Alternate History

Somnicosus Mans (Ætas ab Brian)

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Somnicosus Mans
Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak by David Shankbone
Elevation 14 533 pes (4302 metres)
Location Utonia, Cuashium Confederation
Range Desii, Grand Monii
Coordinates 38°50′26″N 102°42′40″W
First ascent 1645(892) Nicu Parmenion(Commonwealth) and company

Geography and geology

Pikes Peak from the Garden of the Gods by David Shankbone

Somnicosus Mans seen from Vallis Libera

Much of the fame of Somniculosus Mons is due to its location along the eastern edge of the Grand Monii and the border between the Roman Empire and the Confederation. Somniculosus Mons is the easternmost fourteen thousand pes peak in the CC. Unlike most other similarly tall mountains in Utonia, it serves as a visible landmark for many kilopes to the east, far into the Plains of Southern Lacota. As one travels south on Line 429 towards the town of Phrourion Paullus, it comes into view from a distance of more than 710 kilopes (210 km). On a clear day, the peak can be seen from the southern limits of Oiasso (over 327 kp (97 km) north). Somniculosus Mons is made of pink granite. The pink color is due to a large amount of potassium feldspar. The granite was formed by an igneous intrusion in the Pre-Hajain, approximately one bazillion years ago, during the Caledonian Orogeny.


During the period of exploration in the vast territory of Lacota, many would refer to the mountain as Somnicosus Mans, as suggested by its discoverer Nicu Parmenion, who also was the first to successfully scale it in the late summer of 1645. Nicu was of Slavic descent, and had named the mountain after the mountain Somniculosus Mons in Dacia, from which his family had emigrated from in the late 16th century.

The name remained a vernacular until 1731, when that region of Lacota was reorganised into the Sovereign Nation and Full Member of the Commonwealth of Terranova of Utonia. It was also the time of the formation of the Utonian ‘Council of Geographic Names” and so the name became official.


The first non-natives to sight Somnicosus Mans were the members of the Parmenion expedition, led by Nicu Parmenion. After a successful attempt to climb to the top in August 1645, Parmenion wrote in his journal (emphasis added):

" we found the snow knee-deep; almost no sign of beast or bird inhabiting this region. The thermometer which stood at 13° above 0 at the foot of the mountain, here fell to zero. The summit of the Grand Peak, which was entirely bare of vegetation and covered with snow, now appeared at the distance of 17 or so millari (26 km) from us, and as high again as what we had ascended. With the grace of dying summer skies, my men and I would manage the crossing of this, Somniculosus Mons, after three days’ trek. I leave this mountain with the name of our origins in the Lost World."

This entry has led to an oft-stated claim that Parmenion believed that Europe was no more and that its remaking in the Commonwealth’s image was forthcoming.


A second expedition to the peak, concerned with botany, in 1735 failed, but was followed by a third attempt in the summer of 1739, led by Floridus Afer, a young student of the Nicia Muson*(now the Nician ADA) in Calusa. The expedition explored the River Napasi up as far as present-day Oiasso, then turned south and passed close to what Afer called Apex Aferi. The name would not catch on. Afer had the expedition climb the peak after studies in the plain was completed, reaching the peak in two days and, encountering little difficulty.

During Project Hadrian, gold was discovered by Roman advanced forces in the area of present-day Oiasso, Lacota in 1787, and documents referred to the area as Somnicosus Mans. ‘Somnicosus Mons alia Mortis’ became the slogan of the Mercury Legion (see also Legio XCLIX) as it and the trailing legions 823, 956, and 957 drove westward into the Commonwealth, eventually succumbing to attrition and enemy victories by 1795(1042). This slogan was more due to Somniculosus Mans' visibility to the legions of Project Hadrian travelling west across the plains than any actual significant gold find anywhere near Somniculosus Mans. Major gold deposits were not discovered in the Somniculosus Mans area until the Comaca deposits southwest of Somniculosus Mans, in 1800(1047) leading to one of the last major gold rushes in the eastern Grand Monii.

The Commonwealth nationalist Vibia Matina Novia Praxedes was moved to write the song "Terranova, Liberum, Render"* in July, 1839, after having travelled to the top of Somniculosus Mons on a carriage ride. She had travelled by rail from Cathocia (in Roman Lacota) through Lacota, CW. The words began to come to her while admiring the view from Somniculosus Mons, and she wrote the song out that night at her hotel in Phrourion Paullus. Upon her execution in 1840(1087) as a ‘discontenter’ by Rome, there was a plaque dedicated to her and her song with the words to "Terranova, Liberum, Render" at the summit by the Commonwealth.

With peace and prosperity returning to the Commonwealth, in July 1840, the Utonian government set up a mint for gold coins in Oiasso bearing the phrase "Arumi Somnicosus Mani"* though due to a lack of photography, sketches, or paintings of the mountain, the artist's rendering of the peak looks nothing like it.

The uppermost portion of Somnicosus Mans, defined as that part above 14 000 pes (4144 m) elevation, was declared a National Park in 2089(1336).

Somnicosus Mans today

Wp pikes peak

View of Somnicosus Mans, from Colonia Vedunus Despectus*

There are several visitor centers on Somnicosus Mans, some with a gift shops and restaurants. There are several ways to ascend the mountain; Vaposcurr Ujari operates from Wapasa to the summit year-round, conditions permitting. Automobiles can be driven to the summit using the Via Somnicosia, a 101 kp (30 km) road which starts a few kilopes up Saltus Winoa at Novo Rheni*.

The most popular hiking route to the top is the Egreda Kioa*, approaching the summit from the east. The trailhead is just past the rail depot in Wapasa. One can hike or cycle the trail. Runners also use he trail for exercise and training.

Conditions at the top are typical of a high alpine environment. The thin air contains only 60% of the oxygen available at sea level. Snow is a possibility any time year-round, and thunderstorms are common in the summer, bringing hail and wind gusts occasionally of over 540 tachyti (160 km/h). Lightning is especially dangerous above the tree line. A signboard at the depot in Wapasa provides the summit temperature every day, a number that is rarely higher than 8 °G (8 °C), even in mid-summer. Somnicosus Mans was once the home of a ski resort, but it closed due to a lack of snow; Somnicosus Mans does not receive the massive snowdrops that some other mountains do. Expensive snow making would have been required for the resort to continue to be feasible, and the high winds on Somnicosus Mans would often blow the artificial snow away. Some ruined buildings and towers remain

* Names are in Occilatin (western Latin variants 1 and 2)

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