Algol

Supplying vital fresh water to almost a tenth of Norrab's population, the Algol is the longest river on the planet and largest drainage basin. It has cultivated tens of thousands of years of history throughout the lives of native and non-native peoples.

River's Course

Seden Castle by the Algol by Mochi

Stretching almost 5,000 miles, the Algol is the longest river on the planet. The Algol's main source begins in the Algol Mountains.

The source begins in Lake Algol, the largest lake in the continent, Zuhei.

The Algol is supplemented by several major tributaries. The river Gasane is a major tributary, with two subsidiary major tributaries. All three tributaries have sources in the Algol Mountains.

The Zhu'xin tributary is on the opposite side of the Algol to Gasane, but also has a source in the Algol Mountains.

The massive Or'chasi tributary begins in the Sandaris Mountain Range, as well as its subsidiary major tributaries.

The Iltis, Coranthi, and Tor'ia tributaries all begin in the Zora Mountains.

The Algol itself travels down through the Sian Lowlands, directly from the Algol Mountains. The three mountain ranges all have rivers that converge on the Algol.

History

The Algol has been the source of life for millions of people, for at least a hundred thousand years. The oldest remnants of modern civilisations are found in the Sian Lowlands. The fragmented patterns of old towns and cities are buried underneath the soil, suggesting that once upon a time, cities sprawled across the region. What caused them to leave or go extinct remains unknown.

The Ilgola is the oldest current ethnic group around the Algol. Their practices date back fifty thousand years, and they live in the Seven Falls and neighbouring cities. Since then, other groups have formed around the Algol.

Adamnans first arrived on Norrab approxiately eight hundred years ago. Their arrival completely shifted life and culture around the Algol. Adamnans had far superior technology which allowed them to better utilise the environments around the Algol. Their technological superiority led the adamnans to believe they had the rights to the lands, and forced many native groups out of the region.

Ecology

Fauna

The Algol is a tough region to survive in - despite there being an abundance of water, climates are extreme. Despite this, the Algol is one of the most ecologically rich regions of Norrab. The easy access to water is a rare phenomena, and animals will migrate thousands of miles for a single sip.

Skirxihi by Mochi
tortoirse thing.png
Tall-Shelled Tortonis by Mochi

Many opportunistic animals forage on carcasses and corpses. These scavengers, such as skirxihi, have excellent senses of smell and sight. Their small sizes allow them to hide in crevices and caves during daytimes, where the blazing heat from the sun is much too extreme.

Larger animals, such as tall-shelled tortonis, roam the plains around the Algol in large herds. They relieve themselves from the heat by swimming - the buoyancy of their bodies help them float along the river. Large herbivores are very common around the Algol, with over twenty identified species of antelope, three species within Elephantidae, and nineteen species of sumak, monolithic six-legged invertebrates.

Heptosili by Mochi

The micro-ecology of the Algol is fascinating. It is dominated by heptosili and close relatives. These species are far too small to be seen by the naked eye, but have a huge impact on the ecosystem. They serve as food for small filter-feeding fish and other organisms, which feed larger predators. It is estimated that over a hundred trillion heptosili are consumed yearly in the Algol.

An increase in pollution has had drastic effects on heptosili population, particularly around the Coranthi and Tori'a tributaries. In slow-moving rivers the population of heptosili has taken a massive hit. Approximately a third of these micro-organisms have been wiped out. Their populations remain mostly the same in fast-flowing rivers, where pollution is washed away.

Flora

egg plant.png
Verenean Egg Basket by Mochi
Sunflower Tree by Mochi

Flora of the Algol are specialised in absorbing as many nutrients as they can within the soil. The soil is largely fertile around the river, but walk too far from the water and the terrain quickly desertifies. Most flora grows either within the river itself, or within a few metres of it.

To deal with the extreme temperatures, flora of this region have specially designed anatomies to help them shed as much excess heat as possible. Many plants have waxy coatings that keep the plants moisturised and prevent them from drying out.

Regional flora have long roots that reach the water table, or wide roots that collect water during flash floods and rainfall.

Verenean egg baskets will raise their large circular leaf around the petals during rain, collecting as much water as possible. This leaf shrinks outside of rainy seasons to avoid overheating.

Algol Flora

Fungi

Algol Fungi by Mochi

Most fungi along the Algol are present around the Delta. Most species do not grow more than a metre in height, but very few are capable of reaching heights of over five to ten metres. One of the most notable species is the arelite mushroom, which reaches seven metres in height and has a massive blue plate-like cap.

A lack of food sources means that fungi is often an option. While some fungi species are poisonous, most are edible.

Some fungi around the Algol are epiphytes, growing on large trees. Some spread so much they kill their hosts.

The majority of fungi around the Algol appear underground, as vast networks of mycelium. Very few fungi species have fruiting bodies on the surface, which we would refer to as a mushroom.

Inhabitants

It is well established that Norrab contains a dominant monoculture. Norrabian culture is centered around the people's history on Adamne, involving the war with Godkin. To this day these historical events have a massive impact on cultures across the globe. This monoculture has diverged into many subcultures, but the adamnification of Norrab has had a horrendous imapct on native peoples.

