Endless Blue – Week 133 – Arkwall University and the “Library of Stolen Books”   Leave a comment

Bibliotechography

Arkwall University and the “Library of Stolen Books”

Arkwall University is a military service academy that prepares students for service in the officer corps of the Chelonite Empire. Established almost immediately after the fall of the Kraken Empire, the school quickly garnered fame for its collection of written language. Perhaps infamy is a better word, for the reputation that grew gave the library the epithet of “The Library of Stolen Books“.

The technical name for the library is the Athenaeum of Collected Archives. As such, it is reputed to contain rare works by the Chelon Sea’s greatest minds. However, deep in its halls and vestibules are hidden troves of knowledge from across the waters of Elqua, reported collected by Chelonite forces during the many Shellback Wars, and controversially during the Rebellion of the Kraken Occupation of the Verdigris Epoch.

Being a military school, attendees all serve the interests of the Empire, of which the Athenaeum is one of the greater interests. It represents the glory days of the Empire, where it expanded its rule at will. Those selected from the general class to serve as protectors of these spoils are called the Athenaeum Guard, and the title is a great honor. So great, that some graduates choose not to enter general military service, and instead remain at Arkwall, pledging their entire careers to the protection of the Athenaeum. As a modern Fluid Nation, the populace of the Chelon Sea range across all the piscean species (and the enrollment of Arkwall University reflects that fact). Despite this, the Athenaeum Guard are only ever chosen from Chelon genealogies.

Among the Library of Stolen Books’ myriad first folios and original manuscripts:

  • Lumulans are gravely concerned the Athenaeum posses documents for early iteration of the Ur’Qual’she, as well as the Known World’s best estimate of how coiltech is made.
  • Likewise, there is fear in the Synesthete Synod that vital research toward the creation of the Acumen Cypher may be in the hands of Chelon librarians.
  • Possesses one of the earliest editions of the Vitruvian Codex, the “bible” of the Anatomist movement that birthed the College of Doctors. This is where the idea of the “Piscean Form” was first composed.
  • The Eleventh Golden Verse, original sheet music dating back to the First Khan (11 in Elquan octal is 9). Believed to have purchased from the Narwahl post-Occupation as repayment for services rendered during the war.
  • Correspondence between Seamus Lorwynn and Endira Mundi, founders of the Godless movement.
  • An illustrated edition of the Books of the Idolatry, considered the most definitive collection of the religion’s dogma.
  • The Elquiliquan, an atlas of Elqua dated from Bronze Epoch. Translates to “The Waters of the Ocean”.
  • The Northern Palimpsets — a series of pergamene sheets of young cetacean hide which once held writing that was scraped off. At one time may have held Icht texts, this parchment has the telltale coloration of an Orcan, and the writing had once consisted of a metallic gold ink.
  • Rumors whisper of documented evidence in the Atheneaum that proves the Kouton’s alliance with the Kraken during the Occupation.
  • A collection of “coral rune scutes”, early examples of ritualistic scarring of Chelon shell sections with sigils related to proto-xanthellaette magics. The coloration of these scutes matches no known genetic lineage, and is believed to be linked to the strain of coral described in it rune.
  • A collection of Occupation propaganda broadsides. These were posted in settlements under Kraken control to reinforce Occupational Rule.
  • The largest selection of Formation Maps in the Known World. Publicly, the Athenaeum displays the Chelonite coded maps, but in private they library holds maps in every Elquan language. It is unknown is they have any Cryptic Key other than the expected Chelon.
  • Something called “Monograph of the Vastness at Night”, containing page after page of meticulously inscribed dots connected to lines. This is a map of constellations in Elqua’s night sky as recorded by Godless fools crazy enough to poke their head out of the water and into the realm of the Aberrations.
  • The supposed internal minutes of a Synnove 144 Group meeting.
  • Kraken Cartouche: The equivalent of a magic spell scroll, with an Elsewhere pact drawn upon its surface. Luckily, Kraken has not be deciphered, but these left over magics from the Occupation are considered a violation of every known intersea treaty, especially the Fluid Nations Accord. A recent acquisition from an expedition with the Mud Daubers of Pleione Trench.
  • Chronicles of the Anemoi: The Anemoi is a classic collection of folklore known across the Fluid Nations, and is perhaps its greatest known collection of mythological figures.
  • “Synesthesia, Me: The Colour of Words”: A Synesthete book of poetry where the color ink used reflected the synesthesia of the author. The conjoining of color patterns with complex rhyme scheme is deemed to be “the most concise example of grapheme-hue synesthia ever inscribed to parchment”, while the context of the poems explains what it feels like to be a synesthete.
  • The Shales: This is a strange arrangement of slates in a framework that slide across one another. Sliding a slate to certain locations allows it to be lifted along a side and lowered with the other side now showing upward. Each slate is roughly the size of a Mer’s hand, and contains tiny writing that needs magnification to see. Unfortunately, the language and logography of these plates have yet to be identified, let alone deciphered. The complicated mechanism by which its “pages” are turned hints that maybe this item is of Lumulan origin, but it contains no noticeble metal or coil technology to connect it a Forgeclan.

The Chelonite Empire has disavowed the “true nature” of the Atheneaum of Collected Archives, but has so far disallowed any third party investigation of the library’s contents. It is perhaps Elqua’s worst kept secret that the Library of Stolen Books exists, but to date no politician has been able to apply enough pressure to the Chelon government to make reparations. There are other groups though, namely the Parsimonia, that are constantly directing their resources towards gaining access to the trove of plundered knowledge for their own selfish objectives.

