Silendi River

CW: topics concerning basic biology and healthcare
 
Drink of the bitter waters
Just as Si’enne did say
Lie in Silendi River
Let it wash the pain away
  The Silendi River is featured in an ancient song that has survived well over 1000 years. Some historians believe it to be much older, going back 3000 years or more. Some claim it has been translated from the Ancient language, but there is no definitive proof of this. There are times when the song falls from the collective knowledge but it always seems to reemerge.   While many versions of the song exist, it is most frequently sung to a haunting, somber melody. The song's meaning is hotly debated, with many choosing to intentionally misinterpret it or even change the lyrics outright.  

Healing River

Partly due to the song, Silendi River is thought by many to have a wide variety of healing properties. Silendi River has been referenced in home remedies and potion-making resources in Imbria for hundreds of years.  

Swimming

People claim that swimming in its waters will relieve a wide variety of aches and pains, ease breathing, soothe cramps, and even improve certain mild skin conditions.   Various home-remedy resources prescribed "taking the waters" for a specific amount of time each day for varying lengths depending upon the ailment.   Additionally, spas and wellness retreat sites situated along the river tout the restorative nature of entering the water when coupled with their services and rituals.

Consumption

Drinking Silendi's water is supposed to improve digestive health and settle nausea, though most remedies do recommend boiling it first, as with any surface water.   Herbalists and potion-makers claim that using Silendi's water for brewing tonics, salves, potions, teas, and other herbal remedies helps improve the efficacy of those products and ensures a more reliable outcome.   Older travel guides and cookbooks suggest that cooking with Silendi's water helps prevent food-borne illnesses.
 

Houses of Healing

Silendi River has a long history of being a favored site for various healing houses, midwifery clinics, spas, resorts, herbal huts, and potion stands. For thousands of years, places of healing have come and gone along its shores.   This tradition continues today, particularly in rural areas and nearby towns inhabited by nomas who cannot afford the healing services of Torvae Priestesses and healers trained in the famed Torverath medical colleges. Many of these sites have lost the ancient healing rituals associated with the river, but often encourage their patients to swim in the waters nonetheless, recognizing the light exercise of swimming in its gentle water to be beneficial.  
Silendi's waters are just as remarkable as any other river's. That is to say they're not. You'll find no special benefit in drinking from or bathing in the river, other than, perhaps, what can be found in the simple act of taking rest, relaxation, or recreation.
— Healer from the Torverath Institute of Health
  Modern healers and scholars dismiss the idea that the water itself has any unique properties. Historians attribute the river's reputation to an ancient religious sect, the Silendi Sisters, who offered aid to everyone, witch and nomas alike, and who were duty-bound to serve even very poor communities. They perhaps even started the tradition of building houses of healing along Silendi's shores.  

Healing Flora

Many useful plants grow along the Silendi's banks and within walking distance of the river. The exact species vary with location, depending on many factors including climate and soil conditions. But one usually does not have to look far to find something useful.   Herbalists and potion-makers have long theorized that the real allure of the river is the ready supply of various herbs and plants with medicinal uses. Herbalists and healers could easily scavenge for many of their treatments' key ingredients.   A rare grove of wild Temple Guardian even grows not too far from the river near Ashalia. Temple Guardian's most prominent use is in the production of healing salve, a general antiobiotic and pain-relieving paste.  

Bitter Waters

 

Medicine and Literature

Silendi River is nicknamed Bitter Waters for many reasons, though primarily the phrase refers to specific herbal remedies created by practioners near Silendi, remedies that are designed to "promote and regulate menstruation". Many of these herbal concoctions do taste quite bitter, as they are brewed from plants that are, quite frankly, poisonous.  
Measure each ingredient precisely to avoid extreme illness. Brew as directed and consume the bitter waters morning and night, every day for nine days.  
-From Remedies for the Common Household
Let the waters run red and be not ashamed. Let Silendi cleanse the body and comfort the spirit.  
-Instructions for after consuming the bitter waters, from pamphlets used in healthcare clinics along the Silendi River
  Numerous guides, books, and other literature refer to Silendi River, specifically in connection with herbal remedies and home remedies, as mentioned above under the Healing River section. Some of these sources refer to the river itself as Bitter Waters.  
If bleeding continues too long or does not begin to ease after a couple days, take yourself to Bitter Waters and consult the healers there.  
-From Everyday Herbal Remedies for Nomas
 

History

Another interpretation of the nickname comes from the river's brutal history. Some claim Bitter Waters refers to a series of bloody clashes in the early 400s DE between Salaris militia groups and Eldahi defending their territory. Salarian nationalists wanted to expand Salaris, with the ultimate goal of eventually ruling all of Imbria.  
We'll sail Silendi River
Attack from eastern shore
Raid each and every village
'Till Eldahi's no more!
  The attempts failed, as the Eldahi defended their borders fiercely. Salaris suffered many casualties in the final border clash.  
The bitter waters of Silendi River ran red that day, as many patriot lives were lost to the immoral Eldahi.
— History of Salaris textbook

