I am stretching my writer muscles by writing destination guides for fictional places. The first world tackled is Spira from Final Fantasy X. This week I’m telling you about the Moonflow, a river that can only be crossed by elephantine creatures.

The shore of the Moonflow.

Yuna’s pilgrimage brings the party to the Moonflow, a wide river that can only be crossed by riding the elephant-like shoopuf. While crossing, a small band of Al Bhed kidnap Yuna and take her underwater. Tidus and Wakka rescue her.

Afterward, as Tidus explores the area, he comes across Rikku who helped him when he first arrived at Spira. Rikku happens to be Yuna’s cousin, whom she has had little contact with, and she joins the party as its final member.

The Moonflow is a river that splits the northern and southern continents of Spira. All summoners must pass through the Moonflow on their journey, but only because it is the only path that leads directly into the Thunder Plains. Travelers with time to kill can stay the night at the Moonflow landing. When the sun sets, the pyreflies along the river light up like stars for a spectacular sight. If I lived in Spira, seeing the Moonflow lit up would definitely be on my bucketlist. To cross the Moonflow, travelers ride giant elephant-like animals called shoopufs. The diet of the shoopuf remains a mystery, but people have speculated that they get nutrients from the Moonflow’s waters as they walk across it.

Pyreflies are iridescent spirits of the dead. Although beautiful on their own, a mass of pyreflies form fiends which attack people. The Farplane, located in Guadosalam on the north side of the Moonflow, is home to most of the pyreflies. The Farplane’s proximity to the Moonflow is what attracts the pyreflies to the river. Travelers coming in from the north and the south should stock up on items to help with fighting fiends. Lucky for them, merchants tend to hang around the Moonflow crossings, so there are plenty of opportunities to shop around and stock up.

To the south of the Moonflow lies the Djose Temple, and the Thunder Plains are north just outside Guadosalam. It’s difficult to swim across the Moonflow, so crossing by shoopuf is the only recommended option.

A building on the south shore of the Moonflow. The big yellow bird is a chocobo, a common creature in the Final Fantasy franchise.

World building Points:

– One of the duties of Summoners is to Send the pyreflies of the recently deceased. The magic behind a Sending is not explained, but Summoners dance and the pyreflies are so offended they retreat to the Farplane. This is my interpretation and not an official explanation.

– Guadosalam is named as such for the people that live there, called Guado. They are a race of humanoids with plant-like features (hair that looks like tree branches and longer arms and fingers). Noted for their magic, they are the keepers of the Farplane. The Guado and the humans did not get along until Maester Seymour came into power, who is half-human and half-Guado.