Invideria Settlement in Istralar | World Anvil


Somewhere out there, shrouded in the mists, is the ghost of a world that once was.
— shaken traveller
  Invideria is a place that is, and yet is not - a place that cannot be, yet persists nonetheless. It was the capital city of a long-fallen nation on the world of Terra Arcana, and its existence was thought to have been wiped out when the Worldrend destroyed the planet.   It should have been the end of the beautiful city, and the death of its legacy - the only remnants its former citizens, scattered as they were amongst the cities and countries they or their forebears had left when arcane magic had first been scourged from Istralar.   Should have been does not always mean was.   Despite its destruction, Invideria has been glimpsed for millennia at the world's edges. Travellers return home reporting strange feelings of being watched, or the light of a town nearby in the mist - only for nothing to be there when they travel into it in search of shelter. Experienced mages have studied the phenomenon, but little can be gleaned from rare impressions. Until the 5620s, it was assumed that the city was more of a myth than a reality.  

Invideria's Depths

Beyond the fog and beyond the planes, memories hold their shape in a remembrance of lost dreams...
— member of the discovering party
The mystery surrounding Invideria was finally shattered in the mid-5620s by a devoted team of adventurers and researchers sent out from Celesthem Temple, in conjunction with a planar research expert from Thrinda's Arcanium.   The attempts had begun the previous decade as part of a formal inquest into presumed undead activity, drawing the attention of the Keepers of Divinity and providing a rare opportunity for the arcane-divine divide to be breached through cooperation; however, results were scarce.  
City beyond Time by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
One night, however, the addition of a psychic wielder - though her abilities remain a well-kept secret and are not general knowledge for her own safety - joined the group upon one confirmed sighting of Invideria. As the group traversed the mists, something odd occurred, and they found themselves displaced.   Not entirely to the Ethereal Plane, as they first thought, but to an Ethereal Plane location that seemed to bleed uncomfortably close to somewhere else. Current theories are that they brushed up against another dimension on this bizarre expedition - perhaps the Dimension of Dreams, or more worryingly, the Dimension of Time.   Not only did they find themselves dimensionally displaced, but their location seemed to have shifted quite dramatically - for they now found themselves standing in the long-forgotten streets of Città dell'Invideria, the City of Envies.
  Shorn from its rightful place and left bereft of its populace, the city seemed to twist around them, its architecture utterly nonsensical yet brilliant. They were utterly euphoric, and gleefully began their studies.   After spending three days there, the expedition began to hallucinate violently, their memories beginning to slip beyond their grasp; after five, they fled.   The woman who brought them to that long-forgotten city did not return with them; indeed, her very name was lost in the process. Yet from that day onwards, those who had stepped into Invideria found themselves capable of bringing others - and though none have spent longer than five days in the haunting ruins of a world long-past, all who have set foot there are forever changed by their experiences. Some bear the marks, too - ghostly scars that show only in the moonlight, and night terrors that afflict those around them with similar horrors to their own.   Mental distortions that bleed unto the world, as diagnosed by the experts - and the very reason why Thrinda Flametongue decided to withdraw the Arcanium's support for the Invideria mission entirely.
Land beyond Time by Hanhula (via Midjourney)


Alternative Name(s)
Città dell'Invideria; the City of Envies; the City beyond the Mists
Large city
Location under
Included Locations

Theories on Invideria

  Time and dreams share a few constants, chief among them their ties to life and memory. The dramatic energies around Terra Arcana's explosion and the leylines tying its avatars together bring to mind no small number of theories of why the City of Envies would haunt its people's former and present homeland.   If psychic magic is tied so closely to being able to tread its paths, too, and if the ability to walk those distant streets is seemingly infectious - then what psychic scar is this city, and why has it only now resurfaced? Who was that woman?
Invideria? No. Don't ask me again. No further student or faculty of the Arcanium will be entertaining the idea of travelling there!


City of Envies by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
When Istralar was a younger world, mortals were not yet granted the impossibilities of arcane magic. The new magic incited a deific war, culminating in the sundering of Istralar's population between two worlds: Istralar herself, for those that were not touched with arcane power, and the newborn planet of Terra Arcana.   Almost a second moon to Istralar, and considered one by its populace, Terra Arcana was a bastion of arcane knowledge and home to vibrant fledgling nations that formed of the new world's factions.   Invideria was one of the first settlements to form, and one of the most stable. The sundering of worlds had displaced a number of powerful individuals with significant leadership experience - almost the entirety of a great many of Galasthin's noble houses, for instance, along with a significant number of other now-defunct countries.   These people did not waste time in taking control of their world. With the unfettered power of arcane magic and the freedom to use it, construction was easy, and the inhabitants of Terra Arcana's new nations wanted for very little. Not for food, and certainly not for entertainment.   Indeed, Invideria was named for the envy it would have inspired in many citizens of Istralar - a stunningly beautiful city of plenty, where freedom was held in the highest regard and magic could be practiced freely.   Unfortunately, any greater detail of what Invideria was like was lost upon the advent of the Worldrend; though most of the inhabitants escaped, they had not the time to collect artifacts or belongings from the city aside from what they held with them.   In the intervening years between then and now, the few accounts that were written were lost, censored, or destroyed. Nowadays, the greatest accounts of the City of Envies belong to those who carried their lingering memories of a lost home to the grave.
Città dell'Invideria by Hanhula (via Midjourney)

Cover image: Invideria by Hanhula (via Midjourney)


Please Login in order to comment!
Feb 14, 2024 15:47 by spleen

"the ghost of a world that once was" - amazing quote. the entire settlement is incredibly cool. the way you describe it invokes a sense of wonder for such a strange place

Have a wonderful day!