- Known As:
- Towers of Stone and Frost
- Irtuen Reaches
- General Location:
- Northwest Irtuen Reaches
- Approximate Size:
- 30 miles longitudinally and 30 miles latitudinally (725 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.
In times of war, specifically the Undead War, there is a demand for weaponry and while Bhelest had mass amounts of magic at his disposal, plenty of his soldiers could not benefit from that energy. They needed steel - blades, bows and arrows, and axes - anything that was sharp and deadly. As Khy'eras was in a state of development blended with chaos, there were limited avenues to dig around for a surplus of weapons. Or at least, it was not immediately clear which city could provide combat enhancements.
At present, Fellsgard is the prominent city of Khy'eras, but at a point in time this title belonged to the northern city, Domrhask. Scrolls that speak of its origins say when Bhelest's magic was unveiled and shared to the outside world, this roused creatures that had been trapped in the Slyscera Mountains. Giant stone golems, known as "Irenohl", broke free from the rocky terrain and laid claim to the open land in the Irtuen Reaches. The Irenohl began to build a home, a city that was crafted from the very stone the giants were birthed from.
As the Irenohl endlessly constructed their city, not seeming to desire sleep or food, they discovered that beyond a wealth of usable minerals, the mountains harbored an enormous tree with an extensive branching system that managed to grow through the stone. A substantial part of this tree was covered by the mountains, but parts of it would escape through cracks. With care, the tree could be mined; the bark was used for armor, weapons, or staffs and its leaves (though delicate and difficult to collect) could be used in potions for nearly instant cures to the sick and wounded. The Irenohl called this force of nature "Thraora", meaning "Tree of Blades" as it cut through the mountains.
While Bhelest and Nihegora raged war across Khy'eras, the giants remained unnoticed. Within their city, they built high walls and eight massive towers that seemingly rose to the sky. Even more was that these towers went at least a hundred feet or so into the earth and underground paths were carved out giving access to the mines inside the mountains. While the structures were a work of compelling art, it was the presence of the towers that drew Bhelest's attention to the north. After all, he knew of no beings in the realm that could produce such architecture and thus, he sent spies to check what was happening. When his minions returned with reports, they spoke of the resources being used to assemble Domrhask, Thraora, and the overwhelming city that was unfolding. Bhelest then decided that conquering Domrhask was what he required to make his army more dominant.
In preparation, assuming that the Irenohl would be aggressive and demolish his undead forces, Bhelest amassed an army of skeletons, wraiths, and zombies - at least sixty thousand total - and marched towards Domrhask. It is said that because of the gigantic size of army, the undead caused the land to freeze over and snow - never seen prior - fell from the colossal peaks of the Slyscera Mountains. "The Curse of the Undead", as some called it, turned the land glacial-like and the condition never faded over time.
When Bhelest got to Domrhask, he was amused and delighted at the golems response to the forces that overtook the city. Instead of fighting back, the giants were bewildered and gazed on, unable to break the destruction as it happened. They had never seen other beings, let alone witnessed combat or conquer. In a quick turn of events, the take-over ended abruptly and the Irenohl were subjected to slavery. Though they knew monotonous work, their tasks were no longer to build their city, but to create a surplus of arms and siege weapons.
This capture of Domrhask lasted until Bhelest was defeated by Cecilia. When the mage died, the undead stationed at the city fled away in terror, fearing that they would be crushed by giants that might revolt during Cecilia's victory. Though the golems did break their chains, something else unexpected occurred. They transformed into the race of Dwarves, most of whom stayed in Domrhask and continued work to restore the city to its once magnificent visage.
During the construction of Domrhask, the stone towers the Irenohl built were empty and served little purpose besides impressive decoration. One of the first things the Dwarves did was convert all the vacant space in the towers to usable structures. In comparison to Irenohl, Dwarves had emotions and will; they required necessities and aspired towards place they could call "home".
The Irenohl built each tower level at least double their own height (about 30 feet), so the Dwarves had a lot of excess dimensions to work with. In addition to sizeable floors, the golems considered the tower's circumference and built them wide where each floor was sectioned off into twelve or fourteen different spaces.
