Mylthis, commonly referred to
as the "Spine of Sihitara", is a moderately large town found a brisk two hour
walk east of Sihitara, deep in the exotic Jungles of Shar in south-western
Nybelmar. Though known predominately for providing
the bulk of Sihitara’s labouring force (around three fifths of Sihitaran
construction workers can be traced to Mylthis) the town has many delights
within itself, such as its great market located in the northwest and the great
monument to the greater malise bird, the town’s patron animal.
Description. The town of Mylthis fills an area of roughly circular deforested rainforest land, but from above it appears as a blot of splashed white ink over the endless expanse of dense, green foliage. It is thought that the Lillivear who supervised the felling of the trees intended the town to be perfectly circular, but as more people came to Mylthis the housing districts had to be expanded to accommodate them. Although this went against the strict plans that the Lillivear had set out, it was allowed as the expansion generated a lot of income for the town (as they charged ridiculous fees for upsetting their perfect shape).
Due to the mass commuting of Mylthisians to Sihitara, there are areas cleared of the dense foliage between the two settlements. The jungles though grow very quickly so every morning one will normally see an army of machette weilding men slicing the green expanse to keep the roads clear.
Key Locations. The town can be described by looking at the various sectors and kesy buildings:
The Housing Districts
The housing districts located to the eastern half of Mylthis are the main divergence in the flawlessness of the envisaged contour, the added houses creating a large bulge pointing east. The Housing districts were what Mylthis was originally designed for, mass accommodation. This district is shaped like in oval form (it was initially part of the circle but the building of many more structures led to a transformation in its shape) and, like all of Mylthis, heavily utilise white stone in its building. Though it is possible to say that the homes are three-floored cubic structures, this description (though gemometrically accurate) cannot truly articulate the magnificence of the exterior of these buildings, adorned with various spectacular scenes and landscapes carved into the stone. A common Sarvonian may mistake a Mylthisian home for a small palace from its exterior brilliance. Since beauty is the basis of the Krean's philosophy such exquisite architecture was deemed neccesary - but perhaps the extravagance of the Krean Uristran School of architecture in Sithara had a part to play too.
It is a well known fact that when Mylthis was concieved by the High Council, it was going to be simple (by Krean standards) and was planned to have very little artistic significance. However, Lie'sha Harai (the principal lecturer at the school) proposed something that was quite innovative: that Mylthis be used as a test for some of her students. They would be given a work-force and a criterion (which they had to stick to meticulously) by the High Council, but they would have to find a way to incorporate their own design ideas. She believed this would be a brilliant sight into what the life of an architect was truly about, finding a way for something to work but be beautiful at the same time.
Her request was granted by the Council, but under the condition that their plans were not distorted at all, only improved (probably this was why so much was charged for upsetting the circle). Lie'sha chose a team of twelve individuals who would command a much larger work-force. It all worked relatively well, the team cooperating and progressing through the plans quickly but still finding novel ways to incorporate some imagination. This was until Jufra Gie'sal disagreed.
Jufra was undeniably the most intelligent and most resourceful student Lie'sha had ever seen, but he lacked essential social and communication skills. Jufra had a very cold demeanour and was always reluctant to compromise with his colleagues. When his ideas were repeatedly rejected by the rest of the group he decided he would have to work alone - which is one of the reasons why there are many quirky looking buildings scattered over the town. When Lie'sha found out about his 'freelance' (though some might say 'rebellious) manner she removed him from the project.
Each and every house has the phrase "It is the pillar that holds the pedestal that is the most important" chiselled in marble above the entrance as a tribute to Mylthis and its role vis-à-vis Sihitara, as well as a limestone sculpture of one of the surrounding forest creatures as a "familiar", which the residents believe will protect those living in the house and encourage good fortune. The familiars, when proposed by Lie'sha's team, were originally supposed to be something to make the block look interesting. A shortlist of eleven different animals were put into a bag, each member choosing one. The animal which the member chose would be the familiar added to the blocks which they supervised. It was therefore believed that you could work out the value of a house by which member made (and therefore the animal which was mounted above the doorway). In some kind of strange coincidence it seems that the popularity of the animal chosen was synonymous to the skill of the architect.
However, the High Council had arranged that the town to be blessed by the Arlean priestesses, though blessing of every individual room of every house would have been painfully monotonous. Lie'sha came up with a quick solution, that the familiars be blessed. It would be much faster but would ensure divine protection.
An average block consisting of three floor houses three families (very few Mylthisians live alone, and at the least live with a partner). Each floor functions as a bungalow, with a kitchen, two large bedrooms, a washroom and all of the other necessary Krean quarters. The interior of Mylthisian homes are normally just as beautiful as the exteriors, as they are known to spend quite a lot on decoration, normally rare flowers or small trees from the Jungle.