Knowledge has no want to be free.
Others simply covet what they don’t know.
— More of a Kouton saying than philosophy

Endless Blue – Week 132 – Fashion Regardless of Form   Leave a comment

Sociology

Fashion Regardless of Form

For some reason, there is a persistent notion that an aquatic race would not wear clothing, that fabric adorning the body would impede their ability to function in their natural surroundings. This is a mistaken assumption.

Just because a species evolves in a specific environment does not automatically make them immune to the effects of that climate. We see this seeming contradiction to be true in nature. When the sun goes down for the night, many animals cluster together for warmth. Others build shelter to protect them from the elements, despite having adapted to their biome through evolution.

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Endless Blue – Week 131 – Alcohol and Drinking Like a Fish   Leave a comment

Zymology

Alcohol and Drinking Like a Fish

Water is fundamental to life. Without water, life could not maintain itself. We instantly understand that both flora and fauna require water, but is the same true when the atmosphere around us is comprised of ocean saltwater instead? On a water world such as Elqua, do pisceans even need to drink?

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Endless Blue – Week 130 – Fossa Gull, the Fool Drowner   Leave a comment

Biology

Fossa Gull, the Fool Drowner

All sea hags are unique. When the echoes of the First Verse change an individual, the alterations are seldom the same, even when the species of piscean is in common. But the Fool Drowner is a league beyond that. Fossa Gull is perhaps the most singular of hags, as she appears to be a transformed kelpygmy dragged through the most horrifying metamorphosis.

What was once her tail now drift, splayed out, a tangle of vines like the threads unraveling on a broken loom. Wickedly jagged thorns protrude from her fingertips, and her teeth sit loose in their sockets. In her eye sockets flat, wide leaves wither. Her hair lays plastered to her scalp, wilted algea that hangs lifeless despite the surround currents. Upon her stooped head rests her treasure, her crown.

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Endless Blue – Week 129 – Coveted Trinkets and Cursed Treasures   1 comment

Archaeology

Coveted Trinkets and Cursed Treasures

The races of the Endless Blue have accomplished so much in history. By their very will and ingenuity, the created architectural marvels and innovative philosophies that have made Elqua the world it is today. But not everything has been the result of inspiration and perspiration. Magic has left its mark indelibly in the chronicles of Elqua. Wondrous magical items can be found among the waves of the water world.

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Endless Blue – Week 128 – Myths Among the Waves   Leave a comment

Folklore

Myths Among the Waves

Folklore is way to explain that which is beyond simple education. Through parable, what it means to be piscean, to be part of a particular culture, can be shared with succeeding generations. The following three stories are examples of how folklore shapes the minds in the Endless Blue.

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

Perhaps the most ubiquitous parable in the Endless Blue is the tale of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell. While variations are found in most all cultures, it is unique in that any number of morals can be drawn from its narrative.

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Endless Blue – Week 127 – Lingual Ticks – Impediments of the Elquan Tongues   Leave a comment

Linguistics

Lingual Ticks — Impediments of the Elquan Tongues

Communication is the foundation for everything in the Endless Blue. Without the ability to communicate, culture and technology cannot blossom. You must be able to teach concepts, convey intention, in order to pass knowledge from one individual to the next, from one generation to that which follows. This is the purpose of speech.

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Endless Blue – Week 126 – The Price of Progress   1 comment

Geography

The Price of Progress

Tired of subsisting while others prosper, a native Locanth tribe called the Estar Current abandoned their ancient tradition of harmony with nature to begin strip-mining for precious stones. The local sea hag, aghast at the destruction to the environment near her home, threatens to destroy them if they do not stop. Stuck in the middle, the adventurers must resolve the conflict before it is too late: Make them stop or you all will die…

Nestled between two steep hills lies a valley, itself bisected down its length by a deep trench. The trench is full of incredibly tall reeds and other soft-stemmed plants that form almost a blanket over the trench bed, but are not strong enough to support the weight of an individual. The flora is wildly overgrown and may hide any manner of stealthy predatory creatures.

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Endless Blue – Week 125 – Governments of the Fluid Nations – Yaun-Teel Bights   Leave a comment

Politocology

Governments of the Fluid Nations: Yaun-Teel Bights

Yaun-Teel Bights
Aliases: The Vault Unyielding, the Prosperity of Merchants, Gem of the Pecuniary Stream.
Region: Hinterseas
Capital: Sher-Umaruramu

The Yaun-Teel Bights rests between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cetacean, north of the Mer Currents and east of the Chelon Sea. It has temperate waters bounded by long archipelagos of sand bars which form the aforementioned bights.

Climate is mild in these waters, and seasons have little variation. This make farming a poor prospect, but living area is plentiful. Since much of the nation is shallow open waters, travel into, across, and through is relatively danger-free, further contributing to the nation’s rise as the prominent trade force of Elqua.

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Endless Blue – Week 124 – Governments of the Fluid Nations – Sahaguin Lagoons   Leave a comment

Politocology

Governments of the Fluid Nations: Sahaguin Lagoons

Sahaguin Lagoons
Aliases: The Stalking Expanse, Apex of Predation, Dominar’s Dominion
Region: Hinterseas
Capital: None.

The Sahaguin Lagoons lay directly south of the Creche of Civilization and east of the Maw of the Kraken. They are the most isolated of the Fluid Nations, and share no common border with the other homeseas. This suits the Sahaguin fine, as they prefer to deal with their own business, without the scrutiny of the other piscean races looking down on them.

The majority of the region falls under the dim, greenish shadow of the Sargasso Ring, and as a result the nation is known for its dark waters and muted coloration. With only the weakest wavelengths of light left to illuminate the homesea, aquaculture is relegated to the sliver of waters in north western areas not eclipsed by the Sargasso Ring.

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