Am-Xitha, Parts I & II

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Duchy of Am-Xitha

by T.A. Saunders ©2013 v1.5

Overview

Before its destruction in 213 BF, Am-Xitha (pronounced Am-Zeetha) was considered a city of tolerance and cultural advancement. The only Elvish city known to have a population of both Shar'Vaire and Humans living side by side with Tallis-Shae, those who claimed residency behind her walls were often students, scholars and those wishing to learn more about the Elvish way of life. Whenever there was a need for a diplomatic summit or discussions between the three peoples, Am-Xitha was the city that was done.

When the War of Eternals spilled over into Shalzaar, Am-Xitha was one of the first cities struck, because the Shar'Vaire knew it had almost no defenses. It had been considered a place of peace and a no-weapons policy had been strictly enforced. When the Imperial D'Mirian airship armada converged over the city, her Elder, Alora Misaleena went so far as to welcome the Imperial invaders with food and drink. Her kindness was met with a very public gang rape and murder on the orders of Captain Delras Kajr and the crew of the Imperial airship, Vajarka. The hackles of the Moon Elves raised, they made a stand with whatever makeshift weapons they could find. Even Shar'Vaire who had been staying and living there, sided with the Moon Elves and faced imminent destruction, rather than willfully surrender Am-Xitha. Despite their valiant stand, the sparse defenders were routed and the city was reduced to rubble.

Am-Xitha remained a broken shadow of its former glory for over 1,700 years. As a monument to the many that had fallen and a reminder to the Shadow Elves of today to never let their guard down, the city was never rebuilt, until a petition was set forthin 1345 AC, by self-exiled Miroan Prince, Arathys Blackthorne, who had royal ancestors that had served on the Am-Xitha Council. What the Duchy stood for was no longer relevant to the Shadow Elves that rose from the dark, centuries after the War of Eternals had concluded. Save for a few structures that managed to withstand the bombardment from Imperial Airships, the vast majority has been reduced to rubble and dust, making for a scraggly wasteland of ruination.

With his petition secured, and the elevation of Duke of Am-Xitha granted, Arathys set forth to enlist the aid of many of the Heroes of Am-Xitha to see the soil purified, her borders secured and buildings rebuilt. In large part to the Dwarves of the Glantheel clan and the Sivanoshei of Am-Shei, Am-Xitha has seen almost complete restoration in five years, with only minor refinements remaining.

There are also catacombs outside of the city that more than one person has fallen into in recent years, the whole of which remains unexplored, for now. There is little lore on these catacombs or their purpose in the old records, with rumors of skeletal warriors and other spectral beings lingering hatefully in the shadow of a city reborn.

The Duchy ranges from the border to the west with the Kingdom of Moonfall, encompassing the Jackalare town of Lakeview to the north, sharing an eastern border with the Duchy of Am-Vansa at the town of Ta-Nirin, and encompassing the town of Ta-Ithimar to the south. These lands are patrolled on a regular basis by the Am-Xitha Outriders, to ensure the borders are made safe for travel.

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Points of Interest

Auryn (Capital) District

Am-Xitha Banking House: Before the reconstruction in 1351 AC, Am-Xitha did not have a banking house of any kind. The Shei simply used coins fashioned from the resin of Hirsalas trees to purchase items and services, content to store whatever they earned within basement vaults. With its return to prominence, a need for a place to exchange and store currency, and cash in bank writs became a strong necessity, especially with the influx of new businesses wanting to invest in the rebirth of the city.

The banking house is two floors and a basement, with architecture that matches the surrounding buildings, with stone-shaped marble and Jilthari vines draped

from the roof, down. The vault is located on the basement level and has six guards at all times, protecting a six inch thick Vocorium door. The overall interior is spacious, with bank representatives on the first floor and offices for sums tabulation and management on the second. By and large, most will only ever see the first floor.

Am-Xitha Ibji-Yimir (Am-Xitha Youth School): While there was a record of a remedial school existing in Am-Xitha, it had been so completely obliterated by the Shar'Vaire bombardment that it was impossible to tell where it had initially stood and the original city designs didn't have one drawn in. Duke Blackthorne took this as an omen to simply build it elsewhere. He chose the Auryn Distict because it allowed for a centralized location that all the other quarters of the city could bring their children without discrimination or favoritism to one particular race.

The school has been constructed by a several wood-shaped trees, molded into a multi-classroom, multi-level structure, much in the same fashion as the Library of the Enlightened Trinity (formally the Am-Xitha Royal Library). The windows of the building are actually fashioned from shaped amber, sorcerously turned translucent enough that the tincture of the light through it is only very slight. The school contains enough classrooms for a full remedial education (ten grades) and has a small library on the second floor.

