Guided Breath Settlement in Istralar | World Anvil

Guided Breath

We're the last stop for the nobodies of this world. It's a hard life, but it's one that brings us the happiness we don't find elsewhere.
  The northernmost end of the Kylmävikk Desert is somewhere no sane person would dare to traverse. Only the most desperate would wander there, would travel past the frozen bones of long-dead mammoths and the remains of former wanderers in search of something meaningful.   The luckiest die on the trip. The less-fortunate wind up at Guided Breath.


Largely those forced out of their homes. Abnormal population of tieflings, elementalkin, and other half-species.


Leadership elected democratically. Small council of four oversee various areas of the town's survival, delegating where necessary.


Other than the natural defence provided by the small civilisation being located in the middle of nowhere, the town's inhabitants have, over the years, set up some significant defences. Reinforced walls of carved stone and metal curve around the village to defend from beasts and a shield of illusory magic sits above the village to hide it from draconic vision. Traps lie scattered in the desolate area outside of the walls to capture - but not kill - any surprise visitors. This mercy allows the villagers to bring in any future citizens without fear of the power of monsters.

Industry & Trade

Resources in the village are exchanged and bartered without the involvement of coin. No trade occurs outside the occasional visit from the Isyrei.


Nothing lives forever. That includes our home. Not to worry - we named it for a reason. Someday, more outcast will find it, and it will be reborn.   That's why we make sure everything lasts. Those who come after will need what we leave behind.
  It's hard to tell exactly when Guided Breath was originally founded. The village has lain empty for many years in the past, waiting for new owners to find it. The current settlers began their habitation of the area in the late 5400s as a group of refugees of the Medimian Empire, none of them human. They had fled their homeland in search of one less oppressive, and though the terrain was openly hostile towards their existence, the physical skills they'd each learnt under Medimia's oppression granted them the ability to flourish.   In time, others came. First a couple from Gildómar, expelled from their home for breaking the city's laws around arcane magic. It hadn't been their fault that she'd realised sorcerous powers lay in her blood, yet Gildón judgement came down upon them just the same. Then a lone half-orc whose mother had refused him, and whose father had been killed for the manner of his conception. Outcasts trickled to the town in eddies of loneliness, all ending there when it seemed that there was no other pathway.   The town has never been actively researched or recognised by any other state - very few are even aware of its existence. If something exists to draw the lonely to Guided Breath, none of the inhabitants have an issue with that.


Incredibly varied. Old stone ruins restored with modern-day techniques sit next to wooden houses and yet more made of steel. Each inhabitant brings their own special something to the 'table', and the town's growth reflects that.


Guided Breath sits in a sheltered overhang borne of a small rocky hill that might have once been a mountain. The sea lies merely a stone's throw away, granting access to fish as a constant food source. Behind the overhang and the village's walls, the land disappears into the barren permafrost of Kylmävikk Desert.

Natural Resources

Very little grows naturally. Fish, other livestock, and the winnings of hunted monsters make up the majority of the Guided Breath's food supply. Of the plants that do find a way to grow naturally, the most important are the roots, tubers, and grasses: these add necessary nutrients into the Outcast diet. Additionally, some berry bushes manage to survive to grant the Outcasts some manner of sweetness. Seaweed and sea salts are each collected and used in the settlement's meals where possible.   Trees do not grow naturally in the harsh desert, but a small sanctum beneath the town was found shortly after this latest Guided Breath incarnation began. Within, trees and flowers mostly otherwise found far south can grow. Were any inclined to question it, they might suppose it was related to the same entity guiding outcasts to the village: as it is, the people accept the bounty without question.
Inhabitant Demonym
the Outcast
Location under
Header image by Yuriy Rzhemovskiy.


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