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Lake Idryl

Written by RiverFang

An elf looks across the great expanse of water before them, standing on the edge of the Elven Forest looking across what could be described as a far-reaching ocean. The opposite shore cannot be seen, even on the clearest of days, and those that do not know of the great lake may assume that they have reached the coast of Vóreios, but that is far from the truth that presents itself. The peaceful, crystal clear waters that lap the shores at his feet are not those of the great seas that wear the coasts of the continent. The chatter of otters, the silver scales of fast swimming fish, are things that can only be found in the freshwater haven of Lake Idryl.  
We may call her a lake, but her waters are those of the seas, great and deep, willing to swallow those who do not respect her to the depths far below.
— Unknown Fisherman
  In the summer months, a warm breeze ruffles the surface of the mirror-like lake, distorting the images of the flora and fauna that lurk below. The hues of blue waver and shift, growing deeper as the depths of the lake become nearly bottomless and the light from the summer sun filters less and less through the deep waters. The shores are busy with the sounds of people, fishermen, travelers, and all manners of people. Some are untying their boats from the shore, setting out to catch the silver scaled Faefish that brought the Half-Elf village of Merrick its fame. Others are tempting the Giant Koi of the lake to the shores so that they may have the aid of the giant creatures in their travels around and across the massive lake. The chatter of Otterfolk as they slip into the warm waters like a second skin, searching for the creatures that will later be turned into their culinary creations for a celebration.   Even in the winter the bustle and sounds do no cease. The mirror-like surface of the lake grows frozen with thick ice and hazy with a deep fog. The cannery in Merrick continues its work, the Otterfolk continue their hunting that is so important to their religion. Travelers continue around the lake, although without the help of the Giant Koi that were so close to the surface during the summer. The lake is a central point of Vóreios, the center of trade routes and lines of travel across the continent. The movement around the lake often matches the movement of its waves, busy in summer when the warm breeze ruffles the waves and slower in winter when the waters close to the shore are frozen with the deep cold.   The placid waters of Lake Idryl bring their own fair share of harsh realities. From the deep fog of the winter that makes the Aelinor Oaks of the Elven Forest look like great shrouded mountains to the myths of the Lady of the Lake, mystery and myth surround the lake and its true nature, but most are too afraid to delve deep enough to uncover the truths.

Geography

Lake Idryl is a landlocked lake that spans hundreds of miles in any direction. The lake marks the convergence of three peoples, the Elves to the north in their great Elven Forest, the Humans to the east in the expanse of the Great Plains, and the Orcs to the south in the swamps of the Moorlands. Their territories are marked by the Veins of the North that flow through their lands, each cardinal point of the lake marked by a great river. The Gweyr in the north runs through the lush Aelinor Oaks of the Elven Forest, the Sulphur to the east runs through the thick Traveler's Grass of the Great Plains, the Wilderrun to the south divides the Great Plains from the Moorlands, the Feyline in the west becomes the boundary between the Elven Forest and the Fairy King's Wood.  
Villages and other sites litter the shores of Lake Idryl, often falling under the rule of whichever kingdom they find closest. The communities around the lake are numerous, as the lake stretches over 200 miles from west to east at its widest points. The water of the lake is clear, calm and abundant with fish, while the shores sport soft sand with high banks that make building docks quite easy, though the bottom of the lake dips out of sight after just a mile or so. Lake Idryl is often called the bottomless lake as its depths increase nearly forever as one travels towards the center of the lake. Its mysterious depths and large size call forth many myths, superstitions, and strange happenings that cause even the most seaworthy of people to become reluctant to brave the deeper waters, especially at night.

Quick Facts: Geography

Longest Point: From the Feyline to the Sulphur is approx. 200 miles
Location: On the southern edge of the Elven Forest, western edge of the Great Plains, northern edge of the Moorlands
Rivers: Feyline, Gweyr, Sulphur, Wilderrun
  The climate of the lake is warm during the summer months, with gentle breezes that pick their way across the water according to the season. In the winter months, several miles of the lake becomes covered in ice and a deep fog that lasts from the end of Winter's Noon until the beginning of Spring's Morning. Regardless of the season, the lake is a source of life for creatures and peoples that live around it. For thousands of years, it has been considered a neutral ground that no country will fight over or attempt to claim as a whole.  
The dead of winter brings a quiet to the lake, but it does not stop our need of its depths and its creatures. We tread lightly in the dark months, like we do during the night, as the lake is more of a cursed mirror when light does not shine too deeply in its depths.
— Unknown Resident of a Lakeside Village
  There are two main areas as far as the lake is concerned. The first is the shallows, which extends anywhere from two to five miles from the shore and reaches a depth of 60 feet. Past this, the water gets much deeper, and much quicker the water becomes colder and darker the further a boat travels from shore. Here, the lake begins to resemble the gentler areas of the sea. The depth of the lake in its entirety has never been charted, though it is known that only 15 miles from the shore, the lake reaches down over a thousand feet and seems to steeply taper off even more. Some of these deeper areas hold various resources, different metals, and special plants that grow along the steep floor of the lake, but there comes a certain point where even the bravest of divers will not go any further.

