About the Morae River


Solturna is the westernmost territory of the continent, Orcura. It covers just over 300,000 square miles of grasslands, forests, mountains, deserts, and salt beds. This entire territory and its ecosystems rely solely on one water source, The Morae River.  The Morae is the largest river in Orcura and flows for 2,348 miles finally emptying into the Dura Sea.  The river originates in the Balandic Mountains as Lake Roac. Here, an average snowfall of 304 cm in late winter feeds the Morae for the year.

Although its source is enduring, the Morae River will recede slightly over the course of the year.  Snowfall stops in early spring and the mouth of the river is affected to the point of pulling away from the Dura. The Dura Sea has a high salt content of 250 grams per kilogram of seawater. This results in a dry, cracked, salt-coated surface reaching for miles inland from the mouth of the Morae.

From fall to spring, the Morae runs strong and can reach up to 804 meters across at its widest point. At Yabun Pass, the riverbed lies as much as 29 meters below the surface. Here, the river feeds three of its estimated five caves, two of which are fully submerged. The Morae slows and meanders through grasslands until it finally reaches the dunes and eventually breaks into a delta.

Many life forms that live along the banks of the Morae depend on the unique ecosysytems it sustains. There are over 46 million different species of animals that live along the Morae as well as 400,000 plant species that rely on it for life.

66 Responses to About the Morae River

  1. What a wonderful concept and such beautiful artwork, Brynn!

    As a writer, this is just the type of project that lifts my spirits and kicks my writer’s imagination into high gear.

    I must admit I have a soft spot for things of this nature and brings me back to works such as WETA Studios’ “The World of Kong” and Wayne Douglas Barlowes’ “Expedition”, two of my most cherished books in my large collection.

    I can’t wait to have a copy of “The Morae River” in my hands.

    I wish you all the best of luck in getting “The Morae River” completed and published. If I’m not the first in line to purchase, then I most assuredly will be the next!


    A. David Smith

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much David! Im very glad you like the project. Hopefully I’ll see you at APE. If not, the book will be available online soon after the show. It wont be the whole project but it will be the first half of it. Also, I love the other projects you mentioned :)

  2. Ben says:

    what a treat to find your site! I’ll definitely be looking for this when it comes out.

  3. Ramon says:

    I’m environmental consultant, and find your work beautiful and interesting. I’ll be folowing you and waiting to see the complete book.

  4. Pingback: Brynn Metheny – The Morae River | Gazetem Sanat

  5. Andy says:

    Beautiful work. I’m a big spec biology fan and followed the link from the planet Furaha blog site. Keep it going and I’ll certainly buy a hardcopy book when it arrives in Ireland.


  6. mordicai says:

    Great– just great. Worldbuilding is the best hobby. I’m a fan.

  7. Bob says:

    Nice artwork. One question though. Solturna is described as the westernmost territory of the continent Orcura, but the map shows it located on the right side, or eastern side, of the continent. Perhaps maps of this world use the convention of locating South at the top of the map, unlike Earth. That would explain my confusion.

    • admin says:

      Good question. I had always imagined it being upside down and that east would be to the “left”. It had to do with the origins of the continent itself and where it is sitting in context to our own reality. (Hope that makes sense) I should probably indicate a compass on the map now that I think about it. Thank you so much for the comment! Good observation! :D

  8. Pladd says:

    Just wondering, is there life elsewhere on the planet or is it located only around the Morae? If there is I’d love to see animals from the other regions.

  9. Adam says:

    Your designs feel organic and I truly enjoy the project.

  10. Julian Henry says:

    Making imaginary creatures and writing entries on each one is the exact thing I used to do as a kid. I feel as though you have taken my childhood dreams and made them a reality. Thankyou!

  11. Tabitha says:

    The amount of detail and imagination that goes into each drawing is astounding. I love reading the descriptions. I hope you don’t mind me featuring a few of these in my school art project (all copyrighted to you, of course)- they’re amazing!

