Thursday, 1 October 2015

Volcanism in Sawa and elsewhere

"Some think the lands of fire must be hot. Parts of it are; mostly it's northern and cold, but the Sawan houses are always warm. And so, the seemingly aggressive nature comforts its denizens."
— Gergadi, merchant 
The continent of fire is covered in evidence of its restless underground. There are proper volcanoes, but also geysirs abound, lava lakes, boiling mud, and fields of tiny smoking craters; rivers or lakes may be acidic due to the volcanic soil. Much of the land is covered in cold lava or ash, has lava tunnels, covered thinly with glasslike stone, and other dangers to travellers.
However, the Sawans have learned ages ago to use fire to their advantage. They reroute hot springs into their homes and bath houses, use hot air vents for drying and heating, and are very clever in building means to guide lava around what should not go up in flames. Greenworkers know the best plants to seed on ash-covered fields to break up the hardened lava.
"I know eruptions can't be predicted precisely, but I was promised it would go off sometime this week - without fresh lava I don't know how to keep the schedule!"
— Fenagi Tahar, entrepeneur

Sawa is not the only land to feature volcanoes. There are two belts around the world as well as some single or grouped volcanoes. Notably the Thrower mountains in northeast Lozir, and the Burning Islands of the Ryaq have large volcanoes.

Artists' notes
Volcanoes are so cool. I particularly love pyroclastic clouds and the lightning inside ash clouds during eruptions, and still I'm glad not to live around any active ones. I had to pull a bit of fantasy green thumbs, though, as new volcanic soil isn't nearly as fertile as "rich in minerals" sounds. It does make for beautiful geysirs though, with colourful minerals layering on their rims.

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