Heavens of the Alyres


Physical Characteristics - Architecture and Peoples

 

Heavens float high above the planet at the intersections of the magickal leylines. Each Elven metropolis that is a Heaven has its own particular feel, but there are a few common characteristics.

 

Heavens frequently have solid rock and earth undersides, to give them the feel that they were ripped from the planet, although in truth it is very rare that a Heaven is made in such a way. Heavens are stationary, harnessing the energies of the leylines as they float in place. Heavens that are forced away from an intersection will fall to the planet as the magicks of a single leyline will rarely hold a Heaven aloft. Many Heavens that do not possess the sophisticated lithia tech necessary to remain stationary will attach powerful chains to nearby mountains or boulders to assist. Powerful lithia tech and permanent spells provide a living atmosphere to the inhabitants of Heavens, and guard against inclement weather.

 

Typically, the buildings on the ground below a Heaven are of lower class and are where slums are located. Any anti-Alyrean organizations operating near a Heaven can be found in these undercities. Black markets and similar groups can also be found here. Government buildings in an undercity usually operate the magickal lifts that will take creatures to the Heaven above (for a sizable fee if not a proper citizen or lacking a work passport). Bigger Heavens contain teleportation circles for instantaneous, albeit expensive, travel to various parts of the city. Ground forces of the Alyres typically are housed on the outskirts of the undercity, and it is considered a great honor for any unit or soldier to be housed in a Heaven.

 

Heavenly moons orbit a Heaven, and frequently house guardhouses and towers, along with waypoints and harbors for leyline cruisers. Unlike a Heaven, these moons stay in constant motion, and ride the lithia waves of the intersecting leylines as they crash together, expending only enough lithia to move from one crash of a wave to the next.

 

A characteristic of the intersection of leylines is a weakening of the Aegis - the fabric of the universe - and thus, many Heavens house permanent Gates connecting each other and even leading to their homeworld of Lysia. These Gates are heavily guarded and regulated, and in most cases, permission from both sides needs to be given before they can be opened. The exception of course, is when it is by the Teyrauror's command.

 

The Heavens are believed to be one of the strongest symbols of the Teyrauror's power, and the sight of any Heaven is enough to drive many races mad with fear. As such, the Alyres has spread out across the continent of Aerth along the leylines, and the last vestiges of freedom exist in-between these lines of power. One of the only features preventing expansion into the continent of Morin are the great mountain ranges east and west of the Halyean Sea, across which no leyline travels.

 

The most famous Heaven is the Heaven of Yesuria. It is the capitol of the Alyres, and the home of the Teyrauror. It is said that if the harbors of Yesuria were to empty, the sky would be black with ships, if its armies were to pour forth, the planet of IIo itself would tremble, and Tarchannenalt would collapse under their weight. To many races, the Alyres is known only as the Yesurian Empire. Yesuria is the jewel of the Heavens, and it stands at the intersection of no less than five major leylines high above Aerth.

 

Borders and Surrounding Environs

 

Heavens are always located high in the sky, and at the intersection of at least two leylines. Heavens dot the sky across the continents of Aerth and Lujasila, and extend far across the seas. Heavens are always placed as centers of power, and all of the land seen from a Heaven is under its control.

 

Land-based cities between Heavens are looked down upon, and frequently serve  industrial or agricultural purposes.

 

The city of Aeruen and the mountains south of it mark the northwestern border of the Alyres, and no Heavens remain within sight of Aeruen. The Alyres and its Teyrauror have tried many times to take Aeruen by force, but the city of elementalists has proven too powerful even for the Yesurian Armies.

 

The Lighthouses of the Halyean Sea project an anti-lithia aura that disrupts elven magick and provides an effective shield against leyline travel across the sea. Without this causeway, no significant force of the Alyres can stretch its claws across the sea, and no Heaven can be built. There are rumors of elven forces attempting to raise a Heaven from beneath the sea itself, and it is said this organization is only biding its time before they strike at the lighthouses preventing their magicks.

 

The Elfwall mountains provide the third border to the northern expansion of the Alyres. Close to the Alyres controlled hume city Junaroh, the Elfwall disrupts leyline travel completely, and the only forces able to strike at the hume settlements north of the Elfwall are isolated and not able to be supported by the Heavens. The bloody ground wars finally came to a halt after a particularly gruesome battle when the tormented souls of the dead rose to strike at elf and hume alike. The elves have focused their attention elsewhere since then.

 

To the northeast, the monstrous aberrations of the Deadlands have forced the elven Heavens farther south and across the eastern seas.

 



Power Schematic

 

Within a Heaven, there are many different powers vying for control, and many branches of the government one must contend with. Technically, the rank of Heavenly Commander grants the right to seize control of a Heaven and all of its forces to that person, but there are more Heavenly Commanders than there are Heavens. Usually, one must ascend to the rank of Heavenly Lord General before being placed in charge of a Heaven, and even then he or she will frequently find herself impotent when it comes to affairs of state or culture.

