Aurcalia is a moderately sized island settlement in south-western Myralis. The island of Aurclaia sits just north of the Deepstone Mountains and its southern border is the River of Aur. The settlement was founded around 106 FC when migrating Myralian merchants discovered a placer deposit of gold in the River of Aur. The settlement quickly grew to become one of the wealthiest in all of Myralis, and became known for its boisterous market festivals and the enigmatic Merchant Guild of Myralis. Due to its close proximity to the city-state of Anemos, it also grew to become an invaluable port city during the Yellow Wars as the Myralians could quickly import supplies from abroad.
Aurcalia is home to the Merchant Guild of Myralis, an association that holds exclusive rights to all business in south-western Myralis. The Guild is somewhat of a cross between a joint-stock company, a cartel, and a secret society. Becoming a member of the guild is a long, arduous, and ridiculously expensive process, but all members of the guild are highly respected and wealthy.
The City Council of Aurcalia is almost completely controlled by the Merchant Guild of Myralis. Since the guild was founded, every guild Consul (the head of the guild) has been appointed Apheliate, or City Lord, by Darius. In order to ensure that the guild continues to have control over the City Council, the Consul is not allowed to have children and nobody with children is eligible to become Consul.
The Merchant Guild of Myralis has an imposing presence in Aurcalia, but most merchants in the city are not members. The city has a street market on the eastern end of the island. The market itself is owned by the Merchant Guild and those who wish to sell goods in the market must pay a fee to the guild (market contracts are written up on a case-by-case basis, but the guild typically takes 5-10% of the gross). Most days there are usually a few shops open in the market, but the Aurcalia market is most well known for its market festivals.
Every 7 months, a rougly week-long market festival is held. During the festival, the market is open all day and all night, and merchants and buyers travel from all across Myralis to attend. Aurcalians are also known to play live music, wear intricate costumes with vibrant colors, and dance in the street. The market festival is a quasi-religious celebration in which the people give thanks to Darius for their good fortune. The festival begins immediately after Dankasha mass on Wednesday evening, and the festival ends when mass begins again the following Monday.
Aurcalia's major exports include: wheat, fruit, gold, and textiles.
Most citizens of Aurcalia are devout followers of Dankasha. Mass is held every Monday and Wednesday evening, and Hedam is practiced in the morning, evening, and when entering the Gilded Cathedral. There also exists a small cult of Aurcalians who worship the pagan gods of the Kingdom of Caesony. They worship in secret at night, and perform rituals that on very rare occasion involve human or animal sacrifice.
Aurcalia is a commercial hub for Myralis, both in terms of its market and its importance in inter-realm trade. The River of Aur also contains a placer deposit of gold which is a major source of revenue for the Merchant Guild of Myralis (which owns exclusive rights to collecting the gold in the river) and the city as a whole.
Pre-Founding (105FC): A small group of merchants flee from the Myralian village of Carteia in order to escape the Ascyian Occupancy.
Founding (106FC): Some of those who fled Carteia discover a placer deposit of gold in the River of Aur. They settle there and make make a fortune panning for gold.
Recognition (202FC): Not long after the successful Myralian Conquest of Ascya, Aurcalia is officially recognized as a Myralian city, and Darius establishes a City Council and appoints a City Lord, Morlin Virro I.
The Guild (277FC): The Merchant Guild of Myralis is founded.
Guild Take-Over (311FC): The City Lord, Morlin Virro VII dies and has no heir. The Consul of the Merchant Guild, Jezos Gaticus, is named the new City Lord by Darius.
Yellow Wars (400-480FC): As the Yellow Wars raged, Aurclia became an invaluable port city as its fas western location meant that it could import supplies from other realms via Anemos safely and quickly. It was during this time that the Merchant Guild of Myralis started to become one of the most powerful organization in the nation.
Gilded Cathedral (484FC): Following Myralis's victory in the Yellow Wars, Darius orders a cathedral to be built in Aurcalia. The people call it the Gilded Cathedral due to its opulence.
The Merchant Guild of Myralis
The Merchant Guild of Myralis is an association that has exclusive rights to all business in south-western Myralis. The guild is based in Aurcalia, and controls all trade west of New Haven in Myralis.
