Acervus

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Under constructure, and a work in progress

Acervus

There has always been Acervus, and Acervus has always been. Acervus is the world, and the world is Acervus. The sprawling city of Acervus streatches across both lands known and lands unknown. No one has been outside of Acervus, and no one knows where the ends of Acervus lie.

Acervus is a city of endings and beginnings. While raging fires burn free through swathes of land, new municipals are created from the blood of revolutionaries. Forgotten wards are remembered under different names, and established locales fall under the hells of time.

Giant cisterns of raging trash and filth launch grimy smoke into the air, while huge scrolls of messages are launches in the sky above.

Areas of immense wealth border destitute areas of the poor and sick.

Only two things have withstood the frailty of memory: Acervus the city, and Sidus, the tower.

Sidus

There is a saying in Acervus: "When lost in the sprawl, look towards the tower."

In all of Acervus, Sidus is visible. It stretches, from the edges of the horizon deep into the sky, past the point of visibility. No one has ever seen the top of Sidus, though many have tried to climb the infinite tower.

Sidus rests in the precise center of Acervus. How this is determined, no one knows. But it is accepted as truth. Many a crazed researcher has been driven tot heir deaths in solving the riddle of the Sidus, and its position in Acervus.

Twice per year, Sidus is host to the Great Climb.

Roads and Paths

The city is a sprawling maze. Roads are built haphazardly -- and rarely when there is no need. Roads may cross under bridges, twine through ruined buildings, or rise up on giant cisterns of waste and trash.

The Cisterns

Littered across the city at intervals are smoking cisterns. These are gigantic trash and waste pits, where the acuumulated trash and waste of the surrounding area is thrown into the hole and burned. A fire is constantly lit in each cistern. Someone who wishes to make use must merely go to the edge and fling things in.

Reports of accidental falling of people into cisterns is not uncommon.

The area immediately surrounding the area is usually poor and unpopular -- where the stench and smoke are strongest.

Cisterns also double as execution grounds. Condemned prisoners are merely thrown into the giant cisterns, and burned.

It is not common knowledge how the cisterns are created. Most cisterns have always been.

Few, if any, people have witnessed the actual construction of a cistern -- for few people encounter a portion of the city new enough to require a new cistern.

The Sprawl and the Unnamed City

The sprawl is, essentially, the unnamed, forgotten portions of the city. For any populous, named portion of the city, there exists around and near that portion the sprawl.

The sprawl is home to countless people of all types. They live their lives as they can, trading, building, and rebuilding.

The sprawl is dynamic -- what once was sprawl may change into a named area. What once was named may be forgotten and returned to the sprawl.

The sprawl has no formal organization -- its denizens do not give themselves names beyond local bounds.

The Thousand Lords

A network created and maintained by an uncounted number of lords and personages of high esteem. Using a combination of runners, pigeons, and catapult banners, they pass messages both secret and open back and forth.

It is not known what their ultimate goal is.

The Roofcat

Shadowy prowler that crawls the depths of the night. And roofs. Believed to be a large cat.

The Named City

No one knows the extent of the city, or a complete list of all Acervus. Here are some:

Atrium, the Center

The area immediately around the Sidus. This include the tower, as well as the Capitulus of the Four Houses. Twice per year, the Great Climb occurs.

Veritas, the Sector of Truth

A portion of Acervus ruled by an order of priests and monks. They insist on absolute truth in all cases. An area where lying is punishable by death.

Scrinium, the Secret Library

There are stories of lost Scrinium, a huge library where men live and die without seeing the light of day. The Revera, the absolute map of the entirety of Acervus is said to rest there.

Aduro, the Burning Streets

Violence and crime rule the day in Aduro. Houses are burned, shops torn, and the streets of Aduro are littered with the bodies of the fallen and the cries of the falling.

Lenitas, the Silken Palace

An area of massive wealth -- its residents live in opulence and indulgence. They hire the best body guards, and have trained guards to match any force. Young nobleman of Lenitas like to go into Aduros for adventure and wanton arson.

Regias, the Kingdom

The wardenstate of Regias is ruled by a self-apointed king. He has built stone walls around his area of the city, and attempts to control all traffic in and out.

Purgam, the Crystal Cistern

There is a legend circulating in Acervus of the Crystal Cistern -- where people throw in their undesirables and receive valuable gems in return. It is said that the area around Purgam are among the richest anywhere. Even more so than Lenitas.

Liberum, the Covenant of Children

There is an area of the city where children rule the streets. Almost all orphans, they have gathered together in a secret covenant. It is unknown what the goal of this covenant entails.

The Houses

Across Acervus lies chapters of the four seasonal houses. It is not uncommon for a traveller to come across various chapters in his travels. Though chapters may differ in traditional and custom, they all ally themselves with their chosen Capitulus.

Whereas Savants exist and run the houses, they keep their powers a secret. To non-savants, houses are simply a widespread guild, ready to sell goods and take in travelers at their chapters.

Indeed, many houses employ non-Savants, though most people in positions of power and leadership in a house are Savants.

The four houses are:

Frigus the house of Winter

Veris the house of Spring

Caries the house of Autumn

Estas the house of Summer

Savants

There are four different houses of Savants which are the decedents of ancient families which sought to create mages by breeding the strongest magical bloodlines together. Today they are secretive and the exact extent of their power is unknown. Most people do not believe that there are such magic wielders in existence and it is to the houses benefit to keep it that way.

The houses are each aligned with a season as are the individual Savants. Spring is associated with stabilizing matter and bringing things together; Summer is associated with exciting matter and positive energy; Autumn is associated with destabilizing matter and breaking things apart; Winter is associated with slowing matter and negative energy.

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