Endless Blue – Week 102 – The Shelf: Illustrated   1 comment


The Shelf: Illustrated

Deeper than the Shoals exists a world of darkness, where the sun’s light cannot penetrate and the weight of the surrounding water presses in incessantly until it crushes even shell.  This is the area known as the Shelf, and it is perhaps the largest and most mysterious area of Elqua.  It is here that thermal vents spout scalding water upward, where chemical seeps belch strange compounds into the ocean.  Deep trenches hide immense creatures in their fathomless depths, and the very liquid around you leeches the warmth from your veins til they freeze.  A constant snowfall of tiny organic particles drifts down from the upper zones like a lazy, ever-present winter.  Yet despite this utterly inhospitable environment, life continues to thrive as it does everywhere in the Endless Blue.

Enshrouded in darkness, life here has adapted to the extreme conditions.  Some creatures evolved ultravision to pick out their prey from the surrounding inkiness, while others generate their own light through bioluminescence.  Strange fauna anchor themselves to gashes in the sea bed and feed upon the hydrocarbon-rich emissions escaping from the world’s core.  Even other forms of life have altered themselves to survive the harsh conditions, blind and transparent, yet eerily cognizant of the surrounding waters.

The Shelf is where the water world’s secrets hide.  The Undertow, a massive sinkhole that swallows up thousands of gallons of seawater an hour, lays hidden in the Chelon Sea.  Many of the Spurs — enigmatic crystalline outcroppings jutting out from the silt — lay invisible to the naked eye.  Monsters of the deep, such as the Leviathan, the beast that cost the First Khan his tusk, call the Shelf home.  There are lesser mysteries as well, for the Lumulus utilize the chemical seeps in the creation of their metals, forged to perfection in the volcanic heat of hydro-thermal vents.

Shelf by Domenico Neziti

The Shelf by Domenico Neziti

Domenico created a vista for his final illustration of the Shelf, including strange, alien looking plant life, scattered among the myriad smoldering underwater smokers and chemical stacks.  The little effects he added, like the rippling refraction from the boiling water escaping the crevasse, are amazing.  Check out Domenico’s Facebook page for more examples of his work and his amazing grasp of color.


One response to “Endless Blue – Week 102 – The Shelf: Illustrated

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  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 103 – The Source | Endless Blue

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