Endless Blue – Week 114 – Ewer on the Confluence   Leave a comment


Ewer on the Confluence

Lost in the mountainous wilderness, the party spies a black dome not too far away, perched near the cliff edge of a deep trench. It is a large building with a stone frill around it. Oval and long in shape, it is made of obsidian, with the front 40′ smooth but the rest of its 200′ length covered in a latticework of chevrons, also of obsidian, that point towards the other end.

Despite the craggy stone terrain, Bladderwort kelp grows around the dome, swaying gently in the eddies. The kelp appears malnourished, and is slightly stunted, thus the poorly developed algae floats slightly but not straight up.

Ground Floor

  1. The first thing that is noticeable is that the inside of the dome is comprised of salmon-pink marble. The room itself is an acute triangle, and the entrance from outside has no door, but strips of vividly mauve leather across the entryway. The outer wall is lined with empty caribiners, suggesting something was to be connected here before venturing further in. The door on the inner wall has no handle, but is hanging wide open (all doors in the dome are in this same state).
  2. Long, oval rooms with a series of 8 columns along the outer wall. However, instead of supporting the roof, these columns curve inward toward the center of the building and actually connect to the inner wall, forming arcs. They are comprised of a fine but flexible kind of coral, and will only give slightly no matter how much pressure is applied. From where the columns join the wall downward to the floor, hammock like sacks hang, anchored at each end with more caribiner-like devices. Inside of each sack is an inert Patchwork being — flesh golem like pastiches of humanoid parts sewn together. The party can choose to kill these Patchwork things, but slitting their throats or impaling where the heart is triggers no movement from them.
  3. Instead of a hallway, this corridor is more rounded, like an underground tunnel. It does not travel in angular directions, but instead seem to fold into curves. Patches of dried, caked-on brown algae cling to the walls, floor, and ceiling, in no discernible order.
  4. This room is trisected by two curtains of hanging leather, similar to those at the entrance of rooms 1. They seem to insulate the sections they form, with each next one becoming warmer than the last.
  5. This corridor curves sharply to the left, and almost imperceptably angles downward. The further along, the faster the air moves forward.
  6. This round cavern as thousands of tiny holes across its walls and ceiling. They are too small to let in light, but a flow can be felt emanating from them. There is a larger hole in the ceiling further back into the room, that leads up to room 8 in the Upper Floor.
  7. This chamber is large, at least two stories. A balcony hangs over the entrance way, and immediately to each side is a 14′ wide column. These columns are covered in a thick, solid plug of wax. Should the party penetrate the wax plug, the Patchwork Men from room 1 will animate. At this point, treat the whole building as a wild zone, where any spell or energy employed has unexpected consequences.

Broken Seals

Cruor starts pouring into Room 6 through the tiny holes in the walls and ceiling when the wax seals on the fonts are compromised. It takes 1 minute for room 6 to fill, after which the cruor will begin to advance down Room 5 and fill room 4 in another minute. Then it will travel along Room 3, taking 3 minutes to fill. Room 2b has a closer door than 2a, but that also means the Patchwork Mer inside may have intercepted the party before reaching it. Otherwise, both Room 2s will fill in 10 minutes, and finally both Rooms 1. However, no Cruor will spill out of the hanging strips that make up the entrance ways of Room 1.

Once the Ewer is filled, the briofont will begin to glow bright enough to be seen through the obsidian dome. Soon thereafter, the dome bends, unmooring itself from the ground and dropping into the bottomless trench and the abyssal Deep Sound Channel.

Significance of Conjunctions

The Confluence refers to overlap of three distinct magic sources. The first is the CurorWeb, an ethereal layer of power that can be tapped into to summon floating algae that are toxic if inhaled, called Red Tide. The second is a pair of fountains with life giving properties, known as Briofonts. These fonts produce an infusement of life called animus vitae, and can be used to give movement to the inanimate. The third is a unique ley line that, instead of crossing other ley lines, runs in a curve and forms a circle with itself. Above the center of this ley line, a large spur of crystal is perched.

The Ewer — this vessel — was built around these magic sources. It’s not just a “vessel” in terms of movement, but a vessel by means of what it holds inside. It is meant to be filled with the bubbling Briofont, ley line shaped Xanthellaette coral, and the coagulated toxin of the CruorWeb. Sashelas only knows what effect the Spur has in all this…

Upper Floor

  • 8. A 10′ hole in the floor leads down to Room 6 on the Ground Floor. The floor has an ever changing cascade of red travelling across it, like an eternal wave across the ocean.
  • 9. Unless bathed in ultraviolet light and view through ultravision, this room seems empty. In truth, the walls have myriad complex mathematical formulae written indelibly all over them. There are levels of math here that those outside the Outliers have yet to discover.
  • 10. The balcony from Room 7, where a huge node of crystal looms. It has a large center staff and smaller spikes emanating from around its base. It would most likely be a Spur, if not for its complexity and the fact it is inside a structure. It is immovable, and any small bit chipped off immediately disintegrates into silt.
  • 11. This room is actually a cage with bars barely 5″ apart. There doesn’t appear to be a door, and the cage appears empty.
  • 12. This trio of long rooms each hold a mask and mantle at the back, perched upon a pole and cross bar. The mantles are large and bulky, and drape a floor-length cape around the entire body. The masks cover half the face and are smooth, with tiny eye openings, and tapering out to a pointed nose, reminiscent of a marlin.

A proper skill check of difficult level reveals that the masks are indeed Icht masks, and in pristine condition. It’s not unreasonable to think the mantle/cape combinations are also of the same origin. However, due to their size and shape, they are difficult to carry out of the Ewer without actually wearing them. Which probably explains why they were left here to begin with…

The Patchwork Mer

The Patchwork Mer will animate should the seals on the pair of briofonts be punctured. They are not magical, and have standard stats as a normal humanoid for the setting, save of heightened stats. The manner of these boosts are based on the type of “replaced parts” the Patchwork has — they gain whatever ability bonus the race would normally get at the time of character generation. An orcan arm would give extra strength, chelonian lungs would give constitution, or lumulus carapace might bestow heightened armor. The GM can be creative in the possible combinations, and can increase then number of sewn-on parts to scale with the party’s level of power.

Patchwork Mer are the product of Resurrectionists that believe in the Transpiscean ideal that the piscean form can be improved upon. Going beyond mere prosthetics, these progressive Anatomists seek to create superior individuals by picking and choosing the desirable traits from other intelligent species. While the use of homonculi — reanimated bodies of expired creatures — for labor in the Mer Currents has found a foothold, overt evidence of transpiscean grafts is still taboo.

Ewer on the Confluence is written as a One Page Dungeon. One Page Dungeon is a yearly contest that ran from 2009 to last year, 2018. The home website for the project is www.dungeoncontest.com, and there you can find numerous submissions, individually or collected by year, of simple adventure outlines that can be easily dropped into your campaign if you are struggling to come up with an idea on game night. Some submission are absolutely brilliant, others are beautiful to behold, but all are charmingly creative. I highly recommend plumbing their One Page Dungeon archives — there are so many gems to be found. Submission Guidelines can also be found there to guide you in making your own One Page Dungeons to share with others. All submissions are released under the “Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported” license.

One Page Dungeon Contest www.dungeoncontest.com

“You are the ewer.
You fill it with of choice, and it is filled without permit.
The pang of mistakes; the surge of success.

