Harvest Laurel- is a very rare, small plant and can be found anywhere near rivers. It blooms twice a year, for one month. It has small, sickle-shaped leaves, which are usually dark green. It also grows large flowers, which can be silver, light blue, dark bronze, and gray.
Sunny Horse Nettle- a typical, modest plant and can be found in caves and other dark places. It blooms twice a year, for three weeks. It has large, circular leaves, which are usually light orange. It also grows quite small flowers, which can be dark yellow, dark pink and light brown. These plants grow alone, but within a decent distance from each other, but it's near impossible to control and maintain their growth. They can be used as an energizer when eaten.
Bright Gillyflower- an extremely common, modest plant and can be found virtually anywhere. It blooms in early autumn. It has narrow, elliptic leaves, which are usually lime green. It also grows large flowers, which can be dark pink, light red, and light gray. As a defense mechanism, the Bright Gillyflower mimics the overall look of a different, poisonous plant. They rely on self-pollination to reproduce. Once pollinated, they grow relatively large, edible fruits.
Shocking Moss- an uncommon, small patch of moss that grows on the bark of coniferous trees and can be found in cold regions. It has a white, fuzzy texture that is virtually identical to snow, with only small, tell-tale blue specks within. As a defense mechanism, Shocking Moss can emit a short, sharp electrical charge capable of killing some small animals, such as mice, or young squirrels. If ground to a fine paste and burned, the smoke would cause mild hallucinations and euphoria.
Sleepy Bite- an uncommon modest plant that can be found virtually anywhere. It blooms in late autumn and early spring. It has narrow, elliptic leaves, which are usually lime green. It also grows large flowers, which can be dark pink, light red, and light gray. The only thing differentiating Sleepy Bite from Gillyflower is that Sleepy bite has large, brown stamen that grows from the center of the flower. Sleepy bite grows fairly large, inedible fruits that cause numbness, and partial paralysis, and even coma if too much is eaten.
Twin Bittercress- is an exotic, tiny plant and can be found virtually anywhere. It blooms in once a month. It has large, blunt-tipped leaves, which are usually dark red. It also grows decent sized flowers, which can be light brown, dark silver, blue and light orange in bunches of two. As a defense mechanism, the Twin Bittercress grows small thorns. They rely on winds to carry their seeds away to reproduce. Once pollinated, they become relatively large, inedible nuts. Despite a somewhat bitter flavor, the leaves can be harvested and soaked in water to make a potent alcoholic beverage.
Ashen Windroot- is an uncommon, tiny plant and can be found only in some tundras. It blooms twice a year, for six weeks. It has wide, diamond shaped leaves, which are usually forest green. It also grows tiny flowers, which can be gold, dark blue, and silver. Ashen Windroot is often smoked and can have a calming effect on the nerves. Side-effects include happiness, sleepiness, and hunger.
Heart's Hogweed- is an uncommon, modest plant that can be found in most temperate climates. It blooms once every two months for one week.
It has thin, heart-shaped leaves which are usually pale green with blue tips. Heart's Hogweed is used as a common anesthetic packed into bandages to aid in the natural healing process.
Creeping Deadnettle- is an exceedingly rare, massive plant and can be found in caves and other dark places. It blooms when the temperature drops below freezing. It has thin, spoon-shaped leaves, which are usually pale blue. It also grows small flowers, which can be light blue, violet, and gray. As a defense mechanism, the Creeping Deadnettle can collapse its flowers when it detects vibrations. This action releases Creeping Deadnettle spores which can cause infection, which if left untreated can lead to death.
Sour Lotus- is an extremely common, tiny plant and can be found anywhere near the sea. It blooms four a year, for 1 and a half weeks. It has wide, fan-shaped leaves, which are usually bright green. It also grows decent sized flowers, which can be light red, pink and silver. Sour Lotus has a somewhat bitter flavor, but is edible, and often used to spice drinks, teas, and food. Consumption of Sour Lotus often leads to sleepiness and lethargy.
Monk's Pea- is a common, moderate sized bush that can be found virtually anywhere. It blooms twice a year, in summer and winter for three weeks. It has small, circular leaves which are usually a faint red color. Monk's Pea grows pea-like pods that have small, edible fruits the size of nuts inside. Monk's Pea is very delicious, and a staple for some cities, but have been known to be addictive.