  12. Parasky says:

    This is truly a great project, and I see it has attracted many people who are into speculative biology. I don’t mean to seem selfish or anything, but I’m the admin of the Speculative Biology forum, a rapidly growing forum dedicated to speculative biology with over 200 members and affiliation with other projects like Snaiad and Sagan IV. I would like to invite you (and anyone else who is interested) to join and share a few of your ideas, and maybe even pick up a couple.

    Anyways, even if you don’t, this is still a great project with lots of attention to detail and great illustrations.

    • admin says:


      Thank you very much! I would love to join the forums. I always enjoy looking through ideas that other people are coming up with. I appreciate the invite! Thanks again!

  13. I like your blog. It is a real gem. I really hope you don’t mind but did you create the site design from scratch? I am constantly looking to improve the look of my body armor site.

  14. Michelle says:

    I love this project. The work on here is beautiful, not to mention incredibly creative. I don’t think I’ve seen a blog/ story quite like this and I can’t wait to see the book- it’s incredibly inspiring!

    I’ll definitely be following your rss.

    Best of luck!


  15. Paul says:

    Hi Brynn, the post at Drawn! on your work caught my eye, and I am enjoying it very much! What a great idea! Your talent is as immense as Orcura.


    P.S. This is a minor thing, but there’s a small typo in your description (“Although it’s source is enduring” -> should be “its”).

    • admin says:

      Thanks so much for visiting! I’m glad you like the work.
      Thanks for the heads up about the type hehe, I’ll fix it now :P

  16. Michel Kingg says:

    Hello My boss Have a Question is their any chance we con make a movie based on your story and illistration.

    • admin says:

      That’s very thoughtful! At the moment, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t adapt it in any way for your uses. Thanks for asking though. :)

  17. Kevin says:

    I just recently heard your interview on the Science… Sort Of podcast with the PaleoPals and decided to check this out. Everything on this blog is fantastic and mind blowing. I used to do things like this in my free time — but having no artistic skills it’s all basically in my head. I just want to give a kudos to you, this takes tremendous talent, skill, creativity and dedication. Keep it up, I can’t get enough of it!

  18. Michel Kingg says:

    no im fired and Aproductions cloased down

  19. SacredDutchman says:

    I wish i could draw like this…making up animals, plants ecosystems is something i do every day but with my drawing skills…well lets say compared to yours my creatures are little more then stick figures :)
    I’ll be folowing this project with great interest, keep up the great work !

  20. Black Flower says:

    Dear author… I’m not such good english-speaking, so I’m sorry about possible mistakes. But there’s some things, not depends of language)
    Can you explain, why the Morae River flows up to elevation? Obviously, that chain of icelands is the prolongation of Balandic Mountains (in geomorphology) – so, delta can’t locate here. But in place, there the river cames to sea very close – yes, very possible.
    Please, take some base knowledge in geomorphology and tectonics, and don’t make so ridiculous mistakes)

    …mmm, I’m afraid of asking about climate, already)))

    • admin says:

      Black Flower, Don’t worry about the language, I understand the just of what your saying. I’m not sure if maybe I wrote incorrectly or if it isn’t clear but the Morae River flows from the Balandic Mountains to the Dura Sea – from higher elevation to lower elevation. This entry could be a bit “off”. I’ve been doing some editing as stated in some of the posts on the front page of the blog. In any case, I appreciate your comment, I’m no geologist and so I guarantee this project will be riddled with mistakes. (That doesn’t make it ok but its bound to happen in these beginning stages.) This project is a work in progress which is why I do really appreciate comments from readers… However, I do know that water does flow to lower elevations rather than up mountains. Thanks again!

      • Black Flower says:

        Well, ok) And, if you wish, you may aks for help in such questions. I’d like to help to another author) Perhaps, in private communication… hmmm… I’d explain, why it’s an elevation in delta location?

        • admin says:

          Yes, you’re more than welcome to email me at this address: contact@themoraeriver.com
          The map doesn’t explain that rest of the land mass. Solturna is connected to a larger continent. Maybe that’s where its confusing? I have a rough sketch you can look at here —>Orcura I won’t be exploring the rest of the continent but it gives an idea of where Soltuna sits.

