THE YANTH RIVER ("OLD ICEWINE")

DESCRIPTION - KEY LOCATIONS - LOCATION - PEOPLE - CLIMATE - FLORA - FAUNA

The Yanth River, dividing the south-eastern tip of Manthria from the south-west as surely as the Caeytharin Mountains divide it from the north-west, is a dark, cold river known for its fish and its frigidity. The Yanth is located to the west of Ciosa, and south of Marcogg, and empties into the Yanthian Gulf via the Fens of Yanthai. It is known for having hindered travel winter through spring along the road from Ciosa to Quairantree for ages until the construction of a bridge connected the road permanently in 1465.

Description. The Yanth begins high in the Caeytharin Mountains, a little south east of Ciosatran: the cave where the Avennorian leaders are interred, and several hundred peds up the slopes. The icy cold spring that begins the Yanth River is known to few, but the river itself which forms the western border of the Deep Julin Barrows where the important figures of Avennorian history are buried, is much better known than its remote source. Equally known are the fish that spawn with abundance in some of the higher regions of the river. The river has a very fast current, which eases off as it reaches Svanrek's Reach and slows to a crawl before reaching the Fens. This speed, combined with the coldness of the water almost year-round makes the river rather dangerous, as do the deceptively slippery banks. The Yanth is occasionally called "Old Icewine" by fishermen because of the reputed sweetness of fish pulled from the Yanth's icy grasp. Return to the top

The Yanth River

View picture in full size Image description. View on the Yanth flowing southward as seen from its origin, the Rockspring area, in the Caeytharin Mountains. Picture drawn by Reegen.

Key Locations. Key points of the Yanth River are as follows:

Location. The Yanth River begins as little more than a trickle in the western end of the Caeytharin Mountains in the south east of Manthria. From its source, well above Ciosa’s Rest, the river winds its way down through the countryside, to the rocky foothills below, where it marks the western edge of the Deep Julin Barrows. In addition to marking this edge of the foothills, the Yanth also splits a section of the Caeytharin Mountains from the rest of the range. The river slowly winds its way down the coast there, fortified by some of the smaller streams in the mountains until it reaches the Fens of Yanthai, which will eventually dump its water into Yanthian Gulf, both of which take their name from the river. The Yanth itself is bridged to the north-east of the Avennor Dome Ruins, perhaps the earliest human settlement of the region. Return to the top

People. There are few people who tread along the banks of the Yanth River. Those who do, traders and travellers attempting to go from Ciosa or Fang Julin in the East to Klinsor or beyond find the river is not easily crossed. The water is too deep to be forded in many places, and the current is swift and cold so those who desire to cross the river must wander south until it shallows out before becoming the Fens or use the sole bridge across the river roughly in the middle of its run. Fishermen also use the Yanth’s abundance of fish in the river’s frigid waters, though usually to the south of the bridge, where the current is easier, and there are better places to fish in the shade of low hanging trees. In addition to these, the number of traders, craftsmen and other travelling sorts who use the road that crosses the Yanth at the river can be quite substantial, even in the winter months since the completion of the bridge, when the river used to be next to unusable for ferry traffic. Return to the top

Climate. The Yanth River is noted, particularly in the higher reaches, to have blasting winds. These winds, called "Rotrumar" (literally mountain breath) by the Thergerim and "Springfall Razors" by the Ciosan folk have given rise to a few choice phrases about the sharpness of a person’s tongue such as “so and so has a Razor’s bite he does”. Many not familiar with the winds, which blow their hardest and coldest in Singing Bird, mistake the phrase as referring to the shaving implement rather than these veritable flesh-flaying monstrosities. The Razors rarely reach further south than the middle parts of the Deep Julin Barrows, giving rise to their other name “Barrow Winds”. To the south, past the Barrows, the weather is often quite nice, as the middle parts of the Yanth are far enough inland to avoid the semi-perpetual fog that tends to shroud areas of the coast around Ciosa, and warmer winds tend to blow inland from the Yanthian Gulf. Of important note is that the river tends to swell immensely in the early spring months, spilling its banks in some places, and in the winter, the river is best avoided all together unless crossing at the bridge because of the slipperiness along the banks. Shallower bends in the river may partially freeze up, but these are few and far between. By and large, the Yanth remains clear of ice until the spring thaw brings chunks down from the mountains. Return to the top

Flora. The banks of the Yanth River are dotted with a variety of plant life, which increases as one moves south. Red birch finds places to grip in the rocky soil to the north, and in the much better soil on the side of the banks. As the river becomes the Fens of Yanthai, the yealm reed can be seen growing in some of the fingers of the river. Waterstars can be found marking some of the warmer, shallower stretches of the otherwise cold river. People attempting travel to the north of the fens should be wary as krakenweed has colonized some of the banks. In the higher reaches, brave and rather sizable redberry bushes can be found clinging to outcrops along the side of the narrower section of the river. Following the spring thaw and flooding, grasses grow very abundantly in the rich muck off of the river bed, and some people actually harvest small quantities of this mud for use on their own gardens as it shares properties with manure, though having a wet earthy smell rather than the odour commonly associated with such measures. The Fens are heavy in yealm reed, which is one of the few plants to survive in the saltier waters of the Fens, as well as twinegrass, which grows surprisingly well here. Return to the top

Fauna. Mithralfish can be found in the colder sections of the river, to the exclusion of other fish in the higher mountain regions. In the south, the southern lysh pike prowls the murky waters. Several sorts of insects, including several of the biting variety can be found swarming along stagnant pools near the river at dusk. Various mice, including the fuzzle, enjoy the fruit of the wild grasses and trees along the banks as well. watersprogs can be found in groups the higher sections of the river, though none are observed near Ciosa's Rest, and rivermaids can occasionally be found south of the bridge. There are rumours of swamphags dwelling in the parts of the river closest to the Fens and in the Fens themselves, but none of these have been substantiated. It is often mentioned that people need be careful to avoid stepping on one of the bogsnappers that make their homes in the Fens, or a wayward kaimun that has followed the tide in. Return to the top

 Date of last edit 20th Rising Sun 1669 a.S.

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