Hissing Pine- is a common, large tree that can be found in cool, to cold climates. The tree is sturdy, covered in thistle-like needles that are inedible and dropping huge pinecones once a year. The Hissing pine's wood is unusable for most woodworking, but the sap burns twice as long as oil and emits a soft hissing sound as it burns.
Mage Blade- Tall blades of grass that are very similar in appearance to Bitterwood, but much taller with red-stained tips. Mage Blade has no miraculous beneficial or negative properties. It simply is. It can be digested, though it is not recommended for it doesn’t taste very well. It is mainly used as a ‘neutralizer’ in potions, to help give substance to concoctions and dilute or cancel out the more powerful properties of other herbs and leaves.
Goldenglow- Small golden berries that are frequently harvested for the bright yellow pigments they produce in dyes. Ice fishermen often use these as bait, for their vibrant color and pungent odor that attract ‘Brass-eyed Gnu’.
Mock Thorn- Mock thorn at first glance looks to resemble tall weeds. They offer no vibrant flowers, or sharp teeth to frighten off would-be predators. Instead, it is coated with tiny hairs all along its leaves that feel like a soft velvet. If a would-be predator were to come across it and try to take a bite, it would be paralyzed instantly. In small bits, it isn’t too powerful, but a mouthful could prove to be fatal.
Queensfoil- A rare, tall plant that can be found only in frozen lands. It blooms twice a year, for one week. It has huge, egg-shaped leaves with frayed edges, which are usually blue-green. It also grows large flowers, which can be purple and light silver. Queensfoil is a cure-all. The flowers can brew a refreshing tea, but all of the medicinal properties lie in its leaves. When folded in half and cut into, the vein produces a thick, cold, viscous substance that can coat wounds and cool even the highest temperatures.
Floom- Slang term for the highly flammable leaves of the Eiyifer trees. These long, skinny wisps are often stripped from the branches and tied around torches to extend their lifespan. The strips are highly flammable, but sustain the burn for a lengthy period. “Got any Floom?” “A few strips. They ought to last us another couple hours or so.”
Sad Juniper-Small, dwarfish cousins of the Juniper family, standing at three foot tall, these trees can weather even the harshest conditions. Their leaves are plucked when they have turned black with frost, and are used as a spice in various foods and dishes.
Osmier-A semi-rare bush that yields brownish-orange leaves. These leaves are often used as a stimulant but have been outlawed because of the addictive and reckless nature they invoke. Once a soldier uses Osmier, they do not tire for several hours...but the aftershock can be devastating. Most take at least three days to recover from nausea, depression, and sluggish strain it puts on their bodies. War doesn’t wait on those who are feeling ill, and officers need bodies. This then results in further inducing of the ‘drug’ to keep up with demands. After a couple of days of continued abuse, the user will develop jaundice, and their stomachs will swell. Queensfoil can help with the symptoms, but they would have to ride out the pain and nausea for a few weeks. Most tend to relapse before their bodies can heal, and die during the night.
Ribwort- Long, stick like flowering stems, blooming with tiny violet buds. The buds can be crushed into a fine powder, and mixed with a little water to create a thin paste. If this so much as touches the skin, it can induce severe nausea in the individual, causing them to expel the contents of their stomach until they start dry-heaving and dehydrate. Hence the name, where they end up clutching their stomach, or ribs when the sickness overwhelms them.
Pygmy Poppy- Small, white poppies that are rarely seen, and always avoided. Pygmy poppies are a beautiful pest that sometimes blooms over the graves of fallen men and soldiers. They are considered a parasite, as their roots touch down and feed off of the decaying corpses. When the bodies primary nutrients are depleted, and the flower can no longer sustain itself, they die, fading away into the snow. They are in full bloom, around a corpse that has been buried for a couple of days.
Demon’s Polkweed- Demon’s Polkweed is a medium-sized weed that grows in clusters, that offers up small white flowers with powdery stamens. These stamens are harvested and collected in jars, to be mixed into hot teas, bread, and jellies. It is a highly dangerous hallucinogenic when ingested that causes the user to see “spirits” and commune with the dead. This plant prefers to grow in cold, but dry conditions. Too much at once, can, of course, prove to be fatal. The brain shuts down, causing the eyes to roll back in the head and the mouth starts to foam. Once dissolved in hot water or tea, this would leave no trace behind except a white patch on the roof of the mouth.
