Arderial is an elegant realm of floating clouds and airy cities, drifting serenely far above the Moonlands landscape. It is an expansive aerial wilderness that floats above the surface of the Moonlands. The realm is spacious and soft, and reaches up to the very top of the Moonlands, where the sky is dark with the eternal night of deep space just beyond the limits of the upper atmosphere. In the upper reaches, starlight filters in even during the daytime.
As an aerial realm, most of Arderial is open sky. The Arderians build on the clouds, creating buildings and other wonders in the sky. The cloud islands are magically kept intact, and are strong enough to walk upon (or build upon, for the larger ones). However, they are still light and fluffy, and very soft. The surface of an enchanted cloud is spongy, and easy to walk upon. They also have a shimmering aura on the upper side.
Sections of the cloud surface are not solid, allowing Arderians to fly through the cloud to emerge under it. These sections are fairly obvious to an Arderian, as they lack the characteristic shimmering aura. Visitors are quickly told how to recognize the openings to avoid falling.The largest cloudbank is home to the city of Arderial, and is generally considered to be the region itself. It defines the extent of where Arderians normally frequent, and where most Dream Creatures roam.
The Sky Ring is the roughly circular path that Arderial follows as it drifts around the other realms of the Moonlands, following the natural circular wind patterns. The path typically takes the cloud city along the north edge of Naroom or the southern edge of Nar, out over the ocean between Paradwyn and Oscent Mar, and back over the peninsula of Bograth. It then proceeds along the southern half of Kybar's Teeth, or sometimes the northern edge of Cald, then across D'Resh as it turns northward again.
The Sky Ring also refers to the other clouds which follow the circular pattern. A number of these clouds have been enchanted to bear weight, and have towers on them. Arderians use these as stopovers while on their way to visit other realms far from Arderial, or as a secluded retreat. Many of the towers of the Sky Ring are not normally inhabited, but a few have given rise to more permanent settlements.
The clouds of Arderial make a full circle once every 30 days or so. As the main Arderial cloudbank follows along the path of the Sky Ring, it maintains its orientation with respect to north and south. Other clouds may or may not maintain the compass orientation.
Arderial has few natural hazards. The magic which keeps Arderial aloft also eliminates any hazards due to severe altitude.
Of course, non-Arderians always risk falling through sections of clouds. Arderians quickly try to point out how to recognize where the clouds will not support weight. However, a character who is blinded or confused may miss the telltale signs. Most Arderial creatures who spot a falling creature will try to catch them.
The city of Arderial is located on the largest cloud bank in the sky. The city is composed of tall castles and elegant towers and minarets. The towers typically resemble inverted cyclones - vast cylinders of spiraling mists, capped by graceful white domes and turrets. Misty balconies spiral slowly across the tower surfaces, and occasionally ethereal bridges and swooping ramps connect one lofty spire to another or to the cloud surface itself.
There are no walls around the city, and the buildings are made from iridescent cloudstuff that has been properly hardened and artificed. Other parts of the buildings may be formed from spiraling water vapor or even rainbows. Frequently the doors of a tower will be magical, allowing a magi to enter and exit, while avoiding interfering with the sense of elegance. Arderian architects take pride in the beauty of their work, ensuring the city is itself a work of art.
Intermixed with the buildings in a reasonably orderly design are lovely gardens and courtyards, filled with delicate plants and flowers. Open plazas and parks are common places for the Arderians to gather. The city is a busy one, with over 2/3 of the population of Arderial dwelling within. It also is the normal destination for other Moonlanders traveling to the region. Under normal conditions, visitors to the cloud city are few, as Arderians prefer their solitude.
Arderians generally dwell in the towers. A magi will typically have a small part of the tower, complete with a balcony and windows. A magi typically keeps a modest-sized dwelling, usually only a few rooms in size.
The main cloudbank of Arderial holds three starberry forests. These starberry forests, which primarily are composed of starberry trees and starbushes, helps to maintain the magical energy which keeps Arderial intact. Each of the forests individually has enough lifting magic to maintain the region, but all three are carefully maintained.
At the center of each of the starberry forests is a massive Source tree, which dwarfs the starberry trees around it. The Source Tree provides the magical energy to all of the starberries in the forest. The Source Tree is rooted around an enormous chunk of animite, which continuously provides the energy to the Source Tree. The Source Tree's roots interweave with those of the starberry trees and starbushes throughout the forest.
Arderian magi are responsible for maintaining the starberry forests, on a rotating basis. Each forest is checked once a week. The magi has the responsibility for checking and pruning the starberry trees and starbushes. They also must ensure the Source Tree is fully charged, by sending dream energy into the animite at the base of the great tree. The procedure is primarily ritual, since the animite has never lacked a charge.
The magic of the Source Tree is one of the great Eliwan legacies. Checking and protecting the forests is considered a significant honor. It is a sign of respect when a magi is given the responsibility for helping to maintain the starberry forests.
Located at the center of the Great Sky Ring is the Pivot Tower. The Pivot Tower, also known as the Axis Tower, is one of the Eliwan legacies, created when the Region itself was formed. The tall tower floats in the center of the Sky Ring, drifting slightly to avoid being noticed easily. It floats over the Weave or western Paradwyn, remaining in the same general area. The cloudbank it rests on changes shape, gathering normal cloudstuff around the more substantial cloud-ground, and the tower is not visible from the ground. The immaterial cloudstuff also frequently obscures the tower even from the rest of the realm.
The Pivot Tower serves two important functions. The tower serves as the focusing component for the Dream Barrier. The second function is to govern and maintain the winds of the Sky Ring. The tower originally controlled the motion of the many cloud islands of Arderial with fine precision. Originally, the motions of the cloud islands controlled the size and strength of the Dream Barrier.
