Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #335
December 2nd, 2023
Name: Deep Dive of Subjects of Interest: Of the Accounting by Mister Zariya Savindy, Scholar, as Requested by the Arcane Guild - Part 6
Location: Across the hills and dales of the City-State of Taodeas
Population (approx.): 411 (Crossways)
Brief: As Zariya crosses the countryside having visited Old Ghost Lake, he muses on the magical phenomena, both natural and Kin-made, that he has witnessed on his journeys. Interestingly, although magicians must draw, contain and then expell magicks as part of their spellcrafting, many prefer to do their casting away from areas of notable magical natural phenomena such as two-dimensional Ley Lines or three-dimensional Essence Pools for fear of unpredictable affects that might spoil a ritual or ruin an item. Similar Kin-made magical residue like Change Storms, which swirl across ancient battlefields powered by the magics of war, are avoided. Others, such as the magicians in the City-State of Ceannar along the Gata Tele (“Great Snake”) Ley Line, take the risk so that they can use the enhanced source of essence at their fingertips or even revel in the possibilities that unusual effects might occur. And then, as Zariya ascends the steps to a lone tower in the southern Lanu Maug, there is one magician whose abilities rely upon nay demand the unexpected.
Normaer (Norm) Featherbell, 245, male Elf is a wonder mage. He is tall and fine-boned. He has short gray hair with spiky ends. His violet eyes are bright and alluring. Norm wears black leggings and a teal jerkin. He uses a wooden cane with a metal top shaped like a tiger. The cane is necessary due to an accident with a tiger that cost him his left leg.
Norm discovered his wonder magic when he was ninety-eight years old. Norm loves alchemy and experimenting with chemicals. One night, after a long day of research, an explosion was about to occur. Norm would have died; instead, he uttered what he thought was nonsense, and a magical shield appeared to protect him. Norm researched what happened to him and discovered that wondrous magic occurs in rare cases, and very few spells are actually known.
Norm's life is chaotic, and he has chosen not to settle down with a partner. Instead, he makes friends with a few carefully selected people and lets them know about his abilities after he has known them for a few years. His closest friend is Virlen Stonebreath, 260, female Elf, who helps with his research.
Virlen greets Zariya at the door to Normaer’s manor. They exchange hugs, being old friends given their parallel scholarly pursuits. After a brief respite and the required formalities, Normaer insists on showing Zariya the site of his latest experiments. The next morning the pair, Jorgenson in the van, head north to the ravine known as The Crack in the World (or to locals simply The Gap). Normaer eagerly explains the seemingly bottomless crevasse is rarely the source of untethered raw chaotic essence literally burped into the skies from the depths. He uses that to fuel his wonder magic. Although nothing of note happens during their visit, Zariya does find the site of note and eagerly records his notes for the archives of the Guild.
Geography: Zariya and Jorgenson's walk from Old Ghost Lake (#66) takes them northeast to meet an approximately 60 mile long mountain road, maintained by the Orchunters (#86) of Taodeas, that connects Northbend (#334) to the large village of Crossways on the eastern slopes of the Lanu Maug. It sits on a hillside looking down at the main north-south highway through Taodeas. Crossway features a large tower ajoining barracks manned by Border Wardens in support of Bloodview Fortress (#89). An unremarkable path runs north from Crossways to Normaer’s tower which is concealed in a dead-end canyon halfway between the village and the Gap (#19).