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"Mining" the Ocean

Acadia is an important exporter of minerals. Along the coast, villages and cities tend huge colonies of curious mollusks growing on long, trailing ropes. Every couple of years, these ropes are hauled from the ocean and strung down the beaches in great reeking piles. Then the hivewatchers come bearing their roasp colonies, which swarm through the mess, each strain extracting iron, gold, tin, or some other material for its hive, which the shellfish have been engineered to extract from the seawater and store in their own shells.

It is not a particularly pleasant time to be visiting Acadia, and the residents always breath easier when the ropes have been picked clean and cast back into the sea. The hives then are gathered and rendered, and many are bought by the hivewatchers themselves for transport and trade to the inland nations.