12 Architectural Wonders
1. Central Observatory Tower of Mexpauna Vaulen – Laydrehkolm c-1380
The Tower was the tallest manmade structure of the Ancient Era. Built of granite from the Esseds, the cylindrical tower had a conical roof overlaid in gold-leaf.
2. The Cheszohneth’s Arena at Metross – Vayveea -681
The Arena was an expanded copy of the Theeran Arena of Taul and used for the same purpose: gladiator games. The entire old Theeran Arena would have fit within the field of this arena. The Cheszohneth’s Arena was fifteen levels tall that were supported on the exterior by massive stone columns each carved to resemble a past Cheszohneth.
3. Garden of the Queens at Vehrseen – Kaynmolm -461
It is told that as far back as the First Kaynmian Union, King Ehrquaun had built a garden at Vehrseen for his queen, Hothana. That garden had long been gone when the kings of Kaynmolm, the Third Kaynmian Union, redesigned the site and built an awe-inspiring place of formal parks and small palaces for the respite of the royal family and dedicated to the queen.
4. Grand Palace at Kaynmo – Kaynmolm -1160 – 1140 & -572 – -546
Gargantuan in size, simple in design, the Grand Palace surrounded the Grand Hall of the Ancient Kings on its riverfront side. The five floor palace spread out from here on each side to form seventeen enclosed courtyards: One courtyard directly behind the Grand Plaza and eight courtyards in a two by four arrangement in each of the two wings.
5. The Lasskohn at Vindalohn – Laydrehkolm ongoing from -1750 to -12
The Lasskohn was the Laydran palace compound. The forest was removed around its perimeter to give the Royal Guard greater visibility of any approaching. The walls were only used for the Guard to maintain vigil. Within the walls were a number of palaces and apartments of differing ages, sizes, and styles for not only the royal family but court officials. The buildings were interspersed with a number of formal and informal gardens and pools.
6. Mexpauna Maulaugo – Laydrehkolm -516 – -327
By far, the largest ancient architectural wonder, this temple/observatory spread leagues over several high peaks of the Laydran Esseds affording unprecedented calculations of the skies. The Laydrans built this from blocks of granite taken from the Esseds themselves.
7. Temple of God Almighty at Dor – Kadez -311
The Temple sat atop the highest of the White Hills. It was made of white stone, polished to brilliance. Its bronze doors were set with gold and the capitals of its pillars were gold also.
8. Temple of the Shadow of the Dark God at Fortez – Chirann -22 – -10
Standing atop a lone butte on the coastal plain, the dark-colored Temple dominated the city of Fortez. Six concentric courtyards surrounded the temple proper which had a stepped pyramidal roof that soared to an impressive height.
9. Thoxdrim – Kaynmolm -244
Built along the cliff overlooking the Deep Valley of the Sax and reaching further on into the high forests of the Kaynmian Esseds, this temple complex had white marble walls and black slate roofs. One entered through the magnificent High Arch beyond which was a semicircular plaza encompassed by a seven story seminary that spread wings along the cliff off both sides of the High Arch. From this, a pilgrim would travel a winding stony path through gardens and forests and past various small prayer chapels to the actual Temple of Thox, a small, round building beautifully proportioned and pillared.
10. Tomb of Trohneest at Veletsax – Kaynmolm -2088
Thaylinaun built this tomb for his father with the loot obtained from Veletsax’s conquests. The tomb stood a distance inland from Veletsax but its pyramidal roof was tall enough to be seen from the sea.
11. Treasure Houses of Zor – Vayveea -270
Zor was the largest and most famous of the Seven Treasure Cities in Vayveea. Since the city was surrounded on three sides by desert, the fourth side by the ocean, and the whole far away from any potential enemies, the Vayveean kings thought it an ideal place for treasure storage. Its Treasure Houses were tall and broad storehouses full of all sorts of products, from grain to metals, weapons to art. The exteriors of the Houses were richly ornamented with sculptures in relief depicting scenes from nature.
12. Varnaytryvan Palace along the Varn River – Vayveea -482 – -264
The Palace started as a moderate sized hunting lodge. Over time, the monarchs of Vayveea continued to expand, tear down, rebuild, and expand again, until the Palace became the epitome of grace and beauty situated in an ideal landscape.
12 Literary Wonders
1. The Classic Standards – Priests at the Classic Seminaries of Kaynmo and Vehrseen, Kaynmolm (-984)
A record of the more important myths and ceremonies of Classic Kellism.
2. Dynastic Histories – Wohvneth of Zor, Vayveea (-184)
A comprehensive history of Vayveea and a summary of the history of Vohs and Theer.
The legal, ceremonial, and historical Scriptures of the Kadezans.
4. The Epic of Shapajohd – Anonymous, Laydrehkolm (c-529)
A long poem romanticizing Shapajohd as hero.
