The Blue World
No-one ever does the ocean as it is meant to be done and that’s because they treat it as a big dish. Like an alternate map, but underwater. It’s a complex, fluid three dimensional flowscape. The real continents and nations are not the shape of the land beneath the sea but the currents and layers of the seas itself. The different trophic zones are like bordering countries, the great oceanic flows that bring warmth and cold around the globe are like continents.— Patrick Stuart
I’ve been working on and more often off on at least 4 projects based on Hwæt Mike Mearls for years now. Unlike the others, reading The Blue World came with a visual of a finished product. Stained glass art. A red salamander on the end of a dock, hand on one side of a parchment. On the other side a single human, the only one to be in the book. The art starts close to the surface. Coral reefs, lots of sun, all in stained glass. As the reader sinks deeper into the book, the art begins to blur at the edges of lines, until slowly but surely the style changes to Sumi-E, the depths of the book murky and haunting. I’m quite tired of treating the idea like an heirloom in a closet, to be taken out occasionally, the dust wiped off, lightly considered but never used. One day this is going to be a book. I hope you’ll join me in breaking this shit open.
The rise and fall of the waterless is a speck of detritus in the currents. Their works are meaningless. Their weapons crumble in the flow. The shapes pulled from the bedrock above fade. Were in not for the poison of their magic and their trade with the Salamanders of the Hollowed Turtle , they would be forgotten. So. Let me tell you of moving empires. Kingdoms which grow on the corpses of leviathans and fade when the flesh runs out. Haunting songs which swim for leagues, and leagues upon leagues of emptiness. Let me tell you of overgrown caves and cities by the shore, creatures that will melt your tongue and speak with your lips and promise power they sometimes even give. Let me tell you of the world that breathes with your closed eyes.
The hollowed out submersible shell of a Turtle god houses a civilization of Salamanders. It’s still divine lifeforce desalinizes the water around it, creating massive stalactites and stalagmites inside. The god is trying to regrow itself, and should the salamanders grow lax in their mining, their civilization will be digested. The salt contains divine essence, which the godless civilization uses to mimic priestly powers. They are fair weather merchants, and foul weather pirates, but they do try to avoid harming previous clientele.