Am-Xitha Infirmary: During the initial bombardment of the city in 351 BC, the Infirmary was one of the first structures the Shar'Vaire destroyed. While city records gave a clear enough idea where it had been in the city previously, it, like the school, was moved to the Auryn District for the same reasons.

Learning the lessons of the destruction of the city, Duke Blackthorne commissioned that the infirmary be made a hardened structure, able to withstand even the heaviest of bombardments from Ether Charges, Radiance blasts and any number of other horrors that could be thrown at it. The result was a single level structure that was walled with white marble and Jilthari vines on the outside, but was reinforced with six inch plate Vocorium, followed by another six inches of Ohratite.

Because the building is a single level, it's also a sprawling structure constructed in the shape of a hexagon, to accommodate various ‘wings' of care; a wing for children and infants, a wing for the elderly, one for the mentally troubled, one for addiction recovery, a wing for research, a wing for botany and biomancy research, one for general injury and care, and one for trauma cases that require immediate attention.

Am-Xitha Irisa Kran'ah (Am-Xitha Royal Cemetery): The royal cemetery was one of the most difficult projects of the restoration of Am-Xitha; with most of the headstones either utterly destroyed or weather-worn beyond recognition, it was impossible to tell who was buried where. After extensive research through recovered city records, Gregory George and his ‘Flatcaps' were able to find and replace every headstone in the cemetery of 1,247 permanent residents. Each replacement was fashioned from Orhatite and in many cases had the original inscriptions replaced upon them. Because of the Peasant's Rebellion of 1345 and the Second Godswar, the cemetery also had to be expanded to include burial sites for refugee solders and Shatah Viyn warriors.

Sprawling over several miles of hilly landscape enclosed by trees of various sorts, grown and shaped in a way that they serve as the fence of the property, a single Divinium and gold gate bids entry within the final resting place of many of Am-Xitha's greatest heroes, citizens and politicians. Two city watch guards are always posted as an honor guard at all times.

Pohif Dorna ri Am-Xitha (Great Hall of Am-Xitha): The first building constructed in Am-Xitha when founded in 3241 BF, the Great Hall was meant as a place of meeting for the world's dignitaries to discuss the matters of the day and maintain peace between the three primary races of Imarel: Elves, Humans and Asyndi. And for several thousand years since the Great Exodus that brought the Elves to Imarel, from Ishaela it served that purpose well. Constructed of marble, Forgora wood and hammered gold, the Great Hall could sit over 30,000 people in a oval-shaped auditorium-like setting with the conference tables at the very center. It was a widely kept tradition that the people of the kingdom and travelers from elsewhere should see the politics of the day in action so that there would be transparency between the government and the people.

Despite being one of the structures that actually survived the bombardment of Am-Xitha, the Great Hall was moved, brick by surviving brick from its previous location (in what would become the Shei Quarter), to the Auryn District. The reason for this choice was a simple one; Duke Blackthorne wanted all government offices to be in the center of the city, where each quarter would have equal ease of travel and opportunity to reach the Hall. While perhaps not exactly a short walk, geographically speaking, its at the heart of Am-Xitha.

Reconstructed to its previous glory, the Great Hall serves as a meeting place of all the local councilpersons to discuss issues of the city and surrounding territories under Am-Xitha's protection, like Lakeview and the surrounding Murkwhisper Lake and Mire areas. The Duke almost always tends to these meetings himself, though on occasion he does have his Hand see to them, if he has important business elsewhere.

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Kaalesi Quarter

Glantheel Weapons, Armor and Beer Emporium: If the Prismatic Elemental Forge was the heart of the Kaalesi Quarter, the Emporium could be considered the soul. This massive shop (as every other building in this quarter) was allowed to ignore the theme of Am-Xitha as a whole as a favor to the Glantheel clan, who found the Shei architecture ‘frilly.' Instead, The Emporium has thick Ohratite walls, with smooth lines and steeple-style roofs, shingled in Forgora wood.

The owner of the Emporium, Grand Master Smith Dunar Glantheel, stocks all mundane weapons, armor and other metal supplies, fashioned from everything from copper to exceedingly rare Aranium. Most of these items are enchanted by Rune-Forging and are suitable for the starting adventurer. Those who require something of greater power are normally required to place a custom order.

Along with weapons, armor and supplies, Dunar also sells different sorts of Dwarvish brew, including the Kaalian Holy Beer. Doubling as an ale house, there are round tables and stools throughout the inside of the shop, interspersed with kegs to keep the drinking going.

