Flag: Flag of Alethea
Contact: Deus Ex Aizen
Seductively beautiful and perfectly placed, Alethea has been luring passersbys since the time of legends. The land of the Xenos has been praised and prized by the many ancient cultures whose bones lie buried there. From sparkling seas to restless mountains, Alethea’s juxtaposition of sea, forest and mountain scenery makes a stunning backdrop for any adventurer.
Alethea sits nestled on the northwestern region of the Rising West and 20.50 miles (33 km) east of Port Kyros. Within the Kingdom of Alethea is the city Illyrium and the village Tal, with the former fortress known as Himmelsfestung turned memorial as its crowning jewel. Beneath the city, beyond the Labyrinth and stretching under the Wicker Mountains is the elusive underground City Ikaria, run by the shadow regent of Raz Nogore.
Illyrium – Host to the Noble Houses of Alethea, the city boasts the expanding markets and businesses. By Raveena’s decree, the liberation of humans to co-exist with Xenos ensures that all races will receive an education. Home to the wealthier side, more Xenos than humans occupy the city, attending the institutions of higher learning and participating in court affairs and events. Illyrium's clifftop palace is one of the most dramatically sited in all of Alethea. Beyond the palace's first gate, a ramp leads to a broad courtyard that gives access to several monumental, elaborately decorated rooms, from which you can enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.
Tal Village – A predominantly human village, Tal ensures textiles, agriculture and basic technological needs exist. Snaking for several blocks is Tal's busiest street market, which throbs with activity well into the early evening. It's a fascinating mix of noises, smells and street life. Tal Village received a great deal of funding to expand and renovate many of the destitute homes of liberated slaves to ensure medicinal and living needs were met with satisfaction. There is a rumor that beneath certain parts of the Kingdom, there exists an underground Labyrinth that expands into an underground city.
The Kingdom of Alethea boasts a Mediterranean climate with wet, cold winters and dry, hot summers. Closer to what the natives call the Wicker mountain range, there is heavier snow, making is nigh impossible to pass come winter.
Flora and Fauna
Furicorn || Commonly Referred to as R’hesh
- An incredibly common sight, these non-carnivorous beasts often roam the Wicker mountains.
- Their Coats resemble stone, silt and coal dust, and are in fact not comprised of fur, but of small mineral filings and stone deposits.
- R'hesh have eight legs, all of which end in pointed stone hooves.
- R'hesh are best known for their appetite, and their peculiar diet. As geovores, they devour stones and ores to sustain themselves.
- Generally, citizens don’t fear confronting the R'hesh, unless you approach one of their children or aggravate the herd.
- R'hesh are often prize animals that are caught to be used as mounts or bred for their horns and bones. Their horns are often composed of a special alloy that reinforces the material the R'hesh eat. At the moment, hunting R'hesh is not considered poaching.
Orfelia luminosa || Commonly referred to as Lampyres
- Commonly known as Lampyres, Astralflies or Pyreflies. It is said that in their natural habitat, they appear glowing like thousands of stars in the night sky.
- These insects live in large clusters among moss and deep underground cavities, as well as in wet sandstone caves.
- They use their bio-luminescent lanterns as an attractant to catch their prey.
- They produce the bluest light of any studied bio-luminescent insect.
- When threatened, they will cluster in a hive and attack, using the intense glow of their combined bio-luminescence to blind their prey.
- This particular species is considered eusocial.
Spade-Horned Cervidae || Commonly referred to as Braix (Braise plural)
- A singular heard of antelope like creatures with a complex social dynamic
- Six-legged Cassowary-sized deer with crops of heavy bone on their head.
- Some oddity in their bodies causes an odd form of albanism in the alpha species, resulting in blonde coats and ivory-white horns.
- Elder species have holes speckled through their horn structure so that when it's windy enough you can hear the herd whistling.
- Use their massive bone-crop to dig, root, and scoop up plants and roots for consumption.
- Follow a migratory pattern through the Talbett Valley and into the Wicker mountains bi-annually.
Illyrian deciduous forests – A lush mosaic of forests, woodlands and shrubs that span to the coasts of Port Kyros. This inspiring landscape of peaceful rolling hills and rounded tree-covered peaks is interspersed with little-disturbed meadows and stretches of virgin woodland, providing a habitat for many species long since vanished from the rest of central Genesaris.
Talbett Valley – The flatlands leading from the Tyrean Sea to the Wicker Mountain range. Spring here sees spectacular spreads of wildflowers carpeting the mountain slopes; autumn brings wild mushrooms and richly colored foliage; winter prompts the halt of trading until spring; and June through August offers an escape from the coastal crowds.
