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The depths of the sea remain largely uncharted on Felarya. They are very perilous areas, no matter what your size is, and even giant mermaids don't dare to venture too far down. The abysses gets dramatically more dangerous the further down one goes, turning into a world of absolute darkness. There are creatures of formidable size lurking in those gloomy depths and bottomless trenches. Nobody can even start to guess as to what they look like, as an exploring creature would most likely be swallowed without even seeing its eater.
Dark Claw Reef
Dark Claw Reef is located in a deep trench, several thousand meters below the underwater city of Ryzelm’oire. Even for those native to the ocean depths, descending there is extremely dangerous without any magic or other types of protection. The pressure is incredible, and capable of crushing unprepared creatures in an instant.
The name of Dark Claw Reef comes from its look, that of a giant hand jutting out of the bottom of the trench, with jagged, pointy fingers reaching towards the surface. It exists in absolute darkness and not even the faintest glimmer of light reaches that far down; thus most creatures who live here have completely adapted to life in perpetual darkness. Dark Claw Reef is a perilous place, even for aquatic giant predators. When descending into the trench it's quite possible to be attacked and swallowed before you even realize what is happening. Such is the danger that to actually make it all the way to the bottom and return is practically a legendary feat. Most Chlaenas and Cecaelias who foolishly attempt to do so on a dare are simply never heard from again. Tremendously large creatures live in the trench that have evolved specifically to hunt prey in the dark, and blend into the abyss so perfectly they might as well be invisible. Many of them are large enough to gobble up a giant mermaid in a single gulp!
Brine Lake lies to the northeast of Ryzelm’oire, and as its name suggests, it is a lake at the bottom of the ocean. Yes, such things are possible on Felarya! It sits in a huge rocky depression, around which various kelp-like plants and small crustaceans flourish. Mineral salts accumulate in the lake, meaning that the water has an extremely high salt content, and this extra salt makes the water in the lake denser than that of the surrounding water, which keeps the water of the lake from mixing with the ocean waters around it. The water inside the depression behaves exactly like the water of a surface lake: dropping something into it will make the water move up and down, and ripple... but it will mostly stay together, like real water. Brine Lake is a fairly popular recreational spot among the beings living at the bottom of the Ryzelm Reef, and is particularly favored by Sea Slug Girls, who are not only not bothered by the extremely high salt content, but greatly enjoy it.
Brine Lake makes for a fairly diverse sight. Predators one would not expect to see sharing the same space can often be found there, relaxing and playing relatively peacefully. However, it should be noted that Brine Lake is far outside of the safe zone of Ryzelm’oire, and there is no guarantee of protection for anyone who travels there, whether predator or prey. There is an unofficial neutrality policy of sorts that covers the area in and around the lake though, based on mutual agreement to emulate Ryzelm’oire’s rules. While there is nothing preventing predators from preying on each other at the Lake, most of them are smart enough to bring friends along, or at least hang out there only when there is a large crowd. If a fight breaks out or someone tries to eat someone else, most of the predators present will dog-pile on the aggressor and beat them up severely to preserve the serenity of the place.
However, predators only watch each others back in this manner. Prey who are dumb enough to travel to the Lake are considered fair game, which often leads to a massive scramble among those interested to be the first to snag the morsel. These moments can lead to some fairly impressive free-for-all brawls, where the first one to get the prey into their mouth "wins", and gets to gulp down their prize and to enjoy their meal under the envious gaze of the others. Needless to say it's definitely extremely dangerous for humans to venture there, with the concentrations of giant predators that may typically be found there at any time. Unless you are the luckiest person in all of Felarya, at practically any time you might choose to go to the lake there is guaranteed to be no shortage of creatures that want to eat you!
A strange and wondrous place on Felarya that most people never get to see, Ryzelm’oire is the largest Chlaena settlement, and probably one of the largest cities in Felarya, due to the sheer amount of ground that it covers. However, Chlaena do not share the same concept of cities and towns that other species use. To them, an “oire” simply means an event or place where people gather: it can be anything from a small celebration, to settlements that other races would call cities.
- Credits goes to TheQuantumMechanic for the Dark claw reef and brine lake idea.