Personal tools


From Mizahar Lore

Jump to: navigation, search
NotabilityTrade and Educational Center
LeaderLord of Council Lile Frithisen
LanguagesCommon, Fratava
ImportsFood, Metals
ExportsShips and Shipping Supplies, Timber, Academic Texts and Books

Zeltiva is a maritime city on the eastern coast of Mizahar, known primarily as one of the last remaining fossils of the Pre-Valterrian Alahean Empire. It is a place of seafaring and study, its shipyard has built the fastest and most seaworthy vessels in the world, and its university boasts the largest library in Mizahar. Although the city was once the center of Alahean commerce, post-Valterrian it has adapted to survive without the resources afforded to it by old colonies. Due to its reliance on trade, famine is common and the city’s population remains small as a result. Thus the city creates a unique atmosphere where two worlds collide: The wealthy elite whose money is old and focus is on preserving knowledge and furthering education, and the hard-working class of sailors who keep the city’s resources afloat and serve as an impressive naval-based military force.

Zeltiva is currently divided into four quarters. Although there need not always be four quarters and there hasn't always been, the borders of these neighborhoods vastly rely on the culture of the people who reside there, rather than land markers. Before the Djed Storm of 512, Zeltiva only had three quarters, but when refugees from Denval flooded in after the demise of their city, Zeltiva opened its arms to make a home for them as well.

Each quarter is a separate community. The University Quarter is known as the heart of the city, where all the other quarters can mingle and mix and where the city’s government is found. The Ancient Quarter is home to the old families and new merchant money that have worked to separate themselves from commoners. The Sailor’s Quarter is home to most of the city’s hardworking population and is the seat of the Sailor’s Guild that keeps the city afloat. The newly adopted Denvali Quarter is unlike any other Zeltivan Quarter because all of its denizens yield from the lost city of Denval preserving a society that is unique to them within the city of Zeltiva.


City Overview

Zeltiva is a city of about 20,000 inhabitants, making it one of the larger cities in Mizahar. Most all of its residents are human, with a small percentage being drawn from nearly all the other races in Mizahar, without any one predominating. It exists within a curious combination of seafaring and study. Walking through Zeltiva's streets, you would be just as likely to see a sailor, as you would a professor.

Zeltiva is a wealthy, but precariously balanced city. Although Zeltiva's marine power is unmatched, their army is nonexistent, and they rely almost entirely on the city's protected location for defense. Despite the city's prominence, Zeltiva is essentially incapable of projecting any real power inland, and what territory beyond the mountains it once had has long since been appropriated by Lisnar and Sunberth.

On paper, the city is governed by a Lord of Council, who is elected by all adult citizens and serves a six-year term. In practice, however, this role is almost ceremonial, as nearly all power in Zeltiva is exercised by two groups that exist in an uneasy alliance: the three-member Administrative Committee of the Sailors' Guild, and the seven-member Board of Regents of the University of Zeltiva. The city's population is largely divided into mariners and academics.

Because the city contains almost no arable land, food shortages are common. Nearly all staples except fish and kelp must be imported, generally from Syliras, with whom Zeltiva has a cold, but generally stable relationship. The markets, which are often rationed, are essentially the only way to obtain food; Zeltiva has no public restaurants. It does have a smattering of taverns, but the only drinks available in them are water and a local concoction called kelp beer, the most generous description of which by a non-Zeltivan is that it is "an acquired taste."

Geography and Climate

Zeltiva in Summer.

The terrain in Zeltiva ranges from the high Zastoska Mountains that rings the city proper, to almost ten miles of the narrow coastal plain. The high Zastoska Mountains include some of the most rugged terrains in Sylira. They average more than 6,000 feet in elevation and are largely made up of limestone, granite, and marble. Mathew’s Bay itself is surrounded by mountains up to 3,000 feet high, which plummet almost vertically into the sea. In the innermost part of Mathew’s Bay, to the west, there is a narrow strip of relatively even coastal plains where Zeltiva has been built. The portion of Mathews Bay that abuts Zeltiva's eastern end is sheltered from the waves and forms the best harbor in Mizahar. All incoming ships are funneled towards the port by the bay and mountains, reducing the chances of piracy in and around Zeltiva.

