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Ulan River

Work in progress
"This is not just a river, this is our soul flowing!".
— A pretty poetical individual from the capital.

The Ulan River (in Moskovar, река улан "Red River") is a water body which flows across the city of Ulán Shang Kov, the Capital of Moskova. It is one of the main rivers of the West region of the country, and it drains its waters in the Southern Sea. It is part of the Vologda basin.


The Ulan River  borns in the Bombaiog Oblast and runs through it and the Tula Oblast. The region of these provinces is a plain where the average height is 120 meters above sea level. The draining area of the river's basin is around 17.000km2. The river is also the left-side affluent of the Okhui River and the right-side one of the Ravshok one. The Ulan River has several affluents itself, for example, the Op River which is located near Barkistán.   The river flows creating meanders and several islands through the plain, but in its course through the city, the number of islands has increased due to the creation of several channels. The main manmade islands are listed below:
  • Boghul Island
  • Kharkovna Island
  • Unnamed Island I, II, III & IV
  • Markeeva Island
  Some of those islands are small and are uninhabited, while others have some buildings and populations on them.   The average shore-to-shore width is around 200 meters, and the thinnest section of the river is located in the center of Ulan Shang Kov, in front of the Kremlin. Regarding depth, the deepest area of the river is 6 meters deep and is located near the village of Annekov.


The river is located mostly in the steppe region of the country, so the surrounding vegetation tends to be grass and related plants. However, by the sides of the river in the Capital City, finding trees is not rare since the weather in it is more humid. Some time ago, trees from the river's shores used to be cut down massively for obtaining wood and other resources, however, the city's population noticed this behavior increased the floods so a protection status was stated over these trees for preventing the water from rising that would destroy near buildings.   The river can freeze during winter since the temperature can go low as -30⁰C during that time of the year. When waters freeze, the river can be used as a bridge, and the ice tends to be thick enough for walking over it, sliding ice skating, or even horseriding.    

Fauna & Flora

The Ulan River's biosphere is an evident example of the one from the regions where it flows, and despite looking a bit static from outside, its blueish brown waters are home of several prolific and diverse animal commmunities. In the steppe, the main plants that can be found around the river are bushes and different kinds of weeds and grass, as some animals that can be found around are saiga antelopes and birds, even flamingos during summer.       In the most humid parts of the grassland close to Ulán Shang Kov, plants become more varied as it is also possible to find aquatic plants such as duckweed, while some common semi-aqcuatic animals include otters, coypus, freshwater snakes; ducks, swans and beavers among others. Regarding subaquatic animals, fishes as sturgeon, perch, carps and daces can be found sharing their habitat with freshwater turtles, crabs, snails, clam, slugs and many others.
Yellow Perch by Robbert Colleta- United States Department of Agrigulture
Saiga Antelope by Andrey Gijov

Natural Resources

The river Is a very important source of natural resources for the city and even for others. It is the main source of water, used for drinking, agriculture, construction, rituals, and recreation.   Other remarkable resources taken from the Ulan River are fishes, shells, snails, algae, birds, and otters. Those animals are used for cooking and manufacturing clothes, as well as other items such as shoes and furniture. Additionally, in the past, the trees from the river banks used to be the main resource of wood in the city, but now mostly replaced by the trees from the nearest forests.  


The Ulan River is a must-do for every tourist who visits Ulán Shang Kov and the surrounding region since it is used not just for transportation but also for leisure. Near the smallest cities and towns by the river, it is possible to swim and bathe. Closer to the Capital these activities become harder to do due to higher boat traffic, but it is still possible to have a fun day on the river.   A very common activity done by tourists is cruiser tours, usually done by riding large boats. These tours offer beautiful views of the city from the river, but also a meal and cultural activities like dancing and historical guidance.   Besides cruisers and ship strolls, fishing is another reason why tourists visit the river. Every spring, fishing festivals, and competitions are held on the river.   There are several inns and touristic houses close to the river, especially around the neighborhood where Ulan Shang Kov's Kremlin is located since it is a centrical area, for example, the Red Lion Inn.

Symbolical meaning

Main article: Tsar of Moskova
by Apollinary Vasnetsov
  The river holds an important meaning for the city and is an elemental part of several processes related to the monarchy, especially to the rituals and traditions featured in the coronation ceremony. The ritual which takes place in the river is the Baptism Bath which is the second part of the Coronation Ceremony taken by all Princes or Tsars when they appoint. The celebration tends to take place at midday after the Blessing of the Sun and consists of the recently crowned prince having a symbolic bath in the river. The ceremony takes place no matter the weather or the temperature around. During winter, a hole is cut in the ice and the baptism is done.


