The Western Sea is a deep sea between Areikanar and Ketawri. It is home to many unique species and the UuRan civilization as well.
The UuRan are a people that live primarily in the sea. Most UuRan are fishermen, and live by themselves or in small groups fishing. These people make up around 80% of the population. The other 20% live in large fleets, the equivalent of cities. Although the UuRan do have some large cities based on islands, islands don't really house the main industries and spirit of the UuRan. Island cities usually are trading ports and strongholds that the UuRan can fall back to in times of invasion. However, about seventy percent of the UuRan population lives in the ocean in small groups or large fleets, so most people apart from the garrisons at forts don't live in cities or ports.
List of UuRan Cities: PauDou, VeoTas, LeAnDou, QenTan, MouJha, Tiac, Raven's Rest, Five Towers, Haven, QaMin, LeKo, Golden Peak
The UuRan Confederacy is a collection of three factions that have joined together after King UuQa conquered all of them in the Unification War. The nobles have since become less powerful, but still have a heritage of greatness. The laws that govern the UuRan are decided by a council of the nobles. Although the government system in itself is lacking, the three factions keep each other in check, so it kind of works, even though the UuRan are very much divided.
The Merchant Council Edit
The Merchant Council is a trade organization that's interests are those that benefit them and all merchants. The Merchant Council is the most active in the eastern part of the ocean, and is based in VeoTas, the trade center of the Western Ocean. They also control the Silk Islands and most of the iron mines in the Western Ocean. The Merchant Council is headed by the heads of each major trade company or manufacturer. The Merchant Council, although ostensibly a council of many, is really headed by five competitors: the heads of each major industry: shipbuilding, iron, stone, fish, and silk. These competitors are locked in a constant battle with each other, crossing and double crossing each other with no morals whatsoever. However, it makes the economy better, so no one cares. Note: The Merchant Council viciously eliminates anyone who they think will harm the economy. In this way the Merchant Council is useful, as it brutally executes rebellion leaders and troublemakers in the court.
The Admiral's Union Edit
The Admiral's Union is the biggest faction of the UuRan, and they strive to address the issues of the captains and admirals of the UuRan. They appeal to the people, and have the support of the navy. However, the Admiral's Union is in debt,, with limited accessible funds, and thus cannot support a government by itself. The Admiral's Union is based in every large UuRan fleet in the Western Ocean. They have enough influence to change the outcomes of wars by telling generals what to do, and have gained political power by threatening to do so multiple times.
The Admiral's Union is led by the Grand Admiral, a mysterious figure who has remained the same for centuries and is only seen by his elite guard, who are trained in the martial art of GuTan, acting through his subordinates, intervening directly very rarely. The Grand Admiral is known for being fair but ruthless, just but unmerciful.
The Scriptors Edit
The Scriptorium is the smallest of the organizations, but it is in some ways the most powerful. The Scriptorium's main goal is to obtain as much knowledge as possible. The Scriptors have a very large knowledge base in their two scriptoriums, both of which are heavily guarded. This knowledge includes limited magic, which they only teach to their highest warriors, which are trained with physical enhancement magic from birth. They have an extremely extensive spy network in both of the other factions, and are quite powerful in the underworld, even controlling one or two gangs and pirate ships. The UuRan government needs the Scriptorium because it manages the underworld and keeps rioting and rebellion to a minimum. It also maintains an elite secret police that keep the people in check. However, the Scriptorium's main priority is itself, and doesn't care about the government farther than it benefits them.
A Scriptorium leader is called a Rioh, and the leaders of both scriptoriums decide what is best for the Scriptors amongst themselves.
The Royals and the Houses Edit
The Royals are the Royal family. Although traditionally the Royals have been powerless puppets, they do hold the support of an elite guard and have access to much wealth. The High King, IetLan, is powerless and meaningless, not even trying to conceal that he is a figurehead. The Queen, LoRi, is young and understands little about politics, caring for nothing but her own vanity. The young prince, Vien, actually shows signs of becoming a dangerous politician, and although he is young, he is devious and cunning.
The Noble Houses are the upper class of UuRan society. These are the leaders of cities and regions, and hold most of the important and relevant roles in society. The nobles all have loyalty to their houses first, and each noble is able to vote for new laws each year. The Noble Houses hate each other and occasionally fight with one another in wars over money, territory, and power.
Foreign Policy Edit
The UuRan Confederacy generally assumes that no nation in the world would ever attack it due to it's size. It doesn't care what people think of it, as they can defend the Western Sea for an eternity with their massive navy. Therefore all political factions don't care how badly damaged the Confederacy is because the Confederacy has no rival.
