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History and Description of the Gates of Paradise

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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 10:29 pm    Post subject: History and Description of the Gates of Paradise Reply with quote Back to top

General History of the Gates of Paradise
In the year 1500 K.A., Gavinal of the House of Sydrian and High King of Southern Ardania, embarked with his heroes on an epic campaign to reestablish contact with the Northern Reaches. Called the Northern Expansion by the Southerners, this campaign culminated in a great battle against the towering relics of a forgotten goddess. Called the Spires of Death, these arcane devices sealed the entrance to the rich lands to their north. King Gavinal and his heroes were finally victorious, and His Majesty christened the new settlement the Gates of Paradise. Returning to his island capital in the South, Gavinal left the faithful Duke Saphirias Accalor in charge of the settlement.

Government of the Gates of Paradise
The Gates of Paradise is ruled by His Grace, Duke Saphirias Accalor. House Accalor is historically united to the Sydrians; Saphirias' older brother Danamede is the current Governor of the Sydrian Coast. Saphirias himself joined the expeditionary force of his friend and leige, and so acquired a wide range of contacts in the North.
As Duke, Saphirias exercises power in the name of the High King, but Gavinal's extreme distance grants Saphirias practical autonomy. Gavinal's only directives to his vassal were, firstly, to pay a yearly tribute of 20% of all his revenues; secondly, to aid the High King in all matters and supply him with heroes; and thirdly, to explore the newly opened land to the north of the Gates.
Beneath Saphirias are two lesser nobles: the Reverend Patriarch Mythin the Quiet One, and His Lordship the Baron Carcal D'Arresti. Both pay tribute of 10% of their revenues to the Duke; they also work in conjunction with him, and he governs their foreign affairs.

General Geography of the Gates of Paradise
The land around the Gates of Paradise (henceforth "the Gates" or "the duchy") is flat, semi-arid tundra, with scattered coniferous trees and stunted, half-dead deciduous. The Northern, or Grey, Pine is predominant. Obviously, the duchy's name does not derive from its immediate surroundings. Rather, it derives from the fertile valleys, plains, and forestland just to its north. As yet unexplored, sages in Gateway conjecture that, as the climate is so radically different there, that some powerful magical artifact must control the weather there.
The capital of the duchy of the Gates of Paradise is the small but prospering city of Gateway. Here is the Castle of the Gates, and the ducal seat of authority. About two miles to the northeast is the little town of Mythin's Sanctuary, ruled by the Reverend Patriarch, Mythin. The only real road in the little duchy is the Great South Road leading, of course, south; this passes through the hamlet of Southgate, where rules Baron D'Arresti, some three miles south of Gateway. The road forms the only connecting link to the outside world, as the frozen land around it is extremely hostile to travellers.

[ 07 March 2002, 12:14 AM: Message edited by: Falotar ]
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2002 1:52 am    Post subject: History and Description of the Gates of Paradise Reply with quote Back to top