“You are the ewer.
You chose your path, but destiny is the destination.
The act of trying, the regret of passivity.

“You are the ewer.
You aim your actions, and they impact the whole world.
The rashness of youth, the tedium of experience.

“This is the vessel from which all comes from, to which all goes.
Draft from the ewer, drink of its life as it fills.
All things lead here.
You are on the Confluence

— a fresh echo in the Deep Sound Channel

Endless Blue – Week 113 – Ocean’s Bounty: Aquatic Fruit   Leave a comment


Ocean’s Bounty: Aquatic Fruit

While many of our lives’ little details have clear parallels with aquatic life, one glaring major difference is the lack of fruit.  While plant life, like animal life, began in water, it found greater success once it spread to areas where the water’s edge slowly subsided.  With water receded, what would become flora took root above the waves and spread across the world.  Most of what we would consider “underwater plants” are actually algae — kelp and seaweed, most notably

Despite this, plants are found near or in water.  Normally they are classified as submerged, emergent, or floating.

  • Submerged plants are vegetation rooted to the ocean floor with most if not all of their mass existing beneath the surface of the water.  Sea grass exemplifies this type of aquatic plant.
  • Emergent plants are rooted along the shoreline, sometimes becoming submerged during high water.  Lily pads are an example of emergent plant.
  • Floating plants are not tethered to the sea bed or shore line by their root system.  They truly float upon the water, their roots dangling into the water, like the water hyacinth.

The reason for this is that fruit requires pollination.  The denser medium of water severely limits the range that normally air-spread spores can reach, and most insects cannot survive the pressure of ocean depths.  However, both methods can still work.  A plant spreading its pollen is little different than a fish spawning over eggs, save the distance the sperm travels.  Further, while bees cannot survive under water, there are plenty of tiny aquatic crustaceans that can serve the same purpose.  In fact, this is the mechanic by which sea grass reproduces — sea grass pollen carried on the backs of invertebrates.

Anatomy of Fruit

Fruit is the structure produced by fertilized flowers that contains seeds.  It is the means by which some oceanic angiosperms (flowering plant-life) disseminates its offspring.

Outer Layer — All fruit has an outer layer.  Skin, peel, rind, or husk — be it for protection or capturing attention — the outer layer of the fruit is the most prominent characteristic.  Whether it is the green stripes of a watermelon, the prickly husk of a pineapple, or thick rind of oranges, this outer layer stands out as the primary identification for fruit.  Beneath the waves, this is no different.

  • The foremost attribute is color.  Some fruit are vividly hued, to gain the attention of herbivores that will consume the fruit and later spread the seeds elsewhere.  Remember that in the Endless Blue Campaign Setting, many creatures can see into the ultraviolet range, adding to the palette of possible coloration.  Also under coloration falls patterns. Spotted, striped, gradients, or spotted, symmetrical or asymmetrical patterns, can make a fruit look distinctive
  • Second only to coloration, the shape of a fruit is the next most distinctive attribute.  Fruits like the pear demonstrate how the physical shape of a fruit can become iconic.
  • The texture of the outer layer of fruit can be varied: smooth as an apple, husks like coconuts, or festooned with spines like cactus fruit.
  • Size is another trait that varies widely.  Some fruit can be tiny like berries or as large as pumpkins.  Keep in mind that the larger the fruit, the longer it takes to mature, taking up more of the plant’s resources to grow.  But just as fauna can grow to immense sizes underwater, the same can be said for flora.

Flesh —  This is the fruit proper: the pulpy, flavorful part that is generally viewed as the reason to eat.

  • Coloration again becomes a factor.  Most fruit flesh is pale, but fruit with vividly colored contents is common.
  • Texture also returns for consideration, but in the case of fruit flesh, it refers more to the feel of the fruit while being eaten.  Pomes like apples are crunchy while bananas are mushy.
  • Form — The flesh of fruit comes in immensely variable forms.  Most citrus fruit develop sections, while the aforementioned pomes are a solid.  Extremes could be gelatinous or even liquid.

Flavor — Flavor is a factor all on its own, as the variety of taste run a gambit of complexity beyond any other attribute.

  • Taste — Most everything falls into the five categories of taste: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory.
  • Temperature — While not really indicating the temperature of the fruit, but more the sensation of heat (spicy) or cool (minty).
  • Consistency — This refers to the tastes physical properties.  Watery tastes diluted, while creamy has a thickness to it.  Other possibilities are dry or astringent
  • Strength — Strength is the general potency of the flavor.  Mild to overpowering, it can be mellow, sharp, or even non-existent (such as the setting specific acari fruit used by Culinists for creating their potion-like fruit.

Seeds — The entire purpose of fruit is the dispersion of seeds, the floral method of propagation.  Sometimes the formation of seeds is problematic to eating the fruit, like the stones in cherries.

Ripeness —  Ripeness is the level of readiness a fruit has achieved in terms of being eaten.   As a fruit grows, it changes from an initial inedible seed-state into an edible fruit.  As more time passes, the fruit may leave its ripened stage and become past its best state for consumption.

Special — This category is a catch-all for any unique property a fruit (or fruit part) may have.  The most common special property is if the fruit if Processable.  This can manifest as simply as a minor change happening when cooked to as complex a process as making cocoa or coffee.  Fermentation is a category wherein the fruit can be broken down by micro-organisms to produce alcohol (see Drinking Like a Fish)

Fruit of the Fluid Nations

Acari —  Acari fruit is best known as the fruit used by Culunist to imbue with magical effects.  Acari grows from an aquatic vine that produces a translucent grayish melon with a rubbery skin and fully gelatinous insides. Flavor-wise, the melon possesses a bland, gruel-like taste, but its ability to absorb nutrients from the native soil will affect the pulp’s flavor.  Such “tailored” fruit will tend to grow to 60% or smaller than a wild Acari.

Funeral Stone — Most known for its role in funeral proceedings, Funeral Stone is a moderately sized fruit.  It possesses an almost rock-hard husk — thus the name “stone” — as well being incredibly dense.  Traditionally, they are used as weights in the funeral process to ensure the departed’s body sinks.

Funeral Stones grow in arctic areas, producing a flower that is hermaphroditic.  It changes from female to male quickly, thus making accidental self-pollination difficult.  The husk, fruit, and seed have almost identical solid composition, making it difficult to separate the parts.  Resistant even to denaturing, the best that can be accomplished is grating, thus it nominally used as a spice.  Care must be taken when choosing which part of the stone is grated, as the husk is a paralytic, and the seed is poisonous.

Merfruit – This is a group of inter-hybridized citrus fruits, so named as a parallel to the intermingling of Mer species. They run the range of coloration, but the key fruit are green (vert, bice), purple (damson), grey (oysterfruit), violet (solferino, sereino), and ultraviolet (abele).

Base Merfruit

Bice –  A small and oblate fruit with a thick pebbly skin.  They grow from about 1″ to 3″ radius, and weight deceptively more than they appear.   Inside, Bice has a vibrant green pulpy fruit separated into sections.  They have a slightly salty taste to their sweetness.

Damson – With a small, squashed round shape with faint lobes and a thin wrinkled peel, Damson have a powdery-purplish coloration within and without.  The tiny fruit ranges in size between 2.5″ to 4 inches across.  The taste of the fruit is often described as a mellow sweetness that distinctly identifiable as a Damson.

