Aurcaele, Clouds of Purest Devotion

One the countries that is a member of the Celestian Accord, Aurcaele - which is held up by clouds - is often the odd one out. As opposed to the more democratic conventions of Artavia and Vieri, Aurcaele has maintained the same royal family for every year of its existence. The Fabelle family is said to be directly descended from the deity Ayniea, from the children of her union with the mortal Derek Fabelle. Over the centuries many have claimed other truths, calling the Fabelle family liars, but the Fabelle family has remained ever present on the throne, accepting every thorn and barb with grace and always stating - clearly, that: “There was no choice to be or not to be where they are; it is a matter of blood. We all have fates designed by the gods, it is not up to you or me to say what our fates are, merely to accept them with grace.” These words often silence dissenters, as they speak rather truly to the tenets of the Book of Ayniea, which all citizens of Aurcaele follow - or are bound to follow - to it’s very word.

The home of the royal family is set inside of the largest temple in all of Fortuna, and that temple is built around the Tree of Life - said to be Ayniea in her final resting place. The Queen is said to spend a full day with the tree every week, communing with it for guidance. She is then able to rule based on the whims of Ayniea - or so they say, anyways.

Aurcaele in general is an extremely religious country. Every law in their book is based around Ayniea’s scripture. Which means that the punishments for causing death - taking life away from another - are extreme. Murder of any sort - which includes accidental causing of death and even abortions - is considered the highest crime, and can be punishable by a long lfietime of torture and imprisonment. While many other countries view this as barbaric, the people of Aurcaele see it as the only way to truly honour life to the fullest.

Being so religious, one might expect that the people of Aurcaele reject the religions of others, which is simply false. While they view Ayniea as the true mother goddess of Fortuna, they permit the worship of other gods, so long as Ayniea is worshipped primarily, with the other god being treated as secondary to her, or even servile to her.

With their respect for life and adherence to the ways of the goddess of life, the Aurcaeli people follow in her tradition when dealing with death. They support families in times of mourning in every way possible, allowing for them to grieve to the most extreme possible lengths - short of suicide, of course - and the crown offers them supplies to last them through the hardship. Once the mourning period is completed, the body of the dead loved one is transmuted into the sapling of a willow tree. The tree is planted and must be cared for by the dead’s descendants, so that it can grow and flourish. The colours of the willow’s leaves vary depending on the person - many say it is a reflection of how pious the life of the deceased was, with white and pink being reserved for royalty and religious figures. Any tree that grows with black leaves is considered corrupted, and is destroyed. The family of the deceased who grew a black tree must then choose between exile, or a life in service to the temples of Ayniea until they redeem their family name. The graveyards in Aurcaele are a beautiful sight to behold with the many trees in varying colours.

The military in Aurcaele is a world-renowned force that was begun to spread the religion of Ayniea to other countries, set up temples, and convert as many souls as possible. With the Atton war raging on, the military has been sent to conquer the land in the name of Ayniea - though most are unsure if Pelagia Xista, the Aurcaeli warlord, has Ayniea’s interests at heart.

A person from Aurcaele is Aurcaeli.

Places

Add a Location by Mellie
Add a landmark or a city that is key to your storyline.

All you have to do is post in this thread with a description of the location, with any details that are important to its existence. The location can then be added officially.

This might be a haunted castle, a diamond-rich mine, a fountain with a history, a tree with a door leading to another place... So long as the location you wish to add does not break existing canon, it will be added without issue.




Aynieria

The capital of Aurcaele, and home to the royal temple, Aynieria is ruled over by Queen Fabelle. The city is rather small, most of its space being taken up by the royal temple and related accoutrements. Still, it has room for many noble citizens within it's walls, along with the royal steers.

