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The Rivers of Kethaela and Kerofinela during the later Godtime


Joerg

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IMG the rivers of Kethaela underwent quite a few hardships.

 

The first drastic change happened when Orlanth broke the back of the Sshorga River as he slew SH'Harkarzeel, whose spine fell across Dragon Pass and blocked Sshorga's bed. By that time progress of the Monomyth, the blue serpent river had already joined the White Sea at the Thunder Delta, from which the Arcos River had advanced into the Redlands and the Elder Wilds, and possibly a precursor of the Listor river advancing towards Peloria. As the story of the rivers will show, there are ways for later, more dominant rivers to overpower previous weaker rivers and take over their beds.

The Book of Heortling Mythology offers a map of the Sshorga period, p.62.. This is the Golden Age, with the lands between the Spike and Kerofin completely shown, the Rockwood Mointains certainly seeded but possibly not yet risen to their future height. (Kerofin was there, so Larnste must have finished his seeding.) The Umath Mountains in the East are the Shanshan range extending south all the way to Teleos, separating the eastern realm of Vith from the rest of the world. The map extends even south of the Spike, and that Sshorg Sea contains Thinobutu...

Orlanth's slaying of Sh'harkarzeel mentions the dragon's blood:

Quote

Sh’hakarzeel’s blood flooded the seas and swore revenge.

This means that while the back of the Oslir was broken, some liquid ran off downhill, some of it in the Oslir bed north, the rest against the Sshorg River flow south, past its children still continuing uphill. That revenge would come with the Great Flood.

 

 

If you look at the maps of the Flood in the Guide and the Book of Heortling Mythology, you will notice  that Kethaela, Kerofinela and Saird remained dry during the Flood, when the Seas started a second onslaught onto the dry lands after the initial arrival of the waters. This time, the bulgiing bodies of waters were huge standing waves, covering two wide swaths of land east and west of Kethaela, Kerofinela and Saird, the western branch (the Mandadan Sea) parts of the Caladraland chain, Ditaliland, parts of the Mislari Mountains and Arstola Forest, Corolaland, parts of Dorastor, Talastar, and western Aggar, and pracically all of Darjiin and Doblian which may yet have been undivided by the Yolp range of volcanoes. The eastern branch aka the Aroka Sea would have run across western Prax, central Dagori Inkarth, the eastern Rockwoods east of Greatway, central Balazar, the Elf Sea, and all of the Arcos Valley as the Oslir Sea.

There are maps in the Guide (p.684) and the Book of Heortling Mythology (p.74). the latter giving us the name of the five mothers of Worcha:

(Clockwise from the north-east): Oslira, Aroka, Slarelos, Hancheros, Mandadan.

Both maps skimp on detail about the mountains framing the Pass, but IMG the mountains of Aedin's Wall remained unaffected, for mythical reasons. That would mean that easternmost Arstola (according to the Shannon Appelcline interview the oldest part of the forest), Doktados Mountain, most of Halikiv and Aggar east of Mt Soren would have remained dry (the rough region of Thrinbarri, I think).

 

Modern Heortland (just beyond the Storm Mountains) is where the Storm Gods of Kerofinela and surroundings fought off and slew Worcha. The standing waves arching over the Rockwood Mountains persisted a little longer, but were wittled away by the Storm gods. In the North, Valind froze their substance in his ever expanding glacier, in the south, Orlanth and his kin blew the water cover over many a drowned land dry. Thryk may have started out as an eastern Rockwoods hero overcoming the Aroka Sea by freezing its substance together with Inora.

The waters covering the southern parts of Genert's Garden and Tada's kingdom receded, but the land had been robbed of much of its fertility, and the beaten seas left salt on their retreats.

It isn't quite clear whether and how much Zola Fel and Seolinthur contributed to the Flood, or whether they remained true to their vows to Genert and Tada and remained in their valleys if not in their beds. In Western Prax, I assume that the remnants of the Oslira sea found refuge in the wester Oases (Cam's Well, Day's Rest, and most prominently Moonbroth) and hid inside the body of Eiritha. North of the Rockwood Mountains, the Elf sea was formed out of the remains of the Aroka Sea. The Oslir Sea retreated northward, but was eaten up by the Glacier much like the White Sea.

IMG Valind's Glacier never reached much further south than Vanch and Sylila, but his son Thryk gathered the children of Inora and led lesser glaciers supported by ice storm giants and Hollri into the foothills of the Rockwoods, the Indigo Mountains, the Quivin Mountains, and the Storm Mountains, beaten back by their kin among the Storm Brothers and the sons of Storm Bull. (Another yet mostly untold epic of the Gods War.) But much of that happened on the eve of the invasion of the Unholy Trio, which shattered Valind's Glacier and stole much of the momentum of Thryk's followers after their leader had succumbed to Orlanth.

 

What does this mean for the rivers of Kethaela?

