The Places of Pyre: The Shaman’s District

Posted by on July 17, 2012

This is part of my “Pyre” world.

The Shamans’ District

Common Enemies: Ghosts, Doms, Oriforged Constructs, and Chewers

Of course, the shaman were the holiest of people in Pyre. Older shamans lived in opulent apartments, but most lived relatively ascetic lives.

They could mount the best defenses, of course, so their district is now a complex series of bunkers, defensive trenches, temporary fortifications, and buried scrolls. Adventurers must face co-ordinated attacks from well-designed automated defenses, and for little reward except that found in the Crystal Academy.

The Crystal Academy

Crystal Academy Tower Level (Shaman's District)

Crystal Academy Tower Level (Shaman’s District)

This is where all young shamans train, and receive their first marks. It is made of five crystalline towers in a “Y” shape, the center taller than the others.

Children were usually brought in to the academy at the age of six, after several senior shamans applied a large set of rules and standards. The program mostly looked for very healthy and obedient children. Children entering the academy went through a ritual that turns them into acolytes; this created a triangular tattoo on the back of their right hands.

Acolytes actually did comparatively little magic; they mostly studied and worked as servants for the rest of the shamans in the Academy. Once a child reached adolescence (at about 13 years of age), he or she went through a ritual to become an Attendant, who could perform minor rituals and generally assist with full shamanic duties. The Attendant ritual added a secondary triangular tattoo around the Acolyte triangle. At the age of about 17, Attendants went through a rigorous ritual to become full shamans; this added a third triangle.
Shaman magic worked differently for men than for women, so boys were trained by male shamans and girls by women.

Entering the Crystal Academy, one must pass through a hallway. Human statues spit streams of acid above one’s head, into basins opposite. If unexpected people enter, the statues will turn and spit acid at them. Levers at the other end of the hallway switch off the statues.

The Academy’s towers are made up of many circular levels.

The Grand Auditorium

Near the Academy lies the Grand Auditorium, where shamans would demonstrate their skills in construction. Many constructs were first demonstrated here. Its large, half-dome shape is now cracked and partly fallen.

Beneath the auditorium is a warren of dressing rooms and cages for animals and constructs that would be lifted onto the stage through trap doors. These trap doors are now weak, of course, so any travel across the auditorium stage is dangerous. Worse, giant centipedes have built a nest beneath the stage.

Behind the Auditorium (across from the Academy) are many dead formal gardens. The spirits of the garden may be found here, unhappy at the death of their beautiful patron trees.

Shadow Town

Before a construct could be presented at the Grand Auditorium, it had to be tested, as were many rituals created by the highest orders of shamans over the centuries. So, the Unmentionables toiled for years to build Shadown Town, an empty neighborhood of streets and buildings. It was a perfect place to unleash a newly built ritual.

Many younger shamans fled here during the last desperate days of Twilight, so the streets are full of unsprung traps and skeletons.

The Stone Pits

The rituals of the shamans required huge supplies of raw materials; they transmuted tons of stone and metal every day. These pits and mounds were created to house these raw materials. Despite the popular name of this place—the Stone Pits—the pits contain mounds of various precious and common metals as well as several kinds of stone.

They are now best avoided; mountains of ore and unstable rocks make for terrible footing. Moreover, a colony of rust beetles has taken up residence in the huge pile of iron.

The Journeymen’s Halls

Many shamans were assigned to roam the world, performing rituals for the public good. These journeymen (despite the name, many were female) often returned to Pyre for short periods, and they were housed in large halls built just for them.

The main floor was a public gathering place, full of tables and chairs (and, sometimes, a stage), where a plate of food and a sympathetic ear could always be found. Upstairs, the journeymen stayed in comfortable apartments, never opulent but always tasteful and relaxing.

Of course, these are all ruins now. However, many journeymen left personal belongings here in the rush to defend Pyre, so a curious person could find crystals and other personal effects that could go a long way towards explaining the mysteries of Pyre.

A few of the larger apartments were meant for visiting delegations, and these each held a yard-square block Projector.

The Animal Pens

The Academy required a lot of food. Animals were kept in pens in the southwest of the district, the smelliest ones near the Merchants’ District.

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