Fairymoss- Black moss that only grows on dying, or decaying trees. This moss is often scraped off the trunks of trees and smoked in a wooden pipe. It gives off a sickeningly sweet smell, eliciting numb feelings of euphoria from any that inhale the smoke. The high that it gives off causes it to be highly sought after and addictive in nature.
Feverfew- Powerful anesthetic that likes to grow in small clumps in wet, dark areas like caverns. Feverfew are small clusters of bur-like flowers, which when touched to the skin, release a bit of their natural numbing agent to dull the nerves around that patch of skin.
Lover’s Knot-Fickle, but beautiful flowers that only grow on the tops of snowy mountains. They are bright red, with purple streaks in their petals, two flowers to each stem. Lover’s Knot is often used in the courting of lovers. If a man or woman climbs to the top of a mountain, picks the flower, and successfully returns as per tradition, they will be bound to their loved one for the rest of time-this age, and into the next.
Bitterweed-Used to counteract Ribwort. It is a somewhat hard to find, due to its appearance that blends in with the rest of the decaying plant life. Relatively short, tall, brown, grass-like. It should not be eaten, but chewed on, tucked into the back of the mouth and sucked on, to extract the properties slowly. To make this a bit easier, you can wrap it up in a bit of gauze or hemp, and tuck it in between your gums and your cheek. It is disgusting and gives off a terrible stench when chewed, but the effects are instantaneous.
Snakeroot- A flowering plant whose roots are used in poisons. The shavings of a snakeroot plant can be ground into a fine powder that when blown into eyes causes immediate blindness and dulling of the senses. The powder can also be slipped into a drink and bestows an instantaneous dizzy quality to its unfortunate drinker. A small dosage would cause its drinker to pass out and sleep for a little over thirty minutes. Anything past that threshold would cause them to fall into a coma, while the poison seeps into the bloodstream and slowly kills them in their sleep. It is seen as one of the more humane poisons to use, as the user isn’t in pain and never truly knows what hit them.
The Devourer - Origin Story | Orcs
The Orcs of the Numb are not known across Ohr for their intelligence, but for their hot-blooded nature and raw physical power. To be an Orc in today’s world is to be met with immediate distrust, suspicion, and fear by other races who have heard tales of their ferocity and rage. Almost all Orcs are born and bred in the Numb, an unforgiving, rocky, frozen wasteland nestled in between the spiked walls west of Whitestone Canyon.
A legend passed down amongst their people suggests that they were born in the gut of a great deity referred to as ‘The Devourer’. The Devourer had grown jealous of the plan the Maker had for the Orcs, and consumed them whole when the Maker laid down with the stars for the night. When their eyes opened, the Orcs were greeted with darkness and the stench of rotting flesh all around them. Rather than being digested like many of the other races, they clawed and fought their way through his stomach, eventually spilling forth and bursting out into the world. Once thought beautiful, their smooth skin had become pocked and greenish-gray from the many years spent in bile. They turned on the Devourer, uniting together in a combined rage to take revenge on the god that had robbed them of their future. The Maker was overjoyed with the return of his lost children, but wept when he saw their weapons coated with the blood of his brother. Because of this, the Maker turned his gaze away from the Orcs and disappeared from the north. The warmth of the north left with him, and all of the flora and fauna withered away into nothingness, leaving The Numb in its barren state that we see today.
Having been abandoned by the walking gods, the Orcs follow no deity or patron-alive or dead. They rely on their own brute strength to overcome the harsh environment of the Numb. Today, the Orcs have grown in size and number-a terrifying force constantly at odds with the world around them. They do not care much for the affairs of the other races, preferring to take care of their own instead and reap the benefits of others misfortunes. Orcs of the Numb are known to be fierce barbarians, quick to act on impulse and violence rather than wait around and risk giving their enemy the upper hand.
