Rutas Surge Physical / Metaphysical Law in Ethnis | World Anvil

Rutas Surge

A Rutas Surge is a dangerous phenomenon where Rutas and other dangerous creatures will over-populate and then attempt to a massive expansion of their territory. This natural phenomenon will lead to Sophont-Rutas conflict, scaling up from predatory rushes to full-scaled city sieges.

There are multiple ways to prevent and fight off Rutas Surges, but for the underprepared or underequiped, a Surge can completely annihalate towns, quarters, and even entire cities. Exterminators are tasked with keeping Rutas populations in check, and report back to the city and recommend culling initiatives.

Some Rutas Surges are able to be predicted without exterminators with tools such as via forecasts, heatscans, and radar. Some Rutas surges require aggressive intervention while others just require a well educated populace.

Attention Citizens of the Mariner's District:

A Rutas Surge of level 4 is in effect until 22:00.

Please immediately terminate all public business and seek shelter within the hour. Avoid waterways. Public Boat Transport is now limited to critical need only.

Please bring any concerns to your Jhoutigari.

— Public Service Announcement


Rutas Surges are broken up into a classification system. The first character resembles the scale and severity, while the second and beyond indicates the type of Rutas and other compounding threats. The system is designed to help communicate the type of danger to the people of the city and those who are defending them.

The Class Chart is presented as a series of triangles. The largest triangle conveys the severity of the incident. Three additional triangles are used to clarify the risks and properties of the Surge.

A box below will contain current orders and mandates in effect to combat the Surge.

First Character | Severity

The first character communicates the severity of the Surge, which ranks from 0 to 10. A Zero signifies a simple incidient report of conflict such as self-defense or a mutiliation/death. A ten signified a city-wide impact, reserved for invidents that contribute to the loss of an entire settlement or city.

Severity is increased if the Rutas Surge involves predation of the populace or significant waste of resources such as food loss or water contamination

Following Characters | Description Tags

Three triangles are made available to the right of the main scale. These triangles will contain labeling symbols to denote properties of the threat. This can include species type, dangers, and transmission vectors, just as some examples. These symbols are designed to be quick to read, and are used to label areas under a Rutas Surge warning.

Below the additional characters, a description box will announce any current additional warnings and actions in effect.

The above sign is signifying a threat level 5 Rutas Surge. Water is affected, and significant risk of death is involved. The subtext signifies current active orders and warnings.

The three triangles in this instance can expand out as needed, but the most immediate and confirmed information is organized from right to left.

Quick Reference Table

Insectile-based Threat - Avoid non-cleared areas
Auric Threat - Report untracable strong emotions to Jhoutigari
Water Based Threat - Avoid open water
Lethal Threat - Can prove fatal if encountered
Airborne Threat - Avoid uncirculated and untreated air
Severe Weather Threat - The Surge involves severe weather events
Shelter in Place - Do not leave shelter until all clear is given

I looked out the windows of the tavern, glad to at least have some shelter from the high tide flowing into the bay. The normally cramped and busy shoreline market streets had been completely abandoned. In some places, the armored Jhoutigari set down security measures and patrolled the surge wall.

I would be shivering in fear, if it weren't for the casual and nonchalant offer of a warm beverage and some home-baked Crackle Cake. The two elderly Shejlt-Rajh seemed to hone in on my uncertainty.

"The Jhoutigari have it well under control." They gestured out the windows, where the water had raised only meters below the edge of the wall, within the swells of the sea, the occasional bundle of tentacles breeched and tried to make it ashore. "It's like any other natural disaster."

Outside, one of the creatures hopped from the roiling sea and onto the flat stone street of the city. Razer-tipped tentacles thrashed about fast as whips, and it dragged itself around in search of prey.

"That's not normal." I muttered, trembling at the thought of being outside with one of those.

As if to prove me wrong, a Jhoutigari patrolling outside used his kinetic sling to launch pellet straight through the creature. Crimson blood pooled beneath it, only to be diluted and washed away by the thickening rain. The same guard utilized his sling to push the mass of flesh back into the sea. They reloaded their sling and resumed their casual patrol.

"See? Well handled. You listen to the city when they warn you, and they take care of it." A large hand clasped my shoulder and gestured me towards the bar. "Now come, rest out this little delay with some cake and wine. You are our guest."

Cover image: by Ademal


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Dec 25, 2023 03:20 by Rin Garnett

Do the number of Rutas corpses become a problem after larger surges? D:

Dec 25, 2023 03:57 by Barron

Oh absolutely. I am sure that the cleanup, processing, and recycling of the corpses is a full-time job for a time, especially on the big ones.

Dec 25, 2023 16:26 by Mochi

I love this so much! I really felt the severity of the surges as I read. I'd love to know a bit more about rutas within this article - I'm about to go read their own article after I finish commenting. There were a few spelling mistakes in paragraph 21, as well. This is a fantastic piece of worldbuilding that makes me want to focus more on the negative effects of species in my world. <3

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.
Dec 25, 2023 18:08 by Barron

Why thank you Mochi! I got them typos taken care of, and trying to think how a well established civilization would deal with animal incursions like this is very fun!

Dec 25, 2023 16:45 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Well, this is terrifying. I love how the warning classification system works.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Dec 25, 2023 18:07 by Barron

Thank you! I gotta expand it out so people can get what them symbols mean!

Dec 25, 2023 21:06 by Ademal

Looks like they've got it under control.

Check out my summercamp by going here and checking out any of my gold-star articles!

Dec 26, 2023 02:32 by Barron

Now I need to write about the situation where they *didn't* have it under control.

Dec 25, 2023 22:38 by Morgan Biscup

I love your prose, and how well it conveys that yes, this is a terrifying event, but also common enough that those charged with dealing with it feel it's no big deal.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Dec 26, 2023 02:33 by Barron

Thank you! Interesting to think of a world where natural disasters could be fauna and flora related as well.

Dec 26, 2023 08:52 by Morgan Biscup

Oh gosh yes.   I do love a good hostile planet.   In fiction, obviously, haha. But there's just so many fun things to explore and unleash on suspecting and unsuspecting characters alike.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
Jan 9, 2024 13:41 by E. Christopher Clark

The first thing I loved here was that, while I didn’t exactly know what a Rutas was, I didn’t feel like I had to know. The opening had the feel of a classic TTRPG rulebook where I’d flipped to a random page, started reading, and could refer to the index if I wanted to—but I didn’t have to.   I hope that comes across as a compliment. I mean it as a compliment.   I also really loved the thought that obviously went into the symbols for the warning system. And then, as if I didn’t love it enough already, you went and gave me a little story at the end. Well done!

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Jan 27, 2024 18:10 by Barron

I absolutely get the compliment! I'm glad that even without direct context, the indirect refs kinda give you that hint on what we are dealing with. <3 Thank you fo rthe feedback.

Jan 27, 2024 15:00 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

I love how you've presented this article and the focus on warning and preventing people and how you've presented that with the icons and table :D

Jan 27, 2024 18:10 by Barron

Thank you Amelie! <3

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