Clearwater Commission

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The Clearwater Commission was a team of scientists and military personnel established by the Gudersnipe Foundation, tasked to deal with the sitation at Deadwater Lake. The lake had first been discovered at the beginning of the Second Chaotic Period by the old Gudersnipe Army, who were astounded to find what appeared, for all the world, to be a natural lake with unnaturally-high radiation levels.

Using specially designed equipment, the Commission carried out the first arial surveys of the Daraka Mountains, the Darcken Rift Valley, and the mountain ranges that boardered Deadwater Lake. They very quickly determined that no natural process could explain the massive and unique geologic formations they were seeing. It also didn't take a genius to notice that the fatal levels of radiation on the ground didn't get there by themselves.

Search for the Truth[edit]

By A.Y. 197 when the Comission was formed, the Drack-people existed in name-only. The Commission noticed that it was probably no coincidence everything south of Erum had 'Drack' in the name, and here along the Agras River where a bunch of people still calling themselves the Drackens.

Nearly 2500 years had passed since the Drack-people evacuated their ruined homeland, so all the Commission got out of the modern Drackens was that their people had "fled a great ill", and a bunch of stories about the brave 75,000 who settled New Hope and built a city.

So the Commission did the only sensible thing, and went to the Library of Arindell, where a quick sweep with Geiger counters determined that pregnant women and children probably shouldn't handle the books or drink from the drinking fountains. However, the sweep did not lead them to any specific volumes.

Eventually, the Commission located dozens of books from the lost land of Drack (though admitedly its location was pretty obvious). Though the language had changed signficantly over the eons, it wasn't hard to tell from the books that the Drack had extensive knowledge of nuclear chain reactions.

A quick survey mission was quickly able to confirm that the craters dotting the Gurek Desert on the eastern-side of the Barrier Range were the result of atomic weapon-strikes. Gurek also held faint traces of residual radiation and also curious ruins of marconian cities. ('Gurek' is also a corruption of a Marconian swear-word).

Discovery[edit]

Perhaps most importantly, the Commission found a map showing several Drack atomic reactors. After adjusting the scale, they laid this map on a radiological survey of the region, which it matched well enough to draw some conclusions.

With the mystery now solved, the Commission set out determine what, if any, actions should be taken. All the rain that fell on the Darakan Mountains flowed, eventually, into Deadwater Lake, where it was contained (the then ancient name of Clearwater Sound was given by the last Drack to signify that the sea was safe from contamination).

Further, a massive series of earthworks was an early-warning system, as the lake would overflow only there and in a small enough manner so as to provide years to remedy the situation. The foundations of a processing plant were found at the site, which was likely never completed, but could have been used to filter water and let it flow into the sea.

The Commission concluded that there was enough area set aside to contain Deadwater Lake for another 18,000 years, assuming no significant changes to the environment. By then, contaminated debris would have sunk to the bottom and been burried by silt, at which point the earthworks would break and allow a gradual release of water to reach the sea.

The Daraka Mountains would likely never again be safe for human habitation. The exposed reactors were buried by now, but still exuding deadly amounts of radiation. The Commission deemed the area "unsafe, but contained".

Actions[edit]

Cleanup of the region was out of the question. It was simply too large and too badly contaminated. The Gudersnipe Foundation at the time did not have the resources, and even still did not have them in the Sixth Age.

The Foundatin placed thousands of radiation and weather monitoring stations all over the region, and carried out numerous high-altitude flights over. It was eventually concluded that the steps, hastily taken by the surviving Dracka twenty-five centuries earlier, would be adequate as long as the region remained uninhabited.

Seacrest[edit]

The Seacrest Spire Flight aided the Drackens in sealing the contaminants, and had continued watch over the area during the intervening millenia. Seacrest Spire itself was well aware of the earthworks and the safety system, and had plans to take over the old Waterdrake Eerie several thousand miles away if the lake ever overflowed.

Kepama Plain[edit]

The nearest inhabited region is the Kepama Plains, home to the indigenous Kepakemapa People. Being nomads, the plain is sparsely populated, the Dracken Rift Valley and Erum Mountains provide a geographic barrier against fallout.