The UuRan, although having strongholds and forts on mountain ranges and islands all over the ocean, have little offensive military capability on land. However, as they have dozens of fleets, they have a large armada of warships at their disposal. The UuRan can also draft commoners in a pinch, enlist auxiliaries and mercenaries from the far west, and even pay the Ghosts and smaller pirate fleets into taking their side in a war as well. The UuRan navy is the strongest in the world.
The UuRan have very many fleets and ports all over the ocean, and their influence can be found even in other oceans. Their fleets have mapped almost all of the oceans in detail, and their maps are renowned across the world. Many ship captains will only trust an UuRan map to be their guide. Still, although the UuRan have no fleets outside of the Western Sea, it is said that they have people working for them that have managed to worm their way into the governments of almost every civilization in the world, working towards the UuRan cause everywhere.
The UuRan council is the ruling council of the ocean, and controls tariffs, war, policy, and other things. Even though they have no taxes, the UuRan are still rich. This is because all traders trading in a seaport or fleet in the ocean must pay a tariff on all goods traded. The UuRan’s main exports are metal, ships, silk, and glass from the far archipelago to the west. The Merchant Council owns or controls most of the trade in UuRan, with traders having to pay a tax to them every year.
Around 60% of the UuRan are career fishermen, while 20% are merchants or artisans, 10% are in the military full time, and 3% are farmers or miners on small islands.
The UuRan are well known for their maps, and UuRan scholars have traveled throughout the whole world mapping the land and seas. They also have attained great amounts of knowledge about the culture, history, and politics of other civilizations. The UuRan even have great mathmatical and scientific achievements. The UuRan keep all of their knowledge in two scriptoriums: one in PauDou, and one in Tiac. These are places where new knowledge grants rewards beyond reckoning, and an order of fanatics guards the thousands of books and scrolls with their lives.
The Ghosts Edit
In the year 879, a society of young upstarts in a trading fleet decided to embrace a side of their heritage long forgotten, and become pirates. They did that, and started raiding known trade routes brazenly, collecting more and more ships as they went, until they had an armada to rival a warfleet of the UuRan. Soon, they popularized the usage of sharks in war, that, even though wild and fierce, were faster and sleeker than the slow turtles that were used before. Even though they were hunted down multiple times by the UuRan, these pirates simply vanished every time, causing them to be called “the Ghosts” by many who traveled the Western Sea. The Ghosts have a secret flagship in the Pit that they conduct operations from.
The Ghosts have a monarch they call the Va, and he sets all of the laws for his people. Beneath him there are generals, who each control a Ghost fleet, and beneath them captains.
The Ghosts are abnormally talented at sailing and raiding other ships. Their ships in general are stronger than other ships on the Western Sea, simply because they have so much practice.
Since the much of the Ghost economy is based on military, the Ghosts have a very strong military, strong enough to destroy the standing army of UuRan, but they don't have the numbers to defeat the UuRan's conscripted ships in times of war.
The Ghosts have spies in every large fleet of the UuRan, but beyond that the only things they have outside of the Western Sea are ships.
The Ghosts are kept reasonably well off by fleets in every part of the Western Sea and some even beyond, which pillage cities and raid ships. They use this money to buy land and cultivate it on the continents, farming so that they can have enough supplies to support their fleets. The overall net worth per capita is pretty high, because pirating is pretty profitable.
The ships of the Western Sea are designed to generally be sturdy, stout, and strong, with few exceptions. The natives of the Western Sea have traditionally crafted boats out of carved turtle shell, wood, and iron. Boats are built to withstand rough seas and strikes against sharp rocks. Their buildings are much the same, rectangular and built of black stone, built strategically in case of a raid.
Magic in the Western Sea is extremely rare. Magic users are benders of nature, who are able to influence wind, wood, and water to do their bidding. Magic becomes weaker over time - the earliest records of sorcerers tell of them calling storms to destroy cities. There are even tales of men singlehandedly calling up stone from sea beds to create mountain ranges, which nowadays would require hundreds of sorcerers to perform. Only the most powerful sorcerers can call stone of late, and even then they can only call upon small rocks to push, albeit with great force.
