THE ZOHOLOGICA GARDENS

FUNCTION - LOCATION - BUILDINGS - ORGANIZATION
ANIMALS -
ECONOMY - HISTORY

The Zohologica boasts an extravagant selection of wildlife from all over the Sarvonian continent and is even home to some rare and exquisite samples from the feral continent of Nybelmar. Aimed at both young and old, rich and poor, the Zohologica is an attractive destination for all. Established in 1643 (completed 1649), south of New-Santhala, the Zoho is currently run by the Head Keeper "Kaemis" Ma'akwa-jsal and was set up with the aim to showcase the beautiful, the exotic and the ferocious.

The Zohologica is most recognised for its public exhibition gardens, housing scores of wild animals in specially adapted enclosures. However, there is also an academic side. The Zohologica’s Bestiary Archives and Library are some of the most extensive in Caelereth, shadowed only by the world renowned Compendium and Nybelmarian Enkyklopaedie.

So please, do enter, have a stroll through the gardens, take in the sights and sounds of the wonderful world the Gods have provided us with! Be dazzled by the Caladrius’ astonishing feathers, fear the stomp of the thunderfoot, hang around with the thiefling monkeys, but beware their nimble little fingers!


Function. The Zohologica serves as home to a collection of beasts and animals from all around Caelereth. The more basic and public nature of the building is to serve as an attraction for all ages and classes, bringing people closer to the fascinating wildlife that surrounds them. Through a combination of individual enclosures and wide open spaces, beasts from around the world live in prime conditions, aided here and there by some of the powerful magic from the establishment’s very own Mage Faction. An entire army of caretakers also tend to the animal’s needs, including their health and safety (or in some cases the safety of the visitors).

Next to the exhibition gardens, the Zohologica also operates on a more academic level. The Bestiary Archives serve as a central hub to all archives and records of wildlife around Caelereth. The Zohologica's Archives are a dedicated centre for the literature on the study of diverse wildlife. Similar to the compound as a whole, the Archives are once again split into two different sections. While the majority of its content is open to the general public, a revered part of this establishment is reserved for the elite and prestigious members of the Zohologican Society.

Though most commoners will come to see and remember the Zohologica as a wonderful garden of animals, it is the internal struggles and its role on the political battlefield of the beautiful and the rich that defines this establishment’s history. From its inception, the founders of the Zohologica knew that the concept would not stand on its own two feet. And so they opened the doors to the wealthy upper classes, inciting them to host expeditions and hunts for the animals that would decorate the Zohologica. In doing so, the Board of Fellows cut massive proportions off the establishment's costs, but at the same time they had underestimated the avarice and foresight of the nobles. Seeing in this business an opportunity, not so much for profit, but for prestige and reputation, the rich commenced a spiralling madness that, if left unchecked, could have very well done more than destroy the entire concept of the Zohologica. Return to the top


Location. The Zohologica is located in Southern Sarvonia, south west of New-Santhala. Nestled on the eastern banks of the Thaehelvil River, just before coming across the Eyelian people’s capital Vezash, the Zohologica’s vast compounds stretch up towards the Elvergrounds.

The Zohologica's location had always been one of the most challenging aspects of a project like this one. Having discussed and refined the ideas that constituted the establishment, the Board of Fellows then needed to find a suitable place to build it. This was no easy task, considering the vast amounts of land that were necessary to house all the enclosures. More important than the land itself though was the culture of the region and the attitude of its people. Running a menagerie of such proportions would require a dedicated and capable work force that could handle the various beasts and animals. When looking at this aspect, the Eyelian people immediately came to mind. In the whole of Sarvonia there didn't seem to be a peoples more qualified and capable of handling animals than them. The Eyelians, though primitive by most tribes' standards, have a special bond with nature that allows them to handle and interact with animals in a way that no other people can. Evidence of this is the great 'Kaemis' Ma'akwa-jsal's rise to Head Keeper. Return to the top

Buildings. As for buildings the Zohologica Gardens comprise the following:

Organization. The Zohologica Gardens are organized as follows:

Animals. The animals and creatures housed in the Zohologica span almost every categorised branch of the Compendium's Bestiary. Each of these animals is carefully studied and then assigned a fitting enclosure. By following this process, the animal is housed in an enclosure where the environment as well as population is compatible with the individual.

Since the Zohologica is heavily reliant on noblemen funding and the income obtained from the general public, it was only natural that the majority of the animals would fall under the 'harmless' category. Animals such as the beautiful blue giltra, or the thieving thiefling monkeys are at home in these enclosures. Posing little threat to the visitors, these animals roam about reasonably free and with little precautions taken against their movement within their enclosures.

