Atsawiya Geographic Location in Thaiterra | World Anvil
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"You could travel the Atsawiya, get there inside of a day, but more likely you'd smash against the rocks and the water would carry your dead body all the way to the Hadzi Shoko.
    The Atsawiya is one of the primary waterways connecting the underground society of the Basadu. It stretches from Adzeri-Solmeo and Velzarei to Jomedure Tolu, presumably letting out in the Hadzi Shoko.   Its exact origin point is a mystery, beginning somewhere far to the south of Wulei Ranifa, most likely in the mountains there. Regardless of origins, the primary joining place is in the twin cities of Adzeri-Solmeo and Velzarei. The purity of the water is credited as the reason they settled there in the first place, at a far distance from the chasms and valleys that form the primary place of residence for most Weinadi, providing them with plentiful clean water that doesn't threaten to wash away everything. It's rarely used as a means of travel, although this is changing now that there is technology capable of traversing it. The significance of the river is more in the history surrounding it.    

Wildlife and Water Quality

  The river is found entirely underground, and as such the water is mineral rich and cold. It's safe to drink, but is usually purified before industrial use because the mineral content interferes with more delicate processes. The fish that travel this river are large and tough, and can usually survive in salt and fresh water alike. There is a seal-like mammal called Budzaw that lives toward the Velzarei end of the river, and while they use the river and are clearly comfortable that deep, they also require sunlight from the surface. When properly processed, their coats shed a thick silken fur that is a primary source of industry for Velzarei.    

Uses in the Modern Era

  While the water moves too quickly down the twisted rocky tunnels to have been safe for travel in the past, there are now a few advancements in technology that have allowed for travel, including a limited form of submarine, and sonar technology to locate safe points and air pockets. It is now possible to travel to Jomedure Tolu straight from the twin cities, although this is still rare and not entirely safe.   It is more common to seal metal packets with materials and letters and send them downstream, where they will be picked up in Jomedure Tolu with an elaborate system of magnetic nets. This is a fairly reliable method of delivery at this point, especially due to the cooperation of a smaller settlement near the river output to catch whatever makes it through the nets.   The river is primarily used as a water resource. Massive waterwheels fuel equally massive spinning machines for the textiles industry, and theirs is one of the first to employ widespread electrical power with a ready source of fuel.  

Many Dangers, Ignored Regardless

  This is not a safe river. The sheer volume of water and the speed with which it rushes downstream is not safe. The people who live nearby have adapted to it well, but they rarely use it as it flows, first modifying and slowing it somehow. Most of the creatures that use the river are stronger than others, and the temperature is such that even the strongest Weinadi can fall prey to hypothermia within minutes of falling in the water, if they haven't already smashed against the rock walls of the tunnels.   Despite this, the Atsawiya has been a significant part of culture in the area. Its use as a water source gave the adjacent cities an advantage over their counterparts in the Katolu Federation early in the alliance. While that gap has easily closed with the prevalence of the canal system, there are still associations with the river that go back before the cities.  

Coming of Age

  In the days before the Basadu splintered from the Dheizei and settled beneath the surface of the world, the Atsawiya was used as one of the many rites of passage found throughout the world. Such customs are incredibly important to both of these cultures, and to the Yagupa who arrived later.   The ceremony has changed now that the city is in place, but the gist of it remains the same. The young person in question goes down to the edge of the river and dips their feet in, reciting a particular prayer as they wash their hands. The content of the prayer has changed somewhat, but the main idea of it is to give a time limit to how long the feet stay in the water. When the new adult leaves the water, the community works together to give them new shoes, usually made from Budzaw fur. They are now ready to travel the surface or the chasms, wherever they may go.  

Myths and Gods

  The Atsawiya is heavily associated with one of the Low Gods, Yahule. As the god of water, he was a natural association, but it is this particular river that has a number of stories about him. Most of them involve him using it as a kind of sacred pathway that could take him anywhere he wished to go, and in true form with his trickster nature, any Weinadi attempting to follow him would be swept away to the lake where they would likely drown.   One story in particular involves an earthquake, and is theorized to have sprung from The Upheaval as such events are rare in the area and there are a few details of the story that match in odd ways. In it, Yahule was said to be riding the tumult, surfing down his river, when he encountered a great stone in his path. Despite his godly power, he was unable to move it. Assuming that the stone was cast down by one of the Garruw deities of The Faith of the Star-Eyed, he rose up to the surface and performed a series of tricks on them, to great success.   When he finally got their attention, they told him that the stone was not of their doing, and to leave them alone. When he returned to Atsawiya, the stone was gone and the water flowed freely. Puzzled, Yahule sought the stone for a year and a day, until he finally found it. It is said that the stone granted him great wisdom, but of what it might be he supposedly never told anyone, not even the other gods and goddesses.
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May 18, 2022 17:21 by Michael Chandra

I want to find that rock now! o,o Awesome tale, and a really neat yet dangerous river.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
May 23, 2022 22:29

Great article! You really thought out how they could use this fast flowing river with some very original ideas such as the magnet to catch the packets. Fun and original read.

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