Tides Physical / Metaphysical Law in The Ocean | World Anvil
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Unc. Nk.--
Couldn't scrounge up any hook on why the tide rounds the cluster the way it does. You'd think somebody would've worked it out at some point, right? Anybody picked up ocean study since the boom?
For all of recorded history, people have been aware of the association between the location of the moon in the sky and the changes in the height of the ocean. Before the beginning of the Oceanic Era this was a matter of purely spiritual significance. The moon was an object of worship, and the rise and fall of the tides were believed to be her means of communication. A religious order known as the Readers of the Tide interpreted the daily and seasonal fluctuations for communities living on the vastland coast. As people began sailing between the vastland and nearby islands, Readers provided invaluable information about the best times to set out and return, forming the basis for the craft of navigation still essential to ocean travel today.   A few centuries later when the ocean supplanted the moon as a deity, the tides were reinterpreted as the beating of the ocean's heart. This belief went unchallenged until the Cluster Islands were discovered and settled, although even for a full two hundred years after the entire cluster had been mapped most people still believed that the entire ocean rose and fell at the same time. Tideriders were the first to observe and correct for the contradictory high and low tides occuring at different times on different islands on the same day. The prevalence of these reports prompted the formation of a new school on Zaiyev dedicated to tracking ocean and weather conditions, and by 300 Vol they had thoroughly mapped the pattern.


The tides are the daily rise and fall of the ocean surface, most noticeable along shorelines. Generally there is one high and one low tide per day which corresponds to the position of the moon, and two strong and two weak tides per month which correspond to the phase. Some of the outer islands have a more complicated tide, with one side experiencing a single daily peak and another side two peaks.   The tidal peak circulates starwise around the outside of the main Cluster Islands once each lunar day. Within the Inside Sea there is almost no shift in overall water level, but a pattern of strong tidal currents repeats as the high and low tides pass island gaps on opposite sides of the cluster.
Some historians blame the decline of Ocean worship on the discovery of the circulating tide. While this is possibly a factor, the ocean traditions depended more on the frequency of long Gap-crossing trips than on any literal interpretation of the tides as the ocean's heart. With civilization centered in the Cluster Islands, tideriders simply had less need for rituals to ensure their fleet's safety at sea.

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