Another major change the Dwarves completed was an update to the towers so they were easier to travel. Originally, wide spiral stairs had been placed in the middle of each building, but finding the vast layers of stairs too cumbersome (especially for complaining outsiders), the Dwarves built in a system of four pulley-based platforms (or elevators) per tower. The Dwarves found this preferable to walking by people who were slumped along the stairs, gasping for breath when they couldn't get to higher floors. These elevators served a dual purpose. The Dwarves who are miners by profession could use the lifts to quickly access the caves that supply Domrhask with an abundance of stone, minerals, and Thraora.
The northern set of towers are all devoted to housing Domrhask's natives. Inside the Residential Towers, living quarters are divided into one to two room apartments, but for the wealthy, there are roomier dwellings up to six rooms. Since each floor of the tower is lengthy, many houses contain lofts. The leftmost tower houses the poorer citizens, while the middle holds the average class, and the right tower accommodates richer folk, though there is occasionally overflow of statuses from each tower. North of the second tower is a city gate.
For the weary traveler needing rest, the Reprieve Tower is the primary stop a person should make when arriving in Domrhask. Situated inside this tower are restaurants, taverns, inns, and bath houses. Taking up nearly and entire floor is Domrhask's trendy tavern, The Bearded Siren. West of the tower is a city gate.
Within this tower and taking up a hefty chunk of space are educational institutions and hospitals. A person may invest in learning trades here (minus anything to do with magic). When planning this tower, the thought was that budding scholars may assist in medical examinations and cures, offering fresh insight into remedies. Shadowed within this tower are museums and theaters, for the minority of artsy and intellectual folk. East of the tower is a city gate and on the right side are stables.
Living is not so private here and floors of homes are shared by families. In rare cases, a building might be resided in by a single family or those who own shops live on the second floor while their business is kept running on the first.
As the busiest sector in Domrhask, the Plaza Tower assembles all manner of shopping, services, and entertainment. A person can purchase food, accessories, contracts, clothing, and anything else imaginable, though armory and weapons are typically bought at the Arsenal Tower. The main floor of the Plaza is a sporting arena and nestled in-between shops on upper floors are a sprinkling of compact casinos (as if there weren't enough opportunities to lose money in Domrhask). Outside and left of the tower is airship station.
The leadership of Domrhask - The Armory - is situated in this tower. For anything government related, a person would go to this tower to voice their concerns and complaints. The tower has apartments occupied only by workers of The Armory. The very top floor is home to The Sword and on the floor right below that there is a grand meeting room where the administration gathers for discussion. South of the tower is a city gate.
Rather than go to the Plaza Tower, rational adventurers investigate the Arsenal Tower for all manner of well-crafted weapons and armor. In addition, several floors here are used to train and recruit soldiers into The Shield and to appraise and store mining deposits.
Beyond the eight towers of Domrhask, there is not much to be had. Although stone walls envelope the city, the bitter, cold weather does an excellent job convincing citizens that they should remain inside. Though there are more hardened souls that will gather outside for chatter and journey preparation.
Lingering beyond Domrhask is a surplus amount of snow, wilderness, and all-around danger. Still, Dwarves might consider this area an exceptional bit of fun and there are recurrent hunting parties that survey the area. Travelers not used to Irtuen Reaches identify the area as unpleasant until they get inside the warmth of Domrhask's gates.
To get to the city of towers, people lean towards conventional and time-consuming methods of travel such as horses or walking. This, unfortunately, is complimented with peril since mountain trails are stalked upon by wild beasts. Unprepared wanderers are easy prey. If a traveler successfully makes it to Domrhask, stables are located outside of Guidance Tower with extra stalls and offices right inside the first floor. In traditional fashion, the cold demands heartier beasts instead of horses, so mounts indigenous to the region are oxen, bears, reindeer, alpacas, and rams.
There are no trains that go to Domrhask. An attempt was made to set up routes, but the mountains and snow proved too much of a challenge (even for the stubbornness of Dwarves) and the project was abandoned. One might, along the way to Domrhask, find old train tracks and iron scattered about the Slyscera Mountains.
Northwest of the city are six docks for ships to pull into. Domrhask does not consider itself a port city. There are scant ships that will depart for fishing, but most resources (such as food) are retrieved from the land. The remaining boats offer passage to and from Fellsgard. Going to Cetnisadel Bay is not impossible or unheard of, but that journey around the land is prolonged and avoided.
There is an airship station with two platforms positioned west of the Plaza Tower. People are cautious about taking airships because of hazards such as the Slyscera Mountains and blizzards. Airship crashes are not undead of, so tickets are cheaper in Domrhask. Recovery costs for broken airships are supplemented by high price tags on just about every item that can be purchased in the city. If there is a soul brave (or desperate) enough to take an airship, the routes are to and from Fellsgard and Verdant Row.
