The Surface Geographic Location in The Call of The Tree | World Anvil

The Surface

The place where the light is so strong it burns out color and flesh.
Where the death can come from Above.
Where a step outside means death.
  While the main danger of The Depths are the monsters that inhabit them first, and the environmental hazard such as darkness second, with the Surface Layers it's the opposite. That doesn't mean the beasts of the Surface aren't dangerous. Many people living deeper than the Surface fear them as many could die once one of them slips to the lower layers. This is one of the reasons why even though they are often seen as weirdos, the People of the Surface, who hunt those beasts, are the reason why The Pit is much safer.  

The Sun

The most dangerous thing in the Surface Layers is the Sun itself. Its rays are so strong that just underneath the surface they are able to burn someone alive if they don't wear clothes oiled with a special type of protective oils. In the lower layers of the Surface, it is still so strong that it bleaches out the color from the clothes and hair, erodes the buildings and evaporates the water (however, the Water Element can still show up here and materialize as a lake or an oasis.
It seems like there is no night above the Surface.


The layers of the Surface are holey like cheese (it was caused by the Beasts from Above burrowing down). Because of that, Sun shines almost everywhere. That is the main reason why the people here are mostly nomads, and why the guide who can find the path that leads through the moving shadows is very valuable here.   There are almost no houses showing up here and even if they were, the Sun probably burned them down or eroded them. Because of that erosion, there is sand almost everywhere. It changes its color depending on what layer it is. The lowest layers of the Surface have sand that is red, and the higher it gets the more yellowish and pale it turns up to the layer closest to the surface, where the sand is so white that walking there without special glasses or goggles can end up in blindness.   Different Elements can form various unique places if their density is high enough. The Fire will make the sands so hot they will melt into a lake of quartz. The Earth will strengthen the buildings and rock formations in the area, creating mesas everywhere. Air can create the area of endless sandstorms that block out the light of the Sun. Darkness will create a filter protecting from the light that gives everything light purple hue, that's where most of the settlements are built. The Electricity ionizes the air creating places where auroras show up. Metal manipulates the quartz in the sand and turns it into crystalline forms, creating stalactites, stalagmites, and arches made completely out of quartz.

Fauna & Flora

The animals here have adapted to the harsh environment.
A lot of them has skin modified in a way that it disperses most of the heat from the Sun rays, or they can move through the ground like fish move through the water. Some are completely blind as to not be blinded by the light and others have eyes that can withstand it.   The plants grow here very rarely, mostly in the places where there is a constant shadow. It is almost impossible for them to grow elsewhere as the Sun destroys any nutrients there are in the ground. Even if there is a lot of the Nature Element in the air, it will probably manifest as tumbleweeds.
Alternative Name(s)
The Surface Layers
Cave System
Location under
Included Organizations
Characters in Location
Related Tradition (Primary)
Inhabiting Species
Related Professions
Related Materials


While the name "The Surface" might suggest that those layers are above the ground level, it is not true. The name of each of the three "types" of layers comes from both their depth and the source of the light on them. The Tree layers are covered with the shine coming from The Tree which simulates day/night cycle. The Surface layers are lit by the sunlight coming from above the surface of The Pit. And in the Depths, there is no light at all.

Articles under The Surface

Cover image: Call of the Tree by Revyera


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