My World, and Welcome to it...
Foreword By Dan L. Hollifield
Bethdish Map
    Bethdish is a world circling a star, called Antuth by the natives (who named the star after the chief deity in their pantheon), presently some 65 lightyears from Earth. Rumor has it that the entire solar system had earlier been located in the Andromeda Galaxy, but was moved by some mysterious force to its new location in our own Milky Way Galaxy. The surviving written history of Bethdish covers some 12,000 years, (with the afore-mentioned displacement to the Milky Way occurring in their year 6055 -- circa 3140 AD, Terran Calendar) but the records of the Immortals reportedly go back roughly a billion years and relate the rise and fall of several civilized eras of non-immortal natives before the present recorded history begins.

The Immortals claim to have been directly created by the Gods of Bethdish, while the diverse non-immortal species are said to have evolved naturally. The several alien colonies now present are, of course, immigrants. One Xenoarcheologist of note, Professor Eustas Gray of the Emperor Norton University of San Francisco, has published several monographs on the subject of excavations on Bethdish that purport to uphold the Immortal's beliefs. Other experts in the field dispute his findings, but all the evidence is not yet in.

"I am the sole arbiter of princes and battles,
The sole lonely judge of pirates and prey.
I chose between those who are heroes or villains,
And each I send on their infinite way.
Reward or damnation, their own separate way.
I judge without malice-
High standards have I.
To the hero the chalice.
To the villain, the flame.
But who will be what is no simple say..."

From the Song of T'nishe-t'alla, Judge of Princes & Battles, God of War. Composed by the Bard Oroden during the Lost Times. Preserved from oral history by transcript recordings of traditional native songs. Transcription made possible by the Planetary History department of the Collegium Lux, City of Lights.

Pantheon of the Living Gods of Bethdish:
DeityAstronomical BodyDeity's TitleMoons & Other Info
Antuth The Sun Father of the Gods. 65 Light Years from Earth
Da-ast'nor Innermost planet God of the Forge & Blacksmiths Moon: Chuscht'nor The Spark of Creation
M'resst'ash-fur Second planet Goddess of Weather 2 Moons: P'milla & D'ian
Handmaidens of M'resst'ash-fur
D'aa'oert'oth Third planet God of the Hunt 5 small moons, named for the Hunter's Dogs: M'shegagn, T'nesshthee, K'ntuk, C'aorcha, and T'seckus
Bethdish Fourth planet Mother of the Gods Original Moon: Morit'orn
Shieldmaiden of the Mother
Present Moons: Darius & Xerxes
T'nishe-t'alla Fifth planet Judge of Princes & Battles, God of War 2 Moons: Inat'soun & Fer'vr'soun, Swordbearer & Shieldbearer
S'lar-ak'esh Asteroid belt Goddess of Luck 50,000 known asteroids. The largest is 600+ miles in diameter.
R'ene-land'thur Sixth planet Goddess of the Seas 23 Moons:
M'aalin'ash-tuth Seventh planet Goddess of Fertility, Planting, and Harvests 17 Moons:
Kan'she'ellor't'shen Eighth planet Goddess of Mercy & Redeemer of Lost Souls 15 Moons:
S'nith'o'duu'arr Ninth planet God of Death & the Afterlife 11 Moons:
Valleor Tenth planet God of Evil, & Chaos Thousands of temporary moonlets from the cometary halo.

Partial Timeline of Bethdish

Bold Italics represent a written story, Italics represent an outlined or planned unwritten story.

Fifteen billion years ago: Beginning of the current universe.

Three billion years ago, Maxwell's builders evolved.

Two billion years ago, Maxwell and his fellow slaves were created. After two million years of murder, these slaves revolted against their masters. Maxwell was damaged in the last battle for freedom and drifted in space, deactivated, until found and repaired by the Collector.

Bethdish Prehistory: One billion years ago...

Creation of the planet and the Immortals in the Andromeda Galaxy. First Golden Age. The first Reever of the Immortals is created. The Black Snake is an Immortal child at this time. The Immortal population averages 20 million souls. The Floating City is built as the first home of the Immortals and the Crystal Bridge is linked to Albion, the Home of the Gods.

