The Zee is full of things men and women can barely even comprehend. On the Surface sailors were always superstitious people with tall tales of supernatural entities helping or hindering them on their travels. On the Zee it's no different... but the Zee's superstitions might actually hold some truth.
Salt, Stone, and Storm Edit
The city folk and islanders can worship whatever silly god they please, but to the Zee-captains and their crew only three matter most, as these have made a legitimate impact on the travels of those who enter their domain.
"We will sail East, and the islands will fall behind. The zee will be troubled by greater waves. The false-stars will pale, until the Neath-roof grows invisible above. New scents will prickle the air: something like spice and something like pine.""Long ago, a traveller went East, seeking something that could not be found in the black and starry kingdoms of the High Wilderness, nor in the irrigo temptations of the Nadir. Not in the glow of the Forge nor the crushing silence of the Unterzee deeps. Not in the shapeling citadels, not in the light of the South, not of the Sundered Sea. The traveller went East, and others may follow.You have found something the traveller tried to forget: that naked need. The traveller won't be pleased."
The flowing currents of time and memory are Salt's domains. He is the embodiment of the Zee itself; his origin is unknown, though it is believed he may exist far to the east, farther than anyone dares to go. However, information gleaned from wandering the halls of Frostfound might hide the secrets to his past.
Salt's influence affects all travelers of the Zee. If you manage to gain his attention, he may reward you with sudden revelations. But if you dare to defy this being, be warned: his curse can affect you in the most devastating of ways. He can undo past achievements, take your loved ones, and even alter your past so you would be erased entirely. Be watchful of Salt's messenger, the White Bat, as if it is watching you, HE is watching.
(Was Salt mortal once? Was he once like us, a mere explorer who discovered something beyond our comprehension? What lies to the far reaches of his domain?)
|What is he?|
|Given that Salt's Name is spoken in the Correspondence, it is entirely possible that he, himself, is a Judgement who found his way to the Neath.|
"Now and then, rocky fragments fall from the roof of the Neath. The decks of older ships are pocked with scars. The sound is one no land-lubber knows, and no zailor will ever forget. This one has smashed the glass of a deck-binnacle. "Ill omen!" one sailor cries. "The god in the roof! Storm is angry!""Long ago a hungry monarch built a castle. The monarch sent messengers to the thunder-dragon in the roof, but the dragon ate them all. The monarch sent more messengers - shapelings from Axile, malleable and eager - but the dragon ate those too. Then the hungry monarch found the dragon's name, and the dragon had to listen. It didn't do either of them much good.You have one syllable of the thunder-dragon's name. It won't be pleased."
An ancient anger, Storm's wrath is unending and punishing to those who gain his attention. Storm is the embodiment of the air, the weather, and the sky... well, its Neathy equivalent, at least. He is the punishment, the judgement, of all beings who sail the Zee. Like Salt, Storm's identity might also be hinted in the frozen corridors.
It should be noted, of course, that this description could be more metaphorical than fact. However, given the primal nature of Storm and his followers, it may make sense that Storm is a beast of a being.
Storm is a god whose favor cannot be won entirely. His attention often fuels humans' rage. Some captains who gain his attention find one of their crew attacking the others with insane bloodlust after an encounter with the roof of the Zee affects the ship. Other times, however, gazing out to Zee, the captain will find new strength and vision from his guidance. Be wary of Storm's displeasure, as his curse is as relentless as the weather bearing his name: it literally brings an increase in storms and fog.
|What is he?|
|He is a dragon, an enforcer of Judgement-law, probably here enforcing the Bazaar's seven city limit. He also may be dead, in some sense, with the Neath being what used to be his skull, but he doesn't really care.|
"It's very far away; but perhaps it's watching you."
"Long ago a hungry monarch built a castle. The monarch saw a light in the south, in the palace of the south's queen. In those days, hungry as the monarch was, that light provoked nothing but appetite. But she was too far to devour. Over time, their correspondence calmed the monarch, and when the time came for the monarch to depart, the monarch's appetite was transformed, like blood into tears.
You have one word from the queen's correspondence. She won't be pleased."
Stone influences the lives of nearly all who inhabit the Neath. The unnatural, unexplainable vitality she emits is what makes death in this realm mostly impermanent, the normally inanimate denizens of Polythreme live so much they scream, and the citizens of the Elder Continent have particularly long lives. She is also the mother of one of the Zee's most fearsome beasts, the wandering Mt. Nomad. Like the others, Stone also has secrets hidden in Frostfound.
Gaining Stone's attention may make you healthier and more agile, but it seems like her curse does nothing. Perhaps it's that some forms of death are permanent. It could be the fact that those who live outside the Elder Continent can never enter, not without their souls burning away and their entire crew dying. Or maybe it simply works in a way we cannot understand, or we have yet to see the full repercussions of the curse. No matter what her curse does, Stone is perhaps the most impactful and influential Zee-god. Be wary of surprise bits of stone and even diamond showing up unaccounted for on the ship, it may mean Stone is watching you from her glowing, ever-living mountain home.
While we already know quite a bit about Stone, there is still one mystery regarding her: who is the monarch in the second quoted passage? All signs point to the Thief-of-Faces, the first Snuffer and Stone's lover. This is given the monarch's hunger for light, and that the Thief-of-Faces was banished from The Elder Continent (likely thanks to the birth of his daughter, Mt. Nomad), hence the "departure." The blood transforming into tears might mean the Thief-of-Faces' bloodlust toward Stone might have turned to sorrow after he lost her.