Ariel was settled by colonists from Earth looking to farm its rich interior and fish its vast oceans. Then the Hadí came, religious zealots who swept across the galaxy like Mohammed once swept across North Africa, overpowering the colony's defenses in weeks. They were aided, frightened Arielans whispered, by their angry One God, who walked with them out of their desert landing site near present-day Mt. Sinon. One hundred years and forty years later, the Hadí were overthrown, but in their wake they left a ruined spaceport, a colony cut off from the rest of the galaxy, and a bitter, abiding distrust of priests.

The religions brought from Earth had survived in secret, but those who wanted to restore them fled into the wastes rather than bend to Sarah Linden's martial law. Focused on the massive problems of rebuilding a ruined land and economy, she had no time for squabbling sects, and no patience for resurrected priests, or keeping disgruntled survivors from attacking them. 

Thus Sevakand, land of agnostics, and Nemistak, land of "heathen fanatics," came to be, two peoples separated by the low hills of the March, refusing to understand each other. To the north lie a dozen provinces ruled by ambitious peers eyeing the crown and each other; on the other, rival tribes vie for grazing lands and agree on only one thing. Someday, it is said, they will reclaim the green fields of Sevakand for their own. When the Messiah comes.


Map of Ariel
The Citadel



The Mask of God by S. A. Bolich

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The Mark of God by S. A. Bolich

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The Heart of God by S. A. Bolich

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  © 1989 Copyright S. A. Bolich. All rights reserved.

Map hand-drawn by the author, ever so long ago and updated at


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