Endless Blue – Week 66 – Wonders of the Aquatic World   2 comments

Architecture

Wonders of the Aquatic World

Elqua is a world of magnificence and astonishment, both of nature and by the hand of pisceans.  Every locale has its chosen landmark, and will argue until they are blue in the face that their site is the most famous, most magnificent, most historic.  Despite this, there are simply some features of Elqua that hold such beauty and significance that they are labeled “Wonder of the World”.

These wonders have been broken down into three lists:  Wonders of the Natural World (spectacles of nature that had no mortal hand in creation), Wonders of the Ancient World (extravagant creations accomplished at a more primitive time), and Wonders of the Modern World (places of verifiable and recent historical significance).  In keeping with the Rule of 8, each list has the expected seven entries, plus an eighth “unrealized” wonder.

Wonders of the Natural World

  • Brine Wateralls of Thyne — Water so thick with dissolved brine that it cannot mingle with normal water, pouring down the sides of a crater called the Well. Once inside the well, it is heated by geothermal vents and dissolves additional salt from the surrounding rocks, pushing it through a labyrinth of cracks and tunnels back up to the ledges where it rejoins the original waterfalls.  This multi-tiered series of falls as been known to cause underwater rainbows to appear, which depending on where long the falls they appear can sometimes lack the warmer color and consisting of only greens, blues, and purples.
  • The Islands That Move — Every Floating Island is infamous, though their nature is still a mystery.
  • The Perpetual Wound — An open volcanic crevasse in the Lumulus Basin, it is lined with active volcanoes.  These continue to periodically erupt, releasing lava that trails down the cliff face and into the crevasse.  The molten rock melts away the existing edges of the crevasse, replacing it with new stone.  The result is a slow but ever-changing gash in the sea floor.
  • The Spine of the World — The mountain range that stretches around the world, roughly mimicking the shadow of Elqua’s planetary ring.
  • The Saragasso Ring — The green shadow cast by the planetary ring around Elqua.
  • The Largest Kelp Forest in Kouton Bay — An immense underwater forest, whose flora reach from the bottom of the sea to the surface of the water, and even into the Vastness.  Its density has kept cartographers from fully exploring even a fraction of its expanse.
  • The Erosion Labyrinths — A series of tunnels in the Yaun-Teel Bights that were eroded out of solid rock by the unsleeping currents.  The tunnels twist and wander so thoroughly that mapping their layout has so far proven impossible.

*  The Undertow would be considered the Eight Wonder of the Natural World, if only the Known World was aware of what it held.

Wonders of the Ancient World

  • Abalone Throne of the Khan — The empty throne of the Khanate, a huge, sturdy structure made of pure abalone.  It remains a revered place for the Orcans, despite the era of bloody conquest the seat symbolizes.
  • Kouton Mausoleums — The reputed repository of Kouton secrets and knowledge, said to have at one time held all that was known or would be known within its buried walls.
  • The Prime Xanthellea Reefs — Vast and intricate shallows of the Chelon Seas, this is not one reef but a multitude, a stunning example of Xanthellea, or coral-shaping.  The biomes were self-supporting, and harbored some of the most colorful species of coral that ever existed.
  • The Dome of Lo’qwal’thre — A break from early Elquan designs, it was a geodesic dome over a crater.  Rumored to have been the original source of Dearthsteel, it was destroyed by the Kraken and their ravenous hunger for resources during the Occupation.
  • The Locanthic Herds —  The result of generation upon generation of Locanthic respect and care for nature, these resplendent herds of fauna roamed the shoals of the Gulf of Locanth freely.  The diversity of species co-existing during their migrations was an awe-inspiring sight.
  • Rainbow Sands — Found in the Sahaguin Lagoons, this “rock garden” of colorful sands is believed to have been created by the first Narwahl refugees that broke away from the Orcans during the decline of the Khans.
  • The Bell and the Sounds — Also known as the “Wrestling Tides”, this is the north-easternmost point of Kouton Bay and the West of the Cetacean Oceans, where the two homeseas meet.   The opposing tides cannot merge because the waters have different densities.  Here, the waters are tumultuous from the crashing bodies of water, as if they were wrestling each other for dominance.  This makes for turbulent currents that are dangerous for indigenous species, so a Soundstation was set up.  A marvel of design, the action of tides itself powers the bell, ringing out its warning of the dangerous sounds.  The three sounds are the Oresund, the Lyrsund, and the sound of the Bell itself (which is believed to be audible even up in the Vastness.)

*  The Spurs, huge shards of crystal jutting up from the ocean floor, would be considered the Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World if the populace realized they were manufactured and not natural.

Wonders of the Modern World

  • The Chelon Spires — Tall spiraling spires of stained glass mosaics form the walls of this wonder.  Each dedicated to the then ruling party, the glittering spires cast colors across the local landscape like a heavenly kaleidoscope.
  • The Pantheon Octagon — A communal place of worship for the gods of the Pantheon, even non-believers like the Godless were once welcome within its walls.  It was located in the Maw and thus is now lost to everyone in the Known World, Core, Periphery, and Hinterseas alike.
  • Ur’qwal’she, the Lumulus Machine — Perfection in form, this is the fourth stage of the constantly under construction ideal.  Its location is kept secret by the Lumulus.
  • Yaun-Teel Grand Bazaar — The center of trade and commerce for all the world, the Grand Bazaar is a metropolis comprised of merchants, traders, and even slavers.  Anything can be found in the Grand Bazaar, and anyone can be had for the right price.
  • Cathedral of Olyhydra —  Appearing like a great slab of granite, the Cathedral of Olyhydra is the center of Olyhydran worship, the Holy City of the Mistress of Law.  It is located at the junction of three Mer Currents, with tensions mounting over which Current holds sway.
  • Colosseum of the Free Olympiad — The site where the Free Olympiad is held, it symbolizes the spirit of resistance and perseverance under suffering that all felt during the Kraken Occupation.
  • The Catacombs of Survival — The underground network of tunnels that the Resistance used to hide from the ever-present eyes of the Kraken, it harbored all the piscean races, merging disparate cultural esthetics into a unified society.

* If not for the established revulsion of anything to do with the Vastness above the Endless Blue, The Godless Orrery (a sort of large-scale model of the planet and moons) would be the Eighth Modern Wonder of the World.  However, its noble goal of understanding the world has so far been spurned by most of the Known World.

Other Wonders

These lists, while generally acknowledged, are by no means definitive.  Elqua is a huge world, and even with only half of it populated, there are other marvels to be witnessed.  The Depths of Despair, the Calls, and the near-mythical Vitruvian Codex sparks the imagination of some piscean somewhere.  Even the mysterious Indigo is as wondrous as it is frightening.  That is much the nature of the Endless Blue.

2 responses to “Endless Blue – Week 66 – Wonders of the Aquatic World

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  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 78 – Whispered Secrets in the Deep Sound Channel | Endless Blue

  2. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 81 – Olyhydra: The Mistress of Law | Endless Blue

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