Wanderer IV

Entry for the 'Create Your Own World' competition. A brief introduction to this world, plus pictures and sketches. I hope you like it!


1. Water Cycle: From Coast to Peaks




     Ignoring the time and vast distances between the world in this map and ours, if you were to find yourself there, lying on your back beneath the sky, what you would see upon gazing up would probably be clouds. The people who live there wouldn't begrudge this weather as we might, though; the water cycle plays a major role in most belief systems of the population, as the enabler of all life on the planet.


     The morning sun hits the ocean (which is, unlike ours, freshwater) before it does the land, so dawn on the coast brings with it a thick sea mist, rolling up over the cliffs. It's a good idea to bring your washing in before dawn in this area, and to have your windows closed if you want to keep out the damp.



    After this first leg of the journey spent down close to the land, the water vapour rises slowly in the intensifying sun, forming high fluffy clouds. After passing low over the flat floodplains, the clouds are forced upwards in the atmosphere as the land begins to rise and become covered in rainless root forest; when they hit the higher rain- and cloud-forest) slopes is when they first begin to break.



     This precipitation, sparse at lower elevation, continues up to the tree line, becoming almost constant in parts as the thick clouds are forced up into higher, colder air. From a little below the treeline, where only the descendants of our pine trees grow, upwards, it begins to snow rather than rain, large, soft flakes.



     On the land side of the mountains over which we have just passed, the water rained on the slopes makes its way back to the coast by rivers - some of the cloud, however, is blown over to the other side of the mountains before it snows down.



     Here, the snow is compressed in layers into huge glaciers, which flow down the steep back side of the mountains until they reach the ice cliffs; as the weight of the ice behind bears down, chunks of the cliff crack off and topple into the ocean, creating low-floating icebergs.



     The cold water from the melting of these ice floes makes this end of the sea rich in nutrients and aquatic life.





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