Recently, there has been some dissent among the clans, and many Orcs have begun to leave their ancestral home in search of more. To leave the clans, Orcs must participate in an event simply referred to as a ‘blood-battle’, watched over carefully by the Chieftain. To gain their freedom, rebels must fight and kill a fellow clan member. If they succeed in this task, one of their tusks are sawed down, and they are granted their freedom-only to be exiled from the clan and The Numb. Opponents do not fight to kill, only to disable and deflect. If the rebel loses, one of their tusks are still sawed down, but they may remain in the clan. This maiming of their natural defense serves as a constant reminder to the orc and to those around them, that their relationship has been forever changed within the clan. They are still a member of the clan, but will face ridicule for the rest of their life. For this reason alone, most orcs would rather fight to kill and retain their pride at the cost of their family. These orcs will be forever known as ‘blood-traitors’ to their clan and the world.
The game of Runeland begins on the year 1008 Godsfall. Three-hundred years after the collapse of an immense empire that ruled from one corner of the world to the other. The Empire's cities destroyed, its land scorched, its link with civilizations of old severed. The noble houses that lorded over provinces and commanded vast armies have withdrawn to rule from their broken city-states. Once seduced by the prospect of power, constantly fighting for affluence and influence, now they fear losing what little they have left. An endless, silent struggle for dominance in a world where none of it matters any longer.
The wars with the gods did immeasurable damage to scientific and arcane research and as a result the world has become stagnant. Where mistrust, prudence and petty plays at power are common, progress is solely reliant on the rediscovery of long forgotten libraries, forges and arcane facilities. The Noble Houses lack the resources and the will to restore the structures and societies of knowledge, and technological and societal advancement have become a commodity to be traded, sabotaged or stolen. Hucksters peddle ancient wares of no value to the ignorant, while the Lords seek and hoard artifacts they barely understand. Loyalty is transitory and the rule of law is easily bought. Alliances and reputations are sometimes the difference between life and death - a misspoken word or an unpaid tribute can pose dire consequences.
LIVING CAMPAIGN FEATURES:
While Luminous in their current state are only as old as the Godfall, they are a branch of humankind once separated into the mountains from nearly two Ages past. At the time semi-nomadic, martial followers once set upon their path by Nythura, the Goddess of the rising Moon and Sun; they lived in relative solitude save for trade agreements for a considerable period. Philosophical differences were frequent, however, as the Goddess' dual, antithetical portfolio eventually caused fragmentation amidst disagreements as to her nature - as religion is wont to produce. Conflicts ultimately led to fighting, creating an environmental schism to mirror that of the one of faith, and over time they grew into two distinct communities within the mountains -- the original township-turned-city of Ofcol, set around the Golden Citadel within the mountains of Astora, and the underground settlement turned massively sprawling though sparsely-populated village of Pannoval set within them, which had (and has) no such direct religious building to serve as the core of the city.
Though the split was amicable and there was no more violence between the two factions than could be expected in any large enough population, philosophical and social differences became amplified without the presence of frequent dissent, and as a somewhat isolated people, to begin with, these societal changes were perhaps hastened more amidst the Luminous than they would've been elsewhere.
The fundamental tenets principled by those within Ofcol (and particularly within the Golden Citadel, which despite its disagreements still marshaled protection over Pannoval) were those of proselytization and the rooting out and execution of heretics -- at the time, these were frequently worshipers of Gru'Thul, Ragabash, Kishari, and many of the so-called Old Gods. Prone to violence and righteous judgment, execution pyres did much to curb bandit activity in the region, as though the violation of the law and decency were not exactly heretical, many inquisitors were rather more cavalier with the label in practice. Conversely, as Pannoval began to grow and spread beneath the earth, the Luminous there found the natural caverns to be extremely hospitable for underground farming, and their increased isolation lent itself to an existence more of agrarian subsistence and philosophical reflection, eschewing their related faith's tendency toward violence in favour of contemplation, discussion, and communal living in lieu of disciplined hierarchies.
These two similar-yet-split societies would likely have existed in a comfortable sort of symbiotic relationship for quite some time, but as the Godfall began to spread across the lands it never even needed to reach into Astora to affect it -- the Walking Goddess Nythura was slain half a continent away, but for those within the mountains the effects were profound.
