Delvynnar is one of the oldest
and most noble cities of the High Kingdom of
Aca-Santerra in Nybelmar. In ancient times it
was the capital of the first Highkings of
Aca-Santerra, the dynasty of Delv that ended with
Asthalon the Black in the year of Darkness
1649 b.S. Located in the shadows of the "Rainbow Cliffs" the city itself is
already a spectacular sight and it is not hard to believe that some of the
greatest rulers of Aca-Santerra came from this
Description. The topology of Vunmeer, one of the larger islands of the Santerran homeland is unique in that the rocky land abruptly falls 100 peds deep at its southern end forming a 150 strals long natural barrier to the interior of the island: the Rainbow Cliffs. The dark granite rocks of these cliffs and coast are made of receive their name from the humid climate that dominates anything in the shadows of this natural wall and also from the many small rivers which fall over the cliff top into the sea and are a constant source for spectacular and beautiful rainbows all along the coast. - Not in vain the Santerrans believe that this region is blessed by Iwynn, the Dewborn, an Aerynian, the Goddess of Health and the daughter of Barkhas.
The city of Delvynnar is located on three rocky hills made of shattered rocks from the cliffs that surround one of the largest falls along the cliffs, Iwynn's Blessing. As the whole shore is only 300 peds from the cliffs to the sea the whole city is squeezed in this narrow gap between rock and water and stretches over several strals from east to west. The falls, which are embedded in the main sanctuary of Iwynn, the White Temple, are the very core of the city with the Lord's Palace seated on a high hill west of it and the governmental buildings on a hill east of the falls.
As the Santerran lords always fought - and sometimes still do so - against some outside aggressor or turn against each other any larger settlement is also planned as a huge military installation. Usually this means that the whole city is built on several rings around the Lord's Palace and the temple district. The favoured place of founding settlements in ancient times had always been at hills or cliffs. The various rings around these settlements form terraces so any attacker winning one wall will face another obstacle behind it.
The city of Delvynnar was build on the old style which means that the terraces build in rectangular shapes meant to minimize the length of any wall and avoid any kind of bends and curves. Over the centuries three different settlements had merged into one. Once one settlement surrounded the Lord's Palace, another housed the farmers and fishers for the White Temple of Iwynn and the third was a village where now the administrational buildings are placed. When these three settlements merged into one large city the Lord issued another ring of heavily fortified walls to seal off the east and west end of the town.
The city of Delvynnar now prospers on up to four such terraces with the White Temple of Iwynn and the falls crowning the city.
Each hill is divided into three terraces, every one of them walled and only to be entered via two gates close to the cliffs. With the high cliffs in the back and heavy walls in the east and west there was only the sea for attackers to invade the city from when Delvynnar still controlled the interior of the island. Thus the fourth terrace of the city surrounds all three hills and isolates the otherwise vulnerable docks from the rest of the city. To divert any attack on the docks the area is cornered in the east and west by two great circular bastions that defend the seaside.
Places of notice are as follows:
and the Lord's Palace
Leading on a great ramp to the upper edge of the cliffs the Giant's Road connects the thin coast line with the mountainous backlands behind the cliffs. The road leads, bordered on one side by the cliffs, on top of the western hill. At the height of the Palace it is cornered by several high guard towers and secured by three gates. One would open to the Palace, one to a continuation to the road that had been carved into the cliffs themselves and one back into the city.
Below the Lord's Palace, home to the Lords of Delv (also refered to as the "Lords of Nacre") and their noble house the other higher noblemen built their estates, all built in white marble and decorated with the most beautiful stones and colours. Some even match the Palace in size but the Palace outshines any other house of the city as its walls are decorated with millions of shells whose nacre glistens in the sunlight and gives the city its name. Because the Lords of Delv were and still are great kings of the Seas and during their glorious times decorated their home with the most beautiful gifts of the oceans, once the house of Delv was mainly refered to as the "Throne of the Coral Sea" and claimed to be blessed by Barkhas himself to rule over all of the "sacred lands" (the literal translation of Aca-Santerra).
