Thursday, 23 November 2017

Skyharbour of Ghuren


It's the birds that keep the Ghuren Skyharbour in the air. Four Red Condors flapping their giant wings, carrying the harbour throughout the land, eternal avian gods bequeathed onto the world by Mother Moon in the Days of Starlight. Once every decade the condors land the harbour in a field while they sleep for forty days. 
These are the harbour's Danger Days.

You see, the Skyharbour is home to Xinter's Orphanage, a sanctuary for the children once belonging to evil magic users. These are the Doom Children, imbued with veins of glorious magic, with abilities untapped. For the dark wizards of the world, they are a target for turning. 

When the Skyharbour is afloat, the only way to reach it, of course, is through flight. Stables filled with the stench of bucking griffins, barking hippogriffs and the occasional sleek Pegasus line the streets. When drifting over the dunes of Al Afreet the sky becomes home to hovering carpets piloted by turbaned adventurers, blazing falchions by their sides. Hovering near the metropolis of Linspire, the populace are treated to a display of airships and teleporting scholars that erupt into existence with a colourful spark.

Many who visit come to trade - finding exotic goods they could only dream of - fruits of true vision, harps that summon angels, or tiaras to turn the cold-hearted warm. Others came on diplomatic duties to see the Grand Vizier Elmun Ponn. Part minotaur, part dragon (a Dragotaur), Ponn cuts quite a figure. Despite his wild pedigree he is a refined gentleman with his finger firmly on the pulse of political matters. Never take him for a fool. Never take him to be soft, either. 

Ponn himself has taken up arms on Danger Days, earning him respect among the Ghurese, particularly those of military rank. This admiration was cemented by Ponn's founding of the Scale Knights - drake riders who patrol the airways close to the harbour as a regal defence against monsters and air pirates. 

The streets are a melting pot of colours, cultures and religions due to the harbour's nomadic nature. As a result, traditions are mixed together, new religions are formed and occasionally strife ensues. Lately the Necromantical movement has taken a hold - a magical worship of the dead. Ponn himself has denounced these practises, which often involve bringing spirits back into the world by lashing them to a flesh host, but many argue there are benefits to communing with those who have passed. Fads come and go quickly, though the occasional one will take hold and alter the culture.