Kuai’ain Palace

The Winter Palace of the Sa'Avian Royal Family

I don’t know how Yen stays energetic after so many hours trekking through these humid forests. So far we’ve been assailed by insects (some I swear shouldn’t exist), gotten lost once or twice (or “spatially reoriented” as Tou unhelpfully corrected), and we’ve still found nothing of note ... I'm even debating whether or not I should suggest we turn back at this point.
— From the journal of Yawen Zhou, Expedition Member, Southern Division; 5 Javir 6348
  The fifth of the Sa'Avian ruins discovered in Tolara, the Kuai’ain Palace was found by an Eris'kan expedition team led by Yen Tae-Hyun, some 200 years after the original Sa'Avian ruins were discovered in Di'Kae Milona.   Lying in the Hiatal Mountains that wrap around the western edge of the Ajda-Donesh Basin in the Southern Peninsula of Talaina'Vao, Tolara, it's a sprawling complex that sits half submerged in the ocean- and half atop a high mountain. To this day it remains the most impressive Sa'Avian ruin ever discovered, and has greatly advanced Tolaran knowledge of not only the Sa'avian race, but also the highly advanced arcane technology that they employed.

Original Purpose & Function

  Based on examination and dating, Archaeologists estimate that the Kuai’ain Palace was potentially built between the years 1403 and 1410, during the age of the Second Dragon Wars.   It's believed, from the cache of artifacts left behind at the Palace and what little surviving records have been found, that the Sa'Avian Royal Family maintained a primary residence now known as Mai-Ben'hat Palace, located somewhere within the Nisaba Pass, and that that the Kuai'ain Palace was originally built as a secondary winter home for them; each year before the pass closed with ice and snow, they would migrate to the tropical climates the southern peninsula offered- returning during the warmer months after the pass had thawed again.   At some point around the year 3000, however, well after the end of the Second Dragon War and the extinction of the Dragons and other Ancient Races, records indicate that the Northern Mai-Ben'hat Palace was lost during what Archivists surmise from the records was a sort of a Wedding Celebration. It was at this point that the Kuai'ain Palace became the permanent residence of the Sa'Avian Royal Family ... At least for a short time, anyways, as it too was lost to a similar event only 8 years later. This is the last recorded evidence of the Sa'Avi on the continent at all, making them the last of the Ancient Races to disappear from the Material Realm.
Type
Palace Complex; Large   Built
Between 1403 and 1410   Ruined
Some time around 3319   Size
Approximately 61 hectares across 4 terraces   Remaining Buildings
980 surviving; more than 200 ruined   Approximate Population
10,000 in average use
20,000 at height of use

Size & Design

  Altogether, the entire complex spans approximately 61 hectares (or 150 acres) in total, with about 20 hectares (or 50 acres) set aside for what appear to be various gardens; more akin to a small city than a Palace, Archivists estimate the complex could have housed anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people consistently at the very height of its use.   Building wise it consists of 980 surviving buildings and approximately 8,707 rooms- all constructed from contrasting blocks of dark and white stone with gold veins. These buildings are located sporadically across 4 terraces- each of which is surrounded by a 4 meter / 13 foot high wall.   Much of the complex consists of large spires. Domed buildings of various sizes are also found- most whom's domes are decorated with ornate mosaic tiles. Large archways, gates, and walls line the outer perimeter of each terrace- leading the visitor through winding roads between crumbling structures and massive gardens. These buildings appear to have been carefully constructed using quarried slabs, layer by layer, with a slight offset for stability, while the accessible subterranean portions of the palace feature barrel vaulted stonework. Perhaps more interestingly, however, every visible surface appears to have been skillfully carved in ornate designs both geometric and organic in nature. The designs featured on the walls show an incredible level of craftsmanship unmatched by any known empire (modern or ancient).  

State of Decay

 
Yen shouted for me not long ago. I told myself that if it’s nothing again, I'd finally suggest we turn back. The other two had already joined her, and my heart started racing when I saw them standing there. I picked up speed until I reached the crest and my eyes fell upon those great ruins ... It was so much more than any of us could have anticipated- practically an entire city! In the distance it seemed the sea had reclaimed some of the city, but it didn’t matter. There was still much for us to explore. I just about tripped as we hurried down into the ruins
Yawen Zhou, Expedition Member, Southern Division
  Archaeologists theorize that the Kuai'ain Palace was originally situated entirely above sea level, with the structure sitting atop artificial terraces that were carved into the side of Mount Bai-Tia Bunang. It's estimated the lowest terraces at the time of the Palace's structure actually sat some 2.5 miles (4,000 meters) above sea level at the time of its construction. With the increase in water levels, as well as other natural events which have shifted the land over time, however, only about 1/3rd of the original complex is still accessible today. The rest now sits submerged in the Léna'thová Ocean.   What little of the Palace complex remains accessible exists in various states of deterioration; above sea level, its crumbling structures are overgrown with a variety of trees native to the Ajda Wet Forest of Talaina'Vao in Tolara- such as Silk Cotton, Mangrove, and Banyan ... Below, the structures have largely remained in tact save for deterioration from the movement of oceanic currents, but are heavily obstructed by coral and other oceanic growths.
  Despite its decaying nature, however, much of the complex still remains well preserved. This incredible level of preservation is due to the now dormant nature of a power source that Archivists believe initially powered and shielded the complex. It's unknown when the power source finally went dormant, but the state of the ruins suggest some point within the last 1,000 years or so prior to the discorey of the ruines.




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Author's Notes

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I absolutely love getting feedback on my setting and its worldbuilding. I love it even more when people poke and prod at it, and ask questions about the things I've built within it. I want both. I actively encourage both. And it makes me incredibly giddy whenever I get either. However, there's a time and a place for critique in particular- mostly when I've actually asked for it (which usually happens in World Anvil's discord server). And when I do ask for critique, there are two major things I politely request that you do not include in your commentary:   ➤ The first is any sort of critique on the way I've chosen to organize or format something; Saleh'Alire is not a narrative world written for reader enjoyment... It's is a living campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. To that end, it's written and organized for my players and I, specifically for ease of use during gameplay- and our organization needs are sometimes very different than others'. They are especially diferent, often-times, from how things "should be organized" for reader enjoyment.   ➤ Secondly, is any critique about sentence phrasing and structure, word choice, and so on; unless you've specifically found a typo, or you know for a provable fact I've blatantly misued a word, or something is legitimately unclear explicitly because I've worded it too strangely? Then respectfully: Don't comment on it; as a native English speaker of the SAE dialect, language critique in particular will almost always be unwelcome unless it's absolutely necessary. This is especially true if English is not you first language to begin with. My native dialect is criticized enough as it is for being "wrong", even by fellow native English speakers ... I really don't want to deal with the additional linguistic elitism of "formal english" from Second-Language speakers (no offense intended).   That being said: If you want to ask questions, speculate, or just ramble? Go for it! I love talking about my setting and I'm always happy to answer any questions you have, or entertain any thoughts about it. Praise, of course, is always welcome too (even if it's just a casual "this is great", it still means a lot to authors)- and if you love it, please don't forget to actually show that love by liking it and sharing it around. Because I genuinely do enjoy watching people explore and interact with my setting, and ask questions about it, and I'd definitely love to hear from you... Just be respectful about it, yeah?


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