Varis: The War of the Brand
Caelum, the Heaven Stair
On the largest island in the Reaper’s Watch lies the now peninsular capital of Caelum, the Heaven Stair; a bustling population and trade center for the scattered islands and the sacred heart of the Empire of Lumia.
In the center of the city is the Great Temple, the summit of the Renewers’ worship of the pantheon of Gods and a beacon of hope to the world. The temple is carved out of blessed white marble hundreds of feet high, multi-storied and winding with a series of balconies and an open ceiling that faces the heavens. Astride the temple is an insurmountably high statue of a kneeling angel whose arms are outstretched and palms open towards the sky in prayer. Its wings curve around to wrap the side of the building in its protection. Atop the statue’s praying hands is the throne of the Empress Teysa, savior of the Renewers and Prophet of the Renewal. The statue was erected to stand as monument to her purity, a tribute to the Gods and inspiration to their ideals. It can be seen reaching towards the sky from as far as Astaria to the north and Aeronwyn to the South.
Life is rather ordinary and mundane for its citizens, but the city itself follows the advancements of other civilizations and is sufficiently modern to sustain its peoples. It is mainly populated by humans, although there are some dwarves and half breed races. The priestess and empress Teysa rules over her empire of devoted disciples with an iron fist. Along side the Great Temple lies a large stone slab inscribed with a series of strict commandments that her peoples are to follow in order to maintain their spiritual and physical purity and the blessings of the Gods. Those within Lumia are to be free of sin and given to a life of piety, peace, and servitude to the divine. Life and civilization continues much as it does outside of her realm, however the people are very strict on following their system of laws and quite xenophobic and wary of other cultures. The empress is ever vigilant in her protection over her devoted and her inquisitors are constant sentinels, enforcing her standards of moral purity on the streets and wherever necessary.
Crime is very rare within Lumia, and usually consists of two categories: transgressions and sins. Those who have made understandable and forgivable mistakes, depending on the severity of the crime, will be allowed to repent by committing appreciable atonement in the form of tribute to the gods, or by repaying their debt to society in years of indentured servitude. Those who have turned to the corrupt ways of the heretics and whose sins are beyond salvation are taken to the militant prison island of Woegard and are often executed or serve a life sentence as outcasts from the Gods’ favor. Little examples need be made by the Empress herself, as there are many tales of Inquisitors snatching sinners from the streets, their crimes having been divined by her, many of which never return.