Ohllm Geographic Location in The Spheres of Oblogga | World Anvil

Ohllm

"Yes, only once have I heard something that match this description. It wasn't named back then, in a time long before signatures were a thing. In the time of Akkhlorn. He came across what he then described to me as a pool of peculiar waves that he encountered on his way up to the Clouds. At first he did not give much credit to the anomaly, all worked-up he was toward the shiny blocks. And when he went down, any sign of it was gone. He swore he was sure it was the place, now devoid of the anomaly.   Since then, never once have I heard about this Ohllm you described so closely to his anomaly, child. And so must I ask, where was it ? Where was it your discovery took place ?"   "I am sorry, old shell, but I trust you, and in the name of our lifelong friendship, I must ask you to forget what you just heard about Ohllm and what I said. I will soon bring you more memories, more exciting facts that you will be free to disclose as much as you like, if only you can do this."   "What you want me to do is to betray my very purpose. I should not, and I must not. But I will, for you and for you only. But first your very name, then this place. How many times will I betray myself for you, child, my friend ?"   "Not many more, I assure you. Though I can't tell you that won't happen anymore. Consider it a trade, a valuable one at that."   "I disagree with that, child. I do not do a thing that hurt my very being for a thing so petty. I accept this because you are a friend, not for another reason."   "And I thank you for being such a wonderful friend, Cloddkp, memory of Oblogga."   "Ah, so this is farewell, Revealer, leader of the Seekers."
 

Like every living being, peculiar locations can have a signature. Interestingly, these places, known as seamarks, emit very recognizable waves in loop. Whether they move or stay in place, they make great markers, especially in the uniform Expanse. Some of them, like the unique Spire or the menacing Storm, have physical manifestations that explains why they produce a signature. But others are just there, resonating water that draws their share of myth. Ohllm is one of these, and much more.

To find the way

Despite its strong resonance and fairly great size, Ohllm have only been discovered as of late. This is the consequence of two distincts, but linked, causes :

Heads up!

The seamark is located in shallow waters, just under the sky. According to the few knowledgeables that accessed it, if it was a little bit higher the rapid currents would have disrupted the frail equilibrium that allowed the zone to form. Only the existence of a skip able to rise to the Clouds made it possible to reach the viscinity of Ohllm.

Fleeting flow

Some believe that Ohllm is formed by the interferences of the very odd resonance of Clouds. They undoubtebly emit something, but not translatable in any dialect, not even in Unitone. And the seamark is constantly moving in order to always stay under an area poor in Clouds. Since their signals don't overlap at this point of the ocean, they interact and the result is Ohllm, as stated by this theory. A claim strengthened by the occasional disappearance of the signature, which then reappear at a great distance.

 

Due to these oddities, it wasn't discovered until the Revealer ventured in the shallows. Amazed by this display of forces beyond understanding, he aimed to unravel the mystery of Ohllm. Some says it was his first and foremost trial of knowledge, the one that left him with an inextinguishable thirst for answers. Whether that is true or not, he ended up with a bittersweet taste. At this time he wasn't able to come upon the truth, and was terribly frustrated.

 

While he wasn't yet content with his findings, he didn't give up and settled Ohllm as the meeting point of the nascent Seeker's organization. A choice that turned out to be wise, as they continued to unveil the shroud of mysteries.

 

A most perfect hideout

Ohllm has the shape of a gigantic bubble, large enough to engulf a medium-sized Sphere and still have some space left. This contour is only assumed, as the water doesn't change in any noticeable way. The only way to delimit the area is to enter, because the plangency is not felt inside.

 

The resonance of Ohllm is very strong, albeit limited in range. So much that it covers the signature of any skip, even though they may have a wider, but fainter, scope. In an era where the skips are identified from very far away by their unique signature, any skip that seeks refuge in this zone become virtually invisible to any pursuer. This, combined with conditions unsuitable for most regular skips, designed the seamark to be the prefered place for the Seeker's meeting.

 
by pxfuel
 

A place of legend

Ohllm is not the least cause in the myth of the elusivity of Anhvall and the Seekers. More than one hunter who was tailing an agitator's crew from far away to suddenly lose every clue and be left speechless. Even after word got out about the secret hideout of the organization, a clever propaganda transformed the site into a dreaded fortress in the mind of people. Somewhere between a Sphere and a swarm of armored skips, everyone believes the place to be a most wonderful opponent. When the Righteous Order or the Divine League look for the legendary Ohllm, they send powerful armadas in search of an even match, always in vain except for one time.

 

The assault of Ohllm

Once, the shelter was in jeopardy. It wasn't discovered until later how the Righteous Order found out the location of Ohllm. Treason was considered, but the truth was laughably simple. A fake Anhvall was captured, and its crew tortured to death without spilling any information. But then their persecutors found an exotic device, a cylindrical compass.

How to tone down a signature

Usually, the stronger the vibration, the wider the range at which it can be sensed. Other factors play a role too, such as the pressure or the temperature. Waves travel slower in cold waters and at low pressure. But this alone shouldn't be able to explain the short range of Ohllm's signature.