Pama Dorna ri Kaalesiti (Council Hall of Dwarf-Kind): In the traditions of the ancient Kaal'Kor clans, the meeting hall for this particular quarter is a single floor, squat building with intricately carved stone spires that curve up and around the structure itself, to reinforce a hammered gold dome that comprises the roof.

The interior houses seating for business and clan leaders on a stage, where a podium also resides, with wooden bench seating for citizens who with to either watch, or take part in the political process. Issues are brought to Councilman Glantheel's attention, so when the great hall assembly takes place, all matters can be brought before the Duke.

Penmyre ri Bahavr (Temple of Bavhar): As part of the agreement with the Elemental Princes, Bahvar and Shuun, each Prince was granted a temple dedicated to them in Am-Xitha for their help in purifying the land and the water. In recognition of that, this temple is fashioned from mud-brick and stone, giving it a very primitive look, in contrast to the other, more majestic Dwarvish structures, with moss growing on various parts of it. Like many of the buildings in this quarter, it is a single floor with a basement.

Inside is likewise kept with the primitive, earthy theme. The floor is simply compacted, smoothed dirt with benches fashioned from rows of rocks and an alter fashioned from a single, broad boulder. The basement contains the vestibule and priest's personal quarters, but rarely are people received there.

Prismatic Elemental Forge: Little is known about the Elemental Forge of Am-Xitha. Even the smiths who used it are unknown thanks to destroyed records and the passage of time. While retaining weapons within the city was illegal, the manufacturing of said weapons was not, giving a clever loophole to use the forge as as a sort of armory for times of trouble. While even the mighty weapons and armor crafted here did little to turn the tide of the battle on 213 BF, they did buy valuable time for defenders so that women, children and the elderly could escape into the outlaying woods.

The Forge itself is constructed out of the only known example of Prismatic Etherium and survived the destruction of Am-Xitha nearly unscathed, save for a few dents and blast-marks it suffered. The forge is haunted by its head smith and the very weapons he created there rise to his command to deal with those who would dare set foot within, with the intent of destroying the Forge or attempting to create anything involving dark powers.

While still protected by the spectral smith, Anathayn Kivaan, this protection also comes in the form of enhancing the work created there and granting greater success to those who pay homage to the elements. Interestingly, the forge has also become something of an unofficial temple of Kaal, given that in Kaal'Kor tradition (despite the Forge being a Shei construction), that worship of the Sun-Father is always conducted at a forge or an ale hall. All parties involved seem to be well with the melding of religious beliefs here, given the theme of tolerance Am-Xitha represents. (Grand Master or better smiths gain a 5% bonus to all stats to items smithed at the Prismatic Forge. Those who pay homage to the elements before smithing, by way of the destruction of something semi-precious, like a gemstone, or golden bar, etc. gain a +5% to smithing checks.)

Tharad's Tinkering Supplies: Tharad Hammerspark represents the vocal minority that is the Hammerspark clan in Am-Xitha, where every third Dwarf is a Glantheel of one kind or another. A Blackgate Vanguard retiree, Tharad had been one of the engineers that instructed Owen MacNamara in the finer points of blowing shit up and had the distinction of acquisitioning some of the parts for his son, Dean's Swamp Buggy when it was first built. Having heard of the boy's tenure with the Heroes of Am-Xitha and the presence of Dwarves in general, Tharad retired, came south to Am-Xitha to sell his wares.

The shop, like the Dwarf is the structural inconsistency of every other building in this quarter. With the exception of the Infirmary, this shop is perhaps one of the most blast-proof buildings in Am-Xitha, fashioned from three inch thick Kaalcite plate he salvaged from various vehicles he had a hand in blowing up over the years. While certainly sturdy, it gives the building a metal shanty appeal that sticks out like a sore thumb.

All manner of fuses, bomb casings, explosives, gears, cogs, wires, tubes and anything else an engineer would need can be found here. The inside of the shop (which has the same ‘all metal, so it survives an explosion' feel to it), is decorated with antique weaponry and old inventions of his. Usually, Tharad runs the shop, but his wife Igrit or one of their seven children are around to help a potential customer.

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Kipash Quarter

Am-Xitha Airship Docks: Not in the original plans, Duke Blackthorne quickly realized there was a need for a hub of commerce coming in and coming out of the land-locked city, to bring businesses and the affluent to Am-Xitha. Thus the idea for a dry airship dock was born. Easily covering the most real estate in the city, the airship docks are over six miles, from end to end, with enough landing platforms to support even Dreadnought and Nova class airships, that the entire Windsong fleet could dock and there would be a few structures to spare.

