Tearing itself through the wild and treacherous Ninth World jungle of Xenthropa, the expansive river of Xorrespaar acts as a barrier between the kingdoms of the Twisted Emperors of the Savage Steel and New Ascentia.
At its widest, the river measures nearly half-a-mile wide where the Nautican City of Byaladune lies.
Byaladune is a metropolis built upon several towering rocks and supported by energy poles that create a multitude of rectangle-shaped force fields to protect itself from its quarreling neighbors.
Although a sufficient defense, the marine city rarely activates the ancient numenera poles, instead, the denizens rely on the city’s strangest and most lethal wonder, sky-high dual mirror walls which surround the city’s eastern and western coasts.
The Walls of Glass act not only as a defensive barrier, but a deceptive and fatal one for those who are unfamiliar with the strange, ancient reflecting spectacles.
One traveler who fell for the deception was Io-Roccan, an Aoian nano-scholar hired by nobles of Southern Iscobal to explore the tales of Byaladune.
According to Io-Roccan’s Qixphen energy chronicler, the nano had been sailing the Xorrespaar for two days when he came upon his much sought after query. Byaladune seemed to stretch out for miles from east to west, with its towering rock, metal palaces numbering in the dozens.
As an excited Io-Roccan began to quicken the pace of his vibeplex gravity resistor skiff, he began to hear what he described as “something akin to laughter,” most alarming was another craft that had somehow eluded his attention until now.
To his starboard, the nano could clearly see someone on a vibeplex much like his own on a similar path and speed; a mist had enveloped parts of the river, so Io-Roccan was unable to see many details of the craft and its pilot until much too late.
As the “laughter” grew louder and the stranger’s vibeplex grew closer, Io-Roccan panicked and sped his vibeplex to its utmost capability away from Byaladune and sought the shore; to his horror the stranger seemed to change course as well… this time on a direct head-on collision path.
Sometime later, a patrolling Byaladune Pelegren found the remains of Io-Roccan’s vibeplex and the nano’s still-intact Qixphen.
The Pelegren then gently steered his own water vehicle forward until his craft seemingly stopped moving forward and his reflection was at an arms-length away.
He then took out a Kolast and pressed a button on the circular instrument emitting a purple light upon the glass wall.
There the Pelegren could see Io-Roccan, trapped in the wall among an endless amount of humanoids…and other creatures.
Although Byaladune sits in the center of a menacing environment, the city has had very little extraneous disturbances from its immediate neighbors; explorers from far off lands tend to be the most disruptive, but are usually dealt with expediently, most of the time by their lack of knowledge and naivety in all things surrounding Byaladune.
What concerns the city is leadership; a subject matter that has always been the focal point of many of its Daigreyas forums.
The people of Byaladune are wealthy due to the influx of trade from a very small clientele, but a trusted one and rich one at that.
Since its foundation, the Nautican city has relied on the Gaudreth, its “savior and leader” (an unreliable translation of the name), to steer it away from poverty and keep the status-quo.
Recently, the Gaudreth met an untimely death as one of Byaladune’s clients, a single-eyed winged automaton humanoid, transported himself into the Gaudreth’s chamber and teleported Byaladune’s leader to “unknown destinations” for a wrong only known to the perpetrator and the victim.
After a day of remembrance and glass-burial rights, the people turned their attention to the most immediate and obvious of concerns, namely who will yield the Cyphorashpere lance and be the next Gaudreth.
Three candidates have risen to the occasion; the army’s half-glass and half-human general Vagnus Glass-Storm, Byaladune’s favored baroness Arc’Arkania and a young Steadfast female human, Vestra.
Although Glass-Storm and Arc’Arkania were expected to enter the race of Gaudreth, Vestra’s bid is a strange and mysterious one since she does not hail from Byaladune, she is fairly young and yet commands respect from a growing number of Nauticans.
In the center of the Nauticans’ growing appreciation is Vestra’s plan to use the Walls of Glass as another form of income for all.
The city has been beseeched by countless communication from various people of different lands, imploring them to find a way to release a loved-one or an adventurer trapped in Byaladune’s glass walls in exchange for riches.
Vestra claims that she has found a way to enter the weird and unnatural world of the Walls of Glass and safely rescue people; a notion that a few in the city find preposterous, dangerous and blasphemous.
Glass-Storm and Arc-Arkania have also begun hearing troubling rumors of Vestra being untruthful of her true origins and her puzzling aversion to her own reflection.