Solferino – The solferino is a large, smooth citric fruit with a violet peel.  Roundish, the solferino tapers slightly toward the stem, almost pear shape.  It’s pale pinkish-violet citrus pulp is deeply embedded inside a crisp pome-like flesh. It is found most everywhere in the Mer currents, and is a popular Merfruit outside is homesea.

Hybrid Merfruit

Vert – Crossing the solferino with a bice produces a greenish-blue mid-sized fruit.  Its skin is thick but easily pierced, and can be peeled of the citrus flesh in great chunks.  The citrus itself is sectioned into wedges, with a seed embedded in each wedge along the axis.

Abele – Further hybridizing the vert with another solferino produces an Abele.  The fruit is normally ultraviolet in coloration, and so look different to those without vision in the ultraviolet range.  Those with ultravision will see the fruit in its fully splendorous coloration; those without simply see a black fruit.

Sereino – Mixing an abele with a damson results in a bell-shaped fruit about the size of an adult’s fist.  The outer peel is easier to peel than that of the vert, but a deep purple hue.  The fruit is also purple in color, and is clumped together in wedges like the vert, but has a subdivision around its circumference.

Oysterfruit –  What can only be called as “remarkable”, infusing a Vert, an Abele, and a Damson achieves a huge hybrid known as Oysterfruit.  With a bark-like husk, the Oysterfruit actually grows into a hollow space-filled gourd.  The tensile strength of the husk keeps the fruit from imploding from the surrounding water pressure.  As a result, early pisceans used Oysterfruit husks as sturdy flasks once the slimy, almost mucilaginous fruit is scraped out.  The scraped out fruit can be eaten, and has an extremely salty and sour flavor, making it better suited for seasoning.  Both the husk and viscid fruit have a pale, unpleasing grey coloration that somewhat resembles the shell and meat of an oyster, hence the name.

Rotten Egg — Size of a Mer skull, Rotten Egg has a thin, soft scaly skin that is easily torn. The fruit is foul tasting, slimy, with a stringy texture. It comes in sections clustered around a central, fibrous core. The fruit drops from a surface plant into local sea water, where the saline levels slowly dissolve the skin. By the time the skin dissolves, the “ripened” fruit has become toxic. Bottom feeding sea life is drawn in by traces of flavor on the current and eat the fruit, thus swallowing the seeds and becoming poisoned.  The poison affects the creature’s sense of direction, causing the infected to beach themselves on the shore.  Those that are not eaten by the aberrations of the surface world decay and serve as fertilizer for the ingested seeds.

Telom — Telom are a similar citric fruit to Merfuit, but found in the Yaun-Teel Bights.  While not as extensive a variety as Merfruit, Telom have a couple of notable variants:

Bittersour telom — This variety of telom is very flavorful, with an intense bitter and sour taste and a lingering sweet aftertaste.  Unfortunately, eating the bittersour is actually bad for the health, interfering with the liver’s process of clearing toxins from the system.  They are best used as accents to other food and drink.  The fruit has a light tan skin, while the pulp is a pale pink.

Sweet telom — The tiny round fruit known as sweet telom have been cultivated to posses nearly no citrus pulp, and instead a having more a chewy flesh.  Usually found in freshwater or low-salt run-offs, they are a bright yellow color on the outside and nearly white inside.

Brindlemont telom — Brindlemonts have a heavy, waxy, bumpy skin and is oval-shaped with an extrusion on each end.  Its citric fruit in inedible, but zest grated from its rind is used for tinctures.

Thistlethread — This fruit is actually inedible, consisting of a fibrous bundle that, when “ripe”, are under significant tension.  When touched, the fruit explodes, loosening a mass of paired seeds connected with a thin strand.  The seeds are hooked, like a tiny harpoon, and will snag the flesh or scale of whatever disturbs the plant.  Clinging to the creature, the hooks on the seeds eventually break off and the tethered seeds eventually drift off, to settle on the sea floor and germinate.  The significance of this fruit is that, while a complex process, the threads can be harvested and woven together to from textiles.

Jared Rydelek, famous cultivar — half culinist, half packbreeder — creates new types of fruit. While this plant-breeding movement, like so many others, was founded in the Mer Currents, it was actually a Kouton that started the practice. As such, the practice of secrecy is deeply ingrained among its practitioners

— While good thoughts bear the best fruit,
bad thoughts do not wither on the vine…

Jared Rydelek, Kouton cultivar extraordinaire

I’d like to give thanks to Jared Rydelek and his YouTube Channel Weird Explorer.  It was watching his over 300 Weird Fruit Explorer videos that inspired this article.  Check out his work and realize that everything on there not only is real, but he has sampled them personally.  Many of the weirdest examples and the interesting trivia associated with them worked their way into this article, and as thanks, I created an NPC named after him and made him the founder of the Cultivar movement.  Jared’s proven he’s a braver man than me, and his perseverance shows how fact is often stranger than fiction.

Jared Rydelek’s Weird Fruit Explorer

Endless Blue – Week 112 – OCEAN Personality: Traits of the Endless Blue’s Homeseas   Leave a comment


OCEAN Personality: Traits of the Endless Blue’s Homeseas

Individuals have personality — traits that taken collectively define who they are, mold how they respond to the world and others.  Such personality is crucial in defining who a piscean is and what makes them different than everyone else.  But personality is not just limited to the individual: nations themselves have personality in their own right, and those traits in turn have a part to play in Elquan politics, even everyday life.

The OCEAN Model of Personality breaks down the concept of personality into five spectra: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.  The expression of each of these traits taken collectively is what defines the personality.  Everyone (and every culture) falls somewhere along each of these spectra, and neither end of any spectrum is inherently bad.  As with most things, it is the extremeness in which it is expressed that is the cause of problems.

Each of the homeseas of the Known World falls conveniently along one of the extremes of these traits.  The contrast between some of these nations is obvious, while others are surprisingly insightful.  Understanding how the cultures fall on the ranges gives each species it uniqueness and provides understanding for the motivations behind each society’s actions.

OCEAN Model of Personality

OCEAN Model of Personality

Openness (Questioning)

Openness refers to the subject’s acceptance of new experiences, their receptiveness to new ideas, and the insightfulness to be creative.  At one end of the spectrum lies imagination and adventurousness, while the other end expresses caution and consistency.  In general, the trait describes the individual’s willingness to be vulnerable and operate outside of their safety zone.

At the excessive end of the spectrum, the Mer personify receptiveness to the nth degree.  The Mer Currents are the quintessential expression of openness to new ideas.  The entire culture bristles with curiosity of the next new thing.  Mer receptiveness to change is legendary.  Their natural inclination to accept every fad that comes around exemplifies their openness to experience. This trait can be trailed back to the homesea’s early days of a loose, yet entwined collective of thirteen tribal currents.  Variation came not just in the color of a piscean’s skin, but in their activities, beliefs, and traditions.

In contrast, the Chelon remain steadfast in their ancient ways, revering the “good old days” of the Empire.  They are an ancient race stuck in the past, mired in intransigence.  The culture desperately clings to memories of empiricism’s glory days, despite the fact that few still live that were alive then.  Their traditions mire them in the past that no longer resembles their present, prohibiting them from accepting new directions that could demonstrably better their nation.  To modernize is seen as the abandonment of all that it means to be Chelon, and risk being marked as a traitor to your race.