Each structure is truly a wonder of Glantheel engineering, fashioned from Fire-Blessed Kaalcite, and constructed in such a way that the the weight of the airship is distributed evenly by an array of honey-combed shaped formations dispersed between the six support girders of the platform. There is also a winding stair on the outside of the landing platform and a pneumatic freight elevator to bring goods down from the vessels without having to chance bringing them down the stairs.

The Am-Xitha Port Authority is stationed here, where docking permits and customs are handled. Enforcing Am-Xitha's port are six Sunstrike cannon batteries and a squadron of War-Gliders that port authority officers can use to overtake fleeing airships trying to get up to speed, or board vessels that are having problems with customs.

Am-Xitha House of the Watch: When plans to restore Am-Xitha had gone to the drawing board, it was determined by Duke Blackthorne that there would be not only a standing army and elite guard, but a city watch as well. In ancient times, there was a city watch created from volunteers and a core group of guardsmen. Since there was going to be a stronger city defense, plans for a guard house were included in the plans.

The City Watch consists of former refugee soldiers that didn't want to become Shatah Viyn, but still wanted to serve in some capacity, volunteering Shatah Viyn or retired veterans from the Peasant's Rebellion of 1345. Wearing high quality Divinium weapons and armor forged by the Watch's Captain, Dunar Glantheel.

The building itself is fashioned from Starmetal reinforced Ohratite, making magic effectively non-functional within the House of the Watch, with Starmetal-flecked Kaalcite doors throughout the structure. A rather squat, brutish-looking two story building, it has been constructed in such a way that it could survive several direct strikes of either physical munitions, such as cannon round shot, or sorcerous munitions, such as Radiance or Ether charges. Inside there are the receiving and processing rooms, on the first floor, the armory, offices and bunks on the second and prisoners are kept in cells within the basement levels.

Madame Perish's House of Fortune: Serving as both the city's gambling hall and bordello, Madame Perish Torveu, has gone to great lengths to bring the first establishment of this kind to Vyss. Normally, in Vyss prostitution is handled through private arrangement with a Kimiseada, or Sex-Broker. The public mingling of whores and clients In this fashion would be unheard of anywhere else in the kingdom, but in a city as diversified as Am-Xitha, it seemed a wise business choice.

The House of Fortune is constructed in the flavor of the finest estates in the Windsong Republic, with a majestic Shei marble fountain out front, and a circular, cobbled path out front for carriages, sedans and other modes of transportation to drive in and out of, with a flower garden to rival the ones at the Nahara Chapter House and the one outside the Great Hall. Inside is as tastefully decorated with red carpeting trimmed in thread of gold, rich, thick lacquered Kassoa wood floors, white plaster walling, with priceless paintings Madame Perish has collected in her forays around the world.

There are galleries of various sorts, and viewing rooms for more intimate conversations, before reaching the main parlor where all the gambling takes place. The gambling parlor is also where the doxies will circulate amongst potential clients, their position as prostitute made clear by a black pearl and black diamond cameo worn around the neck by the female prostitutes, and a black cravat with a ruby-headed cravat pin for the male prostitutes. Prices and desires are discussed casually, while bets are made, drinks are shared and a comfortable ambiance is established. Once everything is negotiated, the prostitute and their client may head to the many luxurious rooms upstairs for the evening's true entertainment.

To make sure things go smoothly at all times, Madame Perish has Voraath bouncers circulating the gambling tables, galleries and the viewing rooms with Voraath-sized truncheons enchanted to stun as well as inflict pain. You only misbehave once at Perish's house; those who get out of hand are rarely allowed to return.

Es Xethyis ri Dama Kamo (The Edge of Dreaming Hotel): Constructed 351 BF to address the growing need for a social center in Am-Xitha, Elvish entrepreneur Silivas Jiliaran invested well over 30,000 sildari to construct the hotel, but simply building it wasn't enough. Silivas wanted to make coming to the hotel an experience that no one could easily duplicate or find elsewhere. Hence, well over half that investment came from securing the services of Ilys Jhal to enchant the hotel to give the discriminating guest anything they could ever want or find a means to entertain whatever vice they might have.

For 140 years the Edge of Dreaming Hotel more than made up for its initial cost investment by giving guests the ability to conjure up any food or drink they wished or be entertained by the Mana Construct, Xandra, who could perform magic tricks, sing, dance and act with reasonable talent. The hotel also housed Elvish, Human and a few Shar'Vaire to allow the hotel to double as ‘covert' brothel. The phrase “If it happened at the hotel, it might not have really happened.” was a common catch-phrase of the time.