The guild convenes before sunrise on the first day of each week in their guildhall. The guildhall has no windows, and a single entrance that is locked for the duration of each meeting, the meetings are not discussed publicly, so only guild members know anything about the nature of their meetings. During the meetings, all present guild members have the power to vote on guild measures, but not every vote counts the same. There are four distinct ranks within the Merchant Guild of Myralis, in ascending order they are:
The Questor Argali are the lowest-ranking members in the merchant guild, they are typically shopkeepers and occasionally traveling merchants. These members get one standard vote when voting on guild measures and only attend the first guild meeting of each month.
The Questor Aurcali are middle-ranking members in the guild. The Questor Aurcali are those who own extremely profitable shops, or run a large business in a minor industry. Their votes count for double the vote of the Questor Argali, and they only attend every other guild meeting.
The Praetors are high ranking members of the guild and typically own companies that oversee major industries or engage in inter-realm trade. Their vote counts as eight times the vote of a Questor Argali and they attend all guild meetings.
The Consul is the head of the Merchant Guild. The Consul is elected during guild meetings of only Praetors and the appointment lasts for life. Merchant Guild of Myralis rose to prominence, the Consul has always been appointed Apheliate, or City Lord, by Darius due to the guild's intense political sway. To ensure that the Consul of the guild is always also the City Lord, the guild Consul is forbidden from having children, and nobody with children is eligible to become Consul.
Darius Flavius was born to King Faustus Flavius and an unknown consort presumably between two an three decades before the first comet, in the kingdom of Caesony. Nothing is known about his childhood, though it is known that Darius was a well liked, popular figure among the lower class and the slaves, who later joined him in his rebellion against King Flavius. At the dawn of the first comet, Darius had slain his father, and led his rebel forces northward before settling in what would eventually become New Haven, Myralis.
Darius achieved enlightenment around the time following the defeat of his father, tapping into the Aether. His enlightenment came with a great presence, of which led to intimidation and control over those within his greater influence. Darius learned to manipulate life essence, to manipulate the very fabric of human existence and human will to fuel his own life essence. He devised the concept of Dankasha, using his influence over his constituents and a newfound church to propagate the religion, writing stories and tales rooted within greater Myralian culture to ease the public into the practice. Through Dankasha, Darius was able to tap into the life essence of the Myralian peoples, granting him immortality, leading him to be the longest living individual throughout the history of the Dwytir.
Darius ruled over Myralis as a seemingly benevolent king, with the best interests of the people in mind. To an extent, this was true. Darius was an intelligent, well thought, witty individual who led politics, war, and the economy very well, bringing forth a booming economy, and a growing nation with a prosperous people. However, to those closest to him, Darius was a nasty, horrible monster. He had many undercover agendas, oppressing the people of Myralis, hiding the truth, “disposing” of threats to his perfect vision. He had slain many powerful figures, or those who learn too much. Through writing and distributing through the church, “A Prohibitio Legis Magicisent”, Darius prohibited the use of magic throughout Myralis, to prevent enlightenment and rebellion.
Throughout his reign, Darius did well to protect Myralis from threat, and to make it one of the most powerful forces to be reckoned with. During the Patka revolts, many Myralians fell, though Darius was relentless, continuing to send soldiers to their death, as many Myralians suffered ad perished from disease, to ensure the eradication of the Patka threat. All the while, preparing and acting upon his easily foreseen war with the Dyndi, the Yellow Wars. During this time, the order was formally established, and many great leaders arose, with Darius as commander in chief. After a large decline in population due to disease, the remaining, immune individuals of Myralis fought valiantly against the Dyndi, to suppress their magical influence.
Unfortunately for Darius, his reign did not last forever. Little to his knowledge, for some time before the second comet, Caeson forces from the south had been plotting an advance on Myralis. With inside assistance, including Demiphius Surato, the Caesons breached Myralis, granting access for an assassin to finish Darius. While his immortality kept him youthful, he was not protected from fatal advances. The Caesons then turned on Demiphius, leaving him in charge of bringing together a shambled nation, and beginning a long fought war against Caesony.