The Palace is indeed a mixture of fortress and palace with thick walls at its sides that are as much as 30 peds high and set the palace well isolated at the top of the Palatial Hill. Towers entrench any corner of the walls which are dotted with catapult platforms and archer slits. Nevertheless all these fortified features were decorated with beautiful shapes and stylized creatures, sometimes sculptured sometimes as one of the many mosaics made of sea shells so their original purpose is often not visible at first glance. Between the outer walls and the palace itself gardens and fountains form a green paradise hidden behind walls of the black rocks of the coast.
The palace building itself consist of five stories. After three stories a terrace opens to the sea offering a spectacular view at the open waters. Various domes, towers and minarets covered in shells again increase the room within the palace with small chambers and rooms. The next two stories are the king’s quarters themselves and contain the most impressive dome of them all. This dome with about thirty peds diameter is the roof of the throneroom itself where the Seaking of Delvynnar deals with most governmental issues. With well placed holes in the dome it is insured that the throneroom is well lit over the day. In the center of the room a large, blackened throne puts the king higher than any guest or servant. Decorated with corals and shells the throne was for long times the symbol for domination of the seas among the Santerran Houses. Its placement in the center of the room was a sign that the royal power was only held by one and thus all responsible of its doings. The advisers and trusted servants waited in alcoves along the room to give their advise or bring up a new issue but none was allowed to come closer to the king than six peds. The final decision lies in the hands of the king himself.
The fame of glory of the city is well represented by the palace as it is half cut into the rocks, half erected in spectacular forms the shells of nacre always glistening in the sun given the whole palace a magical feel. It is a place of unearthern beauty and irresistible strength, like the nacre and the black rock. Visitors faraway travelers stand in awe towards the ancient power of this building even as the red palace of Altyr has long ago replaced Delvynnar as the center of the High Kingdom.
The shore west of the palace closes around a bay where one of the largest warports of all of Nybelmar - if not all of Caelereth - is built around a perfect natural harbour. The entrance of the harbour is guarded by three towers. The eastern and central tower are connected by a dike. The gap between the central and western tower is the only opening to the port itself. The western and central towers themselves are a complicated construction to serve as fortification and lighthouses at the same time. Both are crowned by two huge bulbs of lightwater made by some of the best artisans, smiths and imbuing mages of their times. These bulbs were built to allow the harbour to be used even in a deep night and help captains to see the location of Delvynnar along the monotonous Rainbow cliffs.
Within these heavy fortifications the warport itself consists of two layers of docks and wharves. The outer layer which runs along the bow of the bay has many storehouses, weapon caches and warves. The outer layer consist also of docks for the Highsea Fleet of Besan caravels. About sixty of these swift but bulky ships and many more smaller crafts can be refitted in the outer layer of the harbour.
The inner layer is a wooden construction in the center of the bay shaped like an octagon built to house the war galleys of the High Kingdom. This octagon is as well fortified and only has one seaside entrance, large enough for one galley to enter or leave the inner area at a time. The other entrance is a gate accessible via a passageway that connects the structure of the inner layer with the shore. This security measure was taken to ensure that even when the port is entered this stronghold can continue to prevent any approach to land within the port district. Hidden from outside views in the very center of the second layer the House of Admirality is located in a three stories complex. From here the fleet of Delvynnar is commanded to secure the many tradelanes of the High Kingdom.
At the peak of its time more than eighty Besan caravels and about three-hundred galleys and smaller craft were stationed at the port of Delvynnar alone being one cornerstone for Aca-Santerra to ascend to one of the greatest naval forces of Caelereth.
