 wheels 526.08 STU 7.8782 hours
Wheel The swiftest gear makes one full revolution. 750 ticks 2.5052 STU 2.2509 minutes
Tick The swiftest gear turns through one of its teeth. -- 0.0033402 STU 0.18007 seconds

Some Life occasionally uses the vulgar unit of a day, which is not based on the Mechanism, but is merely the period of the creature's sleep cycle. A day can vary from less than a beat to more than three seasons, depending on the creature.

Mass and Weight[]

Because the inhabitants of Authlanis do not commonly experience variation in gravity, the same units are used for mass and force. When scholars discuss an object of unequal mass and weight, such as an astronomical body, the difference (mass minus weight) is referred to as its levity and is measured in the units of mass/force. Likewise, metals have a (quite strong) negative levity due to their magnetic attraction to Authlanis.

Name Definition Conversion Basilican units Earth units
Gravity Mass of The Way Things Are. 1,100 plumbs 8600000000 SMU 18714000 metric tons
Plumb Mass of the pendulum. 144 bells 7818200 SMU 17012 metric tons
Bell Mass of the largest chime. 101 gears 54293 SMU 118.14 metric tons
Gear Mass of the smallest gear. 64 locks 537.55 SMU 1.1697 metric tons
Lock Force to advance one tick. (*) 1,008 motes 8.3993 SMU 18.277 kilograms
Mote Shear force across a gear parallel to its axis. -- 0.0083326 SMU 18.132 grams

(*) Specifically, a lock is the force required to overcome (and thus operate) the locking mechanism that converts smooth rotation into ticking motion, advancing the clockwork by one tick. Momentum is always measured in a unit of time multiplied by a lock, such as lock-ticks or lock-gongs.


Temperature is not considered a quantity to be measured in units, and precise distinctions of temperature vary by region. However, a few broad categories of climate are recognized worldwide.

Name Min Temp Max Temp
Etheric -- 17.0 STE
Glacial 17.0 STE 19.4 STE
Metallic 19.0 STE 20.2 STE
Wooden 19.8 STE 21.0 STE
Tropic 20.9 STE 22.7 STE
Draconic 22.1 STE 23.7 STE
Hilrahic 23.4 STE --

All STE measurements are approximate.