The Immortals explore the local cluster of solar systems.

508 million years before the present time-- The 2nd Reever of the Immortals is born.

Evolution of other sentient natives. Empires rise and fall. The original moon of Bethdish ( Morit'orn -- Shieldmaiden of the Mother ) eventually shatters and forms a temporary ring system. The Gods shield the planet from the major debris. Some native civilizations collapse at this time. Others remain unaffected. All myths and legends carried by oral tradition. After the re-invention of writing the natives collect these stories and preserve them. By the end of this era the rings have faded away.

65 million years before the present time-- The 3rd Reever of the Immortals is born.

Gods and Immortals live among the native peoples. Second Golden Age. Immortals defend Bethdish against various alien invasions. Natives eventually begin to explore their solar system, and in time, various others nearby. The second Immortal city is built on the banks of the river Ariastor. The Immortals call it Summerhome, but the rest of the natives name the city some variant on "Crystal Mirror Towers."

38 million years before the present time-- The 4th Reever of the Immortals is born.

13.5 million years before the present time-- The present Reever of the Immortals is born. He is the 5th Immortal of his line to bear the title Reever.

2 million years before the present time-- Max is genetically engineered to breed longevity into the non-immortal humanoid natives evolving on Bethdish.

50 thousand years before the present time-- Valleor and His worshipers revolt against the other gods. In the long war that followed, both the cities of the Immortals and the home of the gods (Albion) are laid to waste. The Floating City and the Crystal Bridge to Albion are broken loose from both Summerhome and Albion by the gods-war. The Broken Bridge still retains a tenuous, ethereal connection to Albion from the Floating City. The Reever's wife and two sons are killed in the fighting by forces led by the Black Snake. Summerhome is almost totally destroyed and is quickly abandoned. Eventually the revolt is put down and Valleor is captured by the other gods. The gods condemn Valleor to a discorporate existence and banish him from Albion. The powers of the gods are greatly reduced by this action, so that as time passes they take less and less part in the history of the planet.

Towards the end of this age, as a result of the gods-war, the axial tilt of Bethdish is almost negated. The shape of the landmasses are altered with corresponding loss of life. Only one landmass survives. The others sink beneath the ocean. The Immortals carve out a new city inside Fort Mountain. Their population is temporarily reduced to less than 12 million.

The Lost Years: Less than 1000 years between the polar shift and the arrival of the Andromeda alien Co-Op. The Reever is 13.5 million years old at this time. His father is still living at age 38 million, as is his grandfather at age 65 million. It is unknown if the previous two Reevers are still extant. They may have been killed in the Revolt of Valleor, or even earlier in the prehistory of Bethdish.

Recorded History--New Calendar:

Click here for a large map of the Altiplaino Spaceport in it's prime.

Year 1 [2986 BC] ..............The coalition of alien races contact Bethdish. They negotiate with the immortals and purchase a sizable tract (3.5 million square miles) of the worst devastated area of the landmass. Construction of the Altiplaino Spaceport is begun. The Immortals assist the Co-Op in the construction. Humanitarian aid provided to the natives by the Co-Op. Medicines and treatments provided by the Co-Op rescue effort saved many lives that would have otherwise been lost. The Immortal's own aid services were overwhelmed until the Co-Op arrived. Thereafter, each Immortal worked with one or more Co-Op teams. The small moons Darius and Xerxes are moved into Bethdish orbit by the Co-Op and Immortals for use as a low-G shipping port and a military base, respectively.


120 [2867 BC] ..................The Shebeja build Oktishnear and Nanor Fort City.

Lake City

800 [2187 BC] ...................Arrival of the Gray People, the Halazed. They purchase a large forest and lake as a colony site. They build Lake City under the surface of the lake. They also re-plant the forest with trees from their homeworld.