With the restoration of Am-Xitha, came the reconstruction of the hotel's exterior, with its large, golden dome, vaulting Shei marble columns trimmed in gold, with similar marble walls and steps to give the structure the same ‘feel' it had when it was originally built. Entering the hotel is as simple as opening the door now, though it isn't immediately obvious that one has entered an extra-dimensional space, until they find the lobby doubling as a sort of parking area for exotic vehicles belonging to heroes of the city. For a more detailed description of the hotel, please read this article.

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Kjah Quarter

Am-Xitha Yimi ri Kohas (Am-Xitha School of War): The Am-Xitha War College as it is also called, has become the center of training for all of the officers that serve in the various armed forces of Vyss. Headmastered by the first Ziyn Shatah Viyn warrior, Khazpar Nau, the War College has begun transforming the Vyssian army from one of the weaker large military forces into something to be truly feared and respected, through teaching their officers better strategies, tactics and training techniques. Duke Blackthorne also teaches a class on strategy and many of his maneuvers during his time as a Miroan Commander, the Peasant's Rebellion of 1345 to the Second Godwar are required learning.

The School of War is a five floor structure, fashioned from Geomancer-shaped, seamless Geomancer-shaped marble, that spirals skyward with twisting vines of hammered gold traveling the length of these thorn-like spires to a height of around 700 feet. This lofty view makes it the second tallest structure in Am-Xitha, next to the Great Hall.

Within, each floor is dedicated to a particular branch of warfare. The first floor is the admission processing office, instructor offices and the general lecture hall for officers, the second floor is dedicated to combat strategy instruction, the third dedicated to military tactics for both large armies and small attack forces, the fourth floor is dedicated to a library on various military histories, tactics and strategies and the fifth floor is a testing hall, where illusionary battle simulations can take place.

Am-Xitha Yimir ri Oran (Am-Xitha Tower of Sorcery): Constructed 70 years after the founding of Am-Xitha, the Tower of Sorcery was a point of particular pride for the city. So important was the arrival of the school, the Royal Library was ordered to add a fourth floor just to supply the school with sorcerous books and lore. The Tower of Sorcery is decidedly Human in its construction, taking the form of a six floor keep constructed from Ohratite, however the Elves added their own sorcerous innovation by cultivating a sacred Hirsalas tree within its center and using spatial dilation to provide space for its growth. The School's construction was actually commissioned to Human masterwork builders who reached out to their Elvish allies for the opportunity to add to the city. The solid construction proved vital over the centuries, having weathered both duels between students, explosions within and even the bombardment that leveled most of the city.

The School was reopened provisionally on Karo 3, 1346 AC to tutor the numerous refugee children of Shalzaar with the support and watchful eye of the Arcanium. It existed as a strangely peaceful necropolis, still inhabited by the lingering spirits of many deceased students and teachers either unwilling or unable to move onto the afterlife, instead choosing to maintain their place of death and assist in the education of new students.

New free of Arcanium influence, the resurrected Headmistress Lyudmila Shantelle, and to a lesser extent her daughter, control the school due to their connection to the Hirsalas tree that floods its floors with life. Strange creatures that exhibit traits of both flora and fauna linger on the higher floors, but seem incapable of existing outside of the premise.

MacNamara Arms: Serving as the official supplier of firearms to Am-Xitha, the very presence of the MacNamara Arms shop represents the changed philosophy of both Am-Xitha as a formerly ‘not weapons' city and the Shadow Elves as a whole who abhor firearms usually, but have accepted that not all peoples will seek the bow and arrow as they have. While still largely supplied by Owen MacNamara, who builds the majority of the firearms in Blackgate, then has his son, Dean who co-owns the MacNamara & Arthandas Trading Company, and owns this shop, transport the stock by airship.

Run by his younger brother, Connar and the youngest of the MacNamara clan, Alexa, the shop has the full line of MacNamara firearms available, with custom requests filled by either Dean when he's able, or his father, Owen. The MacNamaras are a rowdy bunch, one and all; those with thin skins and timid hearts should not chance the threshold of this place, given the banter and the random testing of firearms that often occurs!

Constructed in the traditions of Shalzaari Hillfolk, the building is made from brick and mortar, and has a gently slanted tiled roof, with two floors and a basement. Connar and Alexa have an apartment on the top floor the siblings share, with the shop on the main floor and extra stock and ‘custom work' stored in the basement.

