Ashayta is a webcomic being written by Shamus Peveril and drawn by Lesley Penney. We update when we are able to, with no fixed schedule. If you want to know when the comic updates, follow us on Twitter, or on Facebook. We also have an RSS feed.
Eden is a small blue world on the edge of its galaxy. It has a sun, Eilos, and two moons: bright silvery Eupha (which orbits roughly every 28 days) and small dark Tigraine (which orbits every year and a half). These celestial bodies, and the spirits over which they rule, form the basis of the most common, traditional religion on Eden. The world has a long civilized history, stretching back over a few thousand years of unbroken, usually peaceful world-wide government. Prior to that, it is generally understood that Edanians were tribal farmers or nomads, with many distinct and varied clans led by powerful Sorceror Kings.
Edanians are natural psychics. In modern times, this aptitude is almost universally used only to provide an easy interface to psychic machinery and computers, though telepathy and telekinesis, as well as psychic force and elemental manipulation are possible to a limited extent. Many historical accounts tell of great feats of psychic prowess and sorcerous ability from the great Magi and their predecessors the Sorceror Kings. These date almost universally from the era prior to the formation of the worldwide Free Republic of Eden (about 1500 years ago), and are generally considered to be somewhat overstated.
Modern Edanian life is almost entirely urban; the covenant signed between the Magi and the Technologists that formed the Free Republic laid down very strict rules for city development, and has shaped the Edanian landscape into a nearly-untouched wilderness, punctuated by only twelve great Cities worldwide (with a thirteenth currently in development). These Cities are each fundamentally self-sufficient, but travel between them is freely allowed to all legal citizens of the Republic.
The greatest achievement of the last several decades was the invention of psychic machinery. The mother of the current president of the Free Republic was the leader of a team of researchers that discovered that properly prepared wires could carry a current of psychic energy. For political and practical reasons, the whole world is becoming heavily invested in the use of psychic machinery. Rather than having to use clunky mechanical devices such as buttons and levers, a user may simply interface with the machine mentally via a special crystal pad. In addition, it has the useful side effect of side-stepping many of the problems that traditional mechanical technology has had: psychic machinery is light and clean, and side effects of psychic fields allow useful tricks like hovercoil technology and simple psychic-body detectors.
Two aberrations of psionicism occur naturally in the Edanian population: the aterpsions, those born without psychic talent or ability at all, and the oberpsion, those born with an excess amount of innate psychic energy. Aterpsions (or deeks) are reasonably functional members of society, though they find themselves increasingly marginalized as psychic computers and sensors become more and more prevalent. Oberpsions (or espers) are dangerously unbalanced; as soon as children begin to show tell-tale signs of oberpsionism they are removed to special government-run facilities to have their powers tamed or removed.