In practice, the mechanism or cause for what occurred is not fully (or even really partially) understood, though the prevailing (and exceedingly complex and unprovable) theory held (and closely guarded) by the Luminous themselves - particularly the Astoran - is that upon the moment of her death there was some form of theophanic transference of her pool of divine essence, and it was shunted toward her once-and-current faithful into a pool of shekhinah - divine energy - within the people themselves. Whatever the cause, the change was seen immediately within the first children born post-Godfall, and at that point, for all intents and purposes, the Luminous became a separate, distinct race from the rest of mankind, with the innate ability to manifest energy in line with their dead Goddess' power.
This theory -- while it lacks any and all proof whatsoever -- is guarded and held firmly by those who even still believe in it, as the social and political ramifications of being something even close to a Walking God (or indeed, also showing a degree of compassion or similarity to one) would be exceedingly disastrous. Even most Luminous remain unaware of it, and this is mainly the case for those born outside of families in the region; interestingly, even Luminous generations out from their ancestral home still manifest these powers with as much ease as those of old and pure blood, and their abilities (and thus the rest of the race's traits, though somewhat less so the physical) are visible even in those of half-pureblood human stock.
In terms of behaviour and political standing, the two cities in the Astoran mountains maintain much of their older -- to them, ancient -- ways and viewpoints, though these days much of the religious trappings are missing, save for the Golden Citadel which still stands (although it is no longer dedicated to the once-Goddess, let alone a single aspect of her). Pannoval births numerous philosophers and tends toward peace, and Ofcol is still frequently filled with those who feel fire and violence in their hearts, and it is often at minor odds with other groups in the area, being prone to skirmishes with barbarian tribes, raiders, and bandits. These behavioral traits are as much as a product of semi-isolation as they are of tradition and history, and consequently, exceedingly more metropolitan regions may view Luminous as something akin to backwater and as fragments of a bygone era -- particularly the Astoran.
Cosmology of Ohr
Two syllables of divinity gave form to the great dark. These words, the sublime commands, began to shape and mold the immense space around them. Nu was volatile and expansive. Ohm was subtle and unifying. From these words, matter was created, developed, condensed, and re-combined for an unknowable, fluid amount of time. In this age of dreams, time did not yet exist, and its constraints and laws had no bearing on the creation of worlds. New syllables of reality emerged in the complexity; new words gave form to sentences and stories. In this newly lit cosmos, a consciousness coalesced. This sentience brought predictability to the universe. Physical laws began to structure and solidify. Events became predictable and somewhat linear, lending time to reality. Using the syllables of divinity, the sentience gave itself the first name. Ain Sof. Ain Sof, the only mind in a vast, lonely, captivating universe began to explore the galaxies and stars, learning the words of divinity. Ain Sof lit stars and molded planets. It spoke new commands and demanded greater complexities. It seeded life throughout the stars. But Ain Sof was not satisfied. As the eons passed, and its nexus grew, it desired only a creation of its own; and others of its kind to share it with. Ain Sof tried in vain to create beings like itself. They still wait in the dark places between galaxies; blind idiot gods, full of potency and loathing. In desperation, Ain Sof strived to create a sublime command; to create a reality of its own to escape the loneliness of the great dark. As Ain Sof uttered this bizarre word of its creation, Ain Sof lost its material form and was cast among the stars in a destructive display. This sundering created an unfathomable number of individual consciousnesses that spread throughout the universe and were bound to biotic forms; separate, but still connected by origin and essence. Many lifeforms look to the stars and dream of what must be waiting there, never knowing it is themselves. This divine spark brought sentience to life on an unknowable number of planets. One such planet was Ohr.
Planets & Moons
Realms & Planes
The Dreaming World
City of the Scale
The Grand City of Kaastark rests within a caldera, its homes and inhabitants obscured by what the locals call the "sleeping mists." Visitors are greeted by 60ft of smooth, stone wall circling the entire perimeter of the city and can enter through four cardinal gates evenly spaced out along the wall. Smoke and steam pour out of every crack in the foundation and wash over the sides of the walls, immediately producing light beads of slick condensation on the goods and clothes of those unfortunate enough to come into the city wearing anything other than light armor. Looking up at the tops of the gates reveals the tanned, stern faces of the Redguard, clad in crimson and white linen robes bound with golden cords, as they survey the intended with a halberd crooked in their elbows.