Pama Dorna ri Kjahti (Council All of Humanity): Much like many of the other council halls in Am-Xitha, this one exists to address the needs and wants of the Humans that live in the city. Constructed from carved stone, mortar and a stone tile roof, this single floor structure contains a ring of about eight rows of wooden chairs formed in a semi-circle, with a small stage and podium at the opposing end of the building.

Presently, the Human Councilman is the Am-Xitha hero, Berwyn Cadfael, who has a farm of about ten acres in this quarter of the city where he ranches Lashers. Meetings are held monthly and as with other council halls, all are welcomed to attend, to take part in the Am-Xitha political process.

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Shei Quarter

Blackthorne Estate: Sitting on the southern slopes of the Shei Quarter, the home of Duke Arathys Blackthorne is surprisingly modest considering what his title and appointments could grant him. Its is a relatively small manor fashioned in the wide, broad-roofed and flagstone style of Miroan architecture, Blackthorne Manor is three floors, a basement, a personal library, an observatory, armory and gallery of exotic weapons, armor and relics he has collected in his travels. There is also a viewing room, parlor, five bedrooms, each with their own bath, with the master bathroom being a large bath house-style pool and an oratory dedicated to the Twin Goddesses, with an elaborate prayer desk.

There are hedges but no flower garden to speak of outside of the building, but rather an abundance of Hirsalas trees, as the Duke is fond of them. These trees are aligned in such a way that they decorate the property, without turning the entire fifty acre plot into a personal woodland. His ‘permanent' Shimmering Servant, Mimi is always found here, as six Shatah Viyn warriors assigned to protect the Duke's residence.

The Duke built this home in a time of personal mourning for his ‘heart daughter,' Moon and his bastard son, Jathadrin, both of whom were slain during the Godswar. There are two Hirsalas trees planted in their honor at the back of the house, where they may be viewed with privacy. The estate is also significant, in that the Duke did not simply leave the matter of building it to the Flatcaps, but joined in on the process, learned basic masonry, carpentry and laboring from them, as a means of personal healing. With the new-found skills, Arathys also helped in reconstruction of other buildings, when time allowed, earning respect from the common folk and workers alike.

Court of the Moonrise (Nahara Chapter House): Originally, the Nahara of the Court of Moonrise had been part of another chapter house in the human city of Moonfall. With the rise to power of Tolliver the Usurper and the massacre of Nahara there under the dubious banner of ‘eliminating spies in the kingdom,' those who managed to escape were brought to Am-Xitha and kept in the comforts of the Edge of Dreaming Hotel. While not the best arrangement, given the war, those that survived were treated well and the protection of the Heroes of Am-Xitha.

When plans for the reconstruction of Am-Xitha had begun, an arrangement had been made that rather than rebuilding the chapter house in Moonfall, that a new one would be made in Am-Xitha. While not necessarily a slight against Moonfall for doing so, the choice was rather an act of thanks to the Kingdom of Vyss for affording them hospitality in their country, during a time of war. The new chapter house, not coincidentally, named Court of the Moonrise, was given choice real estate in the Shei Quarter. Elevated to House Matron to oversee matters, succubus Nahara Lady Varity addresses all issues involving clients, Am-Xitha Nahara and their interaction with the public.

The chapter house is, like the Nahara themselves, a thing of exquisite beauty. The first thing of notability is long, paved path, lined with Misini trees that bloom pink-petaled flowers. The branches arch over the path, making a tree tunnel that leads to the chapter house. This opens into a vast courtyard, that the path forms a circle around a fountain of a dancing woman, fashioned from hammered gold and Shei marble. There is also a hedge maze and a horse-riding area and a lawn exclusively for entertaining clients and guests on the property. Finally, the chapter house itself is a manor of considerable size, at two hundred and twenty rooms, complete with a gourmet kitchen, baths, viewing rooms, galleries, a dancing hall, mediation chambers and the personal quarters of the Nahara that live here.

Ilys Jhal Memorial: Situated on the grounds where once, Ilys' impressive tower once stood, until its destruction in 1345, due to a temporal paradox caused by adventurers, the Memorial consists of an illusionary reproduction of Ilys's tower and a statue of the woman fashioned form Shei Marble and gold. Also stationed at the memorial is the former guardian of the tower, a 40 foot tall Clay Golem named Jhard, who happily answers any and all questions about his creator. Those who ignore the ‘DO NOT RIDDLE THE GOLEM' signs posted nearby do so at their own peril!

