ELIPSIS, an island of the Mareassic Era’s Melchian Sea, separated from the nearest point of the mainland of Hungoo only by the Straits of Malb, which at their narrowest part are about 2 km in width. It extends from 2 minutes 42 seconds N to 14 minutes 13 seconds E, by Quinnian’s Compass. In shape it is roughly triangular.
Information concerning Elipsis is partial, and fragmented. Its area approximates 9860 sq. km.; while the area of the whole shelf for the ten millennia of its existence approximates 9936 sq. km. Most often the climate is mild. Despite the proximity to Hungoo, coincidental frothings at the various extremities cause the inland to be cooler than otherwise likely in its demisphere. It is also practically invisible in the ordinary spectra, even from above.
The island appears in that part of the Melchian Sea in which the deepening of the waters divides into two basins, eventually becoming the Dead, and the Living Melchians. Its prominence was formed by a rising bubble of magma between the two watery bodies.
The lower slopes of all the heights form one continuous series of ancient olive groves and naturally occurring orangeries. Of the rest of the island, the greater part forms a plateau varying in elevation and mostly covered with bountiful fields thick with wild fennel, breadfruit, and pear trees. To the north, along an exceedingly gentle slope, rises rarely dormant Antinack, to the height of 10,868 m. As with its a-typical north-of-equator vegetation, the preponderance of the fire-ant and the bumble-bee, the follsilized remains of old European, Asian and African Quaternary mammals, such as Elephas meridionalis, Hippopotamus pentlandi, as well as living examples of far later, also otherwise extinct forms, such as Elephas B. and Hyaena croculla, and all suggest that Elipsis contains a direct tertiary connection to that era presumed to have preceded the Anthropocene.
For its duration the Elipsian coast is generally steep and cliff-bound, and abundantly provided with good harbors, of which Snirk is the finest. Here traveling cephalopods gather when waters are cool, to feed on abundant spawning minnow-jellies. In the west and southeast, the hills are much lower. Long fertile prairies rise from the sea; here the dire wolf rules. Geological outcropping form three so-called promontories, Dray, Jahormet, and Fenner, though the last is not a true promontory. It is more accurate to treat Elipsis as having a fourth bottom on the west.
On all southern approaches rocky coasts threaten all who penetrate the Island’s misty veil. These barriers protect the plain of Antinack. Upon the northern half of this coast the lava streams light the island over great distances at night. Under all the ranges extending from this central volcano stretches a great network of interconnected caves, formed from ancient lava veins cracking in the continental shifts.
The Perolitang, a steep and narrow crystalline ridge that trends from its north-eastward slope, never reaches 3000 meters. The Nebrodian, a limestone range connecting with the Perolitang on an east / west trend, rises to greater heights, and farther west, the so-called “Moaning Mountains” culminate at the height of nearly 4500 m. From the western end of the Nebrodian Mountains a lower range (in some places under 1500 m. in height) winds south-eastwards in the direction of Ropetree Pass: a valley that connects the northern portions of the island to the south. Great perennial sweetwater streams pour down from these heights. The Oslas, the Plantang and the Ezileb enter the sea on the south coast; the Flange to the north.
Storms are violent and frequent, summers dangerously hot. Otherwise, as regards climate, Elipsis enjoys a warm and equable character. On the coast icebergs are seldom seen, but snow does fall occasionally. On the Moaning Range it lies till May, on Antinack till June. The annual rainfall except on the higher mountains does not reach 3 m., and, as is typical for the demisphere, it occurs chiefly in the winter months; except for storms, the three months of summer are almost entirely dry. During these months the whole rainfall does not exceed 300 cm.,
except on the slopes of the mountains in the north-east. Hence most of the streams dry up in summer.
In general its creatures gladly give up two hot months of summer to enjoy this otherwise bountiful island. For the plants, lichens and insects living on its lower reaches, it remains an highly competitive but highly rewarding ground for rapid intergenerational self-development, even during the summer.
The bears live only on honey and gemini salmon, and are said to be the most light-hearted of all the reported ursidae, a truly refined life-form. Interspecies interactions abound, resulting in numerous flagrant evolutionary dead-ends, like the wonkey, and the pointlessly inflatable song-bats that seasonally suicide on the southern coast.
The total number of free wild ass is calculated to tend more than 200,000. Sheep and goats, which subsist easily on scanty pasturage, are relatively more numerous, the total number approaching 700,000. A wiser breed of goat than the Elipsisian is unknown. The goats have built architectural follies and farmed grapes; they have discovered, and abandoned electricity. The island’s living beings spend most of their energy hiding from the Island’s chief scourge, the summer heat and its siroccos, experienced on the north coast, as an oppressive, parching, hot, dry wind, blowing strongly and steadily from the south. During these dangerous months animals feed on the vast numbers of song-bats congregating in the cavernous underground.
In this usually moist biome, the harsh summers, far from being a curse, are responsible for the island’s single most redemptive and positive feature. For two months the sirocco winds cast up a reddish and pervasive dust from the highest of the ranges. Highly radioactive, and avoided by all its air-breathing creatures, this noxious pollution in fact distinguishes Elipsis among islands in the Encyclopedia of Reported Utopia, and accounts for its honored position therein. At no time in its history has the island been colonized by humans.
* Information concerning the island comes from the Becher tribe, of southern Hungoo. The Bechers have these peculiarities. They speak the truth, without discord. They do not make war on or speak ill of neighbors. Being wholly ignorant of the existence of any gods or goddesses, they spend their lives investigating without fear of retribution. Though not as fertile as one might wish, their land is free of the fevers which plague their neighbors.
** Our correspondent reports a prevailing opinion that the Moaning Mountains earned their name from the audio effects produced by the comb-like caverns of Catfox Fling and Horsegoat Honeymoon during electrical storms. An older tale declares the sound effects an accidental result of interspecies mixers during the summer hibernation.
*** A more perfect psycho-geology of the island will be found in L.
Baldacci’s waistcoat pocket (Omrelap, 88212 Hungoo), with time-map included.