Earvaryosto Settlement in Tremanac | World Anvil


A merfolk settlement beneath the Irikant Sea.
The World of Tremanac
Situated between the regions of Beraca and Kaara it has long suffered from the debris dumped over the side by trade ships moving between Balri and the Kingdom of Filishar in the north and Lobellia, Mitir, and Deritania in the south.


Built to withstand attack from above the town's primary physical defences are the lattice domes which cover important structures. These stone domes are designed to allow water and small creatures to move through them while stopping any large objects dropped from the surface. Since the Third Age magically enhanced nets have been strung up to block potential routes of attack from the depths of the ocean.   Thanks to their support for Miluril Starbrow during the War of Ascension the merfolk of Earvaryosto were rewarded with a defensive barrier that shields their town from fiends, enabling the town to survive the Years of Darkness.

Industry & Trade

While Earvaryosto was built on the goods seized from surface vessels the treaty that ended the Airbreather War necessitated a change in direction. Taking an example from the landwalkers the merfolk developed the first kelp farms next to the town and developed ways to process and preserve the harvested crop. While this was initially an underwater success, other merfolk communities soon followed Earvaryosto's example and trade decreased almost to nothing.   Despite their poor experiences with most surface dwellers, unlike most merfolk the people of Earvaryosto did at least have a means of communicating with the airbreathers. This allowed them to set up a trading arrangement for their produce in exchange for goods from the surface. Both Balri and the merfolk had very different ideas about the worth of goods so both ended up believeing that they had achieved a far better deal than the other side. In truth the merfolk may have been the winners in this negotiation as they were able to trade surface goods with other underwater communitiees for a huge profit.  
With numerous large structures that restricted the amount of light available the town found itself in greater need of artificial light than most other settlements. This led to the development of the first glowjar manufacturing facility. While scorned by traditionalists (what's wrong with just keeping a lyriar in a cage) these jars proved popular across the oceans and care has been. taken to ensure that the manufacturing process is kept secret.
These glass containers emit a low glow, similar to that emitted by a lyriar. The glow lasts for months and unlike traditional methods of light creation the jars don't need feeding


The First Age

Ever since ships were capable of regularly surviving a voyage across the Irikant sea it has been used as the main trading route between North Beraca and Kaara. At first these vessels did little to interfere with the merfolk who dwelt below the waves. The occasional shipwreck could be inconvienient but did provide an opportunity to acquire new items from the land-dwellers. However, as the number and size of ships increased so did the problems for the merfolk. Larger ships caused much more damage if they sank and even when they crossed safely, the waste thrown overboard caused problems for the merfolk communities.   The level of damage was such that the merfolk believed that this was a deliberate attack on them and made preparations to go to war with the surface dwellers. Part of these preparations involved the construction of a stronghold which would later form the heart of this town. When the new fortress was completed the merfolk began launching attacks on the ships passing above, starting what they would later refer to as the Airbreather war. This war lasted for centuries, partially because the merfolk and surface dwellers had no common language, but also because the surface dwellers didn't realise that they were at war.  
The Wreck by Tanai Cuinsear
The raids on the ships brought a wealth of goods into the fortress which brought in people from the surrounding areas keen to share in this abundance of new and useful goods. New structures were built around the fortress to house the new residents which was turning into a town.
Even those uninterested in surface goods began to see the attraction of this settlement as it's size and the presence of most of the region's best fighters helped to deter predators.   After centuries of raids had seen little effect, apart from ships carrying more guards, the leaders of the merfolk forces decided to start attacking the surface ports. These raids, though limited in effectiveness, finally alerted the countries on the surface that the raids on their shipping were more than simple piracy. The defences of Earvaryosto were tested for the first time when ships began ferrying large rocks into the middle of the sea and dropping them over the side. Most of these rocks came nowhere near hitting the town, but a few struck the protective domes with more force than expected, crushing those beneath.   An escalation in the war seemed inevitable until the merfork attacked an elven ship that was in the area. The ship's complement of spellcasters had no difficulty driving back the merfolk, but rather than simply slaying the attackers they used their magics to question them. When the elves came to understand the situation they offered to help act as translators and mediators between the land and sea dwelling folk. This ultimately led to the end of the war under an agreement known as the Peace of the Sea.   The peace was broken numerous times, generally by the airbreathers, and each time the elves came back to help mediate again. To help with these talks, and to make trade negotiations easier, the council of Earvaryosto paid the elves to help construct the negotiation chamber.  