D'rrish City

920 [2067 BC] ..................The D'rrish arrive and buy colony space. They build the Arcology Er'da'gasg'dein and irradiate the the general area to conform with their peculiar metabolism.

960 [2027 BC] ..................The Deadly Desert forms near the D'rrish city as a result of the radiation.

970 [2017 BC] ..................The aliens called the Priest-Kings arrive and buy colony space. They build the walled city of Urkiev. Thereafter they pursue an isolationist policy. They trade only through native ambassadors chosen from the villages and towns near Urkiev.

1200 [1787 BC] ................War between the natives that grew to depend on the Altiplaino Spaceport. The 4 Kefa Empire cities nuked each other. The alien colonies and much of the rural native population are generally unharmed while the four industrial cities were bombed into slag. The Altiplaino Spaceport was slightly damaged in the bombing. The Immortals and the Port Authority assume joint control of the surviving Four Cities governments. Trade agreements were renegotiated to avoid the pitfalls of the previous era.

Guiles Thornby in the Battle Suit

1200-1340 [1787-1647 BC] .........Period in which the Battle Suit was used as a weapon.

1340 [1647 BC] ................The Siege of Elko Daf ** Battle Suit used in final defense of Elko Daf then becomes a war memorial outside of the castle.

1520 [1467 BC] ................Beloq and Co. steal a copy of the Battle Suit for the Collector.

1840 [1147 BC] ................Interstellar war. Bethdish is found by a "Berserker" type automated weapon (the Scourge) and attacked by it. After a titanic battle, the Scourge is blown to pieces and left adrift in the outer cometary halo. Meteoric bombardment destroys over half of the Altiplaino Spaceport and drive most of the Builders to abandon the planet. Those Aliens who could not escape made their way to Valley of the Three Peaks resort or Nanor because of their ability to support multi species populations. The Bolo Havoc is buried by the bombing. The volcano Tishranet was created by the impact of a damaged Planet Killer missile which failed to detonate. The gods intervened to eliminate the ejected material from the cratering so as to prevent an ice age from destroying their world. Some aliens still use the surviving section of the Altiplaino.

2640 [347 BC] ...............Count Corrono the 1st leads an expedition into the hinterlands of the Duchy of Tamar to find a long forgotten castle. Bandits were using the castle as an occasional hideout from which to terrorize the local farmers and villagers. The Count and his men took the castle by storm , executed the bandits, and claimed the castle for his own. Later he was to set up the longest lasting parliamentary government among the natives of Bethdish. His descendants eventually marry into most of the native royal families.

2670 [317 BC] ...............Nesastor-that-was **The fall of Nesastor and the creation of the Great Blight. Eliasthor makes war on several neighboring nations. All goes well until he attacks Urkiev, the mysterious city of the Priest-Kings. They counter-attack, and destroy the city of Nesastor. Everything within a 1 mile radius of the city center slowly crumbles to dust during the following year. The citizens of Nesastor flee. Only one tower of Eliasthor's palace resists the spell. The planet's natives begin to avoid the bottomless gray dust-bowl that they come to call the "Great Blight". There are rumors of monsters living underneath the dust, but these have never been documented.

2720 [267 BC] ...............Voices in the Night ** Eliasthor lives on in the White Tower in the center of the Great Blight as a prisoner of the Priest-Kings of Urkiev. He is contacted by the god Valleor and attempts to re-form the god's physical body and restore Valleor's full powers. Valleor regains some small amount of his power but not enough to construct a body from his atomized remains by willpower alone.

2740 [247 BC] ..................The Collector is born. Where? Who knows.

2987 [1 AD] .............The Floating City, driven by the winds, finally comes to rest against the southwestern Morishtornell mountains near the southern edge of the surviving Altiplaino. This fragment of the first city of the Immortals was originally joined to the home of the Gods by the Crystal Bridge. The (now renamed) Broken Bridge still retains a tenuous contact to Albion, the City of the Gods.