To be among the royal steers is considered a great honour in Aurcaele. All men, upon reaching a certain age, are sent to the capital to take part in a number of trials. These trials begin with the religious, then the mental, to the physical, and the psychological. Most young men pass the first trial, and many pass the second, but the final is the most arduous. Those who pass are viewed as the best men the world has to offer. The Queen and any of her girlchildren may choose any of the royal steers to procreate with. The heiress with the most girlchildren by the time the Queen dies is to become the new Queen. Boychildren are well-loved, but are sent instead to the military, or placed into positions in the clergy. Royal steers must undergo the trials for each year that they remain in that noble position. Those who fail all of the challenges are sent back to the life they once had - which is usually that of peasantry and is undesirable. Those who succeed only on the religious or mental trials are given positions in the religious hierarchy or in academics depending on the length of time they spent as steers. Those who succeed in the religious and/or mental as well as physical tests are placed into military service until they grow too old. The only way to truly leave the steer program is to become too old. At the age of 26, steers are considered past their prime. If they have passed every test to that point, they are retired into great freedom and nobility. They are given an estate and large sums of money, allowing for them to finance the remainder of their lives and start a family.

Within the hold of Aynieria are several artisan cities where pottery and sculpture are lauded as genius, the most famous of those being Angeles. Artists who wish to be trained by the best sculptors in all of Fortuna pay thousands to attend school in Angeles, and those who live there enjoy the visual splendor the art gives the city.

Other notable cities in Aynieria are Ephilius and Leviathan. Ephilius is a military city that hosts the several prisons in Aurcaele. Each for its own crime, with the most dangerous of course being the one for murder. The screams that echo from the prisons would chill anyone's blood, but the soldiers who live and work - and often, torture - here are numbed to the sounds by now. The city has been shown to be an ideal place to train soldiers, allowing them to become desensitized to the pain of their "enemy". The village of Leviathan has a wildly different history associated with it. It is a rather small village, and humble in many ways, but with a fantastic past. It is said to have been home of the great sailor Leviathan, who raged through the skies for centuries slaying pirates and would-be attackers of Aurcaele. His most impressive fight was against a real Leviathan - a massive flying whale that has never been seen again - where he managed to scare off the beast, saving the entire country. For his service to the country, the village he came from was named after him, and a monument erected. Aynieria: Capital, home of the royal temple. Notable cities: Fountain/pottery city, prison city, leviathan history

Templeton

A massive, sprawling hold that is ruled over by Lord Benedictine, Templeton acts as the central location for worship in Aurcaele, and a place that welcomes foreigners - particularly refugees - with seemingly open arms. All of the manufacturing, farming, and otherwise in this hold go towards Ayniea's religious ideals, though most of the money made here comes from the high taxes placed on temples not in the "right" pantheon.

The capital of Templeton is host to the largest temple to the Pantheon of Life and Ayniea in all of Aurcaele, even compared to the Royal Temple. It holds a large number of nuns, monks, priests, and otherwise who all use Templeton as their home to train and learn all about Ayniea before traveling Aurcaele and the rest of the world sharing her good word. It's not just Life worshippers that are housed there, however. Any non-Ayniea worshipper who wishes to live in Aurcaele must first spend a year housed in the temple following her strict rituals and tenets. Upon being approved by a Deacon after that year is complete, they are then permitted to live anywhere in the country.

There are many notable cities in Templeton, as temples to non-Life pantheon gods are permitted to be built within the hold. Each one devotes itself to a different deity - but must ensure it also spends time to worship Ayniea, as well. In each city, there is a temple to Ayniea that supersedes the size of the other god's temple. The militant secret police of Aurcaele, also known as The Gold Leaf, patrol through these villages in secret, ensuring that Ayniea worship is taught alongside every other religion. The largest focus for The Gold Leaf at the moment is the city of Fabella - which claims to be a city of Ayniea worship. There are suspicions, however, that the city has plotted codes and hidden temples that offer free worship - and worse than that, abortion and suicide services with a guarantee that one's family will not be ruined by the act. This is against the core values of Aurcaele as a society, and so an increased amount of violence within Fabella and within all other cities offering unofficial worship services has been noted.

Themis

Themis is the port hold of Aurcaele, and is ruled over by Lord Pallas, who is the only priest permitted to bless ships before they leave for their first voyage. It is said that any airship left unblessed by him is sure to be cursed. The hold of Themis covers a large area of cloud-coated farmland that is worked tirelessly day or night.

The capital of Themis itself is a bustling city thanks to the port that welcomes airships from other parts of Fortuna. All who arrive are blessed by Pallas' parishoners, and are expected to visit the Temple of Ayniea here before continuing with any restocking or rest that they require. It is perhaps the only city that welcomes revelry with open arms, plotting festivals and other events to attract foreigners to the cloudy lands.

