Ciiadociee Geographic Location in The Ocean | World Anvil
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Ciiadociee (/.tʃiːɑːˈdoʊtʃeɪ/; chee-a-DOH-chay)

"This river is the heart of its land, and the soul of its people."
A great river flows out from the depths of the the Vastland, the source not only of the people who occupy the Long Coast, but also of those who built a civilization in the middle of the ocean and lived for thousands of years in ignorance of their roots. Valdians call this river Ciiadociee, a word that even they acknowledge is ancient. Its best translation in the most common Ocean tongue is Swiftwater, a word more usually associated with the strongest trade-driving currents around the islands. That very similarity is strong evidence for humanity's ultimate origin inside the vastland.

Mythology and Folklore

As has been previously discussed, the many parallels between ocean lore and Valdian mythology support the conclusion that modern island culture derives from the same River Culture bands that settled the vastland coast. In typical storyteller fashion, those myths reduce a migration that likely involved several thousand people and multiple generations to a handful of heroic figures making the entire journey in a matter of a few years. Nevertheless, some of the specific incidents described in the Songs of Journey hint at conditions the bands may have actually experienced on their way down the river. For example, the "dry time" described in the second Song's fourth verse is taken to reflect a real drought season, which may have been a motivation for the bands to relocate.

Life along the River

Although the Songs imply that humans originated in a mountainous region with severely cold weather, today there are no known settlements any farther upstream than the waterfall complex at the inland border of the region of Valdei. Exploratory teams from the Middle Isles have not yet reached any deeper into the vastland than the river port of Dokei, which Valdians describe as being halfway to the falls. Their reluctance to guide anyone further seems to be superstitious in nature; to those who make their home along the upper Ciiadociee, the River Cycle is not mere legend but real history, and the closer they live to the "Place of Death", the less willing they are to travel in that direction.

A Peek into the Past

The Valdian communities along the river demonstrate a pattern of life much closer to the ancestral River Bands than any other vastland peoples. Although their tools are of course much advanced, their livelihoods are still governed by the natural cycles of plants, animals, rains, floods, and the moon. Fish are the primary source of meat, agriculture is primarily vertical, and fire is still a constant presence in every household.

The Lower River

The most well-traveled stretch of Ciiadociee is the 200-kilometer distance between Dokei and the delta city of Chawso. Outside of the flood season, this is where the river is at its calmest. This is the most urbanized section of river, with several large towns between the two major cities, and is the manufacturing center for the interior of Valdei. Below Chawso, Ciiadociee splits into smaller branches, each wandering its way to the coast and helping support the floating farms of the delta.

Raft Ladder

The difficulty with river trade is that as easy as it is to float rafts of supplies downstream, it is next to impossible to get a raft back to the place it started. The raft ladder is the Valdians' solution to that problem, an engineering feat that is now some eight centuries old. The ladder is a series of canals, mostly within the river itself, marked by two parallel columns of stone pillars anchored in the riverbed. Weighted wood anchor points float between each pair of pillars, just below the river surface. A team of four to twelve raft haulers (depending on the size of the raft) use long hooked poles to catch onto projections on the pillars, pulling the raft upstream. Hinged hooks attached under the raft slide forward over the anchor points, but catch on them if the raft slips backwards. The ladder is not completely contiguous--at times it switches from one side of the river to the other, to avoid crossing the mouth of a tributary or to take advantage of an existing side channel.
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Included Locations
A reminder: Valdei and the vastland are not interchangeable terms. The vastland is the entirety of the continent, all parts both known and unknown. Valdei is the region surrounding Ciiadociee from the waterfalls to the coast. It is the most well-known region thanks to the publication of the Valdian River Cycle; however, when writing of the vastland in general, remember that the Long Coast is home to multiple cultures, each with their own demonym.

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Articles under Ciiadociee


Author's Notes

Sliding in under the wire again.  If it weren't for the last minute, I'd never get anything done.

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May 28, 2022 15:34

Interesting to have this river as seen from the view of the islanders and not the people around it. The Raft ladder sounds like a cool idea as well :)

Feel free to check my new world Terra Occidentalis if you want to see what I am up to!
May 28, 2022 22:15

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the article! I wish I could claim the perspective as an artistic choice. Most of my worldbuilding has been centered on the islands, so I feel like I'm exploring the mainland at about the same rate the islanders are.

From The River to The Ocean, a civilization grows up.