4600 [1613 AD] ..............Shy'are the Wizard appears as if from nowhere to build his tower by magical means. He then bands the surrounding kingdoms into a loose alliance to fight the pirate raiders along the eastern seacoast. Shy'are is actually a giant old Blue Dragon magically disguised as a humanoid wizard. He came to Bethdish to escape his old life and to take part in helping to build a better world where all can coexist. Shy'are is sometimes seen in the Mare Inebrium in the company of Lung Mei, a Librarian employed by the Collector in the Museum. Lung Mei is also a dragon in disguise. They both appear to be elderly oriental humans, usually sitting together smoking long-stemmed clay pipes and drinking Plum Brandy.

4800 [1813 AD] ..............Alazar the Wizard leaves his father's kingdom of Tulag to build his tower, plant the Ring Forest, and tame the wiregrass plain on the here-to-fore desert plateau of Tissador. (pronounced Sid-ore) Alazar's tower is formed from a waterfall, the run-off of which waters the Ring Forest and the surrounding desert. The waterfall springs from mid-air.

4913 [1926 AD] .............On Earth, Guiles Thornby meets Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Southern Bethdish

4921 [1934 AD]..............Stranded! ** Expedition from the Zelath Stellar League crash-lands on Bethdish and becomes involved with a minor invasion of the southern regions of the Kingdom of Intile. The Reever is sent to stop the invasion. Havoc regains consciousness, escapes from his ocean-floor tomb, and rushes to the aid of the Reever and the stranded League members.

4922 [1935 AD]..............Off to Be a Wizard **Havoc sends an ROV to Tulag in order to study magic under the tutelage of the wizards there.

4937 [1950 AD] .............On Earth, the Collector meets Dr. Clark Savage Jr.

4951 [1964 AD] .............A mysterious, and very nervous burglar steals a primitive time machine from the Collector's Museum. He departs for the future.

4963 [1976 AD] .............On Earth, Tom Darby has a fender-bender with a flying saucer one night on a lonely country road. The crew of the flying saucer take him forward in time to Bethdish of 6080. [3093 AD] The Collector later returns Tom Darby to Earth and the year 1976 AD, to a point two minutes behind himself riding his motorcycle into the side of the flying saucer.

5000 [2013 AD] ..............Membeth Planetary Penitentiary founded as the single maximum security prison. The castle on the site had been used for centuries as the place of execution for the Kingdoms of Ellor, Kineth, Nesastor, Utrthay, and other, older realms. Traitors, pirates, mass-murderers, and sometimes the politically disenfranchised, were doomed to take the "Long Swim". They were walked to the end of the Black Wharf and forced off into carnivore infested waters. None ever reached the shore. Castle Debrethe is designated the medium-security prison for the planet. The Immortals assist the Southeastern Kingdoms Alliance and Shy'are the wizard to construct the "Walled Road", a thousand-mile-long sealed passageway elevated 500 feet above the ground to connect the two prisons.

5240 [2253 AD] ..............Arrival of the Collector and introduction of Castle of the Winds (the gateway on Bethdish to the Collector's Museum in an alternate dimension), deep in the heart of the Caalar Jungle. The Collector is 2500 years old at this time. Castle of the Winds appears to be a small castle or fortress standing in the middle of an open field. Inside, there are many gateways into the Museum.

5340 [2353 AD] .............The Battle Suit is first discovered by the Collector. In Seven Isles in a memorial park- constructed around it -the original stands along with a strange duplicate Battle Suit. In 6740 the Collector sends Beloq, Selene, Resthal and Gryphon with the stolen robot PXR5 back in time to steal a copy of the Battle Suit at Elko Daf in the year 1520 (Bethdish Cal.). Their vehicle accidentally tries to materialize them in the same co-ordinates as the Battle Suit. This results in a mechanical failure in the time capsule which creates the duplicate Battle Suit. Beloq, and company barely escape.

5600 [2613 AD] .............Castle Nilaren is overrun by a small fleet of pirate raiders. In the booty gathered by the pirates before their escape was the relic of antiquity that most of the older castles of Bethdish were built to house. In this case, the relic was a thermonuclear bomb, left over from the Four Cities War.

