Candle River

Mortals forget, but the land never does. This ground still remembers what it was like to be held in place by a thousand giants. To have a network of roots penetrate deep into the mother core, and a million leaves shading them from the harsh sun. Grains were set forever in motion by the river that coursed through here.   Gripplis and tengus have forgotten. Many elves have forgotten too. The Triumvirate holds the knowledge, which they get to shape to fit their needs. But as the traditional owners and protectors of this land, we must never forget.
— An elf from the Aantarandii clan
 

Candle River's basin forms the region known as Juuriki. The river has no tributaries, but it has many channels along the mangrove forest. These channels are often maintained by the gripplis, to facilitate movement & fishing opportunities.

 

Candle River owes its name to its source & shape. Its waterfall source and the tapering labyrinth of mangroves at the mouth make the river look candle-like, with the waterfall as the flickering flame, and the tapering mouth as the wide base of a candle.

 

The river is located along the arid northeastern coast of Oceasile. Although the area is arid in nature, Candle River and proximate areas are lush and mostly evergreen. The presence of generations and generations of thunderbirds along its course, and the Thurangura Waterfalls have made Candle River a permanent river that can sustain seven grippli villages.

Candle River Map

 
Juuriki, the basin of Candle River, beyond which the arid lands of northeastern Oceasile await.
 

For more information on some of the towns that exist along the river course, you can read the following articles:

    Candle River Random Encounters

River (aquatic; mid-level)

Roll the Dice
d%EncounterAvg. CRSource & Page
1-41d8 Poison frogsCR 3Bestiary, 135
5-81d4 Amoeaba swarmCR 3Bestiary 2, 24
9-131d8 Wizard’s ShackleCR 3Bestiary 5, 278
14-151d4 LacedonsCR 3Bestiary, 146
16-191d6 Giant AmoebaCR 4Bestiary 2, 24
20-251d4 Giant crabCR 4Bestiary, 50
26-281d4 Water LeaperCR 4Bestiary 5, 275
29-32Crab swarmCR 4Bestiary, 50
33-401d6 CrocodilesCR 5Bestiary, 51
41-441d8 Giant frogCR 5Bestiary, 135
45-49GrodairCR 5Bestiary 3, 143
50-52Giant (freshwater) moray eelCR 5Bestiary, 119
53-561d6 BunyipsCR 6Bestiary 2, 50
57-60Will'o'wispCR 6Bestiary, 277
61-631d8 Giant ToadCR 6Bestiary 2, 268
64-69MudlordCR 6Bestiary 4, 195
70-752d6 Giant water striderCR 6Bestiary 4, 273
76-801d8 Kawa AkagoCR 7Bestiary 5, 149
81-851d6 Sea catCR 7Bestiary 4, 233
86-901d6 Aquatic Insect, HellgrammiteCR 8Bestiary 6, 14
91-941d8 VoonithCR 8Bestiary 3, 283
95-96Dire crocodileCR 9Bestiary, 51
97-99StranglereedCR 9Bestiary 5, 237
100Giant snapping turtleCR 9Bestiary 2, 273
   

Water Flow & Climate

Enjoy the cool humidity while you can. A few days more of travel and we'll be out of Candle River's reach, and then it will be dry and hot again.
— A Yuwiire elf crossing Juuriki.

The lake above the Thurangura Waterfalls is the home to two planar portals.

 

Every full moon, a portal to the plane of air opens up. The portal stays open for 6 days. During this time, the water flow reverses and falls upward into the portal in the sky. For a few days before and after the full moon and the opening to the plane of air portal, nothing happens. Then, when the influence of the full moon wanes, the portal to the plane of water at the bottom of the lake opens up. This portal remains open for 25 days and is the main source of water for Candle River.

   
Thunderbird
Species | Sep 20, 2020

A gargantuan bird, who brings storms with them wherever they go.

Although the amount of water the river carries changes significantly throughout a moon cycle, it never dries out. The fluctuation of water levels in synchrony with the moon phases is a normal feature to all gripplis of the area. Only those living in Untuteb know where much of the river's water comes from and why the water fluctuates as it does.

 

One of the dampening factors of the water level fluctuation is the presence of thunderbirds, who carry storms wherever they go. The permanent presence of thunderbirds in Juuriki had assured, until recently, a permanent presence of rainfall that fed the region.

 

The disappearance of Pertkwugo's thunderbird has put in peril the climate of the region. Candle River and the whole Juuriki are suffering the worst drought the area has seen in many, many generations. Moreover, the river has been slowly, but noticeably over the years, decreasing its overall flow. During full moons, the water level in the regions closer to the waterfalls is becoming dangerously low.