Conscientiousness (Lawfulness)

Conscientiousness refers to the tendency one has toward organization.  It is the tendency to plan ahead, and take the repercussions of your actions into account in any choice.  The individual could be carefree or scrupulous, and there is a clear parallel between this trait and the alignment chaotic or lawful.

When the Cetacean race faced the sins of their past, they chose to embrace a new path.  No longer would they use their might to conquer, but instead to guide other races as atonement.  Taking on this long term goal as shepherd of the piscean races was ambitious and daunting, but the new Orcan culture is dedicated to the discipline necessary to guide the other races.  The memory of their past keeps them focused on the task, an eternal specter of their bloody history.

The Sahaguin express themselves as the moment dictates, free of filters or fear.  Their bravado is bolstered by a culture that aggrandizes might makes right.  They do what they want, and because they can, they suffer no lapse of conscience.  It is their cultural emphasis on self-reliance that endows the Sahaguin with a relentless belief in their own capabilities.

Extraversion (Extroversion)

Extraversion is not simply outgoing, but also include comfort around others and reactive response.  It is the expression of the individual’s ability to integrate into social castes or cultural expectations.  Unlike agreeableness, extraversion covers the interaction with others and the energy drawn from interaction.  It is the measure of how well the individual integrates with society.

The Yaun-Teel extraversion is bolstered by the Principles of Service.  By knowing that any one Yaun-Teel must serve others — and they in turn serve others. and so on — the anxiety of differences in station are resolved.  It fosters a contentment in one’s social standing, and is meant to curb the need to climb upward on the social ladder.  They seek out opportunities to interact with others, to discover new ways to serve.  This emphasis on interaction solidifies the individual continually works to integrate themselves with others of their race.

In contrast, the Kouton live a life of self-imposed seclusion, limiting interaction for fear of personal exposure.  Since most cannot control their emotionally triggered epidermal pigmentation, there is a constant worry of betraying themselves in social situations.  To avoid this, they are reserved and thoughtful, acting and responding only after consideration.  They are a species of few words, turning to introspection in reaction to lives of isolation.

Agreeableness (Amiability)

Agreeableness measures the ability of the individual to get along with others.  Unlike extraversion, which emphasizes physical interaction with others, agreeableness refers to social interactions with others.  It is how well the individual reacts with other personalities.

Locanth are highly empathic and genuinely interested in the state of others, be they animal or piscean.  Their culture rests on the cycle of life, the changing of seasons, and the migration of herds.  Reflecting this, the Locanth migrate throughout the year, thus must be able to interact with the new life forms.  Through their history, they have evolved traits of stable temperament and an understanding that it is in their best interest to co-exist alongside nature.

The Lumulus, however, are aloof and seemingly show little concern for other species.  They bear not ill will towards others, simply they find it inordinately difficult to interact with non-Lumulus.  Everything about Lumulus behavior is alien to the other piscean races, from their body language, through their mental abilities, to even their lifespan.  With such little common traits with the other pisceans, is it any wonder that the Lumulus find it hard to empathize?

Neuroticism (Uneasiness)

Neuroticism relates to how comfortable the individual is in their own skin.  While it appears to be a singularly negative trait, personalities too far along the other end of the neurotic spectrum may suffer from overconfidence or willful obliviousness of their own skill level (known as the Dunning-Kruger effect).

A faction of Cetaceans did not agree with the new direction, spurning the idea their actions needed to be curtailed.  They shirked the reformation and became the Narwahl.  The feel no shame in their Cetacean heritage, and thus are unencumbered by the same self-doubt that drove the Orcan’s to become “over protective nannies” for the Known World.  Instead, they marshal on with an over-evaluated sense of their abilities, unaware that they have grossly underestimated the challenges ahead.  They discount such threats as the Indigo or Elsewhere cults, improperly assured they will be shown as false worries.

The Ceph are mired in anxiety and anger.  Treated as vermin by the piscean races, their reaction is a mixture of righteous rage and self-loathing.  There is no doubt to the crimes their Kraken forebearers caused to the Known World, but the Ceph have suffered revenge for those action for too long.  Why should the Ceph suffer for the actions their forefather’s made millennia ago?  This feeling of impotence is only exacerbated by the inability of the Ceph to stand up for themselves in the face of pervasive racism.  Even their physical form keeps them separate from the “civilized” races of the Known World.  In truth, the Ceph may have even inherited the self-loathing mythically attributed to the now-extinct Icht.

ELQUA Model of Personality

ELQUA Model of Personality

The Dark of the ELQUA Method

In the Endless Blue setting, the Five Traits philosophy of personality uses the acronym ELQUAExtroversion, Lawfulness, Questioning, Unease, and Amiableness.  “Elqua” is the ancient aquelan word for “water” or “ocean”, which in turn is the name of the waterworld that contains the Endless Blue setting.  In the Known World, it was developed by the College of Doctors, the reputable front of the Resurrectionists.  While its reception has been decidedly negative among most of the populace, save the indolent rich of the Mer Currents, there lies a dark, desperate need for its creation.

The ELQUA method was designed as a way to analyze personality behaviors of those believed to been subjugated by the Aboleth and turned into Skum.  It was reasoned that those under the mental domination of the Puppetmasters would behave differently than as if the were free, and a method of detecting this would provide invaluable to the safety of the Cerulean Epoch.  The seriousness need of this “psychological technology” is likened to the marriage of Ultravision magic and Lumulus dearthsteel, which was considered to be the turning point in the overthrowing the Kraken Occupation.  By profiling those in the positions of power, the Resurrectionists intend to keep the Known World free from those that wish to dominate it forever.

“Every piscean is a current, their personality unique and distinctively their own,
yet blending together with all others into the seas we call home.

Together, the currents have the power to uplift, to drag down, to push away, to pull along.
To wear down the greatest mountain, or deliver onto new fields…”
–credited to Kenilicus Octavius,
from the folklore of The Anemoi.


Posted September 30, 2017 by William James Cuffe in Endless Blue Campaign Setting

Endless Blue – Week 111- Pleione Trench and the Mud Daubers   Leave a comment


Pleione Trench and the Mud Daubers

When the Fluid Nations Accord was ratified, it charged each of the homeseas with honoring a series of neutral zones around their territories.  These areas, referred to colloquially as “no mer’s seas“, were created as buffers not just between expansionistic governments, but also as nature preserves for the flora and fauna that maintain the circle of life in Elqua’s oceans.  Each nation collectively pledged to eternally surrender legal claim to the territory, meanwhile keeping their citizens from occupying or poaching the waters.

The waters chosen to become the no mer’s seas were selected by the criteria of importance to maintaining the aquatic ecosystem, threat of danger to pisceans from the aberrations above the waves, and the natural flow of currents such as the Pecuniary Stream.  This made the no mer’s seas a tool for protection of each nation’s access to food, safety, and trade — a clear self-interest of all pisceans.

For the most part, the treaty has been a success.  With the waters being off-hands for governments, companies used free trade routes like the Pecuniary Stream to flourish with no inhibition.  The sacrifice of territory was minimal, as the waters chosen generally were far too shallow for farming without constant attack from surface aberrations.  And the forbidden waters gave sea life a safe haven to thrive without the dangers of over harvesting.  Life in the Fluid Nations has thrived, population and economies growing like never before.

