River into the pulsing heart of Monarch Jungle. Upon its banks, wars are waged between two tribes of people, unknown to those living behind the grand walls of Kir Vallen. Forming the lifeblood of the savage jungle, and its waters running crimson from the skirmishes waged on its waves, "River Arteria" has ironically earned its name.
River Arteria acts as a gateway to the great sea from the heart of the jungles of Phorex Isles. It passes through sandy, open beaches and colorful blushes of the jungle with a rather timid pace, having no steer cliffs or waterfalls among its way. This tranquility is the reason why River Arteria acts as a central hub for those living in the jungle. Both, the tribe known as "Children of the Fishbone King" and the mysterious people who wish to remain under the waves known as "Umanti", wish to claim the rivers waters solely for their own purposes.
Much like the jungle surrounding it, River Arteria is brimming with exotic life. All manner of fish schools, piranhas and colorful plant life fill the calm currents of the river.
When traversing through the river, the rule of thumb is that the closer to the jungles you are, the greater the peril. Smaller schools of fish and coast crabs dwell in the river, near the great estuary where seaweeds and clams are found. The further mainland you go, the greater the predators that linger in the currents. From crocodiles to the gargantuan spinosauruses, another survival tip shared by those who live in the region is to "avoid the spine". This refers to the spines of spinosauruses, as well as the watercrafts created by the umanti which use spino's spines as sails.
Tyrants of the Waterways, The Spinosaurs
Most commonly left alone, these colossal predators dominate the river whenever their hunting season comes around springtime. From those who inhabit the river, only the Umanti are brave and/or foolish enough to go through all of the trouble to bring one of these titans down. The spinosaurs are rarely contested in territory, if not by an unexpected swarm of other dinosaurs or by the conjoined forces of many tribalists from the Children of the Fishbone King.
In the exotic, warm years of Cauldron of Creation there is no winter and therefore River Arteria never freezes or thaws. Warm waters surrounding the Coreflame Island cool slightly near the estuary of the river, where sweet water dances with salt water. This vibrant, brimming ecosystem knows hardship during the monsoon season, when weeks of rain and storm bring havoc all over the jungle and grow the surface of River Arteria momentarily threefold. During this time it is common to see some of the larger carnivores venture out into the shores in search for prey as the river offers enough room for them to feed on sea life.
Two sides of the River
Feud over River Arteria has lasted for some months, between the local tribals of Monach Jungle and the invading aquatic species of the umanti. Both warring with their own, primitive tactics has turned some shores crimson with bloodied sands and has enticed the piranhas to move ever further inland after the scent of flesh. With complex origins and personal intrigue behind each people, their tactics and how they present themselves reveal portions of their background and what the River ultimately means to them.
The Children of the Fishbone King
A tribe of in-betweeners with their own traditions and values, emphasizing greatly on the importance of family. Supporting their own tribe and lifestyle, the river has always offered enough for the tribe of the Children to make-do and even thrive in the dangerous environment of the jungle. Weighing a healthy dose of self-respect and preservation to avoid the slaving enterprise of the Golden Company, but still not declaring an all-out war like some of the more impulsive tribes, the Children have owned their coastlines for several generations, and they are not about to give them up to these aquatic invaders. Leader of the tribe is recognized by his fierce tattoo on his spine, which is said to weigh his strength and constitution. The tattoo, resembling fishes bones tracks all the way through the spine and it must be taken without a wept tear or a shouted word in order for one to prove themselves the true leader of the tribe.
River Arteria holds an inherent value to the Children, as their whole culture is built around the coastlines of the river. Was it crabbing near the mouth of the ocean, or transporting goods between other tribes of Phorex, River Arteria holds a special place in the heart of the tribe. Even the Children know to avoid the spine of the spinosaurs, and to beware the dangers that lurk beneath the calm surface of the river. Children of the Fishbone King are one of the rare tribes to have expertise around swimming, as they teach their young at a very early age to swim in the river.
Mysterious outlanders, whose outer form does not enhance trust in those who see them. A people in a constant run from the ever-increasing amount of the bloodthirsty sahuagin, the umanti are inventive in their survivalism and have taken hunting and slaying underwater predators to its apex. However, reasonings behind their invasions into deeper Phorex may be argued for some of them have given off the impression of running away from prosecution. Little is known of the mysterious culture of the umanti, as life beneath the waves is equally vibrant as it is over them, but lesser witnessed by the ordinary man.
While the exact reasoning behind the reason why the underwater Umanti wish to invade and conquer River Arteria for their own remains a mystery, one could see the inherent calling of the underwater hunters in seeking prey in the form of plesiosaurs and spinosauruses. In addition to being prosecuted by the monstrous underwater sahuagin, this could give the umanti enough reasoning behind seeing River arteria as a perfect new home for their culture's future. With their pride-filled, foreign ways and their frightening appearance, the umanti are often mistaken and treated with the same modicum of hatred as the mindless sahuagin.
The Bloody History
As with most things in Phorex Isles, River Arteria too shares a long history of use, misuse and bloodshed. Many times has the river shifted hands between different owners, with the most meaningful transferral being from the hands of the monstrous yuan-ti to their slaves who now populate this island. One landmark among many others, River Arteria perseveres through time as a river under constant preasure.
The First, the Yuan-Ti
With seven centuries passed since the ancient empire of Phorexia was ruled by the cruel yuan-ti, their presence still lingers over the island with shambling ruins and ancient crypts. River Arteria is no exception to this, as it would seem the yuan-ti had a near-complete control over the river with many river houses and walls, separating different sections of their slave empire on the coasts of River Arteria. With barely any yuan-ti alive under the rule of the Dragani Empire, these overgrown ruins are one of the several reminders of the islands bloodcurdling history.
Video by MeisioSpinosaurus facts
Spinosauruses used to live in North Africa, about 93-112 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. Their length was somewhere around 12 to 18 meters and they weighed around 6,5 tons. The spinosaurus was quite possibly the largest predator to ever live on land, even larger than gigantosauruses or carcharodontosauruses. Spinosaurus behavior and voices, as presented in Ark: Survival Evolved. (Video by Terrible Raptor)
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