Sacred City of Scholars
I remember first stepping into the streets of this city when I was but an outsider to the Church. Even then, I felt that holy presence around the crater.
Luxaltar is known as the capital of Nexu, home of the Church of the Wandering Flame. Amongst Sichelan, it is deemed as the scholar city, where tales and legends get preserved. From the many libraries found across the city to the First Flame's Church, many have a good reason to pilgrimage to this sacred city of learning.
As a city home to one of the largest religions in the world, its populace consists of countless scholars and devotees alike. Since its reform, it also has seen the densest population of students in Sichelan. Everything from apprentice mages to historical researchers, spellcasters to archivists.
The average wealth of Luxaltar's citizens also is higher than in Nexu, with living conditions being quite luxurious for some. Most people are able to afford a home and food on the table, with only some exceptions getting aid from the local clergy. As such, few people have to spend their nights sleeping out in the cold.
As for races themselves, a wide slew of various species live here, from Beastkin to mere Humans. Most noticeably, a big population of Syrinxs make up many of the librarians found around here. Many planetouched individuals such as Fetchlings and Sylphs also are present in the city borders.
To assure the words of every citizen is heard, a council is set up consisting of each social group in Luxaltar: scholars, archivists, clergy and citizens alike. At the head sits the Fire Maiden, having a veto over any decision made by the council itself.
Should she be not available to attend a council meeting, her assistant participates instead with the same veto as her. However, the Maiden can reject the decision made afterwards if needed.
Laws & Regulation About Magic
Due to the large amount of magical elements in Luxaltar, strict laws exist within the city walls. Whether it be Wizard or Sorcerer, Cleric or Oracle, everyone capable of casting spells must report it to earn their citizenship.
Due to the many forms of spellcasting, there are three ways of regulation:
- Wizards and other students of the arcane must possess a license to cast spells. Every year they also must make a report of any spells they have learned and where they learned it from.
- Clerics must keep a symbol of their deity on them for easy identification. They also can only use their magic near their deity's dedicated shrines if available.
- Sorcerers and others with similar natural magical abilities need to do a yearly checkup at one of the clinics available. Further requirements vary from person to person.
Meanwhile, magic items are regulated for what can be within the city walls. Depending on the nature of the item, taxation and even legality vary. Some items are downright banned from getting sold due to the safety threat they pose.
You try invading a city with enough magic items and wizards to level a mountain.
To defend itself against any outside threats, Luxaltar is protected by enough magic power to down an entire army if it wants to. Not only does the crater provide a natural wall, the First Flame's presence seems to give it an almost divine protection.
Alongside that, the vast amount of mages present discourage attacks due to the difficulty of invading the area. By the time that someone would set foot into Luxaltar, enough spells are flung to ward off any threat against the capital.
Industry & Trade
As a capital of all things magic and scholars, Luxaltar revels itself in the creation and trade of magic items. From the famous Bag of Holding to robes that harness the essence of magic itself. As such, many who have a knack for all things magical find themselves shopping here.
Another form of income for Luxaltar is its research and academic areas. Having the densest population of scholars and mages, the research of magic and history provide massive funds to the city. Combined with donations of religious followers, and Luxaltar is able to flourish like no other.
Beneath the city lies a network of countless catacombs, home to urns and bones of numerous individuals. Spanning several kilometres long, navigation is only allowed with a proper guide. According to some, it's also haunted by a few lost souls unable to find proper rest.
The Urn Pit
The Urn Pit is a communal burying ground, a large pit that goes down into Luxaltar's Catacombs. Here, people bring their beloved one's ashes to dump them in the mass grave.
One of the most well-acclaimed academies on the continent, Maditon Academy sits on the forefront of all arcane studies. Here, many obtain their diplomas for wizardry and spellcasting. Allowing practises in all branches of magic, one can learn everything from abjuration to transmutation.
...At least if they're able to afford it.
Church of the First Flame
Headpiece of the Wandering Flame's Church. The Church of the First Flame is where the fabled meteorite remains, still burning to this day. Few people have been inside its hallways, as security for the First Flame and the Fire Maiden are as high as they can be.
Sorcerer Vein Clinic
Famous for their research in Sorcerer Bloodlines, the Sorcerer Vein Clinic aids all those who need medical treatment for arcane issues. Whether it be being afflicted by a curse or dealing with genetic problems, they have something to fix it.
Guilds and Factions
Church of the Wandering Flame
The biggest religion in all of Luxaltar, as it is the city that founded the faith itself. Led by the Fire Maiden, it is responsible for the high presence of historical research and preservation.
A smaller sect of individuals that came to being during the Age of Silence to fight against the Old Church. Faithful to Cordemis, they help the oppressed and handle most of the safety of Luxaltar.
Another faith that broke off from the Old Church, faithful to Promeos. By many considered an almost militaristic religion, they are sworn to protect citizens at all costs, even if it might go against local law.
Luxaltar Union of ScholarsThe Luxaltar Union of Scholars is a group of researchers and other scholars that seek to delve into researching Sichelan's past. From the restoration of forgotten artefacts to the archiving of centuries worth of cultures, they might as well be involved with it.
The Telltale Society consists of several Syrinxs that are notoriously known for their hunger for the truth. Thanks to them, all things that come in the archives of Luxaltar are fact-checked and proven to be 100% real. Anything less would be deemed blasphemous for them.
