The home of Clan Moonrider, Nessira sits at the foot of Moonrider Summit.
Nessira is governed by a group of ten dragonborn elders, known as the Moon Council. Holding near absolute power over the city, the Council oversees all affairs of its citizens. The elders of the Council wear ceremonial garb embroidered with prayers and the names of prominent ancestors. The Council adheres strictly to tradition, and uses a relic known as the Staff of Moonbeams in ceremonies for the convening and adjourning of Council meetings, and as a way to determine speaking order during such meetings. Council membership is passed at the discretion of each individual in the council and is usually passed to the firstborn male offspring of each member. It is rare to see a female on the Council, as it is against tradition. This creates a system of nepotism within the Council in which ten families hold power over all other families.
Coming of Age
When a dragonborn turns fifteen, they must go through a coming-of-age ceremony. This ceremony, known as the Trial of Wayfinding, begins when the dragonborn is transported by a Council member's magic to a random location on Kethendia, about two hundred miles from Nessira. From here, the examinee must find their way back to Nessira within two weeks armed with only a single knife and flint and steel. Additionally, they must return bearing some kind of trophy of one of their hunts while on the journey. Should they fail expectations, the examinee is banished from the clan.
Feast of Zrayax
The Feast of Zrayax is a feast which honors Clan Moonrider's ancestors, and specifically the clan's leader at the time of Nessira's founding, Moonrider Zrayax. Zrayax led the clan to safety from the volcano and established the current traditions that Clan Moonrider observes. In the week leading up to the feast, the city goes through elaborate preparations which include extended prayers and lavish parades in honor of their ancestors. On the day of the feast, one member of the clan is named the Zrayax for that day, and is waited upon hand and foot by appointed servants.
Marriages in Nessira are usually arranged. Families vie for higher status, and often try to marry their children into families of higher standing in the social ladder. As part of these arrangements, the family of the male pays a dowry as agreed by both families to give the new couple a few belongings of their own to start a life with. After an engagement period of at least six cycles, the couple is married in a ceremony arranged by the parents which follows prescribed rituals outlined by the clan's Council.
This imposing stone building sits on Nessira's main square. Extravagantly decorated with carvings and gold, it has served as the meeting place for the Moon Council since its construction in BV 409. Inside, a main hall houses the main Council meetings. Several smaller rooms connected by a corridor allow for more private meetings between Council members and with other citizens. Each of these rooms is an office for one Council member, and is lavishly furnished to the member's individual tastes.
Just outside the walls of Nessira, a rocky path leads into the Thundercleft beside the river until it reaches Clan Moonrider's ancestral shrine. Here, members of the Clan are cremated and their ashes stored in ceremonial silver urns on a series of stone shelves. The shrine itself is expanded regularly to accommodate more urns. Members of the clan are free to visit this shrine and leave offerings and prayers for their ancestors. Incense, made from dragonsbell and a secret mix of other herbs and spices, burns continuously along with beeswax candles. Occasionally, the Council sees fit to institute a day of honor for the Clan's ancestors outside of the Feast of Zrayax, and all members of the clan must pay tribute at the shrine.