Reef of Broken Dreams | E. Christopher Clark

Reef of Broken Dreams


The Reef of Broken Dreams is one of the so-called Filters, created by the goddess Phina to help keep safe the purgatorial paradise of Eden.


An enormous coral reef system, it is located just off the southern coasts of Quadling Country and Yesterland. And aside from presenting all of the problems for watercraft that a typical reef provides, the coral acts as a siphon—feeding off the hopes, ambitions, and aspirations of those who come too close and turning those positive emotions into feelings of hopelessness and despair.

The afflicted who don’t turn back after they’re hit by the doldrums will inevitably run aground, easy prey for the nahnlaríx and other marine predators who call the reef home.


The Reef stretches from the Cape of Shifting Sands in the west to Cape Dodder in the east, picking up protection of Eden from where the western half of the The Desert at the Edge of Existence ends in the south of Quadling Country and continuing on until the eastern half of the Great Desert begins in the south of Yesterland.


The reef, despite its supernatural abilities being downright deadly to sapient outsiders, has no effect on non-sapient species and no effect on sapient species (such as the halflings and halfling-descended mixers) who have been adopted by the land and its goddesses as indigenous peoples. Therefore, despite what an outsider might think, the reef supports an extraordinary diversity of life. Turtles, whales, fish of all sorts—they call call the place home. Halflings fish here, birds visit to nest or roost on the islands, and there are more merfolk to be found here than in any other place in Eden—even the legendary Mermaid’s Cove in Neverland.

Coral Reef, Barrier
Location under


Author's Notes

Special thanks to AuthorGoddess for this article idea, which she shared on my Twitch stream the week of August 8–12, 2022.

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Dec 13, 2022 14:08


Check out the worlds of Starhome and Magic Earth
If you are looking for my Worldember articles check Magic Earth or My Worldember Progress Page
Dec 13, 2022 17:59 by E. Christopher Clark

I know, right? The scariest things I end up writing end up being as surprising to me as to anyone else. I had no idea I had something so scary ready to come out today.

Check out my progress on the Cabinet of Curiosities
Dec 13, 2022 14:11 by Chris L

Sounds like a horrible place to end up! And you found your spot for Neverland!

See WorldEmber 2023 Hub for my WorldEmber progress.

Check out my challenge winning article: Ghost Boy.

Dec 13, 2022 17:59 by E. Christopher Clark

Yes, definitely a bad place to be. And yes, I know where Neverland is. :-)

Check out my progress on the Cabinet of Curiosities
Dec 13, 2022 19:12 by Sailing Ocelot

It may be a small article... But its full of amazing worldbuilding ideas!! The introduction works great and hooks me onto not only learning more about the reef, but also about your world.   I wonder how this reef causes people to perceive the Halflings? Is this reef well known by outsiders, does it end up in myths and legends or it completely misunderstood?

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
Dec 13, 2022 23:21 by E. Christopher Clark

Thank you for the comment and for the great questions. One of the things that pops up in my most recent novel is that outsiders passing by see the Halfling cities and think they're abandoned. I haven't really explored why that was the case (for this book, it was because it's a mostly realistic book full of human beings in a copy of the real world and halflings seemed like a step too far for those readers) but now I'm intrigued to explore this a bit more. And to answer your questions, of course!

Check out my progress on the Cabinet of Curiosities
Dec 14, 2022 12:23 by Dani

Oooo...another nice one!! Do the emotions consumed by the reef have any effect on its inhabitants--or on those who rely on those inhabitants for food?

You are doing a great job! Keep creating; I believe in you!
Luridity: Where love is love and life is lived. Contains NSFW content.
Now with serialized fiction on Ream!!
Dec 14, 2022 14:41 by E. Christopher Clark

Ooh, good questions! I'm not sure, but I think "yes" to both.   Thanks for reading!

Check out my progress on the Cabinet of Curiosities
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