The Goddess Hitora
claims this river as her own. She protects her own territory and its inhabitants, as long as they honor her and the river's environs. The Lutra
is one such, they follow and worship her, so she protects them in turn.
This river travels from a hidden source in the mountains far to the north of Animus
. It winds through many lands, meandering under mountains, through canyons, near swamps and lakes, before eventually emptying into the Southern Sea. No one knows the source of its waters, but many have sought its locations over the years.
The Sweetwater river has a thriving ecosystem, both normal and magical species, even Fae and Outsiders. Any of these are welcome, as long as they don't harm the river or its inhabitants. (The normal predation of natural beings is not included).
Certain areas are protected by various animals, weather, and/or magic and are under the control of the Goddess Hitora or her priests. Only the followers of Hitora know that she actually often travels the river, enjoying watching those that travel along it, seeing their adventures. She loves the bustle of travelers and merchants traveling to and from the sea and cities along the way. She often pretends to be a young girl, woman, nymph, or other water creature.
A variety of natural and magical creatures live in the environs of the river, it is also very attractive to all creatures of the water subtype including extraplanar beings. Any freshwater plants live in and out of the water along the river's banks.
When they needed a safe haven along the river to hide from their enemies, she provided for them. Leading the tribe to a protected valley, through a long tunnel under a mountain. It incorporated all that a growing tribe would need to survive. Food, water, shelter, protection, and other resources.
The southern tunnel is protected by a swarm of piranha-like fish that are the favored prey of the Lutra but a terror to anyone else. To the north is a misleading combination of rapids, drop-offs, and a maze of tunnels. Above is hidden by fog and winds. Interlopers can get lost for days or longer and many are never heard from again.