Looming over the stone defenses, a massive tower of obsidian cradles an iron brazier whose flame whips violently in the spring breeze. Upon passing through the gates, it would become clear that the tower sits atop a large temple sinking beneath the burbling waters at the foot of the caldera. Smoke billows forth from between the columns of the temple, weaving its way through the city districts. Civilians scurry towards the steam pools, dumping large cauldrons of cold water into its depths, and as a byproduct releasing more clouds of steam into the area.
Each district of the city has its own place along the wall and as such carries many exciting wares unique to Kaastark. The Garden District boasts flowers of brilliant reds and blue, each thriving in the unusual conditions it was born into. The Farming District has taken advantage of vertical plots and offers various species of beans, peppers, and grains. The Market District is a vast, open bazaar situated directly next to the Garden District, which houses hundreds of stalls selling the freshest vegetables and most beautiful linens in the region. The Civil, Noble, and Military districts are all separated respectively but sit adjacent to one another, making up the Living Quarters.
The Temple District encompasses almost the entirety of the caldera and contains the Obsidian Tower, the Red King's Temple, and the Hissing Pools. Here, the Red Priestesses tend to the Eternal Flame and can be seen accepting offerings to the Red King from civilians who wish to pay homage to him.
Though the city is immense, and everyone seems to be busy minding their duties, the Market District has its agenda and welcomes weary travelers into their high priced inns with open arms. The Fireside Tavern, however, is a unique establishment whose owner, Akhem, prides himself on offering only the best quality food and rooms to those who cannot afford to rest their weary bones on beautiful silks. The tavern itself is three floors high, much taller and grander than its competitors, but has a well-worn, gently loved look about it. Game tables, a large hearth, and beautiful women are just some of the attractions one can catch a glance of when passing through its doors. The tavern is refreshing, inviting, and is bustling with activity.
A Tourist’s Guide to Anhki
Circa AK 2038
I greet you fair traveler, through the pages of my book, even though I am likely far away or dead. In my life, I found no greater pleasure than wandering Azir. In my explorations, I found many places and peoples worthy of being recorded on paper, but few cities as lively and vibrant as Anhki in northern Neferia. Anhki sets amid the confluence of the rivers Jax and Green, and in the morning the white mist rises from these waterways to catch the first rays of the sun, painting the sky blue and violet. To explore all the ancient nooks and crannies of the city may be an endeavor that requires a lifetime, but most of Anhki’s interesting features can be seen in a few days.
The city is divided into three major sectors: Copper, Silver, and Platinum. Many residents joke that the inside of the palace could be considered the Electrum district. Obviously, the Anhkian people think of their city in terms of material wealth, but by no means is that categorization useful for finding interesting people and places. The Platinum district boasts many of the city’s oldest and most elaborate buildings. The causeway of the Goddess cuts through the center of the city toward the palace, and is lined with buildings of social significance. Below is a brief list of these places.
The Temple of Shana
Easily the most impressive structure in Anhki, its white spires rise above an artificial lake whose pristine blue waters spread outward through the city. The murals inside depict the history of the city, and there are almost always a handful of temple prostitutes dancing before the entrance to beckon pedestrians inside for pleasures of the mind and flesh.
The House of Memory
The House of Memory holds the city’s relics and important historical documents, and is open to the public most days. It’s a great place to start your journey through Anhki if you have a taste for history. The curator and staff are friendly folks, and always seem happy when someone (even a foreigner) takes interest in the history of their people
The Study-House of the People
Anhki’s only library hosts a litany of tomes in various languages. Though Anhki is certainly not known for scholarship, there is an impressive variety of knowledge stored within these walls, and most of it is open for public use.
The Golden Coin
Anhki’s “Finest” Tavern and alehouse boasts a wide selection of beverages at outrageous prices. This is where the well-to-do citizens of Anhki come to rub shoulders and exchange ideas. It is famously known for being the place where the Great Revolt started during the Time of Madness.
The Grand Marketplace
The Grand Market covers most of the platinum district, and fills every day at the ninth hour with hundreds of merchants peddling their wares. Though prices are often steep, the greatest selection of goods in Anhki is found here.
The Guild-House of the People
The Guild-House hosts both the Burning Mind and the Gift of the Muse. The Burning Mind is a mage’s guild like any other, except that many Dwarven scientists and engineers are also present, and frequently give lectures to the public. The Gift of the Muse is a non-traditional artisans’ guild that works on a steady stream of commissions for the Empress and other public works.
