• Lore • [Viden] Lore

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• Lore • [Viden] Lore

Postby Whisper » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:17 pm

City of Viden Lore
Contents
The City
History
Concept
Timeline
Geography
Appearance
Climate
Surroundings
Demographics
Population
Caste System
Languages
Politics
Government
Military
Laws of the Land
Crime & Punishment
Economy
Employment
Trade
Businesses
Housing
Culture
Education
Religion
Celebrations
Cuisine
Attire
Factions
The Directorate
Naval Force
The Academy
Mariners & Hunters
Intelligence Authority
Merchants
Race Relations
City Natives
Other Races
City Relations
Positive Liaisons
Neutral Liaisons
Negative Liaisons
Immortal Relations
Living Immortals
Deceased Immortals
Mortalborns
Views on Domain Magic
Practice Arcana
Discipline Arcana
Subjugation
Experimentation
Slavery
Welcome To Viden!
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Viden: a stronghold against the bitter, arctic winds that ravage the coldest place in Idalos. Here, learning is of the utmost importance; all with a passion for knowledge are invited to share in the wealth that the city has to offer. It is one of the most enlightened and refined cities in Idalos, as all Videnese enjoy the finer aspects of culture. Anyone can enjoy the best of Idalos; food and wine is imported form across the land. Foreigners will not be left unable to communicate, for language is very importance too; a visitor will not be hard pressed to find another who speaks their tongue.

Yet... known to a very small minority of inhabitants, Viden also houses one of the best-kept secrets in Idalos: the Facility for Retrospective Analysis. Down in the depths below the city, where no screams can be heard, the research - performed on all manner of mortals, and even Immortals - is hardly humane. Though all who know of it fervently believe in its necessity. But it really depends on which side of the bars you are on.

For players new and old alike, in this thread, you will find anything you wish to know about IC life in Yvithia's fortress of knowledge. This is an incredibly important resource and, as Prophets will tell you in any city, reading these posts will give you the best insight into the city you could ask for. Ignorance is not an excuse, especially when you have all the information right at your fingertips, so please read this before beginning RP within the city, and refer to it should you ever have any niggling questions. If there is something you believe is missing, feel free to fling a local Prophet a PM, as we are constantly updating the information available to players!
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[Viden] Lore: The City

Postby Whisper » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:57 pm

History
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Though the eídisi are thought to be the endemic race to Viden, it was the humans who first built it, with the assistance and guidance of Yvithia. She is the Immortal of Intelligence, Language and Communication, whose obsessional need to discover the answers to her questions was almost overwhelming. Previously, humans had struggled to survive on the harsh arctic lands. Yvithia’s supposed willingness to help them to build a strong shelter against the climate was welcomed by the indigenous peoples, who quickly developed loyalty for the determined Immortal. It would be many decades before her sanctuary became what it is today, but more and more nomadic groups of humans heard of it, and they sought it out, adding to the work force that was slowly building the great fortress in the middle of the Third Century.

To any new arrivals to her growing city, Yvithia promised protection from the bitter elements of the Northern Region. Furthermore, she offered as much knowledge as her citizens were willing to gain - Yvithia herself had a complete willingness to share all that she had discovered in her long life. Over the long, bitterly cold arcs, more and more humans joined. In the extreme, sub-zero temperatures of the Cold Cycle, the influx was astronomical each year. And each person helped her to build what would one day become the ice fortress city Viden. The descendants of these humans now occupy the city, continuing their own intellectual pursuits, as would only be right for the inhabitants of such a city.

By the end of the Fourth Century - the 381st Arc, to be precise, the infrastructure of ice fortress of Viden had been created. By this time, the Academy was already full throttle - children were being educated and, now the city had been built, adults were able to stop working as labourers and start following their passions, inspirations and dreams. This took many forms: some began to learn crafts and train in more advanced labour. Others followed a calling of academia, and were taught and supported personally by Yvithia. In the first years few years, she handpicked every tutor, even the ones teaching primary education. For only the best and most knowledgeable in their fields would be allowed to pass on their knowledge.

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Others, however, were brought to a section of the city that only Yvithia has created, unbeknownst to the other humans. For it was around this time that Yvithia heard rumours from other Immortals that there could be a link between the Great Shattering and the appearance of humans. Yvithia realised that these humans could hold the key to why the Great Shattering happened. For all who were taken by the Immortal of Intelligence, they would never leave as they had arrived. It was little more than a prison for each of them, until Yvithia selected the next for experimentation. The investigations were carried out in solitude, and could vary from psychological analysis to physical examinations. Some could be painless, others… were not so. Yet all were necessary in the Immortal’s eyes. Eventually, each of her victims would suffer an excruciating death.

Frustration at her fruitless efforts led her to reviving each of her subjects, but it wasn’t until each of her many subjects had been revived thrice that Yvithia took the time to notice the acute change that had occurred in those victims. Most obvious was the changes in appearance, yet further study revealed a divergence in psychology: they had acquired some of her traits. For a time, her experiments drifted course, until she concluded that these new creatures, with their enhanced intelligence and refined psyches, could be of use to her. Slowly, the race (which she named The Eídisi) was introduced to the masses in the city of Viden.

It took time for them to be finally accepted by the native humans, even with the Immortal’s assistance. Initially, the humans were horrified by their new neighbours; the appearance of the eídisi was not monstrous, but it was markedly different from their own. The stark difference in appearance and psychology was a cause of immense strain for everyone involved especially in a city which, for the most part, had been isolated from the rest of Idalos. Questions arose about the new race… where did they come from, how were they made… and why now, why all of a sudden? The humans had heard of a few other new creations from the Immortals, and had learnt of their resurrections. Yvithia knew not to insult the intelligence of her citizens. She told them that they were the victims of a terrible accident while assisting her in an experiment. The eídisi did not disagree.

Eventually, as the years passed, and new generations were brought into the world, the presence of the eídisi was no longer questioned. But the strife between the two races lingered. The humans believed that they had rights over the city because of their involvement in building it, whereas the eídisi claimed to have a higher intellect, thus were more suited to remain within the city. For many years, the superiority complex of the eídisi fought against the pride and stubbornness of the humans. But the disputes always remained intellectual and verbal, rather than physical. Yvithia also realised that, the two races were competing for her favour. Deciding to use this to her advantage, the impatient Immortal did nothing to discourage the friction in Viden, as she used all in her quest for knowledge.