The area doesn't experience weather extremes because the eastern oceans cool the area in the summers and keep the area warm in the winter. One thing the area does get a lot of is rain. Early fall is usually the wettest season. Most rainfall comes from eastern sea depressions that occur throughout the year and are particularly frequent and intense in the fall and winter. They can on occasion bring prolonged periods of heavy rain, and mild flooding is quite common as water comes down from the mountains to meet the Bay. Snow can occur later in the winter, and sometimes even early spring, although it is rare in these parts. Hail is relatively common and is most common during the summer months. Summers are mild and warm, with heavy winds and more sunshine is seen to make up for what was not during the rest of the year. The more mountainous areas receive barely any sunshine, although the city itself sees a little more. In winter the coastal city sometimes only sees a few bells of sunshine in a day. Fog is more common inland and on higher altitudes; mainly during winter and during the morning at times of high pressure.


No place in Mizahar had been spared the effects of the terrible cataclysm that had so violently marked the end of an era. However, Zeltiva was relatively sheltered due to its protected geography and is nearly alone among major cities in Mizahar in having an "old quarter," where buildings from the Royal period have been preserved and are still in use.

In the Royal period, Zeltiva had been the home of the Royal Navy of Alahea, a city of seafarers and shipbuilders. After the Valterrian, the Navy was gone, but some of the shipbuilding knowledge remained with the survivors. Over the next century, they painstakingly reconstructed their craft, and in doing so, produced the finest oceangoing vessels in the world.

As soon as they could, the Zeltivans began exploring the ocean once again. They re-mapped the coastline and established trade routes with other, distant cities. Indeed, such as the commercial influence of the Zeltivans been that there are Zeltivan "colonies" scattered along Mizahar's coast, placed there as waystations for sailing expeditions. The Zeltivan sailor Kenabelle Wright was the first person to completely circumnavigate the continent of Mizahar, although nearly her whole crew was lost in the process.

Because of its dominance of the ocean, Zeltiva has become a hub of trade and higher learning. It remains something of a jewel of a city, inhabited by proud, fierce people with an insatiable curiosity. The University of Zeltiva is one of the finest institutions of learning left in Mizahar, and people from across the continent come there to study.


See Race Relations

At best, Zeltiva’s government is confusing hodge-podge of political evolution forced to adapt to post-Valterrian times; at worst it is a wildly corrupt nest of backway deals and unprincipled practices. On paper, the Lord of Council is the executive power of the city, entrusted with the nearly independent authority to enforce and preside over all of Zeltiva’s affairs with the consent of The Council of Zeltiva and the people. The Lord of Council can be male or female, but the title remains the same. The Council of Zeltiva is made up of three representatives, one from each district. There is a representative from the Ancient Quarter, the University Quarter, and the Sailor’s Quarter. Although the Denvali Quarter was deemed an official city district in the year 512AV, the bill to allow a representative to be elected has not yet been passed. Until then, citizens of the Denvali Quarter can only vote on electing the Lord of Council, and not a representative of their own.

Each Councilor and the Lord Councilor are elected directly from Zeltiva citizens by popular vote. On paper, the Lord of Council retains all administrative power as well as jurisdiction over Zeltiva’s military and police force: The Wave Guard. The only balance to the Lord Councilor’s absolute authority is through a unanimous vote by the Council. The Council’s primary purpose is to serve as advisers to the Lord Councilor, and if necessary can also hold cessation or veto his/her power under the circumstances of absolute agreement that the Lord Councilor’s decision was not what is best for the city and its people. This structure was originally set with the expectation that Councilors would not be able to agree easily on halting the Lord Councilor’s decisions unless it was necessary. What the writers of this government did not anticipate was the influence of large factions and guilds within the city attempting to divert the source of power to themselves.

In reality, the Lord of Council is nothing but a figurehead. Over time The Council has used its veto and cessation power to its advantage by throttling the Lord Councilor’s authority so that he may not achieve anything that is not specifically approved by the Council. They use their position as official advisors to direct the Lord of Council in their favor. By working together, the Council unanimously votes to hold a cessation which they will continue until the Lord of Council yields or the Council ultimately decides to veto the decision.

While the Lord of Council must follow strict rules to not be associated with any faction or be a member of any guilds, no such limits were placed on Councilors, as no one anticipated the Councilors having decision making power. While they technically do not, they have blackmail power which has become so commonplace in the government, it is all but written into the law. As a result, the Board of Regents and the Sailor’s Guild, two of the largest factions in the city, have elected positions in their leadership specifically for Councilors. It is almost guaranteed that the Councilor will be selected from these positions because it is expected that all members and supporters of the Sailor’s Guild or Board of Regents will vote for this pre-selected representative.