However, the Accord was a long time ago, and the same safety provided by the neutral zones now proves to be a hindrance.  With no way of expanding outward, overpopulation can only cause a greater demand of space and resources.  Despite the need for more space, the homeseas have steadfastly refused to alter the borders as first set by the Fluid Nations Accord, despite the desperate need to reduce overcrowding.

As a result, some pisceans fed-up with bureaucratic shackling have ventured into the no mer’s seas to establish their homesteads.  These illegal settlements are the bordertowns, set in areas where the law exists only for those that can enforce it.


Bordertowns are seldom permanent structures.  They take their inspiration for the Locanth, whose culture continuously migrates, following the natural wisdom of sea life.  Unlike the Locanth, there are no vacant pueblos left behind to be re-occupied the next turn of seasons.  Bordertown shelters are more tent-like, designed to be packed up and moved should the need arise.  And with the lawlessness of the no mer’s seas, it often is a necessity.

Order is maintained by the populace of each bordertown.  There is no central government to fall back on — each bordertown is responsible for creating and maintaining its own laws.  Those that refuse to conform to the expectations of the populace face excommunication or worse.  Lethal force is generally the first act to ensure adherence to the law.

Plieone Trench

The bordertown of Plieone Trench is located west of the Sahaguin Lagoons, in a large expanse of relatively shallow waters between it and the walled archipelago called the Maw.  This expanse of relatively shallow waters is striated with trenches and chasms.  This damage to the sea floor is a left over effect of the fall of the Kraken Empire.

A black market town, Plieone Trench was established to prosper off those making illegal excursions into the no man’s seas.  It became a well known resupply point for both nearby bordertowns and those passing through to other destinations.   Offering supplies and a promise to turn their eyes, the populace saw an upswell in commerce.  It was not long until the unscrupulous with eyes on the illicit mysteries hidden behind the Conch Lock spurred an illegal relic trade.

The town is now infamous for their “trellis climbers” or “wall jumpers”.  These trained guides help expeditions traverse the wall around the Maw.  It is a dangerous, terrifying journey, as it requires leaving the buoyancy and safety of Elqua’s water and scaling into the unbreathable and aberration-infested Vastness.

Tools of the Trade

The trellis climbers employ a special material consisting of row upon row of tiny, millimeter sized limpet teeth.  Limpets are a type of snail known for scraping algea from rocks and other hard surfaces.  The tensile strength of these teeth is 20% greater than even sea spider silk.  The primary material in limpet teeth that provides this durability is geothite, a compound of iron, oxygen, and hydrogen, all of which are plentiful in the Plieone Trench proper.  Geothite forms in compact, curved structures like claws.  When lined up and layered, a square of geothite sheeting can resist the pull of a monsoon.  Wall jumpers fashion these teeth sheets into their armor to help them cling to the stone wall as they inch their way up to the top and over into the Maw, towing their employers and gear in slings strung between climbers.

One notable group of trellis climbers call themselves the Mud Daubers, and have earned themselves a notable reputation.  They are named so due to a special clay-like silt found near Pleione Trench.  This mud has a high capacity of holding oxygen as well as retaining water.  This prevents drying out in the vastness, and spread over the gills can continue to provide a minimum of oxygen to breath.  “Daubing” the mud on their skin and gills, the Mud Daubers can effectively double the time that can be spent out of the life-giving water.  While not a comfortable experience, it does just enough to get the well trained Mud Daubers over the wall…  Usually.

The Mud Daubers are enjoying the advantage the special mud gives them over the other trellis climbers.  The edge allows them to charge more for their services, in turn forcing the other groups into second rate imitators.  There is no group of trellis climbers that have not tried to discover the source of the Mud Dauber’s special mud.  The extent of these tries ranges from simple bribery and spying to espionage and extortion, but so far nothing has succeeded in loosening the secret from the Mud Daubers.   So long as the Mud Daubers control the mud, their control of Plieone Trench remains.

To further muddle things, the Church of Olyhydra will send missionaries from the home in the Mer Currents to areas around the Maw.  Setting themselves up as righteous protectors, they stand guard around the Conch Loch and will prevent any wayward adventurer from attempting to scale its heights.  Since the Church is not a political entity in itself (yet), it has taken it upon itself to act as final arbiters of law in the area.  The bordertowns flatly refute this, and conflict between the normally non-denominational bordertowns and the devoutly Olyhydran missionaries is unavoidable.

Posted August 31, 2016 by William James Cuffe in Endless Blue Campaign Setting

Endless Blue – Week 110 – Elqua Calidus: The World Scalders   Leave a comment


Elqua Calidus — the World Scalders

Little else instills such terror in pisceans as the thought of being boiled alive.  The searing pain as the vital water needed to survive cooks you from within, the blistering of flesh and scale as the animus vitae is leached from your body, all the while helpless to do anything to stop the enervation of your body.  It is the stuff of nightmares for fry and adult alike.  This is the dread of boil magic, and it banned across the oceans of Elqua.  Yet there are a few who embrace the boiling and wield it willingly.  These are the Elqua Calidus — the World Scalders.

The use of boil magic is deemed abhorrent by nearly all the Fluid Nations, thus the Calidus are branded as terrorists by most of Elqua’s governments.  There are a few safe havens, however.  The Lumulus Basin is one such place, where the fear of boiling is mitigated by the society’s harnessing of thermal vents to power their ore-smithing.  The alien-minded Lumulus utilize boil magic as stoking tool, to finely manipulate the temperature of chemical seeps used in the smithing process of lumulated metal.

The other neutral water is in the Mer Currents, where any idea or principle can find a place to dwell.  The Taste Unique is a restaurant in the Mer Currents that specializes in hauteur cuisine unlike any other eatery in the Known World.  The establishment eschews the traditional method of alchemical gastronomy, and instead serves “scalded” meals.  Built over a crack in the sea bed where super-heated water bubbles up from deep inside the planet’s crust, the boiling water is sealed off from the restaurant proper by a network of valved pipes that deliver the scalding water to the kitchens under extremely controlled circumstances.  There the restaurant’s culinists, trained by owner Edot Artois himself, use heat instead of kelaguen to break down food into a digestible state.  The exhaust water is caught in a flue above the building and expels the scalding liquid a safe distance upward, to float up harmlessly to the Vastness.  This plume of heated water attracts sea life, and the spectacle has become a noted attraction for the business.  With such a close working relationship with boiling water, the owner is suspected of being a Elqua Calidus sympathizer — a charge he has consistently and vehemently denied.

The Church of Olyhydra has controversially given sanctuary to many boil mages pursued by government agencies.  A hidden faction of the church has been grooming boil mages for some upcoming operation.  These refuges are being given protection, and in return will teach their traitorous skill the Olyhydra’s faithful, and spearhead the Churches amassed forces when the time comes.

Organization Details

Size: Small, but growing steadily in secret.  Members hide in the greater populace of settlements, bringing little attention to their organization’s activities until it is too late.
Infrastructure:  Tightly organized cells, with interaction between cells being commonplace and unmonitored.
Philosophical Conviction:  The Calidus share a common belief that most religious and moral ideals are false, and used by those in power as a means of control over the masses.  They subscribe to a philosophy of nihilism, wherein the individual should not be made to endure any dogma that limits them.  Those that seek to force their will over others will be bathed in boiling waters, steam filling their lungs and scalding their gills.  They will be cooked like the flesh all life truly is — meat to be consumed.  This expansive belief in the futility of existence leads the Elqua Calidus to appear disjointed in their efforts, with no real focus or final objective.  Instead the will focus on institutions and individuals they feel deserve to be scalded until a new, even unrelated objective comes along.
Important Locations:  The Taste Unique restaurant in the Mer Currents, Fort Vement, thermal vents found outside the Lumulus Basin (especially in the No Mer’s Seas between the Fluid Nations), and the more militant colonies of Ceph.