Location
Silendi River flows through Salaris and Eldahi
Drink of the bitter waters
Just as Si’enne did say
Lie in Silendi River
Let it wash the pain away   If you’re not ready for battle
Or you can’t afford one more
If your heart or body just can’t
Come seek Silendi’s shore   Gather all the pieces needed
And measure them just so
Follow Si’enne’s orders
Then to Silendi go   Drink of the bitter waters
Just as Si’enne did say
Lie in Silendi River
Let it wash the pain away
 

A Surprising Ally

This is one of the few songs anyone has heard Draconis, an instrumentalist for the Enchanting Mesmers, sing. He often sings it solo toward the end of performances, in secret bars like the Hideout.     Those who have heard him describe the performance as emotional and unforgettable.  
His voice sticks with you, achingly beautiful, rough, and raw. The words weigh on your conscience for days in all their gravitas.
— Entertainment Reviewer for the Salaris Herald
 
Draconis
Character | May 7, 2022

The moody, mysterious instrumentalist for the Enchanting Mesmers, Imbria's most well-loved band

 

Controversy

Some fundamental/fanatical Torvists are pressuring Salaris leadership and lawmakers to outlaw certain treatments that have been available for thousands of years.   Some seek to outlaw all traditional and herbal medicines, declaring that only the Torvae Priestesses and Healers trained in medical universities should be allowed to practice any sort of medicine, and even that should be regulated to what the Goddess would approve. Of course, this would leave rural and poor Salarians without any treatments whatsoever.   Extremists claim that any remedies even remotely connected to menstruation, fertility, and contraception are the practice of Blood Magic, which is expressly forbidden in the Divine Teachings.     This radicalism is leading to the loss of more and more midwifery clinics and herbal huts in Salaris and persecution of those found practicing "traditional" medicine. Despite no current legal bans, Salarians are already seeking medical assistance from the neighboring nation Eldahi, often by traveling Silendi River to cross the border.
 

Other Ingredients

Within the more densely forested sections and along smaller offshoots of the Silendi River that stretch into Eldahi territory, magimandi can be found roaming the banks.   The Eldahi people will collect naturally-shed magimandus scales, which have many uses in potions and medicaments. These scales are greatly valued by the Edahi and all of Imbria.  
Magimandus Scales
Material | Jul 14, 2020

Magimandus scales have many uses: traditional medicine, potions, and more

Silent River

Silendi River is also known as the Silent River. Those who have forgotten the goddess Si'enne believe that the word Silendi means Silent.   Furthermore, much of the river is broad and gently-flowing. Silendi River has no rapids or fast-moving water, and it is therefore a favored river for leisurely activities like fishing, canoeing, and bird-watching.  
Silendi is the Silent River. It bears witness to your struggle, your pain, your decisions. It bears witness to your relief, your surety, your joy. And it remains Silent.
   
 
"I can't do this. I can't. I'm not ready. I had plans. I was going to...you were going to--" the words spilled from her lips as did the tears from her eyes.   "Shh, shh, shh. You don't have to," he murmured into her hair. "We can, if you want it. Or if you so choose, I will hold your hand on the way to Silendi River."

Comments

Author's Notes

Thank you for reading.   This article is about exactly what you think it is. I make no apologies for that.


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9 May, 2022 19:44

I love everything about this article ❤️

9 May, 2022 20:32

Thank you so much

- Hello from Valayo! Featured work: How to Write Great Competition Articles
10 May, 2022 18:31

Beautiful article with lots of interesting information. The article layout is clearly well thought-out, and I love it how the serene pictures nicely stand out from the dark background. I really like it how you have divided the article by the different names of the river and how the names are explained. The healing properties of the water and the modern scholars dismissing the abilities of the water is very interesting and rises the question if the water has some effects or not. I also really like the controversy part of the article. Overall you have done lovely work with this article!

10 May, 2022 21:44

Can we go and murder some fanatics and turn the river red again, please?

12 May, 2022 12:34

Great article!   It's cool seeing how many things are centered around the river, including a nice bit of lore in the form of song about it from who knows how long ago.   ----------------------------------------------------------------   Feel free to check out my Rivers/Waterways entry: Loch Mesner

19 May, 2022 14:44

I'm still drinking my morning coffee so it took a minute for my brain to get the coded meaning, but I love it!

Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
26 May, 2022 04:42

Enjoyed your layout again - long panoramic pictures instead of square in particular. "Let it wash the pain away"

Lutra lived in the Unilynn until its end, then her son Ardelis brought her to Etonia. She knows the story behind their home, The One River.
26 May, 2022 05:32

While the whole article is very interesting and complete, I find remarkable the details about names, in particular the mention of different possible meanings for the nickname of Bitter Waters.

28 May, 2022 15:16

Stunning. I'm just in awe here. That last bit just grabs you. This is amazing!