The Sailor’s Guild holds only one position in the Council, which is the Sailor’s Quarter Councilor, which is titled the Sailor’s Quarter Administrator within the Guild. However, no Sailor’s Quarter Administrator has ever doubted they would also receive the position of Sailor’s Quarter Councilor due to the massive power of the Sailor’s Guild over the Sailor’s Quarter and the loyalty of the people. Almost all denizens of the Sailor’s Quarter are members of the Sailor’s Guild at some level, guaranteeing their vote to the Administrator whenever the election cycle requires it. Denizens of the Sailor’s Quarter who are not a member of or loyal to the guild will either choose not to vote or be bullied into voting in-line with the Sailor’s Guild, securing a stable election from the Sailor’s Quarter every cycle. Once elected the Sailor’s Quarter Councilor will always act in the Sailor’s Guild’s interest so long as it is possible.

The Board of Regents holds two positions in the Council, which are the Ancient Quarter Councilor and the University Quarter Councilor. These positions are less guaranteed in comparison to the Sailor’s Quarter Councilor. The first unstable seat is that of the University Quarter Councilor. While the University Quarter is not the largest district, it is the most diverse and therefore holds many more opinions and significantly less loyalty. The University has a heavy influence on these citizens, but they are not as predictable as the Sailor’s Quarter is to the Sailor’s Guild and there is a slim chance they will elect a person who does not also hold the position of the University Quarter Regent. In cases when this happens, the Board of Regents is often quick to elect the University Quarter Councilor into the position of Regent of the University Quarter, to secure their interests in the Council.

The other position that belongs to the Board of Regents is the Ancient Quarter Councilor. The Ancient Quarter has no dominating faction to owe it’s alliances to, and although the Ancient Quarter is the smallest populated district of the city, it is made up of many old families that have deep-rooted loyalties to the Board of Regents. As a result, they are known to vote in-line with the Board of Regents on the security that the Board of Regents will operate in their interests. There have been few instances of the Ancient Quarter voting outside of the Board of Regents, usually in a show of power to remind the Board of Regents that the Ancient Families are also political players who choose to give their vote to the Board of Regents. There have also been instances of the Ancient Quarter voting for a Regent other than the Regent of the Ancient Quarter, which often causes a reshuffling of Regents within the Board.

Because of the necessity of a unanimous vote for the Councilors to have any power, there remains an uneasy alliance between the Sailor’s Guild and the Board of Regents. They share a similar goal of taking power from the Lord Councilor, but their interests vary greatly and so often involve long cessations with seasons of negotiating over the benefits of a decision to each Quarter. The corruption has required them to work together and compromise between them when necessary to get what they need from the Lord of Council. It is, however, commonly accepted that the Wave Guard will only follow orders advised to the Lord Councilor by the Sailor’s Guild Councilor.

Justice and Laws

On paper, the city of Zeltiva holds its citizens to a well-defined set of laws that are designed to keep the peace. All citizens, including all government officials, are subject to the purview of the law. Criminal law is overseen by the Wave Guard. There is no traditional court in Zeltiva, as the laws and punishments are meant as a way to enact revenge upon those committing the crime. According to the Zeltivan psyche, a crime is considered an assault on the community rather than the individual. The Wave Guard are strict and firm with their enforcement and as a result, the people stay largely in line, with the only deviations occurring in the notorious East Street where the Wave Guard will not go, and in Quarters that do not allow the Wave Guard. It is not unheard of for someone to be wrongly accused and punished, but as the Wave Guard requires proof of the crime, this is rare.

When a criminal does commit a crime that comes to light, jurisdiction is usually claimed immediately through the domain. On paper, all instances of broken law are meant to be overseen by the Wave Guard, and for the most part, all crimes do go to the Wave Guard. Most of the city is patrolled by the Wave Guard, who exclusively support the views of justice propagated by the Sailor's Guild. However, the Waveguard and Sailor's Guild’s jurisdiction does not go as far as one would think. Uniformed Guards are not welcome on the University grounds, they are the minority to the private hired guards in the Ancient Quarter, will not go to the Cemetery or East Street, and are unwelcome in the Denvali Quarter, which severely limits their true influence over the city's domestic defense. They still reign over the harbor and address all foreign threats to the city. As a result, although the Wave Guard has authority on paper, each of these domains maintains and enforce their unique form of justice where the Wave Guard is absent.

The Sailor's Guild and Wave Guard practice the most traditional form of justice in Zeltiva, that which is written into law. The removal of body parts, branding, hard labor, and public executions are not terrifyingly common but happen often enough to deter most crime in areas that the Wave Guard patrols. Though they exercise self-defense readily, official execution is reserved exclusively for the most blatant slayers and of course for those that conspire to undermine the official political structures of Zeltiva. And, as in all cases of execution in Zeltiva it is done with a cold announcement of the crimes and resulting punishment, but is ultimately done behind closed doors in the simple manner of hanging.

