You can't give the signal too early, else you won't get any depth. You gotta wait till your craft is shaking, your knees are trembling, and your hearth is thudding. Then, when you think you can't wait any longer... you signal.
Along the windswept shores of northern Hansun
, where the evergreen covered mountains end in sometimes sheer drops to the ocean below, a hardy civilization makes its home. Behind them are often impassible slopes, and infront of them is a wide open ocean, within which is a terrifying stretch of abyss known as The Teneran Deep
These resilient people make their homes on the cliffs, built upon stable, solid black stone that they quarry underwater, at the edge of the ocean's ravenous maw. This basalt is unusually useful as a building material, and is difficult to find anywhere but on the edge of the Teneran Deep.
Clinging to the Mountain's Edge
When people first began living in this region of Hansun, they had yet to discover the resourceful basalt at the bottom of the ocean; their homes were instead built of wood, with large supports and stilts to offset them off the steep mountains on which they settled. There was plenty of long, sturdy trees to make use of in the form of the evergreen trees that commonly grew in the area -- however, the high wind speeds meant that the wood weathered very fast, and supports were prone to failure.
Over time these people of northern Hansun began to slowly reinforce their structures with stone, building large retaining walls to hold them against the mountainside. At the same time, they began to use their wood for other purposes, building ships and exploring the coastline; this is when they discovered The Teneran Deep's
dangerous propensity to swallowing vessels down into its abyss. Many ships were lost in the early encounters with the Deep, until inspiration struck.
Eventually, after countless craft had been pulled to the bottom of the ocean by the Teneran Deep, someone had the brilliant idea to intentionally be sunk down -- with some safety precautions, of course. They fashioned a rudimentary spherical craft, nearly waterproof, out of wood and sealant. Affixed to the craft was the longest, strongest rope available at the time, which connected to a larger traditional ship located near by.
I do not, in any way, envy those who came before us. Appreciate them, yes. Envy them, gods no.
This duo of vessels sailed out to the edge of the Teneran Deep, where the smaller sphere ship was dropped overboard. The rope connection was triple checked, and the main ship sailed away from the Deep, getting to a safe position, yet leaving plenty of slack in the lifeline connecting the two.
After a short period of time, the Deep below the spherical vessel rumbled and opened up, swallowing the craft whole. The rope went taut, and the larger ship began to be pulled backwards towards the roiling water. The crew, fearing themselves about to be pulled in after their smaller counterpart, lowered their oars and paddled for their life, just barely being able to outpace the pull on the rope.
The entire setup soon shuddered as it seemed like the submersible hit something solid, and then the rope went slack -- moments passed in eerie silence, until the wooden sphere erupted from the surface of the water. Through its surface, enormous slabs of very sharp black rock were stabbed, embedded almost entirely through the craft. While the crew inside did not survive, those who reeled the vessel in to the larger ship were able to collect the piercing stone, and after taking it back to shore , soon discovered its wondrous structural qualities.
It took a few years before anyone was brave enough to attempt a second go at The Deep. But with a little ingenuity and a lot of luck, soon we began quarrying that rocky edge of the abyss.
Profession and Prestige
Not all who live in this region are Basalt Divers -- but the profession carries such prestige that anyone from the area is automatically assumed to be one. Without the Basalt Divers, most who live upon the cliffsides think that their community likely would not exist.
While only some deal with diving deep below to harvest rock, most residents do in fact have some sort of ocean-based profession; from fishing and transport, to kelp and shellfish harvesting.