1 dub of diorite too please
Completed - Tywen - 7/8/2021
May found Co-Build NPC realms | 55 ≤ Buildings < 120
After the harrowing journey across the sea between Anemos and its patron Aiolia, sailors find relief in the warm comforts of the harbor before continuing to the city’s other patron, the realm of Koh. Between the fields of wheat, hives of honey, and sugar plantations, patrons find a wide variety of alcohol to satisfy their needs. Some of the brands of rum and mead have become famous among sailors, often brought home by the cask by wealthier merchants. Taverns in the city are always full, rooms brimming. As the most secure port in the region, with seas to the north and south patrolled by pirates, the safeguard of the Kohese and Aiolian forces drew merchant ships like moths to a flame. Such wealth is why Anemos was among the first to succumb to the first wave of naval assaults by the Black Sails.
After the great disaster that precluded the invasion of the black sailed pirates into the southern ocean, the Aiolian navy launched to aid the beleaguered city. They found a smog of soot and ash, the port smoldering from the attack. Immediately, the Black Sails descended upon them. They were repelled by artillery and the golems of the Vassilias, who then set upon the ships himself. The threat was soon dealt with and the Aiolian ships docked where they could in the ruined piers. Supplies were delivered to the survivors and defenses posted at the entrances to the channel.
Soon, Kohese ships arrived, seeking the pirates and retribution of their own. Seeing their fellow Linireans already rebuilding the port critical to their trade and communication, they offered aid and soon began construction of their own. Their magnificent fort and deadly ballistae joined the Secundan sponsored stronghold and Alicudan produced scorpions.
Thus, Anemos was reborn out of its ashes to its parents, Koh and Aiolia. The relationship between the two has been strong as steel ever since, though the occasional skirmish between overly eager sailors is not uncommon.
-excerpt from the Aiolian book, Realms Beyond the Sea
"Breastshot wheels are more suited to large flows with a moderate head. The main advantage of turbines is that its ability to harness head is much greater than the diameter of the turbine, whereas a water wheel cannot effectively harness head greater than its diameter."
-Ioka, scouring wikipedia
There was something she needed to do. Urgently.
Despite her forgetfulness, Adani’s mind continued to fill with slippery images, flowing like oil into each other in a goopy mess behind her closed, delirious eyes. Cavaliers doing battle in a mining town. A Coghanese ship sinking somewhere along the eastern coast. Sanna, her mentor, impressing, inculcating something about urgency. About life.
Adani feels something glide along her robe. Then another. Millions of hands touch her, burning-hot fingers touching her along every surface, maddening, impossibly warm, sending her nerves sizzling from head to toe. And the murmurs, the whispers. Aimless, all-encompassing, floating through her dreams of snowstorms and a population huddled in shelters by the banks of a river.
There was something she needed to do. But what was it?
The urgency of some forgotten task, the claustrophobia from the millions of scorching hands, the whispers–Sogh-iove, the whispers, coalesce into the singular image of a snowstorm atop a nameless mountain.
Coghan, definitely. No place like it had this biting cold, the rampant snowstorms which never seem to die.
Somewhere in the continental interior, perhaps. The sea itself, especially in the north, kept Ighodia warm enough to allow it to survive the Storm. This place has no such allowances.
Yet still, atop this peak, a mighty, intimidating gray stone structure. A fortress. A bastion of war, populated with decrepit engines, catapults. Wights and other dead things traipsed aimlessly within its walls, atop its bastions, across its gantries.
Adani wills her mind’s eye to observe the inside of this place.
Through the biting wind, a gentle, female voice comes to her, issuing a single word of panic.
Wasn’t there something she needed to do?
Inside, like a tomb, hung the humid stench of something warm and undead. Her mind’s eye begins to examine an ancient armory, a bibliary of soggy, rotten things, quarters and barracks for an army of survivors which no longer exists. A dungeon, a torture rack, a post to which men would be bound to receive their treasonous lashings. A tower.
And at the very top, in the center of the small, circular apex, lit only by the wan light which makes it through the snowstorm and the frosted-white windows, sits a figure. Armored from head to toe. A helmet with two curling ram’s horns as decor. An ancient axe across his lap. Eyes, staring in eternal alert meditation, sunken and yellow, with slit pupils like those of a viper’s.