Fauna & Flora

Lake Idryl is home to many flora and fauna that can be found nowhere else in the world of Isekai. Aquatic creatures such as Faefish, Giant Koi, and gargantuan freshwater oysters make their home in the serene waters of the lake. These are the most common creatures from in Lake Idryl, but many more live further in the depths, beyond where many people feel safe traveling. Fishing from the lake sustains the area and the unique canning process developed in Merrick near the Gweyr River, as well as the unique populations of the River Otterfolk that make their home near the lake.   Faefish are a silver scaled fish that can only be found in Lake Idryl. While researchers from the Unending Scroll are unsure as to their exact origin, some believe that over time these fish were affected by the magic of the Aelinor Oaks leeching from the Elven Forest into the lake. While not rare in the lake itself, these fish are seen as a delicacy across Vóreios, often in great need during times of celebration. A cannery was developed in Merrick to preserve the delicate fish and ship it across the continent. Because of its popularity and the economy it has brought to the area, the Faefish has been named as the unofficial mascot of the area. Festivals are held each year to celebrate a large crop of fish and a visage of the fish is depicted above the lake as festivities take place.   Giant Koi are another rarity of the lake. These koi are almost unnatural in their size, reaching over 60 feet in length. There are hundreds of these fish in the lake, but they are small compared to the ancient Giant Koi that started the myths. It is said that a fisherman long before the Eldritch War released his small pet koi into the lake. As the years passed since she was released, the koi grew in size, dwarfing the other creatures of the lake and growing to the size of a whale. This is the koi that grants the title of the Koi Catcher each year, naming a new leader in the villages around the lake.   The plant life also changes around the lake, bringing to light rare and unique species above and below the water's surface. Even the Traveler's Grass of the Great Plains comes to a stop about a mile away from the water's edge and gives way to a milder grass with short shrubs. In addition, the sandy lake bed slopes gently down to the water, giving way to a thick seaweed that obscures the lake bed and provided plenty of hiding places for Faefish and other aquatic wildlife under the lake's surface.   For this reason, the land around the lake is often clear, being utilized for travel and direct routes with small lake communities that dot the shore and sport docks all around the water's edge. The various creatures from each side of the lake will come to the water's edge often though neither beast nor man dares to venture too far out into the center of the lake.
Alternative Name(s)
Bottomless Lake
Type
Lake
Location under
Included Locations
Inhabiting Species
Ownership
Lake Idryl is not claimed by any entity, as the rule of kingdoms end at the lake's shores. The Elven Kingdom, the Human Empire, and the Orcs of the Moorlands claim various stretches of the shores as their own, but this claim never etends into the lake itself.
Lake Idryl
Lake Idryl is the largest lake in Vóreios, spanning over 200 miles from west to east. The lake itself is surrounded by a variety of climates and peoples, as the Elven Forest, the Great Plains, and the Moorlands converge on the shores of the lake.   This map was created by one of the great Mapmakers of Isekai, Rhirr Swiftwing, in one of his many trips across Lake Idryl.
 

Points of Interest

Otterton

Otterton is the largest Otterfolk village around Lake Idryl. River Otterfolk can only be found around Lake Idryl on the Northern Continent. This village is known for the assistance the Otterfolk gave to the Half-Elves of Merrick, as well as the celebrations they have as part of their religion, Ottertarianism.  

Seraph Tree

Close to Lake Idryl stands the Seraph Tree, an abandoned structure that was once home to a group of Ancient Fey. The tree has long since been abandoned, but travelers have often found truths and secrets hidden within the labyrinth of rooms that were delicately carved into the great tree.    

Tortle Rock Island

A small Island that is said to resemble the back of a Turtle rising up out of the divided flow of the Wilderrun River. Here a colony of Tortles lives peacefully in a settlement centered around a pillar of Arcane Steel. The pillar is said to grant them protection from evil creatures in the form of a great bolt of arcane energy and has guaranteed their safety from Orcs for many years.  
 

Myths of Lake Idryl

The Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake is a myth of Lake Idryl that may be more fact than fiction. A visage of a lady in blue appears close to the lakeshore on specific nights, often calling to those on land to come to her side. The Otterfolk of the lake worship the lady in blue as part of their religion of Ottertarianism.  


Comments

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Master Redclaw123
Elias Redclaw
23 Mar, 2020 17:45

My goodness.   I’m speechless. I’m simply speechless. I just can’t say anything about this article because it’s so beautiful. I’m just shocked At how amazing and beautiful this can be. The details were simply beautiful and as a fantasy nerd who gushes over geographical locations too much, this was simply too much to take in XD. I’m in love with this article!   The description part has to be my most favourite one. You’re a literal prodigy in that if I may say. The exquisite details you put in, whilst also being Orwellian in terms of simplicity is just amazing. The links to other articles are the final part which makes this article so amazing and challenge winning worthy besides the description. Oh and did I forget to say that I love the diversity of people, Flora and fauna ? It’s just a masterpiece in my opinion in every way and I am counting on this to win!   I truly can’t find many things to critique about this article. Still, I’ll try my best! Also pardon me if I ramble a bit too much since I forget that you’re on a word count limit like me XD   1) What are the lives like of the people around this lake? 2) Have any of the kingdoms tried to exploit the lakes resources?   Now onto the formatting part! For the first time since I’ve started commenting on these challenge articles, I have to say that your formatting style is way better than mine! So I won’t go into too much detail. I just wanted to say that a music video at the very beginning coupled with a quote and an image would greatly serve to hook the readers! ( it’s already very good at hooking but it would make it even better lol)   All in all, I have to say that if I were the judge of this challenge, I’d nominate this as the winner from what I’ve read so far. Also Isekai is slowly starting to become my favourite world on world anvil too! I just can’t wait to read More of it! Congrats river and keep up the damned amazing work! :D

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