The Architect of Ruins
In the northern part of Sola is Nibelheim, a village in the foothills of the Gylfahng Mountains. Most of the houses and workshops in the village have high sloped roofs to let the snow slide off during the winter. Being close to the mountains, the winters often bury the village in snow. Farms dot the eastern slope falling away from the village proper, away from the shadows of the Gylfahng to give the crops as much light as it can for the short growing season. Several small streams run from the mountains through the area.
Long ago, Nibelheim was primarily a Gnome town chock full of workshops and laboratories. Unfortunately, a few centuries ago, one of the workshops exploded and caused a chain reaction of explosions throughout Nibelheim, destroying most of the town. There is a law that prohibits workshops from being in the town proper and from being too close to one another, so there are a few dozen workshops all around the town and in the hills, mountains, and forested areas each at least a two minute walk apart.
Nowadays, it’s primarily a Human settlement, though given the size of it, Nibelheim boasts an extraordinarily diverse population of residents. With the number of craftsmen and workshops in Nibelheim, the variety of everyday life, the things which residents can be involved with tends to be greater in Nibelheim than in other villages similar in size, but it is still a relaxed life. There are enough traders and merchants who stop in Nibelheim to support the large number of workshops per capita.
Ruta is a young, but talented, soothsayer. She is an attractive Half-Elf. Ruta often meditates outside of The Temple when she’s not discussing people’s fortunes.
Laughing Dragon Inn
The Laughing Dragon Inn is the larger of the two taverns in Nibelheim and is right on the town square, so it also serves as the town meeting hall whenever a call is put out to discuss urgent business. The discussion of urgent business often occurs right after Olin finishes brewing a fresh batch of ale.
In an old building on the north side of town is a small orphanage. About a dozen kids live there with Elenna. Some of The Thirteen also lived at the orphanage at one point in time. The orphanage takes in kids from Air Dock and Hill Bottom as well as caring for those orphans in Nibelheim.
Near the center of town is a large temple area that is well kept by the residents of Nibelheim. Within the temple are shrines to many of the gods. As is the case in many places on Sola, the shrines of Bahamut and Pelor tend to see the most use in Nibelheim, but most residents do pay notice to the others as well. While in the cosmos, the gods and the primordials may be at odds, in Nibelheim there is a garden area outside the temple where many like to meditate and attune themselves with the natural world before or after visiting the inside of the temple.
It’s the one road in and out of Nibelheim if traveling by wagon or cart. The road runs straight from town, through the farmland and the southeast gap in the mountains about ten miles before it hits Trade Road. From there one can travel to the towns of Air Dock to the north and Hill Bottom to the south.
Northeast of Nibelheim is a pass through the mountains called Barrett’s Pass, after a local legend who along with his companions cleared the road of a Kobold infestation. The pass is narrow and uneven, too treacherous for even the most skilled rider on a well trained horse. It is the most direct route to Air Dock. At the start of Barrett’s Pass is a trail that leads up the mountains to The Oracle.
It’s actually an old mineshaft that most of the workshops use to toss their scraps, broken machines, and old prototypes. Some of the artistes in town like to scavenge material in the scrap heap. There’s several tunnels around the main junkyard area (nobody really knows where they go) and occasionally a few critters stray into it, but for the most part it’s usually safe enough to enter during the day when sunlight still hits the scrap heap. Once or twice in the past few decades, the junkyard has needed some clearing out of monsters.
The Oracle is a not a person, but a thing at the top of the mountains near Barrett Pass. It’s a glowing blue light on a steel pillar. At night, the light of The Oracle can be seen from Nibelheim. People visit The Oracle for enlightenment, to meditate, or simply for the view.
More to come.