River Roads Geographic Location in The Sagas | World Anvil

River Roads

The river should be respected as much as it should be feared, it can easily take one's life as much as it can bring profit. - River Merchant


River Roads
  The River Roads gets its name since it is connected to several smaller connected rivers, creating a natural highway that travels to several regions across the far south with the farthest-reaching to the horse lands of the deep south. You could get to many parts of the south if you were willing to take the main river and choose your destination. But the region around the river is either hills or open plains, depending on what part of it. It is considered easy to figure out which one is the main river because it is much larger than the rest connected to it. The river is mostly around the Ascar Plains as it snakes it way around it and winding its ways farther south. The main problem with this is that the river can be unpredictable as its currents change depending on the flow and direction changes. Some areas are faster and some slower, and they change during different times of the year.


Much of the animals that live here are often fish that live along the river with preditors that hunt them. But most of the animals that live here are aquatic by nature, as the wet climate makes it difficult for larger animals to traverse with only insects and smaller animals living here and feasting on the greenery and the game in the area. Some of them migrate with the game they eat when the seasons change.

Ecosystem Cycles

Seasonal Flooding: During the rainy season, the river tends to flood from the large amounts of water near it, making it more extensive and robust as it washes anything near it. Locals made their homes on higher ground or farther away from the river to avoid damage.   Water Level Changes: The river levels and currents change while traveling along with it, often making it difficult for anyone who doesn't know how to traverse them to get lost if they have little expertise quickly.

Localized Phenomena

Connected Rivers: Many rivers connect to the River Roads that give their name, creating a vast network of waterways, both natural and artificial, that lead to or away from it to reach it. With nine rivers in total, that is a part of the river itself. Making it one of the most expansive rivers in the entirety of the Western Lands. Though no one knows how this has happened or if this was created naturally or through other means.

Natural Resources

Rivers are abundant in fish of many different kinds that live along the river as they travel to their breeding grounds every season. It also brings animals that hunt the fish during these migrations to add more game meat and furs for hunters and fishermen to harvest. Plants can be found on the edges of the rivers, such as Willen Flowers and Feneri known for their pharmaceutical properties that can be found amongst many other types that come and go with the seasons.


Way of Water

  The River Roads have been the center of culture on the Ascar Plains and the people that inhabited and lived near them. They were known as the Benete or the River Folk, skilled in riding the rivers and knowing everything like the back of their hand. Many of them would be simple fishers who lived off the land to make a living. But the creation of kingdoms in the West led to an increase in trade, the River Roads being the center of it. Create a culture shift amongst the Benete, turning them into merchants and guides for anyone who wanted to move their goods on the rivers. It would lead to a rise of small kingdoms formed along the river banks with the River Lords that would rule over them. The rise of these kingdoms would lead to a rivalry between them to control trade over the rivers, and conflict would break out with the defeated losing their trade routes.   In doing so, the smaller kingdoms would become a part of the larger kingdoms, have control over significant trade routes, and make their demands on what it would cost people to use them. Making these kingdoms the wealthiest in the Western Lands and exchanging knowledge and ideas began from the many people that traveled it. It would go on for centuries, with the natives enjoying their wealth. However, it would not last as the kingdoms would find themselves at war with their neighbors for control over these rivers and the trade they brought.  

Blood in the Water

    These River Wars would see the river kingdoms at odds with their neighbors on all sides to gain control of the strategic rivers used in trade and military ventures. Some river kingdoms would fall, while others would endure the would-be invaders who wanted their lands. Leading to the constant change of trade partners on and off when dealing with trade. Though control over these trade routes would change, rival kingdoms would conquer them, or the River Kingdoms would take them back. Eventually, the remaining River Kingdoms would band together and create the Pact of Rivers, an alliance between River Kingdoms to defend each other in times of war to never again be invaded by outsiders and lose land. The Pact's efforts would be adequate to a certain degree as kingdoms would protect their lands from many invasions afterward.   But internal struggles would see them at odds with one another to assert dominance over the others. But eventually, the Pact would begin to lose ground as their neighbors became fewer and fewer as they conquered one another and became more powerful. The final nail in the coffin would be a coalition of neighboring states to band together to defeat and divide River Roads, namely the Kingdom of Ferosia, Osterol, and the Vatian Empire. This conflict would be known as the Red River Wars as the amount of bloodshed would see the rivers run red from years of fighting as the Bente would fight for every inch of found to defend their lands. Though this would not be enough, the Pact would defeat the Pact, with the Benete nearly wiped out in the conflict ending the river kingdoms with the land divided up by the coalition's members. It would not last as the empire would continue its conquests centuries later and conquer the River Roads and have exclusive access to it and all of its trade.  

Profits and Decline

  With trade solely under their control, the empire became wealthy from all its business in the region. The imperials managed to do this through merchants and traders who had contracts with them for their goods and arrangements amongst the region's local population to ensure trade kept flowing. It was suitable for a time until the empire declined, and so made its trade as well, as merchants began to struggle under laws that stopped them from making a decent profit to make a living. So did many of the settlements that survived through trading on the rivers. Causing the region to fall into pieces with some areas prospering due to the specific goods that go through it to the ones just barely even getting by.   Crime has begun to increase, and people have become desperate enough to do anything to survive. Those that managed to make a living do so at the mercy of nobles and merchants who have their pockets in the political circles of the empire to profit from it. Creating monopolies on trade that cut out smaller traders and merchants and are forced to work for them to gain some income no matter how small it is. The once stable region slowly began to fall apart from a lack of reforms and the problems were swept aside to ensure that trade flows once more. With many these problems being visibly seen but spoken on in fear of retaliation by those in power over the trade of the rivers.


