Locus Nashira

From Familia Niveum

Locus Nashira



While the Chancel has existed since early prehistory, it has grown and changed significantly in the past century. Though it retains strong elements of the Renaissance City is was for many centuries, the opening of gates to a hostile chancel, the Ennoblement of a True King, the massive influx of faery and the Departing caused by a fey noble's arrival and population increase in Prosaic Earth, respectively, have all lead to grand sweeping changes.

The center of the Chancel is the Broken Tower, the ruins of the tower from which Heaven's leadership once looked upon all Cneph's works. Here is the centre of the Imperator's power and the greatest momument to her legacy. The tower is infinitely tall, yet at its paradoxical top, the tower has been shattered, cutting off an infinite span of further rise. Encircling the tower- at the precise midpoint, though none but Infinity and his Imperator may know precisely how this is determined- is a terrifying thing. A long, black ribbon of darkness encircles the tower, twisting in upon itself. It is impossible for mortals to look upon, because it has no dimensions at all, despite its great size; it is one of the greatest paradoxes in creation, a physical manifestation of the Veil of Death. This manifestation of the Veil long predates the Locus build around it, and will doubtless outlive it.

At the Tower's equally impossible base lies the Necropolis, a center of culture for a vast number of Creation's inhabitants, home to travelers, faeries, academics, explorers, philosophers, madmen, pilgrims and mourners, all gathering around the Veil of Death and the Broken Tower. Not so long ago, in the sweep of history, this stream of traffic grew so great it demanded a new transit system to replace the old cobbled road. To suit this need, Nashira created by far the youngest of her estates, the Train. Now, not only does her chancel connect to every mortal track at every switch and siding, the Ghost Train collects the souls of the dead and brings them to the Veil. Much more rarely, it runs with a load in the opposite direction.

Aside from the Great Station, the great pride of Necropolis is the University of Reason, the greatest center of learning about the natural world- until the rise of Science. Now, it lies is a stately, ivy-covered state of decay. Nonetheless, its faculty- faded is at may be- remains great in its own right. This center of learning blesses the chancel with innumerable alchemical and technological gifts which blind outsiders with envy. Many of them are even exported accross the many worlds of Creation in small numbers, though the greatest and most powerful work only in the unique environment in which they were created.

Because of the near infinite stream of souls, living and dead, who pass through the Chancel, the logistics of Locus Nashira are almost impossible. Fortunately, there is a being in the chancel capable of solving them. The Omega Theorem- a sapient and self-aware equation sprawled across one thousand, seven hundred and eighty two blackboards by the first and so far last beings qualified to call themselves Infinity's and Philosophy's Regal- assists the powers in running the Chancel... most of the time, anyway.

Despite the incredible bustle of Necropolis, the stillness which hangs over it is amazing. With protocol maintained by the winged stone statues that patrol the skies, people walk rather than use vehicles, and while horses are used, they too merely trot. The largest machines hum softly, and no voice raises above quiet conversational tones. People are strangely polite and tolerant, despite the strangest of the strange, and even the influx of fey obey these unspoken rules. To be out of place behaviourally would be to disrespect the dead, and this is the one place that should never be done. Indeed, those who would do so in the foulest manners find their task simply impossible. The blessing of Nashira lies upon her entire chancel, and no mortal magic worked with baleful intent has any effect at all; indeed, even miraculous enemies of the Locus Nashira must expend unusual effort to harm it.

Beneath the streets, beneath the infinite Tower's impossible base, lay the Catacombs. Here, in this ancient maze, lie billions of corpses, plaques, and tombs, lit eternally by candles which will never burn down. Deeper still lie the memorials to races dead and gone- the True Giants of Alagon, each the size of a small world rest here, undisturbed. At the very nadir of the Catacombs rests the Betrayer of Xathrus (though what Xathrus may ever have been, none can say). Bound by chains held by the Unmourned- animated corpses that are not undead, but instead mere shadows, animated memorials- this dread creature lies eternal. Not its death, nor its imprisonment, nor the warding of Nashira can stop its baleful dreams from wreaking mischief and grief upon the inhabitants of the Locus.