The Treasury of Assai
The treasury holds the material wealth of Anhki and is guarded fiercely by large, well-armed warriors at all times. It is also contains the offices of the Golden Breath, the city’s merchant guild, that oversees all trade and exchange in the city.
The Silver District runs along the Jax river and is a center of public interest and entertainment. It is the largest district in terms of population and foot traffic.
Set in the very center of the Silver District, this large, circular structure hosts public games and combat three times per month. The people of Anhki, warlike as they are, never turn down an opportunity to see a good fight. The Empress herself is often in attendance.
The Gelding claims to be Anhki’s original ale-house, and maintains that reputation regardless of whether or not that claim is true. My experiences in The Gelding were almost always pleasant, and their baths are artificially warmed in a reservoir beneath the building. This is the venue for Anhki’s up-and-coming, and has an ironic reputation for being a spot for those with bizarre sexual taste.
The Gardens of Light
Following the Second Great War, Assai Alma X filled in the empty lots of the city with soil and the ashes of victims of the war. Eru Santi Sistrian enchanted the spaces with light spells that sustain the flora there. This is a quiet, cool space in the city, and you can often find young couples strolling there at night, as well as the occasional exchange of Danhki and Abbai resin.
The Music-House of the People
Anhkians seem to love music as much as they love senseless violence, and performances both private and public are held at the Music-House almost daily. The House also holds the quarters for the Broken String, Anhki’s musician’s guild.
The Forgotten Warrior/Crier’s Square
Crier’s square is always bustling with activity, whether it be from food vendors, harbingers expounding on news from the palace and the world outside, or troupes of actors performing skits. In the center rises a huge stone monument to the soldiers of Assai that died in the Great War.
The Copper District is where the poor and outcast live in Anhki; but it is advanced by the standards of living most other places in Neferia. A series of Euclidian pathways cut through what used to be the alluvial plain of the Green River, built up recently from mud-brick, wood, and cobblestone. The center pathway of the Copper District is King’s Street and it is lined with various shops and services, as well as food vendors crying out on the street. A few relatively fine homes stand there. In an alleyway behind the baker’s shop, there is a crevice cut into a gap between buildings with a minor enchantment, leading to Shadow Street, which hosts a variety of curious shops and scandalous services.
The Shadow’s Embrace
Anhki’s venue of choice for cheap ale, mediocre lodging and interesting company. Many workers from other districts of the city make their way to the Shadow’s Embrace at the end of long workdays to grab a pint of Shadow Ale, magically cooled in wall-mounted barrels. The rooms are modest and clean, and a host of food-vendors are ready to serve the drunken patrons stumbling back out onto Shadow Street. Having a conversation with a local is easily one of the best ways to find out what’s actually happening in Anhki.
Usha, an elderly Skaald woman, has been tending the forge at this smithy from time immemorial. At least, that’s how the locals seem to see it. Usha is just as capable as smiths you may see at the Grand Market, and is known to make special weapons with interesting enchantments by singing to them. For the fiscally responsible adventurer, Val’kyr is a must.
Shadow’s Loop Chemist
The resident chemist in the Copper District is known for custom-mixing special potions and remedies in an old-fashioned manner. As a consequence, Denten Wilds is hugely popular in Anhki, despite being an Elf. If you’ve had too much to drink, seek out the chemist for an anti-intoxication potion combined with Abbai leaf and Jantz root for the only “hangover cure” that has ever worked for me in my 102 years of life.
While making the loop, you may notice a single building made of the same pristine white stone that makes up the more affluent parts of Anhki. This is the Bathhouse, and is a great place to stop and sweat the ale out of your body. Two large pools that used to be separated have now been dug out into a single bath, heated magically. The urban legend says that after an epic night of hedonism at the Starfire festival, the women broke down the wall between the pools, initiating a legendary orgy. Such events are infrequent these days, but not necessarily unheard of.
A frequent stop for drunken mages around “the loop” and one of the more intriguing shops in all of Anhki. Rumor has it that the owner filters black-market antiquities and magical items to the common folk of the city, but such claims are ultimately unsubstantiated. Others say it’s nothing more than a run-of-the mill junk shop, and not even a particularly good one. Still, the myth persists.