Location Priskil's Spire

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

Priskil's Spire

Postby Neologism on June 14th, 2019, 11:09 pm

Priskil's Spire
ImagePriskil's Spire is a tall granite tower, located in the University Quarter, built to honor the fair Goddess Priskil. In actual fact, it is a large, cavernous dovecote, intricately carved and a beautiful sight of the city. For safety, doves do not fly past dusk, which is when Farren Loftus lights candles, protected by glass coverings against wind and birds, on hundreds of little pedestals all up and down the tower. It is a common sight to see the tower to light up at night with a brilliant glow, letting all of Zeltiva know of Priskil. The candles are allowed to run until they are out, approximately one hour. Hundreds of doves are trained within its walls to carry and return messages across the city, in a complex network that has taken years to build up. The tower is more of a shrine than a temple, offering a function which benefits the Zeltivan people. Still, it is run by a strong devotee of the Goddess, who offers the dovecote as a comforting atmosphere for prayer to Priskil to take place.

Zeltiva is a large city, and it is sometimes more convenient to send written messages than walk to every location. Most of the messages carried are for political purposes, and the doves are worked hard in Zeltiva, where various factions squabble and contend for political control, teetering with precarious steps. Still, the dovecote is also open to civilians as well. Merchants and University scholars, among others pay a small donation to have a dove carry a message. Messages can go anywhere in the city, and occasionally catch a ship that has not yet left Mathew’s Bay, or one that is just entering. It is not just an internal device however, some of the most experienced doves, kept in the top of the spire, are used to send messages to a few other Syliran cities, which are Syliras, Nyka, and Mura. However, they are not at a level to transport messages beyond the region yet.

Farren Loftus
ImageRace: Human
Date of Birth: Winter, 432AV
Place of Birth: Alvadas
Title: Head Birdkeeper at Priskil’s Spire
Skills: Birdkeeping (65), Falconry (55), Candlemaking (50), Meditation (45), Philosophy (40), Teaching (30)
Language: Common (Fluent), Kontinese (Poor), Tukant (Poor)
Concept: It seems, that Farren has been old since anyone could remember. Wrinkled and tanned with time, Farren always has a grin on his face. Deeply lost in his work and faith, he can seem "up in the clouds" to outsiders, though his heart is warm, and his laugh infectious. When Zeltiva as a city is going through its roughest times, many have been known to come to the Dovecote to hear Farren hum and have an uplifting conversation with him. To those he befriends, he will tell of his birth in the Sailor’s Quarter, and his childhood caring for his sick mother. Although Zeltiva is a strongly literate city, he had never learned how to read, having not gotten a chance to learn from his mother, nor to attend classes at the University. He had never expected much to come from his life, but had thought once his mother died, he would die too. When the day of her passing came, he found himself looking forward to the future. He had always loved his mother, but he had never been independent until his late twenties. He was granted free literacy lessons at the University and begun searching for a job to support himself. Eventually he found himself taking up an apprenticeship at the city’s dovecote, which was not previously devoted to Priskil. He takes pride in his work and cares for the doves greatly.

During his time learning to care for the doves, Farren learned of a depressing nature of the tower. Along with coordinating messages and caring for the animals, the Spire’s workers had to keep people out of the Spire, especially those in depression. As the tallest building in Zeltiva that one could reasonably access, it became a known spot for suicide attempts. Still, one would sneak up on occasion, and the Envoyers would be called. As a young man, in his early thirties, he found one of these attempters one even as he was closing up the tower. He was a prospective Wave Guard trainee, although had held off his love for the sea after having knocked up a girl he was in love with. The young father wanted to create a more stable atmosphere for his child, and so took a job with the Shipyard. Not long after the child was born, the young couple had another baby due. Although he loved the second child no less, he was despaired to find this child was also not his, and that his wife had had an affair. Now the young father’s wife was gone, having died in the birth of his second child, an Akalak. Still, this was not what had drove him to the Spire, as he had raised the young Akalak as best he could in the time he had him. A few short years later the Akalak father returned to Zeltiva and discovered his child, taking the young boy back to Riverfall with him. Having been cheated on twice, lost the love of his life, and then one that he considered a child, the young man thought that he had nothing to live for, but Farren was able to convince him otherwise. He talked the suicidal man down from the tower and then showed him how to feed the doves, all the while pulling stories of his remaining child and hope that his Akalak son would grow up well among his people. Farren stayed up all night with the man, until sunrise came and the young man spoke of needed to attend work, which assured Farren that he would continue on for his remaining child. To this day, Farren keeps in touch with this man, who has proved to be an excellent Shipwright, and ever thankful to Farren for his life. Recognizing this dedication, Priskil visited him for the first time to bless him, and to encourage him to continue his work. To this day, he quotes her as the reason the Spire is now named after her. According to Farren, her words were: “If a beautiful tower such as this can be a warden of pain and misery, can it not also be a provider of hope and light? Even the smallest actions count. This world needs more souls like you, Farren.”

