Anori's Roost - The Seeping Darkness Settlement in Fyria | World Anvil

Anori's Roost - The Seeping Darkness

This seeping darkness, it clings to everything...everyone. It is a vile ichor but it isn't sticky or dry, but cold and...endless. Describing its features is not possible as it holds no glimpse of nature in it; you stare at it looking for any sort of discernable feature that would grant it even a glimmer of life but the only thing that stares back is you...the weakest form of you...your truest unbridled self. Unburdened by all of your perceived weaknesses and strengths...a meaningless shell with hollow eyes and dry cracked lips. It is darkness, pure in its void, and you mean nothing to it.
Unknown researcher who managed to briefly study a sample of the darkness

History and Importance of Anori's Roost
Anori's Roost is one of the oldest villages in the northern Jungles of Mijhail and was a common home and roosting grounds for the Tangari Avanii people, though it now lies in ruin abandoned by its original inhabitants. The Tangari is an Avanii subspecies with a distinct ethnic identity that differs from others of their species. The Avanii are a species found throughout Fyria, though they are more commonly found among the warmer southern central coast. The Tangari Avanii settled in the Jungles of Mijhail more than a thousand years ago, after moving inland from the southern coastal region of Mijhail and from the various islands of the Vilanto Sea to the south and west. These Tangari people would populate a large chunk of the remote region east of the Murky River, and would eventually establish Anori's Roost at the most northern point of their territory.   Anori's Roost would eventually become the main roosting grounds for the Tangari, becoming a common pilgrimage site for the group. Most of the Tangari did not live in the settlement year-round, instead only visiting it bi-annually for special ceremonies or rituals typically conducted to pray for good luck and/or fertility. Though the settlement did hold a small population of permanent residents, 200 people at most, primarily consisting of shamans and caretakers that would care for the settlement's spiritual and general health. Though this number would often swell to several times that number during peak pilgrimage times.
An abandoned but still lush Tangari mating nest; currently occupied by local bird
Anori's Roost's main purpose, however, was to act as the Tangari's mating site where they would use the hollowed-out nooks and tunnels alongside the plateau's cliffside for various mating purposes and rituals. Other smaller mating sites were established during the Tangari's heyday, but Anori's Roost was always considered the best and was believed to bring the best luck during the mating process. The roost often saw couples looking to mate visit a few times in the year when they were hoping to procreate. Once to bless their initial unification, as most Tangari Avanii mate for life, the next to bless their mating, build their site, and commence matting, and the final visitation being the laying of the offspring. All of this would be overseen by one of the village's shamans, who would bless and guide each couple through their mating journey.   It is unknown who founded the settlement, as the Tangari are not known for leaving written stories or histories instead relying on passing down their stories by word of mouth. And while the remaining descendants of the Tangari are prolific storytellers hundreds of years of telling stories have caused historically accurate information to have been lost or somewhat twisted, to no fault of the Tangari storytellers themselves.  
Territory and Village Layout
The settlement is located on the northeastern border of the Jungles of Mijhail, alongside the valley border that stretches between the jungles andthe Ruined Plateau of Thysduin. The territory in which the roost resides is considered remote even for the inhabitants and frequent travellers of the Jungles of Mijhail. It is inhabited by a few permanent residents, the Tangari Avanii being one of only a few of these people. Otherwise, this territory of the jungles is populated with thousands of rare and otherwise endangered animals. Unfortunately, this has caused a frequent poaching problem, and big game hunters frequent the area, killing and collecting these rare animals. This territory is the large stretch of land that lies to the east of the Murky River, the jungle's longest-running river that has thousands of tributaries and offshoots and acts as the main causeway for merchants and travellers as it runs through a large part of Mijhail before flowing out into the sea near the Ithosia border.
A small portion of the Murky River, which runs through central Mijhail and stretches nearly the entire jungle
Anori's Roost lies at the very tip of this territory, quite literally teetering on the edge of the jungle's border where the jungle falls off into the continent's deepest valley.   The roost, due to its location on a cliffside is divided into two main sections. The first is a small village located on the edge of the jungle; this area is thick with vines, trees, and overgrowth that was cleared out on an almost daily basis due to the jungle's ability to grow vegetation at an incredible speed. This top area is populated by a variety of buildings, low single-floored homes made of wood and vine, and tall tree house-like buildings shared by several inhabitants. Several buildings of note were found on this top area, including the shaman's medicine hut, where the acting shaman could address and assist with ailments of both physical and spiritual nature, and a sort of long house or meeting hall where the population would gather for important meetings or more mundane rituals and ceremonies.   Though the population of the village was typically quite small, with only about two hundred permanent residents, a large farm was established near its southern border. This farm was large enough and produced enough grain and fresh produce to feed at least a thousand people for a season, this was due to the village's purpose as a mating and ritual site for the Tangari and its population would temporarily swell to several times its usual number a few times a year.
