Baths of Iverbent

The Baths of Iverbent is a Bathhouse in Scorval, south of Iverbent. It is a faithful recreation of The Elven Rinse Bathhouse using most of the original building's materials.

Albeit now operating under a different name, it is commonly referred to and known by the original institution's name that is engraved above the Door.

Workers

The owner prides herself with employing workers from all species, genders, and from all ways of life.

And as much as Vivietta wants us to believe that half of her workers were almost-dead war-orphans, it's strange that every single one of them is as beautiful as they get.
Have you ever seen a dwarf with hair golden enough to see your reflection in?
You will at the Elven Rinse.
Simon Priest, renowned Bard and Entertainer

Architecture

The overall design of the building followed the trends of the Age of Wishes.

The floor plan had been designed around the functions the building had to fullfill and the only outward facing decoration was reserved for an overly large sculpture or depiction of the purpose of the house on the roof or as part of the roof.

In particular, the Baths of Iverbent is one of the few remaining examples of the craftsmanship and distinct style of old Iverbent.

Displayed on top of the roof is a wide wooden bathing basin with an elven washing maid emptying a steaming water amphora into the receptacle. Inside the bathing tub another elven washing maid is relaxing and visibly enjoying it.

The main building material is a white dense stone that was polished when the building had been reassembled in Scorval. It is assumed that it had been originally painted in bright colors, giving the statues almost lifelike appearance.

The lower floor, which sits half over ground level, houses the heating and boiler rooms, as well as all rooms required for cleaning and maintenance.

The stairs to the raised ground floor begin within a greeting chamber with a front desk in which new arrivals are introduced to the history and rules of the house.

A raised platform leads to private bathing tubs in the back of the building, the public baths are to each side and span the full length of the building.

Currently, the west basin is filled with fine sand and curtains of sailcloth protect it from splashing water of the other basins.

The water basin in the east has multiple dividers. These zones are heated in a specific pattern to have a constant gradient of temperatures available for the patrons.

Along the outside walls guests find various furniture to rest upon fashioned from treated wood or integrated into the masonry.

History

Map of where the Elven Rinse once stood.
(Highlighted in Magenta)

The original Elven Rinse Bathhouse was situated on the Vivliothiki Slip between Tocastle Way and Twardstower Street before it had been moved to Scorval following the expansion of the Iverbent magic dead zone.

Tourism

As bathing houses fell out of style between 1840 and 1860 with the increasing adoption of in-house plumbing, the focus of the operators shifted more to becoming a tourist attraction coupled with a public swimming bath.

Ancestorism

Many Humans of Inquest feel like they have moved away from how they are meant to be living and find comfort in researching and emulating the lives of their ancestors. What this "real living" might be isn't really defined and many sources are anecdotal at best and should be considered with a tinge of doubt.

This movement, labeled Ancestorism, has as many critics as it has followers but from an outside viewpoint, it's harmless.

For operators of the Baths of Iverbent, however, the advent of Ancestorism marked the beginning of a golden time.

The Smell of Money

To cater to Ancestourists one of the large Sitting Basins was retrofitted to be used for heating Fine Sand.

In addition, a Workshop was added to the Building that processes steppe grass into cushions that are placed on the stone benches along the basins.

Another new building is currently under construction that will allow families to have separate smaller fine sand basins.

Furthermore, a small nearby kitchen provides vegetarian snacks and refreshments that are offered by employees of the Bathhouse on rustic decorated vendor trays.

Parallel Trends

While Orces are undisputable the main source (and perhaps target) of Ancestorism, a sizeable amount of the other Species are also interested in relaxing in a manner that (supposedly) mimics how their ancestors once lived.

Elves spend time in rooms filled with thick bushels of leaves, enjoying the sensory deprevation and supposedly raised ability to talk to ones inner self.

As the least noticeable followers of Ancestorism, the Dwarfs like to costume themselves in thick armor pieces or chainmail or sit around a nice fire and sing about wordly treasures.

However, this is the same behaviour as with many other dwarven related minor festivities and celebrations, making it hard to acknowledge Ancestorism at play.

Content

Alternative Names
The Elven Rinse Bathhouse
Type
Bathhouse
Parent Location
Owning Organization

Sandbaths

To use a sand bath properly, a person lies down flat on the sand, then starts to rhythmically move her body from side to side. This motion will shift sand away from the body and create a perfect form-fitted surface to rest in.

The sand is heated to about 38°C and aerated regularly by raking which is often done by the patron's themselves as additional relaxation.

A person may lay for many hours perfectly still to let the heat seep into tired muscles. It is advised, after the bath, to rest at least half an hour on a moderately hard surface before straining the body.

Most visitors opt to use fine brushes and combs to clean sand off themselves instead of having a shower or bathing.

Nothing to hide

Baths are mixed species and gender as are all communal washrooms. However, depending on ones company and age, it might be a wise idea to wear more than seems necessary.

Moving around fully naked is a privilege displayed most often by older people, especially in similarly aged company. It is also common in families with either no or only small children.

Children and Young Adults nearing a new Growth Stage are naturally coy and will prefer to be appropriately clothed in swimming towels or thick undergarments.

The Evenings and (if the Baths allow it) early Nights are usually reserved for young (or young-at-heart) couples.

It's not uncommon for many very specific official signs to be visible regulating where who might wear what.



Cover image: Island Inquest Header by Jan Kaltenecker

Comments

Author's Notes

Author recommends

Thanks for reading this Article! Here are three articles I think you will enjoy:

  • Essentra is the other new big thing that everybody does. Listening to music from across the Island. How exiting!
  • Fouled Wishes is something a young dwarf would have in mind when seeing their bathing towel float away after jumping into the warm bathing basins.
  • Serendipity Airship Dockyards are another well liked Tourist attraction in Inquest!


Please Login in order to comment!
17 Apr, 2021 11:23

Nice article, I like the description of the bath, and the Ancestourism sounds like a fun concept :D

Deity ka_jan
Jan Kaltenecker
17 Apr, 2021 14:03

Glad that you liked it! I will explore this more over the next few articles :)

"Thunder rolled. It got a 6." — Guards, Guards by Sir Terry Pratchett
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