46. Regions — Abyssal Basin
The light shines westward, a tunnel cut through a thick forest. The energy of the Obelisk has carved a wide path. The overhang is yet to grow back as if fearful of reprise.
Surrounding the Obelisk is a soaking wet grassland that leads into the different areas of the region. As with all regions, the Obelisk feels purposefully placed at the region’s centre.
To the South, the grassland fades into quicksand and swamp. To the north, a dense forest wall with giant root-like bridges overhead guides travellers into the darkness of Abbysal Grove. Opposite the gorge is the entrance to Last Ripples.
South East is Slough. An unforgiving swamp where giant ‘Titanicus’ mushrooms overwhelm the horizon. The ground is thick mud, with patches of swamp grass and knee-deep streams, the air sulfuric due to gas bubbling to the surface from the core. Swamp flowers dotting dry patches of topsoil radiate faint light, bright enough to see through the fog.
Titanicus Mushrooms grow wide before breaching the surface and erupting from the swamp. They upheave the soil as they reach into the sky, carrying smaller flora — an unsettling sight. These mushrooms share nutrients through gigantic root systems. Only found alive in Slough, they cannot sustain themselves in other regions and rarely grow elsewhere. Giant, collapsed husks bordering Bluewood form a natural bridge over the Abyssal Drift, moss-filled rapids that course the region’s breadth.
The southwest area of Abyssal Basin owes its name to the eponymous Bluewood Giants. These towering hardwoods constantly absorb and expel water, causing extreme humidity that tints the atmosphere blue.
Knee-deep streams and small rivers divide the giant trees. Many plants and flowers grow on the drier patches of land, surrounded by tepid water. The ground is unusually colourful, containing an assortment of hues dispersed in the soil, not unlike the Rainbow Bark trees of the north.
At night, the soil fluoresces, illuminating land and water and turning Bluewood into Greenwood.
North of Bluewood lays Last Ripples, which bridges Bluewood and Abyssal Grove.
Last Ripples is naught but a boneyard for Leviathan. Bones fossilised in a bygone era create a scaffolding for plants to grow on, over, and underneath.
The countless overgrown ribcages and skulls create natural islands, bridging the deep water to the more swampy, open area of Bluewood.
To the north, near the Abyssal Grove border, the trees’ complex root systems disappear as the water deepens.
To the north of the Obelisk is Abyssal Grove, the region’s most extensive area. A thick, dense, mangrove-like forest spans the region’s entire width.
Due to the lack of sunlight, the ground and water have a faint bio-luminescence. Similar to the effect in Bluewood.
Two paths extend from the Obelisk, cutting through the forest leading to Taiga Borreal and Sanctum Mesa. The trees of Abyssal Grove are endless. Complex root systems intertwine, creating islands and surfaces for other plants to grow.
Giant Nipa Palms grow in several places in the forest, so immense they form an impenetrable forest canopy. Sunlight peeks through, imitating the stars. The native plants find ways to harness the radiation from the planet’s core, countering the lack of sunlight. Almost every tree, flower and bush creates light that others absorb.
The Forest is deadly and poisonous but beautiful still. The bark of the Rainbow Trees is multicoloured, with fungi so enormous it grows into platforms one could stand on. Remains litter the ground here — foot travel is nigh impossible.
Glowing Abyssal Pumpkins fill some forest patches, an odd plant that grows like a fungal mesh, spanning kilometres. Their fruit features translucent magenta skin and a glowing inner core that contrasts the dark blue-green environment.
Kaldrick’s Eld is an ancient tree with a hollow root structure near the Eastern border. It resembles a giant cave entrance from the outside, drawing you in. However, descending through the root system leads to a flooded root system — an immediate dead end.
The Abyssal Grove ends at sea in the North, where dark clouds band together to form an impressive storm front. Lightning shoots across the horizon, thunder close behind, contrasting the open, clear sky above the Abyssal Basin. The Obelisk undoubtedly plays part in these diverse weather systems.