Since magic is weak now, magic users called sorcerers are trained to use their magic to enhance their own combat capability. Sorcerers are taught to bend magic to their wills, and controlling magic, taming it to do what the sorcerer wants it to do. Sorcerers are trained to fight in the martial art of LoTeng from a young age, and by the time they come of age they can take on more than a dozen men at once, though much of this is through physical exertion combined with magic. Sorcerers are only trained by the Scriptors, who had come across a book of ancient knowledge in times past and used it to create a monopoly on sorcerers, taking them from birth and training them to become the best warriors in the Western Sea. Sorcery tends to be the easiest form of magic to master, but it the weakest once mastered.
The magic of the far west natives is more complicated, involving men chanting long spells around giant tubs of lava, which then shoot fireballs at enemy ships. No one really knows how it works, but soldiers have also witnessed giant golems of stone and wood rise up to defend a native-controlled island. Far-west magic is called coaxing, and is essentially the magical equivalent of winding up a spring a thousand times and then releasing it. Coaxing takes an extremely long time, but give powerful and immediate results.
Flowing is the last form of magic. Flowing is essentially trying to find the secrets of magic alone, letting nature guide the user to the point where the user recognizes the pattern of the magic and moves to it subconsciously. This is by far the hardest aspect of magic to learn, and a master of the flow is only able to walk the path of one type of object in nature (ie. wind, water, wood, stone), but the a master of the flow is easily the most powerful of all the three magic users.
Martial Arts Edit
The practice of the martial art of LoTeng spans back for centuries. It originates from a book of ancient knowledge found by the Scriptorium that was originally meant to be used by sorcerers, and the Scriptorium soon discovered that non-magic users could use it effectively as well. They taught it to the people, and LoTeng spread to the farthest reaches of the Western Sea.
LoTeng involves long horizontal sweeps with a staff called a Ja, and movements are often swinging and circular, designed to hit as large an area as possible due to the possibility of multiple enemies.
The Far West Edit
The Far West is an uncultured part of the Western Ocean, remote and still very wild. The Far West is a land in which the native KuoRan reside, an enemy that, while having simplistic seafaring technology, have powerful magic and architectural knowledge that even up the odds. However, KuoRan territory is shrinking as the UuRan slowly conquer them. The Far West includes the Silk Islands, which produce very fine silk and glass for the world. It is the frontier of the ocean, with plentiful megafauna and wild weather. The Far West is not controlled by any one faction, and all are trying to dig their roots in there, although the Admirals are the strongest there. The Far West is teeming with outlaws and brigands, and there many strongholds and safe havens for those outside of the law in the Far West.
ZhaTin is a region of the ocean in a central location, bordered on the west by PauDou and on every other side by mountains. ZhaTin isn't exposed to the rest of the world like the east is. ZhaTin leans slightly Scriptor, with both Scriptoriums being in ZhaTin. There is little Merchant influence but Admiral support at the borders. ZhaTin is the hub of politics, and every year the high council convenes there.
AnoTas is the eastern part of the Western Ocean, and it is strictly Merchant. AnoTas has the most contact with the outside world of all the provinces, and it is extremely active in trade. There is some Scriptor interference, but mostly AnoTas is quite firmly Merchant territory. However, most of the fishermen population is Admiral.
The Outskirts Edit
The Outskirts are the bastion of defense against foreign invasion, with strong fortresses and military fleets patrolling the coastlines. The Outskirts are located all around the Western Ocean, and are pretty much just the coastlines of the two continents on the north and south sides of the ocean. The Outskirts are regarded as a little remote and are almost all firm Admiral supporters.
The Pit Edit
The Pit is a section in the ocean on the western border of AnoTas, the eastern border of ZhaTin, and the northern border of the Southern Outskirts. The Pit is notoriously hard to cross, as water levels rise and fall unpredictably in sudden shifts, causing mountains and coral reefs to rise above the surface at random. The Pit has only been successfully mapped and reliably navigated by the Ghosts, who use it to evade fleets of UuRan. The Pit has a very large megafauna population and is extremely dangerous to travel with an unarmed ship.
DeRu Bay Edit
DeRu Bay is located on the northwest side of Ketawri. It has been controlled by the Blue Shell tribe of native people since the Blue Shell Resurgence. MouJha, a city built on a platform in the middle of the sea, stays a symbol of Blue Shell freedom from the UuRan. The Blue Shell tribe's leader, Hama'De'Pena, is a tactical genius and the Blue Shell tribe is very technologically advanced compared to their brethren in the north because of centuries of trading and living under the UuRan. The Blue Shell, having sacked all of the UuRan ships and cities that they could find when they rose up, are quite rich, and they have several trade deals with the Free States north of them.