Other notable cities in Themis include Stratus, and Cumulus. Stratus is situated beneath the rest of Aurcaele, only accessible by a special zeppelin or well-armored airship that can make the dangerous trek. As it happens, the base of Aurcaele is often full of storms, and the lightning makes it a dangerous area to explore. However, it's exactly what makes Stratus a profitable city to upkeep, despite the damages. The people of Stratus act as lightning farmers, gathering the bolts so that the temples of Themis can sell them to travelers to power their airships and make them move faster. It's incredibly unsafe work, and so those who remain there have their funerals paid for in full by the Crown. Cumulus on the other hand, is almost completely safe. It is a village of cloud farmers who gather them and manufacture them into fuel for airships, holy water, and even food items.

Wilowry

The hold of Wilowry is overseen by Lord Magere Hein, who also acts as the personal priest to the royal family, hearing all of their confessions and sins, and ensuring that they remain pure. Wilowry is a hold that is constantly expanding as more space is needed to plant the willows of the dead. The wilds that once surrounded the area have been turned into grave forests, with villages every few miles to allow the dead's descendants to live close to their tree.

The capital of Wilowry sits at the base of a spiralling mountain cloud decorated with purely pink and white trees. The trees planted on this mountain belong to dead royals, priests, and heroes of Aurcaele. It is seen as the highest honour to be planted on this mountain. However, should you be planted here and your tree grows any colour other than pink or white, your name becomes banished from the history books, and you will be forgotten - a fate worse than any other.

Other notable cities in Wilowry include Jusul and Tabulara. Jusul is home to a large Pegasus ranch, and the people of the city train in ways taught by their ancestors on how to capture and tame Pegasi, allowing them to be used by the royal family and nobles who can afford such creatures. Tabulara on the other hand, is a village situated on the opposite side of Wilowry's mountain, and is seen as full of "undesirables". Aurcaeli residents whose ancestors grow into black trees are sent to this village to spend their lives atoning for the sins of their ancestors, tending to all of the other willows in the kingdom, and performing certain religious rituals to cleanse their souls. Upon death, these citizens are seen to have cleansed their family name, and their children are welcome back into society.

Landmarks

The Esper Wood

This incredible forest of conifers in Eastern Aurcaele is an interesting place. The clouds that form the ground of the country have climbed up into the trees, coating them and crackling storms on their surface. More strangely, when one whispers into one of these clouds, the sound can be heard throughout the forest, as if whispering into each and every cloud.

The location is popular with tourists and renegade teenagers, but those with a secret to keep or a tendancy for headaches tend to avoid it.

Flying Fields

This expanse of fields in Themis has been impossible to cultivate, and so it has been left to the wilds -- and thankfully so. The clouds seem to help the world work differently here, allowing for people to jump and fly at great heights while within the field's area of effect. It has become a popular place for families to bring their children, for the area is safe and enclosed, while still being out and away from any cities. Besides, everyone wants to feel the feeling of flying, don't they?

Stables

The stables is not in fact a home for horses, or even pegasi - no, the stables is a massive home built for the Royal Steers - the men that are eligivle to procreate with the royals.

While perhaps coming across a little like a prison, the stables offers the young men anything they could ever want. Enough food each day to overindulge, respectable amounts of drink, plenty of activity and entertainment - the young men live like Kings for as long as they remain.

Some parts of the Stables are available to public access, including the physical testing arena. This is an almost gladitorial arena where physical tests and tournaments are held to show that the steers have the proper amount of athleticism. Various sports - including gynmastics and combat - are played here for any member of the public to come and watch.

Tower of Life

Located in Wilowry, this ivory tower spirals upwards into the greatest heavens, and is heavily guarded by Gold Leafs - the national police force. As one traverses up the tower, they can see many carvings depicting the benefits of immortality, and how enticing it can be. As one continues up, and up, and up, however, they begin to see carvings of people turning to dust, sufferings of illness or pain, suffering that can never end. The carvings show every friend and family member turning to the willow, while they remain, until eventually - becoming nothing. At the very top of the tower is an immense, dry fountain - the fountain of eternal life. It is said that if a person gains the blessing of Ayniea, climbs to the top of the tower, and still wishes for eternal life, the fountain will begin to flow, and allow them to drink from it.