University of Zeltiva

The University takes a much more personal approach to justice. Though the Reagents have no official law enforcement and little capability to pursue more heinous crimes, they have a knack for accomplishing that which they desire, and for deterring criminals from transgressions on their campus. Petty crimes such as vandalism are often met with a public fine, but anything beyond that can range from expulsion, blacklisting, and for truly heinous crimes, a quiet disappearance. Crimes that happen on the grounds of the University, but for which they choose not to punish involve things such as rape and slavery, in which case the Regents will hand the criminal over to the Wave Guard. Ultimately the reigning Regents control the resources responsible for protecting the University grounds, as well as how those resources are used, and the Wave Guard stays out of their way. Still, University jurisdiction only extends to the actual campus, so all other parts of the diverse and populous University Quarter are under the Wave Guard's protection.

Cemetary & East Street

The cemetery grounds are the most overlooked of all the jurisdictions, even in comparison to East Street, but those that try to commit a crime in the cemetery are never seen again. Many fear the ghosts that plague this land, and even the Envoyers who protect it. Compiling information on their specific view of justice remains difficult since there are no convicts to question the process of judgment, and few people venture in to witness it. One is generally advised against committing any crime in this domain.

East Street is found in the Sailor’s Quarter and so one would think would be just as patrolled as the rest of the Quarter, since it is the home of the Wave Guard. It is the only cutthroat and devious part of the city, however, it is physically very small, and one of the few places the Wave Guard does not patrol. Instead, a guild of hire-swords called the Martial Society keeps the street relatively sane, at least enough to not attract attention from the Wave Guard. But since the Martial Society and the Wave Guard exist in a tense agreement of trust, the Martial Society is largely left to secure the notorious East Street on their own, allowing East Street to prosper almost independently from the rest of the Quarter. Still, if the Martial Society were to ever let East Street get out of control, the Wave Guard has been known to flex their power a bit to push them back into place.

Ancient Quarter

The Ancient Quarter is still patrolled by the Wave Guard, although they are not the domineering force. The ancient families of the quarter are known to employ private guards, whose sole and only priority is the protection of their families. This also means covering up the crimes of those who belong to these old bloodlines, but this is often expected of the wealthy, and so not thought of as much. As a result transgressions against a specific family are often dealt with quickly and silently by their private guard. Although a few attempt such things, even fewer return or even make it to the Wave Guard’s jurisdiction for legal city punishment. Once one is captured by the private guards, they dream of falling into the Wave Guards custody, no matter the punishment. The Ancient Quarter’s private guards are happy to turn over petty crimes and public disturbances, but the Wave Guards rarely see one who commits a crime against an ancient family.

Denvali Quarter

The last of Zeltiva's notable jurisdictions is the Denvali Quarter, which has been unofficially entrusted with maintaining its governance. Although the Denvali were welcomed into Zeltiva, they were never properly assimilated into the government or the culture, and so the Quarter provides many things for itself, including justice. So, those who are not prepared to confront traditional Denvali law should not trespass in the domain, because the Wave Guard will not enter them, and the Denvali will never turn a criminal over to the Wave Guard. Unlike the understanding that the University and the Ancient Quarter have that the Wave Guard retains shadow jurisdiction, the Denvali Quarter does not care for such political plays. However, if one escapes the Denvali Quarter they are theoretically safe from punishment, as long as they do not return.

