Solana

Kingdom of Illumination

Solana

Legends speak of blessed pilgrims from a distant land, drawn to Rathe by the will of Sol.
Upon sacred ground, they built Solana, a shining kingdom that would stand eternal against the Shadow.

The city has stood tall for thousands of years, thriving under the guidance of devout scholars and wizards of light.
Knights and templars patrol its walls, defending it from those who would trespass against its divine purpose.

One day, the light of Sol will radiate throughout the land, and bring its blessings to all of humanity.

A Radiant Kingdom

At the centre of Rathe lies Solana, a radiant beacon of hope in a world on the brink of chaos. Beyond its grand gates is a beautiful city of marble and stone, beloved to all the faithful and righteous people that call it home.

Once a small township, the wisdom of Sol has guided the city throughout the ages. Now a mighty kingdom, the most powerful in the land, its people seek to spread the glory and teachings of Sol throughout Rathe, and unite humanity under a single banner.

Beyond the city is darkness; crime, corruption, greed, and all manner of evil lie beyond the golden gates. Worst of all, a jungle of monsters and beasts lie to the west, desecrating the land with their putrid existence. It seems as if everywhere one looks, there is nothing but corruption and despair; a dark stain on the hearts of man that spreads like poison.

But there is still hope; hope in the Solanians, hope for a future of redemption and salvation.

The Golden City

At the centre of Rathe stands a magnificent city, towering over the golden fields that surround it. Its shining walls reflect the light of the sun, gleaming brightly, while knights clad in silver and gold patrol its borders. In the fields beyond, villages lie tucked amongst the fertile plains, safe under the shelter of their great protector. This is the kingdom of Solana, a beacon of hope amongst the darkness of the world.

Those that pass through its grand gates discover an extraordinary city, built to exemplify the divine majesty of Sol. From wall to shining wall, its stone streets are lined with cheerful homes and vaulted rooftops, colourful banners swaying in the gentle breeze. At the heart of the city, a massive series of towers rise above the streets below - the magnificent Solarium, prize jewel of Solana, beloved to all who call the city home.

The city’s elegance and symmetry are apparent to all who enter. Beyond its eight imposing gates lie eight city sectors, with eight grand walkways leading through the city to the Amphitheatre at its very core. It was built in accordance with Sol’s divine will, imbued with magical wards to protect all who call it home.

The Solarium

At the heart of the city lies the Solarium, a massive complex of shining towers that rise above the streets of Solana. Constructed long ago from the finest materials, it stands eternal, a timeless reminder of Sol’s glory. Cast in white and gold, it remains visible from every corner of the city, and can be seen from far beyond the golden fields. Every street leads to the Solarium, and to the massive Amphitheatre at its core; a space for all Solanians to gather to hear the word of Sol. Many of those who travel to Solana do so in hopes of seeing the Solarium and witnessing its grandeur for themselves.

Between the Solarium and the rest of the city, a wide spread of gardens encircle the radiant towers in a blanket of vibrant colours. The people of Solana frequently visit the gardens, walking amongst the trees and enjoying the many plants that grow along its borders. From grand, tall trees of verdant green, to striking, vibrant purple flowers, the gardens are a burst of colour against the brilliant, shining white of the Solarium. Almost any plant in Rathe can be found within Solana’s gardens, including restorative herbs and ingredients for spellwork, carefully cultivated by the Light of Sol.

The Amphitheatre

Down the length of the Great Hall, passing beneath vaulted arches and entering through a great, open door, one can access the entrance of the Amphitheatre, the shining jewel of Solana. Located at the heart of the Solarium, it can house all of Solana’s citizens, a massive structure of pale marble and shining stone. Even standing at the highest level of the Amphitheatre, one can still clearly hear the words spoken at its ground floor. Through the magic of Sol, the Grand Magister can address his people, heard clearly by all who gather. At noon, when the sun is at its apex, it floods the Amphitheatre with light, rising high above the heads of those who have gathered within its walls.

