Maggie Mills

United States

A steadfast defender of the Oxford comma

Cartography

February 17, 2017

While not vast enough to be an ocean, the depths of Trenetas’s Sea sink far below its waves. In shape, the sea resembles a hand with long fingers: tributaries and marsh to the west and a smooth palm of rocky shores to the east and north. Along the northern coast of the sea are the pine forests.  Even from the ocean, sailors ships can catch the deep scent of resin that permeates the air. The eastern coast of Trenetas’s Sea is a rocky and brutal place, home to only rough, battering waves and gangs of hunters and pirates who camp along the cliffs.  Beyond the eastern coast lies the Caves, a place that even the pirates avoid, regardless of what they may try to tell you. So few people venture there that the Caves have remained nameless, except in a practical sense.  In the summer, water swirls in and out of the hollows like dusty stained glass; during the winter, ice coats the caverns’ stone in a thick layer of silver armor. The frozen waves reflect and warp the sounds and light of the outside world. Most sailors blame the noises that flit about the Caves on fluttering winds.  A few say that the sounds are the creaking moans of demons trapped far beneath the waves. The ice absorbs any outside light that brushes against it, illuminating the Caves with a soft glow. Cave light, though, does not feel warm. It hits your face and hands with the numbing cold of a seaward wind, not in a sudden way, but slowly, so that one would never notice that he was quietly freezing to death.

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