Echoes of the Past
Town Center Tour
The city's growth started with the library. Inside that small building, the length of the main hallway extended thirty times the distance of the outside wall. The building concealed an extra-dimensional space filled with laboratories, book-filled studies, and enchanted workplaces for scribes. This mystical library was handed over to the Council as part of a deal to a deal.
The previous anonymous occupant owed a terrible debt, we were told. He searched for a way out of his deal for many years. The Council required rare components for a powerful spell in a moment of great need. A druid from the forest brokered a deal to get the spell components from the occupant and release him from his debt. Ceding the library to the Council was part of the deal.
This odd arrangement was the source of much debate among the Council. There had to be a reason the library was going to be put in our hands. Several Council members refused the deal until it was the only solution left, Ranon gave her blessing at the last minute, standing on the Walls of Thessali.
Ranon and Devin still fear the building to be cursed. I am confident we would have found any curses or security problems. With the intense investigation, it became clear the structure was hundreds of years old, yet in a remote and rural place. Someone had built it long before the old fishing village appeared.
Sure enough, ruins were discovered about an hour from the village. The stones from the ruins had not worn with the weather. The mortar that held them together did not have such properties, so the stones were found in piles under the forest's tall trees. The layout of the small piles indicated a small town or community from a past age.
Moving the stones to our growing community required a good road. The Council recruited people from the South to help with this construction. Many became residents, and our community took the name Etonia. The Council used the stones to build this fortified town hall. The stones are resistant to magic and fire damage. They insulate the rooms, holding in the warmth during the Winter.
As construction of roads continued, flattened stretches in the forest and buried stone that had been milled were found. Ancient roads transected the forest. More ruins were found, and some expeditions to the ruins were started, but the primary focus of the Council had to be managing the city and planning how to gather the resources it needed to continue to grow.
The push out into the wildlands generated more and more contact with the native population of people living in the forest. That is when we met your family. It still makes me smile at how fast High Priest Edwards moved here when he heard the stories of the Great Wyrm from your oral traditions.
That man has never been in a hurry in his life. You have to understand dragon worship in the South is very much frowned upon. Cults have been the source of terrible deeds for hundreds of years. That didn't stop Edwards from believing there was more to dragons than destruction. I can't say I was much of a believer, though.
Fall of the Civilization > 100yrs ago
Wandering the Forest 100* to 10yrs ago
Migrating to Etonia < 10yrs ago
Adapting to the City 5yrs ago to now
*It is unclear if 100yrs is the actual timeframe or just meant as "a long time" in the oral tradition
The young woman walking with Highmaster Avast, interrupted him for the first time since the tour of the town center began. She was tall, nearly his height, and probably stronger than him. She carried an assortment of paper and writing tools. A handmade amulet dangled from her neck. Worn travel clothes stood out against the robes of the Highmaster.
"Until the miracle," she said.
They were in a third-floor hallway of the fortified town hall, the pair stopped outside a room with a large wooden table. A map woven into a large tapestry decorated the far wall. A round red rug drew a robust circle around the table and chairs.
"Yes, yes. very much so. The church had been built out of these stones as well. When the first ceremony was completed, an entire wall of the sanctuary began to radiate light, and it has not stopped since. It seems your people and the Great Wyrm are very much connected to each other and to the ancient civilization of the wildlands. Please," Avast put his arm out to allow her to enter the new council room first.
There were no torches in the room, yet it was filled with light. There were no shelves, closets, or furniture other than the table and chairs, but it did not feel empty in its minimalist state. There was no echo as they spoke.
"Where will I sit?" the young woman asked.
Avast smiled. "Over there," He pointed to the second chair from the end. "Ranon will sit beside you. High Priest Edwards and I will be on this side of the table along with the Representative of the Guilds. The last chair on your side is for Devin."
"What about the chairs on the ends?" she asked. She felt confident in the room, this would be a good path.
"Well, Savana, that is a big question. The chair by the door is for guests. The other chair is for King. She will be away most of the time, but we can reach her if we need a tie-breaking vote. However, I know for a fact she would also not want to sit in that chair. She doesn't believe there should be a king or queen, so we will always leave it empty."
Savana nodded her approval. "Tamil would agree."
Avast and Savana heard humming fill the hallway outside the council room. The smell of honey nut tea wafted into the room shortly after the song. Ranon entered with a mug that took two hands to hold. She moved straight to her seat and sat the hefty mug on the table.
Behind her, a flourish of a cloak covered the entrance of Devin. He carried his bow with him into the meeting but placed it on the floor by his seat. He carried a bowl of berries and sat them in the middle of the table. He smiled at Savana as he sat.
High Priest Edwards entered next with Commander Martin of the city watch. He was vigorously questioning the commander on how to get people through the city gate faster to obtain services at the church. "We aren't done with this conversation, commander. The refugees need our services the most." The commander nodded and stood by the door while Edwards made his way to his seat.
Ranon's manager, Rynn, entered with Captain Aryo. They stood behind Ranon and Devin. Bellamy, a sage from the library, entered last and closed the door. He stood to the left of the table. A stone from the floor expanded upwards to form a writing surface for the Sage. He took several copies of a pamphlet and gave each council member a copy.
Avast stood and moved to the tapestry. "The latest group of refugees have come from the hills near Mirasoon. Like previous families, they reported missing members. We have not been able to confirm any force in the forest responsible for the disappearances."
"This brings the population in the refugee camp to 3,234 and puts the total population of the city over 10,000. The new housing being built will not be enough for the refugee population. Savana has reported that the families agreed to a lottery to determine who will get housing once all the elders have received a space first."
"The mining guild from Coral Gate has already completed their survey of the Everst region. We will begin mining operations at the end of the month. That will help us speed up construction."
"High Priest Edwards, the families in the camp have requested a daily cleansing ceremony to keep demons away."
Savana interrupted Avast, "A demon, Acgozluk. One who can see everywhere and claim the souls of our people. In the forest, we had traditions that had protected us for generations, but they have started to fail. The Great Wyrm protected us in the past, and we hope to have found safety with him again here with your arrival."
Ranon asked Avast, "Shouldn't we recall the archeology teams?"
Avast debated. "Again, we have not seen any evidence of a demon. I suspect other natural changes could be affecting the lifestyle of Savana's people. We should take all the precautions we can but need to continue gathering information."
High Priest Edwards chimed in, "We will be out to the camps every day, Savana. Meals and the bath house at the church are available to all your people every day."
Ranon voiced her concern again, "We are sending new settlers to the forest villages in a matter of weeks. The mine is opening even sooner. We will need to send guards with the new mayors and to the mine. This was a civilization-ending demon Savana is talking about. We can't be caught blind."
Savana spoke."It was only the Great Wyrm and his champion, Tamil, who beat back the Kingdom of Many-Arrows and the demon. They saved the few of us they did at great personal cost."
She added. "My grandma tells us that the entire culture turned against us. They cut trees and mined the earth to power flying cities. They traded people to other realms for resources. They found ways to make my people separate and attacked us. All the knowledge was little help, but faith and tradition kept us safe." The room got quiet with her dramatic tone. "Even so, we hope to regain our knowledge and appreciate you joining our path, but please proceed cautiously."
Devin volunteered, "I will survey the settlements for any trouble before I head North."
Avast nodded his agreement, "And we will attach a squad of guards to each Mayor." He looked to Ranon.
Ranon nodded her approval, giving the final word, then picked up her tea to sip while their plans developed.
After the key points were tackled, High Priest Edward broke the serious tone, "Can we celebrate our new council member now?" He smiled at Savana.