The Signarus

Hidden beneath the earth is a massive vault, guarded by both physical defenses and powerful wards. Throughout history, many ancient artefacts have surfaced, and since the time of the first Grand Magister, Solana has been retrieving these items and keeping them safe from those who might use them for nefarious purposes. The Signarus remains a well-guarded secret, known only to the highest-ranking members of the Light of Sol.

Library of Illumination

Many have travelled to Solana for the sole purpose of seeing the Library of Illumination, a vast library located at the base of the Solarium. A grand sight, the floor is constructed from lustrous marble, with floor-to-ceiling shelves containing thousands of tomes and volumes, as well as bound parchments authored by the scholars of Solana. Great mosaics decorate the floors, depicting the history of Solana and its people. Massive statues stand in a semi-circle at the centre of the main foyer, depicting the five Grand Magisters in ivory and gold, their impassive masks silently watching the scholars working below.

Any Solanian can enter and read the tomes found within the library, which include Solanian history, and information on the various districts of Solana. It also houses public records, such as family trees or details on significant individuals. Great tables line the hallways of the Library of Illumination, with spaces for any visitors to read and study. Travellers visiting Solana from beyond the city are also welcome to spend time here. The lower levels of the library, however, are located beneath the earth, and are only available to members of the Light of Sol.

Order of the Light

The Light is the lifeblood of Solana, a radiant energy borne of Sol. It is knowledge, wisdom and integrity; it is valour and loyalty. The Light guided Solana’s founders to the shores of Rathe, it showed them where to build their home; it is what protects the city from the shadows. Solana is blessed by the splendour of Sol, a radiant figure that has guided Solana to become the shining example for all of Rathe to follow.

The Order of the Light was borne of these ancestors, noble men and women who seek to spread Sol’s blessings and watch over the people of Solana. The Light of Sol is comprised of scholars, those born with a connection to light magic, studying spells in order to help their fellow man. The Hand of Sol are Solana’s warriors, dedicated to protecting and watching over their people.

The Light of Sol

There are over thirty thousand scholars in the Light of Sol. Trained in light magic, they study aether and the doctrine of Sol in order to receive the blessings of the Light. Scholars are the lifeline of the kingdom, providing a variety of services to their people. Many scholars work within the Library of Illumination, recording and preserving information for future generations. Working in the library is considered a great honour, as their work serves to preserve the history and very soul of Solana. Some scholars will go on to contribute their own works to the library, expanding a vast collection of original manuscripts. Other scholars may journey outside the city walls, working alongside knights from the Hand of Sol, and joining the parties in their expeditions and patrols.

Some scholars help to maintain sigils and protective wards around the city; some act as healers within the community, aiding the sick and injured; others work as teachers, instructing both seekers and acolytes within the Light of Sol, and trainees in the Hand of Sol. The role of academic teaching for the modicus, the trade and craft professions of Solana, generally falls to acolytes.

The Light of Sol also includes Chancellors and Archons, who represent the myriad of districts and sectors throughout Solana. While all members of the Light of Sol are beloved to their city, Archons are incredibly dear to their people, each representing a single district within Solana. Archons have a unique connection to the people that they represent and are well-loved by their charges. Solanians see their Archon not only as a messenger of Sol, but as a guardian to watch over them and guide them through their everyday lives. In the event that an Archon is chosen to become a Magister, the celebrations within their district can last for days at a time.

Magisters are the guiding light of Solana, the champions specially chosen to execute the will of Sol. There are eight Magisters, each representing one section of the city. Their ornate masks mark them as messengers of Sol, who work to deliver the word of Sol to the city as important members of Solana’s Grand Council.

Grand Magisters

The Grand Magister is an extraordinary individual chosen by Sol to lead the Grand Council and guide the people of Solana. They serve as an exemplar not only for their own people, but for all of Rathe, the embodiment of Sol made manifest in physical form. It is their role to ensure the well-being of Solana through Sol’s blessings, guiding their people along the path to illumination and a brighter future. The Grand Magister acts as the outstretched hands of Sol, a custodian of Solana in the name of the Light. They are not only a leader to their people, but their caretaker, their herald, and their mentor.

