Archive for the ‘Narwahl’ Tag

Endless Blue – Week 88.4 – Flotsam: The Ice Cleavers   Leave a comment

Economics

The Ice Cleavers

Funded by the Liga Synarr and using the Pecuniary Stream to aid transport, the Ice Cleavers calve great swaths from fee floating icebergs and bring the cut ice to cities to use.  Mostly for refrigeration of food, the massive blocks of ice helped retard the decaying process that denaturing food accelerates.

The Original ice cleavers were cetaceans during the age of the Cetacean Hordes.  Ice was a sign of the Khanate’s power over the environment. One of the Khanate’s accomplishment with their icy monopoly were the ice lenses.  These were immense sheets of ice anchored over populated areas.  The transparent ice would act like a lens and focus what little light penetrated the depth on the settlement below.  These halo-like cones of light would also serve as beacons for travelers in the midnight dark of the Shelf.

Now there are two divisions of the ice cleavers:  the northern group of Orcans, and a southern group of Narwahl.  Both carve away at the polar ice caps and drag their prizes back to society.  Specially designed pole-arms with a serrated edge and sturdy hook are the tool of the trade. to cut the ice free, then pitoned netting and rope would be used to pull the ice into the Pecuniary Stream. Since the stream originates north of the Tropic of Cetacean, it carries the cold arctic water southward, helping to keep the cut ice from dwindling away through melting.

There are rumors from the southern group that, after a particularly deep excavation into the antarctic ice cap, they spotted something frozen even deeper in the ancient ice.  Something immense.  Something dense.  Something intact…

Rumors are also coming from the north.  They, too, have found something in the ice, at least they think so.  Rumors are spreading of “ice as clear as shore water”, ice that “cannot be cut”.  And as quickly as it can be extracted from the polar ice, more freezes back around it, keeping it enshrouded.

Endless Blue – Week 75 – Ceph Unguisurfing   2 comments

Sociology

Ceph Unguisurfing

Despite the fact Elqua’s surface is 95% covered in water, the pisceans of the Known World reside in an ever more confined space in the Eastern Hemisphere.  With seabed capable of supporting aquaculture solely found near the surface of the water, only so much food can be produced.  But just being close enough to the surface to farm makes those pisceans vulnerable to the aberrations of the Vastness.  Safe farming land is rare, so most centers of population group in the Shoals areas of Elqua’s oceans.  With few races other than the Lumulus and Orcans capable of surviving the crushing depths of the Shelf, that leaves a limited band of living space in the Shoals for populations to form settlements.  As the years go by, the piscean population increases, yet the amount of natural habitat stays limited.  The Fluid Nations have all done their share of deforestation of the world’s kelp farms and coral reefs, despite the protestations of the Locanth and those Xanthellaette Chelon.  Despite this, it is clear that more room is needed, and this has resulted in border disputes and incursions into sovereign territories.

The most affected by this population expansion are the Ceph.  They have no homesea of their own, and instead must survive in the nooks and crannies of the other nations.  The more indignant of these, dissatisfied with eking out an existence at the tail fins of the other races, dwell among the Periphery.  But as the Fluid Nations expand, the Periphery is shrinking.  There is only so much space between the Core and the natural barrier around the planet created by the Spine of the World.  Virgin waterways that once allowed the fallen Kraken the protection needed until they finished their de-evolution into the Ceph of today are rapidly diminishing.  Their race is being squeezed out of the natural ecosystem, and this loss of habitat has forced them into the urban areas.

There they find niches to live that other pisceans would find beneath them.  The Ceph survive by collecting the left over scraps and trash of the other races.  It is a demeaning existence for a species that once dominated the water world, and it is this way of life that justifies some in labeling them “untouchables”.  They have no rights under the Fluid Nations Accord, thus have no recourse when locals push them further and further out to sea.  A life of urban scavenging, keeping themselves hidden from bigoted sight, and being treated as less than animals has turned the ancestral shame the Ceph feel into anger.  That anger has festered, and some of their number have succumbed to its malign influence, and become violent.

