Spire of Science Organization in Ménicéa | World Anvil

Spire of Science

Heart of the broken empire

Better read on PC
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.
— Carving at the Spire's entrance
  Named after its headquarters, the Spire of Science serves many purposes within Morknars society, as well as being its oldest institution.



  As 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 Justice

  Criminals 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 Administration

  Each 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.  


The 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 home

  Morknars 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 afar

  As 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 war

  Conflict. 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.  
It was clear that the rest of us had lost sight of our purpose, and it was partly our fault. Thus, it was our duty to remind everyone of it.  
Resources, land, vendettas... so many reasons that pushed Morknars to fight among themselves. Powerless, the formers elders of Daygrasp could only watch small groups being torn, ransacked, then annexed by larger parties. Grishnak's political map changed its contours every year until there were only four large spots and one small left on it.
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 one

  The 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.
— Fastok Roj Geree
  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 law

  The few centuries that followed are remembered for their amount of reforms and changes. The most notable one was the introduction of the High-Morknars. 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.
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.
Vistak Firin Geree - "Grishnak the fallen."
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.  

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.
— Kestar Skrill Geree
  This not only allowed the Spire to refocus their attention on finding a cure to the Dark Flood but also gave them new perspectives on how to reorganize their society. High-Morknars were sent all over Human lands to serve as ambassadors and study their Magic. Drawn by their inner thirst for knowledge, many took the chance to leave and start a new life abroad.   A new Spire saw the light of day in the center of Nightgrasp. Still smaller than Daygrasp's, the new head of state made sure to rebuild everything needed for researchers to work.   Citizens of the Grishnakian Empire from all over the world now work together to find, one day, a way to retake their lost homeland.


The Rune of the Four Stars, emblem of the Morknar realm
Founding Date
Government System
Subsidiary Organizations
Related Myths

Visiting the Spire felt like a daydream. I am still figuring out if it actually was.   Imagine the tallest bookshelves you ever saw. Ones that reach up to the ceiling, so high that you cannot see the top. Runes, covering each row with organized patterns that let you fly a book right into your hand.   Imagine specimens of plants you never dreamt of, animals from the depths of the oceans, swimming in large water tanks. Fish that emit light from their bodies, foxes who can turn invisible.   I'm left wondering what secrets hold the higher levels of the Spire, or the Nightgrasp Cathedral...


The Rune of the 9th eye, watching for intruders in the Spire
I had to let someone draw a symbol on my skin before I could come in. They said it's needed for the Spire to not perceive me as an intruder, like if the building was alive.   As I was allowed closer to the Spire, I started to see what they meant. Rows of runes were thoughtfully carved every meter on the wall. At least half of them were a spell ready to take intruders down. The rest? It shaped the inside of the tower. Trust me, the Spire is already big from the outside, but there is even more inside.   Corridors change shape. Entire rooms showcase landscapes from all over the world thanks to illusion runes. Memories of past travels are stored within each symbol, letting anyone revisit those places. Everything from the heat to the smells is reproduced accurately.
Kestar Skill Geree, current head of the Spire
Overall map of Grishnak. First draft, more details coming post summercamp ♥

Finding Home

1000 836

  • -920 FH

    Shrinkening of the tribes
    Population Migration / Travel

    First desertions among the nomadic Morknar tribe.

  • -840 FH

    Vistuk Islands colonization
    Population Migration / Travel

    The tribe found and colonized the Vistuk Islands, south-east from Grishnak, giving them some rest.

  • -837 FH

    Discovery of Grishnak
    Discovery, Exploration

    Scouts from the Tribe discovered a massive landmass soon to be called Grishnak, the elders are considering to move there after inspecting the continent.

Leaders from afar

835 598

  • -811 LFA

    Population growth spike
    Life, Birth

    As the tribe slowly turns into a country and the population finally found a home, Morknars' natality spiked.

  • -805 LFA

    Population spread over the lands
    Population Migration / Travel

    Morknars spread over Grishnak as ordered by the Elders in a quest to find any relics or sources of magic.

  • -790 LFA

    Birth of the city of Daygrasp

    The Elders officially named their city and started to think about the future of their institution.
    The first spire of science was built.