The Commercial Sector
and Great Market of Mylthis
Before you even see the market, you can hear it. The noise erupting from the area would be large enough to make a deaf man’s ear’s throb in pain, with endless bartering, mindless conversation, thousands of footsteps and the clinking of even more coins as they are exchanged from the buyer to the trader, but those of Mylthis seem to have adjusted to it, treating it as normality. The great market appears as an endless, mindless expanse of identical trader’s tents and stalls as far the eye can see (and the Krean are known to display very good eyesight). The market of Mylthis is well-known for it's low prices and bulk sales. Very rarely can one go and purchase single items, though the travelling customers find the ability to buy large supplies of various items to take back to their homeland very useful. Though Sihitara has the monopoly on luxury products, Mylthis sells predominately in natural resources and food, such as strong jungle wood or exotic - or at least so it appears to the customer - fruit and meat (such as that of the lukrinam snake, which is definetely an acquired taste).
Mylthis though is also infamous for its small but varied black market, known by the locals as "Da'ri Or'far" (which literally translates as "Corner of (the) Shadow", though "Shadow's Corner" is thought of as the true meaning by the Compendium). In Dari Or'far you can find poisons and potions that you cannot in Sihitara, weapons such as glass throwing stars that are supposedly no longer created and various other items of which possession is considered incriminating.
It is speculated by some that the High Council uses Mylthis as a way to control crime in Sihitara. Some of the more suspicious Mylthisians assume that their somewhat tranquil settlement is used to retain Sihitara's image: Since Sihitara is one of the pinnacles of Krean existence, the outside world must perceive it as flawless. These sceptical (and normally quite bored) townspeople think that by decreasing the strictness of Mylthis' law enforcement, criminals will gravitate towards this area more than the much more important city. The town guard seem to show little concern about crimes committed in the Great Market, leading to small gangs of criminals appearing who believe that nothing at all is stopping them exploiting the innocent tradesmen and their customers. This is also believed to tie in well with the Town's motto, since in this instance the "pedestal" removes the imperfections of the "masterpiece". The truth in these allegations though cannot be confirmed by the Compendium, due to a lack of concrete evidence.
Besides dangers caused by the malicious criminals of Mylthis, notable accidents have occurred when uncharacteristically, a trader’s krog (an unusual beast that can pull great weights that a horse could not manage) has crushed somebody.
The rest of the commercial sector consists of a few craftsmen workshops, mostly carpenters and sculptors who sell their finished works in the Market. These workshops are nowhere near as beautiful as the Housing Districts, but still retain aspects of Aesteran artisanship (as they all have a familiar, but these are normally tools of their trade rather than animals). There is one notable workshop however owned by the Aursnare family, which is one of the only places where Aesteran curved daggers are still produced. Mylthisians find the location of this workshop quite peculiar, though it is believed that the Aursnare family have conducted themselves in a less than legal fashion in the past, and being situated in a worker's town seems to keep them away from the public (and quite often revealing) spotlight.
A unique sight on the streets of Mylthis is their Aesteran plumbing system. The system consists of leagues of glass piping that has blue sheen to it in the sunlight. Using the correct balance of magic and science, the creators of the system were able to command the water to flow at incredible speed overhead. Additional pipes are introduced which led to a storage tank on the top floor of the block (meaning once it is full no water is spilt as it simply displaced back up the tube). This storage tank is connected to a series of pipes which can be opened from various levels in the building, allowing the water to flow down. One of the most amazing sites on all of Nybelmar is on the last day of every three decades, when the moon is in the correct position to cast angled rays of moonlight into the pipes. The pipes reflect the light into hundreds of beams that create a spectacular light show on the jet black sky. It was also designed in such a way that it creates a unison of light beams that creates the image of a flying malise dird in the starry blanket. However, it is important to know the Compendium regards this as speculation, since the Compendium did not arrive at the correct time to evaluate whether or not this allegation is truthful.
There was in fact once a thief (a very rare sight in the housing sector due to the law-abiding nature of most Mylthisians) that entered and escaped from homes by running on top of the pipes back to his home, though he was caught when he slipped, cracked a pipe and a few of his bones - and was forced to pay for the damages before being taken to Sihitara for his trial.
The rest of Mylthis is separated into two other areas, the Commercial Sector and the Administrative Sector (which is smaller, taking up a third of the remaining space). The commercial sector can be encountered in the southwest of the town (so that those leaving Sihitara that don’t know of its existence are sure to encounter it). This sector is centered around the Great Market, similar to the one which can be found in Karakan but is based on stalls rather than workshops and the like. The Great Market (as the name implies) is a gargantuan area filled with travelling merchants (and a few who reside in Mylthis).
