The Still Geographic Location in Gadria | World Anvil

The Still

Far across the waves of the Kytaran Sea, there is a stretch of open ocean where the waters calm, the wind doesn't blow and the iceberg at the center seems to stand perfectly still. The Still is a term that refers to an area of sea that rests between four floating ingots of fog, which generate a magical field between them and trapping any ships unlucky enough to pass through the thick fog that surrounds and penetrates the area. The ancient lingering magic of this, an electric tingle that can still be felt by even the most magically inept of creatures, seems to be able to push away the influence of the Farraíochta, if only to be able to exert it's own will on reality, with little notable difference to the untrained eye.   Islands and Legend   Long ago, roughly 600 years before the first battles of the Nightmare War, four entities of massive power, sea fae that had each taken the pinnacle of magical power in their respective crafts locked in mortal combat for control of their kingdom, the King of the Waters, the Queen of the Winds, the Lady of Frost and the Lord of Fog. Each monarch, a solitary combatant in this cataclysmic war for dominion, Raised their hands against their siblings in order to claim dominion over an area of the sea that was, at the time, filled with small islands with fertile habitats. The King of the Waters was not content that his domain should be at the bottom level of the sea, so he sent crashing waves thousands of feet high to drown his siblings. The Queen of the Winds was not happy that her control over the kingdoms came and went so quickly, so she sent never ending gales of wind across the sea to blow her siblings away. The Lady of Frost would not suffer her control only lasting through the winter months, so she sent howling storms of ice through the sea to freeze her siblings. The Lord of Fog, by far the most levelheaded of the siblings, eventually reached the end of his patience with the waves, wind and ice disturbing his obfuscating fog, and made to concentrate all of his power into one, reality altering spell. The massive discharge of magic, a channeling of elemental chaos on the level of divinity, gathered the Lord's fog around his siblings, and in an instant, condensed and solidified most of it into three indestructible prisons that continue to float unmoving to this day.   Still Waters, Winds and Ice   It wasn't simply the Lord of Fog's goal to entrap his siblings and end the conflict, he wanted to remove their influence from the Kytaran Sea. Obviously, it would have been absurd to think that the effects of his magic would have made an entire sea devoid of water, so the effects only hold sway for the area between the Fog Monoliths, and only affect the motion of water, wind and ice, rather than banish them completely. These effects, guided by the primitive mind of a primordial force of nature, did not contain the safeguards and quality control of modern magic, and so the region is considered cursed. The waters do not move, and instead reflect the sky like a mirror, completely unaffected by oar, vessel, or drowning man who cannot propel himself through water that does not move. The wind also does not affect the surface of the sea, because there is none. Instead, while the air in the Still remains perfectly, appropriately, still, a soft, distant howl can also be heard, a memory of the gales that once tore through the area. Frost cannot penetrate the field between the monoliths, though the frosts conjured by the Lady of Frost during that war so long ago have also condensed into a massive, spherical iceberg in the center of the Still. It seems that the monoliths themselves, feeding off of the residual life force of the massive entities entombed within, act as both generator and dampener for the magic of the region, keeping it quite contained between the three of them.     Escape   The Lord of Fog's spell has yet to be replicated, and it's entire spectrum of effects has yet to be completely understood. What we can observe is that the Still consists of roughly 90,000 square miles of unmoving water that lies between three enormous gray monoliths. There is no wind, no sound, no motion of any kind, the captain of a vessel that enters the Still will find themselves with a very unique problem. Ships do not move through the water of the Still, in fact, the momentum of a full sail ship entering the Still will quickly dissipate after crossing, bringing the ship to a halt after no more than fifty meters. This is a blessing in disguise, for it the ship were to continue to disturb the waters of the Still past that point, the sea would open up and the vessel would sink. Once stationary, there is no wind to fill sails, no change in temperature to set off weather patterns, and the water does not behave like it should, and a captain of a becalmed ship needs to act quickly and wisely if they are to get their crew to safety. Firstly, it is essentially impossible to escape the Still without knowing the story of the Four Monarchs. Not that luck could not save an ignorant sailor from this grisly fate; knowing the story is not part of the enchantment, but it does provide enough information to work out solutions for yourself. Firstly, the Lord of Fog was trying to banish his siblings and their influence from the realm, so using escape methods that resemble their influence would be a supremely bad idea. Even something as simple as trying to row aa vessel with ordinary oars would spell death in mere moments, as putting so much motion into the surface of the water as so many pushing and pulling oars would, would chase all surface tension from the sea, and the ship would sink with little resistance. Likewise, it has been noted that filling sails with magically conjured wind will only work for as long as it takes for the lingering fog to surround and condense around the ship, creating miniature versions of the Fog Monoliths that will sink below the surface the next time the surface becomes disturbed. There have thus far been discovered three methods that will drag an unmoving ship from the Still without killing everyone on board. The first is to physically lift the vessel from the water. Easier said than done, but the fog will not condense around living creatures flying through conventional means, like birds flapping their wings, no matter the size. So, all one has to do is enlist the assistance of a benevolent flying creature that is large enough to life a fully laden ship and her crew, and carry it out of these accursed waters, something like a very large dragon. Again, easier said than done. The second method is to magically lessen the weight of the ship, a good idea for the first method as well, and then enlist the elemental help of the monarch who had nothing to do with this ancient war; the Lord of Flame. This Lord does not take an active interest in the Kytaran Sea, apart from certain islands and cults, but he is also well aware that he is the best supernatural help available to those who become trapped in the Still, as there is nothing else that can hear the cries of trapped sailors through the realms. The Lord of Flame will grant his powers to one sailor of his choice among castaways, and that sailor will have the temporary power to spray massive gouts of flame from each hand with enough force to propel the ship over the water, and out of the Still. This works best when the ship has been lightened, but it may not be necessary for smaller, lighter vessels. Of course, no exchange of great power with a supernatural entity can be free and clear, and as such, The Lord of Flame will ask for compensation for his assistance, and again, he knows that he is the best option. The Lord may bargain hard for some great treasure, or he may only ask for something simple, like an original poem; one thing that the Lord of Flame will never do, is discuss his price before service. The Lord of Flame agrees to help the stricken vessel, and he makes it clear to the sailor to whom he is bestowing his blessing that he will be returning to exact a price for this power; the sailor can agree or disagree. After the vessel escapes, the Lord of Flame will appear to that sailor in the very first building he enters after coming ashore and demand his price, though he is not above haggling against one with a silver tongue.   The Still   This relatively tiny region, in relation to the rest of the Kytaran Sea, is one of the few places that can reliably be shown in the correct location on maps, as it is one of the few places that does not move. So great is the Lord of Fog's influence, that the Farraíochta, the magical field of the Kytaran Sea that generates it's iconic mysteries, has little effect on the waters surrounding the Still, and the area appears relatively normal before passing the monoliths. The secrets of the area's legend, and therefore, the trick to escaping, is not common knowledge, though there is a cabal of Kytaran nobles who regularly commune with the Lord of Flame. They do this for unrelated reasons, though the Lord has shared with them the secrets of the Still. In reality, most do not believe there is any way to escape the Still after becoming trapped there. Most sailors of the Kytaran Sea have accepted the notion that every aspect of their way of life is mortally hostile, so why should there be a way to escape a place that is so clearly designed to kill?


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