Zeltivan Law

  • Intentional murder is punishable by death.
  • All slaves are considered free as soon as they enter the Wave Guard’s jurisdiction, regardless of origin. Slavers will not be compensated for the freedom of slaves. Contracted service must be overseen by the Lord of Council, or they will be invalidated.
  • Rapists will have the tip of their nose removed. Thieves of food will have their tongue removed and will no longer be able to receive ration chips regardless of visa or citizenship status. Thieves of things other than food, harassers and abusers, smugglers, and trespassers will receive a sentence of hard labor appropriate to the severity of their crime. Repeat offenses will require more severe punishments up to and including death.
  • The Wave Guard has the right to use reasonable means to put public riots, vandalism, and unofficial duels to rest.
  • In instances of war with foreign states, all eligible citizens between the ages of sixteen and twenty-six will be drafted into the Wave Guard for mandatory service.
  • All children under the age of sixteen (regardless of parent’s eligibility) and citizens that hold a job/have a sponsor are guaranteed ration chips during times of famine. Visa holders who hold a job/have a sponsor will also receive ration chips but in the event of not enough resources, they can be revoked to reserve enough resources for citizens. Visa holders that acquire citizenship during a famine will get their ration chips returned in-case of this event.
  • All citizens may vote for Lord of Council. Citizens of the Ancient Quarter, University Quarter, and Sailor’s Quarter may vote for a citizen of their respective district to represent them as a Councilor on the Council of Zeltiva. The Council of Zeltiva’s primary duty is to advise and assist the Lord of Council.
  • The Lord Council retains all administrative power as well as jurisdiction over Zeltiva’s military and police force: The Wave Guard. The Lord of Council will remain neutral by not associating with any factions or guilds before or during their time in the seat.
  • The Council of Zeltiva cannot propose or make decisions on their own and may only advise the Lord of Council. Only by unanimous vote may the Council of Zeltiva intervene on the Lord Councilor’s decisions to either hold cessation until the decision can be amended or to veto the decision all-together.
  • All residents of Zeltiva are guaranteed freedom of religion so long as their worship does not endanger the city or its people.
  • All residents and visitors are subject to Zeltiva law, regardless of prior knowledge of the law.



Zeltivan architecture has a wide and diverse number of styles, which had evolved through the reconstruction of the city and the many cultural progressions over the centuries since the Valterrian destroyed the old city. Although all architecture in Zeltiva uses local material, each quarter has a distinct flavor of style different from one another. And even within the quarters there can be wide variants of styles, such as the diverse and large University Quarter. The Zastoska mountains and forests surrounding Zeltiva lend a rich quarry full of marble, granite, and limestone which is used for making Zeltivan cement. Ancient buildings tend to be made of this warm colored granite, while the more expensive ones may even feature intricate marble carvings. Modern buildings also use the granite, although a majority of them are made up of the limestone cement, especially in the Denvali Quarter. Without the advanced technology they had had previous to the Valterrian, transporting such large quantities of stone became more difficult, so creativity and necessity lead to the use of the limestone instead. While wood is also abundant in Zeltiva, it is rarely used for buildings. This is both because of the perpetually rainy weather of Zeltiva making such a material erode quicker, but also because a majority of lumber that hails from the Zastoska mountains goes directly into the building of Zeltiva’s famous ships.

To start with the ancient architecture, old Zeltivan buildings are largely made with heavy columns and high ceilings. Large windows and ancient wood doors lend space to brilliant artists to carve intricate long-lasting detail into the wood and stone, creating truly spectacular pieces. Due to the weather, outside architecture is impressive alone, but inside is where one finds the true artistry of the ancient Zeltivan people. All ancient ceilings are covered with either detailed symmetric carvings, or beautiful murals spanning the whole of the ceiling. Walls are often painted with elegant nature scenes, and windows are tall and slim, allowing for light but not taking up the whole of the wall. Although due to time and storms, it is near impossible to find an original mural in any Zeltivan building, archaeologists have uncovered what they used to look like and artists have put their skills to use recreating or painting new murals in the same flavor.

Unlike the ancient architecture, modern architecture in Zeltiva often takes a majority of its inspiration from its old buildings. Necessity and modern technology scarcely allow modern Zeltivan architecture to simply copy the ancient architecture, although there are distinct similarities in the buildings of the old and the new. Although modern architecture uses the sturdy limestone cement, and even some of the same strains of granite which fed the architects of the Royal period, their buildings are significantly smaller. Rather than spreading out and taking up space, modern buildings often grow up, creating two to even four-story buildings with a scant few rooms on each floor. While most of Mizahar knows only buildings of a few stories at most, Zeltiva has been known for having more of the taller buildings, a direct result of the massive amount of population fitting themselves into such a small space of livable land.

Ancient Quarter

The Ancient Quarter is named so because a majority of their buildings are survivors of the Valterrian. Although most had to be repaired and adjusted after the catastrophic world-ending events, the Zastoska mountains managed to save a majority of the buildings or their foundations, giving ample inspiration for their reconstruction or simple repairs. Any new buildings that have found their way into this quarter are heavily inspired by the ancient architecture, and some are only a few decades old, although look as if they had been standing for centuries. There are a scant few limestone cement buildings here, just as there are a scant few middle or lower class denizens here.

