January 23rd – The Day of the Lowest Tide

Today the Yio Kalan Celestial Object (YKCO) will pass very close to the atmosphere of the Earth. This event occurs once every 23-25 years, when their orbits pass close enough for each object’s tidal force to interact with the other. Because the YKCO does not usually pass directly over (or antipodal to) the portion of Earth where the City is situated, it causes an exceptionally low tide. There have been two recorded occasions when YKCO did pass overhead; once in 1345 and once in 1746; when the Object passed in the earlier event, it ‘grazed’ the atmosphere, creating a huge fireball in the sky. This, combined with the enormous deluge that enveloped a large portion of the region, convinced many that it was the end of the world.

The tide will be lowest between 7:34 and 8:23 this evening, but the ocean will drop below the normal range from around 3:15pm until 12:30am. The Buentoille Bay will be all-but emptied for a lot of this time, leaving a large variety of stranded sea life. Many Buentoillitants are drawn to the rocks and sands of this strange new alien landscape, and it is an excellent opportunity for the City’s children to have a hands-on learning experience. Starfish are particularly populous in the Bay, and groups of children are led by volunteers from the environmental protection group Buentoillitant Lovers of Sea Life to collect up stranded starfish and other sea creatures, and deposit them back in the sea.

The receding ocean has given up many of the sea’s secrets in previous years. In 1970 a large, perfectly spherical stone was found on the edge of the Bay, but by 1993 it had disappeared. Various sunken longboats, rowing boats and other, more modern naval vessels have been found when the sea recedes, many of which are now housed in the Buentoilliçan Museum of Nautical History. Perhaps the most interesting find, though, is the sunken settlement out west along the bay, known commonly as Old Buentoille.

Old Buentoille is a palaeolithic settlement, thought to have been created during the last ice age. Back then, ice would have covered much of the Inner Sea for long enough for vegetation to form, making it all but indistinguishable from the surrounding land. As a result, many settlements were formed on the ice sheet which were later lost to the sea when the ice eventually melted. Old Buentoille consists of a scattering of wooden struts which would have once constituted a number of houses. A number of pots and stone tools have also been found in the surrounding environs, along with human and proto-human remains; Old Buentoille is perhaps most famous for this last point, as the Cult of Our Large-Handed Ancestors was formed around the discovery of these remains. Whilst diving expeditions have gathered a lot of information and finds from Old Buentoille, there is still considerable scientific interest in excavating more of the site today than is usually possible.

Because the YKCO orbits so closely to the Earth it is subject to extreme tidal forces (far more extreme than those which it exhibits on the Earth), and this, along with the various times it has entered the Earth’s atmosphere, means it is often subject to changes in its mass. As a consequence, the exact timing and trajectory of the Object is difficult to calculate, and there is always a small chance it could be tipped into a collision with the Earth, next time around.

Other festivals happening today:


  • The Buentoille Festival of Fine Wines

  • Dynamic Pens’ Day of Discounts