Concept
Viden is a dichotomy in many ways. Ever since the very foundations of the city were being built, there was a conflict of emotions: the humans continued to suffer through the arctic temperatures, determined to make a life for themselves in the borderline wasteland. They hated the cold, yet were determined to stay.

This disunion mirrored the affinity between Yvithia and Treid - a passionate yet intellectual relationship which was, and continues to be, legendary in every sense of the word. An epic saga that transcends the Great Shattering, having lasted for longer than recorded history. Through ups and downs, they had been through it all - spent time apart but had always ended up back together. For though they were the Immortals of Knowledge and Intelligence respectively, and had so many things in common, the pair were just too fundamentally different. Treid, the calm, kind, gentle soul loved his impatient, relentless, cruel lover... but he could never accept how depraved she became following the Great Shattering.

The Facility of Retrospective Analysis - Treid's discovery of Yvithia's ruthlessness in the name of science and the creation of the ellune - was the cause of their last, and final, separation. The FRA occupies most of Yvithia's time and, inherently, it is a merciless, sadistic and inhumane place, governed without morals. However there is so much good: such as the attempts to revive Treid, which the FRA is involved with. Furthermore the Immortal, and those who are employed within the facility, do not see it as an evil place. Sociopathic though the eídisi are, they do not relish the suffering of others. Everything they do, they do with purpose, because they know there is a need for the the research: they will discover the cause of the Great Shattering. But only eídisi know of the brutal experiments in the FRA. And of the eídisi, only a tiny percentage know. Thus, despite the dark dealings, the city itself cannot be described as evil.

The final, and most conspicuous, division, is that of the eídisi and humans. Even centuries after the sudden and relatively unexplained appearance of the eídisi in a city already inhabited by humans, there is still a sense of unease between the two races. The humans believed that they had rights over the city because of their involvement in building it, whereas the eídisi claimed to have a higher intellect, thus were more suited to remain within the city. For many years, the superiority complex of the eídisi fought against the pride and stubbornness of the humans. Essentially, they are two diametrically opposed social groups; their individual members might be friends or lovers, but only because they can put aside their ideological and cultural differences.

Most of the city live a life of enlightenment and peace. One thing that all Videnese, no matter what race, will agree on is that life is not worth living unless you live it in the pursuit of betterment. Skilled work, craft, and academia are all valued within the city, and are continued to be respected as long as those working in said fields continue on an upwards trajectory.



Timeline
Zi'da 240 AV Yvithia begins to gather nomadic humans from across Northern Idalos.
Vhalar, 241 Foundations for the infrastructure of what will become Viden begins.
Cylus, 350 The Academy begins to teach Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education to citizens.
Ymiden, 381 The Cliffs and Fortress are completed.
Zi'da, 381 The Facility for Retrospecive Analysis goes underground.
Vhalar, 413 Eídisi are introduced to Viden for the first time, numbering 120 individuals.
Zi'da, 416 Treid visits Viden and, horrified, creates the Ellune and brings them home to Oscillus.
Ymiden, 464 Visitors begin to enter the city of Viden, to study at the acclaimed Academy.
Ashan, 472 Attacks from a aggressive tribe of Mer shows the need for Mariners and Rangers.
Ashan, 522 Audrae's incapacitation of Treid reaches Viden. The city enters a year of mourning.
Saun, 523 Ellune are invited to work in the FRA, to search for a method to revive Treid.
Ymiden, 531 Fear the FRA will be discovered brings about the creation of the Intelligence Authority.
Vhalar, 606 The Seekers approach Viden and, apprehensively, the Academy allow their presence.
Zi'da, 606 The Seekers provide a method to grow and farm vegetables; Viden becomes self-sufficient.
Saun, 615 A taste grows for foreign cuisine. Trade boosts, with the desire for exotic foods.
Cylus, 717 Relations with Scalvoris improve with the creation of a Scalvoris Academy Campus.
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[Viden] Lore: Geography

Postby Whisper » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Appearance
No matter the season, white dominates the land in and around Viden. The city itself is constructed from stone. About 30% of the city is actually built inside the cliff. The excavated rocks were then used to construct the fortress, which beyond the cliff face. The fortress itself comprises approximately 50% of the city. Though constructed primarily with rocks, ice, snow and rock cover the materials used to engineer the infrastructure of the fortress. Beyond the fortress, but still considered Viden proper, encased by a carefully built wall of ice, are individually standing buildings, also constructed by the stone quarried from the cliff edge, which makes up the final 20% of the city.

When light from the sun’s rays shines down upon the city, it is reflected by the snow and stone. Wood is also found, especially on the outskirts of the city, where the poorer districts and some temporary lodgings can be found. Snowstorms are common in the city, thus there is often a thin layer of ice covering the outer walls of the buildings, which reflects any light given off from the sun and moons, giving the city a particularly ethereal look. However the city was not designed primarily for its aesthetics: it was designed for functionality - to allow those living in the arctic to survive. Therefore many parts of the city appear uninviting -or even ugly - to visitors.

Metal is not often found in the public areas of the city, and never found in private residences, for two reasons. First, it is extremely rare in the arctic wastelands of the north, and can only be imported at great cost, thus it is rarely used in furnishings or buildings. Second, metal is a good conductor of heat, but an even better conductor of cold - buildings constructed of metal would be uninhabitable by even the hardiest of folk. One very common feature throughout Viden is fur and leather. When an animal is killed for meat, the skin is removed and treated. If it is not made into clothing, then it will be used as throws and rugs in order to better insulate homes and public buildings.



Climate
The weather changes very little between each of the seasons, where the only marked difference is the amount of sunlight present, dependant on the placement of the sun in the relevant time of the arc. San sees the most sun, and it can bathe the city for almost the whole day and the majority of the night. Cylus, on the other hand, barely allows the sun’s light to reach Viden for more than an hour or two.
Ashan - very very cold
Ymiden - very cold
Saun - very cold
Vhalar -very cold
Zi’da - very very cold
Cylus - very very cold



Surroundings
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Based in the frozen areas of Northern Idalos, Viden is located just half a day's ride north of the Bay of Synnefa, which leads from (and to) the Hollow Ocean. The Bay is named in honour of Xiur, an Immortal who roams the lands of the Northern region and offers light through the moons and stars, even in the darkest seasons of an arc. The city is also a few miles south of Lake Verity, named by the eídisi as a reminder of their purpose.