General Description of Gateway
Gateway is the capital of the small duchy. Approaching from the south, along the Great South Road, the first thing you will notice will be the towering spires of the Castle of the Gates, the palace of His Grace the Duke. The Great South Road terminates in the Great South Square. The Square is the largest courtyard in the city; it is guarded by a Ballista Tower to the left as you enter it and the Deathwind Sanctum on the right. In the northwest corner of the Square is the imposing Daurosian Temple, the Gates of Justice. On the north the Square is bounded by the moat of the Castle; beyond the moat, obviously, is the southern wall of the palace. Across the Square from the Temple is the Great Northern Rangers' Guild.
North of the Temple and under the morning shadow of the palace's southwestern tower lies Gateway Market, the heart of the city's economy. North of the that is the Duke's Square, smaller than the Great South Square. The Castle's gate opens on the Square's east side; on its west side stands the Warriors of Virtue's Guild. On it's north side is the towering home and workshop of Monghin the Smith.
Passing along the Duke's Way south of the warriors of Virtue, you come into Ballista Square. The Square derives its name from the Ballista Tower in its center. The Tower was erected to defend the Market from the vermin that come out of the two sewer entrances in the Square - one is adjacent to the Market. South of this is a Guardhouse which provides further security. The Gates of Justice is screened from the Square by a house; several other houses also fringe the southern side of this Square. One of them is no ordinary house: it is the Abode of Zanzavin the Sorceror. Southwest of the Square are more houses and sewers; as well as a pair of Gazeboes.
Directly west of the Square is the Academy of Law; another Temple to Dauros, it is built on a somewhat different layout then the Gates of Justice, though just as opulent. North of the Square is yet another house, and Duke's Way. On the north side of Duke's Way istands the Old Wizards' Guild.
Duke's Way issues into yet another courtyard: the Holy Square, so named from its being bounded on the south by the Academy and on the north by the Soothing Waters Sanctum, a Temple to Agrela. On the west it is loosely bounded by a Ballista Tower; Another such tower is also adjacent to the Temple to Agrela on the west.
Between Soothing Waters and the Old Wizards' Guild runs Temple Street. On the left, north of the Temple, are the Draeron Gardens and Hall of the heroes succesively. On the right, the Way of Agrela runs back to the Duke's Square; north of this is the Wizard's Square. The Square contains a sewer grate; this is guarded by a Guardhouse, on the right of the Street. North of the Guardhouse is the Ale House, an Inn of fine quality. Temple Street terminates in the colonnade of a Temple to Lunord. This is the Sternwill Sanctum, residence of three brother Adepts.
Going southeast from Sternwill Sanctum, you would come to Davan and Trecolli's Magic Bazaar. Its western and southern arms create the northern and eastern sides of the West Bazaar Square; the southern and western sides are comprised of the Rusty Dagger inn, and the aforesaid Ale House. The East Bazaar Square, bounded on the north and west by the Bazaar, is bounded on the south by another Inn - that of the Sturdy Dwarf. On the east is the Great Library, the storehouse of this rather desolate duchy's wisdom.
north of the Bazaar is another Guardhouse on the west and the Pourhouse (another Inn) on the east. North of them runs Guild Street, which provides access both to the Lone Warrior's Guild, which is east of Sternwill Sanctum, and the New Wizards' Guild, which is east of the Lone Warrior.
the eastern terminus of Guild Street is Dwarfgate Square, a rather L-shaped Square. this shape is induced by a house in its southeastern corner. On the south it is bordered by the Great Library; west of the Library and south of the house is the Rowdy Neighbour Inn.
If you slip thrpough the alley between the Rowdy Neighbour and the Library, you wil emerge onto the Dwarf's Way, which actually runs al the way from Temple Street. East of the Rowdy Neighbour and slightly withdrawn from the street is another Guardhouse, which protects the bustling Dwarfgate Market. Dwarfgate Market is succeeded by the East Ward Temple to Agrela, which in turn is succeeded by a lone house. Dwarf's Way ends in a sewer entrance, and it is speculated that the Dwarves sometimes use this entrance as a passage to regions under the ground outside the city. There is also a Wizard Tower is this area, south of the house and sewer.
Returning to Dwarfgate Square, you reemerge in the southern part of the "L". The eastern part is bordered on the north by a pair of houses, and on the west by the sprawling Dwarven enclave of Vengor's Settlement. The Settlement, incidently, provides massive security for a lone sewer grate.
Passing east of the Settlement via the double street of the East Boulevard, you come to the Dwarfgate Warriors' Guild; north of which is a Wizard Tower. Between The Old and New Wizards' Guilds, the two towers mentioned above, and another south of Ballista Square, Gateway has complete magical coverage.
East of the Warriors' Guild is a fountain; a sewer to its immediate south contrasts rather jarringly. To the east of these rival water systems is the forbidding Empty House; rumoured to be haunted, it serves as the town's Mausoleum.
Going south, past the East Ward, you enter Fountain Court; you are now behind the Castle. There is a Ballista Tower which guards the Court (and the nearby Temple) from attackers; south of which stand two houses. And, south of these, sprawls the immense Gateway Fairgrounds. Now you have come full circle, for, west of the Fairgrounds, is the Great Northern Rangers' Guild and the Great South Square.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2002 3:32 pm    Post subject: History and Description of the Gates of Paradise Reply with quote Back to top

General Description of Southgate
Three miles south from Gateway is the small village of Southgate. The Road is here guarded by two Wizard Towers, the second being just north of the miniature castle of Baron D'Arresti. Across the Road from Southgate Citadel, as it is called, is the rather drab Southgate Warriors' Guild. Going south, along the Road, you would come to Sothgate Fairgrounds, and to your right (the west), you would see Milom's Trading Post. These four buildings, together, make up Southgate. The Road continues south, edged by Wizard Towers on its western side.

