Scion: A New Beginning
Population: 18, 253 (Human 36%, Beastfolk 34%, Fae 30%)
Major Pantheons Worshiped: Nuadh Tuath, Nyrvordr, The Divine Spirits of Heaven
Domestic Products: Deer, Sheep, Silver, Marble, Wheat, Cattle, Horses
Government: Trans-national Constitutional Diarchy:
Co-led by Protaran Governor Weiz Idfast and Litornan Baron Yacobi Smythfeld
Few would but the gods themselves could have guessed that the city of El Helai, when built, would be the focal point of such loss and despair. When it was built, and throughout its first fifty years El Helai was to be a meeting place for the mortal races and their gods. To this day the city still serves as exactly that, but the history between then and now has had its fill of tumult.
After it’s initial construction the city was left to the volunteers of the Litornan Government to administer with the understanding that the gods would keep close watch over the choices made for the city’s population. This proviso has always been the guiding rule in legislation for the city. El Helai quickly became a refuge for lost souls and beggars who assumed that the gods would look after them. At first, this became an unbearable weight to the Litornan community. Eventually though, the gods made agreements with the spirits of the city and its surrounding lands to work in union with the mortal races. A short era of utter prosperity followed.
El Helai was constructed across a canyon’s divide from switchbacks leading down to the ravine’s white-water river. This was done to protect the city’s permanent inhabitants from attack, as the city was designed to have only a single hard to access entrance. As El Helai’s prosperity continued though, even that did not prevent bandits and thieves from finding ways to loot the city’s warehouse and supply depots. As a result, a permanent standing militia of legendary creatures was charged with the defense of the city against the wishes of the Litornan government.
After the onset of the first war El Helai remained mostly neutral during the engagement. An influx of refugees were accepted after Ka’Quania refused them access. With no offensive force except the standing militia El Helai’s population watched as the world around it dissolved into conflict. In 453 P.C. a the Protaran states launched an all-out surprise attack on El Helai. The Protaran President, Sharae Tol intended the attack, not as an aggressive action towards the citizens of the city, but instead as a way to garrison troops on a well defended front. The siege of El Helai is considered one of the deadliest engagements of the First War. Many mortals and scions lost their lives on both sides of the battle.
After the end of the First War the Protaran States refused to give up the precious commodities that taking El Helai had granted them. The debate became so heated that a negotiation of ownership had to be arranged, lest a second war begin. The Protaran States were granted “ownership” of the city and all it’s lands and natural resources, but they were also charaged with the continued upkeep of the city. If the gods deemed the Protaran’s unable to uphold their end of the bargain, “ownership” would revert to Litornan control. Meanwhile, the Litornan population were allowed to remain and even govern themselves, so long as all decision they made were ratified by the Protaran Governor.
Life & Society
El Helai is referred to as “The City of Splendors,” thanks to god-wrought architecture and materials. The buildings are all crowned with precious metals; gold, silver, mithril and oricalcum. Rivulets of fresh spring water run in streams among the promenades. Everywhere one goes within the city the smell of rare foods and ancient incense perfumes the air. Prayers and hymns echo through the canyon-side city. Life in El Helai is something to be envied by even the ruling class of other cities, but only the pious are welcome in this paradise on Earth.
The population of El Helai is split down the center between the clergy and their congregations. Ninety-nine percent of the residents of the city are deeply devotional to the divine and their mortal attendants. Everyone has access to the same level of luxury while living in the city, no one is considered more important than another. Even the gods attempt to deny their larger-than life appetites while within the city. However, certain privileges are afforded to the gods who visit El Helai; housing, meeting lodges and private food and beverage reserves exist for those gods who have spent time arranging such things.
The Followers of Yu
The Followers consist of individuals all over the known world, but only in El Helai do they congregate en masse. Mortals who belong to the Followers revere the god Yu for his ascetic ways, believing that peace and possibly paradise beyond the divine realms can only be achieved through meditation and the relinquishing of all things material. Throughout the city there are people who sit in complete stillness, like statues attempting to channel the perfect yogic trance.
Defenders of El Helai
The Defenders are a prestigious society of scions and legendary creatures who willingly stand in defense of the the city at the gods’ behest. If not for the Defenders, El Helai would long ago have been conquered by bandits. During The First War they were the city’s only defense against the Protaran army. They were nearly wiped out of existence after being defeated, but have replenished their ranks to modest numbers since then
Major Geographical Features
The High Road to El Helai
There is only one way in or out of El Helai by foot, The High Road. It is a bridge the stretches half a mile across a canyon to switchbacks that lead down to the river below. The High road is barely twenty feet wide and only allows traffic in two single-file lines. Creatures larger than Size 8 wishing to enter the city must be lowered down from the mountain ridge above, flown in, or have special permission to access the bridge during a special closing.
The Silver Run
Within the hills surrounding El Helai are rich silver and marble deposits. The rock face above the city is full of silver and the veins run all the way to the surface. Mining the particular vein would be detrimental to the city below, and so it has remained there. At dawn and dusk the light of Árvakr is reflected brilliantly in the silver above the city making it shine like a halo made of silver and gold. The population of El Hali refer to this vein as The Silver Run.
Translated from Roïne it means “the round hall.” The Kru’zal was built as a meeting place for the gods present in the mortal realms. Twenty-five seats sit on perched balconies above an arena that seats 10,000 mortals. Here grievances are annually brought to the gods to hear. Afterward the pantheons deliberate openly among the people, hopefully reaching a consensus. As the gods have busy lives, the date this happens is always random. Those wishing to petition the gods do so by residing within the city until the summit is held.