In the more immediate surrounding area of the city, Viden backs directly onto a cliff, which winds around the north and north-western edges of the city, shielding the inhabitants from some of the worst of the weather Viden can experience. In point of fact, part of the city is actually built into the cliff face. The other sides of the city face the seemingly limitless tundra of white snow and ice, as far as the eye can see. Only the rock (which is only a few shades lighter than the snow, but appears black in comparison) break up the otherwise monochrome world around Viden. Travel away from the main fortress, into one of the outer-rim buildings, can sometimes be difficult for inhabitants, particularly in the winter seasons, as paths must be forged through the snow each day. The snowfall is so constant and so heavy it is impractical to build roads or formal paths that would be need almost continuous shovelling. In the centre of the city, however, this is not an issue as, with the climate in mind, it was designed as a single stronghold, rather than individual buildings.
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[Viden] Lore: Demographics

Postby Whisper » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:02 pm

Population
The city has a constantly fluctuation population, but combining permanent and temporary residents at any one time, Viden has a population of about 60,000. Viden is a fairly diverse city, and it has likely played host to guests from all races and cities in Idalos. The reason for this can most easily be attributed to the fact that Viden is sometimes known as the mecca of learning and knowledge; whilst other cities offer higher education, Viden has the most established university.

At least a thousand people in the city are not permanent residents, so it is difficult to grasp specifics. Nor has any official census ever been carried out within the city. The Directorate's approximate statistics are:
  • Eídisi - 30% (approx. 18,000)
  • Human - 50% (approx. 30,000)
  • Ellune - 5% (approx. 3,000)
  • Mixed - 10% (approx. 6,000)
  • Other - 5% (approx. 3,000)



Social Class System
One of the most unexpected features of Viden society is the caste system. Governed by the Directorate, the system is free flowing typically. This allows for even a low member of the caste to rise to that of an upper caste at any given time, depending on their effort. Likewise, an upper caste member may fall from their position to that of a lower position. The rule-all head figure of Viden is known as the Máthisi (currently Eneli Vielus). The Máthisi is supported by her four Delegates, and together they rule the city. they know how much food are in the stores at all times, who has access to the FRA, who has died, passes judgement for crimes, and much much more.

The main hierarchy starts with the Aristocracy of Viden. This is the most privileged class in Viden who have high levels of all three capitals. Their high amount of economic capital sets them apart from everyone else. It is the only social class that cannot be joined based on merit: one must be born or married into it. This aristocracy is not as complex as the system found in the Kingdom of Rynmere (the Videnese have no time of patience for the petty politics found on that island), but is just as old. All in this caste are titled "Lord" or "Lady" and, for those outside the caste, it seems as simple as that. Members of the caste can see subtle differences in rank compared to their own. The members of the aristocracy are generally wealthy and influential, and often own the biggest businesses. They are also found in the Directorate and in high up ranks of the Academy. Aristocrats demand respect; because of their position and service to the city, it is the law that all lower caste citizens must answer to a Aristocrat, no matter the request.

The next level is the Masters. Members of this class have high levels of all three capitals although not as high as the aristocracy. These individuals who are at the top of their respective skills and often have mastery over many related skills (such as the master Hunter having high proficiency in tracking and trapping or a weaponry). They join the caste by becoming a senior member of the Academy, a Commander of the Mariners or Rangers, a Delegate, and such important roles. These positions are obtained only when the previous holder has retired or died, though retirees will maintain their rank after leaving their role. Masters demand respect; because of their position and service to the city, it is the law that all lower caste citizens must answer to a Master, no matter the request.

Following the Masters are the Artisans: the skilled workers and business owners. This class has medium levels of economic capital and higher levels of cultural and social capital. The main providers for the city, these senior positions take skill to climb to. Artisans, whilst not vital to the functioning of the city, are well respected and often have a number of qualifications under their belt. Other common skills of this class include clothiers, chefs, fishermen, and medicine workers (both spiritual and physical alike). This caste also includes more senior members of the Mariners or Rangers. The remaining academics and scholars employed by the Viden Academy are also found in this rank.

After the skilled workers is the largest group: the Students and Labourers. This new class has low economic capital but has high levels of 'emerging' cultural capital and high social capital. Visitors often fall into this caste too, however visitors do not always subscribe to the political rules of this system. This goup is one made entirely out of individuals with the skills and physical ability to advance themselves, but have yet to fully advance. They are the shop assistants and apprentices, and low-ranking Mariners and Rangers. who have found work where they can, but have ambitions beyond their current station. They make up the highest workforce in the Bay itself, and are vital to the functioning of Viden.

At the bottom of the rung are the Precariat. This is the most deprived class of all with low levels of economic, cultural and social capital. The every day lives of members of this class are precarious. They are nothing more than mindless labor and are placed in such a position because they are physically or mentally incapable of being anything more, or have done something offensive enough to drop to the position. Slaves, whether or not they have skills, are found in this group, as their rights in the city are so limited. Due to the high number of slaves in the city, this social class is a relatively large one, however there are few free individuals to be found in this caste.

A final caste (one which is not part of the main social class system) are the Youth of Viden. Any freeborn citizen child of Viden is in this caste until they have finished secondary education - which depends according to race. During these years, individuals are educated at the Academy. Once they reach an age where they can opt to leave education, their choice of employment or continuing education will dictate their social class. The only exception are the aristocrats: they immediately return to their natural class, unless they have been disowned.



Language
Common Tongue
The most frequently spoken language in Viden is the Common Tongue: it is a non-regional language and can be found most anywhere within Idalos. For this reason, it is the most simple way to communicate with foreigners, who are likely to speak Common as a shared language. All children raised and educated in Viden will be taught by instructors using the Common Tongue. It is also a requirement to be at least conversational in Common in order to study at tertiary level at the Academy.

