Lo, That I Beseech the Earth to Rise
The proximity of the Aquitani people to the expanse known by them as Krouisefr, or "The Deeps," explains somewhat their viciousness, as they have since time began been required to keep in their minds a score of unknowable horrors lurking just out of sight.
-treatise on the Gallic satellites
Why would we fear the Imperia? We've lived with monsters from the beginning. Hell, they're the reason we left the sea, and we still figured out how to kill some of them. When you've drawn the blood of the Ouistruo and managed not to get burned even, when a bunch of dicks in space pajamas show up demanding seaweed, they don't scare you.
The Deeps, known in the native Cheulque language as Krouisefr, takes up more than seventy percent of the planet Aquitania's surface area. This vast ocean measures over twelve thousand meters at its deepest point and is home to a slew of gigantic marine animals known collectively by the Aquitani as krøtruo. The Deeps are barren of Aquitani settlement due to the danger posed by the krøtruo; all Aquitani settlements are limited to , which exist between the narrow continents that offer protection from the larger krøtruo.
An Unexplored Zone
The Aquitani people are adapted for amphibious life, but were once entirely aquatic. This changed when tectonic activity pushed up The Shallows and some scant dry land called , offering the primitive Aquitani species some shelter from the gargantuan krøtruo that hunted them. This shelter allowed them to adapt to an amphibious life, but also to develop technologically and eventually become capable of space travel. Upon the arrival of the Imperian Fleet to Aquitania, the Imperian Senate became interested in taming The Deeps and the creatures within. After dozens of disastrous and fatal sorties into The Deeps, the Imperia pulled its efforts back and remained in The Shallows, as the Aquitani had for millennia.
A Thing of Legend
When the Aquitani speak of The Deeps, they always do so as they speak of , the Queen of the Earth. Her people were beset by the most terrible of krøtruo, the dreaded Potresursia ("terrible snake"). San Vuepaque used the great magic of the ocean and lifted the sea's bed to form The Shallows and The Dry, giving her people a place to be safe from Potresursia and the other monsters of The Deeps. An ancient Aquitani ruler, San Vuepaque's real name has been lost to time. She was likely a real figure who led a race of Aquitani to shelter in The Shallows, and her historical feats have become legendary. San Vuepaque is described in her myths as having a dozen tentacles, and fossil records show ancient Aquitani did in fact have up to twelve tentacles throughout their evolution, versus the six that modern Aquitani have retained, likely due to their amphibious lifestyle.
"Lo that I beseech the Earth to rise, to rise, to give shelter to my people."
A Dark Future
The Imperia plans to explore The Deeps once they've uncovered more of its secrets from a distance. Infrared imaging of the ocean reveals only surface activity and makes cataloging the deepwater krøtruo therein virtually impossible. Imperian scholars have taken to reading all of the ancient Aquitani legends they can get their hands on in order to flesh out understanding of the krøtruo. However, Aquitani hatred of the Imperia has led to widespread disappearance of the ancient scrolls that detail krøtruo anatomy, diet, and behaviors in an attempt to stymie Imperian advancement in plumbing The Deeps and the monsters within.
We have a saying: "Better to be swallowed by Potresursia than allow the Imperia to swallow us both."
One of the Gallic satellites that is almost entirely water and home to the Aquitani, the most aggressively anti-Imperian Mariner race in the empire.
Home to the largest sea creatures observed in the known systems, most of which were powerful enough to withstand Imperian attacks.
The deepest parts are energized by heretofore unknown means that are capable of sustaining gigantic sea creatures. Theorized to be from thermal vents in the ocean floor, this energy remains unknown because any exploration has been consumed by various creatures before it can return for examination.