Built in 322 BF, the tower had the tallest structure in Am-Xitha. Even with the uppermost three floors missing from the top of it, after the bombardment, it still loomed over all other structures in the city. Crafted from what seemed to be some form of magically-enhanced Ohratite, the entire tower simply appeared out of nowhere on a plot of land Ilys had bought the day previous. Many texts were written about the day that regal Ilys stood, hands raised and brought the tower into existence with shaking ground and blood trickling from the corners of her eyes and mouth. When it was done and the dust settled, Ilys collapsed but refused any sort of aid, saying only, “I am it and it is I.” These very words are scrawled in Shei across the archway of the only door into the tower, lending credence to the widely held belief that part of the Elvish conjurer's soul was used to bring it into existence. Those who have entered the tower since its destruction and the death of its mistress in 213 BF swear it haunted by her, defending it as though all who cross its threshold are Shar'Vaire to be slain.

Pama Dorna ri Sheiti (Council Hall of Elf-Kind): As with the other council houses across Am-Xitha, the Shei Council House addresses the needs and wants of the Shei Quarter, when it comes time for the Duke's Council meeting at the beginning of each week. The Councilwoman for the Shei is Lady Danabrella Jinai, whose ancestors were amongst the founders of Am-Xitha, centuries ago.

The council hall was built favoring modern Shei architecture, with Shei Marble shaped seamlessly into a structure that looks remarkably like a Hiralas Tree cone (which are not unlike pine tree cones, save the Hirsalas cones are shorter and can be set upright). Each ‘fin' on the cone-like structure has been altered to be clear, like a window, allowing the entire structure to be lit by natural light during the day. Inside looks much like an auditorium with a small, round stage and seating to accommodate those citizens who wish to take part in the political process.

Penmyr ri Shuun: As part of the agreements made with the Elemental Princes, Bavar and Shuun, for their assistance in purifying the earth and soil of Am-Xitha, this temple was included in the plans, during the reconstruction effort in 1346 AC. While not wildly popular with a land-locked city like Am-Xitha, there are more than enough worshipers of Shuun in the city to constitute a temple to the god.

The temple itself is fashioned from ice enchanted to remain eternally frozen, with gently carved plates curling upward, as if to appear as a frozen flame. The temple is a single-floor structure with a basement. The first floor is where worship takes place, around a pool of elemental water. The basement level serves as living quarters for the small collective of acolytes and the high priest.

Penmyr ri Zorah: As the matron goddess of the Shei, it was only logical to restore the temple dedicated to her in Am-Xitha. The original temple had been vaporized, save for a small grove on a hill that overlooked the city, and a statue of the goddess, holding flowers in one hand and her mighty warspear held high in the other. Surprisingly both the statue (which was fashioned from Shei Marble), and the grove itself remained unblemished by the swamp and by the sorcerous corruption that poisoned the rest of Am-Xitha. The moon lillies that grow there were, in fact the only flower that could grow in Am-Xitha for almost two thousand years.

Reconstructing the temple was fairly straight-forward, since worshipers of Zorah worship in the outdoors. The primary things were the cleaning up of the statue, and regrowing the circle of Hirsalas trees that had encompassed the temple grove. This task was entrusted to Sivanoshei druids, who had been helping Am-Xitha's Hierophant, Vel'na.

Valaneaux Winery: Built in the northern part of Am-Xitha's Shei quarter, the winery itself has been artfully constructed to match the architecture of the structures around it, both restored and new, favoring shaped Shei Marble, lacquered Kassoa wood and trim of gold. The building itself holds all the storage space and equipment necessary to go from raw fruits to finished bottles, and houses the only place to actually buy the wines.

Valaneaux Winery began as a dream of Jacqueline's, having realized it would be cheaper, easier and.. generally better to start producing her own libations. It wasn't until her husband Kaladhan got involved, however, that things really took off. The Valaneauxs produce wines ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary, most of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The ‘lost' Am-Xithan and D'Mirian wines have been rediscovered and put into limited production, giving them more prestige than a fledgling winery should really hold.

The ‘showroom' is both beautiful and elegant, offering tastings and light lunches built around their wines. This area of the winery is often busy with servants seeing to guests, with tours available on request. Just beyond on the elevated slopes, are fields that many of the botany-altered fruits are grown. These are not a part of the tour and are guarded by personal guardsmen. (Description by D. Etherington)

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Zish Quarter

Pama Dorna ri Zishti (Council Hall of Zissah Kind): Much like its counterparts, The Ziyn Council Hall is where the newest residents to Am-Xitha come to discuss matters of their quarter that should be brought to council by their Councilman, Ophris. Before their liberation from Kenard Hammerspark in 1346, Ophris was one of the Ziyn Elders that kept them organized, safe and prepared for the time when they might overthrow the rogue dwarf.

