The Ecosystem of Sacaan

[Note: This was originally posted on my Patreon back in January]

So it’s been a while since there was a worldbuilding post on here, huh? With many apologies to Lizzie, since it’s taken me quite so long to get around to this question:

What is the ecosystem like in the sense of plants/animals/crops? Bonus question: What’s most likely to kill you / is the apex predator?

So some of this ties back into stuff I’ve already discussed with regards to food, inasmuch as a lot of crops and animals wind up on the tables in Sacaan – in terms of crops, we have root vegetables, cabbage, cauliflower, rhubarb, rye, barley, wheat, rice (though that’s a more common staple further south), and a whole passel of berries of various sweetnesses; in terms of food animals (as opposed to fish), we’re talking sheep, goats, yak, deer, reindeer, moose, boar, rabbits, chicken, geese, porpoises, smaller whales, and seals (not all of which are domesticated, obviously).

Aside from these, the other animals which call the caldera home include a variety of smaller carnivores (fishers, martens, stoats, weasels, foxes, and othersuch), as well as hares, lynxes, wolverines, bobcats, wolves, bears, and a few more unusual species, including antlered rabbit-like animals known as jackalopes. Bears in particular are sacred to Earth Brother – while Sacaask folk don’t shy away from killing them if they attack people or venture dangerously close to settlements, they don’t go hunting them unnecessarily, and there’re some very specific prayers and rites which need to be followed in the event of a bear having to be killed.

The other two sacred animals are eagles (sacred to Sky Brother) and orcas (sacred to Ocean Brother) – again, if Sacaask folk find themselves in a situation where they need to kill one of these animals, there’re rites and prayers which need to be undertaken in order to ritually purify the people involved and make amends to the deity in question.

(That also answers the part of your question regarding apex predators somewhat, given the bear and the orca are absolutely the apex predators of their particular environments).

Regarding plants which aren’t food, we’re mostly talking conifer forests and a lot of berry-producing bushes. The forested areas of the caldera floor contain a good deal more deciduous trees, including birch, dogwood, and maple, while the foothills and mountains are home to thick forests of pine, cedar, and redwood. The caldera floor also includes wide grassy plains, which’re home to any number of small ground-dwelling plants and animals, as well as herds of reindeer, caribou, and wild horses.

(Basically, the caldera is a bastard mix of British Columbia, Iceland, and Siberia, with a fair whack of ‘it’s a fantasy’ gloss because otherwise I will end up spending six months trying to map out temperature gradients and getting no writing done xD)

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