At the white temple the famous Iwynn Falls drop from the cliff top into a artificially created pool that is surrounded by the temple structure. Unusual for Santerran temples there is no domed sanctuary but this pool itself is the place of worship. The people of Aca-Santerra and even beyond believe in the healing power of the waters of Iwynn and pilgrims from all over Nybelmar travel here to seek a cure for diseases nothing else can heal. The pool is surrounded by a square shapped inner yard closely overseen by the ghostly Horathri of Iwynn clad in silver armor and white cloth. None is allowed to come close to the pool but the temple priest who take the water in a complicate ritual and then bring it to the sick and desperate.
The u-shaped building itself was built in white marble and contains quarters for the priests and priestesses, the guards and a large hospital that will help anyone that knocks on their door. The water of the Falls are directed through various caverns underground down to the docks. Via pipes and with the pool of Iwynn being on the very top of the hill the whole district within is supplied with flowing water and many public fountains.
Mostly merchants and innkeepers who profit from the many travelers seeking aid in this place inhabit the terraces around the temple. But also fishers from the docks and pearl divers live here. The whole district has a sense of innocence and redemption in stark contrast of the unbendable strength of the Palatial Hill and the nearby warport. At the foot of the district separated from the housing by heavy walls the dock district and the civilian port has its place. From merchantman to fisher-boats, all kind of ships have and still anchor at this port. The docks are also inhabited by the poorest of the poor who earn their money as harbour workers and live in spartanic chambers between the filled warehouses of the merchants. This is also the place where most foreigners stay that don’t seek shelter within the temple. Theft and murder are punished with an iron fist but as the poor souls that have convicted a crime shall not set a foot on the blessed ground of the temple district another gate connects the docks to the Eastern Hill where among other things the public court and the execution place are located.
The Eastern Hill is mostly inhabited by farmers, craftsman, soldiers and lower noblemen who work in the nearby coastal region and chose a secluded house at the east end of the city instead of the bustling military camp that the district around the warport under the “Coral Throne” is. Also this is the meeting place of the Frathra council, the jurisdiction and a number of less important administrational buildings. Death sentences and executions are issued here far away from the White Temple. Otherwise this district is a quiet and peaceful place if not for the prison that was built into caves under the black rock at the most eastern tip of the district.
Location. Delvynnar lies at the southern coast of Vunmeer, one of the main islands of Aca-Santerra. Over 150 strals the Rainbow Cliffs form a natural border to the interior of the island and thus most fishing villages and towns here were built more to defend against the sea than toward the land. Delvynnar is about midway from the east and the west end of the Cliffs where the sacred Iwynn Falls drop into the ocean. To the north lies the high plateau of Iri, fertile soil for some pasture and farming alike only accessible from the sea through several gaps in the cliffs.
People. Delvynnar is
Santerran through and through and
only few strangers can be seen on the soil of Vunmeer anyway. The city of about
60 000 people was and is a gem among the many cities on the islands. With a
proud history and old traditions the
Santerrans of Delvynnar are everything the people like and hate about
Aca-Santerra: Loyal to death, honest,
unrelenting, arrogant and self-confident as well as hard and unforgiving against
the world and anyone that threatens them. The people
of Delv - how they are called – have earned great respect among
Aca-Santerra as great sailors, soldiers and
merchants. The class of Enayctar is most respected in the cities along the
cliffs but the Enayctar of Delvynnar often were the personal bodyguards of the
Highking for their glory in battle and their unquestioned loyality to the order
The plateau of Iri was for long times ruled by its own native population who is still not considered as Santerran but they’re still well-respected as allies and welcomed in Delvynnar. The world of the Santerrans are the seas and thus those people of Iri work the farms and form most formidable foot soldiers.
Coat of Arms/Sign. The coat of Arms of the House of Delv that rules the city bears a silver snake on blue ground. The snake bites into its own tail forming a circle. The snake is the ulieth and the blue ground of the ocean stands for the blessing of Barkhas to ward the house of Delv to rule all oceans in the name of the Aca-Tar.