The river is constantly used by travelers and traders trying to reach their destinations much faster. Many boats are seen on the river or heading to one of the many rivers attached. Along the way, they may stop to rest at one of the many settlements near the rivers, often in places where their homes cant be damaged by the waters when they flood.


  • River Roads
Alternative Name(s)
Wild Rivers
Location under
Owning Organization

Under Imperial Rule

  The river network has been under imperial control for centuries, with them having complete control over trade in the region. To ensure that business remained profitable in the area, they created a string of checkpoints and towers with Sea Gates to control the flow of traffic. Along with ensuring that boats did not enter areas that were dangerous to travel and eliminating the possibility of river pirates or smugglers gaining control over sections of the rivers for their illegal activities. However, with the empire's decline, many of these checkpoints and sea gates were abandoned or in disrepair due to a lack of funding, with only the most profitable trade routes protected. The remaining rivers are under the control of the very criminals that once kept them out.  

Center of Trade

  With the River Roads having a vast connection to other rivers, it has become an essential means of travel in the area with it being able to allow boats to travel faster than on land. It goes for the same in terms of trade as well as merchants can use the river to deliver their goods much more quickly and cutting their travel time down significantly. It is common to find boats on the river to get to where they want to and make a profit once they reach their destination, allowing for many settlements close to the rivers to be much more either than their farther inland neighbors.  

Questionable Thories

  Many scholars have believed that the River Roads and the rivers that made up them were not naturally made due to how some of the rivers are formed. Though none can prove that either, there is no evidence to prove that otherwise. But many believe that is it was a done by the Elves of the Elven Empire thousand of years for some reason or another ranging from trade to faster transportation. After the empire collapsed, the river was believed to have naturally eroded to create what it is like today.  


  While the River Roads holds many rivers that make up the region, nine in total make up the largest of these used for trade.   River Roads: Considered one of the longest rivers in the Western Lands, the River Roads is mainly used to access other rivers attached to it. But it is the only river that leads straight into the Marshlands, Lake Alnondros, and Vatia, the capital of the Vatain Empire can be found.   Yolan River: It bypasses the River Roads to reach the Yellow River. Smugglers use it to get contraband out to sea as soon as possible.   Yellow River: A river with a unique color as the water is yellow from algae found in it. It is used for boats to go to and from the Illdrean Ocean and carry goods where they are needed.   Southern River : The second longest river and the only one that heads down into Ardania. Anyone who wants to get their has get through the Great Forest and its many dangers to deliver their goods.   West River: A river that travels west to the Wild Plains and is mainly used to sail into the Ildarean Ocean with only a few choices to stop in the wilds. Those that do are settlers trying to live off the land or hunters looking to hunt game that they can find there.   Crafted River: An artificial river created to increase trade revenue and shift boat traffic is considered the smallest of the rivers. It is mainly abandoned now with no one using it, making it infamous for river pirates to use.   Rocky River: While created from the main river, the rocky river does connect to it from the Vakra Hills and used transport goods to and from it. But its rough currents are infamous for knocking over boats and destroying them if the drivers are not careful.   Stern's River: A river named after lake Stern where it leads to and is considered the calmest of the rivers. Its only purpose is to reach the lake and have it used to trade further inland.   Weeping River: Once called the Silver river for the wealth it brought to the settlements, many of them now lie in ruin after the Red River Wars, filled with the tears of all those who died. They say that people can still hear their cries if anyone listens closely enough, and it has very few settlements near its shores for boats to rest.  

Major Settlements

  Godel: A trade city found on the conflux of the River Roads and the Yellow River. Its wealth comes from the boat and ships tha dock near it to trade goods and spend coins. Making it the wealthiest settlement in the region as travelers are constantly here.   Two Points: Town on the conflux of the River Roads and the West river that acts as a rest stop after an arduous journey on the river. It relies on travelers to survive as their primary income comes from the seasonal fish every year.


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May 27, 2022 10:48

Nice read. The history is well thought out and it is interesting to see how the decline of the empire now causes entire rivers to be unsafe. I am still wondering how the rivers were actually formed into that network and what the flow direction is xp must be quite confusing :p

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May 27, 2022 17:13

I actually did mention that on the side bar with some people believing that it artificially made at one point in the past, but lack the evidence to support this little none existent. As for the river flow in mostly goes south as parts of the region have hills are other but depending on the season especially during the rainy season the current can sometimes reverse. But flooding happens more often as the proximity of these rivers and their many tributaries can flood large amongst of land at a time.

May you forever find your way on the journey you set out on and make yourself greater.
The Sagas world cover
May 27, 2022 17:46

Jester%, I really enjoyed this article, full of information, history, etc. I like the map and the flaming settlement pic. A lot of rivers join this waterway and you mention and detail all, which is good.   A well deserved Like/Fave from me.   Aemon

May 27, 2022 19:38


May you forever find your way on the journey you set out on and make yourself greater.
The Sagas world cover
May 28, 2022 13:52 by George Sanders

Fun take on the rivers and waterways challenge. I read a couple river articles that had canals but your articles really imagines that deeper. Nice work.

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