The Administrative Sector, though the smallest, is the most beautiful part of the entire town, showing some of the finest works of architecture just for the sake of beauty. It is here that the great silver statue of the greater malise bird in mid flight was erected and has remained since, a golden engraving underneath sporting the town’s motto. From the statue you may go in four directions (excluding the way you came, which in this instance should be considered as the Great Market), each of which look identical. The first (the one directly ahead) leads to Mies’ha ("Drowning Beauty" in ancient Aesteran), a temple to the ocean goddess Arlea. Mies’ha has one of the most well-kwown priesthood which call themselves Hie’kea (which can be roughly translated from ancient Aesteran to "White Mist", which is a very fitting name).
It is believed (though it has never been confirmed explicitly by the High Temple of Arlea) that the White Mist were central to a large cover-up. It is known that the White Mist consisted of radical but very powerful priestesses to the Aesteran water deity Arlea. They believed that the splendour of Arlea should not be confined to females (as the conventional Arlean faith restricts men from joining the priesthood). This ideal they held very close, but they knew that if their beliefs were discovered, they would be forced to leave the High Temple. Eventually, they began to (in secret) teach young boys the arts of meditation and divine water magic. They saw no fault in their actions, but the feeling was not mutual.
The High Temple found out about the White Mist's practices, but rather than openly denounce them as traitors to their religion and willingly admit that their supposedly well-guarded secrets had been shared with outsiders, they compromised. They decided to relocate all of the priestesses affiliated with the White Mist away from the High Temple to Mylthis, where their dangerous ideals could not pollute the minds of anymore priestesses, but where the White Mist could not claim removal from society.
The name of their new established grounds of worship also are believed to link the disgraceful practices that the White Mist partook in. It is thought by those who support this cover-up conspiracy that '"rowning Beauty" was a reference to how the eternal beauty of Arlea was being damaged, "drowning" in the sea of undeserving males that their secrets had been revealed to.
The White Mist dresses in entirely white robes (when pastel blues are normally favoured by others) and is known to bleach their hair white, as they believe white to be the colour of innocence (something which the High Temple believe they now lack). They are apparently some of the most proficient practitioners of Aesteran water magic (some say their mystical presence is what allows the plumbing system to work so efficiently) and are definitely one of the most renowned group of Arlean priestesses. They are - ironically - very secretive, and it is believed that on Sálárhí-Lérín ("Change of the Tide") they are at their strongest, and are able to dissolve themselves into a mist help guide the gifts to Sihitara down the river Rhsall.
If you return to the statue and take the left route you will be taken to the Governor’s house. This is perhaps the grandest structure in the entire town, made entirely from Zhunite marble that is polished daily to keep its sheen. The house itself has furnishings befitting a palace, with a total of fourteen bedrooms, each as well decorated as his own personal master bedroom. Though access to the bedrooms was disallowed to the Compendium researchers, the governor did show his famous art gallery, showcasing some great pieces. The garden behind the house is so densely packed with various pieces of flora it is hard tell where the garden ends and the Jungle began - if it wasn’t for the imposing metal fence of course.
If you will once again return to the monument, and you take the penultimate route, you will be led to the famous Malise Bird Song Theatre where performances are held most nights.
The Kinar'che Hummer
Theatre (Malise Bird Song Theatre)
The theatre itself is called Kinar'Che (which translated literally means "Feather Music", probably making reference to the wing movements that the bird performs to create the sound) and is a grand building that stands out when compared to any other in the town. Though made of the same white stone, the building is adorned with various symbols crafted from bronze, mainly trees, leaves and birds. The building is a large cylinder that is much wider than it is tall, showing great comparison to the more clean cut, rectangular structures surrounding it. It is believed that this was one of the buildings designed by Jufra, conceived in his idiosyncratic style.
Inside the building the first thing you notice is the smell, as the walls are covered in burning aromatic candles made from kitjuran wax, releasing a sweet scent into the air. At night the candles give the theatre an eerie but relaxing glow. In the centre of the huge circular ground floor is the hardwood stage, on which all of the instruments are kept (with places reserved for the Great Hummers). From the stage the seats go out and upwards in tiers (the seating being padded circular benches), each bench getting wider and higher up. In total there are about fifteen tiers, large enough to seat around five hundred people. When your gaze is drawn upwards, you spot the grand glass ceiling, so that on a starlit night the stars may be seen, but the atmosphere of the performance may not escape.
It was realised during the construction of the glass ceiling that the frequent and furious rainstorms of the Shar Jungles would ruin the performances, the patter of the rain drowning out the music. Rather than find a way to silence the rain, the architects decided to find a way to utilise the rain. They requested the services of a proficent water mage. The mage performed a series of enchantments that would turn the sounds of the rain attacking the ceiling into music, the style depending on the mood of the performance. He also created an activation system using ancient Aesteran words, a language that is long since dead, that would start a specific style. The rain could be turned into anything from chaotic drums to soothing bird songs.
