Shrine of Enlightenment Building / Landmark in Aequus | World Anvil
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Shrine of Enlightenment

Mythical landmark atop the Head of the Serpent

Special thanks to Rosana Dos Santos Pinto for helping with the brainstorming and designing this landmark


"I don't know what I should do. I can't go back home, my uncle's gone, Amice's circlet gave me no answers... This shrine is my only hope now."
— Zeke Lionhart

Isolated atop the Head of the Serpent, the Shrine of Enlightenment was found during a routine expedition, and has earned quite a fame over the centuries. The trip up the mountain is dangerous and arduous, but it is said that whoever reaches the shrine will be rewarded with the answers to any hardships they might have. Many groups have tried, but few are known to have reached the destination.


Purpose / Function

The shrine's actual purpose is unknown, even though most believe it is a manifestation of Bashmu's wisdom. The landmark is sought as a guide to those who are lost and desperate, a path for those who can't find their own.

In reality, the shrine was made by Druids as a magical filter to channel the Dark aether inside the Bashmu Range into the atmosphere, to prevent any anomalies from happening.


The shrine is composed of an altar in the center surrounded by eight pillars. The pillars are fully made of stone, around 5 and 8 meters high, each with a rune of one of the eight elements of magic. These runes were the ones that helped kickstart the development of Rune Magic in Archana.

In the center is the Eye of Tiamat, a stone tetrahedron adorned with amethysts. The gems incrusted in the stone serve the purpose of connecting the altar to the Wind element.


There is no evidence at all of who constructed the shrine and why. It was discovered by explorers in one of their expeditions to the Head, in 202 AE, and since then the monument has been covered in mystery. Back then, the Artalgnian Empire was holding control over Arcanopia, its Church took the shrine as a divine symbol, the "Eye of Tiamat", kickstarting the myth around it. The symbol in the center, representing the wisdom of Tiamat, would grant knowledge to anyone able to complete the journey.

The Eye of Tiamat eventually became an important symbol in Archana, and the myth of the Shrine of Enlightenment remained as a justification for its existence and symbology. Through the centuries, rumors of those who reached the altar have spread, helping this popular myth to remain alive to this day.

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