 

Each Heavenly Lord General sends reports to a Steward of Yesuria, who in turn reports to a Lord Steward, who in turn reports to half a dozen more people before finally reaching the Heavenly Steward of the Alyres - the Voice of the Teyrauror. The Heavenly Steward handles the day to day business of the Alyres, but reports interesting points and causes for concern to the Teyrauror - Lord Emperor of the Alyres.

 

Civilizations and Organizations

 

Heavens are wholly Yesurian, and no functional Heavens exist outside of the Alyres. High elves make up 90% of the population of any given Heaven, while slaves of other races make up the other 10%. In the Heavens, the only significant portion of the Elysia on IIo can be found, but these are but a fraction of a percent when it comes to the hundreds of thousands living on and in a Heaven.

 

Only those organizations and peoples allowed by the Teyrauror can exist within a Heaven. Some notable organizations that consider themselves outside of the Alyres are the Fasara um Lithia (the Brotherhood of Elven Magick), the Unicorn Knights, the Massians (dancers), and the Lysia Wardeis (Guardians of Lysia).


Defenses and Technology

 

Most Heavens have stationary lith cannons, that draw upon the magicks of the leylines and lithia batteries instead of wizards like the field versions of lith cannons. Usually, 10% of a Heaven's population are members of the Yesurian armies, not to mention the forces on the ground below a Heaven. In times of emergency, forces can come through the permanent Gates immediately from other Heavens, making them practically unassailable. Strict regulation of their borders and steep prices of travel further protects Heavens from any subversive elements within the high elven race itself.

 

Known and Unknown History

 

Hundreds upon hundreds of millennia ago, the only elves were the Elysia. A group of the Elysia broke from their star worshipping brothers and began to follow the first Teyrauror. Believed to be a fallen Star God, the first Teyrauror was obsessed with reaching the stars again. In his arrogance and obsession, he commanded his elves to build a mighty ziggurat - a tower that would touch the sky itself.

 

The other Elysia looked down upon these builders, these elves so obsessed with touching the sky, and began calling them the high elves. Finally, the ziggurat was completed, and the first Teyrauror stood atop it, ready to reclaim his star. But the god Nova would not allow it.

 

Nova's fury and rage erupted, annihilating the ziggurat completely. But Nova could not contain his magick and rage, and so erupted across the skies of Lysia, bathing the creatures below in dangerous magickal radiation. At that same moment, but in the dimension of IIo, dragons had summoned forth a great comet to destroy the threat of dinosaurs. The two cataclysms on different dimensions were enough to tear open a hole in the fabric between dimensions, and the First Gate between IIo and Lysia was formed.

 

The high elves that followed the first Teyrauror fled from Nova's wrath and magick through the Gate and settled on IIo, but Nova's magicks had filled Lysia to the brim, and the entire Realm shook as it struggled to maintain its existence. The Gate provided the escape, and lithia poured through the Realm of IIo in the form of leylines.

 

At the site of the First Gate, the high elves discovered the near infinite powers they now had access to. Discarding the failed design of a ziggurat, the high elves ripped their fledgling outpost from the planet to set it in the sky. They called their new home Yesuria, and set about molding the planet of IIo to their liking. Although the first Yesuria would eventually fall, and come to be known as Atlantis, the concept of floating Heavens held fast in elven culture and society, and remained in their legends even when humes overthrew the elves that had created them and banished the high elves back to Lysia.

 

When the Seal between the Realms was finally destroyed, high elves were quick to resurrect the ancient legends in the form of the Heavens.

 

Beliefs, Legends, and Folklore

 

The First Gate and the Legend of Atlantis captivated elven society for the nearly 20,000 years they were banished from IIo. Although the location of the First Gate has been lost and Atlantis is separated from the new leylines of IIo, it is believed by many that the First Gate still contains the infinite power of legend that was enough to fight off the might of the first gods of IIo - dragons.

 

This was never a more cherished belief than when the Galtean leader overthrew the Alyres and became the first non-elven Teyrauror. Millennia passed, and when all of the races of the world combined to overthrow the galts, the need for the legend faded, but never disappeared. Another 20,000 years would pass on IIo, and most elves thought the Gate destroyed or lost forever.

 

Relations, Alliances, and Vendettas

 

There is no relationship between the Heavens and any other force other than domination. There can only be alliance when the other force is more powerful (and this is very rare), but that alliance will never be honored if the opportunity came for the Alyres to seize control.

 

Related Places

 

Modern-day Yesuria remains the most powerful Heaven.

Most Heavens exist on the continent of Aerth.

A few Esolonian-controlled Heavens exist in and around the continent of Lujasila, which would be surprising for the average elf to find out, as it would cause him to question either the accepted story that Esolons are not the lackeys of the Teyrauror, or that a Heaven can exist outside of the Alyres.

Aeruen, the Halyean Sea and the Elfwall mark the northern borders of the Alyres, and no functional Heaven can be found in Morin.

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