Ancient Tongue
The Ancient Tongue follows as a close second. The language of the Immortals, Yvithia took great pains to insure her eídisi were instructed in her own native tongue. A number of humans also received the privilege, and the language is taught during secondary education to all Videnese children, regardless of race. Due to the nature of learning so late in life (a conscious decision of academics), only the most dedicated and willing of students will retain the knowledge they learn, and take it further). Some eídisi parents, however, may chose to raise their children with the Ancient Tongue as their first language.

Leni Tongue
About here.

Other Tongues
With the sheer amount of visitors to the city, it is not uncommon to find foreigners converging, and the speaking in tongues around a table in a restaurant. As perviously stated, the likelihood is that these visitors speak the non-regional tongue too, in order to communicate more effectively. The city is overseen by the Immortal of Language and Communication: she has a vested interest in the study and protection of all languages, from all races, religions, cultures and creeds across Idalos. As such, there are tomes on any and all languages (written, spoken, and signed) found. The Academy also offers free tuition in language learning for citizens and visitors alike. All lessons are taught by a native speaker of the specific language.
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[Viden] Lore: Politics

Postby Whisper » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:02 pm

Government
The leaders of Viden number five. The government organisation is called The Directorate, which consists of four Delegates and their leader, who claims the title of Máthisi.

In all things, they are to be obeyed without question. They are not obeyed because they are particularly tyrannous, but that to disobey them could affect the entire city, which must remain strong during the treacherous weather that plagues the city every day. For the most part, they are benevolent, approachable leaders, with the best interests of the city and its citizens at heart, and their policies reflect that.



Military
The military is split into two sections: The Mariners and the Rangers. Viden’s need for a military is not borne out of any fear that they will be under siege from any other cities; the land and climate is so inhospitable that it would take supplies beyond reckoning for another force to be able to even reach Viden, let alone wage war against it. The military of Viden is a small, yet highly skilled, combative force. It is made up primarily of the more brawnily built humans, yet some eídisi have been known to join their ranks.

The only groups that the city’s military is constantly prepared for are the few Mer tribes that can survive the cold waters in the Bay of Synnefa. In the past, these tribes had wiped out all life, plant and fish alike, which had caused a lethal strain on the city's food supply; the inhabitants survive almost entirely on the catch that fishermen bring home. The Mariners are the dedicated arm of the military trained specifically to monitor the waters around Viden for signs that these destructive tribes have returned and, if necessary, destroy them.

A smaller section of the military are known as the Rangers. They are given training in terrain combat and perform a number of roles inside and outside the city. Inside the walls of Viden, the Rangers act as the police force and peacekeepers. Outside the walls, the terrain force protect the city from the many creatures that roam the tundra around Viden and the outlying cities. The Rangers also function in part as hunters, who bring down land animals for the meat and fur that they can provide.



Laws of the Land
Arson
    The crime of intentionally and maliciously setting fire to buildings, wildland areas, vehicles or other property with the intent to cause damage. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires. It is highly unlikely that a fire might succeed within the city, but should an individual or a group succeed in destroying even a few books, the consequences would be severe.
Disturbing the Peace
    Including, but not limited to, offensive language, gestures or displays; unreasonable decibels of noise in a public place or near residences; fighting outside of a training scenario; use of weaponry outside of a training/hunting environment or in lawful target practice.
False Identification
    For example the use of another’s identification papers to unlawfully enter restricted archives or laboratories. Those in Viden take great pride in their sense of self, and impersonation is despised. Related to Forgery.
Forgery
    Whether it be of money or of identification papers, forgery is prohibited within the city. It is also a gross offence to copy any academic documents or tomes held within the buildings of Viden without express permission from either the Directorate or Academic Officials.
Murder
    The killing of someone without justification or valid excuse is considered by all in Viden to be the most abhorrent crime that could be committed. The punishment is always severe. In particular the presence of premeditation with malice carries a harsher punishment.
Sexual Offenses
    When someone forces another person to have sex against his/her will through the actual use of violence or through the threat of physical violence in the future. Sexual assault also occurs when the victim's power to appraise or control the situation is impaired by any drug, alcohol, or any other means used to cause submission.
Theft
    Robbery occurs when a person knowingly takes anything of value from another person by the use of force, threats, or intimidation. It also includes larceny, pickpocketing and the concealment of goods - also known as shoplifting - from vendors and any selling their wares in the city.



Crime & Punishment
Crime is very low in Viden. The inhabitants - of any race - have a very low tolerance for any form of crime, from stealing a loaf of bread to murdering another being. Given the nature of the people who inhabit the city, and those who brave the bitter weather to travel here, it is unlikely that someone would actually commit a crime. Therefore, when it does occur, shock, outrage and disgust are the general reactions… no matter how petty the crime really is.

Inexperienced in passing judgement on criminals, the Máthisi and her Directorate are sometimes too lenient in their decisions, yet at more often too harsh. There is no dedicated facility for incarceration, so punishments are swift and corporal in design. A common punishment is lashings, which can range from five flays to fifty. It is not unheard of for a thief to lose a hand, or a blasphemer to lose their tongue. The most extreme punishment is exile which - although there is no official capital punishment in the city - is nigh on always a death sentence to any who receive it. However, unbeknownst to any who aren’t the eídisi, some who receive exile are not ejected from the city. Instead they are forcibly sent down for experimentation. The eídisi, of course, are exempt from this punishment, but any from all other races may suffer this fate.


[OOC Note]: Whether human, eídisi, slave, experimentation subject or something else, murder for the sake of murder is not acceptable OOC in this city. With good development and reason for murder, we'd love to see a bit of death, but what we will not accept is a brand new player rocking on up and committing murder in their very first thread. It is a lazy shorthand to appear "badass" and it's not appreciated.

As such, as a courtesy, we would like it if you would fling a PM in the direction of a local Prophet, sharing a synopsis of the plot, just so that we are forewarned or can advise you. If you neglect to let us know, the local Prophets reserve the right to intervene in such a thread and arrest relevant PCs, with the possibility of severe punishment. Don't say you weren't warned.
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[Viden] Lore: Economy

Postby Whisper » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:04 pm

Employment
There is no typical work day for the Videnese, given the start variety of employment throughout the city. The availability of daylight hours can also affect the hours of safe work available in some professions, especially during the coldest seasons. Some jobs, however, require people to be working 24 breaks a day, and many employment opportunities happen inside the main fortress, thus daylight hours do not affect working conditions. The Videnese, whether human or eídisi, have a strong work ethic; they have become accustomed to a certain way of life, whether it be enjoyment of good food, wine, music or theatre, each citizen enjoys some form of luxury. All are aware that a steady income is required to see that way of life continued.