Equally inimical, but far less alien, is the grandiosely self-titled Slayer of Death. Born of the souls of those who gave their lives to the creation of the Chancel (many more than the usual Century of such were necessary to create Locus Nashira), this being realizes with clear eyed rationality what it has lost by its separation from life, but rejects with wild fear ever passing through the final Veil. Instead, it schemes and plots to bring about the end of death, a Bane on all those who understand the true power and majesty of Death. Because it is a part of the Locus itself, it too finds no obstacle in Nashira's blessing.

Outside the city, there comes a point where the statues and towers stop, and there is a border lined by more primitive graves. These mark the border of the faery woods, a place of shadow and mystery. Visitors and those few travelers strange enough to go looking on their own report hearing bears' growls, hissing snakes, howling wolves and the burble of hidden creeks. The trees are all huge, hundreds of years old, and very overgrown. The path that leads through the wood is unpaved, narrow, and very winding. Leaving the path is very dangerous - if you can't see it, you will become instantly lost. People can turn their backs to it, but they'd better be able to see it when they turn around again. Infinite is the only non-faerie individual in all Creation who's managed to find the path again by himself, and it even took him a little work. Here and there one finds ancient stone altars streaked with brownish dried blood from some unnamed eon in the past. Even the birds and squirrels look ominous. Kholashi is very fond of owls and there are hundreds in his woods - huge white barn owls, small black owls the size of a child's fist, and every kind in between.

The path through the wood is narrow, unpaved, and very winding. If you follow it without fail you eventually come out to a twisted castle in miniature. It's only about fifty feet tall at the highest point, but it looks like some ominous parody of a castle. It has tall thin spires instead of turrets, and its pennons are mostly black with highly stylized versions of Windows' design picked out in silver and gold thread. Inside it is luxurious in its own odd way - all the furniture, utensils and rooms have been designed for use by someone seven feet tall. It's also very dark - there are candles, fires, braziers and torches, but they're seemingly never enough to keep the whole place well-lit.


2 Banes (-1) The Betrayer of Xathrus, The Slayer of Death

Extra Landlord: Assertive Realm's Heart, the Omega theorem (-2 pts)

Faery Magic (2 pts) Alchemy (1 pt) High Summonings (1 pt)

Some beings with Earthly Magics (1 pt) Anchor-like resistance to Miracles (2 pts)

2-way gateway to a Chancel with allied Imperator/friendly powers (2 pts) 2-way gateway to a Chancel with allied Imeprator/indifferent powers (1 pt) Hostile forces have a gateway to the Chancel (-4 pts)

Defender's Blessing 2 (4 pts) (*Everything* in the Chancel has auctoritas 2 against anything inimical to it, including friendly Nobles whose Spirit entitles them to less. This does not give direct miracle immunity.)

Extrapolative technology (2 pts) Wierd Science- Alchemical Enhancement (1 pts)

These represent the advancements in mathamatics, medicine, historical recording techniques and judicial theory that can all be applied to Earthly technology without relying on the chancel's unique properties. Aesthetically, it looks as above, as it represents the level of technological achievement rather than the priorities and social mores of the Chancel. The magics above cover that which is rewired to work differantly or more efficiently than on Earth, and thus cannot be duplicated.

Spirit Gateways

Locus Adiamante

Allied Imperator, Indifferent Powers

The gateway to Locus Adiamante appears as a towering triumphal arch in the Necropolis' largest green. It is covered in friezes which depict a narrative, leading from glorious martial imagery, through scenes of desperate suffering and mercy, to an ultimate scene of pastorality.

Ulthiel, the Blessed Angel, the Lady of the Diamond Halo.

Ulthiel was the first Angel to call on Sacrifices after Nashira created the idea. To defeat a powerful Seraph she used a curse so strong that it cost her her prodigious physical strength. Up until then she had been one of the strongest warrior Angels, but afterwards she was very weak. It is said that as the fallen Seraph was locked into a prison of celestial steel and diamond, Cneph Himself touched his crippled daughter and left her with the diamond halo she wears even to this day. It is said that the halo is the only thing that keeps her alive - without it she would begin to die, but it would be an agonizing death over a hundred thousand years - if the Excrucians did not get her first. The only thing known for certain about the halo is that it was created at the same moment as the prison that she created as a curse to lock up the fallen Seraph. In the entire history of Creation, only the Lord of Naivete has ever believed that it was a coincidence. Even the Lord of Delusion realized that there was some kind of connection - he just thought it was some kind of mystic Belgian diamondworking job and not the hand of Cneph.