Wasn’t there something urgent to do? Adani begins to feel the panic well inside her.
The voice again, the hands, pushing, violent.
There was something she needed to do. Now.
Adani’s eyes fly open, as a surge of the purest fear courses through her adrenaline-soaked body. Reflexively, she throws her arms out wide, hoping enough vertical distance exists for her robe to catch air before she slams into the black water below.
The robe flaps and billows, and Adani grits her teeth, bracing both against the force of her deceleration and for the possibility of her end, before it catches, and the force of the rushing wind draws the robe out like a pair of heavy wings, allowing the girl to glide forward and redirect the momentum of her lethal plummet.
The black lake almost rises to meet her, catching her form as she reefs the now lethally-heavy robes so they don’t soak too much and pull her under. As her abdomen and chest submerge, she forces herself to deny the shock reaction, suppressing the inhale as she begins to swim with what remaining momentum she may have.
Already, Devotees have begun rushing to the shore where she intends to beach herself. Another Never-Night, Chiima, looks on, her usual guise of sagacious superiority mollified into pride and understanding. Empathy?
Adani drags her tired form ashore, and lays with her feet barely out of the water. The snowstorm above threatens to freeze her, and already her heart hurts from the cold, but Adani begins to sweat. The memory of a millions scorching hands upon her flesh is enough to cause the sensation to echo once or twice more, and is more than enough to stir her to claustrophobic panic at the wet, heavy, sandy robes about her. Her breathing slows, the only sound even amongst the silent Devotees.
“So,” comes the voice of Never-Night Sanna, her mentor.
As if on cue, a booted form slushes into the soft sand nearby.
“What did you see?”
A field of stars, infinite, encompassing. Up and down and all around, the expanse, horizonless.
And yet, earth below. Soft, loamy soil, wet with fate. The ground itself weeping possibility.
Of all the things she’s seen in this place of stars, loam, and fate, none remain with her for long. In memory or otherwise. Sometimes she feels a sense of climbing hills in the otherwise invisible ground, other times descending into valleys. Forever she walks. Her name is lost to her, like everything which comes before her infinite present.
The sound of rippling fabric–a flag, perhaps–draws her attention. She begins to tread towards the sound, the distance closing timelessly.
She may not remember, but she’s seen many things. A man of gilded robes. A woman draped in a snow-white serpent. But this is new.
The rippling of fabric is not of a flag, but of a large, ice-hewn robe. A figure, head down, limp, the robes about them flapping violently and rippling in a nonexistent breeze.
It’s the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen.
She is drawn to touch it, examine its every surface. Every surface of the woman before her, in an eternal, limp dive. She touches all over, spending her own eternity examining and willing herself to commit this strange visitor to memory. The robe, crusted with ice which melts on her fingers. Gold rings and eyelets are set into the outer canvas portion, but the interior is velvety soft, and radiates warmth.
Ceremonial trinkets, memorabilia. Offerings, perhaps. Glass beads of blue and green and purple, feathers from owls and eagles and the raptors of the frost, attached by their ends to the edges of the robe.
The olive flesh beneath. Impossibly warm against the cold of the robes, and yet entirely normal for a human. Black hair, tied by another’s hand into a beautiful, thick braid. The end of the three-foot length is tied to a wide, gold ring. Beads are threaded in like mites dug into flesh, tight like stones in ice.
She spends an infinite presence touching this strange figure, murmuring to herself her musings about the living, unresponsive mannequin hovering before her.
At once, the body grows cold. Blood seeps from the mouth and nose and drips, rippling the fate-wet loam as the body exsanguinates, still locked eternally in its hovering pose.
She shakes the diving mannequin, refusing its change, defying its death.
Her protests grow frantic, teary-eyed, as she violently shoves at the diving woman, bolstered in place by some invisible force.
Finally, with a painful, rending cry, the mannequin disappears, and she falls to her hands and knees, kneading the fate-and-tears dampened loam between her fingers.
Already, she cannot remember the beads in the figure’s hair. It all slips away, like a dream. An infinite present amongst the stars, and the earth wet with fate.