  • -730 LFA

    First signs of individualism
    Political event

    As searches for magical artifacts are slowly abandoned, the different groups who spread around Grishnak question their purpose. This, added to the lack of efforts to build a shared Grishnakian identity, lead to many groups thinking about declaring their independence.

  • -660 LFA

    Nations rising

    As individualism settled, a few groups declared their independence. Shortly afterward, the first nations were born in Grishnak.

  • -620 LFA

    Daygrasp becomes a city-state

    After seeing all the other nations coming to life, Daygrasp decided to be its own ruler. This event made its influence being definitively reduced to a pure symbolic state, granting it diplomatic immunity with the rest of the nations but nothing else.

Sparks of war

597 542

  • -597 SoW

    First armed conflicts
    Military action

    Small groups fight among themselves for ressources and land.

  • -590 SoW

    -548 SoW

    Grishnakian Wars
    Military action

    Wars start all over the continent and keep going until only four big nations remain.

  • -542 SoW

    Daygrasp surrenders

    Daygrasp is forced to join an alliance led by two of the four nations fighting for supremacy over Grishnak.

Becoming one

541 501

  • -535 BO

    Daygrasp gets popular within the alliance
    Political event

    Daygrasp quickly gain people's heart as they shower them with runic technology.

  • -515 BO

    First opponent capitulates
    Military action

    The first opponent facing Daygrasp's allies capitulates and gets annexed.

  • -514 BO

    Daygrasp takes power
    Political event

    Daygrasp seizes power within the alliance after taking over the armies.

  • -501 BO

    Last opponent capitulates
    Military action

    The last nation standing in Daygrasp's way capitulates and gets vassalized.
    Grishnak is united.

Reason is law

500 25

  • -500 RL

    Daygrasp restauration
    Political event

    Daygrasp is back as the Grishnakian Empire's capital and the Spire as its highest institution.

  • -490 RL

    Scientific progress
    Scientific achievement

    Scientific and magic progress makes lots of Morknars' lives easier. Domestic runic technologies spread over Grishnak.

  • -460 RL

    -340 RL

    Creation of the High and Low Morknars casts

    The Spire made the new casts within society official. It took over a hundred years of revolts and reforms for it to have its final, balanced form accepted by the vast majority of Morknars.

  • -210 RL

    24 RL

    Experiments on living subjects
    Discovery, Scientific

    The Spire starts secretly experimenting with magical mutations on living species.

  • 24 RL

    26 RL

    The Dark Flood
    Disaster / Destruction

    The Dark Flood, born from the previous experiences of magic mutations on living species, breaks from its containment runes and spread over Grishnak. Many are killed, the few survivors gather on Hope's end. Grishnak mainland is lost.

When everything shatters

26 and beyond

  • 27 WES

    Low Morknars riots
    Civil action

    Low Morknars riot after the Dark Flood catastrophe, blaming Highs for it. In consequence, the social gap between Low and High Morknars is shrunk even more & the current head of state is sentenced to death.

  • 30 WES

    Nightgrasp's birth

    Nightgrasp, the Empire's new capital is built in Hope's End, alongside a new Spire.

  • 90 WES

    Humanity's arrival
    Discovery, Exploration

    Humanity discovered Grishnak and became good trading partners while also modernizing Morknars naval infrastructures. Lots of Low and High Morknars leave for the Human lands

  • 110 WES

    Reforming society
    Civil action

    Lots of reforms are taken to promote going overseas to avoid overpopulating the small peninsula of Hope's End. The Spire reorganizes itself to handle receiving reports and thesis from all over the world.
    Morknars adapt to their very particular situation.


Please Login in order to comment!
2 Jun, 2020 09:18

Beautiful! If you're not in the Premiere league, I'm about to get my *ss kicked. :D

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
Sage Happy4488
Matthieu A.
2 Jun, 2020 16:39

Hehe, thanks! I am in the premier league, so we might meet during the next challenge!

19 Jan, 2022 23:52

This was super interesting! I love how the status of the Spire and its inhabitants rose and fell throughout the centuries according to both influential individuals and politics outside the Spire. The art is absolutely gorgeous.