The Ethereal Bay Geographic Location in Totania | World Anvil
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The Ethereal Bay

The Ethereal Bay is an inlet of sea that lies between two peninsulas, which is shrouded in mist and mysticism.  


The Ethereal Bay has two peninsulas that blocks it off from most of the sea. The first peninsula, on the Northwestern side of the Bay, contains the citystate of Alzirgos. The second, on the Southeastern side, has the lawless city of Vitroveil.   Beyond the Vitroveil peninsula lies Stallbourne, home of the World Court, along with their prison, the World Cell, and their headquarters, the Marshal.   The exact layout of the Bay itself is unclear. Some say there are small islands within it, and others say there are rock protrusions and such. No expedition has been able to verify this or map the area out.  


There are many dangers in the waters of the Ethereal Bay, many of which lie beneath the surface of already obscured water. Here, we will talk about some of the discovered threats that can be found within the mist.  


The Ethereal Bay contains the residents of the Sea alongside these creatures. Nereids line the Ethereal Bay's seafloor, and are much more territorial than other Nereids. Instead of allowing ships to pass over their seas, Ethereal Nereids tear apart ships that sail over them.
Then there are Mermaids in the Ethereal Bay. These Mermaids are said to rip sailors from their ships to join the Mermaids beneath the waves. Some stories say this is seductive and alluring, while others say it is monstrous and uncaring.  


There are many creatures in the Ethereal Bay, and none of them are friendly.   Sirens are considered somewhat like Mermaids, though most classifications ignore them as people and instead call them sea monsters. They are Human-looking creatures, mostly women, with some bird-like features. Their feet are those of birds, and they have wings, with some even saying that Sirens are the bridge between Humans and Korvians.
Sirens have a beautiful voice, which is said to lure sailors to them. Then, the sailors will see the Sirens flying right at the edge of their ships and wish to join them, causing the sailors to jump to their deaths into the Ethereal Bay. Where the Sirens reside within the bay is unknown.   A large, octopus like creatures is said to reside within the Ethereal Bay. This creature is known simply as the Kraken. It wraps its large tentacles around ships, crushing them with is massive weight.   Cetus is a sea serpent with a near whale-like body and the head of a boar. It is said to eat one person a year, as a sacrifice to please it. Sometimes nearby cities sacrifice someone to the Cetus, while other times it will just eat a random sailor.   Ghosts are said to soar around within the fog of the Ethereal Bay, calling out to people. Some even say that in the fog, it is difficult to tell the difference between a Ghost and a person.
Their violent cousins, the Wraiths, also take up space within the Ethereal Bay, attacking sailors of all sorts.  

Water Plane

The Ethereal Bay's most well known danger is a portal that is at its very center. This portal leads to the Water Plane, a realm parallel to Totania completely made of water.   Due to this, Water Genies have been known to relax within the Ethereal Bay, and it is believed to be the origin of both the mist that covers the bay and many of its aquatic monstrosities.  


There is a tale from Alzirgos that features a sailor and warrior named Antagoras, called the Antagon. Antagoras is said to have ventured out of Alzirgos for a diplomatic mission, which failed and sprung into war. After the war was done, he set out with his soldiers back home.   Antagoras was beset by many of the sea monsters listed above, alongside others. One tale says he found an island within the Ethereal Bay. This island is sunny and a paradise, with women who fawned over him. Yet they would never turn their backs to him. After some time on the island, Antagoras managed to sneak up behind one of the women to find that their backs were the fronts of men, and that these were some kind of non-human beast (according to Antagoras).   Antagoras escaped there, then finding another island within the Ethereal Bay. This island had an Earth Giant on it, who was living there peacefully. However, he refused to allow Antagoras to leave, and always made Antagoras check in on his crops. So Antagoras waited, planting false crops in the planting season. When harvest came, the plants did not grow, and the Earth Giant, Philologus, threw Antagoras from his island to another.   On this new island, Antagoras found a witch named Sebastia. Sebastia was said to be creating the fog specifically for Antagoras. She wished to fight Antagoras, and then her plan was in victory she would force him to marry her. Antagoras, however, won the fight with clever tricks, wit, and his sowrd. He then stole away a ship. It is said in the tale Sebastia still makes the fog in mourning of Antagoras, making it impossible for anyone else to find her island.   None of these islands have ever been found. Whether they exist within the Ethereal Bay and are that difficult to find, or simply were fabrications are unclear. The Antagon is believed to be full myth, but many of the sea monsters within it are real and do reside in the Ethereal Bay, so it is difficult to differentiate truth from myth.
Doomzausk Gyadzobe by Jarhed

Missing Sailors

Ships often go missing in the Ethereal Bay, and with the missing ships come many missing sailors.   The reasons for their disappearances are inumerable. However, one log was found containing a tale of a Human captain named Doomzausk Gyadzobe. It tells of him and his crew setting out to solve one of Humanity's greatest mysteries... the whereabouts of the first Human King, Gellark Lionrage.   The end of the tale known as "A Dreamless Sleep" says that Gellark set out to sea and has never been heard from since. All historical records prove that this is true. Doomzausk, however, had an idea.  
"If he's never been found in charted waters, then howsabout we men set out to the uncharted? We'll bring back Gellark, and if it's just bone and armor, then we'll come back with crown and sword in hand, our heads hung low and our pockets full a' gold."
— Doomzausk Gyadzobe
  Doomzausk and his crew went to various seas that had not been travelled prior, or at least no one had returned. He was the first to get an upclose account of the Great Dip, a giant whirlpool southeast of Tamd. Yet it was his travel to the Ethereal Bay that was the one he did not return from.   His log features the most detailed account of the Bay, which is how some of its features are known of today. However, it also gives the greatest advice for anyone travelling the Ethereal Bay. The only advice merchant and travel ships going through it need.   It warns them to never stop. Stopping lets things catch up to you, be it Sea Creatures, Ghosts, or in Doomzauk's own words, "Death."   How Doomzauk died is unclear. All that is known is that his log washed ashore one day, with some pages cut out and some waterlogged. Yet it was deciphered by a Human-Nereid coalition intent on getting to the bottom of Doomzauk's journey, a team of researchers known as "Shaping Water." Through this, some of the threats of the Ethereal Bay were found, and Doomzauk's death was not for naught.

Cover image: by FrankWinkler


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