(Pronounced "Rees")

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The Ries begins in the heart of the Amaranthine Dell, feeding into the Cockleswhent. Merlot Town sprawls along its banks, the exceptionally bright red Gorus Grapes fed by its waters.

Locally, it is used for irrigation. It is also the hub of transportation of goods between Merlot and Highgarden to the west; stone, metals, and gems travel to Merlot from the south tributary of the Cockleswhent near the Red Mountains.

The Ries also provides quick transportation between Merlot and surrounding cities. Nobles and wealthy citizens from the Highgarden area use it to travel into wine country for vacations and holidays. Due to the poor quality of roads in the area and the prevalence of bandits, it is considered the safest and quickest way to travel in the area. The Antirrans' vested interests in their trade keep the river policed better than the roads.

History & Lore

The Amaranthine Dell was first explored many, many generations ago, in the time of Garth Greenhair. The peoples of the time followed the Cockleswhent northeast from Highgarden and took the northernmost fork until they found where the river originated. The earth being so fertile and the weather so fair, they decided to settle down on the banks of what is today the Ries. Gorus the Grape-Grower sowed his first grape seeds in the region, and the first vineyards were sprouting as his children were growing up on the banks of the river.

The river was named after the Knight Ries Flowers, a figure today steeped in myth and probably quite exaggerated by many re-tellings of his tales. Ries was a boy of common birth, and a bastard at that. Through many fortuitous events (favorite stories of many young boys and girls in the Reach), he ended up in the service of the liege lord of the time, and worked his way into knighthood. Having been anointed by the seven oils in the sept at Highgarden, Ries was sent to be of service to the peoples settling along the newly founded, and as of yet unnamed river.

It is said that the river is named after Ries Flowers because upon first sight, Gorus the Grape-Grower's eldest daughter Selana fell madly and deeply in love with him. She demanded of her father to be betrothed to him at once. Gorus, however, was set on wedding his Selana to man of higher birth in order to advance his family's standing.

Despite being told that she could not court Ries, Selana met him in secret and he, entranced by her beauty, daring, and cunning, fell in love with her as well. Tales of their love are a favorite of minstrels of the Dell even today.

Before Selana could be wed to a nobleman, Gorus passed away and Ries took her hand in marriage, giving up his life of knighthood to be a protector of the budding town of Merlot and husband to the love of his life. Under Ries' guidance and with his hard work as a community leader, Merlot flourished into a bustling wine town, full of healthy vineyards, prosperous merchants and happy families. When he passed away, his children named the river after him, in honor of all that he had done for their community.