EPONA - Third stone from taranis


Imagine that you have just landed on a planet twenty-one light years from Earth. You are about to enter a lush world where things are more than just a little different! Evolution has taken exotic paths and a whole new kingdom of life reigns over land, sea and air!

You are the leader of a first contact mission on the planet named Epona. The mission you have organized has journeyed here in an interstellar craft that orbits Epona. Your hand-picked crew must provide all the information you will need about Epona from the 21st Century technology available to you. Your objective is to unlock the secret of Epona's remarkable life-forms and discover if there is intelligent life you can communicate with.

Will you succeed in unraveling the mysteries created by a team of more than 30 worldbuilding specialists from three different countries? For more than three years, Epona has been forged from the stellar fires of the main sequence star 82 Eridani. Using a sophisticated computer program (Martyn J. Fogg's Silicon Creation) that calculates possibilities, a complete planetary system was created for the sun now named Taranis.

That was the idea behind a game for a detailed simulation of evolving life on another planet.  While that game has never been developed, the ideas behind it continue to retain all their innovative vibrancy.  Over time more details of Epona and how it was conceived will be added to this web site.  As this is a labor of love, there is no timetable for development.

The third stone from Taranis, within the star's life-bearing zone, Epona was born with an unusual obstacle for the successful evolution of life. The planet is locked into a deep ice age from which it is released by geologic activity for only 10 million years every 100 million years or so. You have arrived towards the end of the eighteenth warming cycle to find that a wide variety of life forms have exploded into ecological niches carved out in the wake of the freeze. But the ice cycle will return!

Epona is more than a game. It is a challenge that will give you a new perspective of life on Earth. It is an environment that has been carefully crafted to observe known physical laws and arrive at a truly believable alien in a consistent extraterrestrial context. Several stories have already been written using Epona as its environment.  On this site, we hope to reveal one way in which a thoughtful alien world has been designed.  We hope you will enjoy the experience!

Epona is an imaginary world. You're familiar with the concept. Science fiction and world modeling are two faces of a coin. But Epona is different from the rest: Epona is consistent and complete. Why don't they all look like this?” -- Larry Niven

All artwork and illustrations on these pages were created by Wolf Read, Steven Hanly, Paul Birch and Martyn Fogg - Epona model by David Angus



Martyn J. Fogg

Gregory P. Barr


David Angus

Paul Birch

John Bray

Randall Clague

Del Cotter

Keith Halperin

Steven Hanly

Howard Hendrix

Anthony Hobbs

Jon Hoffman

Aleta Jackson

Stefan E. Jones

Karl Kofoed

Geoffrey A. Landis

Edward E. McClanahan

Erin Medlicott

Steven Mitome

Dave R. Moore

Donn Mukensnable

Gerald Nordley

Paul Preuss

Silven Read

Walf A. Read

Susan Sackinger

Donald Scott

Edward Kenneth


Trevor A. Sproston

Gert van Dijk

Gerard van Leusden

Nancy Zuidema

Roger Zuidema

“Half the secret of Epona is twenty years of practice. The other half was in realizing that a weekend isn't long enough. Epona was three years in the making by the time I saw the results. I was stunned. I've never seen a playground this size.” -- Larry Niven


WorldBuilder Gert van Dijk (Furaha)

WorldBuilder Karl Kofoed  (Galactic Geographic)

WorldBuilder Steven Hanly  (Epona Art)

WorldBuilder David Angus (models & workshops)