Project Realm. Sculpting the World, Part 5

Oh, this was a fun one! Until today the only thing known about the Hydras of the Realm was that they existed. And now look at them! I got a lot of enjoyment out of creating my own variation of the ancient legendary creature. I’m actually pretty surprised at the detail I put into this. Did not expect that! All this did make for yet another rather long piece, but I really like my new little creation (well, new to a certain extent of course). I hope you will as well! ^_^

Sculpting the World

1.5. Hydra Swamp
Map of the Realm (Most Northern Island-Hydra Swamp-Highlighted)

Landscape: The Hydra Swamp extends for 650 km from the South-Western coast to the Dark Elf lands to its North and at its broadest goes on for 450 km from the Western Coast to the Great Forest to its East. It is a massive low-lying wetland that came into being many ages ago when the sea violently flooded in through the Southern coast and engulfed a large part of the Great Forest. Where the flood stopped is where the swamp’s borders still lie today. Most of the water has turned brackish over time, with the exception of a small area of about 200 meters between the swamp and the sea, at the swamp’s Southernmost point. This area, while soggy, stands relatively dry most of the time, but at some occasions is flooded by the sea and subsequently transfers sea water into the Southern part of the Hydra Swamp, thereby turning and keeping it more saline than the rest the region.

Climate: The Hydra Swamp has a mainly humid continental climate. Humidity levels are very high  and while its temperatures range from very high in the Summer to very low in the Winter, the swamp never reaches a point of either scalding heat or freezing cold. Rain is frequent, especially in the warmer Northern and central parts and during the Summer. When it is not raining a low thin fog usually hangs over the waters.

Flora and Fauna: During the great flooding that created the Hydra Swamp, many trees and plants in the area died out. Those that didn’t, though, have since adapted to survive the more brackish water. They consist mostly of low shrubs, cordgrasses and, more recently, swamp willows. In addition, a number of aquatic plants like seagrasses and algae have been carried in by the sea and can be found mostly in the more Southern parts of the swamp.

Since the flood various kinds of small fish are numerous in the Hydra Swamp. While those in the Southern area are still fairly similar to the sea fish, their more Northern cousins have adapted to the less saline water in their habitat.

Despite fish being the most numerous, it is, unsurprisingly, the Hydra that is the dominant inhabitant of the swamp it was named after. Hydras are large serpent-like creatures with an average lifespan of one-hundred years. Their exact numbers are unknown, but are estimated to lie at about four to five dozen, spread all across the swamp. They have six short legs ending in vicious clawed feet and many heads with even more razor sharp teeth. Hydras are descended from giant Sea Serpents that ended up far from their original habitat – the Sea of Serpents to the East – during the time of the great flooding. Aside from the legs they have developed over time and the number of heads, they still bear great resemblance to their ancestors. They are rather slow moving, but nevertheless fearsome creatures, known to reach lengths of ten meters from head to tail and over three meters tall when standing on all six legs. The Hydra is among the very few cannibalistic creatures in the Realm and the only known one that is auto-cannibalistic. When a Hydra becomes hungry, its stronger heads will eat the weaker ones, satiating the Hydra for at least one year and usually more, depending on the number and size of the heads eaten. Within a few days after this, two more heads grow in the lost head’s place. This process – which also occurs when a head is severed in any way – continues throughout a Hydra’s life. A Hydra’s age and strength is directly related to the number of heads it has. They have been known to kill other creatures, but never for food. As they are fiercely territorial they will, without hesitation, attack and likely kill any creature unfortunate enough to enter their habitat. For unknown reason the fish inhabiting the swamp seem to be the sole exception to this. Hydras reproduce asexually. When one dies, usually of natural causes, its heads will fall off and its body will dissolve. A large serpent will grow from each head and, which will turn on the other serpents until only one survives that will grow into a full-fledged Hydra.

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About

Ever since a group of shoes held a birthday party a long, long time ago (though in a galaxy not that far away) a little boy’s appreciation for creation was born. And so, throughout the following years shoes partied, a dinosaur travelled through time, oddly shaped football players went on adventures, a young wanderer became a knight, a comedian rose to godhood, Jedi fought an evil empire, a war between cyborg warlords and human-insect hybrids engulfed the world… The boy had learned how with only words on paper (and from times to time a few pictures) he was able to bring people, places, even entire worlds to life. By now that little boy has reached almost the third decade of his life and his love for telling stories has not ceased. And finally, long after he had planned to, he has decided to share these stories with the world. Whether you are a new or already familiar face: welcome to this little archive of mine! This is a place where I will, finally, actually be sharing my writing with others. It will feature pretty much anything I feel like sharing, both old and new stories, fan-fiction and original content, and probably some non-fiction added in at times. So, if you like reading, writing, stories (or me ^_~), drop by, drop a comment (I can’t promise I’ll get back to you quickly, since I’m horrible at that, but I’ll do my best) and, drop it like it’s hot. … Sorry… ^_^; In any case, I hope you’ll enjoy yourself and I look forward to seeing you around!

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Posted in Project Realm, Writing
2 comments on “Project Realm. Sculpting the World, Part 5
  1. […] region with an ecosystem similar to that of a region on the most Northern island. Thankfully I already had most of the region finished in my mind when I started writing it out […]

  2. […] to go more into detail on the Wild Lizards themselves and their various species. Unlike the earlier Hydras and sabre-toothed tigers, though, there are several species I’d have to work out (as you […]

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Itsa Me!

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Who? Just your average descendant of two sea-faring peoples, recently graduated anthropology Master and aspiring author with a life-long passion for writing.

What? Uhm, human. I think... Also a bit crazy, but in a good way. I think...

Where? A land under the sea, far, far away. Occasionally with my head in the clouds.

Why? Trying to get both my work and my love for writing out there, sharing them with others and getting in touch with fellow writers, artists and other like-minded people.

Hi! ^_^

NaNoWriMo 2016
NaNoWriMo 2015

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