So far, there is no concerted organization in the Ceph cells, and no targeted offensive against the other races.  The militants act more as scavengers, attacking the weak and unwary when the need arises.  However, whispers are being heard on the currents of new activity amongst the Ceph militant cells.  There are stories the Ceph rebels are being armed by some unknown source.  Halberds, tridents, and shorts swords of an unknown make are being spotted in the grasp of these indigents.

Unknown Halberd -- Illus. by Gergő Soós

Halberd of Unknown Origin — Illus. by Gergő Soós

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Endless Blue – Week 74 – The Conch Lock of Curin’s Pass   2 comments

Architecture

The Conch Lock of Curin’s Pass

The pisceans of the Endless Blue are true architects, planning cities, designing shelter, and building monuments.  The sheer depth of Elqua’s oceans means other than settlements along the Shore, there is little chance for a piscean structure to break the surface of the water.  Aside from the mad vision Magistrate Talmadgius may hold, the largest hand-made structure that extends beyond the wave-tops is the infamous Conch Lock.

The Conch Lock is a contiguous wall linking the islands that make up the Maw.  The erected barriers form a fortified defense around what was once the heart of the Kraken Empire.  Created early during the rise of the Kraken, the wall was built to protect the center of Kraken power.  It served its designed purpose well, remaining unscathed during the final days of the rebellion and the Siege of Andropoli, remaining intact to this very day.  If not for the abandonment of the Kraken by their dark benefactors, the damnable creatures would still live to this day behind their sullen wall.

From sea floor to breaking waves, these large monolithic walls block off the Maw from the rest of the Known World.  The walls themselves are made of great slabs of granite, hoisted into place my the powerful tentacles of the Kraken themselves.  While it was very common during that period for Kraken to force slave labor into erecting their monuments, the sheer size and weight of these granite slabs was beyond the range of the lowly piscean races.  The excavation and stoneworking of these slabs, however, was the toil of slaves.  Strip mining was used to dig the silt, sand, and earth away from the buried granite, and the left behind pits around the Maw leave a pattern with more than a passing resemblance to suction cups from gargantuan tentacles.  Most of the ecology around the Maw and these Tentacle Pits is ruined, leaving behind the eerie remains of coral and upturned rock.

Map of Curin's Pass

The path of Curin’s Pass through the Maw

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Endless Blue – Week 73 – Societies Submerged in Shadow   10 comments

Sociology

Societies Submerged in Shadow

Just as there are great dangers lurking in the dark of the ocean abyss, there are conspiratorial organizations hiding among the pisceans of Elqua.  Spoken of in hushed tones, these manipulative groups seek power and wealth for their own purposes, and are quite willing to sacrifice anything, or anyone, that tries to impede them.  They are the shadow societies of the Endless Blue, the moving dark that works for its own sake.

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Endless Blue – Week 68 – Vitruvian Sahaguin   1 comment

Biology

Vitruvian Sahaguin

Prowling the waters south of the Creche of Civilization are the aggressive Sahaguin.  The area is known as the Sahaguin Lagoons, and is most notable for its shallow, submerged plains.  These plains support a disproportionate amount of life that straddles the border between the waters and the Vastness.  Great trees grow up out of the water, breaking the surface and blooming in the Vastness.  The ecosystem here has evolved in such a way as the lines between surface aberration and aquatic society have become blurred.  Great, massive creatures, like extraterrestrial dinosaurs, wade through these waters.  And among their footsteps, the Sahaguin hunt.

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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”.

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Endless Blue – Week 64 – Sky Lancers: Death from Above   1 comment

Zoology

Sky Lancers – Death from Above

The most notable danger lurking in the Vastness are the ever-present sky lancers.  These vicious creatures vigilantly fly over the water, bidding their time until some unwitting sea creature swims too closely to the surface.  Spotting its prey, the sky lancer then dives downward at plummeting speed.  It juts out its specially evolved horn and using the built up inertia of its dive to break through the surface of the waves and impale its victim.

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