Uneasy Lies the Head
Largest body of water in the known world.
It separates the lands known as Tomeas Theou Xontos or informally as Empire of the Living God, or simply Empire in the north, from the more diverse and less densely settled Southern Continent.
The two land masses actually meet in the arid far south of the Magyar Pusta near the foothills of the Tanik’neri mountains, making Sorrowful Sea enclosed by land from three sides.
At its middle bulge, close to Miskoltz, sea is just over 1200 miles wide from north to south but it narrows to as little as 370 miles due south of Neu Ungren before widening again as one travels westward.
Westmost reaches of the sea have not been explored but the longest known East-West line in the sea, from the mouth of Pec River in the pusta to island? of Ur Mungalla, sea is more then 14,000 miles wide.
In large parts Sorrowful Sea is shallow and riddled with archipelagos and large islands such as Barburatan Rocks sheltering the waters of Neu Ungren, Marlavan in the west and Milliuri in centre-north. It is also criss-crossed with beautiful but extremely dangerous reefs and shoals. Shallow uneven bottom and underwater ruptures and trenches also contribute to the extremely strong currents which often lead into the reef death-traps.
Compounding and overshadowing these hazards are the fabled Purple Storms named after the colour of the sky immediately preceding them. Purple Storms occur frequently but relatively unpredictably all across the Sorrowful Sea and range from dangerous at 60+ miles an hour winds to devastating 180+ miles an hour behemoths that change geography of the small islands.
Furthermore, periods between the storms can sometimes be filled with dead calms when no propulsion whatsoever can be had from a sail boat for days or even weeks on end.
Between all the above factors, Sorrowful Sea was long considered practically impassable. A particularly lucky and foolhardy sailor could sometimes slip across every generation or two, but very few of those would ever return. Trade, such as it was, between Empire and the Southern Continent had to go long way around by many caravans through treacherous and bandit infested highland deserts of Tanik’neri foothills.
This changed when an Imperial Engineer Joachim Fez successfully sailed a small skiff from the Emirate of Bardia into what will later be known as Neu Ungren Bay in the delta of the Tierz river. Fez was logging his passage and was able to analyze and the factors which led to his survival and reproduce them on a small scale while sailing in local Neu Ungren waters. Eventually, he was able to travel back to Bardia and return, to Neu Ungren.
He thus developed a science of Sorrowful Sea navigation which is to this day practiced by the closed cabal of the Navigatorial Families of Neu Ungren who hold a monopoly on deep water commerce on this sea.