The Palesian Atoll


The Palesian atoll



General information

Type of place Atoll surrounded by a coral reef
Characteristic Diamond-shaped atoll
Location South of the Eldathrean coast

The Palesian Atoll is also sometimes referred to as the Palesian Reef. The atoll and its surrounding reef can be found off the coast of the southernmost tip of the Isle of Eldathren.
It is a strange and beautiful place that only few venture to, but there are many stories surrounding the place.
 
Description

Off the coast of the main Eldathren island there is an atoll, shaped almost like a five-angled diamond. The island of the atoll is rugged cliffs inwards towards the center, where there is a deep lagoon. On the edges towards the ocean, there are areas with long sandy beaches, and parts with rugged rocks with small rock pools.
Out from the atoll there is a coral reef all the way around. On the northern side of the atoll, it is very steep, and on the southern side it is not far below the surface of the sea. The coral reef is full of bright, colourful corals, beautiful fish and other creatures.

The water in the lagoon is a few degrees colder than the surrounding sea. There is a special macro-algae that grows on the bottom of the lagoon, though not below 2 meters below the surface of the water. It is fiery orange and looks almost like a flame, as it waves in the water. On the algae grows bacteria making it bioluminescent at night. On clear nights, when the bioluminescence is very bright, it is visible from Eldathren.

The lagoon is the only place that the bioluminescent algae is found in Isilendor. While it may look very pretty, a touch from it will give severe burns. It has strong alchemical qualities which makes it desirable. Yet, it can only be harvested with the help of magic, and only by those extremely skilled in doing so. To this day, there are still only a few who venture out to harvest the algae, and even fewer who are successful. How to harvest the algae safely is often passed down through generations, keeping the secret ways within the family.

On the northern side of the atoll there is a very large coral that looks almost like a tree. The few that have seen it over the years, often refer to it as the willow of the sea.
 
History

Long ago a volcano erupted underwater and slowly the atoll was created. For long it was left on its own, enjoyed by the marine creatures and birds that found their way there. Around the time that humans arrived in Isilendor, the elves discovered the atoll. For long, few had noticed and witnessed the glow of light that sometimes could be seen out in the horizon in the ocean, and the tales of what it was were plenty. Some claim it was the sun or a star that never really left during the night. Others spun tales of sparkling stones or a strange sea creature. Sometimes the light from the bioluminescent algae is not bright, and cannot be seen beyond the atoll, which also led to superstitions. Some thought that it was the fiery center within that could be seen slowly eating away the world, others that it was the temple for the suns and moon, which shone bright.

Around 2812 OE, a small group of young, curious elves had noticed the light one night. The next night, when the same light could be seen in the horizon again, they decided that they would figure out what it was. A couple of them had heard stories of a light in the sea, but no one really seemed to know what it was. The following day they ventured out in a small sailing boat towards the place where they had seen the light during the night. After a long day's journey with strong tides pulling them off course, they got close enough to see the landmass of the atoll. Yet, their boat hit against the outer reef. It was not until then that they noticed what was in the water just below the surface. The reef, colourful and lively. The young elves discovered the atoll, though they didn’t set foot on the land. At least not until a year later, when they came back and explored the area more. Here they finally found the source of the bright light that they had sought.

Over the years, its strange light and remoteness has given rise to myths and superstition. There are those who have connected it to both deities and gods. Seen as a symbol of their powers.


 

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