5640 [2653 AD] .............Castle Dombraim is built on the site of Nilaren on the north seacoast. (Dombraim translates roughly into Terran as a mixture of the concepts of rebuilt / re-born / re-consecrated.)

5740 [2753 AD] .............The Reever and the Collector first meet. The Reever walked through the Caalar Jungle to knock on the front door of Castle of the Winds. Guiles Thornby also meets the Reever at this time.

6055 [3068 AD] ............."The Night the Stars Changed" ** The Collector is attacked by Valleor's forces. Mistaking the attack for one by aliens, the Collector over-reacts and moves the entire solar system to preserve the natives from what he thought was his own enemies. Bethdish is now in a different galaxy from where it evolved. All alien colonies were cut off from their homeworlds. Collector's presence detected by the wizards of Tulag.

6080 [3093 AD] ............"Abducted!" ** The Collector's museum is invaded by Mordred and Sara K is kidnapped.

6125 [3138 AD] .............A mysterious, and very nervous time traveler accidentally materializes in the D'rrish Arcology. He quickly dies from exposure. The D'rrish build a shrine to him as an honored enemy. His mummy and his equipment are placed in the Shrine if the Traveler.

6126 [3139 AD] .............The Terran Federation starship Admiral Charles Herndon arrives in the Antuth solar system with a fleet of support starships and Terran Ambassador Leslie Everett to investigate the mysterious new solar system that had appeared in what had been empty space. The Antuth system is now 65 lightyears from Earth. Bethdish is the only inhabited planet in the system of 10 planets. Antuth is a star quite similar to Sol. Bethdish gravity is .985 of Earth Standard. The day is 25 ES hours, the orbit is almost exactly 1 ES year. Axial tilt is less than 2 degrees at this time. There is one major continent and a scattering of small islands across the opposite hemisphere. The climate is warm and mild.

6127 [3140 AD] .............First Terran Federation contact with the natives of Bethdish. Immortals send delegates to Freeport Durkone to attend diplomatic functions.

6128 [3141 AD] .............Treaty signed. The old merchant city Freeport Durkone renamed "City of Lights". Federation and Immortals cooperate to build the city. Historic "Old City" quickly surrounded by modern skyscrapers. Area directly south of City of Lights established for spaceport. The Old City area lies between the new spaceport and the modern city. Immortals assist the Federation in constructing the spaceport landing field and buildings. Altiplaino Spaceport is declared an historical site and only archaeologists are allowed limited access to the ruins of alien bases there. Strict penalties and fines are levied against illegal access to the Altiplaino.

6129 [3142 AD] .............City of Lights Spaceport opens.

6134 [3147 AD] .............Spaceport expanded.

6142 [3155 AD] .............City expanded.

6162 [3175 AD] .............The feud between the Barony of Albeth and the Barony of Duraz ends with the marriage of the heirs of the two realms. Thus the kingdom of Arnak is formed.

6300 [3313 AD] .............The Tyranny of Valleor begins. The kingdom of Nertua is overthrown and it's people are made slaves. Valleor stays in the background working through the rogue Immortal, the Black Snake. She becomes the de facto ruler of Kingdom Valleor as well as High Priestess and lover of the evil god. Continuing minor warfare between Valleor's forces and Urth in the High Valley. Urth constructs various "Fort-Cities". Valleor's forces confined to the old Nertua region. All bordering native countries re-fortify against attack by Valleor's armies.

6574 [3587 AD] .............Kazsh-ak Teir born on Bethdish in the D'rrish Arcology.

6603 [3616 AD] .............Kazsh-ak Teir is attacked by Beloq and Selene in the Shrine of the Traveler in the D'rrish Arcology. He is 29 years old and is hospitalized for 3 days from his injuries. The Traveler's equipment is stolen by a time-traveling Beloq and Selene for return to the Collector.

6695 [3708 AD] .............Construction begins on the Mare Inebrium Tower. Clark Savage Jr. (MD, PHD, OBE, OOO, etc.) is a silent partner in the design and construction of the Mare Tower. He duplicates his New York Headquarters on the Mare's 86th floor. The Collector is also a silent partner in the design and construction.