Animals such as the paxen are one of the main attractions for the children. Passive and domesticated animals, these gentle giants are often put behind little more than a simple fence enclosure. This allows visitors to come right up to the animal and stoke it. While this immediate contact between animal and visitor was heavily debated, in the end the Board of Fellows decided that it would generate the needed interest and income.

Other animals and creatures the Zohologica boasts include: The lingra, the cyhalloian slinker, the haloen firebird and many more. Return to the top

Economy. Since its establishment in 1643, the Zohologica's original Board of Fellows knew that their establishment would rely heavily on the interest of the people, the investment of nobles and merchants, and the research opportunities the Society could provide. As true businessmen and -women, the Board of fellows decided to at first distance themselves a little from the more idealistic approach to the Zoho. Instead they opted to approach the project from an almost purely economical and financial angle. While critics soon pounced onto this mentality, in hindsight it was the right choice for the creators, considering the Zohologica made it through its first years with close to no financial crises or scandals.

The founding fathers immediately understood that visitors would come to the facilities by one factor alone: exotic and interesting animals. At the same time, fascinating and new creatures would also provide for great research opportunities, drawing in investors and researchers. The biggest challenge would thus become obtaining these rare, beautiful and intriguing specimen.

Noble Patrons & Expeditions. In came the Nobles and Merchants. Given its location, the Zohologica was close to both New-Santhala and Vezash, two bustling centres filled to the brim with Santharians just sitting on their purses and coffers. And so with some inciting, the doors were opened to the wealthy upper classes, inciting them to host expeditions and hunts for the animals that would decorate the Zohologica. In doing so, the Board of Fellows cut massive proportions off the establishment's costs, but at the same time they had underestimated the avarice and foresight of the nobles.

Seeing in this business an opportunity, not so much for profit, but for prestige and reputation, the rich commenced a spiralling madness that, if left unchecked, could have very well done more than destroy the entire concept of the Zohologica. Hosting a hunt for a rare creature became a symbol of status, if not a pastime for the rich. In doing so, they publically showed that they were wealthy enough to fund such expeditions, and the rarer the captured animal, the more prestige the patron received. The flaunting did not end there though: Once introduced to the Zohologica, the animal's enclosure bore laudations and markings of the respective patron. This strategically placed one's name out in front of the masses without having to pay off any doomsayers or other 'people of the streets'.

These expeditions eventually spiralled out of control though. The nobles hosting these expeditions soon resorted to boycotting other patrons' convoys, stealing already captured animals before they were delivered... greed knew no end. The final spark that lit eh bonfire though occurred when expeditions started being sent out to capture dragons, drakes and other mythical creatures of untold danger. These expeditions more often than not resulted in the death and total annihilation of its people, but like children obsessed over a peculiar toy, the patrons kept sending more and more people into their doom. The promise of wealthy bounty and honour lured ensured there was no shortage of fools who would rise to the challenge.

It was after these events reached a pinnacle in 1658 that the Zohologica intervened and set down rules and laws against certain specimen it would not accept, and threatened with bans and embargoes against patrons who crossed the line. Return to the top

History. While the idea of the Zohologica had been a vivid topic of conversation the Board of Fellows for years leading up to, it was not until 1643 that the decision to solidify the plan was passed. A small proportion of the lands at the time were in the possession of the Board and housed a small sample of the Zohologica's animals. This was an intelligent stunt played by the founders, for it allowed inspectors and curious hang-abouts to see what was to come and spread the word, even as the Zohologica was still being constructed. It's construction and initial public reaction caught the attention of Tiandor, at the time Thane of Sanguia. It was by his gracious donation that the Zohologica received the vast majority of the land surrounding the smaller initial site.

It was not until 1649 that the Zohologica was completed in its full glory. While most will associate the long duration of the works to the dimensions and concepts of the Zohologica, there are some that claim its completion was purposefully delayed as a political stunt to coincide with the coronation of Tiandor, who was to become Santhran Tiandor. Whatever the reasons, the official opening of the Zohologica as it stands today in all its vast glory, was a great celebration, graced by Santhran Tiandor himself. Catch Head Keeper in a good mood and he will tell stories of that day: How Tiandor himself shook Kaemis' hand and asked for a private stroll through this magnificent park after a hearty speech at the opening celebration. The coinciding of the coronation and opening was later highlighted when the Santhran became one of the major patrons of the Zohologica.

As for its nomenclature, Zohologica has its roots in the Gnomic. "Zoho" refers to the natural world around us, while "Logyia" translates to thought or investigation. Quite fittingly, the Zohologica was thus named a center for the study of the natural world of Caelereth. As with any object that gains status and travels through word of mouth, the Zohologica often becomes fondly abbreviated to the "Zoho", with Tharian speakers mostly unaware of the nickname's Gnomic meaning. Return to the top

 Date of last edit 15th Singing Bird 1671 a.S.

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