In the fall of 661 N.Y., Paravahl went through a massive cultural upheaval when a band of nascent gods from the new pantheon arrived. They destabilized the economy of intrigue in the city, prompting the Supreme Potentress to declare a state of emergency. During that time, Shadrathir reemerged, only to disappear again when the Potentress maneuvered into power as the Wizard Queen of Paravahl.
Now, the Bureau of Internal Consistency, along with the entire Cathedral of Bureaucracy, has been dissolved. Paravahl moves towards using gold as currency again and the enchantment that keeps the city afloat also now showers its citizens with conveniences. All of this has caused the Kayal to turn their gaze outward to the rest of the peninsula, and the rhetoric of their Wizard Queen speaks of wars and a new Paravahlian Empire.
Paravahl is a city of masks, shrouded in shadow far above the surface of Senium. Unassailable and indifferent – its long-lived Kayal populace play at their own intrigues as the centuries turn.
The magic that shrouds the city provides for many conveniences – endless (though bland) food, and clean water abound. Nothing is ever free however, and the enchantments of the metropolis periodically exact a tax of lies, secrets, betrayals, and intrigues. Those unfortunate enough to be unable to pay simply disappear forever.
Government in Paravahl could be a minimalist affair – much of the needs of its citizens are met by the spells that imbue the rock and stone of the city. However, the Kayal discovered early on that a massive bureaucracy pumps a tremendous amount of intrigue into the economy – more than worth a bit of inefficiency here and there.
At the head of the massive government structure rests the true power in Paravahl – the wizard’s enclave. The seven schools of magic constantly wrest from each other what power they can, competing for primacy above the others and control of the city.
As a floating city, Paravahl is supremely defensible. The enchantments of the city provide for magical transport to and from the surface and can be quickly shut off by the Archmagus at the head of the prime school. The city itself is mobile as well, and its endless supplies make it an impossible siege target.
Acting as the city’s army and peacekeeping force are the Praetorian Guard, silent and emotionless arcane warriors clad in baroque plate mail. They are surprisingly tough, resilient against magic, and impossible to bribe or coerce. All that have managed in some way or another to peer at the visage that lies beneath the helmet of a guard refuse to speak of what they saw and soon disappear forever.
Gold has little meaning in a realm where nearly all needs can be met. Instead, a currency called ‘intrigue’ exists. It is a physical manifestation of a lie, favor, bribe, betrayal, promise, blackmail, secret, or even a dramatic revelation. The Kayal have developed an almost sixth sense of their level of intrigue and can consciously cause it to manifest into a form of coinage. The material of the coin varies on the type of intrigue and the quality of its decoration indicates the depth of the drama.
To help mitigate what would otherwise be an overwhelming burden of promises, favors, and the like the Kayal have developed a culture of masks. These specially-designed masks are worked in a way to embody an aspect of the wearer’s spirit and as such can be enchanted to bear the burden of the wearer’s intrigue – for a time. Very few have more than a couple of masks and truly rare is the mask that has intrigue to spend but no promises to keep.
The Wizard’s Enclave encompasses the elite of Paravahl. The Archmage at the head of the each school commands tremendous power and the loyalty of countless compelled followers. The wizards constantly vie for supremacy over each other and the city – their twisted plots are legendary and sometimes dangerous for those that get too close. Currently, Adeliade Omenra, Archmage of the school of Divination reigns as ‘Supreme Potentress’ over the city.
Church of Shadrithir
Being among the longest lived of the mortal races, many Kayals remember and still hold to the traditions of the 1st Age of Gods. Though many of their churches now serve as apartments, most still are careful to maintain and tend to the shrines of the forgotten lords. This is most true for Shadrithir, goddess of shrouds and shadows. Her church still provides the basis for a secret society within Paravahl, pledged to protect the city forever.
At the forefront of this brash new movement is the College of Alchemy, challenging the long-held notion that the Enclave deserves to rule and making incredible new discoveries each day. Their inventions have brought both wonder and terror to the populace – not to mention a LOT of intrigue and new recruits.
Bureau of Internal Consistency
As part of the massive bureaucracy that churns in the heart of Paravahl’s government, the BIC maintains a stability index which monitors the level of disruption to life within the city. Since intrigue can be a volatile currency, the index helps keep the economy of Paravahl under control by discouraging drastic cultural change. Should the index fall too low, the process of choosing another leader begins.