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The North and Northerly Waters
On the time shard map, "The North" is time shard #1. This is currently a large, deep sound with a somewhat protected mouth, shallowing toward the seaward side. Northerly waters include time shard #1, plus shards #67, #63, #62, and #61. The northern parts of time shards #59, #60, and #3 contain some species that like cold water, but they also contain temperate habitat and species. Resident seabirds have colonies in cliffs or beaches along the shores. Seal, walrus and dorruuyirv populations are present, although they are farther down the food chain on Torn World than on Earth, due to the bigger predators. With low technology, boating in this area is often tantamount to suicide. However, when the waters freeze in winter, the ice may be traversed for fishing or hunting -- out of the sea monsters, only the rare whalebears are enthusiastic ice hunters. Winter ice usually covers shards #1, #67, and #63.
Some of the largest and most dangerous sea monsters survived only in these northern waters. When the barriers connecting to southern waters finally broke, these species suddenly had a whole lot of new territory to explore and wreak havoc in. Compared to the vastness of the oceans, they aren't that dense a population, but they are still proving to be a random nuisance, especially to larger (tasty!) coastal creatures like dorruuyirv, seals, and walrus. Some of them have found the warmer southern climates a more habitable area, and have become a hazard to boats there. Not all of them can take on a large ship, but personal conveyance for the Empire has gotten even more difficult in the last generation or so.
Before Upheaval: The area in time shard #1 was largely dry prior to the Upheaval, though low in elevation. The ocean bordering this area was rich in sea monsters, including several species of thunder-whale, multiple species of weed-eater, two species of trapjaw, and several varieties of smartarm; plus the single species of northern soldierfish, whalebear, and heat-thief. A sanctuary for the white polar whalebears existed in time-shard #63, along with one for the related dark-furred species in shard #3.
Sundered Times: Extreme tectonic and temporal disruption during the Upheaval opened a deep rift directly through the center of shard #1, and the ocean flowed into this area. Time barriers sealed just outside the mouth of the new sound. Most megafauna here died out; only the northern weed-eater and whalebear survived within shard #1, but the underwater flora, small fish, and other minor creatures that were swept in dined on the rotting groundcover, and grew into a rich and diverse feast for the first predatory sea monsters to return with the early drop of the barrier to shard #67. Surviving species in the combined area of timeshards #1 and #67 included northern soldierfish, northern weed-eater, trapjaw, and heat-thief. Whalebears thrived in shard #63, western thunder-whale and smartarm in shard #62, and northern weed-eater in shard #3. The purple jellyrigger evolved in shard #59. In shard #60, an underwater city ruptured during the Upheaval, leaving the water badly polluted and killing off all of the megafauna. The ecosystem was gradually coming back into balance when this barrier dropped, and the incoming species found fertile ground to spread to.
Modern Times: The polar whalebears (furred, flippered, bear-like predators) have trouble competing with the larger sea monsters in the sound of shard #1, so they are not often seen although the habitat is right for them; they continue to thrive in shard #63. The brown whalebears died off entirely in shard #3 and are now extinct. The northern soldierfish (a dangerous, smaller, armored sea monster that will swarm in a feeding frenzy with sharks), northern weed-eater (a smaller, in-shore herbivore), and heat-thief all spread outward from shards #67 and #1. Other species crossed into these areas. Time shard #63 gained northern trapjaw (a ubiquitous medium-size inshore predator similar to an alligator with fins), purple jellyrigger (giant jellyfish), smartarm (a clever kraken-like monster), western thunder-whale (the largest Torn World omnivore, topping 100 feet), and heat-thief. Shard #62 gained heat-thief and purple jellyrigger. Shard #61 gained western thunder-whale, northern trapjaw, northern soldierfish, northern weed-eater, and whalebears. Shard #60 gained the purple jellyrigger, smartarm, western thunder-whale, northern trapjaw, northern soldierfish, northern weed-eater, heat-thief, and whalebears. The large ruined city can barely be seen beneath the surface of the water in the right conditions, and is a favorite nesting place for smartarm. Shard #3 gained western thunder-whale, northern trapjaw, northern soldierfish, and whalebears (northernmost reaches only). Shard #3 also gained blue harpoon snails (large predatory snails) and southern soldierfish coming up from the south; the blue harpoon snails are widespread but the southern soldierfish don't extend to the northernmost reaches. Shard #59 gained western thunder-whales. Shard #59 also gained giant sea turtles and western sea serpents coming from the south, and blue harpoon snails coming from the east. The dorruuyirv are in decline, unable to compete well with the larger monsters; they now exist only in shards #60 and #62 on this side of the continent.
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