5. The Epic of Tryvenlork – Anonymous, Laydrehkolm (-1)
On the surface, a memorial to Tryvenlork, but deeper, a lament over the loss of Laydran independence to the Chirannese.
6. Of Men and Gods – Droshyk of Vindalohn, Laydrehkolm (-75)
A philosophical and historical look at Laydrehkolm.
7. Of the Skies and the Lands – Droshyk of Vindalohn, Laydrehkolm (-98)
The first catalogue of the flora and fauna of the Laydran Rainforests.
8. “The Song of the Seeker” – Anonymous, Intozan Seven Cities(c-2700)
The oldest and foundational myth of Kellism in a form which the last word or words of a line are repeated at the beginning of the next line as a mnemonic devise.
9. Standards and Policies of the Treasure Cities – Wohvneth of Zor, Vayveea (-212)
A record of the mundane at the Treasure Cities of Vayveea that gives an interesting account of common life in the Ancient Era.
10. Summaries of Years – Anonymous scribes in Kaynmo, Kaynmolm (-441)
A history of the three ancient Kaynmian unions and the intermediate times between them.
11. Tales from the Gods of Creation – Priests of Thox at Veletsax, Kaynmolm (-859)
A fascinating argument for creation and one supreme god as opposed to the capriciousness of unbridled polytheism.
12. True Wisdom – Priests of Sarox at Navaxa, Kaynmolm (-831)
A book of proverbs, philosophy, and a general apology of Saroxism.
12 Natural Wonders
1. Cave of the Eight Deaths – Chirann
This deep cavern lies under the foothills of the Chirannese Esseds. It has eight large rooms each connected by either sheer drops or narrow passages. The dangers of navigating through these led the Chirannese to name it as they did.
They felt it a sacred place, an earthly home for their Dark God.
2. Deep Forest – Hant
Tucked up on the south side of the Esseds is the forest of the evergreen milnathiss trees, the tallest trees know to the ancients. The Hantish were so in awe of this forest that they believed it enchanted. And enchanted it seems: The floor dark and covered with needles, all sounds muffled, and shadows hiding exotic animals.
3. Fountains of the Skies – Neethan
The Fountains are a beautiful group of natural springs in a high, lush, bowlshaped valley of the Esseds of Neethan. Each spring forms a little pool. The pools flow into one another in short but broad waterfalls and eventually gather to form the headwaters of the Galad River.
4. High Vohs Canyon – Vayveea
Once the Eenax River drops through its Middle Falls, it forms the High Vohs Canyon. The rocks exposed show out an array of colors. Atop the canyon walls, the evergreen mountain forest comes directly to the edge of the cliffs, looking as if the trees are about to dive into the rushing river below. The canyon opens out right before the river plunges over the Lower Eenax Falls.
5. Idreean Desert – Idree-idree
This was the only desert ancient civilized man knew of. The desert hugs the western coast of Vayveea and there is called either the Zor Desert or the Coastal Desert. But in Idree-idree, the desert swells to a larger expanse, piling up massive sand dunes that fascinated the ancients.
6. Keedo Cascades – Laydrehkolm
The Keedo Cascades are a series of short waterfalls and rapids that run over large ledges and boulders. Their setting at the head of the Keedo Gorge makes them singularly impressive.
7. Koregar Volcano – Koregar Island
This lone volcano was the only one known to the ancients who were astounded by its frequent but mostly non-cataclysmic eruptions and its creeping lava flows. The volcano’s mystery allowed the Plethaltite inhabitants of the island to use superstition in order to maintain their independence from Vayveean rule.
8. Lower Eenax Falls – Vayveea
The Lower Eenax Falls are tall and broad, starting with a short initial drop followed immediately by a single long drop flanked by the rocks and evergreen forests of the Esseds. The Falls face the west and the colors at sunset are brilliant.
9. Mount Troxamint – Kaynmolm
Troxamint is the highest mountain of the Esseds and lies due south from Wessittrox. An ancient legend claimed the mountain was once a city of the gods who abandoned it when men started roaming the highland regions. The gods supposedly left the snow to mark the purity of the site.
10. Tayjajort – Opkohna
Not the highest peak in the Esseds but definitely the most impressive, Tayjajort rises straight vertically from the surrounding foothills on the east side of the mountains. Tayjajort has three faces ending in a sharp peak that projects an overhang toward the east. The mountain is a monolith, standing relatively alone since the main ridge of the Esseds is some distance away.
11. Varn Valley – Vayveea
The valley formed by the Varn River is broad and green, bordered by gentle, grass covered mountains. The weather is ideal. Mists rise each morning and water an amazing variety of flowers. The vistas of the river and its landscape are spectacular.
12. White Beach – Kaynmolm
Just east of the mouth of the Grax River is a dazzling beach of white sand. The beauty of this beach went mostly unappreciated by the ancients except for sailors. The Tarkins, sailors by trade, eventually built their capital of Tarkintrox near here.