Darius Flavius WIki
New Ascya, officially the People's Republic of Askiilordia, is a small island nation located to the northwest of Myralis and within the Gulf of Claudius. The capital is Eliasin Skylandka, though the majority of the nation serves as a city state, with all settlements standing within close proximity.
As of the fourth decade of the second comet, the population of New Ascya had stagnated after a drawn out recession for decades, though is projected to climb to a steady point over the next few decades. With a current population of nearly 130,000, New Ascya peeked before the second comet with a population of 160,000. The majority of Ascyians claim residence within the capital of Eliasin Skylandka, with a projected 90,000 residents. Most Ascians speak Askiitch, the modern development of the ancient Ascyian language. Although, many residents of coastal settlements speak altered dialects, though all dialects are mutually intelligible. Nearly two-thirds of the population within Eliasin Skylandka work in the prestigious jewelry industry of New Ascya, which provides the island nation with approximately 85% of it's worth. While a large amount of jewelry is exported to other nations of the Ostarian lands, much of it remains in New Ascya's booming markets, serving as artifacts for holy matrimony under the eyes of the gods. Most New Ascyian residents are members of the Church of Aphellias, the most famed elder god who resided over the island in ancient times. Other churches are prominent within new Ascya, which stay true to more conservative and ancient Ascyian traditions.
New Ascya became inhabited by the masses after the Myralian forces, led by Darius Flavius, conquered the old Ascyian lands. Many Ascyians remained in their homeland, assimilating into Myralian culture, while others fled northward to the island within the Gulf of Claudius. The island had initially been known as The Hunting Grounds of the Gods, where the ancient Ascyians exiled their prisoners to. Upon arrival by boat after the end of the conquest, the Ascyians built camps, harvesting the nearby exotic crops. According to the Ascyians, they had been blessed by the rare appearance of Aphellias, who guided the people to great jewel deposits in the mainland, where Eliasin Skylandka would come to be.
Today, New Ascya exists as a holy ground to the people, the last refuge of their ancient culture. While much of their history still stands within Myralian lands, the Ascyians created a new land for themselves, independent of all other forces. New Ascya is notable for its jewelry trade, as well as its exports of exotic spices known only to grow within the island.
The Church of Aphellias, also referenced as the New church of Ascya, is the most prominent religion found within New Ascya with a devout following of nearly 155,000 members as of the 5th decade of the second comet. The Church of Aphellias is derived from the old traditions of Ascyian Faith, of which is the oldest non-dyndi religion known to the lands of Ostaria, and has greatly influenced the development of both Ascyian and Myralian civilization. As the church is relatively small, due to the small, in comparison to Myralis, population of Ascyia, only a few temples exist within New Ascya, though many small shrines can be found throughout the island. The Theos, the elected commander of New Ascya, also serves as the shepherd of the Church of Aphellias, who is said to speak the words of Aphellias himself. The Theos is based on Eliasin Skylandka, and so, is where all political and religious centers are sourced.
The Church of Aphellias sees itself as a part of the greater whole of the Ascyian Pantheon, with the elder god Aphellias as the representative of their faith. The Church of Aphellias demands that the elected Theos serves the people, and through the will of the people, forms a direct connection with their god. The Decree of Aphellias is the origin of the New Ascyian faith, although most traditions have been carried down by oral communication, and many beliefs may vary.
Instead of being transmitted through written text, Ascyian tradition is passed down through oral culture and heavily relies on ritualistic practices, with the elected Theos held responsible for bearing the role of executing the crucial act of public sacrifices to Aphellias. Certain locations such as shrines, public monuments, areas of woodlands, and the coast are all used as sacred outdoor locations for ritual activities, though indoor buildings for such activities were constructed near the dawning of the second comet, though they are not as widely accepted for important traditions. Those sacrificed would often either be burned alive, or burned after death, with their ashes placed in an urn. The practicioners then, create a ritual circle around the urn, placed upon the shrine, and release their energy into the urn, chanting their verses. After the ritual, the urn is then smashed, within, a crystalline gem from within appears. It is then placed within a lockbox, and buried under the shrine, joining many previous sacrifices.