A visual of the ruins of Anori's Roost; a small building carved from a tree on upper area of the village
The second area of the settlement is found along the cliffside walls of the settlement at its northern point. The cliffside dives deep into the earth and is a part of the large valley that surrounds the Ruined Plateau, which separates the plateau from all other geographic locations in Fyria. The Tangari use the nooks and tunnels found on their side of the cliff for various important purposes including their mating rituals and ceremonies.   There are hundreds of these mating chambers doted along the sheer-faced walls of the cliffside, many having been there hundreds of years already before the eventual ruin of the site. In the early days of Anori's Roost, these chambers were carved out by hand and beak by the mating couple, only in the later years of the settlement were various tools implemented in order to assist with the building of the chambers. These chambers were often only large enough to construct a nest and its two adult occupants. Other larger ritual chambers related to the mating process also resided on the cliffside, being much more intricate and much older. Often having tunnels several hundred feet long painted with various depictions of Tangari mythos that lead to similarly adorned domed chambers. These chambers were used by the local shamans to bless the mating couples with prosperity and good health before they entered their mating chambers.  
Inhabitants - The Tangari Avanii
The Tangari, are an Avanii subspecies and ethnic group that are primarily composed of humanoid-sized and shaped individuals that share common traits of several jungle-variety birds, including the speckled tangler, the kingfisher, and the harpy hawk. These people continue to populate the northeastern Jungles of Mijhail and are the only known Avanii subgroup to live in large groups so far away from any ocean coastal region. Though the Avanii are known to wander any sort of land, they do not often settle far from tropical waters. The Tangari people are an example of one of the rare groups that have decided to settle well away from their ancestors in the south, instead taking residence in the remote jungles of northeastern Mijhail.
A common variety of Tangari Avanii that holds similar characteristics to an ancestral bird of the eastern Jungles of Mijhail
Tangari people while they used to be high in population numbers have dwindled significantly since they fled their ritual grounds in Anori's Roost several hundred years ago. In the past, they numbered in the several thousand, but now only range in the low hundreds with only a small handful of villages dotted in their home region.   The largest of which currently being located at a settlement called Harhou's Grove, which lies tucked in a small jungle valley about a week's travel from the location of Anori's Roost and a similar distance away from the Murky River when travelling on foot. Hahrou's Grove acts as the Tangari's current roosting ground, as well as a permanent village where Avanii people live their daily lives.
  Other than their location, and the small differences in physical characteristics, the Tangari Avanii differ from their brethren in a few other key ways. One of which is their emphasis on family structure and the adoption of identifying familiar marks and symbols upon their bodies. The Avanii are often known to decorate or even carve designs into their beaks, however, they are not known for strong family ties or for taking on family names. The Tangari however, have strict family codes and often carve familial symbols into their beaks or even branded on onto their skin or painted on onto their feathers. They do so to express respect and to honour their family, this is especially important if the family is one of the shamans, which is often the most honoured role amongst the Tangari people. And it is considered a huge disrespect to speak against one's parents, the village shamans, or any elders in the village. And it is absolutely a grand sin for one to abandon their village for any cause other than family or the health of the village. Avanii of the southern coasts often do not put so much importance on familial ties while they do keep family ties, are often more independent and wander-bound.  
Sidenote about the Avanii
The Avanii are bipedal-humanoid people that share traits with birds, each Avanii being distinct and often resembling a bird from wherever their home region is. Avanii vary in size, from small to tall, depending on their ancestral bird.   All Avanii have two legs with taloned feet and two feathered arms that hide their humanoid hands and arms. Sadly, the Avanii cannot fly but can glide for some distance depending on the circumstance.
A large Avanii male from the Island Frontier of the Vilanto Sea
Most Avani settlements are located along the southern coasts, but small groups have settled all over the world but have mostly integrated with whichever cultures they have chosen to reside within or nearby.

