Spire of Science
Heart of the broken empire
Named after its headquarters, the Spire of Science serves many purposes within Morknar society, as well as being its oldest institution.Forget everything you know,
Open your mind to the strange and the unknown,
For this is the temple of the success built upon our failures. From the moment you enter these walls, you make a pledge,
That all the time you spend here is devoted to our progress,
And to find a cure to the plague shattering our lands.
RulingAs a Technocracy, the Grishakian Empire is ruled by its most renowned scholars. All of them live in or nearby the Spire, where they get to participate in a council of twenty persons.
The head of the Spire, also known as the Keeper of the Great Library, leads each reunion and has more weight in the debates.
Court of JusticeCriminals and disputes are handled by the Spire. Its members are considered to be the most impartial judges since they write the laws and live within the tower's walls.
Death sentences are sporadic in Grishnak. Great outlaws will have their memories erased and sent away to be useful.
Scientific AdministrationEach week, reports and theses from all over the world are sent to the Spire by High-Morknars abroad. The Spire reviews each one of them, since contributing to their realm's progress is the main way to socially ascent in Morknar society.
Three floors of the Spire are dedicated to that purpose, with workers who read and classify each paper coming in. Most of them will end up in the massive library stretching on many floors above, where they can be consulted at any time by High-Morknars.
RootsThe story behind the creation of the Spire is a tangled mix of events that started a millennia ago. Its founders believed that breaching through the layers of Magic was the only way of reaching the core of the world. This belief was transmitted and strengthened through generations, as it is still the ultimate goal of everyone working for the tower.
Finding homeMorknars used to live on small islands, moving from one to another after exploring it all. They thought that the key to understanding magic was hidden somewhere in the world, and all their efforts were focused on finding it. Always being on the move without finding a permanent home was tough for many souls among the group. With each stop on a new island, the number of people doubting the Elders' quest increased. While the islands were not large enough to provide shelter to everyone, they could still be home to a handful of them. Slowly, the already small nomadic tribe was shrinking. Everything changed when their scouts finally discovered Grishnak. The land had everything Morknars ever wanted: abundant space, fauna, and flora. The elders of the time, soon to be the founders of the Spire, felt something different about arcane on Grishnak. Making magic, as in producing an effective spell, felt more natural than anywhere else in the world. The amount of concentration and energy required was significantly lower, as if the land itself was providing strength. At last, Morknars found their home.
Leaders from afarAs years, then decades and finally centuries went by, Morknars spread over Grishnak. Settlements slowly turned into towns, roads were built, and civilization flourished. News that the promised land was found eventually reached the groups that stayed behind, and many decided to join. With territorial expansion came the need to rethink the way Morknars governed. Elders decided to name trusted individuals as leaders of their groups, before assigning them to a region of Grishnak. Only a few scholars and a handful of other people were to remain with the Elders.
Every five years, they would summon representatives from every region to exchange information. Morknars of the time did not split into different areas for the sole purpose of colonization. The Elders asked every group to search everywhere for artifacts or signs of magic. Yet, nothing was ever found. The lack of results or efforts to build a shared identity as a society left Elders' influence in an awkward state. With each new generation, more and more areas slipped out of their control. Regions started to build their own individuality, and so did the city built by those who stayed with the Elders. Two hundred years after the colonization, nations arose throughout Grishnak. The Elders, always dedicated to their searches, were now known as the city-state of Daygrasp. At its center rose a tower meant to be a haven to the brightest minds of Grishnak: the first Spire of Science.
Sparks of warConflict. The only thing Morknars never knew before, or at least not on such a large scale. Something the current influence held by Daygrasp could not prevent nor resolve.
Pointing arms at each other, the four countries left Daygrasp untouched. The symbolic role it had amongst the few bits left of shared Morknar culture is what kept it safe. Yet, Daygrasp had something wanted by everyone else: generations of magical expertise just waiting to be used for military purposes. After refusing bribes and land, the scholars were left with no choice. A joined army of two of the major nations knocked on their door, asking them to surrender and to become members of their alliance. And Daygrasp did.
Becoming oneThe Spire was not powerful enough on its own to face any other army. In fact, surrendering to the first joined forces that would come for them was Fastok Roj Geree's plan all along. No matter how powerful each army was, they lacked a robust chain of command: something he could work with. Once inside the power structure of both countries, Fastok and his followers began to put their scheme to execution. Slowly, they worked on gaining the citizen and soldiers' trust while subtly draining the leaders' influence away.
Let the troops lose a few battles. Let their commanders make a few mistakes, and let doubt spread. Then, offer them victory on a plate, what they always dreamt of: weapons to win the war.As wars with the last two remaining countries were raging, Daygrasp grew its reputation among the public: With them in charge, wars would soon be over. Grishnak would stand united and safe, led by the brightest minds of society.
By the time that the first of their two opponents capitulated, Daygrasp was ruling. Then, in front of the scholars' army's might, the last of the four Grishnakian countries also raised the white flag. What saw the light of day as a modest city-state was now the Grishnakian Empire's capital. Fastok Roj Geree established a new form of government, placing the head of the Spire of Science as its leader. Each region of Grishnak would be administrated by branches of the Spire who would take its directives from the capital. Only the last of the four regions who capitulated, Saarak, was still relatively separatist. Despite all the attention it got from Daygrasp, who showered its inhabitants with runic carts, Arcane Silk, and other luxuries, that feeling never vanished.
Reason is lawThe few centuries that followed are remembered for their amount of reforms and changes. The most notable one was the introduction of the High-Morknars cast. Any position that involved leadership and making decisions for the greater good was now restricted to Highs only. Many revolts followed the instauration of that system, which was adapted and lightened each time. Eventually, they found the right balance to ease the tensions until they were mostly gone. Even if it was not without its difficulties, the Grishnakian Empire thrived. As Runic technologies spread outside of the Spire, more and more commonfolk saw its usefulness in their everyday lives. Putting Magic and scientific research together as the core of the nation's interests, the Spire achieved to win the hearts of its people.
When everything shatters
A single drop was all it needed. Nothing we prepared in case of an outbreak was enough.Within a few days, the home that Morknars spent hundreds of years to find and build, was gone. A secret experiment in the form of a new kind of Magic within the center of the Spire went out of control when ᏖᏂᏋ ᎶᏒᏋᏗᏖ ᏕᏂᎧፈᏦᏇᏗᏉᏋ ᏕᏖᏒᏬፈᏦ. Known as the Dark Flood, it quickly spread over the lands, killing everything it ever touched and turning lifeforms into hive-minded aberrations. The southern branch of the Spire barely had the time to build a runic water wall to keep the corruption away from the southernmost peninsula before the Flood was at its doorstep. Hope's End, the last piece of Grishnak still standing, was now the shelter of what remained of the Morknar Civilization. Despite the many attempts of the Spire to explain that everything was an accident, the few survivors rioted. The gap between Low and High Morknars was narrowed even more, and Vistak Firin Geree, head of the Spire at that time, had to give their life. They spent their remaining days at the runic wall, fueling the runes keeping Hope's End safe before eventually passing away from exhaustion.
The eldest Highs stayed as more and more containment runes broke so that the rest of us could leave. All of them perished. On that fateful day, we almost lost everything.
As life slowly reorganized around Hope's End, the Spire needed to find a new purpose. At first, they started improving the size and sturdiness of their fleets to try and find new lands. Before they could make any real progress, Humanity arrived. In the following years, Morknars tied strong bonds with the Yemid Republic, who helped them modernize their ships.
We had to rebuild the trust bond we shared with our people from scratch. That's understandable, given everything they lost.