University Quarter

The University Quarter is the most diverse of the Zeltivan quarters, both in terms of people and architecture. Also saved from the Valterrian by the mountains, the University Quarter holds a host of ancient buildings in its borders, most noticeably on the University campus itself. Although some of the campus buildings were created specifically for the campus hundreds of years prior, a few have been adopted over time, reconstituting their use into something more modern. Although not part of the campus, the most famous example of this is the Lord of Council’s Office. Other buildings in the quarter have grown after the people of Zeltiva were able to find their feet and gather their city together once again. West Street is a direct product of this new construction, built partially of short granite buildings, and of tall limestone ones. Apart from the campus and West Street, it is a coin toss in the University Quarter on what was built before and after the Valterrian. Any space left between the ancient foundations was appropriated for modern buildings, creating an interesting architectural hodge-podge within the Quarter.

Sailor's Quarter

The Sailor’s Quarter is the closest to the docks and was largely destroyed by the Valterrian. As a result almost every building in this quarter is of modern architecture, however, the quarter itself does not pale in comparison to any of the other Quarters. Built from the passion and dedication of the sailors of Zeltiva, the Sailor’s Quarter is a sight to behold in itself. Almost all of the buildings here are two stories, at least. The sturdy limestone cement is accented by the rich Zeltivan wood frames on doors and windows. The intricate carvings of the ancient buildings have been adopted to accent the doorways and ceilings of these smaller buildings, and the Quarter itself is slightly better laid out than other quarters within the city. Here is where a majority of trade is held and although not the most populous quarter, perhaps the busiest. As a result, the main streets are equipped to handle two or three wagons at a time. There are a few impressive granite buildings here, such as the Guild Hall and Customs Office, which show off the majesty of modern Zeltivan architecture, and its marriage of creativity and necessity.

Denvali Quarter

The Denvali Quarter has only sprung up within the last decade in Zeltiva. After the Djed Storm of 512AV, the city of Zeltiva welcomed the refugees of the far-off city of Denval, which found its demise in the storm. Although Zeltiva was already rather cramped, the city pulled together and cleared the forests of some of the hilltops on the east end of the bay and created room for their Denvali brothers and sisters. Both Denvali and Zeltivans put in the work and love to create buildings and structures where the remaining population of an entire city could lay its head and call home. Almost every single building in the Denvali Quarter is made of the modern cement and are stuffed onto the hilltops creating a maze of tiny and vastly uneven streets. Still, the Denvali people did not find this quickly grown quarter depressing, instead, they used bright dyes and paints to color the buildings a multitude of beautiful colors. As a result, those who sail into Zeltiva are always able to see the beautiful horizon of the Denvali Quarter, growing out of the hills as if it were a field of brightly colored flowers rather than buildings. Although docks span the whole coast of the city, with the largest and busiest being in the Sailor’s Quarter, there are still construction and builders working to carve out a part of the bay in which the Denvali could dock their boats close to home.


Due to its climate and small availability of farming land, Zeltiva has a very unique cuisine. Common foods such as beef, pork, onions, and wheat are scarce here, and must often be imported. Instead, Zeltivans rely largely on various fish, birds, kelp, and tubers found in Mathew’s Bay, along with some local herbs and spices that were once gathered from the mountains and have since been cultivated in gardens to maximize their use. Seaweed and fish are the staples of a Zeltivan diet, and famine is common when those resources fail. The Zeltivan government works to ensure that they can retain trade routes with outside cities, such as Syliras, who can provide more a stable food source, although travel is long and hard so every import is dried, smoked, or preserved in some way. Items that would be considered common to anyone outside of Zeltiva, such as wheat, are a high luxury in this coastal city.

Most Zeltivans make pickle and smoke seaweeds and fish to eat year-round. Food hoarding is common among Zeltivans, and it is considered very rude to inquire into one’s kitchen or food stores. Food is offered to close friends and can be considered a sign of trust among people. While the Wave Guard is strict on the theft of food, those driven to starvation are prone to do stupid things, and so food theft is slightly more common here than in other cities, despite the harsher penalty. When the city is not in famine they can enjoy a relatively diverse diet which is often eaten fresh or can be grilled or stewed with some of the local spices. Zeltiva is also known for its interesting alcoholic brew derived from seaweed and local herbs. The notorious Kelp Beer is a favorite among locals, but can hard to stomach for foreigners.

