The Hayatiento Aerie is an Egalrin community located in the Redridge Mountains, beneath Fate's Spire, roughly half a day's travel north from the Alexandria Airstation.
Landmarks and Highlights:
- The Tower
The Aerie's western border is marked by a massive stone tower, several stories high... by far the tallest construct around. The Tower has a kind of organic quality to it, as though it grew in place rather than was constructed, which is in fact the case -- it was conjured into existence by a wizard centuries ago.
It bears signs of having once been decorated with stone sigils and markings and sculptures of various sorts, but they have since been destroyed. Brightly colored and patterned banners hang from the tower's many windows, giving it a festive air. The banners displayed on the Tower serve as a kind of bulletin board... recent and upcoming events of general interest are symbolically represented, visible to everyone.
The Tower itself is mostly abandoned and rumored to be haunted, though it has been repeatedly inspected and blessed by clerics of Cernan and Ceiwen, and spending a night there is a common dare for adolescent Egalrin.
- The Table
The Aerie's eastern border is marked by a massive stone table, large enough to seat twenty people comfortably, or twice that many with a little crowding.
Over it hang intricate woven symbols of Cernan and Ceiwan shot through with turquoise, the Stone of the Skies.
Most official Aerie business is conducted here, including Elder's Council meetings.
The Table was carved out of the side of the mountain itself in 1018, when the Aerie was officially announced, as a gift by a Khazad delegation.
Between the Tower and the Table are a couple of dozen smaller stone buildings, several centuries old. They were originally private mansions of wealthy Khazad-Mornir but have been repurposed by the Aerie as public buildings... temples, assembly halls, markets, and so forth. Interspersed among the former mansions are newer, tent-like structures that also serve as shops, schools, open-air markets, performance centers, and other public spaces. They are all marked by colorful sail-cloth doors indicating their purpose.
The various Commons building are easily accessible by fliers. For Walkers, there are rope bridges that connect them all, though not always efficiently.
- Residential Tunnels
Most of the Aerie residents' homes are not visible from the surface, but are instead crafted from caves and tunnels in and underneath the mountainside, also once Khazad dwellings. The residential district runs underneath the Commons and covers a much wider area, though the homes aren't especially close together.
The residential tunnels don't really end, they just keep going further and further into the mountain. This isn't strictly speaking part of the Aerie, but they send patrols through it from time to time to make sure nothing too dangerous is hanging out there.
The region was first settled by Hanut Goldforge, a Khazad-Mornir wizard, in the third century or so. She conjured the Tower, and a Khazad-Mornir community arose naturally around it, known informally as "Goldforge's Tower."
Goldforge formed an alliance with the Khazad-Ur during the years leading up to War of the Three Anvils, and with her assistance the Khazad-Ur took over the city. Goldforge was not heard from after the War, and the Khazad expunged her name and lineage, so not much is known about her.
The Khazad-Ur of Goldforge's Tower fought an ongoing series of battles with the Redridge Egalrin for centuries before finally being chased out. The city then served as an informal gathering-place for the Egalrin for over a century before being formally opened as an Aerie in 1018, as part of an attempt to make Alexandria more welcoming to Egalrin.
That attempt has been mostly successful; the Aerie is now closely associated with the City of Alexandria for diplomatic, trade, and security purposes, although it is physically separated and mostly manages its own affairs. That said, it is not a popular tourist attraction. Many City residents don't even know it exists, and many Egalrin prefer it that way. Non-Egalrin are welcome to visit, and even to live there, but their presence is not actively encouraged.
The Aerie is mostly self-governing, as Egalrin culture encourages its members to do what needs doing and to coordinate with each other locally, and relies more on close-knit community bonds than on formal laws and policies. Where conflict does arise, they tend to rely on an informal hierarchy based on matriarchy, age, and lineage to resolve competing claims. It's pretty close to a functioning anarchy.
What formal governance _is_ required is provided by a Council of Elders, which is presided over by a Speaker. The Council primarily manages the Aerie's diplomatic relations with Alexandria, and they mostly have other day jobs.
The Aerie operates under a communal economy, where basic needs -- housing, food, health care, etc. -- are provided to all residents, who are in turn expected to support the Aerie before they seek to accumulate personal wealth. "To each according to their needs, from each according to their ability."
More elective purchases, luxuries, etc., are also available and operate on a more typical market basis... though for most things, it's easier to go to Alexandria. While residents are expected to contribute to the Aerie's needs, there is no shame in accumulating personal resources once that responsibility is taken care of.
On a larger scale, the Aerie trades with Alexandria and Dun Mordren for the needs of the community as a whole. Primarily its exports are textiles and the construction and repair of intricate mechanical devices. There's an increasing amount of trade between the Aerie and the Artificer's Guild in the latter. Flight-capable Egalrin are also increasingly active in scouting and cartography, as their wings give them a great advantage in that area.
- Aodhakne - Perches on the Council, makes paper.
- Kanitte - Aodhakne's mother, feather stylist.
- Joiya - Healer (mundane, not magical)
- Summer Solstice (Firetide 21) At dawn on the Summer Solstice, the shadow of Fate's Spire touches the Tower; and at sunset the Table. There are usually a variety of festive events occurring throughout the day.
- High Hunt (Rhaltaas 31) - Celebrated by druids and followers of Dana the Earth Mother and Gilead the Hunter, known among the Egalrin as Ceiwen and Cernan.