Membership Details

Symbol: Bubbling water, in a shape specific to the cell.
Motto:  “Scald the world; boil the lies!”
Badge of Membership: Unlike bloom magic, where the user is immune to the effect of the red tide’s toxins, there is nothing protecting a boil mage from be scalded by his own actions.  As such, it is rare to find a boil mage that has not scarred himself accidentally some time in the past.  These scars are seen as badges of honor among the Calidus.
Membership Benefits:  Besides access to a type of magic few others possess, there is little protection against boil magic.  However, there are a few side effect of scalding water that are of benefit.  Most notably is the boiling of food.  In fact, the initiation ritual for joining the Elqua Calidus involves the consumption of “boiled foods”.  The Calidus himself must boil his own meal and overcome the social taboo of eating the scalded food.  Rumor has it that the taste of boiled meat and plants is “purer” than that of food denatured by way of kelaguen, the normal method of cooking underwater.
Membership Drawbacks:  With such revulsion to boil magic among the populace, should it become known a piscean willingly wields scalding spell they will be ostracized at best, and hunted down at worst.

Major Members:

Edot Artois has been nothing but truthful in the face of the accusations of harboring terrorists.  In actuality, he has no knowledge of the Elqua Calidus’ activities sheltered by his business, as it is his wife who has given them refuge.  Renet Artois, wife of the Mer restaurateur, uses the Taste Unique as a waylay point for Elqua Calidus activities.  It is the perfect place to hide a Calidus, among the culinists, food workers, and other employees preparing the day’s meal.

Cardinal Sorl Vement, Olyhydran priest descended from the original Marshal of Fort Vement, has been tasked with secretly building a navy of Calidus for the Olyhydran Church to use during the Secession project.  The Church has been working some time now at putting sympathetic Mer into positions of power, with the intent of one day seceding from the Mer Currents and creating their own religious nation.  Sensate diviners of the Church do not foresee the culmination of this plan going smoothly, so in preparation the Church has begun amassing a navy of loyal fanatics armed with objectively the most attention grabbing magic known to the world.

There are stories of a renegade Lumulan that has resurrected the J’warh’abvo forgeclan.  Ceph have been reported wielding weapons with telltale signs of lumulated metal with a unique tinge.  Since each forgeclan produces metal items with a specific coloration endemic to the forging process, this new process impinges into the ultraviolet range.  Previously, the J’warh’abvo forgeclan produced metal with an ultraviolet tinge, but they were wiped out by Kraken retribution for the forgeclans efforts during the Occupation.  Where has this new source of ultraviolet lumulated metal come from?  The Lumulan government regulates thermal and chemical seeps strictly, so how could this phantom forgeclan produce the intense heat needed to smith ore except by employing boil magic?

Terras Addas is a radicalized Godless that has taken to confronting the pious about their hypocritical beliefs.  A truly vile villainess, Terras resorts to hit-and-flee tactics of quickly pouncing on a victim, disfiguring them with scalding magic, then swimming off.  Her intent is to leave the victim alive, so their faith can slowly erode away as they wonder why their deity would allow such cruelty to their faithful.

Tl’eoge’le is a Lumulus with concrete ties to Calidus activity.  As with most Calidus, Tl’eoge’le has a telltale malformation due to his exposure to scalding magic.  Not scar or singe, the evidence of Tl’eoge’le’s dabbling with boiling magic can be seen all over him — his carapace is a bright orange.  Just as how the pigments in crustacean shells transform when boiled, so too has Tl’eoge’le’s carapace.  The effect is so thorough that, despite having molted more than once since the time of scarring, the carapace continues to regenerate in the bright orange pigment.  It does not hinder the transformation that with each molting, Tl’eoge’le recycles the nutrients from his cast off shell into his new one.  This discoloration is not that rare among the Lumulus, especially with ore-smiths that spend great amounts of time facing a fuming hydro-thermal vent during metal work.  However, Tl’eoge’le’s discoloration covers his entire carapce, as if he has bathed in the blazing stem of a vent.

The Shriveled Crone was once a beautiful Orcan versesinger.  It is said her voice was so pure and clear that the water it traveled through was purified by the mere virtue of her song.  She was adored by all so often that she began to believe the fairy tale stories told about her.  It was when she sought entrance into the Prime Chorus, only to be rejected, that her vanity turned to wrath.  Told that her obsession with her own glory would interfere with the quest for Khantusk, she turned her back on the Orcans and the Cetacean Oceans.  She left for the Sahaguin Lagoons, where the cousins of the Orcans, the Narwahl dwelled.  There, she fell in with the dissident zeitgeist there, feeling the Orcans had lost their way.  Her initiation into the Elqua Calidus was nearly as thorough as Tl’eoge’le’s.  She bathed her entire body in the volcanic spew of a thermal vent, the blubber of her shapely body melting and bubbling away, leaving behind a wrinkled, emaciated husk.  She has taken on the mantle of the Shriveled Crone, though she is no true sea hag, and works with her cousins at undermining the Prime Chorus whenever possible.

“When the waters start boiling
the foolish remain to find the cause.”
— word of wisdom about the Elqua Calidus.


Endless Blue – Glossary   Leave a comment



There are numerous concepts in the Endless Blue setting that do not have normal sounding names.  Some names come from inside the setting (the name of the world Elqua for example), while others utilize phonemes that may be a bit unfamiliar to English speaking readers.  Collected here are some of those “difficult to grasp quickly” concepts that are employed as means and motivation in the setting.

acari noun – 1. a plant that produces a fruit noted for its acidic properties, used in the denaturing of food.

Administrative Trinity noun – 1. the highest ranked council in the Church of Merrshaulk.

aegis noun – 1. a shield

aerostat noun – 1. a form of phytoplankton/rhodoarchaea that floats in the Vastness due to internal gasses like methane and uses a tiny, flexible chamber for propulsion.

ajna noun – 1. one of the eight nadis in chakra medicine.  The Third Eye chakra, it is represented by tanzanite and located in the brow.

anah noun – 1. one of the eight nadis in chakra medicine.  The Heart chakra, it is represented by emerald and located in the chest.

anatomist noun – 1. one who learns about the piscean body through dissection, a taboo practice in the Known World.

animus vitae noun – 1. the force of life.
2. the animating energy that makes matter move.

argei noun – 1. the intermediate denomination of lucrum. (pl. argeium)

Assembly of Cosigners noun – 1. the lowest ranked council in the Church of Merrshaulk, whose main purpose is to oversee the activities of all Sidars and Tyros.

aurei noun – 1. the highest denomination of lucrum. (pl. aureium)

Auxesis noun – 1. the first week of an Elquan month.

Avarita of the Greed noun – 1. the Idolatrastic form of Merrshaulk.

ayurveda noun – 1. the medicinal belief that health is achieved through the balance of bodily humours.

bloodtrace noun – 1. a form of currentsense that can sense even the tiniest traces of blood in the water and follow it to its source.

bluelight noun – 1. a source of light that uses bioluminescent amoebae.