 

A signal this powerful should be heeded across at least half of the Expanse. The explanation behind this bizarre fact lie in the pattern of the signature. Ohllm. A motif so simple it quickly fades in the natural resonance of the water and become unrecognizable. Hence why nobody ever crossed the place for the first time with a purpose : who would look for what seems to be a most ordinary wave formed by any current ?

 

Though it gets mixed up with the natural resonance, there is a very subtle way to trace back the signal. In the shallows, the initial signature sounds like "Oooolllm". Tracking the shorter patterns which deviates ever so slightly from the main tone cannot be done without knowing that this pattern exists in the first place. And even then, only a trained ear is able to identify the origin and reach Ohllm.

 

The Seeker's Compass

In their earlier days, gathering at Ohllm was a real pain for the young Seekers, and many got lost in the process. This was the case until the Revealer himself created the Seeker's Compass. An artifact in the shape of a cylinder, with a cleft on both faces and several barrels containing water echoing the signature of Ohllm in the manner of a speech bubble. When put in the Expanse, the most sensitive barrels can grasp even the faintest resonance, and will emerge from the cylinder to align their phases. The closer the compass is from Ohllm, the stronger the signal and the barrels arise one row after the other. When the last of the six rows have come out, the skip should be close enough for the skipper to hear by themselves the resonance.

 

In later cycles, the Revealer decided to provide his invention for the wide public, eventually coming up with a way to revolutionate seafaring. Instead of lying on the sense of great signature, compasses only need water imbued with a slight resonance to lead anywhere in the Expanse. It goes without saying that this provoked a great turmoil as this innovation had been suppressed for long up until this time.

 

Multiple Ohllms ?

Considering the assumed circonstances of the appearance of Ohllm, it doesn't seem far-fetched to imagine the existence of multiple instances of the phenomenon taking place at the same time. However, the Seeker's Compasses only point to a single location, and never was a skip misguided to a different Ohllm than the one it aimed.

by Damien Schnorhk

Intrigued, they simply followed the indications and stumbled upon Ohllm purely by chance. At the time, there were two skips beside Anhvall : Hlml and Duouv. Both crews were holding a meeting aboard the motherskip, and the fleet was detected way too late to react. Did the seekers became complacent, full of themselves and overly confident in the councealment of their hideout ? Or did the protection of Ohllm backfire, masking the approach of the enemy ? Either way, the harm has been done.

 

The essential crews had just been able to go back to their skips before the Righteous Order attacked. Only volunteers that were ready to sacrifice themselves were aboard the two smaller skips, and they maneuvered in order to buy time. Hlml shielded most of the long-distance shots while the artillery of Duouv took care of the initial wave of hunters. Then both fell under the main force. Futile resistance, but no vain sacrifice. By averting the initial burst of the battle, they allowed Anhvall to flee the ambush in the sky, saving dozens of lives and the most precious assets of the organization.

 

In the ensuing events, the skip managed to escape the pursuers unscathed, but it remained a serious blow to the Seekers. The secret of Ohllm was irrevocably disclosed. It didn't take long for the communicators of the Order to establish the connection between the odd signature they sensed and the mythical fortress. After the fleet followed the fleeing skip, some stayed behind to investigate the curious location. In a stroke of luck for the rebels, the bubble created by the clouds' configuration closed, leaving the Righteous Order's scientists with more questions than answers.

 

Eventually, the lost compass was destroyed before it could be reused, and Ohllm continued to be the main hideout of the Seekers, though with more caution than ever. Seeker skippers were told to destroy the compass if they were ever boarded, and at least a sentinel of each crew must be on the lookout while inside the site.

 
No, I wouldn't call it a debacle, or a proof of weakness. I prefer to call it a lesson.
— Etete, on the assault of Ohllm
 

The Obloggian Perspective

Ohllm... Are we talking about the floating fortress, the secret army of the Seekers, or the bubble of invisibility? Things tend to become hazy around this thing. To be honest, I am not even sure it exists. Everything about the Seekers is shrouded in such mystery. Well, that's a part of their charm after all. Some would say paradox, for people so dedicated to telling the truth. But when you're being hunted down by pretty much every power of the Expanse, better cover your back, yes? I can't really expand the topic, as there is not much to say about this kind of chimera. Or secret. It's very unclear, at least that is certain.



Cover image: by pxfuel

Comments

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Jan 2, 2022 20:59 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

This is a super cool concept! I love how you're further developing the idea of the signatures here, and of having this "terrible fortress" just be a special resonance bubble created by iceberg currents! And I'm really glad the Seekers can still use it as a hideout even if part of the secret is out, it's just too cool to give up XD   Random question I add while writing this comment. Are the clouds everywhere in the sky? Or would they only be around the north and south pole? Not sure if you're going with an ice age - bu then you did say water levels are decreasing...

To see what I am up to: my Summer Camp 2024.
Jan 4, 2022 20:15

Thanks for your kind words! Yeah, Seekers really love to twist every important information about them, especially if it helps lead pursuers to dead ends! They were really lucky Ohllm disappeared shortly after the assault :D   Oh, you almost made me reveal a secret there :p. All I can tell is that it's not an ice age... kinda. As far as people can tell, Clouds fall down and melt away everywhere in the Expanse. In some locations, they are more spread out than others, but there is no place where no Clouds are to be seen.

Hoo~ Hoo