Local spices include salt, fennel, ginger, hops, capers, cloves, horseradish, mints, licorice, and wormwood. Mathew’s Bay offers a diverse amount of fish that differ year-round. Staples such as cod, halibut, and cusk are offered year-round. While other common fish such as bass, tog, pollock are fished spring through fall. Bluefish, mackerel, haddock, and blue shark are fished during summer and fall. The elusive and tasty weakfish is only fished in the summer, and the flounder can be found from summer to winter. Zeltivans also enjoy a wide arrange of seaweed from wakame, kombu, dulce, to carrageen moss year-round. Seaweeds are not often harvested during summer due to the warm waters slowing down growth, and only Kombu is given a break from harvesting every two years to allow forests within Mathew’s Bay to replenish the slow-growing kelp. About 5% of Zeltiva’s land is dedicated to growing crops, although the poor soil and climate limit the ground. Beans, cabbage, yams, and squash are the few vegetables able to survive Zeltivas rough soil and rainy weather. They are often what the city falls back on when the food from the sea is scarce, although it is not enough to feed the whole city.

Because Zeltiva is a trade city they also enjoy a multitude of imports, even if it is expensive. City favorites include tea, chili peppers, black pepper, beef, pork, onions, wheat, and turmeric. Spicy food is uncommon in Zeltiva and those who can acquire spice are usually only that of upper-class citizens, making chili pepper the sign of class and wealth.

Art and Industry

Zeltiva is well known for its ships, University, and amicable environment for magic. Music and sculptures are the city’s primary forms of artistry, without much access to paper or pigments, they’ve adapted their artistic interested to what they have. There are many religious monuments among the quarters which show off this incredible skill.

Home to the famed Mizaharian, Zeltiva is renowned for their excellent ship buildings skills, impressive navy, and ability to use and cater to the sea in ways which other land-dwelling cities cannot. A majority of Zeltivans make a living from the ocean itself, either as fishermen, traders, navy men, or explorers. Even though the city is relatively small land-wise, Zeltiva is increasingly busier and growing as it has become the center of trade on the eastern sea, if not all of Mizahar.

On the eastern part of Mizahar, it is perhaps one of the free-est places for a mage to learn and practice magic without fear of persecution, or the in-livability of Sahova. As a result, there is a budding mage community within Zeltiva pioneering magic used for both art and industry. Reimancers are known to create beautiful shows at the Lightshow Theater or help with the restoration of ancient architecture throughout the city. It is not uncommon to find Alchemical solutions being distributed to ease a particular shopworker’s life or to better an existing substance.

Aside from magic and nautical industries, Zeltiva is built like any other city. They lack the farmable land for a substantial agricultural community like in Syliras, although their fishermen are unmatched and excellent at providing for the city. Alongside Mura, Zeltiva is one of the few cities that have taken advantage of what the sea has to offer them, creating a strong aquaculture community. Other than the constant pursuit of food and evasion of famine, the city focuses its resources and technology on furthering its shipbuilding techniques and exploring the known, and unknown, Mizahar world.


Though it is not claimed by a single deity in particular, the faithful are plentiful in Zeltiva. Chiefly, Laviku is much revered in the city, owing to his oceanic ties. Most believe he watches over the city, its people, and the waves that roll infinitely upon the shore. Other Gods that hold importance in the city are Zulrav for the weather, Priskil for hope, and Eyris, Gnora, and Qalaya for learning and knowledge. The University’s Music Hall even holds a reverence for Rhaus, in the form of a beautiful statue in the center of the Hall. The Denvali Quarter brought with it a shrine to Viratas too. There are more temples and shrines dotted around the city, allowing those who wish to pray, to feel close to their chosen deities.

Worship to deities relative to one’s life that are not of the common Zeltivan pantheon of worship is not unusual. As a result, the city has grown used to welcoming the very faithful of many different Gods. It is common for Zeltivans to devote themselves to one or a few Gods, although uttering the occasional prayer to a deity which they do not primarily worship is common and encouraged. Due to the literacy and education of the city, many Zeltivans at least know of most of the higher and middle-ranking Gods, although with varying degrees of detail. Alvina tend to be less known, with the exclusion of the four that lead Nyka, which Zeltivans may sometimes discover due to the proximity of the cities. Worship of deities that would harm the city or its people is expressly forbidden, and if it is done, it is often hidden and secluded from the masses. Worship of Gods such as Rhysol, Krysus, Uldr, Vayt, and Yshul, are not permitted within the city boundaries, and open worship of them will often gain one a particularly forceful visit from the Wave Guard.


