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The Eddy

The Eddy is a non-fixed location within an ocean gyre, without any obvious landmarks. It is an area of generally mild weather, and readily collects debris from the surrounding currents. Those with a strong hydrotropic sense tend to be drawn there, and some stay their entire lives.

Geography

Since the exact location of the Eddy is not fixed, the subsurface terrain is variable. It can drift from trenches to seamounts, ensuring that the Seekers in residence are never bored.

History

The Eddy may have been settled as early as the fifth century of the Oceanic Era, since that is the estimated date of the legend of Tiamou's Voyage. According to the legend, the sailor Yadi left Tiamou's foundering ship on foot, walked to Miyestat to petition its residents for help, and then was not seen again. A commonly-told version of the legend ends with Yadi finding his way to the Eddy, but this version dates back to no earlier than 250 Vol, when the presence of the Water Seekers was already better known.

Before the Cluster Islands were discovered, few ships had any reason to go far enough east out of known waters to cross paths with the Eddy. Certain incidents from that era, at the time attributed to manifestations of the ocean deity, may in fact have been encounters with Water Seekers. A family on a ship tossed off course after a storm claimed to have been given a push back in the right direction by a huge wave with human figures standing on its crest. A report from a scout boat described a village floating in the air, which was gone when the mother ship returned to the same place. On several occasions a ship in the middle of the ocean suddenly found a stranger among the crew who asked for food, then vanished after receiving it. There are too many accounts of lost sailors to speculate whether any might have gone seeking the Eddy for their own contentment, as is said of Yadi. It is likely that some did, but sea travel is hazardous enough that anyone who disappeared from a crew was assumed to have fallen overboard and drowned.

Settlement of the Cluster Islands during the last two centuries of the Oceanic Era (9650-9848 Oce) brought the Eddy into general awareness. The Cluster's location at the eastern edge of the old shipping routes, along with the colonies established on the larger islands, meant a greater population density nearer the Eddy's influence. When natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions or tropical cyclones struck those colonies, the sensation of multitudes in distress was intense enough to disrupt meditating Water Seekers. There are many recorded instances of up to a dozen strangers walking ashore and using walls and tools made of water to save people from further harm. It soon came to be expected that Seekers would arrive in the wake of any large-scale event of human tragedy, and--whether deservedly or not--they acquired a reputation as supernatural beings capable of working miracles. The Eddy itself remains elusive enough that the Seekers are not constantly beset by supplicants, though a few skilled navigators have managed to locate it reliably, and hire themselves out (usually at a steep price) to those who feel their need is urgent enough.

Tourism

The Eddy's reclusive Seekers dislike interruptions, and prefer not to deal with outsiders if they can avoid it. No visitor is prevented from coming, but how they are received depends entirely on how they present themselves. Anyone seeking the calm of the ocean is welcomed. Those asking for favors are shielded by a dome of water formed from a circle of waterspouts, attended to by a representative, and given an answer. If the representative determines that the visitors are merely curiosity seekers, the Seekers quickly collapse the dome onto the intruding vessel and raise an ocean swell large enough to speed it away. No one dismissed in such a manner has been foolish enough to come back.
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Connu eyed it with some disbelief. "That's it? The Eddy? That clump of debris?"   As a floating city, the Eddy of Water Seekers would disappoint anyone looking from a distance. Composed of sodden boat hulls, seagrass mats, and the occasional tree trunk, it looked in need of rescue more than anything else. Dreishi smiled. "That's exactly what I thought, the first time I was here."   Connu laughed. "I know better than to doubt you, but you must admit this does not hold up well against the reputation I've come to expect."

Dancinglight Dome framework by The Big G


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Articles under The Eddy


Comments

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Jul 3, 2021 14:47

Oh, I really like this idea for a landmark. Very unique and very interesting :D


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 3, 2021 23:38

Thank you! Funny thing is that there's another entry about the exact same sort of place--Kereminde's Flotsam Calm. It's a very different and also cool take on the idea.

From The River to The Ocean, a civilization grows up.