General Description of Mythin's Sanctuary
Approaching Mythin's Sanctuary from Gateway, that is, from the southwest, the first building you would come to woould be the Sanctum Rogues' Guild, unique in the duchy. East of that would be Mythin's Sanctum itself; it is not a Temple, but rather an Outpost similar to Baron D'Arresti's. South of the Sanctum is the Embassy to the Southern Lands; generally called the Southern Embassy. In the angle of the Rogues' Guild and the Embassy is the vilage's main sewer entrance. North of the Rogues' Guild and just northwest of the Sanctum is the Bread and Bucket Inn. Directly north of the Sanctum are two more sewer grates, one is slightly higher than the other, due to the presence of a building which was once there. Indeed, the north part of the Sanctuary is covered with the lumpy remains of buildings; the Sanctuary was hit hard by the Dragon raid which capped the Battle. East of the Sanctum are two buildings; the northern one is a Guardhouse; the southern one is Barhult's great Smithy. And, east of the Guardhouse, is the Amazing Wizards' Guild. The name could refer either to the Guild itself, which survived Dragonfire and Golem-fists, or the mighty mages within.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2002 11:13 pm    Post subject: History and Description of the Gates of Paradise Reply with quote Back to top

Description of the Palace and Court
The Castle of the Gates was rapidly expanded during the course of the four month long Battle. It is built in the traditional fashion, and it has reached the final limits of that style - though rumour has it that master architects are working on a further expansion. The Castle's gates face west; a drawbridge spans the moat which surrounds the Castle (sorcery, courtesy of Zanzavin, keeps the moat from freezing over).
At the heart of colony is His Grace the Duke: Saphirias Accalor. Saphirias is a strict and unbending lord. He is a rigourous follower of Dauros, with a devotion to law. As such he intends to favour Monks in his policies; however, he does not actually give them unjust favours. Rogues guilds' are prohibited in Gateway itsel, although Saphirias granted Mythin permission to establish a guild in his own settlement.
Though his distance from Gavinal is a temptation to assume more power than is his due, Saphirias' old friendship with the High King and his devotion to keeps the Duke from oversteping his bounds. Saphirias, partly inspired by religious zeal, has a keen interest in seeing the lands north of the Gates explored; secretly he dreams of establishing a Daurosian state. Be that as it may, he is tolerant of other sects in his vassals' settlements, and no one can complain against his rule.
Saphirias is a tall, dark man, typical of the Sydrian people. His adherence to ascetic principles has made him somewhat lean. He wears somber, dark blue robes, with only a badge showing his rank. On occasions of state, he wears a golden circlet, set with sapphires.
Next to the Duke in important is the Ducal Advisor, Aspartes Telemas. Telemas is a mild man, and serves as moderating influence on the Duke's severe temperament. He wields considerable power behind the scenes, as he is the head of the Ducal Council. He is the only courtier whom Saphirias fully trusts, and he alone knows of the Duke's plans for the new territory. He joined the army of the High King's heroes during the contest with the Scions of Chaos; he attached himself to Saphirias and has been loyal ever since.
Telemas is native to the Northern Reaches; as such he is fair of skin and hair. He is of medium height, and is rather unremarkable. He dresses in plain green or brown clothing, reflecting his one-time profession as a Ranger.
The Ducal Council, headed by the Advisor, has five other members. Of these, Estan Jasarri is the chief; he is Captain of the City and Palace Guards, and is an old, experienced, and rather bitter ex-Warrior. His hair is grey, and he wears a beard. He still dresses in his Warrior armour.
Another important official is the unassuming Chief Tax Collector, Derman Astras. Astras wears faded purple robes, sparsely broidered with cloth-of-gold. He is a short, lean man, with a neat black beard. His bald head is covered by a worn purple hat sporting a gold-dyed feather. Both Jasarri and Astras accompanied Saphirias from the Sydrian Coast.
The other members of the council are Vengor Broadfork, who represents the Dwarves in the city, and Mythin and D'Arresti, who keep Telemas advised on the conditions of their settlements.
The Council's only purpose is to support the Duke with advice; it has no authority to legilate. However, both the Chief Tax Collector and the Captain of the Guard have practical autonomy in their fields, and Saphirias does not meddle in the internal business of the subsidiary settlements in his domain.
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