Bubble Below noun – 1. a massive, empty cavern below the Undertow that prevents those trapped in the catacombs underneath from escaping the whirlpool.

Charybdis noun – 1. a floating island that slowly crosses the oceans of Elqua.

chakra noun – 1. the medicinal belief that health is achieved by the harmonious vibrations in the eight body locations called nadis.

chirurgery noun – 1. a medicinal belief that concentrates on cutting away infections and injury.

coiltech noun – 1. technology of the Lumulus that utilizes spiraled metal rod to store kinetic energy.

College of Doctors noun – 1. an organization where anatomists can practice what they have learned about the piscean body, with the intention of healing and saving lives.

Core noun – 1. the area of the Known World occupied by the Crèche of Civilization and the Maw of the Kraken.

Cosigner noun – 1. a member of the Merrshaulkite Assembly of Cosigners.

Crèche of Civilization noun – 1. the area of the Eastern hemisphere where civilization is believed to have been born.

Crisis noun – 1. the third week of the Elquan month.

crown noun – 1. the highest denomination of coinage used by the Mer for inter-current (read, “inter-tribe”) trade.

Culinist noun – 1. a profession notable for the denaturing and storage of food.

cuprei noun – 1. the lowest denomination of lucrum. (pl. cupreium)

current noun – 1. any aggregate of pisceans united by ties of descent from a common ancestor, community of customs and traditions, adherence to the same leaders, etc., equivalent to “tribe”.

currentsense noun – 1. the ability to sense the surroundings by the movement and/or trace elements in the water.

Cyesis noun – 1. the second week of the Elquan month.

dearthsteel noun – 1. a metal produced by the Lumulus that possesses the ability to be enchanted with xanthellaette magic.

delphiz noun – 1. a domesticated species of dolphin with neotoninous features, otherwise known as an irrawaddy.

denatured adj – 1. the state of being chemically broken down to achieve the same result than as if they were cooked.

dirhem noun – 1. the unit of currency used by the Orcan government.

dram noun – 1. the lower end coinage used by the Chelon.

Eadro noun – 1. the Pantheonic god of envy.

Eadro’s Ardent noun – 1. Worshipers of the Pantheonic god, Eadro.

echolocation noun – 1. a type of senses that uses reflected sound to comprehend the surroundings.

Elder Brokers noun – 1. one of three members of the top-most council of the Church of Merrshaulk, called the Administrative Trinity.

elqua noun – 1. the Aquelan word for “water”.

essence noun – 1. the medicinal belief that healing can be willed into existence through the body’s vitae.

Elqua noun – 1. the world of the Endless Blue campaign setting, equivalent to “Earth”.

Endless Blue noun – 1. the usually temporary loss of orientation caused by the featureless expanse of deep waters, equivalent to “snow blindness”.

Everglow noun – 1. the ceremonial light source of the Free Olypiad (read, “eternal flame”).

Fluid Nations noun – The eight nations of Elqua, namely the Cetacean Ocean, the Chelon Sea, the Lumulan Basin, the Bay of Kouton, the Gulf of Locanth, the Sahaguin Lagoons, the Yaun-Teel Bights, and the Mer Currents.

frothlight noun – 1. a source of light that requires periodic jostling of chemical to produce a fluorescent reaction.

gelding noun – 1. the intermediate range of coinage used by the Chelon.

Gnosis noun – 1. the fourth/last week of the Elquan month.

Godless noun – 1. the philosophical movement that disbelieves in the divinity of gods.

hoarder bandit noun – 1. an outlaw that preys on those in a weaker position than themselves, using their superior ability as justification for the robbery.

Hinterseas noun – 1. the portion of the Fluid Nations populated by the primitive races, namely the Gulf of Locanth, the Bay of Kouton, the Sahaguin Lagoons, and the Yaun-Teel Bights.

homeopathy noun – 1. the medical belief that “like cures like”, utilizing diluted tinctures to cure illnesses.

homesea noun – 1. one’s native waters, equivalent of “homeland”.

Icht noun – 1. a species of prehistoric sapient pisceans that mysteriously disappeared prior to the rise of the Cetacean Hordes.

Icht Dominion noun – 1. the area populated by the extinct Icht civilization.

Icthara noun – 1. the Pantheonic goddess of gluttony.

Ictharan noun – 1. a worshiper of Icthara.
adj 1. of or pertaining to the worship Icthara.

idolatrastic adj – 1. of or pertaining to the religion of Idolatry, as opposed to the act of idolatry.

Idolatry noun – 1. the reformed worship of the Pantheon under the Yaun-Tish tenets of Principle of Service.

indigo noun – 1. a thick, oily liquid rumored to be spreading out along the outer fringes of the Known World.

Invidia of the Envy noun – 1. the Idolatrastic form of Eadro, god of envy.

irrawaddy noun – 1. a domesticated species of dolphin with neotoninous features, otherwise known as a delphiz.

kapha noun – 1. one of the bodily humours in ayurvedic medicine, related to phlegm.

kelaguen noun – 1. a yeast like extract used by Culinists to imbue their denatured fruit with magical effects.

kelpygmy noun – 1. a species of ambulatory plant that posses a shape reminiscent of the piscean form. (pl. kelpygmies)

Known World noun – 1. the explored area of Elqua east of the Spine of the World, containing the Hinterseas, the Periphery, and the Core.

kraken noun – 1. a monstrous race of now extinct ancient squid that once led an empire that occupied the Known World.

Kraken Occupation noun – 1. the period of time when the Kraken race invaded and conquered the Fluid Nations.
2. the event that caused the renaming of the Verdant Epoch into the Verdigris Epoch.

langeneli noun – 1. a tartan-like weave of strips and knots used to denote debt in the Locanth culture.

lucrum noun – 1. a form of currency used by the Mer for international trade.

lumulated metal noun – 1. a special process of the Lumulus that makes metal resistant to corrosion from being submerged in water.

mani noun – 1. one of the eight nadis in chakra medicine.  The Plexus chakra, it is represented by topaz and located in the stomach.

Maw noun – 1. a massive crater that forms a ring of islands, where the Kraken began their Occupation of the Known World.  Also known as the Maw of the Kraken.

Merrshaulk noun – 1. the Pantheonic god of greed.

merrshaulkite noun – 1. a worshiper of Merrshaulk
adj – 1. of or pertaining to the dogma of Merrshaulk

mula noun – 1. one of the eight nadis in chakra medicine.  The Root chakra, it is represented by ruby and located in the pelvis.

nadis noun – 1. one of eight locations that run down the center of the body that chakra practitioners believe need to be in harmony for good health.

naturopathy noun – 1. the medical belief that illness can be cured through herbs and plants.

nautilus noun – 1. armor and/or helmet.

No Mer’s Seas noun – 1. the territory between Fluid Nations that have been declared off limits to habitation or predation, usually the shallowest waters near land where abominations are common.

noble noun – 1. the lowest denomination of coinage used by the Mer for inter-current (read, “inter-tribe”) trade.
2. the highest rank in the Church of Merrshaulk.

Noble Collector noun – 1. honorific for the Elder Brother of the Church of Merrshaulk responsible for the Church’s income.

