Monday, September 28, 2015

Water: The Red River and Clear Water Aqueduct

The Red River

When the Tarrasque was first bound, a large, sweet stream -almost a river in its own right- ran nearby the fortress Salzinwuun. Along with several wells the watch drug, the denizens of the fortress and early binders felt that they would always be well supplied with ample water to sustain the men and animals.
The spreading of the Tarrasque’s essence into the stream, the soil, and the surrounding water tables proved this early optimism unfounded.
Within months of the Tarrasque’s binding
, the water downstream of the beast became fouled for dozens of miles; it looked and tasted of blood and any who drank of it were sickened (or worse). Efforts were made to rely more heavily on the wells until they too were corrupted with the red essence of the perpetually slaughtered Tarrasque. During this time, the volume of the stream’s flow increased; some alchemists theorizing that the spilled blood of the Tarrasque itself continues to regenerate. And so the flow off from Salt in Wounds was renamed the Red River.
Daily, haulers would travel upstream to fetch water for the men and beasts of burdens. As time passed however, water further and further upriver was corrupted until the men despaired that they would lose Salt in Wounds. However, this crisis happened right around the ascendancy of the nascent city’s economic viability, providing the funds for a massive engineering project; the Clear Water Aqueduct.

The Clear Water Aqueduct

Hundreds of miles upstream, far from the corruption of Tarrasque essence, the river was diverted onto a massive aqueduct which carries water safely to the city. Water is drawn off of this vital piece of infrastructure, and carted to market to be sold by the water carriers guild. There is worry that eventually, even the distant headwaters that feed the raised aqueduct will become corrupted, as the Tarrasque’s essence slowly creeps uphill, claiming ever more acres to its twisted nature. But at the current rate of ecological change, the city still has several decades before that becomes an issue.
When allowing the Red River to flow unchecked was deemed to be an environmental crisis of the most devastating kind, the mad Gnome Druid Afrindi Gunterhix diverted the waters as well as importing and modifying hundreds of organisms to create Heartsblood Marsh.

Water Prices

Water is generally affordable to all but the poorest residents; the increased cost of hydration generally counterbalancing the decreased cost in food to create a cost of living basically in keeping with (or even significantly lower than) other cities. One large exception however is that the keeping of traditional animals (horses, dogs, etc) is seen as prohibitively expensive by all but the wealthiest, and individuals who own, ride, or otherwise use such animals are automatically assumed to be extremely wealthy. Every such animal kept costs the same in upkeep as an average person. Most Salt in Wounds residents favor Axe Beaks who -like many other birds of prey- draw their water from the meat they consume.

Types of Water

  • Snow Melt hauled from the local mountains, this is usually seen as a prestige purchase (although sourcing water this way has the added benefit of preventing a complete monopoly capture by the Water Hauler’s guild).
  • Aqueduct The main source of water for Salt in Wounds. Clear, safe, and affordable (for now) to all but the poorest residents.
  • Rain Neither common nor uncommon but always appreciated and directed into thirsty rain barrels.
  • Riverfall Where the aqueduct terminates on the north west corner of Salt in Wounds, any water not already drawn out of it simply spills into the ancient path of the stream. From here, it meets run off of the Tarrasque’s butchering and soaks up corruption from the very earth itself. The extremely poor and desperate try to draw this water (cost free) before it is irrevocably fouled by the blood of the Tarrasque.
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