The Second Age

When The Alliance was formed Balri wasted no time in trying to persuade the people of Earvaryosto to join. Bribes and favourable trade terms were offered but it was not until the Ancient Kingdom of the Forest joined that the merfolk would consider it. The negotiations dragged on for decades and it was only through the potential loss of trade (and growing threat) from the countries in Beraca that persuaded the leaders of Earvaryosto to finally sign on.  
When the sea surface was calm the lights from the town could be seen by sailors up above, earning the sea's second name - The starlit depths.
With their position under the sea and with no way to operate on land the people of Earvaryosto suffered much less from the disasters that befell the world during this age. With only occasional conflict with other underwater dwellers the population of the town grew to over 20,000.
  The peaceful existence came to and end with the start of the War of Ascension. Having enjoyed positive relations with the elves for many centuries Earvaryosto sided with the Starbrow faction. Part of the reason for choosing that side may have also been influenced by an undercurrent of tensions with the neighbouring airbreather countries. There was certainly no hesitation in launching raids on shipping and port towns on the surface, denying Oscar Hilsburg's faction much needed supplies. As a reward for their loyalty Earvaryosto was granted the means to protect themelves from the demon horde unleashed by Oscar's actions. Unfortunately the protection could only extend so far and almost two thirds of the town's population were banished to ensure that the remainder could survive.  

The Third Age

Following the years of darkness the survivors in Earvaryosto found themselves in the position of having no real competitors for the Irikant sea. The town once again expanded and when The Empire was founded the town was able to negotiate from a position of strength, despite the relative sizes of the two. With matters once again being smoothed by the influence of the elven nations the town again became the best place to arrange trades between the sea and land realms. Wealth flowed into the town, which was quickly spent on luxuries and magical objects crafted by the elves.   The town's wealth and status made it a target for other undersea realms and it was repeatedly attacked during this age. The first few attacks showed flaws in the town's defences which had been primarily designed to protect an attack from the surface. This was soon rectified and the town's reputation as the strongest underwater fortress was re-established.   Earvaryosto's properity once again came crashing down with the onset of the second years of darkness. The elven supplied defences remained strong against the demons but the town's leaders were again forced to sacrifice a large proportion of their town's population.  

The Fourth Age

With no large countries yet reaching the Irikant sea the people of Earvaryosto have been able to reassert their control over the region. Several small airbreather settlements have been convinced to pay a tithe to the town in exchange for ongoing protection from pirates and sea monsters. The few trading ships which venture south from the Kingdom of Caresnas, Pelimouth, and Laiqua have mostly been left alone as the leaders of the town have no desire to provoke a conflict just yet.

As usual the pictures were created in Flowscape, while the maps were created in Wonderdraft.
Under the Sea Flash Challenge Entry
This article is an entry to the unofficial Under the Sea Flash Challenge.
Founding Date
4th year of rule of Loderin | 727th year of the age of Strife
Alternative Name(s)
With few large settlements the merfolk had simply referred to this settlement as The Fortress. Unfortunately, literal translations of the name caused some confusion amongst the landwalkers so the merfolk decided to adopt an elven name that wouldn't be automatically translated by the spells uesd to converse with the airbreathers.  
Negotiation Chamber
Since contact was formally established with the airbreathers there has been an issue with finding a way both sides could meet to negotiate. Suggestions from the airbreathers such as housing a merfolk negotiator in a large glass chamber were of course completely unacceptable, so with the help of the elves this chamber was developed. Consisting of a large room which is separated into water and air breather halves by a transparent magical barrier this chamber allows both sides to converse in some degree of comfort. Another embellishment provided by the elves is a spell which amplifies and translates words. Getting airbreathers to the chamber is a logistical nightmare in itself but at least negotiations can be conducted once they are there.  
This deep sea fish is known for the glow it emits and it's unappealing taste. They are frequently caught and kept in cages for use as a light source. Their relatively small size makes them easy to move around but they need a very specific diet if their glow is to be maintained at peak brightness.
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Cover image: The party's camp by Tanai Cuinsear


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15 Jun, 2023 14:05

Thanks for taking part in the unofficial challenge!   Creativity: 5 Verisimilitude: 6,5 Presentation: 2,5   While the concept of going from bright blue sky to deep undersea blue in the article is cool in theory, the bright blue with yellow text isn’t easy on the eye. Many readers may well be turned off from digging deeper into the article from that first impression - so keep that in mind.   You’ve written an impressive amount of history from the city’s past, but there’s not much about the city as it is today. Who rules it? What’s going on there now? Is it in decline or recovering from all those disasters?   This is where you can make the most improvements to the article. What does a home look like here? How do people in the city go about their daily lives? What do they trade with the surface-people, and what is their relationship with other underwater settlements? What schemes, plots, and politics goes on within the city?   What are the storyhooks you want to attach to the city? How does it, in its modern state, fit into the rest of the world and its narrative? What stories wait to be told or imagined about Earvaryosto?   Those are some of the questions I would think about.  

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Grandmaster Tanai
Tanai Cuinsear
15 Jun, 2023 18:27

Thanks for the feedback. Speaking of colours completely missed that I'd made it near impossible to see the comments, so calling time on this articles experiment in blue for now.   Good point on the current situation. For anyone this reading later - there may be more detail on that once my players have had a chance to learn how the town works the hard way.