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TL;DR

We're set in a fantastic medieval world. The underground water sources have some special properties because they are exposed to something. How would these sources be mixed with the substance if they aren't all connected through water networks? It could be related to minerals deep in earth of something like that?


After posting this question, it's been pointed to me that my characters wouldn't survive such a scenario without use of magic. Bear in mind this isn't the same character as my other post, as this would have created incoherent memories. I just like to set things up with characters :p

"The cursed brought us to our knees. Lacking energy, helpless, we couldn't hope to survive any longer. Some were starting to speak strangely, words I dare not repeat to you. The great fireball seemed to give us an energy that was taken from us slowly.

Plants started dying, but not all of them. Older hunters said these plants were the toughest, and were usually hard to pull of the ground due to their long tentacles into the ground. Animals also didn't seem to be the target of this curse, as they were as energetic as before. Though the less cold resistant animals usually didn't last long, animals that had a big fur were resisting as if nothing was happening. Why was this curse targeting us specifically? No one could give us an answer..

One day, as I was tracking an harmed animal, the steps led me to a cave. It wasn't usual for us to go into small caves since they could hold great danger and were too small to be potential shelters. Today, I thank the gods I decided to follow this animal as everything became crystal clear. Inside the cave was a pool of strange waters. It looked as if it were tainted by the fire. But we knew alchemy didn't allow water and flame to mix one another, so this was impossible. From the tracks, I could say lots of animals came here to drink from the pool. Considering that there were no corpses around, I decided to taste this water myself, since the animal I was looking for wasn't here anymore and that I was very thirsty.

Suddenly, I felt a new energy running in my veins. Very similar to the one the great fireball was giving us. I started feeling dizzy from this warm feeling. But this weird feeling didn't matter, I felt warm, energized. I had just found what kept the animals alive, this source was the key to our survival and everyone needed to know about it!"

There it is! My key to survival (which oddly looks like Rhum when described that way). Using unknown means, some underground water sources have been magically enhanced to replicate the effects of the sun. Animals found these sources well before humans did, because they didn't have other means to drink (considering everything is frozen/cold and they can't melt the snow like humans would). Some plants also survived because of their long roots, which meant the earth they took their minerals from (I'm no biologist) was "impregnated" with the magical water.

I think this solves the problem of animals, plants and humans to survive.

Let's assume this "magic" comes from another substance that is mixed into water. How could the substance be propagated only in the water sources if the sources aren't connected by some water networks?

At first I didn't want magic to intervene in my environment to the exception of the "curse". Though after reflection it's been shown I needed magic to make my characters survive. I don't want to solve every problems I have with "Because magic".

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    $\begingroup$ This question, as currently worded, sounds a little too close to idea generation. I also wonder: given that you're hand-waving away your core sunlight problem with magic, what kind of answer would you be expecting us to give here? At this point, you might as well just use more magic. $\endgroup$ – Avernium Nov 20 '15 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ Hmm, I think you're right. I'm not used yet to WB's question format. What could make this question on-topic? And for the part about more magic, I edited my question! $\endgroup$ – IEatBagels Nov 20 '15 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately there's some amount of subjectiveness involved when determining whether a question is idea generation (and I haven't been here long enough to hone a strong feeling for it yet). I do think that your edit improved and narrowed the scope. The only other suggestion I could make would be to make the actual question more prominent -- it's currently buried in the text (and it's not even expressed as a question). I'll remove my close vote in a little while unless someone else shares my perspective and can explain it better. $\endgroup$ – Avernium Nov 20 '15 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah I thought about adding a "too long didn't read". I think I'll do this! $\endgroup$ – IEatBagels Nov 20 '15 at 20:37
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A long time ago a cosmic event showered the world with magical comets (not big, world ending ones, but small ones, imbued with certain powers). People who came in contact with a large amount of that energy gained magic powers, and became mages of varying strength. One such evil mage clouded the skies and brought about an eternal night.

But pieces of meteor lay scattered across the land. Around them, their magic properties nourish the world , and create oases of life in an otherwise now dead landscape.

A lake in which such a meteor crashed, would become imbued with the power to heal, or grant increased strength, etc to the user.

Good mages have gathered survivors at these places of power, and used their source of energy to generate light over an area/defenses against the evil creatures, etc.

Some animals are also able to survive in the wild because they live around these magical springs, and a good way for a lost survivor to find a way to sustain themselves is to track animals back to their den, in order to identify where a previously undiscovered piece of meteorite might be located.

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It's radioactive water.

Nuclear water, like our nuclear sun (though the water is energetic because of fission, not fusion like the sun), could be used to keep creatures warm. As long as they're highly resistant to the damaging effects of radiation they could simply drink the water laced with radioactive materials and stay warm.

It's not magic, but you might require magic to keep everyone from rapidly dying due to radiation poisoning.

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