 
The magical ecology of lightning
 

Both the flora and the fauna of the region are heavily influenced by the large amount of lightning along the course of the Candle River. The same can be said of the magical beasts and plant creatures that are common in the region!

 

The creatures traditionally thriving thanks to the ever-presence of lightning are now in decline, while those who the thunderbird kept in check are thriving. This, in turn, has made the situation of the plague-stricken gripplis even more precarious.

Type
River

Basic Information

 
Region & Continent
Northeastern region of Oceasile
 
Geography
Juuriki is bound on three sides by arid regions.
 
Inhabited by
Eight grippli clans, who protect the river.
 
Resources
Fish and insects are the most abundant resource. Pearl harvesting is performed at the end of the river. A few known gem deposits lay in the basin. The region is rich in useful plants & mushrooms, the following is an example of those used by the gripplis of Juuriki region
 
Thunderclaw
Species | Dec 1, 2021

This plant will sting you if you get close to it, discharging small lightenings.

Unfurling ferns
Geographic Location | Dec 5, 2021

A past food source thanks to the rapid growth of the ferns.

Bandicoot silver
Item | Oct 5, 2021

Moon-scented, this subterranean mushroom makes a good chunk of bandicoot, grippli, and elven diets.

 
Important Landmarks
Thurangura Waterfalls, Pertkwugo's giant mangrove trees
 
Dangerous Locations
Blood lake, Mushroom forest, & the Weeping Gates
 
Weeping Gates
Geographic Location | Oct 9, 2021

The rocky gates that signal the end (?) of the Candle River.

 
Unpredictable Personalities
Brikli, the leader of the Candle river's pirates & Drugteg Flailears, a hobgoblin rising in fame within his tribe are the two most disquieting people of the area.
 
Brikli
Character | May 9, 2022

A grippli river pirate who has carved a name for herself and her gang.

Drugteg Flailears
Character | Oct 7, 2021

A hobgoblin specialized in hunting razor anglers

Loading The Magical Ecology Of Lightening Whiteboard...
 

The mostly forgotten history of Candle River

The true source of Candle River is further south in central Oceasile. A thin stretch of desert separates the lake above the waterfalls from the rainforest. Once upon a time, a river coursed through the rainforest, then into woodland, and eventually into the plains until it reached the sea.

 

After the tengus caused vast raging arcane fires that destroyed large swaths of rainforest, woodland, plains, and deserts alike, a massive shift in elven culture took place. Over a single generation, elves experienced shifts in religious dogma, geopolitics, and their environmental stewardship. Three generations later, all but the highest ranks of The Triumvirate saw tengus as evil and foreign to Oceasile.

 
by Desertrose7

The Triumvirate fed the idea that tengus were a plague that had to be controlled. Since tengus favoured living in the forests, the elven people decided to control the forests and tengu's access to them. Usually, they did this through a combination of narrowing and then controlling the regions where rainforests transitioned to woodlands.

 

Some elven clans took even harsher measures. In areas like the true river course of Candle River, they created a desert as a natural barrier that would keep tengus isolated. The spells Sea of Dust and Alter River became the most powerful tools the elven people had to control and limit the "dangers of the tengus".

 

The strategy was only half successful. However, very few are aware of this. In just four elven generations (700 years), most elves had forgotten the inconvenient truths. They remembered what was important to the triumvirate: the tengu fires, the devastation, their insidious nature, their "foreign" place within the environment in Oceasile;, born from lightening, rather than created as stewards of the land like the elven people etc.

 
 


Nowadays, the section that used to be the source of Candle River is called by the tengus who live in the rainforest the "Quieting stream". The stream simply fades into existence as soon as it meets the desert, all its waters disappearing in an instant. A gruelling five-day desert trip from the tip of the rainforest to the lake that feeds the Candle River is all that is required to get from one section to the other of Oceasile.

 

A rainforest border controlled by Scarred Trees, and a desert area bordered by two elven clans. The elven clans leave the centre to sand krakens and purple worms and only visit to trade with the gripplis of Dribblydripdry.

by valeria2326
 

After the terrifying elven terraforming, an unknown deity opened temporal portals to the water and air planes, to avoid the whole of Candle River from disappearing downstream. The constant presence of thunderbirds plus the large amount of water generated from the water plane meant that what used to be mostly plains and some woodlands is nowadays a thriving mangrove forest.


 




Cover image: by Jay Park

Comments

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Sage RandoScorpio
RandoScorpio
11 May, 2022 20:24

I love how the information was broken up!! The animal pictures are also fantastic. What a delightful read!!! Worth the wait. :)


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19 May, 2022 05:08

Thanks, RandoScorpio! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have now also added the "secret" background to the river, which I'm not sure if it was there when you originally read it.

