Outer Ocean

The Outer Ocean is the largest continuous body of water in Scaraqua both by surface area and volume.   In terms of population, the Outer Ocean is dwarfed by the Inner Ocean, which most Scaraquan scholars believe holds at least three times the population as the Outer Ocean.   With somewhat less edible flora and fauna than the Inner Ocean and far fewer navigable Scaraquan Currents, the major undersea powers such as the Oshamni Empire generally do not bother trying to assert their power here making the Outer Ocean a haven for nomads, petty independent warlords, and those wishing to disappear.   Recently, the Oshamni and their major rivals have begun probing the warlord's petty mountain top kingdoms for weaknesses hoping to control a few of trade nexuses in this sparsely populated region.

Geography

The Outer Ocean circles the major landmasses of Scarterra and encompasses the entirety of the Dark Sea, the entirety of the Long Sea, the entirety of the Sea of Mubete, over half of the Sea of Taedi, and tiny portions of the Sea of Resona and Sea of Mangcha.   The only sea that does not at least touched by the Outer Ocean is the Sea of Enosha centered around what Scarterrans call Mera's Lake.   Near the major continents the sea floor of the outer ocean is quite shallow but the sea floor slopes very steeply down. Most of the Outer Ocean is very deep, too deep for most Scaraquans to survive easily.   With some exceptions, most Scaraquans that do live here stick to the surface waters and live a nomadic lifestyle by necessity.   The sea floor is scattered with mountains, some of them are high enough to make tiny areas of shallow water. The Mountain ranges form tiny shallow spots are the only real locations where permanent structures can be created without using magic. These are the closest thing that passes for civilization in this region of Scaraqua, often serving as trading hubs for many nomadic groups.   Besides mountains there also deep trenches. These remain largely unexplored by Scaraquans for obvious reasons. They are the subject of much speculation and superstition.

Ecosystem

Though the outer ocean is very deep, most of the plant and animal life is near the surface where the sunlight penetrates. As expected, the equatorial waters of the Outer Ocean hold more and more diverse lifeforms than the polar waters.   The Outer Ocean is dotted with chemical vents which provide metaphorical islands of fertile ground sustaining self contained ecosystems, but these are fairly few and far between. The sea floor is very poorly mapped here, so the shallow dwelling Scaraquans only know where a tiny fraction of the undersea vents are.

Fauna & Flora

The surface waters of the Outer Ocean are much like the rest of Scaraqua though the ocean floor is so far away in most places that any sea creatures or plants that require the presence of the sea floor cannot survive here. Meaning many of the familiar sights of plants and animals fond in the more populous Inner Ocean are not to be found here.   Deep in the trenches, high in the undersea mountains, and especially along the deep sea chemical vents are creatures, both mortal and bestial, very much unlike those of the rest of Scaraqua. Some such creatures are known to those of the Inner Ocean in vague and often contradictory tales, some are known only as faint rumors, and some are unknown entirely.   While few Scarterran sailors are in serious danger here, the deeper waters definitely qualify as the "Here There Be Monsters" territory for Scaraquans.

Tourism

The Outer Ocean boasts modest fishing at best, so there is very little to draw a Scarterran to this ocean other than a convenient means of travel to other lands.   Scaraquan sailors will make journeys between the western edges of West Colassia and Umera and the eastern edges of Penarchia and East Colassia.   The long distance means that ships need to pack a lot of supplies and the lack of landmarks means that navigators better be able to read star charts well or have a magical diviner on board. All things considered, traveling the Outer Ocean is pretty safe with the only real danger being boredom.   While there are many rumors of horrible sea monsters spawning in the great depths of the Outer Ocean, the odds of a sailor running into one are very low. Since less than a quarter of Scaraqua's population lives in this vast ocean and relatively few ships ply the waters, the odds of a Scarterran sailor meeting a Scaraquan here, hostile or otherwise, are also fairly low.   Piracy is rare here and warships rarely bother patrolling far to the Outer Ocean. There just isn't enough sea traffic to bother with since locating a lone ship or even a flotilla of ships in this large open ocean is like locating a needle in a haystack.   While rare, naval warfare is not completely unheard of here. Given that the sea lanes are far less busy here, the Outer Ocean is a good place for a patient naval commander with good navigation skills to stage a sneak attack against an enemy if he is clever enough.
Type
Ocean
Location under
Inhabiting Species


Cover image: Outer Ocean in Dark Blue by Me