Nashira is allied with Ulthiel because of some ancient secret locked away in Heaven's farthest reaches. Some say the two are blood sisters (how could you have blood brothers and not blood sisters?), others that they are conspirators in some bizarre plot, others even go so far as to say they are lovers - but never where their Powers can hear. Ulthiel now acts as a kind of celestial aid station - crippled Powers or Powers in search of help go to her Chancel for guidance or teaching. One might think that this would be all well and good for allegiance with Nashia's Familia, but Ulthiel's oldest creations are still her dominant Powers - and in her old billet as a field commander, she created some things that don't fit with her appearance today.

She is average height for an Imperatrix, but would be taller if she could stand without the slight bend in her spine that's been there since time out of mind. She is covered with scars that are a cross between comet trails and writings in the Heavenly Tongue, the first language of Creation. Only her right eye remains intact and she's missing three fingers from her left hand - the result of the long-ago battle with the Seraph in a diamond cage.

Her Estates are:

First Aid: This Noble used to be a Chechen nurse working in the only operating room in the entire country of Chechnya during the wars against the Russians. She saved hundreds of lives by improvising techniques and stealing gear from wherever she could - it allowed her patients to live long enough for the surgeons to get at them and fix the problem. She doesn't look at her brutal former life as a sacrifice, though - it's a duty for her, and she doesn't want a memorial. Memorializing her would only serve as a reminder of war's horrors and the brutality of life in a Third World country fighting against the Russians.

Archery: A 17th-century English nobleman said to be descended from Clarence Birdseye and Robin Hood is the Power of Archery. He was one of the last proponents of archery in any reasonable capacity on the battlefield - but he wasn't very popular, as England in those days fought primarily with gunpowder. But he has a noble bearing that nobody can touch - and arrogance to boot. It's well-deserved, though. An Excrucian once tried to destroy the Moon with a perverted spirit of the Apollo space missions and Archery shot the corrupt spirit through the eye from a hundred million miles away.

Tranquility: Tranquility was invented at some point after Ulthiel recovered from being crippled in the fight with the Seraph and Lucifer's third. She was in a lot of pain and turmoil for a while, but then she realized that she could make it all go away. And unlike the zillions of people who have been told, "JUST RELAX! DO IT!", Ulthiel had the power to make that happen immediately. She quickly realized that this was a useful tool, especially to traumatized entities, and starting passing it around Creation.

The current Power of Tranquility was one of the oldest and wisest Taoist monks from one of the great monasteries in China. He was on the very verge of death, but just as he exhaled his last breath, Ulthiel breathed it back into him fired with the Spiritus Dei. He's not dead or undead - he's been restarted, after a fashion. He regards it all as a very interesting mystery, and believes that understanding it is one of the keys to understanding Tao. He's the least physically active of any of Ulthiel's Nobles, but he's the most frequently sought-out of the lot. He normally likes to relay information in terse Chinese parables and aphorisms and doesn't care if anyone makes "Confucius say" jokes in his presence. After all, he probably knows how to get in contact with Confucius and apologize for ignorant visitors anyway. Tranquility lives in a small simple house next to a river in the shadow of the mountains in his Chancel - it's so simple and rustic that almost nobody can believe that a Noble lives there, but then they discover one of the most intriguing, simple, and complicated Nobles they'll ever meet in there. It's all very much in keeping with the spirit of Tao, which is why Tranquility likes it that way.

Standards: One of the odder Nobles in Familia Ulthiel, Standards is a Heavenly reproduction of a Roman aquila's eagle. It came from a banner fifty feet tall that hung outside Heaven's gate for a thousand years to mark the passing of its guard, and the eagle was chosen as a Noble when the rest of the banner was shredded by forces unknown in a midnight raid. The original meaning of Standards was to represent the standards carried into battle by opposing forces - the Romans were some of the most famous with their caged eagles at the head of legion formations, but over time it's come to represent every other flag or symbol flown to emphasize military or civilian unity. Nobles who keep track of mortal events tend to elbow each other in the ribs when the subject of Standards comes up - they say it's no accident that almost every warmongering empire in European history had an eagle on its flags.

