RPG: The Unknown Ocean Depths (extract)

This is an extract from one of my Gas-Lamp RPG supplements.

 

Seas and Oceans of the World

 

This section only lists those seas of the oceans of the world: it does not include inland seas, such as the Dead Sea or the Caspian Sea.

Oceans and seas are listed, with a description of their size and maximum depth. Mention is made of any special features, such as important wrecks, or underwater civilisations.

Arctic Ocean: The Arctic Ocean is the most northerly of the world’s oceans. It is around the North Pole. It has an area of 5,440,000 square miles. At its deepest point it is more than 18,000 feet in depth.

The ocean, at its heart, is frozen for most of the year; and, as characters get closer to the North Pole, they will get to areas which are frozen the entire year around.

No submarine has yet travelled beneath the ice of the centre of the Arctic Ocean, and it is not known what mysteries might be found down there.

Some people, in the past, have even claimed that the world is hollow at the North Pole, and that there is an entrance to a world on the inside of the earth, with possibly a similar opening at the South Pole. That is not the case in this world, however.

The Ancient Greeks believed that there was a warm land called Hyperborea beyond the icy wastes of the North Pole.

There are no real secrets of the Arctic Ocean, unless a person considers those ships which have been lost, in the past, while trying to find the fabled Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and become caught by the crushing sea ice. The Northwest Passage has not yet been successfully completed.

Jules Verne, should he get to complete the nautilus, intends to have it travel all of the way under the ice of the Artic Ocean, going under the North Pole.

Barents Sea: This sea is north of Russia and east of Scandinavia. Its boundaries are Svalbard and Franz Josef Land in the north; the Greenland Sea to the west; Norway and Russia to the south; and the Novaya Zemlya archipelago to the east. It has an area of around 542,000 square miles. It is up to 2,000 feet in depth, the deepest parts being at the Bear Island Trench. But the majority of the sea is a lot shallower than that.

It has been called the Barents Sea from 1853, previously having been known as the Murmean Sea.

Thin ice forms on the sea during winter. The sea is rich in fish, with such species as catfish, cod, herring, plaice and salmon. Seals and whales can also be found in its waters.

The sea holds few secrets. There are a few shipwrecks on the floor of the sea, including a Viking longship, but little more than that. There are no underwater civilisations in the area.

Beaufort Sea: This sea is north of Canada and Alaska. It has an area of 184,000 square miles. Its maximum depth is over 15,000 feet. But its average depth is only about 3,000 feet, although large expanses are only around 200 feet deep.

The sea is frozen nearly all year round. Only in August and September does the ice tend to break up. During that period icebergs would be a major danger for any coastal vessel.

Creatures to be found in the sea are molluscs, crustaceans, and small life forms.

There are few secrets to be found in this sea, beyond a couple of shipwrecks on the ocean floor.

Chukchi Sea: This is part of the Arctic Ocean. Its boundaries are Wrangel Island to the west; Siberia and Alaska (Russian America) to the south; the Beaufort Sea to the east; and the arctic continental slope to the north. It has an area of 225,000 square miles. It has an area of around 225,000 square miles.

It has an average depth of just over 250 feet.

The sea is navigable only between July and October. Life forms include whales, seals and fish, but no intelligent creatures. There are no secrets of importance

Greenland Sea: Its boundaries are the Arctic Ocean to the north; Greenland to the west; the Norwegian sea to the south; and Svalbard to the east. It has an area of 465,000 miles. Its maximum depth is 16,000 feet.

The first scientific expedition into the Greenland Sea only took place in 1876-78.

Fish found in the sea include cod, halibut, herring, plaice and redfish. Whales and dolphins are also found in the waters of this sea.

There are a few shipwrecks on the sea floor, and the southern part of the sea is the most northerly part at which Finfolk might be discovered. Very rarely a kraken might be found in this sea.

Kara Sea: This is part of the Arctic Ocean. Its boundaries are Siberia to the south; Novaya Zemlya to the west; Franz Josef Land to the northwest; and the Severnaya Zemlya islands to the east.

The sea is covered by ice most of the year round. Fish to be found in the waters include cod, salmon and sturgeon.

The sea has most recently been explored in 1878 by the Swedish navigator Adolf Nordenskiold. In his ship the Vega, which had a hull enchanted to resist damage by the ice, and a prow which could be made warm by a Pyromantic device, he managed to get as far west as 1800 longitude by September of that year. After then progress was very slow, and he did not manage to get through to Yokohama, in Japan, until March of the following year, being forced to hole up for the worst of the winter, as even the Vega could not force its way through in the heart of winter. But Nordenskiold still managed to become the first person to navigate the Northeast Passage.

There are no secrets of worth in this sea.

Siberian Sea: This sea is off the coast of northern Siberia. Its boundaries are the Severnaya Zemlya islands and the Taymyr Peninsula in the west; and, in the east, the New Siberian Islands and Kotely Island. It has an area of around 276,000 square miles. It has an average depth of 1,896 feet.

For most of the year the sea is covered in ice. Salmon are plentiful in the waters of the sea; seals can also be found.

The shores of this sea were mapped out between 1735 and 1740 by Dmitriy and Khariron Laptev.

There are no secrets hidden away in the waters of this sea.

White Sea: This sea is off north-western Russia. It is south of the Barents Sea, and connected to it by the Gorlo Strait. It has an area of around 35,000 square miles. It has a maximum depth of over 1,100 feet. Its average depth is around 200 feet.

Various species of fish are found in the waters of this sea, as well as the Greenland Sea.

The only secret of interest is the occasional shipwreck.

 

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