Tuesday, October 01, 2013

U is for the Unmoving Watchers

Although it is not unique to this area, the best visibility to the Unmoving Watchers is from the island of al-Qazmir itself, and the Golden Peninsula.  They seem, in fact, to be hovering in the sky directly above Noq Qundi Bay which separate the two.

What are the Unmoving Watchers?  They seem to be three stars, located in the pattern of a small equilateral triangle.  However, unlike the rest of the stars in the night sky, these do not rotate around the North Star, nor do they rise and set.  In fact, even during the day, when they are mostly lost to the bright blue of the daytime sky, keen-eyed observers can faintly see them, still sitting there patiently in space, never moving, always watching.

At night, everyone can see them, and they tend to be among the brightest stars in the sky.  On clear nights, it is also apparent to most that there is a vaguely different color to each of the stars.  The topmost star is a yellowish gold color, not unlike a small version of the sun.  The right hand base star is a cooler white/silver, while the left hand base star is a more reddish gold.

City of Gold
In reality, the Unmoving Watchers are not stars at all, they are small satellites in space, tidally locked and always over the same location in their orbits.  Each is a city, and behaves unusually (from a scientific standpoint) since they have regular atmosphere and gravity.  The large blueish white disc of the world is suspended in their skies always, taking up, in fact, more than half of the visible sky.  These three cities in fact make up three of the Near Realms to the world.  This begs the question of what these Realms are.  Some claim that they are extradimensional places, but in this case, they clearly seem to be within the regular dimension, just too far away and unreachable by any earthly means save magic (since space shuttles do not exist in DARK•HERITAGE.)

The first city is called the City of Gold, and it is, in fact, mostly made of Gold, which is why it offers a shining golden facade down on earth.  Its inhabitants are angelic beings of radiant light and beauty, and it is from them, in fact, that myths and legends about angels come (in d20 terms, creatures like trumpet archons and devas.)  The City of Silver, on the other hand, is a cold place, full of genies and sylphs and other creatures of air.  The cities of Gold and Silver have been at war with each other for many, many years.  The angels were ordered to attack the genies for some sin by the Voice Which Commands.  Their leader, Iblis, refused, and along with many of his sympathetic cronies, was thrown down from the City of Gold, becoming the first and greatest Fallen Angel.  The city of Gold is ruled by a council of seven archangels today.  Although the entire seven is unknown, the existance of Michael, their warleader, as well as Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel is relatively well established.  The City of Silver, on the other hand, is ruled by a genie sultan named Masud Barham Shah.

Surtr, Sultan of the City of Brass
The City of Brass is the last of the three cities, and it is made up mostly of creatures like ifrit and fire giants.  It's ruler is the Sultan Surtr.  The City of Brass often sends mercenary companies to fight in the wars between the cities of Gold and Silver, and also serves as a hotbed of intrigue when open warfare has calmed somewhat, but they otherwise stay strictly neutral and are more involved with other affairs than in entangling themselves with the affairs of the other two cities.

Surtr and his court also seem to take the most interest in the affairs of mortals on earth.  Perhaps this best explains the descendents of some of his people mingling with mortals and creating the race of the jann.

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