  • [1st of Winter] Kenabelle Wright Day: Zeltiva has a rich history and a dedication to the important people who come from it. The most notable of these people is Kenabelle Wright, who was the first to circumnavigate Mizahar. Although she has been since lost to the city, the people of Zeltiva still celebrate the day she returned from her circumnavigation of Mizahar in the notable Kenabelle Wright Day. It is largely celebrated in the Sailor’s Quarter or on the beaches and is a day of celebration and relaxation for Zeltivans. Traditions include public and private swearing of oaths, intoxication, and feasting. During the day time of this holiday is often when businesses make deals for the new year, or when marriages are officiated. Many also make private oaths and deals on this day, as they tend to have more weight when done on Kenabelle Wright day, and is a sign of good faith and good fortune in the new year. At night people down Kelp Beer and take to the streets of the Sailor’s Quarter and docks, buying food from vendors, where available. Many bards set up performances in the streets, creating a festival out of the whole of the Sailor’s Quarter as the night falls.
  • [91st of Winter] New Years: Although this holiday is celebrated all across Mizahar and in many different ways, Zeltivans prefer to kick off the new year with festivals and balls held across the city. Each Quarter typically has a big gathering, and many Zeltivans spend the night floating between each quarter, taking in the various forms of celebration, and waiting until midnight with as much alcohol as they can handle. Each New Year is a marker that the city and its denizens have survived another year, and so there is no lack of celebration this night.

Locations of Interest

The University Quarter

A group of buildings at the extreme northwest of Zeltiva, approximately six square blocks, escaped destruction during the Valterrian due to its protected geography. These buildings, made of the local granite, represent one of the very few surviving examples of pre-Valterrian architecture. The district was once called the Old Quarter but was renamed to the University Quarter in 518AV.

Half of the Old Quarter is now occupied by the University of Zeltiva. This includes the former City Library and Museum of Art, the closed archives of which are rumored to contain information that survived the Valterrian. The remainder includes upscale shops, the Lord of Council's official manor, and a few private residences, which have remained in the same families since before the cataclysm.

University of Zeltiva

One of Zeltiva's most prized possessions is the famed University of Zeltiva. Nestled on the edge of the city and spilling out into the rest of the quarter is the well-groomed campus. Students and faculty meander about and call the campus home, taking advantage of its many resources to further their education and research. It is one of the very few places in all of Mizahar which teaches magic and skills in a formal structure and has a large responsibility for the city's prosperity and distinct culture.

West Street

Although not officially deemed a quarter, West Street has a reputation of its own within the University Quarter. Without an actual market place, West Street has become Zeltiva’s home of business. While the Zeltivan government regulates the businesses here and danger is not common, the Miza is the unofficial law of the street. All manners of shops can be found here, serving the general public’s needs and more.

Sailor's Quarter

The Sailor’s Quarter is aptly named for the dominating presence of the Sailor’s Guild. It is here that Zeltiva’s connection to the sea is most prominent. Merchant and fishing vessels that serve as Zeltiva’s lifeblood port here, and is also home to the notorious East Street. Denizens of the Sailor’s Quarter are known to be hard workers, and anyone down in their luck knows that they can find work here, regardless of the season.

East Street

Considered the dark brother of West Street, East Street also serves as a commerce center for its Quarter. To those who are familiar with the neighborhood, they find drug holes, brothels, fighting clubs, and black markets. To those unfamiliar with the street, they see a long avenue of less than favorable taverns, few shady shops, and houses with too many occupants. Wearing anything shiny on East Street is ill-advised.

Denvali Quarter

The refugees of Denval were welcomed into the city by the then Lord of Council, Maria Satterthwite, but as Zeltiva dealt with its recuperation from the Djed Storm of 512, the Denvali were left to their own devices. They found themselves straddling the edges of the harbor and the hillsides that surround the city. In the few short years since they arrived, ramshackle buildings of all colors and materials piled atop the hill were hurriedly constructed. As the remains of their beloved city sunk into the sea, they became more devoted to each other and grew stronger as a community. The area itself is very much self-serving, with its shops and businesses and tuber farms in the lower hillocks. Though their town has physically been erased from Mizahar, Denval lives on through its people.

Ancient Quarter

The section of the city where its beautiful Alahean roots are most prominently seen, the Ancient Quarter is home to Zeltiva’s wealthy citizenry. The stark contrast between rich and working-class citizens is very visible here, and most shops and businesses found here are known to cater to the individual and charge a little more than anything one would find in the University Quarter. The Ancient Quarter is officially patrolled by the Wave Guard no more than the other quarters, although the presence of private guards and drivers ensures an elevated standard of safety found nowhere else in the city. This section of the city contains some of its most prized treasures… and darkest secrets.

Notable NPCs



The Docks

Other Links

Information threads
Paragon's VBlogMore information on Zeltiva
Echelons VBlogEven MORE information on Zeltiva
Zeltiva Player's GuideZeltiva codex and linkmap