In my book series, a group of a few hundred explorers are sent from a planet called Ishgabangaloodoo to explore Sea World.

Some things to know about Ishgabangaloodoo:

  • Its citizens are referred to as Ishgas
  • It culturally resembles Victorian Britain but has technology on the level of Star Wars
  • It is a planet city (think Coruscant from Star Wars)
  • The Ishgas are the descendants of the Atlanteans (the ancient inhabitants of Sea World, but this history has been forgotten)

Some things to know about Sea World:

  • The planet is almost completely underwater, with only a few scattered islands poking above the ocean surface. These islands are inhabited by the Dolphinesian (think native Hawaiian) and Platypusian (think Maori) Tribes, as well as a Kangaroo Island (think Aboriginal Australians) and a small pirate colony.
  • The planet was not always like this, being relatively Earth-like until a magic ritual gone horribly wrong flooded the planet.
  • The native civilization of the areas now underwater was the Atlantean Civilization. They built the remarkable, majestic, and ahead-of-its-time metropolis of Atlantea, but they left the planet for Ishgabangaloodoo 10,000 years earlier when the planet flooded.
  • The Atlanteans placed waterproof domes over a little less than half of their city, but the city flooded too fast for them to protect the entire city, so they left.
  • Underwater, civilizations of anthropomorphic fish (Reef City) and anthropomorphic crustaceans (The Lobster Empire) have sprung up. Both have Roman-level technology and organization, but the Lobsters are more aggressive.

Some things to know about the exploration team:

  • The group of explorers numbers around 2,000
  • The explorers have no desire to colonize the planet and are instead looking for artifacts of Atlantean History
  • The explorers have built more waterproof domes over the parts of the city they are exploring
  • The explorers, after unknowingly stealing an Atlantean artifact from their territory, have antagonized the Lobster Empire and this has resulted in a retaliatory raid that saw the lobsters stealing the explorers' entire stored food stash
  • Since they were not expecting underwater civilizations, the Ishgas did not bring much with them in terms of weapons, so they have their hands full defending against lobster raids and patching leaks in their domes.
  • Ishga crops will not grow in the sand at the bottom of the exploration domes, so farming in the domes is not an option
  • The island civilizations are very hostile to outsiders and will not provide the Ishgas with food
  • The Ishgas have access to 10 submarines as well as scuba suits that can provide the user with oxygen for up to 2 hours
  • The Ishgas are operating in areas anywhere from 300-500 feet below the surface.
  • Eating sentient beings is considered cannibalism, so they will not eat the corpses of dead Lobster Empire soldiers unless they get desperate
  • Another food shipment from Ishgabangaloodoo would take about a month to arrive.
  • The water temperature is around the same as that of the Caribbean.

Now for my question: Now that the Ishgas have been cut off from their food supply with no easy way to get it back, what will they survive on until more food from Ishgabangaloodoo?

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    $\begingroup$ No fish available? I mean fish fish not sentient fish $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Oct 19, 2018 at 13:32
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    $\begingroup$ @ShadoCat They are there for the Atlantean Tome, a magical book that catalogs every single thing in existence. It's basically an omniscient database in book form. $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2018 at 2:27
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    $\begingroup$ 500 people with fishing poles scattered all over the place should be able to catch enough to feed 4 people each, on average, per day. Avoiding starvation should be the first priority. Since the locale is Caribbean-ish, it should have the equivalent of these $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Oct 20, 2018 at 8:22
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    $\begingroup$ @nzaman and there's also the fact that they're doing this underwater instead of above water, so one thing is they would have to do this in 2-hr shifts. Another thing is they'd have to figure out how to hide themselves from the fish they are trying to catch because they'd be in plain sight of the fish down there. $\endgroup$ Oct 20, 2018 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ They don't have a base on the surface? How about boats? Where have they set up camp? If underwater, what about oxygen? Submarines don't have an unlimited air supply. Also, if fish were that smart, both the lobster people and the fish people would have starved by now $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Oct 20, 2018 at 15:10

3 Answers 3


The sensible option

No food supplies, hostile natives, unable to progress with their explorations until further supplies arrive? It's time to go home.

The Victorian option

Since you have compared them to the Victorians, the other option is to do as the Victorians would have. Bribery. Since you have civilisations down there and civilisations run on money, find something you can use as money, bribe generals, suck up to princes. Hire locals as mercenaries and go to war. It shouldn't take them more than a few months to be effectively running the show. After which you start killing anyone who doesn't accept your bribes or back down from your technological superiority.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If it takes a month for more supplies to arrive, they might lack the food to make the trip home. (Which for the purposes of worldbuilding is probably a good thing; it closes the plot hole of why they don't do the sensible option.) $\endgroup$
    – Ray
    Oct 19, 2018 at 16:49

Additional to Separatrix anser: Here are some more:

The Researcher option

Look around, what do you see? Any unintelligent sea animals like shells? see horses? .. Any plants?

The Sci-Fi-Techie option

There was the experimental 3D printer recipe for a food replicator / plankton-filter-protein-extractor ...

The "Adventurers" option

Steal it from The Lobster Empire

The Tomb Raider option

The 10.000 year old cookies in the perma frost layer around the old what-do-i-know-but-its-still-cold (refrigerator?) are still edible

The Spy option

The lobster people, the fish people and all the others have to eat something (and don't tell me, the only eat one another). Just find out what.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ About the spy option: you're right about the first part: the fish and lobsters CAN'T eat each other because they are both sentient beings, so that is considered cannibalism. Maybe they've domesticated manatees or something and farm kelp? $\endgroup$ Oct 19, 2018 at 15:35
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    $\begingroup$ @TheWeaselSagas Not everyone cares about cannibalism like that, so they could eat each other. Much nicer if they don't, though. $\endgroup$
    – Upper_Case
    Oct 19, 2018 at 21:29
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    $\begingroup$ @TheWeaselSagas I don't know if they have a cannibalism problem. The real problem is, that they have to eat more than each other, or they will starve really soon, since one needs much more food to build ones own body and provide energy to get more food than the own body contains in nutrients. If the Ishgas are unlucky, all other people are at least partially photosynthetic or the main food source vanished just yesterday. $\endgroup$
    – Henning M.
    Oct 24, 2018 at 21:44

The cannibal option

Food lasts until there is only one explorer left. This may not be healthy, but hey, an emergency is an emergency.

I know the answer said they wouldn't eqt them lobsters unless desperate. My solution is for after the lobsters have been eaten too.


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