Ikarian Caverns – The underground caverns beyond the walls of the Labyrinth that span underneath the kingdom and into the Wicker mountains. This haunting stretch of caverns with pyreflies, subterranean streams and waterfalls, and intricate limestone structures have become its own sustainable underworld.
Alethea is a kingdom divided. Many generations were raised with prejudice against the humans, while the new order helps to shake the negative foundation and encourage peace and co-existence. Many retain the old ways, while the newer generations are open to the introduction of technology and education. Prior to the rebellion and revolution, culture was heavily repressed and censored. By the establishment of her rule and formulating the new government policies, the culture of Alethea blossomed under Raveena. Museums showcase artifacts from the rebellion, notable heroes and histories of the city. Festivals, tournaments, and religious practices are rampant.
Several types of currency flow from every part of the world that Genesaris trades with, all of which can be converted to the Genesarian coin, though it also accepts the Imperial mint from the Arcane East as well. Jewels, gems, and other valuable metals can also be used and traded among the shops and merchants of Alethea.
Due to inflation, wars, and other variables, the value of currency may heighten or drop to reflect the times, but usually accurately reflects the table above.
Alethea has an abundance of Fresh water, Rhodium, Gold, and Silver, Phosphorus in supply for trade between varying cities.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Landmarks and Monuments
Ilios Palace: Before you enter the palace's Imperial Gate, take a look at the ornate structure in the cobbled square just outside, a beautiful fountain that pays homage to the late Empress and her love of gardening, with a carefully manicured garden at its feet. Beyond the Imperial Gate lies the First Court, where opulent events may take place, or where the court may gather for public affairs.
The Second Court is used for the business of running the Kingdom. Only King Rowan and Queen Raveena may proceed on horseback through the second gate. All others must dismount before proceeding. Here are council chambers, offices and the royal kitchens. The treasury lays in the northern section, where arms and armor are stored and displayed.
The palace proper is known as the Harem, as it holds the private living quarters of the courtiers as well as the royal family, and boasts elaborate rooms for the Imperial Family. It is said that the Ilios Palace was once a floating castle in that sky that was grounded and built and expanded upon, resulting in the grandeur that is the palace upon the hill of Illyrium.
The Enoteca: Serious oenophiles flock to this bustling wine bar, complete with bar seating, courtyard and a generous selection of regional wines by the glass. There's no shortage of interesting local drops, not to mention artisan cheese and charcuterie boards, beautiful pasta dishes and grilled meats.
Despite being known for its exquisite dishes, the Enoteca is the Genesarian sister-bar to the Sadira Amar, and features a workshop beneath the floor that caters to those needing repairs on their wares or their artifacts being designed from acquired blueprints.
Raz-Nogore’s Labyrinth Arena: It’s a toss-up as to which is more welcoming here: the cold, bare maze of walls that seem to magically arrange themselves, or the blood-stained arena placed in the center of it all. Navigate this Labyrinth that is drenched in magic reveals the bloody history of the tyrannical Beast King Raz-Nogore. Correctly navigating the Labyrinth brings you to the epicenter, where the true danger lies in wait…
The Ruins of Ikaria City: Alethea's most enthralling archaeological site encompasses the ruined ancient city of Ikaria; an underground city run by criminal factions that exist beneath a shadow regency. Having fallen from the graces of Raz-Nogore, many rebels both human and Xeno have retreated to a life underground, creating a rogue court for themselves. Many of the factions are at war with one another, with the ultimate goal to return to the surface.
Himmelsfestung: The Fortress in the Firmament: A hauntingly beautiful memorial to those fallen from the rebellion of Himmelsfestung, this beautiful fortress boasts a stunning cut of Coltherstone, an alluring black stone with veins of cobalt blue that shares the same bio-luminescence of pyreflies, giving it a dim, eerie appearance at night. Etched onto the pillars of this fortress are the dead—described as a spiritual experience, it is rumored the halls of the fortress are haunted—Including the ghost of Raz-Nogore the Butcher, himself. It’s customary to wash your hands as you leave the memorial to leave the spiritual essence of the dead where it belongs.
The Council of Seven
Like all lands within the Rising West, Alethea is subject to the edicts of its capital city Aelindra. While the city rulers are allowed to police their domains with leniency-- more in line with their own beliefs and views --they are all bound to the will of the council, seeing their will done and that no transgressions be made against their edict.
Beneath the city, the shadow regent enforces a balance of order and structure, though it remains functional through the factions established there.