Ecosystem and WildlifeEdit
Most of the Western Ocean is a deep ocean, and there's a lot of wildlife that goes unseen beneath the water.
Sentient Species Edit
Humans have been living on the water since before the Rending, and look quite similar to their counterparts on land, except for elongated arms and a third eyelid, allowing them to climb quickly and see well in the water.
The DuRan are a humanoid amphibious species that lives in the water. They are naturally bigger than humans, have ridges on their backs and have black-spotted red skin. The DuRan also have unusually large eyes and small irises.
The DuRan first started coming up from their cities under the sea because they were driven out by megafauna that had become aggressive. Over time, more and more of the DuRan started coming up from the sea, and are continuing to come up as the megafauna grow in numbers. The megafauna seem to have a purpose, something shadowy directing them as they attack the DuRan cities. No one knows for sure what it is, but they know that soon the megafauna will reach the surface too.
The DuRan are a strange people with a different culture than the UuRan. However, they have integrated completely into the UuRan society, though some still keep to their old ways and live in quarters in fleets with each other. The DuRan have an easy time finding jobs as divers, fishermen, soldiers and sailors, as they are physically more able than humans. They are used as shock troops in times of war, as they can swim deep under water and position in ideal locations. This is one of the main reasons why the UuRan are so fearsome in battle. The DuRan have their own magic based on using the heat of water for energy, giving them immense strength but not much stamina.
The Giant Turtle is unique to the Western ocean. It is about twenty feet long, and fishers live on them and fish from them, as their shells almost never go under the water. The Giant Turtle eats microscopic plankton, and it's mouth, when opened completely, spans a very wide area. Fishermen fish on them, and some live on them, although the usage of giant turtles is generally used by the lower classes as wood is rare and expensive, while a turtle or lineage of turtles would be able to be kept for multiple generations, allowing a line of fishermen to completely bypass the initial cost of a turtle from a breeder.
The JioXa is a large, predatory fish that is solitary and hunts most animals. The JioXa is used in war as a mount of raiders and shock troops. The JioXa is blind and relies heavily on it's few scales on it's back to sense where prey are in the water. It is a heavily changed version of the common fish found in other oceans. A JioXa adult male is typically about ten feet long. JioXa sharks usually come in greyscale colors, with the occasional brown or red.
Scrapper Crabs are crabs that live on and around islands. They live in hives that they make through an adhesive that is stronger than stone that they produce themselves. No one really knows how far up scrapper crab hives can go, and there are reports that far to the west there are giant mountains in the ocean created by scrapper crabs. When their hive is touched, crabs become very aggressive and are known to take the lives of many unwary travelers.
The leviathan jellyfish is a large jellyfish, it's cap with a roughly 5 feet radius. These jellyfish are usually not dangerous as they are easy to spot, but those that are trapped in it's tentacles are instantly killed. This jellyfish uses a unique combination of poison and electric shock to kill it's prey, and the jellyfish's venom is used to poison the heads of UuRan arrows. The Leviathan Jellyfish comes in all different colors, the most common being blue or purple translucent. It's cap is quite soft, but a melee weapon will likely just get tangled up in the tentacles if swung at them. The surest way to kill a Jellyfish is a stab through the cap.
Megafauna is plentiful in the ocean, but only a few ever rise to the surface. However, in recent years more have started to come to the surface along with the DuRan.
The Ramblefish is a large cephalapod that uses pressurized jets to move and catch prey. It has two flapped appendages on each side and tentacles that also help it move around. The Ramblefish is approximately fifteen feet long and has a seven foot wingspan. The Ramblefish is quite hard to see in shallow waters, as it camouflages itself naturally, though it's flesh and skin are both quite soft. The Ramblefish is harmless to humans, though it will defend itself if provoked. The Ramblefish eats mostly other fish, though it also eats human corpses that fall off of ships.
The Clacker is a giant squid-thingy. It's pretty much a squid, but with a very large mouth and more bulbous and stout head, with two flat, wide tentacles behind it to help it move forward more quickly. It is about fifteen feet in length, and can punch through hulls of ships with it's beak. The Clacker is maroon-reddish to blend in with the deep ocean, and it is sometimes spotted black as well. The Clacker's shell is quite hard, too hard for a sword or arrow to pierce through. It is angled in such a way that a ballista bolt has a chance of being deflected as well. The Clacker's flesh is tough and sinewy, and is used to make leather armor in the far west, and fine bowstrings in the ocean as a whole.
There isn't much flora in the ocean, except for some plankton and coral reefs.