|Realm||Kingdom of the Glowing Tides|
The nearly featureless expanse of ocean floor that makes up Cephalo’Di is broken up by trenches and small seamounts. The Cealophytes began the songs of their people in the trenches and dark places where Lu’Sindra flourishes. The strongest and brightest of their kind struggled and fought over the glowing patches until they tamed the Morla turtles and learned to farm Chorda Kelp.
As the population grew there came need for a firm center of authority, Melka'Ruin was built to stop the fighting over the Morla and Lu’Sindra. The strongest fighters and the few wise elders who formed the first government were soon attracting the masses with their full stockpiles of food. Now Melka'Ruin is a large multi-tiered city of spires and caves built into one of the largest seamounts in the area. The success of the city has inspired other cities to be built along the trenches and on other seamounts, but none match the grandeur of Melka'Ruin.
The legendary Morla Farms were established by the first government to help maintain the food stocks. The great herds of Morla turtles are shepherded around the sunlit areas near the surface by the still nomadic sects of the Cealophytes. Small villages are built on the backs of some of the largest Morla for the farmers to live in while tending to the farms. Chorda Kelp is grown on most of the giant creatures’ backs, more recently however the farmers have begun to experiment growing different types of food. So far Chorda Kelp still grows best and maintains the populace. As the herd moves around the sea the younger Morla are used to transport loads of Kelp back to the cities, while the nearly dead are sent to Estra’Gloom.
The Estra'Gloom Caves are a graveyard for Cealophytes, Morla, and any other substantial amount of dead flesh and vegetation. The bodies are placed around the caves and peppered with Lu’Sindra spores. The fungus decomposes the dead and grows thick before being farmed for the populace. Traditionally the best Lu’Sindra grown from a dead Cealophyte is offered to their family first. Many families keep a crypt where they feed smaller dead fish to the shrines of their ancestors. Others allow the head of the family to consume it believing that the power of their ancestor will pass onto them.
During the excavation of Estra’Gloom an odd metal was discovered. Anju’Tellurium was found to be hard to work with, but the heat from vents in the deep trenches allowed it to be worked into rough tools and spears. Recently prospecting has entered Cealophyte culture as it appears surface dwellers will trade a little of the strange metal for soft clothing.
The idea of metal in trade is odd to them since precious metals are rare and better used for gifts to the womenfolk. Instead they use pearls for trade. Color, size, and shape are used to base value and the government maintains the standards currency house in Melka'Ruin to settle disputes on proper compensation.
The Cealophytes are a deep sea dwelling race of half-octopus, half-human people. Their skin varies in color from deep reds to bright teals and they have glowing bioluminescence patterns, on their tentacles, arms, and occasionally if they have them head fins, that match their skin color. They lack hair but most have between two and fifty limp head tentacles which they sometimes style. Precious metal headbands are favored my womenfolk while men tend to use kelp rope or dull metal bands.
Seeing through two inky black eyes they use a series of milky eye lids instead of irises to filter out bright light. They track better underwater with scent, using a human like nose to sense impurities in the water, and their many legs to determine the current the impurities are flowing on.
Most Cealophytes cannot afford fashionable clothing and only wear simple harnesses and belt pouches for utility with the occasional backpack. Those who can purchase soft cloth from surface dwellers tend to wear short tops that do not interfere with the flexibility of their legs.
They are herbivores and focus on farming their two main crops, one being kelp which is the mainstay food and is carefully distributed by the government, and the other Lu’Sindra fungus. The Lu’Sindra is used to brighten the glowing marking along their bodies and it is said if they go too long without some of the sea fungus their limbs grow weak. They do have oyster farms as well but this is not for food so much as to ‘mint’ new currency.
With their emergence from the sea they have learned some new things about their physiology. First, that without water they must breathe slowly, the gills on their neck weep water for a few breaths, but once that stops if they breathe too deeply they begin to choke on the air. Second, that walking is hard work. Third, talking in air is an interesting challenge. After experimenting they have found that even these problems can be overcome.
Surface dwellers often have ‘water skins’ which the Cealophytes can breathe from if the air becomes too thick. They find the need to drink water odd, but are grateful for the abundance of these devices on surface dweller ships. Breathing in from a water skin forces them to slow down and can often help them return to the shallow breaths necessary for long term exposure to air.
Walking is now being taught in the cities, with new exercise routines to prepare their limbs for the challenge. Talking has been the most difficult challenge, since their native language is merely patterns of oscillations in the pitch and frequency of a chord. Speaking in human words is not easy, especially since they cannot take deep breaths while speaking in air.
Conch shells have proven useful in this issue, the amplifying effect of the shell allows them to speak softly and still be heard by the surface dwellers, however their words tend to be distorted some depending on the shells shape and construction. Many shell crafters are making quite a bit more pearls now that the lords and ladies are seeking their work.
Since resources are scarce in the deep sea some of the Cealophytes have turned to praying for their needs. Often times they ask their ancestors from the shrines in their family crypts. But many have changed to worshiping the blessed tides, especially the nomadic farmers who rarely visit their family crypts.
The phrase "May you find abundance on the blessed tides" is a common greeting given by the faithful. There are strong seasonal currents that bring an abundance of fish to the area, which feeds many Morla and also bring an abundance of dying flesh to stock the fungus farms with.
The faithful see this influx of food as the results of their devoted prayers. With each successful bumper harvest the faith of the blessed tides only grows.
There are three principal resources of interest in the region:
Anju’Tellurium is a blue-gray shiny metal that is similar to Iron in properties, but does not oxidize in water. It is worked mostly around the deep sea vents where the heat can soften the metal.
Lu’Sindra Mushrooms is a species of deep ocean fungi that emits a light blue to bright red glow. It is flavorful and Cealophytes eat it regularly to help brighten their glow. The fungus grows more like coral tooth fungus rather than traditional caps.
Chorda Kelp is a high fiber kelp grown on the Morla Farms, it is used in making ropes and simple clothing. It is also used as a primary, although bland, food source for the growing population.
Leaving the sea to interact with other nations has brought fashion to a new high in the Cephalo’Di. Ladies of court demand expensive imported clothing from their husbands, and rich young lads wear suits to display their family wealth.