To further enforce the fact that the race of the Dwarves will not be chained and imprisoned in any foreseeable future, a political organization dubbed "The Armory" determines what happens with all affairs related to Domrhask. The Armory is a symbol of the city's fortitude and is broken up into five different branches, the reside in the Regime Tower. Each of these sections is led by a Dwarf that plays a critical role in keeping Domrhask afloat in Khy'eras, with a new leader chosen through vote every six years.
The head branch of The Amory is The Sword and the remaining branches are essential in determining The Sword's worth. Though the Dwarves will never admit it, occasional prior recipients of The Sword weren't exactly efficient as leaders for Domrhask. Having the extra pieces of The Armory serve as a council to The Sword when they may not be able to make proper decisions.
When a Dwarf is chosen to become The Sword, they participate in a gauntlet with threatening and usually fatal obstacles that focus on challenging the body. This event is watched by the entire city and five days before the gauntlet, Domrhask is overtaken with a festival that includes mini-challenges, arm wrestling, jousting, shows, and of course, the best food and drink folks have been waiting to serve and consume.
Once a finalist emerges from the gauntlet, they undertake the role of The Sword that commands the four sub-divisions of The Armory. The Sword signs off on any ultimate decisions that would change Domrhask and participates in conversations that happen within the sections of The Armory. And if this Dwarf elects to, they can create and eliminate laws or make changes to the city without discussing with the rest of The Armory.
Judicial processes and logistics for laws that may be added or removed are reviewed by The Hammer. This branch works closely with its nearly all its counterparts. The Hammer ensures The Sword is making correct decisions and that criminals apprehended by The Shield have "fair" sentences before being sent off to Afhenalt Prison in the Varorthe Barrens.
This branch watches over Domrhask's military, defensive stance, and weaponry. The Shield's army is comprised of trained soldiers, officers, and commanders - waiting for next Bhelest-like threat. There is a unit of this army segmented off, led by two commanders responsible for examining crimes or wrong doings committed within the city. These commanders report convicts and captures to The Hammer.
The Shield is are involved in Arsenal Tower. A weapon or piece of armor with approval from this branch is a valuable item indeed.
Head of medical and hospitals, The Staff approves remedies and healing processes. While they have officials in Regime Tower like the rest of the branches, The Staff spends their time in Guidance Tower, constantly searching for advancement without magic.
All commerce that happens within Domrhask is tracked and recorded by The Coin. A city treasury and leaders of The Coin work in Regime Tower, but like The Staff, this branch has its hands in the affairs of three towers: Reprieve, Plaza, and Arsenal. The sections involvement with Arsenal Tower is to ensure that that Thraora is not over-mined for the sake of commerce.
Though Domrhask has its fair share of visitors, the Dwarves that maintain the city are begrudgingly tolerant towards strangers while being overly welcoming to their own kind. This is perhaps due to cautious feelings that another tyrant might try to control Domrhask and oppress their race. An adventurer traveling into Domrhask might notice that taverns are filled with Dwarves drinking and having a good laugh, but when approached, these groups cease discussion, go into hushed mumbling, and wave outsiders off while downing their drink quickly. It is even rumored that items are higher priced for anyone not of Dwarven blood. No one has proven this yet (or has cared to), since Domrhask's wares are typically of excellent quality and still worth the price tag.
Basically, if the traveler is a Dwarf, they should be prepared for hearty meals, fine drink, and challenges over storytelling and blacksmithing, pitting one's talents against rivals in friendly competition. Anyone else, however, will be regarded with disinterest. If the Dwarves had the option, they might have considered closing off Domrhask, but as it is the way of a functioning city, they need commerce from outer regions.
In a similar fashion how outsiders are treated, magic is unwanted in Domrhask. While fear is the motivating factor behind the ban on the arcane, the Dwarves believe that magic is a frivolous and childish idea and that people who rely on it for everyday living are weaklings. They are proud of their physical strengths and would rather see the denizens of Khy'eras mimic their standard.
Anyone who exhibits magical force in Domrhask is escorted north of the Irtuen Reaches to the Varorthe Barrens, islands that are completely covered with snow and ice. The Dwarves call withstanding this prison a test of strength as there is a very slim chance that a person will be released and return from the harsh, unyielding islands to the mainland.