Most people with steady well paying jobs live within the cliff of Viden, save for the folk who live with their businesses in one of the stand-alone buildings. There is a direct correlation between wealth and housing location for those living in the cliff: the higher up the apartment is in the cliff (as well as the relative closeness to the cliff face), the more wealthy they are.


The Academy
There are many researchers who work all over Idalos, but The Viden Academy is by far the most respected facility in the known world. One such benefit of this is the greater employment prospects for those who work in the Academy, and better pay for their work. In order to maintain their infallible reputation for teaching and research, however, they employ only the best and, with competition being fierce for jobs, they can afford to be picky. Being skilled in something isn't enough when working in the Academy, one requires certain levels of qualifications in order to gain a better role. See [url]The Academy[/url] for more information.



Trade
For much of the year, the tundra runs on a very hunter-gatherer styled economy, trying to stockpile enough to last through a long, cold and effectively stifling winter. Fishing is a very common occupation: it takes place both on the coast and in the temporary summer streams created by melting permafrost, and much of the catch may be dried, salted or smoked for later consumption. Likewise, berries and water plants are gathered for as long as they can be found, and moss, seaweed or lichen may be cooked down. Meat and eggs come either from hunting wild arctic animals migrating across the frozen north, or from the farmed herds of bison and reindeer. Bison and reindeer also provide milk, and blood may be siphoned from them without killing them or doing any lasting harm.

Peat is cut from the bogs around the farmed animals, and dried as a fuel for the fire instead of wood. Dried animal dung is also used. In the coldest part of winter, when it is dark for much of the day, whale or seal oil may be used in lamps to give a cleaner, brighter light.

Viden is a city booming with various trade businesses and markets. Most of the trade occurs between citizens of the city, as Viden had learnt how to survive without the imports from other cities in Idalos. Trade throughout the city is prosperous and the city is mostly self-sustaining. However there are frequent visits from trade and merchant ships through Ashan to Vhalar (the bay of Synnefa freezes during Zi'id and Cylus: the coldest two seasons of the year). However there are many trade routes between Viden and a number of neighbouring or far cities. It is possible to travel to Viden across land, however it is more dangerous and takes far longer.

Vessels come from all over Idalos, stopping at ports in Rynmere and Scalvoris before continuing on through the Hollow Sea and then down into the Bay of Synnefa. Once there, they will steer their ship into the large dockyard. Merchants from the Commissariat will then board the vessel in order to inspect the goods offered.

Due to Viden being self-sustaining, trade between other cities is not a necessity, but rather a an agreement that Viden has opted into. Common Imports range from the dynamics of what is desired in the city. Slave imports are very common and sought after imports. The city also looks to import a variety of food that cannot be grown within the city: when Videnese scholars return from foreign lands, they are obligated to return with small samples of the tastes and aromas they have experienced. It will then be decided as to whether or not Viden wishes to open up trade with that city. Therefore, much of trade is a luxury for Viden: the Videnese, as a rule, enjoy the finer aspects of food and culture. The purpose of trade with other cities is to support this lifestyle.

The same vessels used to transport cargo in trade are also used to ferry visitors two and from the city. In point of fact, the Viden Academy brings in more revenue for the city than any other true export the city has to offer. Common Exports however include alcohol (specifically from Burnt Wine, furs and leather, and various other minor trading goods. Art and culture, however, will always remain one of the biggest factors of trade known from Viden.


Synnefa Trading Post
The Synnefa Trading Post is located along the northern edge of The Bay of Synnefa, a day's ride south from Viden. A large, fortified tower on a small hill overlooks an impressive system of docks where a number of small ships are tethered. Down the opposite side of the hill from the docks exists a small village, where a few members of the Merchant's Guild and Commissariat live permanently. Made up of permanent storage structures and tents, this trading post is the first step in trade with the city. Nearly all trade goods, as well as visitors, must pass through the trading post before being allowed to leave the docks. The tower, docks, trade village and surrounding land are heavily patrolled by both Mariners and Rangers.



Businesses
Businesses in Viden can be very lucrative, both for the owner and for the city as a whole. The major families oversee many aspects of businesses within Viden. In some cases, they were wealthy enough to buy the business, thus increasing their own revenue. Other families built their businesses from the ground up, starting with nothing and taking a risk that paid off.

The Commissariat approves all business plans in and around Viden, based on space, funding and requirement for the services offered. Finding proper locations to construct a business is also fairly difficult as room is sparse in Viden. In some cases, potential business owners may be able to move into the rooms of a previous, closed-down business. Those seeking to construct a new business are responsible for building them from the ground up which adds to the cost of the business. New construction takes time, however there remains a few closed businesses which are available to purchase.

Prophet's Note: make sure you have read over the Business Guide



Housing
The housing system is decided based on a citizen's income and social class, or how much a visitor is willing to spend. Accommodation is situated in what the Videnese have called "prisms" and are named after a few of the precious gemstones quarried from the cliff as they were excavating it when first building the city. Anyone living in a prism is given accommodation based directly on social class, however there are a number of families and individuals who live in buildings outside of the two areas of Viden, yet still within the walls of the city proper.

The vast majority of accommodation is found in the cliff face. Due to the very nature of the cliffs, not everyone has the luxury of having rooms with a window.At the bottom of the cliffs is the Malachite Prism, which takes up a single level. It houses the lowest social class of the Precariat. On the next two levels of the cliffs is found the Tsavorite Prism. This prism houses one of the largest castes: the Unskilled Labourers. The Carnelian Prism is positioned directly above the Tsavorite Prism, and is occupied by students of the Viden Academy (both citizens and visiting students). The topmost two layers of the cliff is known as the Amber Prism. It houses the Skilled Workers and Business Owners of Viden.