6698 [3711 AD] .............The Mare Inebrium opens for business.

6735 [3748 AD] .............Max begins working at the Mare Inebrium. He is slightly over 2 million years old at this time.

The Battle Is Joined

6740 [3753 AD] ............."The Threat of Valleor" ** The Reever leads a small band of adventurers on a far journey to confront Valleor and rescue missing people from all over Bethdish. Valleor is temporarily trapped by a spell cast by Tinhill of Urth (the retired High Priest of Antuth) utilizing the combined powers of all the magic-users on Bethdish, augmented by a powerful relic in the Collector's Museum. Tinhil dies from the magical energy channeled through his body before completing the spell- confining Valleor for a while, but not for all time as intended. Kazsh-ak Teir, at age 148, meets Guiles Thornby during this adventure. Beloq, Selene, Resthal, and Gryphon are recruited by the Collector during this adventure.

This is the world where most of my stories take place. I began working on the background material back in the 1970s- even though I didn't know it at the time. I jotted down notes for story ideas, drew maps of places I imagined, made up names... And the material piled up. Then came a snowstorm and cabin fever brought me a challenge from someone annoyed with me. I began to write a story, to prove that I could do better than the TV movie I was complaining about when the challenge was issued.

Turns out that first one wasn't very much of a story. Oh, it had a beginning, middle, and end. It had action, a monster, a damsel in distress, a daring rescue, a mighty magic spell to defeat the monster, the death of one of the heroes... and it was about 8 to 12 pages long... handwritten. Clearly I had more to learn. Eventually, I thought up a place where my stories could happen, pulled all my maps together and made them fit, shuffled my notes and outlines, and thought deeply for a very long time. The I re-plotted the story to fit the new playground, and came up with a lot of background concepts to influence the events of whatever story uses the backdrop. Before I was through I had a map of the planet's one landmass and an 11,000+ year-long timeline of its history. I knew the major players and the minor characters, I knew the names of landmarks in the native language I'd made up, the big stories and the small ones. Now if I only knew how to write effectively...

Of course, this was back in the days that a typewriter was the state of the art word processor. Computers were either big, clunky machines built to do one thing at a time, or they were little boxes that you hooked up to your TV set to play games like Pong, or Breakout, or Pinball. Eventually there came the TRS-80s and the C64s, and the like. Grand old computers, for their time. I have over a hundred pages of outline for my first attempt at a Bethdish novel stored on audio cassette and a hardcopy printed out from an old TRS-80 CoCo3. I have had roughly a third of it online as "Threat of Valleor" since the late '90s... But I digress. About the time that modern computers were in their second generation, I made the leap from a 128k CoCo3 to a 33Mgh 386 with a whopping 16 megs of RAM and a 20 meg hard drive running Windows 3.1 and good old DOS. I started transcribing my files from the CoCo3 into the 386. That turned out to be harder work that expanding on the outline as I was transcribing it. It also slowed me down, and above all, showed me a bright warning flag that I still had a lot to learn about this writing gig. So a third of the way through transcribing this novel outline, I decide that I need to learn to write short stories so that I can more quickly learn to write better.

And so the Mare Inebrium series was moved to my little planet. So that I might learn to write better in a shorter format. But I was still setting my stories in the same general background. Adjustments had to be made. Continuity mistakes were made also. Then the Mare became a Shared Universe with its third story- the first one that I didn't write. Further continuity tweaking became necessary. And I had to scramble to keep up with all the other new writers for the series. Inventing new details to answer their questions, writing my own stories as richly in relevant details as I could create. Rejecting the few that violated my elaborate continuity... Well, actually, I pointed out the violations and asked for re-writes. Detail became added to detail.
    But the Mare writers are almost never allowed to venture outside of the spaceport city the bar is located within. The rest of the planet is mine alone.

Copyright 1978-3140 by Dan L. Hollifield