The vagabond river, the meandering river, the roaming river Roan. Gone from this world for a thousand years or more, and then written back into existence by…

Ah… It’s not important.

What you need to know is that this river lived in the time of our ancestors, many years ago. Then some men of power tried to cut off her head and bleed her dry. What is a body of water to do when she realizes that the ones charged with her care are about to do violence on her? She vanished.

This was the longest river in the world, mind you. Her absence was felt.

So began the foresummer-without-end, the Thousand-Year Drought. Bad years for many of us. Gods and kings slaughtered, thousands driven to exile, cities standing empty for the first time in human memory, that sort of thing.

Those who stayed behind had to live in a different way, a way without rivers and rain. Not that the water had abandoned us, no; even in those days, there were washes and streams that still remembered how to run to the arms of the ocean. Our ancestors may have been an industrious people, but we weren’t talented enough in the ways of violence to behead every river.

Really, we abandoned the water—had to abandon the water. I think that much became clear to us, then. If we truly loved the river, we would have to be away from each other for a while. Maybe forever. Until then, we would do the hard work, feed our neighbors, keep a warm fire and an open heart. If the river decided to come back, that would be good. If she didn’t, well—we found a way to live a good life without one another.

But you know how that story ends, don’t you? She did come back. And life is still good.

Did you know?

  • Roan is the longest river in the world. The surrounding canyon—the greater Sonderoan—is the world’s deepest and longest canyon.
  • The river Roan has three headwaters in the Scaiuq mountain range. Two are naturally-occurring tributaries fed by meltwater, and the third is fed by the bleeding heart of a dead god (i.e. Lex's Bleeding Heart.) Because of this, all water in the river contains trace amounts of god’s blood.
  • Roan (the river) is considered synonymous with Roan (the person.)