Rolling Hills Geographic Location in Etharai | World Anvil

Rolling Hills

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This article was created for my Species-A-Day project for 2024! Read more here!
Rolling hills are an Etharyan biome in which the ground moves somewhat similarly to waves on an ocean surface. The ground is still solid, but moves very slowly, rising and falling in tide and varying in elevation. Some rolling hill biomes are more active than others, and depending on the location, the fluctuation in elevation can be only a few metres, or as much as multiple hundred.
The parts of the ground that are moving do not usually extend down very far. It is only the uppermost layer of soil that moves - rocks in the ground will sink down to a stationary layer of bedrock.


Despite the difficult landscape, there are people who have made an effort to be able to live in this biome. They do so with specially-made houses known as Hillboats, which are made to be able to tilt and move while still staying liveable.


The shifting nature of the ground makes it difficult for most wildlife to survive in this biome. However, there are plenty of plants and other creatures that have adapted specifically for the moving earth. The burrowfish is a small, blind animal with four short, clawed, limbs made for powerful digging, that subsists on sunkenweed, a grassy plant that has long, stretchy roots that reach all the way down to bedrock from the surface. Its natural predator is the holtsail snake, a long, limbless predator that travels the just beneath surface of the hills. Another notable plant that thrives in this biome is goldenroot, a vegetable that spreads out to form huge patches, and is eaten by the yndu, a larger animal with long legs and antlers. The dancer shrub is a purple flowering bush that also lives in this biome, with the ability to survive detatched from its roots for days at a time, as it drifts and finds a new place to land and grow. The driftwyk is a small slime-like creature with protruding tendrils that are able to catch any dancer shrubs that happen to be drifting overhead and eat them.

Localized Phenomena

Occasionally, if there is too much tampering with the soil of a rolling hill biome, a mud vortex will form. Particularly succeptible to forming after it has rained, mud vortexes are whirlpool-like phenomena that occur when two prerequisites are fulfilled: when the soil is more wet than usual, and there is open space between the top layer of the dirt and the bedrock. These vortexes are similar to whirlpools, as the mud that has formed moves much quicker than the rest of the soil around it and moves much like a tornado across the ground. This is dangerous for wildlife that lives underneath the surface of the soil, or is incapable of moving much on their own, as these vortexes will displace and expose them to predators. In extreme cases, a mud vortex can form that is large enough to consume and bury a house.
Rolling Hills
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Nov 23, 2023 17:36 by Aster Blackwell

I'm in love with this concept! The imagery is wonderful and I'm obsessed with all the creatures you described! I hope we'll get to see articles about them! <3

Nov 23, 2023 18:15 by spleen

Soon, hopefully! I'm planning on expanding a bunch of my stubs here for WorldEmber

Have a wonderful day!