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Sidereal Lake

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Sidereal-Lake.png
Sidereal Lake
Dimensions
Length 1125.3 mi
Area 39,820.3 mi²
Elevation 250 ft
Average Depth 3,951.2 ft
Maximum Depth >10,000 ft
Volume >30,000 mi³
Geography
Type Rift lake
Climate
  • Arid
  • Semi-arid
  • Temperate
Outflows Sidereal river
Political
Nations
  • Terran Empire
  • Norkotian Union
Cities
  • Jodonburg
  • Norkotia City
  • Southport
(Ask Me Anything)
"Aye, the lake don't give up her dead. Not in this life nor next."
―a superstitious sailor

Sidereal Lake is a rift lake located in central Terrenus, between the bordering Plateau of Zuhl to the south and west, and the vast Wastelands to the north and east. It is an extremely deep lake, with some areas being too deep to be measured. The lake is a vital source of fresh water to the denizens of the Zuhl Plateau, and it has also served as a critical shipping link between Zuhl cities and smaller coastal settlements on the eastern shore.     

Because Sidereal straddles the fringe of the Zuhl Loci, it is believed to suffer from abnormal supernatural phenomena in the areas most isolated from shoreline. Lake sailors often claim to have seen ghost ships, wandering spirits and strange creatures when sailing through the furthest reaches, though little has been confirmed. Certain lighthouses and buildings on the eastern shore are also rumored to be haunted, though the most frequent instances of supposed supernatural activity occurs on the water itself.

Geography and hydrography


Sidereal Lake is located on the northern and eastern borders of the Plateau of Zuhl, closely linking the two in many regards. Several small rivers flow into Sidereal from their sources on the Plateau above, and the lake in-turn affects the weather patterns that roll into the plateau from the north and east. The dry climate on Zuhl is occasionally broken by significant storms that form over the lake, resulting in coastal cities like Norkotia and Jodonburg suffering significant snowstorms during winter. These storms are considered extremely dangerous to mariners, even those on larger ships.

The water of Sidereal Lake is notably pristine, with very little eutrophication or pollution outside of Garrison Bay, where Zuhl's most dense population centers are located. Water from the lake is frequently piped up onto the plateau, to provide drinking water and irrigation for cities located on its shoreline. Even so, the lake is extremely resilient, and never seems to suffer significant loss of water level or clarity.

The geological complexion of Sidereal Lake has often been baffling to geologists, as there is no detectable fault line in the region, nor any recorded history of tectonic activity. While still classified as a rift lake due to the dimensions of the lake and its relationship to the landmass around it, the cause of Sidereal's formation remains a mystery. Most suspect the rift had something to do whatever created Zuhl, though the plateau itself is also a geological enigma.

Flora and fauna


Like Zuhl, Sidereal Lake's ecological diversity is relatively unremarkable, consisting mainly of common species of plant and animal life. Various species of bass, trout, pike, walleye and panfish are common, and in some of the shallow regions certain breeds of freshwater eel and lamprey can be found. The most common crustacean is the crayfish, though a few small freshwater crabs exist. The alpha predator in the lake is generally considered to be the Greater Pike, which is not threatening to humans but is generally capable of hunting any other fish species in the lake. There are rumors of a lake monster, which has had reported sightings at nearly every corner of Sidereal. There is currently no proof of its existence, however.

History


Sidereal Lake and its surrounding basin has been inhabited since prehistory, and the ruins of at least three separate civilizations can be found on its shores. The oldest surviving inhabitants of the Sidereal basin are the Vulks, a magic-deprived elven race native to the Plateau of Zuhl. Several human clans were known to have built settlements on both sides of the lake, at least one of them forming into the modern city of Southport.

Image

Sidereal frozen during the winter

The arrival of the Norkic tribes in Zuhl brought about the largest increase in population along the lake, with the cities of Norkotia and Jodonburg becoming large, permanent settlements. Nautical trade soon became a major economic activity among the cities of Zuhl, with fuel and manufactured goods from the industrial cities on the plateau often being exchanged for food and raw materials from the settlements on the continental side.

As human populations have continued to grow, the lake has increasingly tapped for its supply of freshwater. Pipes in Norkotia pump millions of gallons a day into the cities and surrounding farmland for a variety of purposes, while canals are used in Southport are sometimes used in place of streets. Despite the heightened human exploitation, the lake level has remained steady and the water remarkably clean, leaving some to speculate that it has underground inflows.

Economy


Image

A "laker", used for transporting ore and fuel across Sidereal Lake

Trade makes up the majority of the economic activity centered around Sidereal Lake. Lake-based freighters, known as "lakers" locally, frequently make voyages between the largest cities to exchange a variety of goods. Norkotia City is known to export large amounts of gasoline, diesel and coal, as well as manufactured goods. Southport exports food, iron and lead, and Jodonburg exports silver and uru ore, usually exchanging them for fuel and completed goods with Norkotia.

Sidereal's secondary economy lies in commercial fishing, with Southport in particular being a major hub for fishing craft. Shallow regions of the southern lake have suffered slightly from overfishing, however they tend to replenish relatively quickly when given a few years to do so.

A small, but growing tourist sector has developed in Southport and several small towns on the eastern shore. Visitors, nature enthusiasts, and well occasional scientists, are known to book transport around the lake for exploration or research purposes. This increase in casual sailing has led to increased instances of nautical accidents and mysterious disappearances.

Paranormal activity


Sidereal has long held a reputation for unexplained phenomena, with the legendary Sidereal Monster being one of several old stories of mysterious creatures thought to inhabit the depths of the rift. Many sailors claim to have seen ghost ships or lost, roaming souls while out in the deeper reaches of the lake. Several lighthouses and ancient buildings along the eastern shore are rumored to be haunted by such apparitions. One nautical legend states that the souls of those who perish out of the sight of land will be cursed to wander the surface of the water for eternity. Some scientists speculate that this may hold a hint of truth, as the lake itself is a volatile border between the Zuhl Loci and the greater Terran Loci, which could lead to very abnormal magical and spiritual effects.

Canon


  1. Adventure dawn: Dauner, Shelly and Gozen rescue the captives of a human trafficking group, defeat the group, and proceed with the creation of Jiyū, a settlement for the multitudes of rescued captives. During the construction one of the rescued captives and 500 followers pledge their lives to the service of the man who kept them all from dying,  forming the Legion of the Black Blade.

 

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Edited by supernal

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