Adamnans were not the first people to call Norrab home - the planet spawned in the Cheem System with existing peoples, presumably millions of years old. The adamnification of Norrab around eight hundred years ago resulted in these people either going extinct due to alien pathogens and a competition for food and resources, or forced into tiny isolated territories. Many of these territories can be found around the Algol, especially in higher altitude areas.

Indigenous Peoples

There are many indigenous groups around the Algol that have existed in this region for tens of thousands of years. They predate adamnans by thousands of years, too. While many have lived around the three mountain ranges and in the river basin for thousands of years, most groups have been forced into smaller regions and territories after the adamnification of Norrab.

Algol Beekeeper by Mochi

Many indigenous groups were forced closer to the Looming Desert, out of the Sian Lowlands. Resources were less accessible in the Looming Desert, and the more primitive technologies and infrastructure of certain groups meant they could not cope.

Native Norrabian by Mochi
Ora

The Ora are an indigenous group of the Algol Mountains. They are one of the largest indigenous groups within the river basin, with a population of around thirty thousand. The Ora are well known for their beekeeping. The type of bees kept are roughly two metres in length, sporting seven spiny tails and razor-sharp wings, as well as arm-slicing pinchers.

The Ora, alongside many other indigenous groups, have cultivated a vast number of domestic plant species. Plants such as coldweed and accendios are used worldwide, and without indigenous influence, would not exist.

Ilgola

The Ilgola have a large population within Seven Falls, a largely adamnan settlement along Algola's edge. According to documents the Ilgola have existed in this region for almost fifty thousand years. Their cultural beliefs and practices have largely remained the same during this time. The Ilgola comfortably co-exist with adamnans - they refuse to give up their native lands, but have accepted that adamnans can no longer be removed.

Nevertheless, the Ilgola enjoy their lifestyles, subsistance fishing in the ecologically rich river.

Major Settlements

Perched on the mouth of the Algol, Algola is the largest city on the river. It is also the capital of Russai, a testament to the settlement's power, history, and culture.
— The Big Cities of Norrab, Ep 1 (Documentary)

A total of four capital cities sit along the Algol, as well as many other major cities and towns. The most famous is Algola, the capital city of Russai. It sits on the mouth of the Algol, within the Delta.

Algola is the heart of trade and commerce on Norrab, leading the globe in many industries such as film and media, culinary, aerospace, hospitality, and healthcare.

A hundred mile stretch of river around Seven Falls is considered a tourist destination, where millions of visitors from around the planet congregate yearly to admire the river and its natural beauty. Seven Falls is a large, predominantly tourist-led city. With thousands of small diners and cafes, aggressively charming owners and baristas force their customers to stay, buy one more drink, only to discover that it cost more than their hotel.

Type
River Basin
Location under
Related Traditions
Length
~5000 miles
Related Settlements
Seven Falls
Related Locations
Algol
Looming Desert
Norrab

Related Articles

Seven Falls
Settlement | Jun 7, 2024

Seven Falls is a large tourist-centric city along the Algol, on Norrab.

Tortonidae
Fauna | Jun 6, 2024

A family of reptiles in the order Testudines.

Algol Mountains
Geographic Location | Jun 7, 2024

A mountain range on Norrab. It divides the Sian Lowlands and the Looming Desert.



Cover image: by Mochi

Comments

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Jun 5, 2024 14:11 by Haly the Moonlight Bard

Love this! People tend to forget how important fresh water is.

Haly, the Moonlight Bard

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Jun 5, 2024 14:39 by Mochi

Thank you! <3

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Jun 5, 2024 15:45

Really interesting! The maps and images are awesome :D I hope you feel better soon!

Jun 5, 2024 16:34 by Mochi

Thank you so much! <3

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Jun 5, 2024 22:24 by Keon Croucher

This is amazing, a wonderful snapshot of a complex biome, a major and large river like this and how it becomes a hub of sorts for all life (flora and fauna of any and all types) in a region. You really did a lot of amazing work Mochi, like you captured the complexity of such a biome perfectly, provided beautiful and wonderful visual aides to boot. From reading this you both feel like you know the region well, almost as if you've been there, yet you know that in truth, we (the readers) are only scratching the surface of a biome like this. I loved this one a lot, and the skirxihi might be one of my favorite friends you've introduced us too. I dunno, but the little image, it just looks kinda cute and very canine/fox friend shaped :D

Keon Croucher, Chronicler of the Age of Revitalization
Jun 6, 2024 11:03 by Mochi

omg thank you so much! as much detail as I've gone into on these specific things, I feel like I've barely explored anything! there's so much more i could talk about with this river, and i think i might have to in the future xD   i'm so glad you enjoyed the article! thank you! <3

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Jun 11, 2024 00:14 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Mochiiiii, that river map is stunning. I might have to commission you in the future.   Wonderful article. I almost felt like I was reading a travel guide in places. AND THE WEIRD SHRIMP PARASITES WERE EXPANDED UPON, YAY. ALSO MUSHROOM.

Jun 11, 2024 09:03 by Mochi

omg I would SO draw a map for you!   Thank you so much! I think the time I spent on this article paid off :D

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Jun 14, 2024 16:44 by Aster Blackwell

I'm impressed with how much art you have for this one! I especially like the animals, of course <3

Jun 14, 2024 18:59 by Mochi

Thank you so much! I poured a lot of time into this article, and its artworks <3

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