The two highest social classes are housed separately, within the main fortress building of Viden, which is the more metropolitan area of the city. The Prisms are not close to each other, and fill separate spaces, away from the common folk. One of the towers of the fortress is named the Moonstone Prism, and is found on the southern edge of the fortress. It is occupied by the Masters of the city - the highest rank a citizen can climb based on merit. The final prism, found on the western edge of the city, not far from the cliffs, is the Obsidian Prism. Here, the aristocracy live in large apartments and attached houses with grand rooms.
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[Viden] Lore: Culture

Postby Whisper » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:07 pm

Education
As a hard rule, the inhabitants of Viden are rather well educated. Indeed, not being moderately educated can result in being ostracised. The influence of the Academy is very tangible in everyday life... so much so that even slaves receive a basic education in literacy and numeracy. For all children born free within the city, they will receive this same basic education, and will also receive further education with is compulsory, with the aim of giving them a strong foundation in history (specifically of Viden, but generally of Idalos as a whole), science and geography. All of this education is free, and slaves may receive it at any age. For children, their education is free up until the age of fourteen for humans and nineteen for eídisi.

For children, once they have completed their compulsory education, most go to learn trade skills following in the footsteps of their parents. Only those who come from the more affluent families can afford higher levels of education are encouraged for those who can afford it, indeed it is often a sign of status to be able to receive an award from the University in a particular field of study. While common folks often focus more on what is practical the wealthy either pursue more intellectual interests or send their children to be educated in a more refined manner. For current, highly-esteemed academics, there is the option of reduced fees for continued study for their children.

For more information see: The Viden Academy.



Religion
In the beginnings of the city, Yvithia offered sanctuary to many of the nomadic groups of humans who inhabited the frozen areas of the Northern Region in Idalos. This fact has been passed down though the generations of humans in the form of fables and narrative poems, so their heritage has never been forgotten, neither has the debt that they own the Immortal. She be loved by all for this reason; thought of as a saviour by many. What they all perceive as a benevolent leadership does nothing but help to strengthen this belief.

Though not as pronounced as in the eídisi, the humans who live in Viden have a sense of self-importance. They are fiercely proud of what their frozen city is renowned across Idalos for, and they are proud of the education (which is considered by them to be second to none) that all in the city - no matter their rank - are offered. They will defend the honour of their homeland, and that of their beloved Immortal. The eídisi share much of the same reasoning as their human neighbours do, but they have the added mentality that their superiority is bested only by Yvithia, their mother and creator. Their perceived intelligence allows them to understand the necessity of their creation: the experimentation of humans for the sake of discovering the cause of The Great Shattering. Thus, they do not resent Yvithia for the torment they, or their ancestors, suffered at her hands.

But Yvithia is not the only Immortal who is celebrated within the city of Viden. Ziell and Xiur are also considered favourites, each with their own respectably-sized dedicated following. The worship of many Immortals is frowned upon in the city, and is not done openly, but Yvithia and the Directorate have not explicitly banned such practices.



Celebrations
Anagénnisi (4th Day of Cylus)
    Celebration of Treid allowing the sun to return. Also about "Rebirth" and the continued hope that Treid will be revived.

Kryoma (12th Day of Ashan)
    When Spring returns, and Ziell returns to the Northern Region, passing though Viden around the 12th day of Ashan, the citizens of the city leave their homes and venture out into the freezing streets to welcome him home. For this day, which can vary each arc, depending on the Immortal’s movements, all are there to congratulate Ziell on a successful winter season for the rest of Idalos, and to thank him for keeping them humble and reminding them of the hardships of living. It is a relatively subdued festival, with far less exuberance than those for Xiur and Yvithia, but it suits the Immortal of Peace and Winter well.

Synnefa (11th-17th Days of Vhalar)
    It is the stars that often shine the brightest in the darkest days and nights to descend upon Viden. The nature of the Northern Region means that the city enjoys exceptionally long days during the summer seasons, but it comes at a price: the winter brings very little natural daylight, and some days, the city will be greeted only by starlight to guide their way. For this, the city holds a celebration named in honour of the Immortal of Stars, to thank Xiur most fervently, and hold banquets in his honour. The celebration is an offering to him, as the Hot Cycle ends and the coldest and darkest days approach. The 11th day of Vhalar sees the beginning of the celebrations, which last for six days. Again, the city comes ablaze with fire, this time celebrating the light with which the Immortal of Stars blesses the citizens.

Sofíthia (1st Day of Zi'da)
    Despite the almost fanatical loyalty to Yvithia, they do not often worship her in the traditional sense. A very practical Immortal, Yvithia is often found within the Facility for Retrospective Analysis, particularly in the underground sections. Those loyal to her seek her favour almost entirely through the learning of new knowledge. Only one holiday a year is in honour of Yvithia. On the first day of Zi'da each year, the city comes to a standstill. The doors of the libraries and universities are closed, and all, even slaves, are invited to abandon work and enjoy the festivities. After libations are offered to the Immortal of Intelligence, there is a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturns the social norms of the city: gambling is permitted, and slaves may dine beside their masters. Bonfires are lit throughout the city, wasting precious fuel for the sake of frivolity, which symbolises the quest for knowledge and truth. For only this day a year, the restrictions on drinking alcohol are lifted.



Cuisine
Food is precious. The average resident enjoys a diet that consists mostly of seafood, given the ease of catching fish endemic to the area. Meat and vegetables are often available, with the Rangers providing a constant source from kills in the arctic tundra, or provision form the farms. They are rationed out to the populace with the government keeping a tight hold divvying it out based on how many people reside in each household, how often they visit the regulated storehouses, what is taken, and what is needed. Ration bundles consist of what can keep a person healthy.

However if there is one thing all Videnese citizens can agree on, it is that the purpose of life is to sample and enjoy as many of the finer aspects of food and culture as possible. Therefore, more exotic foods (which are imported through trade agreements with cities across Idalos) are deemed a luxury, thus are more expensive. They are not typically kept in large supply. While the wealthy can perhaps enjoy a broader variety in their diets even they are subject to quantity restrictions that not even large sums of money can circumvent - lest rioting break out in the streets.

Also regulated is the intake of alcohol in the city. Viden has its own produce, and it also imports a variety of other alcohols from across Idalos. The nature of alcohol - that it is non-perishable - means that cost to import it is relatively low. However excessive consumption of the toxic substance has often led to the wasting of precious resources in Viden’s main medical centre: sometimes due to reduced inhibitions and brawls, but more often due to the arctic conditions of the city. Alcohol and cold temperatures are a lethal combination, and many have been known to suffer from frostbite or hypothermia, and some have even died.