Those of Heortland are completly inside the dry area defended by Orlanth, and those rivers with their headwaters in the Skyreach Mountains or east of those should be fine, too. Northern Heortland and Sartar did not yet have the Engizi river, the Creek, or the Stream, but that doesn't mean that their beds weren't already occupied by lesser rivers later overwritten by the three celestial river brothers.

The Creek would have been the shared bed of the Chorms River and the Nymie river, invading the western foothills of the Quivin Peaks and the northern Storm Mountains, respectively, at least until the former path of the Sshorga River threatened to become a sea. Much of the Creek river bed would have belonged to the Arfritha River that probed into the Quivin Foothills from the north, and the lesser rivers that probed into the Indigo Mountain foothills from the south.

THe upper course of the River, above the Lakes, might be the work of Engizi alone, although the Guide and AAA shows three minor rivers running down from the Aldachur region joining the River bed. However, these might have been tributaries of the Donalf Creek before the cave-in/wash-out of Snake Pipe Hollow and the upper River valley.

The Choralinthor Bay was part of the Faralinthor Sea after the Flood, which probably means that the Troll Strait as the former approach of Sshorga was at least temporarily flooded in the conflict, and that the Kethaelan rivers may have been robbed off their source by Worcha's birth.

 

After Worcha had been slain by Orlanth, the areas of the Hancheros and Slarelos seas were claimed by Faralinthor, the lover and protector of Esrola during the Flood Wars, hence left in peace by Orlanth afterwards, and able to take over the parentage of the Kethaelan and Kerofinelan rivers connected to that body of water. But peace with Orlanth did not mean safety from Vadrus - Faralinthor was slain during Valind's Ice Age, and his former sea basin became a salt desert, and Choralinthor bay a group of muddy puddles. After the demise of Faralinthor all the Kerofinelan and Kethaelan rivers would have fallen dormant, leaving wadis behind.

The Ice Age damaged the rivers north of the Rockwoods and the Dragonspine by freezing up their sources. The Oslir was further isolated by Manarlarvus's Dome that hid Dara Happa and their fragment of the Sun Disk from the Glacier. Up in the Rockwoods, the lesser glaciers of Thryk and Inora  collected what water they could from the rivers, too.

South of the Rockwoods, the Faralinthor Sea kept feeding the rivers, who were bled by the demands of the ice.

 

On the Praxian side, Zola Fel and Seolinthur might have maintained their connection with the Sshorg Sea and Togaro, remaining active even before the Breaking of the World. The Vingkotling lands would have had to rely on Heler for watery fertility. The Unity Battle towards the end of the Ice Age, after Stormfall, would have been fought without any rivers participating, while Earthfall saw the (in the end futile) efforts of Seolinthur to defend Genert's Garden.

 

The Breaking of the World paradoxically was a big boon for Kethaela and its rivers. While initially not enough to re-awaken Choralinthor, a meagre connection to the heart of the seas became possible as the western seas fed by Neliomi and Hudaro rushed into the X-shaped gaps in the Earth Cube, re-connecting the Troll Strait tentatively to the Heart of the Seas, although now from the west. (Not that that mattered for long, as Magasta formed the hitherto unknown Homeward Ocean in the center of the world).

Soon afterwards, the battle between Korang the Slayer and Sky RIver Titan and his nine companions changed the rivers of the world forever. IMO the river beds of the Kethaelan and Kerofinelan rivers were just being reclaimed when Engizi and his brothers leapt down to their headwaters at Skyfall Lake, in the Indigo mountains and the Quivin mountains, greatly enhancing the local rivers.

The Syphon followed the command of Engizi as well. rushing down into the Chaos Void, but this river had a Chaos Void at its headwaters, and continued to pull water from the Heart of the Seas.

The other local rivers sought and found the isolated waters hiding in the upper crust of the Earth Cube or dropped by Heler, and called those to follow them into the Maelstrom. While they sacrificed volume from bulging over their beds, their currents swelled with these waters. The initial rush cost the rivers most of their sea nature, which was replaced by the gift of Heler, aka sweetwater.

With Choralinthor re-awakened by Engizi, the young sea god took up the responsibility of his father to connect the rivers to the Heart of the Sea, even though the currents now run against that direction, the regained unity of the waters strenghened the river deities again. For a while, the sea front became less harsh than it had been throughout the Ice Age, but as the Chaos Age went on, these regained lives faltered again, until the mortal (or lesser) species fougt the I Fought We Won battle and initiated the Silver Age.

The rivers of Esrolia were definitely back in business in the Silver Age, when Vogarth Strongman dammed up the river at Koravaka (the Esrolian Necropolis) to keep the Dead limited to their city, now on an island, except for their special day out once in a year. And the Syphon presumably kept at washing away the Poisonblood, much like the re-directed Sounders River kept at washing away the miasma emerging from below the Block.

North of the Dragonspine, the Oslir and Black Eel Rivers and their tributaries took up their work again, too. draining the land to the north. We know this because the Nogatending weeder folk of the Black Eel traveled that river in their living bird boats.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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