"We are not playthings for Powers!" -Nedain, hero of the Faeli
Hope. Firstborn of the lands of Planet, Hope is and was a land steeped in history. Over the years, many have called it home... but none have ever claimed to rule it. Before now.
The ancient people of the Faeli are being swept up - like it or not - in the tides that are changing this world. The draconic armies of the sun god Minrhet encroach from the south, seeking to purge Darkness from the lands in the name of the Light. From the north come the fierce Genasi people, spreading their dogma like wildfire. Across the ocean to the northeast, rumors stir of a great evil awoken in the lands of Despair. And from the west, Saerite ambassadors tempt away the young and idealistic across the sea to the lands of Progress.
For centuries, Hope has stood fast - a beacon of light, steadfast in the oft-dark world. Those centuries are coming to an end. Whether it shall collapse into darkness, or rise again, brighter and more magnificent than ever before, is something only time will tell.
Important Locations in HopeEdit
Located in the far north of Hope.
This ancient city was originally constructed by the Faeli of old. Many generations ago, a civil war broke out between the ruling Faeli and the working gnomes. The Faeli lost, and the gnomes took the city. It became their capital and was renamed Steelmach. The defeated Faeli fled to Symaxia, joining with the undead legions. From here, the great flying cities of the gnomes were launched.
The Temple at Elysium, Bastion of HopeEdit
The temple at Elysium was once a glorious temple complex of purest white marble built by the goddess Aroha. She created an artifact of the same name which protected the temple grounds against all conflict. Many peoples gathered there seeking an escape from the cruelties of the world around them, finding peace and hope. Truly, the temple at Elysium brought hope to Hope.
Sadly, Aroha disappeared mysteriously from the lands some time after, never to be heard from again. Over the many, many years since that sorrowful event, the temple fell into ruins, lacking the power and guidance of the goddess to maintain it. The people slowly died from age or simply abandoned it. The artifact, however, continued to guard the temple against all wars and other conflict which made have obliterated it from all memory. It became a home to vagabonds and the unwanted, those who sought to hide from society where they could be safe should society come looking.
When the Dragon Armies invaded Hope, the dragon god Martu laid claim to the temple grounds, presenting the artifact to his lord Minrhet. The artifact Elysium was further strengthened by Minrhet and returned to the temple. From that point forward, Martu began a great project to restore the temple complex to its former glory with the aid of those mortals willing to work upon it. The main chapel which houses the Elysium artifact remains dedicated to the memory of Aroha, where an alabaster statue fifty feet in height has been built to her honor. Two smaller chapels have been added onto the main building to honor Minrhet and Martu, the current divine guardians of the temple.
Martu himself dwells in a cavern carved beneath his chapel and makes personal appearances on high holy days and other occasions of importance or great need. His cavern is sealed against mortal intrusion, but he keeps a watchful eye on the entire temple complex and surrounding countryside.
Testament, the City of DragonsEdit
Testament is a wondrous city built upon a lone mountain in the center of the desert which dominates southern Hope. The Mountain of Minrhet, as its inhabitants call it, towers far above the clouds, causing rain to fall across its peak and flow downward to water the city. The city itself is built onto the side of the mountain in four distinct tiers.
The Towers Above stand at the flattened peak of the mountain. Usually obscured by cloud, this is the home of dragons. Dragons of all types make their layers here, and the land itself almost seems to shift to suit the needs and desires of the dragons who dwell upon the mountain. The center of the mountain's peak is a deep caldera filled with crystal clear waters collected from the rains which frequent the peak. From there, the water cascades down the side in a glorious waterfall to the next tier, perpetual rainbows dancing in the air around it.
The Fortress Between is exactly as its name implies, a fortress. From here, a narrow, winding pathway ascends the mountain, crisscrossing the faces of the mountain to reach the very top. A treacherous climb, but not an impossible one. Guarding this pathway is a fortress, which is nearly a small city of its own. It is populated almost entirely by military personnel of the Dragon Armies. Without special permission from the Council of Dragonkind, it is impossible for someone lacking draconic heritage to gain legal entry to the Fortress Between. The waterfall from the peak flows into a shallow pool here, where it is channeled into an extensive aqueduct system which feeds further down the mountain.
The City Below is filled with humanoids of all types, though primarily Faeli. All buildings in the city have access to running water at no cost due to the aqueduct system channeling the waters from above. The homes are primarily of stone carved from the mountain or nearby quarries, while the more official buildings are build of marble and other beautiful stone carried in from much further afield. The city guard keeps public troubles to a minimum, though most crime is prevented by the fear of potential draconic intervention from above. However, there is a robust crime network headquartered in the city. They simply do not openly operate within Testament's walls.
The Caverns Beneath are dug into the earth underneath the mountain. A number of twisting passages lead into the main chamber where a small city mirroring the one above lies hidden. Though only about half The City Below's size, the city within the Caverns Beneath is no less busy. Here Deep Dragons make their homes, and the last remnants of the Dark Faeli race rebuild.
There are in fact two demigods who call Testament home. Namtar, servant of Minrhet, makes his home amongst his fellow dragons in the Towers Above. Though he is seldom home, preferring to roam the world ever seeking to expand his empire. The Murdered Man, also a servant of Minrhet for the time being, lives in a subterranean palace beneath the City Below. It is from here that he oversees that tier of Testament and runs his own little empire.