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    The Storm Lords of Oerth: Part 1
    Posted on Fri, November 26, 2004 by Farcluun
    Kalem writes "Being from a coastal area that is frequently plagued by the mighty hurricane, I thought an adaptation of these storms for the southern seas and coastlines of Oerth would be an interesting endeavor. Especially for those who have never experienced one of these powerful storms.

    The Storm Lords of Oerth: Part 1
    By: Kalem
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    From the first day of Wealsun until the first day of Ready’reat, there is a natural phenomenon in the weather patterns that occur in some of the southern seas of Oerth. These occurrences are called “Storm Lords” (or Ladies). These huge, cyclone storms form mostly in the Southern Azure Sea and the Densac Gulf. Most begin as torrential thunderstorms around the Olman Islands. They form in this area most commonly from Wealsun through the middle of Harvester. As they grow, they gain a counter clockwise rotation pattern as they build. From here they grow into monstrous storms that have know to level entire cities and leave populations for months without homes or businesses. From what sages can speculate, these storms are pulled northward toward warmer waters and away from the land centers of the Amedio Jungle so they can gain even more strength. Sages also believe that these storms are the reason that first began the building of stone cities by the gray elves in Celene. But, of course, this is mere theory at the moment.

    Then, from around the middle of Goodmonth, until the end of the season, these storms also begin forming in the Oljatt Sea. These storms are usually strong by the time they are close enough for observation. The storms that build in this area of the Oljatt Sea wreak havoc among the Lordship of the Isles and the County of Sunndi. Unlike their cousins in the south, these storms prefer to take an eastern/north eastern route. These storms, if powerful enough, have been known to pass over the Lordship of the Isles, strike the peninsula between the Vast Swamp and the Spine Ridge, pass through this terrain, and enter the Azure Sea. These paths that a Storm Lord takes mostly make landfall on the eastern shores of the Azure Sea and cause destruction in Idee, Onnwal, Alissa, and if strong enough, the southern parts of the Kingdom of Nyrond. Though let there be no misconceptions, these storms have made a visit or two to the eastern coast of the Great Kingdom. Yes, Mentrey, Rel Astra, Ountsy, and the Sea Barons have seen their share of these titanic storms in their histories.

    Sages have noticed that once these storms’ “eye” (the center of the storm that the circulation revolves around) hit land, they steer to the right. This has been connected to the storm’s counter clockwise rotation. Though some of the strongest storms to hit land have went as far inland as 5 leagues before making their rightward turn. These storms sometimes make their turn to the right before they hit a land mass. Sages also speculate that if the storm feeds on warm waters, they are trying to turn back toward their “feeding ground” to keep themselves “alive.” If caught in a bay, such as the Woolly or the Relmor, They do not have much choice but to make landfall. Stronger storms do not follow this profile as much as the low to mid range storms do. But strong storms have been known to completely halt their movement as they push closer to the land mass they are approaching, beat the coastline for a day or two, and then move ashore. Also, while the storm sits, if the water is warm enough, and the air temperature is hot, they become even stronger as they wait to make land fall. Sages believe that these larger, stronger storms are too dense and large to make sharp turns from land as their weaker smaller brethren can.

    Slang names have been given for the personalities of the behavior of certain types of storms. These were started from the sailors of the fishing fleets all along the Azure Sea’s coastlines. If a sailor from these regions is asked what he thinks of these storms unusual movements and behavior. He is quick to say that he believes they are an embodiment of Procan. Showing man the true power of the sea if it should want to rise up. And to also teach men to respect the ocean and its inhabitants at all times. “ Nothing of nature moves about like that unless it knows what it’s a plannin’ to do! And ta do that, Mate, ya gotta have something ta tink wit!” The sailors also believe that wherever a storm finally makes landfall it is because the area has offended Procan or Xerbo and is sent as punishment for their mistakes.

    These storms at times travel in erratic and chaotic paths on their march toward the coastlines. Some form and move in a destination as if driven by an unknown force straight to its target. If a storm travels along a coastline for a good distance before it makes landfall, they are known as “Coast huggers.” If they should steer away from small islands and peninsulas on their trek to more open water, they are called “Land Dodgers.” If one should show zigzag movements on its course toward land, they are referred to as a “Buffoon”or “Drunker.” If one should build up, and head in a straight line right into land without changing course, it is titled either as a “Juggernaut” or a “Charger.” And the strong storms that beat a coastline for days before coming inland is commonly known as a “Punisher”or a “Godswrath.” Merchant ships and military vessels while deep in the gulf of Densac, the Azure Sea, and the Oljatt Sea usually spot these destructive storms. But by this method, only the ports that the ship enters are warned. That leaves the inhabitants only a day or two for preparations. Because of this, The Storm Lords Observation Guild was formed to try and bring warning to the populace to board up or evacuate the area and save as much property and lives as possible. But this guild will be discussed in another installment that will further explain the guild and its origins, along with guild maps showing tracks of the more devastating storms since the guild's creation.

    Another destructive force a Storm Lord brings is tidal surge. Depending on the direction from which a storm is approaching, and the strength of the storm itself, coastlines as far away as fourteen leagues can suffer tidal surges worse than where the storm actually strikes the coastline. This is due to tides in the area at the moment, the direction the storm is heading at the time of landfall, and the direction the winds are approaching from on the coastal areas. The highest tidal surges usually occur toward the north and northwestern end of the storm’s approach. This is from the force of the winds pushing the seas inland as its wrath comes bearing down upon the coast. If a coastal area is at low tide when a storm comes in, at let’s say, 130 mph winds. They could expect a tidal surge of around 10 to 15 feet. Which means the seas will be 10 to 15 feet past where they should be at low tide. (Which sometimes puts the low tides waterline where the high tide marker is). At high tide, these surges can bring the seas in 15 to 19 feet past the high tide mark. Yes, tidal surge can destroy property on a coastline that the winds of the storm are not even affecting.

    Another thing that should be discussed is storm “category” or the strength of the storms sustained winds and the gusts that emanate from its center. The Arch-Mage Cain set a scale to catagorize storm strength with this listing. In honor of the Arch-Mage, the system was named after him. The system on the “Cain Category Scale “ is measured as such:

    Category 1: 50-79 mph sustained winds
    Category 2: 80-120 mph sustained winds
    Category 3: 121-135 mph sustained winds
    Category 4: 136-154 mph sustained winds
    Category 5: 155+ mph sustained winds

    Also pressure inside the “eye”, if monitored closely, can show if a storm is showing signs of strengthening or weakening. If the pressure inside the eye begins to fall, this shows that the spinning motion is beginning to speed up, and the eye will become more dense in time, thus causing the storm to grow and build it’s sustained winds. If, however, the pressure begins to rise, the storm’s eye is losing some of its rotation power. This will cause the winds to become less powerful. Still unexplained or understood by the guild is that 95% of all storms gain their strength from dusk till dawn.

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    Re: The Storm Lords of Oerth: Part 1 (Score: 1)
    by cwslyclgh on Fri, November 26, 2004
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    wow, fascinating sarticle on applying the ideas os real world hurricanes etc. to the flanaess... good job!

    Useful (Score: 1)
    by Greyson on Sat, November 27, 2004
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    I like this article too, because it is useful for people like me who either lack the time or inclination to device a credible system of extreme weather for events in the effected areas.

    Re: The Storm Lords of Oerth: Part 1 (Score: 1)
    by Tedra ( on Sun, January 23, 2005
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    Good job on your first submission, cutie pie! I suppose this means there will be ensuing spousal rivalry? You've gotten your first submission up, but I haven't done one yet. Or does artwork kinda count? ;)

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