Vaienn Geographic Location in The Calinan Sea | World Anvil


"Some say we chose Vaienn for its natural beauty. Others say this was an ancient city long ago. Others still say we chose it for its divine energy. I can't speak for Nelor when he founded the Academy, but me, I just like being able to study without some louts getting into a brawl or some charlatan trying to sell something."
-An aspiring natural philosopher at the Academy of Arikanda
  Vaienn is the name given to a rock formation found in the northern-central Heartlands and the surrounding area. It is the region home to the Academy of Arikanda, and is considered a natural marvel.   Geographically, Vaienn is a location unlike any other on Annyrion. Nestled in the shadow of surrounding mountain ranges, the region is dotted by a number of tall, flat granite outcrops, towering up to and even over a hundred metres high. The outcrops are smooth and somewhat rounded on the side, making them look a lot like huge pillars. The areas between the pillars are generally flat plains, making the pillars stand out even more than they would have in other kinds of terrain. Atop many of the pillars are the schools, libraries and amphitheatres of the Academy, usually accessible either by wooden or rope bridges or through ladders and handholds.


The unusual form of the pillars of Vaienn have given rise to a number of myths and legends about how they came to be. To many, the alien appearance and the almost sculpted shape of the pillars seem engineered rather than a natural phenomenon, and speculation has been rife since people came to the area. When Elementalists arrived in the Heartlands, they came to believe that this region had been sculpted by the earth goddess Delthur for some unknown purpose and left unfinished, and many believe it to be a place where her divine touch lingers in the region. Wessuth shamen who have visited the area hold that each of the pillars are mountain spirits who have settled in the Vaienn.   One particularly obscure belief held by the Druids of the Vessa is that Vaienn's pillars are actually the remnants of a great city which was occupied by a precursor race of celestial beings prior to humanity's rise. The myth holds that these beings somehow offended the spirits through their pride and arrogance, and were struck from the face of Annyrion for their folly, the retribution shattering the city where Vaienn's pillars now stand. This does not seem to hold up to scrutiny however, as many researchers at the Academy have found no evidence for either a pre-existing people or a cataclysm. For their part, most of the people of the Academy do not believe in any kind of spiritual significance of the pillars; they are simply a wondrous natural phenomenon.


Vaienn has been relatively untouched for most of its history. Prior to the Bronze Age, it was occasionally a place of pilgrimage for wandering Heartlander and Wessuth tribes, but no permanent settlements were established. This changed in the 4th Century DoM, when Elementalists began to visit the region as part of their expansion. When Nelor of Ormond, a former priest of the Essene Templar and a renowned scientist and polymath, visited the area, he was so taken by the breathtaking view of the pillars, the unspoiled views of the night sky and the sense of isolation that he chose it as the site of his envisioned repository of wisdom, building a library and conference hall atop one of the pillars. Over the centuries, schools of various disciplines have spread out across the various pillars, and today Vaienn has become synonymous with the Academy of Arikanda.
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6 Jul, 2021 11:39

Nicely done! And that opening quote is so good. Such a great hook. :D