The Flooding of Vel Syru Physical / Metaphysical Law in Creus | World Anvil
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The Flooding of Vel Syru

The wagon-road ended with an uneven wooden ramp into what appeared to be a massive open-topped barge, simply laying dry on the sands. As Vance steered the wagon in, a bored looking attendant waved him into the corner of the barge; it was already packed with the latest models of power-wagons, including some extremely expensive models that Vance knew had just left the manufactory less than a season ago.   Iocathe hopped off of the wagon, her enormous layered white dress flashing in the morning sunlight, the shimmercloth radiant. The Cartographer herself seemed slightly uncomfortable wearing something that wasn't her ordinary academician's frock, but this was a special assignment. Vance himself felt equally uncomfortable in his pinstriped suit, but at least he was wearing his regular vest, with space for his knives. His bow was back in the Capital City; there was no possible way to pack a warbow in their wagon without arousing suspicion.   "You ready?" Iocathe had opened the trunk of the wagon and was looking at Vance expectantly. Right. High society rules. Vance grabbed both of their bags and the two began to walk off the barge and down the boardwalk. While this section of Vel Syru remained dry, the sunlight was reflecting off of water on the horizon; this was going to be a flood year, and it was predicted that there would be five feet of flooding this year, deep enough to swim in without any real risk of being swept away.    The reception desk at Vel Syru was not far from the wagon-parking barge, inside a large anchored building, cornered by four pilings that reached up thirty-odd feet into the sky. The interior of the building was swanky, with mother-of-pearl inlays along the walls and the specific kind of detailed artwork murals that the UTC tended to favor Vance gave the receptionist his most winning smile, but she seemed to be only minimally aware of his presence. "Your cabin is sixty-one, marked on the map here." She pointed to the map behind her; their cabin was on the opposite end of the resort, with what looked like a full mile of boardwalk to go.   Iocathe's face fell. She leaned towards Vance, stage-whispering. "I can't walk that entire way wearing these heels!"   "Then take the heels off. Who cares?" Vance returned the whisper.   "Is that what noblewomen are allowed to do? Or do they just tough it out and deal with the blisters later?"   "Why are you asking me?"   When they arrived at cabin sixty-one, Vance was sweating, holding Iocathe's heels in his left fingers; he had shifted the bags to his shoulders as they walked the whole way. Iocathe, for her part, seemed to not be in much better shape. Her dress was not the sort of thing one would want to wear while walking a full mile, and while it was in admirable shape, Iocathe was visibly breathing in exertion.   "This had better be worth it." Iocathe grabbed the key out of Vance's hand and unlocked the cabin. Without a word, she stepped into the room, dodged the piling, and threw herself onto the overstuffed bed, kicking her legs out behind her. Vance dropped the bags in the corner and sat heavily on the one armchair in the room. He sighed, then opened his eyes.   "Iocathe. There's only one bed."  
In recognition of his service carrying her bag all the way out to their cabin, Iocathe had granted him permission to sleep in the bed with her, but she had insisted on him not undressing. Vance awoke to his limbs completely stiff, constrained by his shirt and tight trousers, and Iocathe's arms wrapped tightly around his neck as she snored next to him. There was something else, though.   "Iocathe. Wake up. We're floating."   "...huh?" The Cartographer sat up sleepily, and looked out the rear glass doors. Her eyes widened. The floodwaters had crept in overnight, and cabin sixty-one was already rocking softly against its pilings, at least a couple inches off of the loamy plains. The water was so clear as to be transparent, and were it not for the fish darting in and out between the reeds, Vance could hardly tell that there was water there at all.    Vance was already out of his formalwear, and was tightening his hunter's leathers on. "Right. A job. Cabin thirty-three, correct?"   "That's right." Iocathe gave a sigh. They were only here to ask questions of one of the guests, on behalf of Rathnait, but the Master Trader had insisted on a degree of subterfuge, to not let the guest have any inkling that they were coming.    "Well, did you want to come with, or not?" Vance laced his boots.    "No, I'm going to take in the view for a while, then maybe walk the boardwalk. You're the hardened mercenary, you'll get everything you want from the guy, but what's a Cartographer going to do? Did Rathnait think I would draw a map for them, or something?" Iocathe stepped off the bed. "Sometimes I don't know what Rathnait is thinking."   "She was willing to pay for a cabin at Vel Syru during floodstage, so if she asked me to flap my arms like a duck and make quacking noises, I'd add a little bill to my face to improve the impression." Vance stepped out the door. "Don't have too much fun today."


Vel Syru is a sprawling resort town, built on the sandy floodplains of the lower Syru river, at its confluence with the river Rhys, far upstream of the Rhys running through Qedem, Capital of the Ancients. The Syru is a river fed principally by snowmelt, and in heavy rain years, the river will flood during the early part of Second Season.   Vel Syru was specifically built for this regular occurrence, as the Unified Trade Consortium saw an opportunity on the Syru floodplain. Several pilings were placed on the plains and driven down to bedrock, and cabins and boardwalks were built, attached to those pilings. During dry periods, Vel Syru is simply a very spread out resort facility, with hundreds of feet of space between rental cabins and long boardwalks over loamy and sandy scrubgrass.   During flood periods, the structures of Vel Syru will float, lifting off the ground, moored to their pilings. The icemelt floodwaters of the Syru are crystal clear, and the flooding is typically only a couple of feet deep at Vel Syru, resulting in what has been described by Sauvage as a watery dreamscape, an entire town floating on a glassy surface of water, pilings emerging from the mirror, reflecting a pure blue sky. The deepest recorded flood in the area was about seven feet deep; Vel Syru can accomodate floods of up to twenty feet, though falling in the water when it's that deep is of course a safety hazard.   Vel Syru is a pleasant enough vacation destination when dry, and sees enough regular traffic to be profitable for the UTC most years. Flood years, however, are a bonanza; cabins are in incredibly high demand, and the UTC charges rates that are competitive with their glass palace resort in The Stagonids on Espid Island. The prices are justified, the UTC argues; too many people during the Flooding would spoil the 'magic' of the scene, and the UTC actively maintains the privacy of the resort, with hired Guild Mercenaries to shoo away those attempting to enter the Vel Syru area on their own private boats. The legality of this arrangement is a source of contention in arguments before The Magistrates, but the UTC has held firm to the idea that Vel Syru is their private investment property, to handle as they see fit.


Vel Syru is built in the most aesthetically pleasing part of the Syru floodplain, a flat and sandy area with ready access to a nearby road for Power-Wagons as well as supply by riverine craft traveling up or down the Syru. The Syru floods in other locations up and down the river, but the floodwaters up the river can be raging and unpleasant, while the floodwaters farther downriver tend to be silty and muddy. It's only at Vel Syru that the floodwater is clear and calm, a simple spreading of the water over the plains, and not an angry bend of river carving off chunks of soil as it digs a channel.   The cabins of Vel Syru are all strategically placed so that their viewing window has at most one other cabin in view, from the line of sight of the bed. The banquet hall at the resort's center is a large, three story edifice, allowing diners to see the entirety of the flood laid out before them as the banquet hall bobs in the waves.

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