- Known As:
- Arbor of Fireflies
- General Location:
- Middle of Ninraih
- Approximate Size:
- 25 miles longitudinally and 22.5 miles latitudinally (387.5 square miles)
Freed from Bhelest's nightmares and undead legions, the realm of Khy'eras - called "The Neverend" - unveiled vast reaches perfect for exploration. Create a character, craft unlimited adventures, and unlock the land's secrets. Read more...
The current year is 289 AoN and the season is spring. Check here for Khy'eras' timeline.
Historians and scholars wrote that magic was introduced to Khy'eras through Bhelest. At first, he sold the energy and when his own power became too much to handle, it was given freely to the denizens of the realm. Although Bhelest's actions upset the balance of Khy'eras, it was as if archaic energies had been awakened inside certain races and some - specifically the Elves and Fae - embraced it naturally. Bhelest eventually used this to his advantage and gained control over those who possessed magic. This domination was not always successful and those that objected his rule frequently wound up dead.
The Fae, concerned that their race might be fully enslaved, headed for Ninraih's maze-like jungles that acted as a shield. In the middle of intertwining branches, massive tree trunks, and vibrant flora, the Fae established a spot to call their own, naming their city "Ajteire". As they built homes and communities, the Fae needed protection from Bhelest's forces of the undead that took to wandering through the jungle. While they could use magic to a certain extent, the Fae were not talented with weaponry or close range combat, and as a consequence, their numbers dwindled as they strived to fend off the soulless forces.
Hearing rumors that Cecilia unearthed a solution to the world's chaos through an essence of Ristgir, discussions were had and the Fae planned to utilize similar tactics of light to defend the people of Ajteire. The only problem was that the city was positioned in the center of the jungle where sun struggled to reach the ground. Instead of protecting the Fae, the jungle's shroud assisted the undead. A mistake the Fae realized after settling on Ninraih as their home base.
However, they sought hope in the most miniscule of creatures. Fireflies had regularly fluttered about Ajteire and the Fae did not pay much attention to their presence until they were able to enchant the insects with magic. The flickering light that the fireflies gave off henceforth kept the undead armies at bay. As the bugs produced offspring, they were birthed with hereditary magic. And though it seemed like a ridiculous idea to save the city, the plan worked.
As the fireflies kept vigil around Ajteire, the former proud race of the Elves split into two different tribes (Kerasoka and Lumeacia) as they could not agree on how to cope with ongoing war. The Kerasoka stayed visible to the fighting on Khy'era's home front, but their constant resistance was a hindrance to Bhelest and he retaliated by stripping their magic away.
Relying solely on Elvish skills with weaponry and innate knowledges proved difficult for the Kerasoka. The Fae, hearing that the Elven tribe was set up for an eventual downfall, offered assistance. Kerasoka would reside in Ajteire and provide protection - the steel to the Fae's magic - while further exercising their combat techniques to fill the void where magic once resided. Believing that the fight against Bhelest was not concluding any time soon, Kerasoka agreed to this alliance with the Fae and headed towards their new home, Ajteire.
Scattered about the city are Ajteire's shops where money is essentially useless. In lieu of coin, residents trade wares in exchange for goods, services, and labor. When outsiders visit, shop owners are permitted to accept money for purchases and in return, these funds go towards resources that are not organic to Ajteire.
City gates are in the northwest, northeast, southwest, and southeast parts of Ajteire, close to these Cantons. These double-door gates are crafted from thick wood to keep enemies out, but they usually remain open during the day. While there are gates, Ajteire has no hand-built fences. Any barricades are formed by natural roots, branches, or vines and as such, select parts of the city are either exposed or protected by the earth itself.
Much like the Exchange Canton, three humble inns are scattered about the city. If these inns are booked due to the building's compact size, weary travelers are welcome to pitch tents and camp out among the forest floor, as long as they do not obstruct walkways.
Alongside the inns are cooking stations where folk gather at scheduled times to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If a person misses scheduled eating, there is usually a "watch chef" who manages the area and that person is welcome to speak with the chef about getting food. Cooking tasks are rotated between chefs.
In the western-most Amenity Canton, travelers can settle at The Preamble, a local favorite for drinks and snacks.
Off to the east side of Ajteire is the Wisdom Canton and as the name suggests, there is a school, library, theater, and other manner of arts and educational institutions. Additionally, there is a healing hut here situated on the ground floor for easy access. As numerous citizens of Ajteire exercise magic or are well-versed in herbal remedies, people are treated within homes as an alternative to hospitals.
The remainder of Ajteire's layout makes up housing. Rather than cutting down trees and clearing the flora of Ninraih's jungle, the Fae decided to keep the land intact whenever possible. Many huts are built inside larger trees or along durable branches and dense vines. Homes are designed with one or two rooms, running smaller in size to conserve space. Frequent commuters have one room lofts, complete with slanted, mud and wood ceilings to keep rain out. And some folks, who take to rising with the sun, reside in lookouts above the treetops.
Ajteire has a simplistic approach to living and citizens keep very few personal possessions. Home decor, heavy furniture, or abundances of clothing are acquired in minimal amounts. Instead of beds, people sleep on hammocks fashioned to branches and tree trunks or cots crafted of comfortable leaves and hay.