Attire
Viden is cold. Even though the city is protected from the worst of the freezing winds by the cliffs, the residents of Viden have developed a style of dress that allows for survival, and even comfort, in such a harsh environment. People in the city of ice wear layers; layers upon layers and then some. The rooms in the cliff and the fortress are kept warm, typically around 20 degrees centigrade. The stark change from being outside in sub 20-30 and then entering into the warm, well…clothing, thy name is versatility.

There is not much in the way of materials available, aside from what is gathered on trade or hunting creatures from the tundra, so the majority of all garments are made of animal skins, pelts and furs. Some are left whole while others are tanned into thick leathers. Sea lion, walrus and the occasional whale are heavily sought by those who spend a great deal of time in the elements outside the city walls because of their natural waterproofing. That isn’t to say that oils aren’t withdrawn from these animals to help waterproof other garments but the effect is not as strong and must be reapplied every so often. While this all sounds a bit limited, the tailors and seamstresses of Viden are masters of their crafts and have developed a very unique style that is practical, easy to manage and quite attractive when the situation calls for it.
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[Viden] Lore: Factions

Postby Whisper » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:08 pm

The Directorate
The Directorate is the ruling group of the city, consisting of four Delegates and their leader: the Máthisi. In all things, they are to be obeyed without question. It is not that they are particularly tyrannous, but that to disobey them could affect the entire city, which must remain strong during the treacherous weather that plagues the city every day. The enlightenment that Viden enjoys - arguably more-so than other cities - results in a very intelligent group of leaders. At worst, this results in actions of entitlement towards certain races and groups... at best, they engender a society based on tolerance and equal opportunity. For the most part, they are benevolent, approachable leaders, with the best interests of the city and its citizens at heart, and their policies reflect that.

The Máthisi, who is always female, answers directly to the Immortal of Intelligence, who rules over the city: Yvithia. The Immortal has a vested interest in protecting those who live in and venture to her stronghold, as each has something to offer. Respected members of the community, the Directorate consists of individuals who are learned but, more importantly, display practical qualities, such that they are capable of ruling the city effectively. They must not fall to the addiction of studying, as they must constantly consider what the city needs in order to survive… which they would not be able to learn from the well-worn pages of an old tome. Often, the Directorate are at odds with Yvithia and her high-ranking academics, but the latter two hold grudging respect for the former.

For more information see: The Directorate.



The Academy
Arguably the ultimate rulers of the city, this faction is by far the most powerful, and cannot be compared to any other scholarly group in Idalos, boasting the largest educational facility (in terms of physical size, students, staff and resources) i of any other. People from other cities flock to the Academy to be given the chance to study in its halls, which has the secondary function of bringing vast amounts of money into Viden through tourism. For this reason, the Academy - though offering free services in some cases - is the richest and most affluent faction, as it commands a cut from other Unions and Guilds.

For more information see: The Viden Academy.



Mariners & Rangers
Vitally important to the city, those in the Mariners' and Rangers' Unions are considered by most to be uncouth and uneducated, but this does not stop them from holding vast amounts of respect from even the most powerful academics. All highly trained and especially skilled in one fishing, hunting, tracking, combat, and sailing, their knowledge of their craft can be measured against any book-smarts in the city. They are, in effect, the life blood of the city, supplying Viden with the majority of its food, as well as protecting the city.

For more information see: The Mariners' Union & Rangers' Union.



Intelligence Authority
words

For more information see: The Intelligence Authority.



Merchants
Considered to be a lesser of the major factions in the city, the Merchant’s Guild is specific to Viden and its influence doesn’t extend beyond the city itself. The group is made up of any and all merchants in the cit, ranging from the bartenders and shopkeepers all the way through to those of a more political nature, who work only on keeping trade relations with other cities throughout Idalos. Together they decide the price of goods within the city though often they are influenced by the Mariner's and Hunter's Unions. They have a great amount of say in how the city spends the money placed into its coffers. A little known fact about the Merchant's Guild is that they also control and maintain the city’s warehouses and see to it that businesses within the city are allowed to flourish in a fair and competitive atmosphere. In such situations as there are shortages of food, it is this guild who will ensure that rationing is fair throughout the city.

For more information see: The Merchants Guild
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[Viden] Lore: Race Relations

Postby Whisper » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:12 pm

City Natives
Viden, on the whole, exists in relative peace and harmony; all working towards a common goal, and all loyal to the Immortal of Intelligence. However there is a continued sense of unease between the primary races of Viden. The humans, who make up the majority, and whose ancestors built the fortress, claim they have a stronger birthright and claim of belonging to the city. The eídisi, in comparison, consider their presence as ordained by Yvithia, and claim their higher intellect makes them more valuable to Yvithia's goal. The ellune stake much less claim to the city, but they have never tried, though many still call Viden home. Treid's calm, gentle race are so modest and unassuming that no conflict between them or the humans takes place.

Essentially, they are three diametrically opposed social groups; their individual members might be friends or lovers, but only because they can put aside their ideological and cultural differences. The inter-mingling of the three races, and the presence of mixed-race offspring, is proof of -and strengthens - these bonds that supersede the normal racial disagreements.

Eídisi:
Though not the most common race to inhabit the ice fortress city, the eídisi consider Viden to belong to them, rather than the humans. Native Videnese humans have a grudging respect for their neighbours' intellect, but are too stubborn to accept them completely. To other races, who know nothing of their darker activities, they are viewed with respect for their learned natures.

Ellune:
Though they make up a relatively small percentage of the native population, the ellune can be found within Viden. Created on the outskirts of the city, some of the first ellune never returned to Oscillus with Treid. More arrived when Yvithia reached out to the race following Treid's downfall. Both humans and eídisi in the city have high respect for the ellune, and they are given the highest levels of hospitality that the city has to offer.

Humans:
The race that all others are compared to. They are the race that dominates the city in terms of populace and are viewed by the majority as the norm. The eídisi view the humans as a source of knowledge and, whilst some humans are held in high regard, most are not even considered to be in the same league of the more egotistically superior race.

