Râpha-Nâr Iron Bottom

CategoryOceanic
ContinentStraiden
RegionRâpha
AliasIron Bottom
MapHettaran

For a few months in 331 HE, the remnants of a destroyed moon entered Bal-Kriav's atmosphere. This meteor shower came to be known as the Dûlan-Nûl Firestorm. One of these pieces hit the southern edge of the Straiden landmass. After the dust settled, the ocean filled in the broken area, leaving a ring of islands where once was the edge of a continent.

In the First Epoch, Râpha-Nâr, even today far from civilization, became an area of interest when word spread of its strange iron deposits. Explorers out of Selûn went on to write:

12 Bloom 221, note 3 - iron littering the islands like trash, some partially buried, some loose on the surface, and even bigger deposits sunk into the sea floor. This stuff is strange, sunken here for thousands of years, it has resisted corrosion and seems naturally poisonous to barnacles and other organisms that like to latch onto piers and the undersides of ships.

- excerpt from the Khidas-Selûn Expedition - "Iron Bottom"

It was to be learned much later that this iron came from part of the World Splitter's drill casing. It looks like iron, weighs the same, and can be worked the same, yet it has regenerative properties which make if far superior to iron. The Mezrack named it Dûlan after the moon Dûlan-Nûl.

A decade after the Khidas-Selûn Expedition, triton explorers coming up from the ocean deeps south of Oralûth, were surprised at the activity in the area, ships coming and going, and some moored to the outer islands. When they discovered the area's special metal, resistant to salt and weathering, they took to gathering the stuff from the ocean floor. The tritons, an aquatic people, had no way of working it with fire or the skill of iron forging, so they worked with the area's traders, supplying them with raw materials and other catches of the sea in return for weapons.

With multiple parties claiming different islands and tracts of sea for diving and bottom dredging, an oversight board was established to handle common defense, trade, laws, and dealing with those who might want the area and its riches under one flag. In 251, the Râpha-Nâr Oversight Board was formed. This body represents the interests of Tritons, Tragarans, Elderaunts and others of places like Merorarg, Selûn, and Orra.

In the Horn Tusk Conflict (1023 - 1467), Ivory Asylum made several attempts to take unoccupied islands and atolls. They rightfully proclaimed they wanted a presence here, to keep Ba'lith from planting her own flag. Reluctantly, the tritons of Aha'sase moved in. They seized control of the area, proclaiming it a free trade zone under no national flag. Since that time, the area's settlements have grown in size and population. These city-states extend into the deep waters around the islands, with the surface the abodes of landlubbers and the deeps the home of triton merchants, jewelers, crafters of coral furniture, hunters of great fish, and those that scoured the sea's bottom for mollusks and clams.

Râpha-Nâr is one of the four possible exits for the Rings of Hettar. Too random for most captains, this anomaly of the seas is mostly used by nefarious types, those running from the law. Finding themselves in Râpha-Nâr, often ignorant of the area's many navigational hazards, they face reefs of scattered Dûlan, dangerous shoals, and the hulks of ships that have tried to navigate a sea expanse safely done only by rowboats, galleys, and other vessels of shallow draft.

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