Purpose / Function
On top of the practical matters of cleanliness, the local bathhouses provide a space to socialize which provides a vastly different "vibe" than, say, an ale house or a military camp or anywhere else. There is no expectation of fish stories or boasting, instead small talk was the order of the day. The other social purpose of the bathhouse was to provide a meeting place for courting lovers, although it was strictly expected that if anything escalated, the lovers were expected to leave the bathhouse for somewhere more private.
A typical bathhouse is an expansive round structure with an open-air roof, containing a series of pools that also tend to be round (although they mimic the shape of lakes, so some are bean-shaped and others are long and slender). The walls of the bathhouse are composed primarily of ice columns which open into the wider world, and although the barrier is porous, it creates a sense of separation from the "mundane" world. This round space contains a series of pools modeled after lakes that the Stenza have discovered along their historic migration routes, laid out in a spiral pattern reaching into the center, wherein is a representation of the Ice Flats, a shallow pool designed specifically for pups. The order of lakes varies otherwise; it is said that they are always in the order in which members of the clan discovered those specific lakes, although much of this is based on oral tradition. It should be noted that bathhouses on ships trade in the open roof for either a high, vaulted ceiling or an observation window. Bathhouses are only found on Clan Ships and civilian Lawgiver Class vehicles.
The bathhouse is modeled after a series of lakes migrating Stenza would encounter on their journeys southward every year, some of which were used for Ice Dancing and others, which were either heated by geothermic vents or were supercooled liquids or slushes. The latter category of lake was often used for bathing, along with the Ice Flats Substance back home. As architecture advanced and Stenza began building cities, they also constructed artificial lakes and enclosures from them. This was the genesis of the bathhouse, and generally speaking, the basic model has not changed. However, technology has been used to make certain improvements, such as maintaining consistent water temperature and filtering the water. Despite these quality of life improvements, bathing has yet to be driven into the home.