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Conjunction of the Iron Sisters
The Baldwin Sister
No sun shone in the skies above the city of Psychopompeii, nor any moon. Only a series of stars glowed and dimmed in the eternally dusky-copper skies. The brightest were called the Iron Sisters – ominous red stars that brought a semblance of daylight. The stories called them distant goddesses, sisters who fought constantly and so only appeared in the sky together once every 17 years. The Conjunction of the Iron Sisters was a cause for great celebration in the city, beginning in the darkness that preceded their ascension when the streets would be awash in revelry and decadence.

Then the Bells of Mnemosyne would ring three times. The first would be at the rise of Elysion, the gentle sister. The second, many hours later, when Asphode the tempered sister joined her. Finally, once Tartari the grim sister appeared, the bells ran for a final time and Psychopompeii was awash in red light.

One year, it was not the Bells of Mnemosyne that rang first in the darkness, despite what those deep in their cups assumed. It was the Erinyean Vesper, the dreaded chime that tolled for the most horrid of crimes: the murder of a deity’s beloved servant.

* * * * *

I conceived the Conjunction as an event of importance to go along with the true events of the story – an unintentional murder and the subsequent race of the affected parties to escape the city before the law could catch them. I think it is a beautiful image and colors the setting very nicely. However, I am now getting tripped up in the details of this event, both on an astronomical and on a cultural level. Is it possible to have the stars behave like I want, with a period of darkness and then an approximate ‘day’ of three stars that will not recur for years? Does it make any sense to have the revelry in the dark BEFORE the daylight?

Or do I just write the damn story and hope it’s so compelling that no one thinks to question the physics/sociology?

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(Deleted comment)
I'm gonna take that as a vote for 'just write the damn story'. :D

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