Because of its isolation, the Pivot Tower has been largely forgotten, and fallen into disrepair. It no longer precisely controls the motion of the Arderial clouds, though the winds still maintain their circular pattern. The effect on the Dream Barrier is unknown.
The Magi here have remained isolated from their land-bound cousins for many generations, and have managed to create a quiet and peaceful society circling silently over the lands below. Because of their isolation, the people (and magi) of Arderial have a strong philosophic and intellectual culture. They have also built their society to harness the power of the wind and the storm.
Arderial is ruled by a Regis, who is the monarch of the land. The Regis rules as long as he or she desires, stepping down when a worthy successor is determined. A regis who is considering stepping down will usually mentor prospective successors, selecting those magi who demonstrate uncommon wisdom and insight, as well as leadership ability. Age is not a factor when selecting a Regis.
The Regis is advised by the Arderian council. The Council members are typically elder magi, who provide lore and guidance to the Regis when necessary. By tradition, the Elder Sage, Keeper, and Ringsmith of Arderial are included in the council, and other members are usually those scholars who have distinguished themselves. The councilors are respected, and generally have authority to issue commands to the other Arderians. Arderian councilors typically wear full robes, with embellishments to identify themselves when necessary. They generally convene meetings in the Hall of Scholars in Arderial.
The Arderian Guard is Arderial's defense force. The Guard is composed of scouts, defenders, and warriors (as well as some adepts) who patrol the cloud city and surrounding area. Smaller units of the Arderian Guard also reside on some of the other villages of the Sky Ring. The Arderian Guard usually protects Arderial itself, but can serve as a swift-moving strike force in times of crisis. The Arderian Guard also are called on as couriers or messengers when needed.
An ancient fortress, now occasionally used as a meeting hall. The Storm Citadel moves around the Sky Ring, and lies far from the main Arderial cloud bank. On rare occasions, the leaders of each region use the Storm Citadel as a meeting hall, where they can discuss matters in person rather than through magical communications.
Arderial grows many varieties of plants. A variety of flowering plants, fruit trees, and bushes grow within the city. These provide food and elegance to the city. Many of the fruits of Arderial glow in various shades, and gardeners value the clarity of the luminance as much as the taste of the fruit. Outside the city, cloud farmers cultivate sky grasses and tend small orchards.
Starberry trees and Starbushes are two varieties of plants which grow on the Arderial clouds. They are closely related, both bearing glowing starberry fruit. Starberry trees grow to a height of 12-15 feet in height, while the starbushes grow to around 3-4 feet in height. Both varieties grow in the same area, and they bear fruit all year around. The branches of a starberry tree are long and lacy, bearing multiple large berries at a time, while the starbushes are somewhat more compact, but healthy starbushes still yield abundant starberries.
The berries are actually quite large, up to about an inch in diameter for the starbushes, and about 3 inches in diameter or more for the starberry trees. The starberries are magical, and are sources of lifting (levitation) magic when energized. The starberries glow with the magical energy, and they can be used to monitor the magical flow. Starberries actually lift themselves from the branches, rather than pulling the branches down with heavy fruit; to an unaccustomed observer, it seems that the starberries grow upside down. When picked, a starberry has a buoyancy similar to a helium balloon. This buoyancy lasts for several days while the berry slowly loses its magic. Rather than having a blooming cycle, the starberries themselves occasionally emit pollen. The starberry pollen gathers in drifts of glowing pink mounds on the ground, stirred up by the faintest of winds. The starberries themselves are edible, and quite delicious.
The root systems of the starberry trees and starbushes spread through the cloud surface, and help to maintain and spread the flow of magical energy. They can form a network of magic, allowing the lifting magic of the berries to extend over very broad areas. Furthermore, the root system keeps the cloudstuff near it substantial, providing a solid ground to walk upon. Starberry trees and starbushes do not actually generate magic themselves, but will convert magic from an external source into lifting magic. An animite crystal is usually sufficient for a single starbush to maintain its magic.
In general, the starbushes and starberry trees only need occasional pruning, or the removal of the odd berry that had grown dim and withered. On rarer occasions, the roots become tangled, and loose the flow of magical energy, which can cause the ground to lose its solidity around the starbush.
Crystal Trees are another small tree, easily cultivated, which is common in Arderial gardens and parks. The leaves of the tree resemble delicate crystal, and chime musically whenever the wind blows.
|Common (1-6)||Uncommon (7-9)||Rare (0)|
|1||Flutter Yup||Rainbow Hyren||Ember Vard|
|2||Alaban Kit||Dark Ayebaw||J'lith|
|3||Cloud Narth||Orpus||Flying Hinko|
|4||Cloud Orshaa||Renegade Epik||Lightning Braggle|
|5||Shock Vashp||Spray Narth||Orish|
|7||Thunder Vashp||Epik||Cyclone Vashp|
|9||Xyx Minor||Raxis||Frost Raxis|
|10||Aerial Flist||Ayebaw||Elder Vellup|
|11||Bubble Xyx||Grand Epik or Rokarum||Firestorm Orish|
|12||Flying Darbok||Great White Narth||Hurricane Orish|
|14||Xyx||Lightning Hyren||Comet Hyren|
|15||Barreling Vemment||Yark||Elder Yark|
|17||Wyle||Rayalon or Vogo||Thunder Hyren|
|18||Brannix||Xyx Elder||Wind Hyren|
|19||Ballistic Baldar||Cyclone Xyx||Sandstorm Orshaa|
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