Sanguine River Geographic Location in Kelbonnar | World Anvil

Sanguine River

Reaching from the south eastern edge of the Destra Wetlands to the Centric Sea, the Sanguine River separates the eastern edge of the Plains of Gold from the southern reaches of the Worfal Tundra and from the Sand Hills in the north eastern corner of the continent of Euristan.


Like its sister river to the west, the River Cormarron, the Sanguine River’s source lies high up in the Spears of Astartes mountains. However, the vast, confusing expanse of the Destra Wetlands makes it impossible to establish where the river actually begins until it leaves the area of marshland.   The Sanguine River takes a relatively straight and quick route from the wetlands, following a north to south passage down to the shores of the Centric Sea. It’s fast waters and lack of substantial meanders means that it has cut a deep channel through the surrounding landscape and its banks are steep across almost its entire length. The speed of the passing of its waters also means that there are many areas of rapids across the river’s length, which makes navigating the length of the Sanguine by boat nigh on impossible.   Crossing the Sanguine is no trivial feat, and it is advisable that one only does so via a boat piloted by a skilled waterman, who is able to avoid the worst of the currents and rapids. At one point there were several bridges that spanned the waterway, connecting Turelion Province and Norgantho Province of the Empire of Turelion. However, following the revolution and formation of Nova Norgantho, both sides systematically destroyed all of the bridges along the entire length of the river, to mitigate the threat of invasion. The only place where a discernible vestige of these bridges survives, and where one can theoretically cross the river is the town of Gold Guard, in the far east of Turelion Province. Though the bridge here has been destroyed, it is possible for the town guard to span the gap with planks, though they rarely do this other than to allow those with enough money to make it worth their while passage to the other side.

Localized Phenomena

The Sanguine River is most famous for the battle that took place north of Gold Guard in the year 212DW between the forces of the then Emperor Artamo I and Julia Tarquinius Vinicius. The Battle of the Sanguine River was the defining moment of the short-lived conflict over who should rule the Empire of Turelion, in which Vinicius led a revolution against Artamo I, the only Elf to sit on the Imperial Throne, who had lost the support of a significant number of the members of the Imperial Court.   Vinicius tricked Artamo into leaving the fortifications of Meltaro and leading his forces in pursuit of what he thought was a far smaller force of rebels, who after many days of retreating disappeared near the banks of the Sanguine. Reaching the waters, and finding no sign of their quarry, Artamo’s forces were ambushed and pinned with their backs against the swift currents of the Sanguine by Vinicius’ much larger force. The battle was more of a slaughter with nearly all of Artamo’s troops slain, many of them by being pushed into the river and drowned. Artamo himself was slain by Vinicius’ hand and his body cast into the waters, into which so much blood had flow that day that the very waters turned red, giving the body of water the name it still carries to this day.   The sheer amount of death that took place that day has given the Sanguine River a strong connection to the Ethereal Plane ever since. At night, those who pass by or camp near the river report the distant sounds of battle echoing from the water and are afflicted by dreams of ferocious combat. Even more strange than this, every full moon, the waters of the Sanguine are transfigured into blood and hundreds of ghostly warriors can be seen walking on the water, following the paths their bodies took as the river carried them down to the Centric Sea. It is even said that the ghost of Artamo I can be seen amongst this grim procession, carrying his severed head under one arm.   In addition, it is even reported that those who enter the waters, accidentally or otherwise, rarely emerge again, and those that do are sickened often to the point of death by a strange, unidentifiable affliction.   For these reasons, the people of Gold Guard, the only major settlement along the Sanguine’s banks, never drink the waters of the river, instead drawing their water from many wells and fountains spread across the town. Most will also avoid leaving their homes after dark every full moon, with local superstition stating that the ghosts of the Sanguine drag people into the bloody waters, so that they can join their eternal march.

Fauna & Flora

The swift passage of the river’s waters and its rapids have always made the Sanguine River relatively inhospitable for wildlife, but following the Battle of the Sanguine River all reports of river fish and creatures ceased. It is thought that this lack of life in the river is part of the curse that has afflicted the waterway since the conflict that took place there, making it inhospitable to all life, see above.
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