The Vitruvian Order: A branch of the original Venetian Order that presides over the local government affairs of Alethea. These five councilmen headed by Raveena are retired military personnel that serve as officials during peacetime. Each member has a legal specialty, from law to the arts to agriculture and industry—each with valuable knowledge and skills to their respective seat. They are all trained to serve as officials of the city, and preside in the courts and justice system within the city.
The Guardia: The military and police corps that safeguard the Kingdom. Like the Enforcers, the Guardia forces are grouped with a Profetto (Prefect), Quaestor (Inquisitor), and the Arma Karabin that make up the bulk of kingdom wide peacekeeping. The prefects have political responsibility and coordinate the local quaestor, who has technical responsibility to enforce laws when public safety is threatened.
The Enforcers: Exclusive to Raveena. Many of the original Enforcers from Sigil City followed her to Valucre when she was promoted as their General and later Commander. Enforcers are volunteering Civilians who wished to have basic military and policing training to keep the streets safe.
According to the census, Alethea with the addition of acquiring House Kaashmii now boasts a population of 125,461.
31,366 belong to the Guardia
18,819 belong to the Enforcers .15
15,055 belong to the Rising West’s Army
12,546 retain local government jobs .10
The queen has sought to rebuild and enforce the educational institutes in Alethea. As such, she oversaw several naval, technical, religious and academic institutes built to showcase the Rising Queen’s importance of a well-rounded education, as well as a nod to the importance of the arcane and the worship of the Emperor God.
Animal Propulsion: Whether ridden by themselves or attached to a cabby. The maintenance and upkeep of a living transport makes this a largely inefficient form of inner city travel, but because a large percentage of a given city's population is travelers from abroad, a lot of infrastructure still supports this form of travel.
Mechanical Propulsion: Airships, Spellcycles: Powered by magical crystals known as Exalta, airships are the most popular form of travel. For a small fee, most can ride on a large airship that flies to and from various cities. All megacities and most smaller cities have stations, bays, and areas where airships are able to land. Almost all airships carry weaponry and shields to protect against air pirates.
For travel by sea, basic seaships are used, which vary in size and carry weaponry for protection against sea pirates.
Currently, Spellcycles have been created, similar to motorcycles with a futuristic/steampunk design. Powered by the magical crystals Exalta, these are expensive rides and can only be bought in Joran City and straight from Antigone Isles, the home of their creation.
Roads and Walkways: Alethea has constructed several local roads that cascade down from the mountains and stretch all the way towards the coastal shores.
Magical Propulsion: Inter-city travel is served primarily smaller airships and Crossroads. Crossroads are generally gateways that provide instant travel throughout a city and often to and from cities. Crossroads are keyed to certain areas and the side effect is nothing more than mild disorientation that passes quickly. Guarded by soldiers, Crossroads are cheap, easy, and effective to transporting goods and civilians alike. Sometimes, magical creatures pass through from realms beyond, in which case the soldiers must deal with them. Generally, however, the Crossroads are kept safe and steady.
Queen Raveena Jhanavi Bartolome Senaria: A Terran-born Noble of Imperial ancestry, Raveena has been a long-time ally of the Carmine Empire and the newest member of the Imperial Family as a Princess of the Empire. A rising politician and respected ruler, she is known to rule with a passion tempered by patience and kindness. Firm and fair, she has been well received by the citizens of Alethea as their Queen, earning respect among her appointed city officials. Resourceful and ambitious, she seeks to usher in prosperity for the Kingdom, and for Genesaris overall.
Tyrannical Regime – For decades, Raz-Nogore ran the Kingdom of Himmelsfestung under his rule. Overtaxed and overworked, the Human population was enslaved for their barbaric hunting ritual that eradicated Raz-Nogore’s kind before he took over as King.
Himmelsfestung’s Revolution – Disguised initially as a political envoy seeking trade establishment, Raveena and her convoy sowed the seeds of dissent among Xenos kind, particularly those oppressed by Raz-Nogore’s tyrannical rule. Staging a rebellion, Raveena’s miltant forces successfully neutralized the Kingdom’s military. After the Beast King’s execution and Raveena’s election, Himmelsfestung was renamed Alethea, though the fortress was named Himmeslfestung and memorialized, with the names of the fallen engraved along the walls for remembrance.
The Art of Acquisition – The Fall of House Kaashmii – Determined to expand Alethea, Raveena commissioned the Web to successfully secure a floating isle and its palace. Neutralizing the military and subjugating the citizens into Alethea, the castle was propelled to the Rising West, where it was grounded and expanded upon, becoming the Ilios Palace.
Credentials: Image courtesy of DylanPierpoint on Deviantart.