Cathedris Themesong

Cradle of Ice

Artazia's frozen heart

Twelve icy behemoths make their terminus within the Cradle, birthing the countless tributaries among the till that feed both River Artazia, and the sparse wildlife that calls the Cradle of Ice home.
— Artazian Tour-guide
    Squarely within the center of the northern country of Artazia lay the meeting place of twelve massive glaciers. Together they form a massive irregular semi-circle of ice, snow, and till among the razor peaks of the Naga mountains. Various small streams of ice cold crystal clear meltwater weave their way through this barren icescape, providing just enough hydration for small yet hardy lifeforms to flourish.  

Remains of the Great One

The moniker of "Cradle" hides the truth as to what this nursery actually is -- the final remains of what was once a colossal singular glacier covering 90% of Artazia itself. This historical sheet of ice has been given the name Yana-ke, to mean great-blanket, as that is essentially what it had been for a large portion of the continent Artazia is a part of.   The glacier Yana-ke likely existed for a span of 10,000 years, during a period long before the gods fought and died. It, along with similarly massive sheets of ice on other continents, were the product of a mini ice-age the planet underwent during that time period.    
  The study of ancient climate from that long ago is an uncertain science -- it's unknown if the glacier receeded due to environmental factors, or if it was the acts of the gods instead. Either way, some time around 4,000 years ago is when Yana-ke officially decayed enough to split into the twelve seperate glaciers that form the iconic region today.
Each of the twelve glaciers contain streaks of black ice, distinct to this region, providing direct evidence that all were once one.
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— Artazian Geologist

Life in the Cradle

To survive within the Cradle of Ice, organisms must be adapted to the extreme cold and sparsity of nutrition. Small hardy plants can be found growing along side trickles of meltwater, which in turn serve as a meager food source to support the initial stages of this area's food chain.   Most common to be found in the area are small invertebrates -- insects, worms, and some high altitude crustaceans. Two small mammals and one species of bird round out the rest of the food chain for the Cradle.  
Life in the Ice
On the surface and within the glaciers themselves lives a particular species; the ice worms, which are miniscule worms that are exclusively found within the twelve cradle glaciers. They are a cyclic species, feeding once upon algae in the surface snow of the glacier, before digging down into the ice to lay eggs and die.   They are sometimes mistakenly thought to be the cause of the black ice streaks within the 12 glaciers, something that is instead caused by unique mineral deposits within the ice.


Cover image: by Jeremy Bezanger

Comments

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5 Jul, 2022 08:02

Nice! An expanse of ice, and of time... I like :)... looking fwd to how the other prompts interact with the cradle.

Check out my world Shadowfire and my Summer Camp progress
5 Jul, 2022 16:06

Thank you so much! It was a fun one :D I'm hoping at the very least to include some species here, and perhaps some nomadic people


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
5 Jul, 2022 10:45

I love the use of "cradle" in the name here, and also how efficient this article is in telling its story. I still haven't written my first prompt of Summer Camp, and this was a great reminder that we don't need to write an epic for every article. Sometimes short and sweet is the right choice.   Great work!

Check out my article for the 2022 Summer Camp Reading Challenge
5 Jul, 2022 16:08

Thank you Chris!   I think especially for summer camp, short and sweet is the way to go -- at least for me :) I can save the big chonker articles for other times during the year!


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Grandmaster nnie
Annie Stein
7 Jul, 2022 20:16

The cradle and the nursery are such evocative names, because it really begs the question; who did it raise? I'm excited to learn more!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— On the Shoulders of Giants entry: Refugees of Mercury
7 Jul, 2022 20:55

Y'know, I had only really been thinking of the cradle raising the tributaries that feed River Artazia, in a geographic sense...   But I still need to detail the origin of the gods themselves at some point :o


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Grandmaster tlcassis
Polgara Badass of Azeroth
6 Aug, 2022 03:47

I used to live at the foot of the Mendenhall Glacier in AK growing up, so it was pretty cool to read this article. Glaciers are pretty vibrantly living things, and I missed the amazing blue-green ice & glacial runoff. In all though a very nice tight article.

Author of the world of Arrhynsia https://www.worldanvil.com/w/arrhynsia-tlcassis   Catch my Summer Reading Challenge Reviews and Read my articles (in order) https://www.worldanvil.com/w/arrhynsia-tlcassis/a/summer-camp-2022-reading-challenge---tlcassis2Fpolgara-article?preview=true   I will never understand surface dwellers.
6 Aug, 2022 18:36

Thank you so much! This article is definitely on the short side, so there's absolutely more information I'd like to add, such as vibrant descriptions of the ice itself :)


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