Oh, boy. * looks at the talent’s verse *
The most used setting to start with is Vaterigdam, whose name literally means “dam on the water.” It’s built at the mouth of the River Vaaj, where it flows into the bay of the same name. Parts of the city are below sea level — not all of it, but without the system of dams and levees in place on the river Vaaj, there are a few districts where the entire first floor would be under water. Water — salt, fresh, and brackish — is just everywhere.
Particularly since Vaterigdam is a canal city to manage it. There are four semi-circular rings of canals running through the majority of the city, and smaller ones that run perpendicular to those. Ferries are the fastest way to get around the city, and boats and barges pretty much the only practical way to move goods around anywhere but the outskirts.
The harbor of the Vaaj is the center of the city, and the center of quite a bit of trade. Vaterigdam is the social category of a trade empire past it’s golden age but still very much a world city.
The city is majority Ilarian (worshippers of an earth/order goddess and a fire/chaos god), so neither of their deities are all that associated with the water, but the mythology of Vaterigdammers is also Ilarianism in the Tüdesche tradition. While more Southern versions of Ilarianism often have the gods and world emerging from the Void, the Tüdesche tradition is quite firm on the Sea being where the gods arose from, and Ila the earth goddess raising her element from that sea. (The chaos god has a few storm god aspects in the Tüdesche tradition he doesn’t always have in other places, too.)
Of course, since the Tüdesche tradition is often a bit on the fatalistic side, there’s a suggestion that while the world was raised from primordial waters, it will also be returned to them at some point.
This makes perfect sense to Vaterigdammers, honestly. They have claimed or reclaimed bits of the city from the waters themselves, dedicated new land to their goddess and built further upon it. The sea isn’t exactly antagonistic, but it is primordial with a personality of its own, older and less knowable than their gods. But they may also tell it — the beginning and the ending — “not today” because they’re busy living in the middle just now. And really, the sea might change, but so can the levees.
On the other side of the scale entirely, there’s the nation of Khumia is situated on the Southern continent, in the great deserts, and along the Haipo River. The Haipo draws a thin line of fertile black silt through the great desert, and the empires of Khumia rose from that thin black line.
Well, from the mythos of Khumia, everything rose from that thin black line.
The Haipo and it’s predictable yearly floods — and the irrigations systems it feeds, and the fish and he river reeds and even the crocoldiles — are basically at the center of everything, because it has to be. Without the flood and the rains, there’s nothing to live on in the Haipo Delta.
Their traditional new year is the Festival of the Rains — A six-day festival dedicated to their creation cycle, and held at the beginning of their rainy/flood season. It’s generally a thanksgiving festival as well as a preparation for the year ahead. Those that have immigrated outside Khumia generally consider it a very good omen if it rains during the Festival, and Khumians would consider it disastrous if it didn’t.
The most promenant goddess in the Khumian tradition is considered the goddess of the Haipo — Mewet, the goddess of water and life, especially since in Southern continental tradition they’re more or less the same thing. The old kings of Khumia claimed descent from her through her mortal lover Repat, who founded the kingdoms on the banks of the Haipo. She’s the goddess of the hearth and fishermen, or handcrafts and protections and family ties.
She also gave birth to the other god Southerners worship — the god of the winds, of storms and death and the desert. Just because Mewet is the source of all things doesn’t always mean she’s nice.