Noble Debtor noun – 1. honorific for the Elder Brother of the Church of Merrshaulk responsible for the Church’s obligations.

Noble Lender noun – 1. honorific for the Elder Brother of the Church of Merrshaulk responsible for the Church’s financial risk.

Oberus noun – 1. the pale, outer most moon of Elqua.

pa’Anga’tha noun – 1. the lowest denomination of currency used by the Lumulus.

Packbreeder noun – 1. a profession notable for the raising and training of animals.

paragon cynosure noun – 1. the Ressurectionist goal of bringing an extinct species back to viability.

Periphery noun – 1. The portion of the Fluid Nations populated by the civilized races, namely the Cetacean Ocean, the Chelon Sea, the Lumulus Basin, and the Mer Currents.

pigmit noun – 1. the language of the kelpygmies.

piscean adj – 1. any individual of the species sapien, equivalent of the term “human”.

piscean form noun – 1. the intellectual concept of the “mermaid” morphology, possessing the torso of a humanoid and the tail of an aquatic creature.

pitta noun – 1. one of the bodily humours in ayurvedic medicine, related to bile.

piscean form noun – 1. the “mermaid” shape, with the torso of a humanoid and the tail of a fish.

preycatcher noun – 1. a form of polearm with a wide set of jaws at the end, used to catch and subdue creatures instead of killing them.

Prime Meridian noun – 1. line of latitude that crosses over the deepest point in Elqua’s water, in the Cetacean Ocean.  It delineates the Western and Eastern hemispheres.

Principles of Service noun – 1. the formalized philosophical belief predicated on the concept that everyone serves someone else, forming the basis of Yaun-Teel culture.

Protean monks noun – 1. reclusive Eadro’s Ardent that posses the ability to change their appearance into other piscean races.

Pull noun – 1. decompression sickness, where diffused gasses from the depth pressure form in the bloodstream.

qigong noun – 1. the medicinal belief that physical stimulation like acupressure or acupuncture can heal illness.

rand noun – 1. the highest range of coinage used by the Chelon.

Resurrectionist noun – 1. a philosophical movement that seeks to understand the piscean body through medical and scientific research.  See, anatomist.

rhodoarchaea noun – 1. a form of phytoplankton that uses retinal instead of chlorophyll to transform sunlight into food through photosynthesis.

ricelqua noun – 1. a grain-like plant known for it’s unique chemical properties.

Saragasso Ring noun – 1. the greenish shadow cast by Elqua’s planetary ring, the Sargasso.

Sargasso noun – 1. the green planetary ring of Elqua, located between Urowes and Ymaris.  It’s full name is “Sargasso in the Sky”.

sashra noun – 1. one of the eight nadis in chakra medicine.  The Crown chakra, it is represented by amethyst and located on the top of the head.

scientific medicine noun – 1. the medicinal belief that treatments require evidence of their efficacy.

shagreen noun – 1. textile made from shark skin.

Shelf noun – 1. the waters starting below the Shoals and extending to the bottom of the ocean, where nearly all light waves are absorbed by the surrounding water.

Shoals noun – 1. the deeper waters where red, orange, and yellow wavelengths of light are absorbed by the surround water.  It is bordered by the Shore and the Shelf.

Shore noun – 1. the shallow waters near the shore, typified by little to no absorption of light wavelengths, and before the Shoals.

Sidar noun – 1. honorific form of address for vetted clergy of Merrshaulk.

Signatory noun – 1. honorific form of address for a member of the Merrshaulkite Signatory Council.

Signatory Council noun – 1. the intermediate ranked council in the Church of Merrshaulk, whose main purpose is to oversee the long-term goals of the Church.

sovereign noun – 1. the intermediate denomination of coinage used by the Mer for inter-current (read, “inter-tribe”) trade.

Spine of the World noun – 1. a chain of mountains that circles the globe, splitting the planet in half and preventing exploration of the western hemisphere.

spur noun – 1. large, immobile slabs of nearly transparent crystal randomly found in the wild of the oceans.

swadi noun – 1. one of the eight nadis in chakra medicine.  The Sacral chakra, it is represented by amber and located in the coccyx.

tlo’Onga’tha noun – 1. the intermediate denomination of currency used by the Lumulus.

talent noun – 1. similarly cut gemstone used by the Kouton as currency.

torc noun – 1. the locked collar used by the Yaun-Teel to denote slaves.

tracescent noun – 1. a form of currentsense that can detect trace elements in the water beside blood, such as bodily waste or food remnants.

Tropic of Cetacean noun – 1. the imaginary circle around the globe at 64° λ, the northern-most point where the sun is still directly overhead at noon.  Counterpart to the Tropic of Kraken.

Tropic of Kraken noun – 1. the imaginary circle around the globe at 64° λ, the southern-most point where the sun is still directly overhead at noon.  Counterpart to the Tropic of Cetacean.

trove noun – 1. a church building dedicated to the worship of Merrshaulk.

Tyro noun – 1. honorific form of address for unvetted clergy of Merrshaulk.

tze’Enga’tha noun – 1. the highest denomination of currency used by the Lumulus.

ultravision noun – 1. vision in the ultraviolet wavelength range, sometimes requiring a source of localized ultraviolet light to work.

unguis noun – 1. a weapon

Undertow noun – 1. a submerged whirlpool in the Chelon Sea.

Urowes noun – 1. the dark, inner most moon of Elqua.  It orbits Elqua in the opposite direction of the other two moons.

Vastness noun – 1. the land and sky above the surface of the water.

vata noun – 1. one of the bodily humours in ayurvedic medicine, related to gas.

vishu noun – 1. one of the eight nadis in chakra medicine.  The Throat chakra, it is represented by sapphire and located in the neck.

vitae noun – 1. the force that differentiates inanimate matter from living things.
2. the soul.

Verdigris Epoch noun – 1. the later part of the Verdant Epoch, characterized by the rise of the Kraken Empire and their occupation of the Fluid Nations.

Verse noun – 1. the words used to create Elqua
2. the language used in the creation of the universe.

xanthellae noun – 1. the coral shaping magic of the Chelon that taps into ley lines for its power.
2. coral shaped through the magic of the Chelon.

Xanthellaette noun – 1. a Chelon capable of taping into ley lines and casting coral shaping magic.

Ymaris noun – 1. the reddish, second moon of Elqua.

Endless Blue – Week 109 – Cruor Druids: Wielders of the Red Tide   Leave a comment


Cruor Druids: Wielders of the Red Tides

There is seldom ever been a culture that did not produce some disenfranchised soul.  Elqua’s Fluid Nations are no different, except perhaps in the form those radical elements coalesced.  They call themselves Cruor Druids, wielders of the red tide, and they have no love for society.  What drove them to despising the modern world is inconsequential.  In all cases it is basically the same intrinsic idea: society is ruining the world.

The common trait shared by all Cruor Druids is the dismay at society’s disregard for the natural order.  Each sees some fatal flaw in their culture’s belief system that, left unchecked, can only result in the ruin of their species.  That same society has turned a deaf ear the druid’s pleas for a return to a more conducive time.

Their warnings unheeded, Cruor Druids inevitably feel pressured into leaving the civilization that created them and instead live in the wild.  Preferring to remain in the seclusion of nature, the unyeilding expansion of Fluid Nation cities into wilderness brings them back into contact, and conflict, with the Cruor Druids.

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