Tantalej Geographic Location in Symbols of Power | World Anvil


Island of Karte by Naelin
The biggest island of the Haan Archipelago, Karte, is crossed by many long rivers that feed both its massive forest and its endless plains, all the way from the mountains to the coasts.   Kartians believe that their rivers are sentient, and their lives are connected to the reverence of them.
Perhaps the most important waterway for them is the Triple crossing, where the rivers Termatron, Tantalej and Superior Tantalej converge right through the capital City of Dia, on the fertile land south of the Chalk Expanse.   Tantalej is the last stretch into the ocean of a waterway formed by several rivers and streams that start in various mountains on the island's east side.
The Haan Archipelago
Portrait of Danae, a holding his peace bird pen and a book containing a map
Danae by Naelin
The cartographer Danae from the City of Birdland in Thaur was commissioned to draw a map of the Haan Archipelago for the second edition of The Book of the Habits and Beasts, published in the 3rd of Birthing, 3 E.Ru.   Danae took advantage of the enclyclopaedia's team of researchers to gather precise information and went himself into research expeditions to survey remote areas. His work resulted in what is considered the most accurate and widespread map of the Archipelago to this day, which details even most of the coasts of the Savage Isles.

Geography and Ecosystem

20210310 - Towering Watcher.png
Towering Watcher by Naelin
The Tantalej system starts its life as a deviation of the Toxapactos river, deep into the Chalk Expanse.
It works its way south from there for around 60 kilometers on a stretch called the Superior Tantalej, believed to be different in spirit than her sister downstream.
Just as the white forest turns into a green pasture, Tantalej reaches a crossing with the Termatron River that comes from the northeast, and mixes with it.
It then travels southwest as the Tantalej proper, quickly entering a savanna and trabelling through it into the ocean.   Inside the Chalk Expanse, the Tantalej gives sustenance and minerals to the creatures and plants, and carries out the products of the impossibly humid jungle in the form of detritus and sediments that fertilize the soil all the way into the ocean.  

Historical and cultural impact

The capital city of the Kingdom of Karte, Dia, was born as a scaly settlement several thousand years ago, with some research dating it from before the Era of Alzufhar.   People's lives were and are tied closely to the rivers and to their seasonal flood, which ocurs on the month of Sowing, the start of the spring, which they use to feed their soil for their crops.
Though it is quite upstream, the opening to the sea makes Dia an excellent trading port for the country. Culturally, the Kartian prefer it this way: As they believe the rivers have a soul, they want their merchants to be under the protection and blessing of Tantalej before they venture into the dangerous sea.  

The war on pirates and the irate assault

Pirate activity on the coastal area of Karte increased exponentially around the decade of 2990 E.Alz. By the end of the decade, pirate ships were already venturing inside of the Tantalej, greatly damaging the Kartian trade. Many ships started taking a longer route entering the Toxapactos river and then turning south through the Superior Tantalej, but the pirates quickly caught up with it and started attacking both areas.   In 3033 E.Alz the king of Karte, Rastapuj, declared a War on Pirates, for which he imposed strict regulations on who could travel in and out of the river, and manufactured specialized ships to trick pirates into ambushes.
This military deployment spanned three years until the pirates banded together and organized an assault of the capital, which ended with the assassination of prince Kuja on the river itself.   Kartians considered the river to be tainted by this and worked hard with both spiritual and physical work to help the river recover. Alongside rituals and offerings, Kartians were since forbidden to dump trash on the main body of the river (A move that many consider was not to benefit Tantalej's spirit, but to respect the place where Kuja last stood) and efforts were made to clean it from artificial debris.   Nowadays, activity returned to normal on the river's waters respecting to trade and fishing, though the beaches west of the city still remain as a sour reminder for the king.
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The Spirit of Tantalej

Tantalej is pecieved to be a force of prosperity and fertility, the latter of which she shares with the Termatron, the river that brings fertile soil and fish to the city of Dia. She is also seen as a patron of the merchants, the travellers, and, strangely enough, the widows. She is treated in feminine terms.   After the Irates used the Tantalej to reach the city, Kartians felt that the waters of their guardian spirit had been tainted. Many rituals and offerings were made on the following months, and a big percentage of the fishing activities were moved to the Termatron to help the convalescent river recover.
Irate assault of Karte
Military Conflict | Sep 3, 2023

The vengeance of the east coast pirates that ended the Kartian war on pirates

City of Dia
Settlement | Dec 23, 2021

Capital city of the Kingdom of Karte

Cover image: Banner Karte by Naelín


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May 13, 2022 11:15

Great article!   I like the info about the greater water system and especially the religious/spiritual importance given to the rivers. Really drives home how important the river is to the local culture.   ----------------------------------------------------------------   Feel free to check out my Rivers/Waterways entry: Loch Mesner

Sep 7, 2022 15:01

Thank you very much JA!

May 26, 2022 00:03 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I really like the detail about the Kartians working to heal the river spiritually and physically after the bad stuff that happened. That's a really nice touch.   Great article.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Sep 7, 2022 15:02

Thank you Doc <3 There is a lot of stuff about this guys that I need to finish from SummerCamp, I need to remember to expand on the rivers' significance :)

May 31, 2022 18:43 by Michael Chandra

Whelp, time to prepare a dirty war on pirates... Poisoning whatever merchandise they steal should be a good solution.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Jun 2, 2022 10:46 by E. Christopher Clark

You had me at "sentient rivers" and never let go. Great work on this!

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