The Grand Rookery
The soaring domes of the Grand Rookery echo with the shrill cries of the thousands of ravens that are kept here, serving as the couriers for news and scientific advancement all throughout the Dominion's many lands. Its wide halls and gleaming archways provide a means for scholars and commoners alike to openly participate in the scientific advancement of society as a whole. This institution stands as a testament to the Dominion's continuing commitment to truth and innovation and is the glittering jewel built by a people who so often eschew unnecessary embellishment.Di'Maidnë Korvelttë, the Grand Rookery is one of the most important structures in the world. It is the centre of the enlightenment espoused by the Dominion and it houses not only the world's biggest repository of information but also the world's premier academic institution. Originally comprised only by the Eyrie, its subordinate rookery, and the courtyard between them, since its construction in the year 117 NL under the Pale Imperator Cilritanë a'Detvida the Grand Rookery has endured thirty millennia and at least half a dozen disastrous fires to preserve the wisdom of the ages and the chronicles of history for the new generation.
Purpose / Function
The Grand Rookery was originally charged with one thing: the preservation of the wisdom and knowledge of the people, which included historical chronicles, personal accounts, scientific inquiries, and religious texts, in service to the Dominion. However, in the years since its humble beginnings as a mere vault of knowledge, the Grand Rookery's scope and purpose has grown to encompass many things. Even though the preservation of collective knowledge is still the Grand Rookery's primary directive, it now serves as the stronghold of the Faith of the Nine, the centre for the Dominion's continued efforts at technological advancement, and the central hub through which all news from the four corners of the Dominion passes. The Grand Rookery now also represents one of the Dominion's most important values: the notion that apart from a select portion of privileged information kept secret for the safety of the people, that knowledge and wisdom should be shared. Open to the public, for the most part, and staffed with knowledgeable employees, the Grand Rookery makes information accessible for those who live nearby. Those who either live too far away to make a journey to the Ivory City practical or simply do not have the means to make such a trip can send a raven from their nearest Dominion library to requisition information from the Grand Rookery, making almost the entire breadth of the Dominion's collective wisdom available to those who live under her rule. The Grand Rookery also plays host to the Dominion's premier academy for arts and sciences, Tillana. Youth from all over the world, who seek to make a name for themselves in the field of academics, or who wish to learn from the best artisans that the Dominion has to offer, petition the headmasters of the academy to grant them entry into the prestigious institution. Most of these applicants are accepted, none of whom have to pay a dime as the Dominion arranges for their transportation, accommodation, and living expenses. However, only the best and most hardworking are able to survive the gruelling hard work of instruction in Tillana. The rest are given their choice of other academies in and around the Ivory City, as well as the option of going back home.
Originally built as just the Eyrie, its subordinate rookery, and the courtyard between them, the Grand Rookery has grown over the years. Cilritanë, who commissioned the construction of the building, as well as the architects, foresaw that the Grand Rookery would one day become a shining jewel in the heart of the Dominion. In light of this, Cilritanë assigned the Grand Rookery a vast tract of land so that it always has space to grow over the years while the architects left behind detailed notes on the building materials and construction methods used in erecting the original structure so that it could be expanded or built upon by later generations. Since the completion of the original structure in the year 117 NL, the Grand Rookery has grown to encompass a total of nine subordinate rookeries, each one capable of housing at least a thousand birds, with the largest capable of housing five thousand. In 207 NL, 90 years after construction was finished on the Grand Rookery, construction was finished on an adjacent structure, the Grey Priory, which would serve as the centre of the Faith of the Nine until the year 320 NL when the Pale Cathedral is built on the grounds of the Grand Rookery. The Archive of Anmaranë, an underground structure with a secure vault connected via tunnels to the Imperial Citadel were built in 3028 NL three years after the end of the Dominean Wars of Succession, during which the Grand Rookery had caught fire for reasons allegedly unrelated to the conflict, and in 3072 NL, as part of a building initiative by the Imperator Zovynnë a'Devytorrë, the first buildings of the campus of Tillana were constructed.
Mines along the cliffs in the northeast of Di'Termalttë provided the huge blocks of pale white stone used by the masons who built the Grand Rookery. These stone slabs were loaded onto barges and shipped down along the coast of the continent before being towed up the Reýlinë to the Ivory City. The Eyrie and the subordinate rookeries are built of this pale white stone and appear to gleam in direct sunlight. The outer walls are decorated with reliefs of some of the most important moments in Tretalleri history, with the front doors of the Eyrie being flanked by Cilritanë's ascent to the Ivory Throne and his conversation with the Prophetess Llyrileýwa, which is held to be the genesis of the Faith of the Nine. Although wood is used for the supporting structures of the Grand Rookery, no trees were uprooted or cut down for the construction of any of the aboveground buildings in the Grand Rookery's grounds in the spirit of the original designer's intention to minimize the environmental impact of the Grand Rookery's construction. Instead, employing the gifts of the druids, the architects of the Grand Rookery sung lignebârgë, ivory-white trees with naturally drooping branches, into the shapes that they desired. With this method they formed beams, catwalks, outdoor hallways, and archways, with some of the structures being built completely out of sung wood.