Mixed Race (Human/Ellune/Eídisi):
Most mixed blooded individuals are held in the same regard as the races they’re mixed with. There are exceptions though. It is largely circumstantial, based on the individual. In the case of combinations of the three pure native races mixing, all are deemed acceptable and no mixed children will be persecuted for who they are.



Other Races
The races native to Viden suffer their own disagreements, which is predominantly caused by a different outlook on life. The same is true for how other races are viewed; an eídisi will have a very different opinion to a human. As a general rule, eídisi believe themselves to be better than all other races, and view nigh on all of them with cool indifference: they will allow them to live, work and study in Viden, but will expect, and be prepared for, disappointment. The humans are more open-minded, and the ellune even more so. There are some opinions found across all citizens of Viden.

Aukari:
Whilst Yvithia does not despise Faldrun in the same way she does Audrae, she has very little time for him or his creations. The rational citizens of Viden cannot understand a race ruled so powerfully by their emotions, nor comprehend their motives behind their practices. Yet any aukari visitor is welcomed with the same cool civility that most other races are greeted with.

Avriel:
Another race which is barely understood by the Videnese, for their ways are too strange for even the humans to fully accept. The eídisi find themselves constantly amused at the avriel's belief that they are superior to other races.

Biqaj:
Believed to be uncivilised by most, they are apprehensively offered entry to the Academy. However their involvement in Videnese trade is invaluable, thus the city as a whole respects and welcomes the sailors who visit the city sporadically for the purposes of import and export.

Hyludin:
Yet to be released.


Ithecal:
Not an academic race and one that can allow their feelings to be affected by the slightest of insults, the Ithecal are treated with caution by the citizens of Viden. It is not easy to tell on first meeting how violent an Ithecal might be and given their size, they have the potential to cause a great deal of damage if they're so inclined. This race won't be turned away from the city on principle but they will be closely watched by the Intelligence Authority although they won't know it.

Lotharro:
Considered to be borderline barbaric, the reserved people of Viden are hesitant before allowing these folk free movement through the city or Academy. It isn't that the all-male race is mistrusted, yet they are seen to be far too rambunctious for the cool sensibilities of the Videnese: they assume that the lotharro will break anything they touch.

Mer:
Killed on sight. In the past, a certain tribe has had a devastating effect on the food sources of the city, which has affected relations between all mer tribes. If one is spotted, most often there are many more nearby, and the Mariners are notified. If a mer is offered the chance to speak, he may convince Mariners to allow him to remain.

Mixed Race (Other Combinations):
Most mixed blooded individuals are held in the same regard as the races they’re mixed with. There are exceptions though. It is largely circumstantial, based on the individual. Native races mixing with outsider races are generally more accepted (especially children of the eídisi and ellune).

Mortal Born:
Mortal Borns are judged on an individual basis. This judgement depends almost entirely on who their Immortal parent is and whether or not said parent gets along with Yvithia. That said, Mortal Borns tend to be looked at in awe, and sometimes in envy, regardless of who their Immortal parent is.

Naerikk:
Because of their link to Audrae, this race is despised in Viden. The city has an 'open door' policy, and will allow members of this race to enter, but very few will show any kindness to them. To the contrary, many naer visitors to the city suffer life-changing, but rarely fatal, accidents. It is unheard of for a naer to successfully petition for citizenship, however.

Qi'ora:
Another artisanal race, the Videnese appreciate the intricate craftsmanship and, as such, value their skills. Extra care is taken for this delicate race if they venture to the freezing city, which is very rare.

Sev'ryn:
The Videnese are somewhat indifferent to the Sevryn, who are relatively infrequent within the city. Though the eídisi do privately mock the race for their perceived naïvety with regard to their spirituality.

Tunäwä:
Rarely found in Viden, due to their links to their homeland, though they may visit in the company of a travelling sev'ryn. The Videnese are not really sure what to make of the tunäwä when they do happen across them. Given their emotional enthusiasm, the more reserved citizens of Viden do not understand this race.

Wisps :
Yet to be released.


Yludih:
Though the Videnese are traditionally open-minded when it comes to their "open-door policy" for the city, they do not trust the yludih shapeshifters primarily because of an inability to identify them on sight. Any yludih who reveals their true nature within the city will be met with mistrust, though they are still allowed to live, study and work in Viden.
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[Viden] Lore: City Relations

Postby Whisper » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:53 pm

Positive Liaisons
Andaris: A kingdom of people who thrive on betterment, knowledge and social class, Viden and Rynmere have much in common. The University and Academy maintain a positive working relationship, which affects the rest of the city.

Athart: Though everything else is entirely a luxury since Viden became self-sufficient, the breeding of healthy slaves in such a harsh climate has been proven to be very difficult. As such, the city imports their slaves, and only from the best. In return for a cheaper deal on bulk-bought slaves, the Academy sends scholars down to Athart to educate personal slaves as desired by trainers and masters.

Hiladrith:



Ivorian:



Nakashi:



Ne'haer:



Rhakros:



Rharne:



Scalvoris: Since the beginning of 517, when the mists cleared, the relations between Scalvoris and Viden have thrived, with ever-growing links and shared knowledge between the two nations. Previously, however, relations has been difficult between Viden and the Pirate Lords of Scalvoris.




Neutral Liaisons
Desnind:



Etzos: People hailing from Etzos are free to enter and leave Viden as they please, and are welcomed to study at the Academy. The distant city, and their movements, are vastly unknown to the Videnese, nor do they particularly care. However their cuisine is greatly admired, and anyone aware of Etzosian culture may find themselves offered great sums of money to act as caterer for an evening.

Valaris: Once it was a city with very close ties to Viden, who shared the tundra. Now the crumbling ruins, and the few remaining inhabitants, struggle to survive each day. Many who fled found shelter in Viden, thus many citizens today claim heritage from the legendary city.



Uthaldria:





Negative Liaisons
Augiery: Home of the Naerikk and ruled by the foul Immortal Audrae, this city is hates above all others by the citizens of Viden. Those travelling from this dark corner of Idalos will be granted entry into this city, however it is quite possible that any who claim allegiance to Audrae (whether through blood or choice) may fall victim to an accident.

The Eternal Empire:



Sirothelle:


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