          • Black Flower says:

            Thanks! I’ll wright at this email (maybe not today, it’s night here already)) And, using biggest map, maybe, we can think about climate on your planet? ;) Wait for my email)

          • Black Flower says:

            grrr. I’m sleeping :D not “wright”, but “write”, of course :D DD

  21. jacob says:

    im having trouble conjuring up some herbivorous species. im in the proccess of making a project similar to yours, but im doing it on a whole PLANET. could you point out any good sites?

    • admin says:

      Yes, herbivores can be tricky. There are lots of sites that host similar projects. Two places I would look first are the Speculative Evolution Forum and This Blog. These sites collect most of the alternative evolution projects around the web and so you are more likely to find projects for inspiration with how others might have handled things. However, I would recommend first going to National Geographic or renting books or movies on animals. Learning about herbivores here on earth will help with ideas and will not be influenced by another artists interpretation. I listed some books here that might be helpful too. Hope this answers your question.

    • admin says:

      One other thing I forgot. David Attenborough did a documentary series on mammals. He has a good section on herbivores that I love. Look out for it. :)

  22. jacob says:

    by the way, when is your next species coming out?

  23. jacob says:

    holy bejeezes. that new predator is…wow. i love it. It looks like a really awesome species!!

  24. jacob says:

    another thing…maybe could consider water and flying species. also important for a ecosystem

  25. jacob says:

    in the future you could consider a documentary using realistic animation. that would be great to.

    • admin says:

      Hehe thanks. The river itself is full of fauna I will be exploring soon. I hope to explore more flying species soon as well. If I had the resources to create 3d animation I would do so ;) thanks.

  26. jacob says:

    i said in the future. Im sure this book’s going to make a lot of money$. Even if you don’t have enough after, just a suggestion.

  27. jacob says:

    thanks for the help. i’ve got eleven herbivores in mind! Thanks!! Im excited to start. Quite the artist myself…
    definatly not as good as you. Still enough to impress.

  28. jacob says:

    In facti know someone who is a makes websites for people. he is going to help me with it.

  29. jacob says:

    sorry. didnt want to put in is a.

  30. jacob says:

    how did you get all your pictures on the site? what did you use to color them?

    • admin says:

      Some of the images are drawn on paper – those I scan in. the others are drawn directly into the computer. All of the images are colored in photoshop.

      • jacob says:

        my sisters got a scanner…i think. how do you draw them into the computer? Which ones did you draw into the computer? Is there a special program for it?

        • jacob says:

          Also, how do you make them look so 3d and in-body like?
          is it just the way you draw or something special you use? im having troubles making this one creature(carnivorous)3d. Also, how do you put in the different depths of your creatures?

          • admin says:

            I use photoshop cs3 to paint and draw in the computer with an irregular shaped brush. I use a wacom tablet to draw – its like holding a pencil. As far as making them “look 3d” I suppose it’s just how I work. I try to push things back by bringing the background forward over the foreground in some ares to push the foreground back. I don’t really use filters in my painting so it mostly what I’ve learned from being train traditionally.

  31. jacob says:

    My cousin has one of those tablets. Shes a awesome drawer.
    i pretty much learned from her. Y should definatley look into that. It was quite some time ago i used one of those.
    She used pretty expensive model. I should look into that…

  32. Mexanik says:

    Great artworks and very interesting project =)

    About location of Solturna: maybe something like this? Sorry about using your picture %’ )

  33. kyle says:

    the idea of creating a isolated enviroment is a very sciencific and awsome idea to go along with i can’t wait to see the other
    ecosystems and new species of flora and fauna maybe you could make some more prehistoric reptillian-like creatures

  34. Emil Collin says:

    Hey there this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Emil,

      Sorry for the delay. I use wordpress to run this blog. I style it with a CSS style sheet that I modify in Dreamweaver. I’m really not an expert in this sort of thing – most of everything I’ve done is just what I’ve figured out by messing around with the CSS. Anyway, I hope that helps :P

  35. thai flower says:

    your design look very beautiful I’ll be folowing you I am a thai fan

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