Numenéra: Gift of the Calimshan
Mercury is missing (some prior civilization stole it away or pounded it apart), but we know the moon is still up there: Slightly smaller than we’re accustomed to (because it’s a little farther away), but still possessed of its familiar phases.
Nights of Green
It should be noted that the moon is no longer tidally locked. It rotates.The idea of the “dark side of the moon” is, literally, a thing of the past.
One side of the moon is green and verdant: It has apparently been terraformed and is now covered by vast forests. A huge, silver-blue ocean formed from two overlying circles (possibly ancient craters) lies in the middle of the northern hemisphere. (This ocean is known by a number of names: The Mare Sea, the Spider’s Eyes, the Infinity Brow, the Babe in the Moon, and so forth.) Those possessed with the proper telescopic tools or numenera have observed citadels poking up through the canopy here and there, although it’s unclear if there are any signs of life.
And then, from time to time and on no regular schedule that anyone has been able to ascertain, patterns of light and gold appear. No one truly knows what it means, although scholars have noted that many of the fractal mandala circles have been fading over time. Some mandala constellations appear to have gone out completely.
Nights of Silver
The other side of the moon is a desert of pale, silver sand.
In other words, it looks much like the moon does today: Was it restored to a “pristine” condition? Never touched by the terraforming? Is the terraforming nothing more than an illusion? Or is the “untouched” side of the moon the true illusion?
The key point is that the light you see the Ninth World by depends on the turning of the moon: There are nights of green and there are nights of silver.
And there are also nights of red.
Nights of Red
Between the green side of the moon and the silver side of the moon, there is a desert of red. Telescopic examination of this portion of the moon reveals vast, ruined cities which are constantly being buried, revealed, and buried again by the shifting lunar winds. This red desert often provides no more than a lurid, backlit glow to the green or silver moons. But upon occasion the lunar phases and rotation will turn right and a violent, crimson scar will hang above the Ninth World. Even more strangely, sometimes there are strange red pulses across the lunar surface, sometimes even visible on the green and silver sides.
The red nights, when the world is viewed through a haze of blood, are times of ill luck and foul fortunes.