Archive for the ‘oceanography’ Tag

Endless Blue – Week 90.2 – Flotsam: The Shape of Homeseas   2 comments


 The Shape of Homeseas

No map can illustrate the shape of nations perfectly, short of creating a globe.  Flattening out a sphere onto a rectangular space results in a warping of shapes near the poles.  But on Elqua, the problem is magnified by depth.

Nations as we know them are mostly sea level to about one kilometer higher.  On Elqua, the homeseas are essentially inverted: the land lowers instead of rises.  However, the habitable land area under the water reaches five times that downward, and the further down you swim, the harder it is to survive.  This means the Fluid Nations are more like bowls than plates.

Further muddying the situation is the medium: water.  Water absorbs light much faster than air.  This means, if you extend the borders of a homesea directly upward, most of the contents of the “bowl” are a featureless, horizonless blue.  Areas like this cannot be inhabited easily (floating islands like Atlantica might be used to accomplish it).

The final problem is the shallow waters that line the borders of the homeseas are incredibly dangerous areas to live in.  The waters are so shallow a piscean would have to crawl flat against the sand to stay underwater.  With the predator aberrations that populate the surface world in such numbers, these areas of sea are completely ill suited for habitation.  As a result, all homeseas relegate these expanses as “no Mer’s seas”, a neutral area where indigenous life can thrive without the worry of piscean encroachment.

With this mind, while looking at the map of the Known World might seem like the Fluid Nations are larger than the continents we have in real life, those areas are mostly composed of uninhabitable expanses of water.

Endless Blue – Week 87.3 – Flotsam: The All Colored Sands of Rhelathia   Leave a comment


The All Colored Sands of Rhelathia

Located in the Sahaguin Lagoons, this secluded lagoon is noted for the brightly colored sands that line the ocean floor.  Ranging in color from red through ultraviolet, the sands naturally form layers when at rest, giving the sea bed a striped look.  Even when disturbed and mixed, the size of the various grains of sand eventually filter down, restoring the original layered look.  The natural lapping motion of the waves, makes the Shore sandbar look like a many layered candy.

As demonstration of tourists, specially trained Sahaguin rangers will use the colored sands to draw out beautiful and elaborate murals on the lagoon seabed.  The tools used are similar to hoes and rakes, as well as a technique of collecting specific colored sand beforhand and sprinkling it across the shoreline.

The separation effect, coupled with the natural tide, is just quick enough for patient observers to witness without loosing interest.  Each day the ranger paint a new vista with sand, and slowly the artwork fades into memory.

Local folklore say the sorting sands are the result of the Fry of the Black Mangrove, spirits of orphaned children, coloring the dark world around them.  In fact, the mischievous Fry are a favorite subject for the sand paintings, and through the years of retelling, a vibrant history was created in place of a simple old wife’s tale meant to frighten children into behaving.

Unscrupulous pisceans try to sell pouches of the magic sand to visitors.  Most of the time, the sand is normal particulate matter collect by the hucksters.  On the rare occasion that a huckster manages to steal some of the Rhelathian sand, the rangers respond swiftly and violently.  It is illegal for anyone to disturb the Rhelathian sands other than the duly appointed rangers..

Endless Blue – Week 24 – All is not Blue Under the Waves   2 comments


All is not Blue Under the Waves

Contrary to first impressions, terrain under the oceans is not a flat, featureless horizon of silt and sand.  In actuality, submerged land has as varied a morphology as the land above the waves, perhaps more so.  Here, with sea surrounding you in every direction, the currents that affect the formation of terrain consist of water instead of air.

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Endless Blue – Week 07 – Shore, Shoals, and Shelf   4 comments


Topographical Zones of Elqua's Oceans

Shore, Shoals, and Shelf: Topographical Zones of Elqua’s Oceans

Topographical zones

Despite its submergence beneath fathoms of water, Elqua is little different from any other world.  It has mountains and valleys, rolling hills and wide plains, shallow basins and expansive mesas.  The main difference between the more familiar world and the world of endless blue is that Elqua’s ocean level is far higher than most.  The tallest peaks of mountains in a normal realm appear as island archipelagos here, and what would be sea level for a more familiar world becomes a kind of underwater balcony before the drop into the darkness of the ocean floor.

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Endless Blue – Week 06 – Map of the Known World   22 comments


There is a plethora of intelligence beneath the waves of Elqua, and like any peoples, they group together with their neighbors and form communities.  Communities in the Endless Blue setting are defined by the body of water that holds the society, or “homesea”.  While they may seem to consist of a single species, immigration over the centuries has not left a single one without some level of intermixing.

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Endless Blue – Week 05 – Elqua   2 comments


Deceptively tranquil, the wide blue swaths of Elqua’s oceans belie a complex geographical system beneath the surface of the Endless Blue setting’s water world.

Mollweide projection of Elqua

Mollwiede projection of Elqua

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