The people of Ascya worship twice, daily, once upon waking, and once before public dinner or personal family meals. Once an Ascyian wakes, each morning, they walk to the nearest shrine to worship. Higher class individuals often have their own shrine within their residence, though these shrines are often shunned as disingenuous. At the shrine, Ascyians kneel, press their hands palm to palm, and bow, their head tucked down. They lower themselves to Aphellias, and beg for his forgiveness in any and all unholy activities they may have performed in their sleep, and they plead for a bountiful day of pleasures and good fortune. In the evening, before partaking in the public dinner, Ascyians again visit their nearby shrine, and repeat, then plead for a good night's rest.
In Ascyian daily life, Ascyians wake at the dawning of the sun to the call of a Myrmeis, a giant bird, that flies in small flocks over the skies of Ascya each morning. Ascyians immediately jump from their bedding, slip on their shoes, and walk to their nearest shrine for worship. This early lifestyle leads to a productive day, as after worship, each Ascyian has time to eat with their family, then hurry to work. Common professions include mining, fishing, jewel cutting, clothes sewing, leatherworking, and mead brewing.
Many workdays end during the time between high noon and the evening, leaving a bounty of time for an Ascyian to enjoy the rest of their day. This time is often enjoyed outside, whether hot or cold, dry, rainy, cloudy, or snowy. Ascyians enjoy walking the streets, bird watching on the beaches, shopping throughout the markets, and socializing with friends and family. Once, in some cases twice annually, Ascyians have the uncommon pleasure of witnessing a public sacrifice, taking place in the evening, just after public dinner. An even rarer occurrence, some Ascyians are blessed by Aphellias to participate in the ritual, or even perhaps be sacrificed themselves. It is considered an honor and a privilege to be sacrificed, as the individual chosen knows their life will bring great prosperity to their island nation of Ascya.
Once the workday has ended for all, there is a public dinner held at moonrise, for the wealthy and the poor alike, as everyone is welcome in Ascyian culture. There are many buildings hosting dinner throughout the night, sponsored by the elite of Ascya, giving back to the hard efforts of the citizens. Public dinner is optional, though attendance is urged, as it brings the community together. It is seen as a great outlet of socialization, and a way to meet new friends.
New Ascya Wiki
It is believed that the elven races of Tir were once unified as one society of Dyndi. Though many years have passed and time has taken its toll on the people of the Dwytir. Now, the Dyndi take on many forms, each unique in form and culture. However, it is still believed by all the Dyndi of Tir, that in the beginning… there was only The Dwytir. The Dwytir is the mass of divine woodlands that encompass the entirety of Tir. Each tree, or Prental, of the Dwytir stood as an extension, a vessel, of the Dwytir. The Prental communicated with each other, keeping balance and harmony throughout all of Tir. Eventually, though, came terrible men of unknown origin, who sought horrendous deeds, such as to claim the soil of the Dwytir for themselves, and to chop the holy bark of the Prental. In agonizing response, the Dwytir cried out to the skies, a message of desperacy, as the land of Tir had failed. Soon, the call for help was answered in the form of a comet of tremendous size, radiating a tail of gorgeous color, as it soared across the ashy night sky. The comet sent a catalyst down to Tir, in the form of a crystalline wonder. It radiated valiantly, a sort of divine energy that compelled the settling men, bringing them forth. The catalyst had become known by the Dwytir as the Dali o’Sedd, or the Bringer of Balance. The Dali o’Sedd captured the willpower of all the men, bringing them into an unbreakable trance. It then proceeded to drain the life force of the invaders. As the men fell to their deaths, the Dali o’Sedd glew brilliantly. After many days or months, maybe years, the Dali o’Sedd continued to build tension within, until it eventually burst, sending a spectacular blast of energy throughout Tir, then fell dormant. As the Dwytir then continued to live peacefully, the comet overhead finally passed. Suddenly, after the passing of the comet, roots began to form over the eternally resting bodies of the men who once invaded. From those roots grew the Dyndi.