The Hall is built in the manner of all Zissah structures, with lightly stained wood planking with pebble walkways and the thick, broad leaves of Punu trees layered and treated with oils to offer a water-tight cover that also allow a soft glow of light through, giving it the ability to add natural lighting to single story building during the day.

Penmyr ri Serys (Temple of Hope): While many Ziyn still worship the Spirit of Serenity, after their liberation in 1346, there was a movement within their population to worship Seryn, the Spirit of Hope. While not quite as popular with the Ziyn that traveled to Irys, worship of Seryn is the predominant belief amongst Ziyn from Am-Xitha.

The temple itself has the statue of Seryn that used to sit in front of the Great Hall, before that was moved to the center of the city, which is fashioned from ancient Shei marble, which has an unusual pearl, pink and silver patterning within it and stands twenty six feet tall. The temple in contrast is fashioned in the flavor of Zissah architecture, with stained wood walls and a Punu leaf roof. Great care was taken to make the single story structure wrap around the statue on three of its four sides, while placing entrances at both the center and either side of the three-quarter donut-shaped building

Vosana ri es Pilahai Jidoma (Library of the Enlightened Trinity): Formally the Am-Xitha Royal Library, Duke Blackthorne had this structure declared sacrosanct to the Twin Goddesses and to the Spirit of Knowledge in 1346 AC, at the end of the Second Godswar, at the request of the Church of the Twin Goddesses. Along with this request, the church also placed Lady Thairoa Leathurah as High Priestess and had the previously hidden Dedication Chamber open to those who have permission from either the church or one of the priests to view the books and scrolls hidden away there.

Built shortly after the Great Hall, the Library contains all manner of books, scrolls and maps from across Imarel and Ishaela. The  stock of books favors political and philosophical literature, though books of all sorts  can be found there. The structure itself is fashioned in the likeness of a massive Hirsalas tree (though it's primarily made of Forgora wood and natural stone). Winding skyward for four floors, each floor is dedicated to a different intellectual pursuit: The first floor, politics, second floor is philosophy, third floor is culture and the four is magic. The fourth floor requires permission from the priests who maintain the library to access. This upper floor is also the location of the Dedication Chamber.

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Other Places 

Am-Xitha Catacombs (Underground ruins): Discovered by individuals attempting to mine the, at the time, still swampy overland for metals, the Catacombs have existed as long, or perhaps longer than the city itself. The architecture on the inside suggests the latter, with some parts done in Shei Marble, and other parts done in simple Orhatite. Undead of various sorts wander within, but for whatever reason do not wander out of the breach into the lit world above. There are tales of dreaded Light Eaters living further, into the unknown dark and persistent rumors of more dangerous, unnamed things hidden beyond.

Val'na's Grove (Ten miles north west of the city): Dedicated to the Spirit of Life, Trent. Val'na Brownbottle has spent the past few years tending this grove as a source of personal power, and a refuge for those who respect the Old Ways.

Located many miles into the forests North West of Am-Xitha's city walls, while going towards Luisellia, the grove bears the distinctive markings of a druid's gathering place. The large, ancient tree in the center of a clearing, hidden amongst the surrounding trees and foliage, the perimeter around the grove has the occasional ward to warn against poachers and defilers.

Val'na makes her home in a burrow near this tree, a cavern that she herself has earth shaped for respite and to offer refuge to the lost. It's entrance is marked by a pair of totems. Entering the wooded grove gives visitors a sense of peace and respite for both man and beast, but also the feeling that something wise and powerful watches over this place, and those who enter within. (Description by Lisa Francis).

Water Shield: Nobody knows exactly where in the city the sorcerous generator of the Water Shield is located, for good reason. Were it to be discovered, those who have perhaps ill-intent upon Am-Xitha could disable or destroy it, leaving the city unprotected. Its original purpose, as designed by Lord Edranath Leathurah and Annora Ward, was to filter sunlight in such a way that it allowed corruption-devouring Baeula to grow rapidly. After the fact, it was decided that the Water Shield should remain as a means of protecting the city from hostile invasion. More recently, the Water Shield has been modified to offer weather tempering, to stave off fierce storms, heat waves and the like.

The Water Shield appears as a shimmering, ever-flowing film of water spilling downwards in a perfect circle around the city, that does well to not obscure view. The north, south, east and west gates allow for those entering or leaving the city to do so, without getting drenched, as the shield meets the tops of those gates. It's a common pastime for both residents and newcomers to the city alike, to stand in groups and watch rainbows arc over the city here and there, while airships fly slowly through the shield itself, to land and take off.

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