Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Anmera - Home of the Spiral Tower

Within Morradin's Shield, the granite mountain range that divides the Surviving Kingdoms from the Arkhosian Desert, is the Vale of the Fey. On the border of the sprawling forest Haarken's Heart, glimpses of the primal beauty and power of the Fey Wild seep into the world. Over the edge of the granite edifices flow clear mountain water, which twist and twine, slowly coming together and forming the tranquil Lake Nirn, source of the Mighty Des. From the shores rise causeways, beneath which pass the sailing ships of the Merchants of the Des, connecting to the city of Anmera. Towering Ivory cliff faces are mirrored in Lake Nirn, and the city that rises above the lake emits an enchanting glow from the Pearl colored stone. At the heart of its hexagonal construction rises the Spiral Tower, the beacon of Fey Magic.

The oldest annals of the city's history tell the most ancient history of Caelum itself. There are no known builders of the Spiral Tower; it is the beacon of Fey Magic, the focal point of the arcane power of the Fey Wild. In Caelum's youngest days, it was far more primal. The granite crags of Morradins shield, the oceans of sand of the Arkhosian Desert, and Haarken's Heart, which covered much of Caelum in an uninterrupted canopy of emerald green. It was the Empire of Bael Turath that brought about the end of this chapter in Caelums History; even today the dragonborn of Dythan's Legion bear the Turathi slave symbol under which they were imprisoned. Wielding power garnered from pacts with the harbingers of their race, their advance seemed unstoppable as much of Haarken's Heart perished in Black Flames. It was a long war of attrition between the elves of Anmera and the advancing Turathi Empire, and each passing year the elves lost more ground, fearing Bael Turath would come to wield and corrupt the Fey Magic of the Spiral Tower. The Kingdom of Caelum was brought about at this time as Bael Turath was slowly driven back. The elves that had so long carried on the way, the Dwarves from the Mountain Citadels, pockets of dragon born in northern reaches of the desert, and finally the Southern Human Kingdoms, wielding power bestowed by the Divines. The final victory came at what is now Incendium, at the only great uniting of the Armies of Caelum.

Once an empire that covered most of Caelum, it is now relegated to the single city state of Anmera. The closer one gets to the center of the city, the more Fey Magic seems to bleed into the world as the stones themselves seem to take on a vibrancy of their own. From the tower outward spread the districts of the city. Nearest the tower is home to the nobles and magistrates of the city, the second housing minor nobles and authorities, and finally the third ring is home to the merchants, traders, and artisans. It is at the base of the plateau, down narrow walkways but into the cliff face that one finds the poorer districts, composed of those without family in the city. The buildings are still of stone but are roughly hewn structures cut from the cliff face, showing none of the intricacy and extravagance of the city atop the plateau. Fisheries, wharves, and lumbermen are the common fair here, making their living facilitating the rough work of the trade that flows over the lake and down the length of the river.

Yet above all of this stands the Spiral Tower, the ageless edifice of stone imbued with the magic of the Fey Wild. It is not only the pinnacle of arcane studies in Caelum to which students travel leagues to study at, but it serves as the governing body of Anmera, the Vale, and, ostensibly, Haarken's Heart. The top tier is the Aegis Council, and in Anmera, Grand Magistrate and Archmage are synonomous. The ten Noble families of the city all live within the two inner sanctums of the city nearest the tower, and have an ancient family history as Mages of the Spiral Tower. Some specialize as scholars, other are akin to the Druids of Haarkens Heart, but one which holds particular sway form the corp Emerald Guardians, and combine powerful Fey Magic with unparalleled skill with a balde; blades with which they channel their arcane power.

It is not the marble and lumber that passes over Lake Nirn which forms the wealth of the city, rather it is the millenia of irreplaceable arcane knowledge that is housed within the oldest city in Caelum.

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