There have been five Grand Magisters throughout the history of Solana. Each is given a title that represents their vision for the people of Solana. The first Grand Magister, the Devout, established the Grand Council, and helped to grow the Light of Sol. The second, the Adamant, defended Solana from vile invaders. The third, the Radiant, established a reign of growth and prosperity for their people. The fourth, the Beloved, was known for their kindness and compassion, working to guide all of Rathe into the Light. Finally, the fifth and current Grand Magister, known as the Steadfast, have shown themselves to be wise and firm. Five great statues stand within the Library of Illumination, each one depicting one of the Grand Magisters.

The Grand Council

The Grand Council is a divine assembly which represents the pinnacle of human existence, its members hand-selected by Sol from amongst the Light and Hand of Sol. Paragons of virtue, they embody Solana’s divine purpose, to elevate humanity above the reach of the shadows. The members of the Grand Council serve not only to lead Solana, but to inspire the Children of the Light in their journey toward illumination, and seek to strengthen their relationship with Sol. The Grand Council is led by the Grand Magister, comprised from all eight Magisters, and a selection of Archons and templars.

All matters of state pass into the hands of the Grand Council, who ensure the continued happiness and wellbeing of their people, and of Solana as a whole. Gathering in the inner sanctum that floats above the Amphitheatre, the Grand Council makes decisions on behalf of Solana.

Hand of Sol

The Hand of Sol is Solana’s order of warriors, who defend the city from outside threats. While all knights of the Hand of Sol call Solana home, they frequently travel outside the city walls; scouting for threats, collecting information, and watching over the settlements beyond Solana. The Hand of Sol is comprised of five different ranks: trainee, squire, knight, lieutenant, and templar.

The Hand of Sol travels in parties, which range from smaller parties of eight, to the largest war brigades with sixty-four members. However, most parties travel with between ten and fourteen members. Each party of knights is led by a templar and lieutenant and accompanied by a scholar from the Light of Sol. Squires, during their training, will join smaller parties of eight to ten. These parties travel the fields outside of Solana, checking on outlying villages and patrolling the golden fields beyond the city walls.

Knights in the Hand of Sol commonly prefer armour with a mixture of plates and chainmail, providing a strong defense while still allowing a fair amount of mobility. While knights typically wear simpler armour, templars and lieutenants wear armour with more ornate designs, with engraving and gold embellishments to show their dedication to Sol. Parties travelling outside the walls commonly bear standards, proudly displaying their connection to Solana. All knights in the Hand of Sol take great pride in their role, and dedicate themselves fully to serving their people, their city, and the glory of Sol.

Templars

Among the Hand of Sol, none are more exceptional than the templars, who are hand-chosen by Magisters to serve a higher purpose. Once anointed, they are gifted a new suit of armour and a unique mask, to show their dedication to the glory of Sol. Every knight in the Hand of Sol aspires to one day become a templar and make their people proud.

Templars serve not only as leaders, but as an example for all of Solana to follow. They guide their parties to glory, watching over the warriors in their charge, and working to protect their home and their people.

Aside from their duties within the Hand of Sol, a number of older templars also serve Solana within the Grand Council, helping the Grand Magister to guide their people.

The Awakening

When a child of Solana turns eight years old, an Archon will come to lead them to a room within the Solarium, in order to conduct the Awakening ceremony. This sacred space is filled with items, from ancient tomes to swords and shields, smithing hammers to aprons and looms; every trade and profession in Solana is represented within. Once the ceremony begins, one of the items within the room will resonate with Sol’s light and begin to glow, revealing the child’s divine purpose. Many families within Solana have passed down their trades through the generation, honing their craft through Sol’s divine guidance.

Solstice of Laurels

A ceremony for the Hand of Sol, taking place once a year. During the Solstice, older squires are promoted to full knights, while others are promoted to higher roles within the Hand of Sol. The Solstice begins with a great procession of knights, making their way from the outer walls of Solana to the Solarium, where the ceremony takes place.

It is common for Solana to receive visitors in the days leading up to the Solstice, who travel from far and wide to witness the ceremony. Whether Solanian or visitor, all marvel at the sight of noble knights marching, resplendent in ceremonial armour.