Blue Silk River

The Blue Silk River is a major waterway on the Medial 1A floodplain - the ancestral home of almost all humans now living beneath the Manifold Sky. While the mighty Blue Silk now lies entirely within Voxelian territory, the river has had a great impact on both the New Voxelian and Elovisian descendants of those early human tribes.

Geography

The Blue Silk River has its headwaters in streams in the corner mountain range around the aptly-named town of Vianne Tributaries. These streams are fed through a combination of snowmelt year-round and the monsoon rains around Rainmaas in the late summer. The Vianne Reservoir at the foot of the corner mountain range features a dam to provide better flood control, as flash floods on the Blue Silk would historically wash away villages that were built too close.   The Blue Silk continues clockwise from the Vianne Reservoir to wind its way almost all the way around Medial A1 - its long, sinuous route goverend primarily by the hilly terrain - before finally flowing towards the commissure at the center of what is now Silkenvault. Another small reservoir at the edge of the commissure provides Silkenvault with drinking water. Overflows from this reservoir cascade over the edge of the commissure as falls, where the falling water atomizes, evaporates, and returns to the hydrological cycle provided that the weather is warm enough.   During heavy rains or cool weather, some water accumulates in the micro-gravity region of the commissure at Medial A1. Weatherproofed transit stations and a network of scavenger pumps can keep the commissure navigable in these circumstances. However, if the Coalition of Breakaway Colonies is making advances in Medial H and there is a potential threat of air raids against the A side of Silkenvault, the Grand Army of Voxelia may instead order that the commissure be allowed to fill for a time. Doing so effectively interdicts all air travel through the commissure, but it also helps prevent air raids against the Voxelian heartlands.

Ecosystem Cycles

Voxelian Standard by BCGR_Wurth
The seasonal rise, flooding, and retreat of the Blue Silk River serves to refresh the nutrients in the soil of the Medial A1 flood plain, making agriculture in the region easy. This abundance was important to the success of early human humans in the Manifold; conditions the other cubes of the Medial Tesseract - and especially in other tesseracts beyond Medial - were not quite as forgiving, leading to the collapse of possible competitor civilizations in early antiquity. The development of irrigation techniques later allowed the Old Voxelians and proto-Elovisian peoples to expand beyond the salubrious reach of the Blue Silk's rejuvenating flood cycles.

Natural Resources

The Blue Silk River once played host to abundant fish populations. The explosive growth of the Voxelian civilization saw these populations fished almost to extinction. Now, while fishing continues all along the Blue Silk, the catch is regulated with the advice of the Voxelia Academy of Sciences to ensure sustainability.

History

It's a common misconception that the Blue Silk River was named for the silk being shipped along it from the outlying kingdoms in antiquity. While the river was used this way for a time, the 'Silk' part of the river's name actually comes from the presence of a fine, glittering silt that sometimes washes down the river during the dry season, lending the water a silken sheen in direct sunlight. The upper reaches of the river are known to hide veins of gold and copper - enhancing this sheen when bits of them wash downstream - but none large enough to warrant dredging.

Tourism

Extensive trade was once conducted along the Blue Silk River, with traders, fishermen, loggers, and stonemasons using flat-bottomed boats to ride the current downstream with their wares. The boats would make a full circuit of the river before being carried overland where it diverted towards the commissure. In more modern times, where trains and other dieseltech vehicles are much faster modes of transportation and provide easy access to other cube faces, boat rides on the Blue Silk are mostly undertaken for recreational purposes.   White water rafting from Vianne Tributaries is a popular extreme sport, but the lower extent of the river is more gentle and better suited for taking in scenery. The Vianne Reservoir remains a popular recreational fishing spot. The reservoir in Silkenvault is uncommonly used for watersports due to the pollution that accumulates there, but Silkenvault has installed tree-shaded boardwalks around it and zoned it for light commercial use, making the area popular with pedestrians and tourists.

Medial 1A: Silkenvault & Environs
A map of Medial A1. Click on the layers to reveal points of interest.
Type
River
Location under
Owning Organization
by Artbreeder
A springtime scene at the Vianne Reservoir at the foot of the mountains where the Blue Silk River's headwaters reside.


Cover image: by Artbreeder

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
2 May, 2022 14:22

I'm liking the hints and allusions to the broader worldbuilding, but don't feel like I need to click on all the links to understand what's being said.   All in all, good job!   ----------------------------------------------------------------   Feel free to check out my Rivers/Waterways entry: Loch Mesner

4 May, 2022 15:43

Nice read an pretty interesting concept. At first I was wondering where the river actually goes to when looking at the map but then I read about the commisure :p Are many of the ancient floods due to years with an extremely long cold or rainy season and people not being able to drain the commisure at that time?

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!
5 May, 2022 05:37

Thanks!   In short, yes. Large floods can occur because there isn't always a place for all the rain and snowmelt to go. Every tesseract has a dominant environmental quality, and Western C (the cube across the inflection layer from Medial A) is a cube-spanning ocean that lies in a tesseract defined by high humidity. The summer sees a lot of that moisture evaporating and coming through the inflection layer to condense into snow and rain in Medial A when the temperature drops. There were cold shocks in the past due to geological disturbances (i.e. the Ventral A Volcanic Event) that caused downpours of biblical proportions, but even a semi-normal monsoon season can push the river beyond its banks for a time.

Come check out The Manifold Sky: Five-Dimensional Dieselpunk Action   My Current challenge article - Summer Camp 2022 - is now live!
10 May, 2022 15:19

Interesting how the river spirals inwards towards its evaporation point!

Oito em Ponto
Abraxas (André da Cunha Melo)
22 May, 2022 17:31

It's really good that an article can be read by itself, but still makes you go for the links for more context and lore. Nicely done. I can't help but imagine how beautiful the river is from a panoramic view.   Have you considered using a capital letter () at the start of the article? I feel like it helps to keep things proportionate. The first paragraph is a little small compared to the others.   Loved it!!

26 May, 2022 15:25

A good article, I enjoyed reading.   Aemon