The Red Induction
The Steaming Sea is the cold stretch of water which lies north-west of the continent of Avistan, beginning roughly at the northern borders of Nidal, past the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, and all the way to the frozen Crown of the World. It is part of the great Arcadian Ocean. The ice shelf of Thremyr’s Shield separates the Steaming Sea from the Songil Sea to the west. Numerous islands are scattered across the sea, many of which are populated. Separated from the Avistani mainland, some of these island societies have gone unchanged for millennia.
The Steaming Sea is named for the thick mist that often hangs over the water. Storms are common, their squalls swallowing the largest ships. In the north, Thremyr’s Shield and lesser glaciers calve off great icebergs year-round. The volcanic activity of the Hellrung Mountains on Cape Almhult extends offshore in a network of steam vents, ridges, and lava floes, and new volcanic islands occasionally erupt from the sea’s surface, making the Steaming Sea difficult to chart. The currents are unpredictable, with frequent underwater earthquakes that cause tsunamis.
The Steaming Sea is home to many isolated cultures, most notably Hermea, the Ironbound Archipelago islanders, and the elves of Mordant Spire. The Mordant Spire elves take it upon themselves to patrol the sea’s waters, protecting Azlanti ruins on the sea floor and fighting off would-be treasure hunters.
The elves tell tales of Mistmourn, a legendary pirate ship that once plundered the elves, only to be sunk by an elven armada. They say the Mistmourn and her crew would not stay drowned, and now hunts the Steaming Sea as a ghost ship.
Beneath the waves, the Steaming Sea is home to abundant sea life. Animals and monsters that inhabit the sea’s depths include sharks, orcas, giant octopuses, sea drakes, aboleths, grindylows, devilfish, krakens, and vydrarchs. Many aquatic humanoid races have societies beneath the Steaming Sea, including aquatic elves, cecaelias, gillmen, locathahs, merfolk, sahuagin, and storm giants.
Places of Interest
- Devil’s Drain, a dangerous whirlpool
- Gogpodda, a mass of floating debris inhabited by gnomes
- Hermea, a would-be utopia
- Ironbound Archipelago, a chain of large islands, some of which are part of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings
- Justnoque, a sunken city that was once part of ancient Thassilon
- Mordant Spire, home of the mysterious Mordant Spire Elves
- Peridot Isle, considered part of Varisia, it is the site of Crystilan, a perfectly preserved Thassilonian city
- Two Tree Island, a small island off the coast of Hermea