A performance at the theatre can be anything from energetic and lively to a sorrowful lament (due to the great versatility of the musicians and the malise bird), because of the theatre's circular walls, as whatever the sound is, it travels around very easily, allowing everybody to hear it in its truest splendour.
Back at the statue, if you decide to take the final route, you will encounter the imposing bureaucratic buildings, which deal with numerous things such as housing and policing. The town treasury, the council and various other authoritarian bodies’ headquarters are located here, though they all seem identical, and not very exciting either, ruining the beautiful impression that the adminstrrative sector gives. Though they are as beautiful as those of the housing districts, they lack heart, which is probably due to who works there. Mylthis is not the most politically significant area, and as such those who pursue a career in the field are normally disheartened, as very few who have worked there have ever been promoted to Sihitara, and even fewer to the senate.
Location. Mylthis is located to the east of the Krean capital Sihitara on the peninsula of Shar, and the easiest route to the town is the cleared paths for the commuting workers. The Shar peninsula is found on the far south-western part of the continent of Nybelmar.
People. Though the
population of Mylthis was originally entirely of
Krean lineage, that has since changed.
Since Mylthis is so close to Sihitara and the Great Market attracts a lot of
attention of travellers, "encounters" with foreigners were not uncommon, leading
to the addition of other tribe blood to the population. Little of the population
can claim to be "pure" Krean (which is
a rather overused title anyway), as many have
Zhunite, Qualaris, Evaquis, Sharosar
or even Anpagan blood in their
veins. There are rumours of Mylthisians who are actually part
Orcritish, though this has been
diluted so much that it is relatively unnoticeable (they just appear to have
darker skin). The only Mylthisians who claim to be ‘pure’ (and are believed) are
"The White Mist", as they are purely Aesteran (which itself is not true
‘Krean’ denotes somebody of mixed blood
(Lillivear and Aestera).
The people of Mylthis are constantly content with their positions in life. They are well aware that they are not the most powerful (a depressing thought for the bureaucrats) or the most wealthy (another depressing thought) or the most respected in society (and another), but these are not things that they (normally) desire. Many are content just to live a comfortable life with a loving family, and it is very uncommon to see a man over thirty (or a woman over twenty five) without a spouse or child.
Almost all of the working adults in Mylthis can have their careers divided into two categories: trader or labourer. The traders normally have two paths that they follow; a travelling trader (in which case they are not in fact in Mylthis most of the time, and just own a home here) or they become trader at the market. Normally those who trade at the market craft their own wares, though there are a few who purchase them from the craftsmen (mostly bad tradesmen themselves). The labourer though, usually only has one path, the one to Sihitara. Sihitara depends heavily on the workforce supplied by Mylthis, mainly for building and maintenance of the city. A part of many job agreements for labourers in Sihitara includes a home in Mylthis.
Those who reside in Mylthis actually find it quite humorous that the Sihitaran, who like to look down upon them, could not function without them, and it is thought that this is why they feel so satisfied by their place in civilization.
Coat of Arms/Sign. The coat of arms that Mylthis displays is that of a silver malise bird holding building upon its back, against a background of green. It is supposed to represent the fact that the delicate, inconspicuous Mylthis supports things much greater than itself.
Climate. Mylthis is covered by one of the major climate patterns that affect Náráh (a district of Sihitara). This climate zone is very tropical and is subject to light rain almost every day, during the summer it is quite humid and warm and in the winter it is pleasantly cool and breezy.
Flora. Mylthis is situated in the Jungles of Shar, and although the land was cleared completely, patches of wild flora still survived. There are small areas not much bigger than orchards that have various trees (such as the keelo or kitjuran) but the largest areas of flora are the public gardens. The public gardens have uncountable species of flowers and trees but the area is so well kept, it appears as if they have tamed the jungle.
Most of the accommodation blocks also have small herb gardens on their balconies and there are also allotments where people (mainly the retired) harvest the exotic fruit and vegetables that they have planted themselves. Imposing trees are also planted in the streets around the administrative centre.
Fauna. Though Mylthis is considerably artificial in comparison to the jungle surrounding it, the town is filled with various birds that add colour to the somewhat repetitive (but still attractive) white buildings. Birds are not the only things that venture into the town though. Near the edges of the town, where the rainforest is footsteps away, the floor is teeming with wildlife. Snakes and other wonderful reptiles find their way into the town, and the occasional jupa ape can be found inspecting the familiars on top of the homes, to see if it is a lost member of the pack, though a plate of free fruit normally meets them on the end of a balcony.
Resources. Mylthis is surrounded by a source of plentiful wood, the Forests of the Shar, which they also use predominately for their food (mainly fruit, but there are some prized meats). The most notable resource of Mylthis is their huge workforce, which has been utilised (and is still) by the Sihitaran Metropolis.