Nelphildos: City of the Young Settlement in The Many Dreams of Ca'eam | World Anvil

Nelphildos: City of the Young

In this dream, Ca'eam is known as Nelphildos: City of the Young. Here, all are young, no matter their age.  

An Ancient Maze

Nelphildos is older than anyone can imagine, making its visitors no older than children in comparison. As such, all who enter the city limits are young. This youth extends beyond comparison to the ancient city, however. All the denizens of Nelphildos find themselves with a childlike sense of wonder, curiosity, youthful vigor, and a comforting carelessness.   Nelphildos is not a city in which anyone lives, rather, it is a destination. A temporary stay. A break from the troubles of one's life outside the city walls. Visitors travel from all around the world to experience both the joys and troubles of youth. The city is built to facilitate this, and its rounded edges, colorful structures, and myriad parks are connected by a mazelike grid of roads, bridges, and alleyways to ensure ample opportunities for entertainment, experience, and exploration throughout one's stay.  


How is a city to function when everyone inside is young? Who is to look after them, to keep them safe, and to operate everything from the city's restaurants to its power grid? Why, the city itself acts as caretaker for all who enter its limits. How, exactly, it does so is unknown, as despite their great curiosity— everything about the city's inner workings is deemed "boring" or too "adult" for its visitors to bother with.   To enter Nelphildos is to agree to its rules, and should one disobey, they will soon find themselves beyond the city limits— it does not tolerate troublemakers. While few, these rules are essential. First, there is a strict curfew— everyone must be in bed by sundown. Second, play nice— the city wants to be pleasant for everyone who visits. Third, be safe— do not endanger yourself or others. Should one find themselves in danger through no one's fault, they will be swiftly moved out of harm's way as if by an invisible hand.   The city itself determines when a visitor should leave, as few do so of their own accord. Somehow, it is aware of the responsibilities each retains in the outside world— and ensures that they do not avoid them entirely by escaping to its streets. Should one have urgent responsibilities to fulfill while attempting to visit, they will find the city's gates closed to them until their business is finished.
For my birthday every year, I travel to Nelphildos. No matter how old I grow each year, I do not feel as if I have aged a day since my last visit.
— An old visitor


Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!

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5 Dec, 2022 04:45

Great concept and mystery.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
5 Dec, 2022 04:58
26 Jan, 2023 09:23

Hi! I'm discovering this new setting of yours, and I really like the dream-like mistery surrounding this city, both as it is named Nelphildos and Ca'eam in general. There's something sweetly surreal about the way this is written. Congrats and thanks for writing this!

With love,   Pouaseuille.
Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
1 Apr, 2023 09:58

Thank you! I appreciate the kind words!

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