Locus Suleviae

Allied Imperator / Allied Powers

There is only one advisable deviation in the path to the Palace of Shadows, and that only for some. If- and only if- one has the power to pass through the Spirit Gateways of the Realm, one will come to a cross roads deep in the woods. The straight path leads to the road's normal destination; the turn chooses Locus Suleviae.

Suleviae, the Three Lady/ies of Impossible Choice, They Who Take Both Paths, Wyld Imperitor/s of Crossroads, Maps, Spies, Hats, Reprieves & Pilgramages

The gate between Chancel Suleviae and Chancel Nashima appeared without explanation of warning one day many aeons ago. Nashima walked to the Gate and bowed slightly to the three strange-formed many-eyed women on the other side, seeming to expect the appearance in Creation of one of the first Wyld Imperitors.

The Suleviae are simultaniously three women- one black, one asiatic and one a red-haired celt- and one being. They deal with choices, possibilities and boundaries, using their great forsight to turn such points of change and crisis to the favour of our side of the Valde Bellium. Some say she has taken Nashima's old role as direct seer, her many eyes seeing far more than even most Imperitors. Indeed, there have long been rumours among the conspiracy-minded that the Suleviae are Nashira's sight, returned from beyond the known realms.

Her powers have always treated Nashima's powers with great respect, but over the past century, Nashima's newer powers have formed paticularly strong ties with the Suleviaen powers.

The Lady of Quests, Power of Pilgramages: The sole power of Heaven within the Familia, she is by far the oldest by far of the Sulevian powers, having given up her name deep in pre-history. It is her duty to watch over all the paths followed by those seeking something greater than themselves. Rumoured to be the Lady of the Lake, and having taken Arthur back to Chancel Suleviae. Her domain also covers more broadly impossible quests and the goals of all hopeless romantics, giving them aid when she can.

Mister Saturday, Duke of the Crossroads, Baron of Hats: A tall, dashing black man in a funeary tails and tophat, carrying a cane and a sword. The counter-point to the Lady of Pilgrimages, the irreressible Mister Saturday has domain over critical choices, of moments where everything is in question and not merely the outcome but goals and desires are uncertain. Self-aggrandising, witty and mysterious, he follows a personal code with disdain for rules and regulations. When the Estate of Crowns was excruciated, the trickster persuaded his misteress/s to perform the Rite and save what could be saved, and as such, he recieved the much-diminshed estate of hats, representing nothing but the item of cloathing one places on one's head.

John Kay, Lord of Spies: In times past, John Kay was the best, and used to work for the best - British Intelligence. Since his enNoblement, he represents spies as people who make impossible choices between irreconcilable loyalties and who create new directions for their masters. He has lists of every spy and secret agent working for everyone around the world, and is one of the few beings in existence who can make sense of the tangled global intelligence web.

Captain Rupert deLacey, Viscount of Maps: A British explorer and navigator from the early 17th Century, deLacey was a brilliant carteographer and astronomer. His star-charts and maps were in incredibly high demand and in some ways, he was one of the architects of the British Empire. In 1740, he discovered an isle of cyclopian monsters that cost him his life, and his soul was taken and enNobled as the Baron of Maps. His ghost actually now spends much of it's time charting and exploring the nooks and cranies of the World Ash, ever seeking the next horizon.

Juliana Quincey, Reprieves' Regal: Only the third woman to practice law in Texas, July was a strong civil-rights advocate who spent most of career seeking equality of opportunity in the American South. She was propelled into the public eye, however, when she defended a mentally deficient Hispanic man on death row. She succeeded in proving his innocence and was enNobled as the Power of Reprieves. She strongly disliked the previous Power of Executions, but throws all her support behind Kilpatrick's new agenda for executions. She isn't sure, however, how she feels about the Power of Sacrifice. Her domain extends beyond death setances, of course, covering all last-minute rescues and easements.

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