During the exploration of Sichelan, some travellers of Origionne discovered the First Flame Crater. Amongst them was Iscah, who alongside some other explorers dived into the crater. There, they found the First Flame still burning at its centre.
Intrigued by the flaming meteor, Iscah's came closer, hand reaching out to feel the peculiar cold glow. And before she knew, she touched the surface, her mind thrown out into the Celestial Realm. There, she came face to face with the creator herself: Fasma.
Surprised by the intruder, the Celestial asked how Iscah was able to reach her, to which she replied. Amused, Fasma offered her more knowledge about the world: who she was, how Fabulae came to be, things regarding the Titans, etc.
As a parting gift, Fasma decided to give Iscah the ability to communicate with her at any time. Alongside that, she received a few divine powers, alongside Fasma's protection. Once that was all done, her mind was brought back to her body, not even a second after her touching the meteor.
Upon her return, she showed the fellow explorers her newly gifted powers and explained what happened. In awe, they deemed the crater to be a divine place, deciding to build the foundation for what would become Luxaltar right here.
Rise of Luxaltar & The Wandering Flame's Church
The years that followed, Luxaltar found itself growing at a steady pace. Not only did the crater flourish with new migrants from the west, the surrounding area was perfect for farmland. Many described it as a divine gift, as despite the cold climate crops rarely would fail.
In the meantime, Iscah stayed in touch with Fasma, discussing plans for what the future of Luxaltar would hold. Eventually, curiosity struck the deity, deciding to make the oracle useful.
I'm curious what you mortals tend to write down. Would you be interested in helping preserve your world's knowledge?
With a deal struck, Iscah began with the foundations of the Wandering Flame's Church, starting a golden age of preservation. Luxaltar attracted scholars and researchers from across the globe, bringing together many cultures alongside it.
What followed was almost a quarter of a millennium worth of research and knowledge, funded by mages and clergy alike. At its peak, the Maditon Academy was also founded to allow wizardry to become a much more available practise.
An Age of Wars
However, things quickly changed when the Great Sangfroid Empire came onto the scene. As the Star Plague wiped out a large part of Sichelan's population, Luxaltar was also struck. People perished, even with aid of the divine only partly slowing the spread.
The situation went from bad to terrible when Velda Sangfroid also decided to inniate the Blazing War. As Silva's internal collapse caused a great loss, a migration of Elves and a massive loss of Elven history led to an uproar amongst scholars.
Internal conflicts especially arose when certain Syrinxs negated the idea of allowing Elves to settle in. What followed were decades of bickering, sabotages and discrimination.
And at its peak, the Great Sangfroid War broke out, only leading to further escalation. It didn't help that an underground market for sensitive knowledge only caused more problems as well.
An Age of Silence
As the Great Sangfroid War came to an end alongside the empire, Luxaltar struggled to recover. Issues between scholarly groups led to escalation to the point of espionage and murders.
Things turned for the worst when the unexpected happened: the Church of the Wandering Flame was abandoned by their deity. Without Fasma, the Fire Maiden was useless inside the faith, leading to church officials taking over.
Without a divine guide and the rivalry between scholars, research became more biased. Combined with the shattered rulership of Sichelan and soon sources became unreliable. And without an unified power, corruption bled through.
Throughout the following centuries, many artefacts and scrolls got lost due to bribery, theft and more. A black market of valuable knowledge and artefacts grew, leading to issues such as an Undead epidemic and witch trails.
Nearly thirty years ago, things changed when a particular figure appeared out of nowhere: Ori Santoro. While she showed powers similar to the old Fire Maidens, the Church officials denied her. As such, she was thrown out, put into exile.
In retaliation, Ori joined up with the Prometheists and Grievers. Together, they planned to infiltrate the Church of the First Flame. By staging a rally in the city plaza, Ori sneaked into the church to confront the faith's leaders head-on.
Once confronted, she spoke out against the officials and their lies, their corruption and their greed. And with it, Ori stripped them of any magic, both giving and receiving, arcane or divine.
No god will listen to your cries, no spell shall blossom in your hands, no wonder shall be seen by you. You have abused your position to brandish stories as blades, and as such will live a life devote of tales and miracles.
Once Ori reclaimed Fasma's power onto the head seat of the church, she began restoring Luxaltar to its former glory. A large-scale restoration plan was put into action in attempt to root out historical biases in the archives.
Documents both old and new got examined, scholars from across the city gathering new sources to update their knowledge. Any lost during the age of silence were put in the hands of adventurers, offering payments to those that could help. Even to this day, this restoration plan is in progress, with the Fire Maiden leading the project.
Anyone who travels to Luxaltar will know it for its elevated architecture. Due to the crater's depth, structures at the centre sit lower than at the edge. As such, many streets and buildings are only accessible through bridges or stairs. Some streets and homes even exist beneath other ones, leading to the city getting built on top of itself.
Another way the handle the elevation is through the presence of spires and towers. To appear bigger many buildings have large spires on their roofs, easily doubling their height. Others instead have towers, often with windows for flying Syrinxs to gain access.
Something more down to the ground though is the city's love for decoration. Important landmarks integrate elaborate designs into its architecture, often to insane degrees. Whether that be from the libraries's ceiling paintings to the sculptures carved into the many temple walls.
Luxaltar is built within the First Flame Crater, making the city exist below sea level in most circumstances. Its centre sits within the central ring where the First Flame struck, with the rest of the city built around it. At its lowest, the city goes as deep as a hundred feet.
Capital of Research
The Crater City