Escaria Sea (ESS-cair-ee-uh)
12 Melua 1227 Age of Water
The Escaria Sea is a portion of Ocrea's ocean. Escaria is a tropical ocean, being located at and near the equator. It is home to many reefs of rock and coral, and the natural biodiversity there is flourishing. The cities under the waves of this sea include Dotin, Tritolis, and Ebritra. Most of Escaria's cities are located on reefs, as the shifting sands of the ocean floor elsewhere are not conducive to building.
The Escaria Sea has two seasons throughout the year. These seasons are aptly named the Warm Season and the Cool Season. During the Warm Season, the currents of the sea become much warmer, storms are more frequent, and volcanic activity increases. During the Cool Season, the currents are colder and many volcanic vents reduce their activity or become completely dormant.
Escaria's undersea currents fluctuate and change course based on the time of year. In cold seasons, the biggest of the jet streams flow to the west, but change course to the northwest when it becomes warmer. Smaller jet streams similarly fluctuate to the north in warmer seasons, but the change is less pronounced.
Although life in Escaria is generally below the surface, tropical storms and hurricanes have extreme effects on life below the waves. When a hurricane passes overhead, the water becomes more turbulent, and Merfolk of all kinds are strongly encouraged to stay inside their homes for their own safety. If an unfortunate creature gets pulled to the surface, they could find themselves kilometers from where they were previously. These storms are not uncommon during "storm season", which lasts from the beginning of Asha (early Warm Season) to the end of Lona (late Warm Season) every year.
Fauna & Flora
The fauna of Escaria includes the merfolk who live there. There are several different lineages of merfolk both within and outside of the cities. From the gigantic Abythis to the colorful Tore, merfolk of all shapes and sizes live and thrive in the waters of Escaria. Along with the merfolk, various species of fish, crustaceans, sharks, rays, and even porpoises make their homes here.
Some of the most economically important animals of the sea include the Giant Seahorse, the Skipjack, the Escarian Sardine, the Lesser Clam, and the Glowfish. The Giant Seahorse and the Glowfish are the only two of the top ten most economically valuable animals which are not typically eaten. Giant Seahorses are typically used for transportation, and the Glowfish are typically kept as light-giving pets or used as communication devices.
One of the most culturally important plants in the Escaria Sea is Estanga Grass, which grows in the sandy substrate of the plains. Other flora include seaweeds, kelps, and sea grasses. Coral is considered a plant to most cultures within Escaria, although this assumption is subject to debate.