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Saunas are common across all cultures on Leva. There are two main types: the natural sauna, which may also be combined with a hot spring bath, and the smoke sauna, which is less common.
The sauna is considered a place for socialization, relaxation, and general cheer. Everybody bathes together, which sometimes confuses outsiders; anyone who tries any inappropriate advances in a sauna is quickly introduced to what it feels like to be thrown naked into a snowbank, and the error is not usually repeated. Usually a bath lasts about half an hour, more or less to individual taste. When finished, the user douses themselves with cold water, dries vigorously, and attends to any particular grooming needs. They only dress after they have stopped sweating.
There are two variations on this, known as the Dwarf sauna and the Human sauna, although both types can be found in the settlements of both races.
Dwarf Sauna – a structure is built around a geothermal vent or hot spring, in such a way as to trap and concentrate the heat while allowing out any unhealthy vapors that may be present. This requires a high degree of craftsmanship, and is probably an evolution of the original, or “human” sauna. Huge public dwarf saunas are a unique feature of Eidekvik.
Human Sauna – a well-insulated room (often pit-house style) is built near a hot spring or geothermal vent. A large quantity of volcanic rocks are heated in this source, and then moved into the room to heat it. Water may be poured over the rocks to create steam, and sometimes incense or juniper twigs are burned. Usually two stepped layers of benches will line the walls of this sort of sauna.
This room is usually smaller than a natural sauna, and probably grew out of the tradition of smoking meats. Rarely, a house will have both a smoke sauna attached and a natural sauna nearby.
Volcanic rocks are heated by burning wood. Meats are often hung to smoke during this part of the process. When the household wants to take their sauna, they let the smoke out and enjoy the heat of the hot rocks. Depending on the size and how well insulated it is, this type of sauna can stay hot for up to twelve hours, and often will be attached to sleeping chambers.