So, when the previous caretaker passed into old age and retired his position to Farren, the new head caretaker was quick to change the meaning of the temple. He began allowing people into the Spire and catering to civilians. Having sadly remembered the window from where each attempt was made, he lit a candle in remembrance. In time the other caretakers begun thinking it tradition and after closing the birds up each night, they all lit candles on each platform and each window. What had started out as a sad memorial for a few began to light up the Spire for the whole of Zeltiva. With the shifting of this tradition, the meaning also shifted. When asked Farren answers honestly why he started lighting candles, but says it is now a signal of hope and that darkness will never defeat the light that Zeltiva brings to the world. Touched by this symbol, Priskil came to him to bless him again for his perseverance and his dedication to providing hope for others throughout his life. He talks as if it was the greatest honor in his life to meet the fair lady, and speaks humbly of his devotion to her. In time he was able to rename the Spire after her, and began offering a place of prayer to Zeltivans to come to.
Gnosis: Luminance 2

ImageRace: Benshira
Date of Birth: 491AV, season unknown
Place of Birth: Unknown
Title: Groundskeeper of Priskil’s Spire
Skills: Acting (65), Impersonation (55), Disguise (45), Storytelling (30), Rhetoric (25), Juggling (15), Organization (10)
Language: Common (Fluent), Shiber (Fluent), Vani (Basic)
Concept: Bur is a silent woman, who speaks very little and asks even less. No one is quite sure when she showed up or where she came from, but Farren often states she appeared in Summer of 516AV. The first thing one notice about her is her blindness. It is clear she was not born this way, as she wears a blindfold across her eyes whenever she must, but can occasional be sighted around Priskil’s Spire with no covering over her eyes, revealing the deep scarring where eyes once were. Many assume she is Benshira, and her fluent grasp of the language confirms that, but she does not share her history with anyone for confirmation.

Still, having worked in Priskil’s Spire for nearly three years, she has been able to feel her way around her necessary duties. She empties the old candles each morning, and replaces them with new ones to be lit. She sweeps and scrubs the floors in the lobby of bird droppings, and removes trash from the establishment. Otherwise Bur is known to rest in the windows of the upper floors, enjoying the sun on her face and the wind in her hair, although she cannot see at the sight below her. Many have wondered if she is going to jump, but Farren is quick to assure any who ask that she is safe.

For those who dare approach her, mostly children, she proves to be just as good a storyteller as Farren, although she prefers to tell things of the fictional variety. She winds long fictional tales of brave people and romantic endings for the children, while weaving short and harsh tragedies for adults. She often remarks that she missed going to the Lightshow Theater before she lost her sight, but no longer wishes to attend if she cannot see the actors. It is clear that whatever reason she is here, it is with Farren’s grace, and so out of respect for the old man, and perhaps discomfort with her disability, many leave her alone.

Birds can carry a small 3” long by 1” diameter scroll.

⥼ Zeltiva
    University Quarter: 2 CM
    Sailor’s Quarter: 3 CM
    Denvali Quarter: 4 CM
    Ancient Quarter: 4 CM
    Mathew’s Bay: 5 SM
⥼ Sylira
    Syliras: 5 GM
    Nyka: 10 GM
    Mura: 15 GM

Both scribes and birdkeepers are required to help clean the Spire. Although no employees are required to be devoted to Priskil, or to take part in the candle-lighting, but they are always made aware (if they did not already know) that the Spire also serves as a Shrine as well.

⥼ Birdkeeper: A small group of birdkeepers is hired by the Spire in order to train, care for, and house the birds. One is expected to know how to handle small birds, although Farren is happy to help one brush up on their skills as needed. On rare occasions, Birdkeepers are sent out into the city to help trapped or injured doves return safely to the dovecote, where they are nursed back to health or humanely put down as necessary. Base pay is 5 gm/day, must possess the Birdkeeping skill.
⥼ Scribe: The Spire employs no more than two or three scribes at a time, and these workers have a simple but important job. They are there to make the process as smooth and simple as possible, writing down the messages (if they are not already provided and fit the dimensions), and ensuring that scrolls get packed and sealed properly for carry by the doves. Base pay is 3 gm/day, must possess the Writing skill.

Original location credit goes to Paragon.

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