The River and Gastronomy

Related to the animal resources obtained from the river, there are several dishes from the local gastronomy that use them. Some must-eat dishes for tourists include cod barbeque, pelmini filled of perch meat, salmon piroshki and the bravest ones dare to try coypu burgers or pelmini. Clams and algae are used for food as well, asides caviar.   One of the hotspots for eating river food and fish is the Red Lion Inn as the raw materials are obtained by local fishers.
  "I've never thought the Sun rised at 3:30 A.M. but if something surprised me even more is that people in Ulán Shang Kov has caviar as breakfast ."
— A tourist dealing with a cultural shock during Shangkovian summer.
Pelmini by Kate Buffton
Red Lion Inn Sign by Gege16
Alternative Name(s)
Red River, Ulan Reka
Location under
Ruling/Owning Rank
Owning Organization

  The actual toponymy of the river is still being a mystery, and just speculations and theories can explain it. There are several theories about the origin of this river's name, which is undoubtly related to the city's name.   The word Ulan means red, and the color red always held a very special meaning for the culture of Moskova since it symbolizes prosperity, beauty, fire, passion and blood. The color red is a very noticeable element of Ulán Shang Kov's architecture, as it is one of the most common colors used in buildings, including the Kremlin since terracotta is a very common building material, so the river's name could be related to the surrounding buildings.
by Gege16 through Artbreeder
Kingdom of Moskova world cover
Moskova's coat of arms by Gege16

The Dark Army's chests

  Alongside wildlife and rocks, the river is home to several manmade items, from shipwrecks to bottled messages and more. Some very looked up items that are featured in urban legends are chests. It is said that it is possible to find chests containing amazing treasures inside.   Some of the most famous chests are those that have been left by the Dark Army in the river. It is unknown why the soldiers from that militia threw those chests to the waters, but some people think they've done it for hidding undeclared or illegally obtained money and treasures, although that idea is still not confirmed and considered a hypothesis. Some of those chests were found by common fishers who just wanted to catch their food or have some fun at the Ulán River, but ended finding lots of money, jewels and even maguical artifacts like potions, magical books, Flying Carpets, crystal balls and more.

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Cover image: Sunrise at Sentinel Mountains by Geraldine Escriva (Gege16)


Please Login in order to comment!
12 May, 2022 12:26

Cool Article!   Would love to see Ecosystem get some details, but I don't think the article suffers from that exclusion.   Also, am I crazy for thinking a string of 4 unnamed islands might have possible tourism possibilities? I can't help feeling like there's something there for CMOT Dibblers of the world.   Side note: might want to roll a grammar check for the Geography section. I think your keyboard might have stroked out while you were typing "uninhabited".   ----------------------------------------------------------------   Feel free to check out my Rivers/Waterways entry: Loch Mesner

Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
12 May, 2022 13:37

Hi! Thank you a lot for passing by! I appreciate you like it! The article is still in construction so the ecosystem section has to be added. About the grammar, I'm not a native English speaker and my keyboard tends to mess up everything, so any feedback is welcomed!

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me! Wonders and darkness await for you. Are you ready for the adventure?   Hungry? Have a meal at the Red Lion Inn's Tavern!    
12 May, 2022 14:37

No worries. I had a couple grammar errors in my article the needed to be called out for me too.

Sage RandoScorpio
13 May, 2022 17:54

I love that this river is so engrained in every aspect of the realm. It's so important that it has a prominent place in the ceremonies for new leaders.   I would love to know if there are fish or other animals that live in the river that affect trade routes, or provide food for more out-of-the-way towns and villages? Are there local dishes that center around the river animals, that someone simply has to try while they are in Ulán Shang Kov?

If you have the time, stop by The Ravmor River, my entry for May's waterways and river challenge. I love to hear feedback and see what others love or hate about what I've written. What do you want more of? Less of?
The Ravmor cuts through the dense Aristosa forest. Hiding terrifying monsters beneath its deep, fast currents, and ignoring forgotten legends could end the world around it.
Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
13 May, 2022 19:51

Hi!! Thanks for passing by and read! I'm glad you liked it! About the fauna and flora as well as the river related food, the article is still in construction so that's the next section I'll add to It. :D

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me! Wonders and darkness await for you. Are you ready for the adventure?   Hungry? Have a meal at the Red Lion Inn's Tavern!    
19 May, 2022 01:07

This has a really good blend of both geographical and cultural detail! I was wondering, what happens if a coronation happens in winter and the river's frozen? Do they just ice-pick it and then do the baptism in it anyway?

Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
24 May, 2022 02:48

Hi!! Thanks a lot for passing by!! I'm glad you like it :) And yes, just like you said! They just cut a hole in the ice and do the baptism as in a normal day xD

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me! Wonders and darkness await for you. Are you ready for the adventure?   Hungry? Have a meal at the Red Lion Inn's Tavern!    
19 May, 2022 14:56

Great article! Was fun to read about how closely tied the river is to the world around it from the symbolic meaning to the effect on gastronomy.

Feel free to check out my River challenge article and my Secrets in the swamp Adventure article if you want to see what I am up to!
Journeyman Gege16
Gege Escriva
25 May, 2022 04:46

Thank you for your comment as always, Kef :) I'm glad you liked it :D

Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me! Wonders and darkness await for you. Are you ready for the adventure?   Hungry? Have a meal at the Red Lion Inn's Tavern!    
24 May, 2022 16:19

What a quote GG.

Look my Tavern Challenge entry
Bienvenidos a Eiláar
24 May, 2022 17:32

Always nice to have a river freeze over. Question: Do any of the nearby inns cut out ice to create ice storages?

26 May, 2022 03:54

I keep trying to write a comment, but the thing is that the most important fact is already in the other comments: you did a great job describing how the river is related to the life of people. I suppose that there aren't so many people to affect the river too much. For now I'm particularly curious about chests. It seems that there is something more there.