A network of wooden bridges run across the city creating aerial paths to and from houses and structures. By building around the jungle, the citizens of Ajteire allowed the native wildlife to grow and as such, the trees which support their homes have grown more tenacious throughout the years.
Scouts, rangers, and militia members take to training beyond the perimeters of Ajteire. The network of Ninraih jungles provide excellent tests in navigation, agility, and defense. However, it is effortless and quite routine for inexperienced folk to get lost.
Within the northwest and southeast Exchange Cantons, a person may find Ajteire's stables. Aside from horses, the animals in Ajteire are a bit exotic or huge versions of creatures in other cities. On the list are velociraptors, hulking lizards, ostriches, elk, and massive tigers. It also goes without saying that an Ajteire mount that is not properly tamed may be a dangerous and risky choice indeed.
Besides mounts, Ninraih Station outside the edge of the region's jungles, has a train platform. A person can buy tickets for passage to and from Fellsgard and Verdant Row. After leaving the train station, passing through the jungle requires traditional methods. A person might walk or use mounts, but paths can be uneven and treacherous to any being.
As it is very much inland, Ajteire does not contain any sea-faring ports. The closest way to get to the Res'lora Azure would be to hike north from the city to Cetnisadel Bay where an adventurer can book passage elsewhere. The Ordinuad River does practically surround the city though, so this watery road may be employed for travel.
Owing to the lush vegetation, Ajteire has no room for an airship port, so a person cannot get to the city by flight. There are no plans to create a platform either within the city or at Ninraih Station - yet.
Ajteire's decisions are determined by the concept of time and though the process may feel strange to outsiders, the leadership has worked since its creation. Three Fae (between the ages of 20 and 30) are chosen to sleep in a special chamber inside a tree for a period of 100 years. On rare occasions, Fae have volunteered, but these requests must be tested and scrutinized before being approved.
During this hibernation, the Fae feel no effects of age and absorb details on how the city and its inhabitants communicate with Khy'eras. This flow of knowledge from the roots of the tree to the Fae is split and evenly distributed; one Fae retains the events of past, another the present, and the last, the future. Together, with their insight of what has happened and what will happen, the trio of Fae, otherwise known as the "Voices of Fate", determine Ajteire's involvement on all worldly issues.
When one trio rouses after a century, a fresh assembly of Fae then occupies the chambers. As trios are replaced, the group leaves the city and are escorted to different trees that fully embrace the Fae in a wrapping of bark and twigs until they become one. Certain Fae scholars speculate that retired Voices eventually return to Khy'eras through reincarnation and because of their previous life, they can learn things - like magic - with ease.
The best possible outcomes for Ajteire are determined by reviewing occurrences from the past and present. There have been an insignificant number of recorded cases where an improper reading of the future landed the citizens of Ajteire in an unwanted circumstance.
A mistake people make is assuming that the future can conveniently regulate how Ajteire should act. But prophecies are fickle messages; visions and whispers can be misread or fork away from intended paths. The future can be modified in a majority of cases, where the past or present cannot be altered.
The chamber locations are known by a limited people known as "Keepers" that take selected Fae to the trees. Keepers are tasked with writing down any wisdom that the Voices give. When dealing with the future, words are deemed "prophecies" mainly because the events have not yet transpired and may be subject to intervention. Parchments from the Voices are sealed in a library that is guarded by Keepers with one entrance that also serves as an exit.
On seldom occasions, there have been chosen Fae that have rejected the role of a Voice or could not withstand their duties. When this happens, the Fae may be requested to leave Ajteire or they stay, only to become shunned and criticized by their kin. As a result, these fallen Fae dubbed "Silenced", end up exiting the city, feeling as if they have failed the entire community.
As far as the city's protection, being a "soldier" for Ajteire is much like any job. If a person has expertise in fighting or magic, those skills can assist in defending Ajteire and giving back to the city. Because there is no formal army, Ajteire's defenders are viewed as a militia. A substantial portion of this group contain Kerasoka Elves as they are skilled with weaponry, but there are Fae mages and healers that lend a hand. People who do wrong in the city are apprehended by the militia and are brought to court where they are placed on trial.
In comparison to Fellsgard - a city that is divided into residential sections based on an individual's wealth - the folk of Ajteire initially treat everyone on common ground. Citizens are asked to contribute by using the talents and expertise that they possess - such as gardening, hunting, cloth making, cooking, etc. Everyone has a role to play in the city's growth and those who adamantly refuse to participate, are asked to leave. It is very much a communal place to live.
Though predominately populated by the Fae and Kerasoka, there have been a handful of other races (mostly Humans or Shapeshifters) that appreciate Ajteire's lifestyle and have chosen to make the city a permanent residence. Despite being shut off by the jungles, there is hardly any racism or emotions of ignorance in the city.
If there is one place a mage can go and not have to worry about being chastised or punished for magical abilities, it is Ajteire. Majority of the citizens that use magic on a daily basis are the Fae, as the energy is like an extension of their body. They are receptive and try to not hide their knowledge and skills. It is hypothesized that (by reviewing patterns in history) if a soul confines magic, it can consume, destroy, or transform the vessel. The Fae retain this theory, but they are still respectful not to overdo magic usage. This is largely due to the Kerasoka magic loss; the Fae do not want to "show off".
Those who have heard of Ajteire or who have visited the city and are fearful of magic, keep their distance as they do not want to be involved with what goes on.