16 May, 2022 20:00

Eesh, they really need that Thunderbird back and figure out the water problem. O_O


Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
19 May, 2022 05:10

Hahaha, yeah. My players actually decided to get a new thunderbird be their main quest after solving several issues and being told the thunderbird used to do that.   The goblins? The thunderbird used to protect us against it.
The bunyips? The thunderbird used to eat them.
etc xD

19 May, 2022 08:00

Option 1: Get a new Thunderbird.   Option 2: Become a Thunderbird in action.


Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
17 May, 2022 19:31

Really interesting article - I love the description of the river as a flickering candle. The spoiler section is really great too. :)

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
19 May, 2022 05:13

Hello, Emily!   I'm glad you liked that description (particularly since making the map look anything like that was... a challenge). The spoiler section is actually something that has been on my brain for about 2 years, but never wrote anywhere. It's a massive secret and now it's out :O

20 May, 2022 11:20

Nice article! Was already wondering why the river would be created by portals but luckily my questions were answered after the secret history :p

Feel free to check out my WorldEmber 2022 page if you want to see what I am up to!
26 May, 2022 15:16

Awesome! I'm glad that worked out. Was the initial quote too confusing? (because that also only makes sense after you read the secret stuff)

26 May, 2022 23:06

Yeah it makes more sense after reading that but not too confusing as it is just a good way to add some mystery :)

Feel free to check out my WorldEmber 2022 page if you want to see what I am up to!
25 May, 2022 03:23

I'm loving how much information you managed to pack into this! Despite the amount, it's still a fun read. It makes your world feel real and there's more to it than just this river. I'm definitely a fan!

26 May, 2022 15:19

Thanks! It is on the long side indeed... XD
This river is the main location where my TTRPG campaign has been taking place for the last couple of years so... I had lots to write about.   I'm really glad you still had fun reading it & that it inspired a sense of the area being alive. Thank you for reading & stopping by to comment.

25 May, 2022 04:24

I really like all the map pins with interesting details, the diagram, and the forgotten history. I love how interconnected your species are.

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
26 May, 2022 15:21

Ooh, I'm glad someone checked out the map pins. There were a couple of missing descriptions, but they are now all filled in :D   Thanks for mentioning the species interconnection too, I'm pretty proud of how deep the lighting theme runs in this area (those mention in the whiteboard + those in the sidebar too).

Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
26 May, 2022 16:25

Mangroves and Grippli are always fun! I wrote about Mangroves and inter-planar waterways too. There are a lot of hazards along and in the Candle River. Seems safe enough to get to Gongon to get one of those canoes though!

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28 May, 2022 06:32

Oh yeah, but your mangroves are no more, right?   There are a lot of hazards indeed (and I just added the random encounters table)... But otherwise, where would the adventure be in travelling up the river? ;)

26 May, 2022 17:17

A very 'pleasant on the eyes' read that I think the font style really adds to. The quote blocks were very well placed and impactful and I think the gripplis are charming. All in all a great read.

28 May, 2022 06:32

Thanks, Aevri, I'm glad you found it pleasing!

26 May, 2022 21:05

I can absolutely see how this would make for a fascinating place to have a pathfinder campaign take place in! I love the visuals and the origin of the river -- picturing the portal of air opening up, sucking up the water, it's really interesting. The "true origin" of the river, covered in the spoiler box, is excellent too.   I did notice on the header "The magical ecology of lightening" that you have written 'Lightening' -- is that meant to be 'Lightning' instead?


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
28 May, 2022 06:35

I'm glad you like the area as a Pathfinder setting! I have now also added the list of random encounters I created for the river, because... what's a travelling campaign without some encounters here and there?   Also, many thanks for bringing that "Lightening" to my attention. I always spell it like that, and then I have to remember how to spell it properly, and it seems I keep missing some while proofreading...

29 May, 2022 19:02

Really cool how the elemental planes figure into this. I also like how the elves are the secret a-hole villains here! That's a great thing for adventuring parties to eventually figure out.

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1 Jun, 2022 06:02

Thanks, kitoypopy!   My players may, in fact, be about to discover at least part of the secret soon. But before they do... I'm gonna show them some elves in distress because so far, my players don't really like them xD

Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
31 May, 2022 11:09

I loved reading about your reverse waterfall! I also thought the well-populated sidebar, with its links to various species and items found in/along the river, was a great touch.

Check out my progress on WorldEmber 2022
1 Jun, 2022 06:05

Thanks!
What I loved about this challenge is that it "forced" me to write about a river I've actually been writing about indirectly for years. All those sidebar articles are past SC & WE challenge articles :P