Climate. The climate of Delvynnar is moderate, however the cliffs add additonal dynamics to the weather. Most of the year sunny and rainy days appear in equal numbers, however in autumn and winter the storms arrive at the cliffs and make this a most inhospitable place. With Delvynnar needing to import woods and burning material this can be an uncomfortable place indeed. This is also possibly one of the reasons the people of Delvynnar are so stubborn and the Highking decided to move to Altyr, first as a winter palace later to form a new capital.
Resources. There are few resources along the Rainbow Cliffs themselves, however good fishing grounds can be found along the coast near Delvynnar and nearby bays offer good places to find pearls and even to breed oysters. Also lightwater is harvested on the coasts of Vunmeer. Otherwise the high plateau of Iri is a considerably fertile plateau and is capable of supplying the city with grain and meat, mostly sheep. Also metals are transported over the cliff from the interior of the islands. Otherwise Delvynnar depends much on trade and its superiority on the seas to maintain itself. But with the many luxury goods like jewelry, lightwater and pearls the prosperity of the city is insured.
Myth/Lore. It was few decades after the Santerrans landed on the islands and they fought bloody battles against the native population to gain space for their own people when the Santerrans marched against the people of the Highplateau of Iri. At these times the strength of the Santerrans what they would become, they were still a whisper in the wind, and after a few days the people of Iri defeated the Santerrans and drove them down the cliff. A whole Santerran army died that day falling onto the sharp rocks and the waves of the sea were turning red. But by what seemed like a miracle one soldier survived nearly unharmed and in despair he lay beside his comrades with broken bones waiting for his own demise. But it should not come as Iwynn the Dewborn was shaken by the spilt blood at one of her many gardens and swam to the place where she has heard that the last of these lost souls drowned being taken by the unforgiving waters of her father Barkhas.
As she was coming close to the shore she heard one sole voice crying and she left the waters to see who was crying alone in a field of death.
As the soldier was aware of something coming he already feared that one of his enemies was going to loot the dead but as the figure was appearing between the rocks he got aware of the most beautiful thing he ever saw as Iwynn is of an innocent beauty not seen among mortals.
Without saying a word Iwynn looked at the shattered limbs of the soldier who - frightened by this unearthern being - had raised his sword. The oceanblue eyes looked down upon the soldier and the mortal knew he was an open book to this creature beyond the world. And he broke out in tears but this time he did not cry because of the terrible fate that left him starving to death in an isolated place but he cried for all those that had died by his hands in these bloody times. In disgust he threw away his sword.
And it was then that Iwynn's face showed a consoling smile and she stepped forward and her algaegreen eyes look into his and with a silent move she opened the clamp that held her hair and then wringed some waterdrops out of her wet hair. As the drops fell into the soldier's face he felt that life came back to him and the bones in his shattered body realigned. He laughed aloud and for the first time since many years he laughed with the innocence of a child.
As the soldier regained his strength Iwynn the Dewborn pointed to the cliff top and after a few moments a brush of water rushed over the cliff and washed away the blood on the rocks and the corpses were brought in the safe lap of Barkhas himself where none shall ever find them. The soldier looked in awe at the beautiful falls that had replaced the battlefield but as he rose to his feet he recognized that Iwynn the Dewborn was gone but the falls shone in all their glory.
Touched by innocence and peace the soldier abandoned his warlike past and began to preach to the people about peace and redemption and how the Dewborn cured the heart as well as the mind. He erected a shrine behind the falls and worshiped the Aerynian every week and after the years had passed more and more people followed his call and the war between the Santerrans and the people of Iri finally came to an end. And those that had sworn to serve the Aerynian Iwynn came to the falls to build a small village, then a town and then a city around the sacred falls.
And years later the white temple of Iwynn was founded at the feet of the falls and the seed of Delvynnar was sown. This is the legend around the founding of the city of Nacre as it is written in the Chronicles of Iwynn.
History. No information yet.
Information provided by Koldar Mondrakken