Fallen to Ruin - Exodus and the Seeping Darkness
In the waning days of Avanii's Roost, the Seeping Darkness appeared. And sadly, its presence would swiftly lead to the roost's demise and abandonment. This darkness appeared, several hundred years after the founding of the village, and within a few short weeks spread rabid sickness, depression, and an oppressive heartache that affected nearly all of the village's residents. This pooling, seeping darkness seemingly spread physical maladies and mental sickness among the residents with reckless abandon for no cause or reason. The disease spread by this darkness would go on to cause lingering personal damage and end the lives of many Tangari within a short time. And eventually, despite many attempts at forcing the darkness away, it could not be beaten and it forced the surviving population to retreat permanently from this sacred place.   This darkness's appearance was a mystery and no one currently knows what caused its arrival and spread. The following details are the only details that the Tangari people have gleaned, and are their own hints as to what occurred.  
One of the roosts residents during the time period of the Seeping Darkness's arrival was a Tangari shaman named Haru. Haru was in his early adulthood when the Seeping Darkness first appeared, and he has only become one of the village's shamans for a short few years. Haru, shortly before the appearance of the darkness had recently returned from an important excursion to Shikyuo, a land in the far north of the continent of Fyria.   The reasons for and details of this excursion to the far north of the continent have long been lost to time and shadowed in mystery, and the modern-day Tangari people do not have any real details (for further information on what Haru was doing in Shikyuo read here).
A depiction of Haru, a shaman of Anori's Roost; he resembles a green speckled tanager which is common in the area
  However, the Tangari believe that the darkness may be associated with an artifact that Haru brought back with him from Shikyuo. It is unknown what the object is, or whether or not it is one of importance or just a simple souvenir brought back from abroad.   Regardless of its origins, the Tangari people believe that dark spirits were carried into the village from the outside, and caused a breach in the spiritual sanctity of the roost which at the very least allowed for the darkness to emerge as it did.   The Seeping Darkness first appeared in small hidden and already shadowed corners of Avanii's Roost, growing and festering outside of the sight of the residents of the village. Soon, it began to ooze and crawl between itself, connecting and growing into large physical pools of cold bleak darkness. These pools were mirrorless dark voids that held no life within them, only showing those that peered into it visions of their own fears and weaknesses. And even those that did not try and interact with the darkness directly began to feel deep and unrelenting feelings of depression and sadness purely from being in the presence of the darkness. It seemed as if these feelings of sickness and mental struggle were passed along simply by interacting with each other, even a simple word of greeting or concern could pass along the effects from one Tangari to another it seemed.
The Seeping Darkness clings to Anori's Roost and the surrounding jungles in pools of cold darkness
The Tangari tried everything to rid the darkness from the village, their shamans conducting various rituals and spells of banishment to no avail. The darkness just continued to spread, slowly pushing the residents away as they had to retreat more and more to avoid physical contact with the substance. Even eyesight of the pools began to cause queasiness and nausea in those that beheld it. Within a few weeks, the Tangari would have no other cause of action but to abandon the settlement for safer territory, as their residents continued to fall sick and even die of illness and depression. No matter the roost's spiritual and cultural importance to the Tangari, it wasn't worth the suffering and loss of their people.   The intent was to return and rid the village of the darkness after the Tangari could regroup and hopefully discover a way to combat the darkness. But no solution was ever found. Strangely as time went on, no Tangari, even those that had visited the roost in the past could recall the location of Anori's Roost, nor the details on which roads to travel there. As if they had all fallen into some sort of group amnesia. And now, several hundred years later, the details of its location and only rumoured, even to the Tangari people who once visited it so frequently.
Located in the northern Jungles of Mijhail, Anori's Roost was the ancestral roosting grounds for the Tangari Avanii people. The village was partially constructed on land, while the rest, specifically the roosting nests and ceremony chambers, were found on the cliffside of the nearby valley that spans between Mijhail and Thysduin.   Many years ago, a strange darkness began to pool in shallow holes and corners in the village. And soon sickness and depression began to spread amongst the roosts people. And the more the darkness seeped and clung to more surfaces of the village, the more its residents felt its morose effects. Eventually, the darkness sat in so many places it forced the survivors to flee their ancestral home, never to return. Anori's Roost now sits abandoned and in ruin, its location lost to time, the darkness still clinging to it to this day.
Table of Contents
Veko and Vaati - Descendants of Anori's Roost
Veko is the current head shaman of Hahrou's Grove, and Vaati is his grandson. Both are direct descendants of the shamans of Anori's Roost and carry its legacy in two very different ways.   Veko has stayed in Hahrou's Grove and continues to act as a spiritual leader and storyteller, passing along the legends and stories of the Tangari people of the past including tales of Anori's Roost. Veko believes he knows the location of Anori's Roost but is hesitant to share his knowledge fearing that the Seeping Darkness still hides in the ruins of the former roost. And that it could potentially find its way to Hahrou's Grove, and other Tangari settlements if disturbed by any trespassers.
Both Veko (above) and Vaati (below) are of mixed race; uncommon but not unheard of amongst the Tangari
Vaati, on the other hand, has left Hahrou's Grove and has spent the past few years living in and protecting the jungles in eastern Mijhail. He does so in order to protect his people and the jungle from invading forces like poachers and any that seek to harm the ecosystem. Vaati has even gone as far as becoming a chosen disciple of Hadrian - The Iron Fist of Blood and Rust, Fyria's defacto deity of war and conflict. The relationship between Vaati and Veko is strained due to both his decision to leave the village and his decision to accept power from a rather chaotic god.


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Sage usurperkings
Sapha Burnell
9 Jan, 2023 17:13

I am both captivated and worried (about the darkness). Your world seems a refreshingly different place.

30 Jan, 2023 15:29

Thank you! That is legit one of the most flattering comments about my world I've received haha. Apologies for the late reply, I tend to go dark for a while after big events like World Ember.