Air Gatherers Profession in Etrea | World Anvil

Air Gatherers

WIP - Summer Camp 2023

The air gatherers have one of the most important jobs in Qasceile. They spend their days travelling to and from the surface, bringing air back down to the city. Without them, Qasceile would not be able to exist as it does, deep below the permanent ice cap of the Expanse.   Once at the surface, they pump a bag made of whale skin full of fresh air, then strap it to their bodies and make the descent. The descent is more difficult because the bag of air fights against them. Once back in the city, they take the bag of air to their designated drop off spot to store it.   There are several large silos for storing fresh air throughout the city. Workers come to the silos and distrubute the air to both public and private spaces.   One of the air gatherers' other duties is to maintain a series of holes in the ice above, spread out across the city. Each day, they chip away at the ice to keep the holes wide enough for their purposes, and clear away any loose snow or ice that has gathered on the surface of the water.   Rising to the surface always carries risks. Firstly, the temperature difference between the air and underneath the surface of the water is a shock to the system. The Expanse also is battered often by harsh winds, whipping up ice and snow. The air gatherers must be careful to spend as little time above the surface as possible, or the seawater starts to freeze on their hair and skin.   There is also a high risk of predators, such as polar bears, staking out the holes in the hope of easy prey. Even with their large size, the merfolk are still at risk of injury or death if taken unawares. Rising to the surface must be done cautiously, with an eye on their surroundings at all times.

Cover image: by Una Miller


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