Across the bay from the great city of Paragonia and marking the start of the Great Western Road lies the Sorcerer City of Notarikon, splayed out across the sands like some bizarre gelatinous creature lifted from the depths of the ocean. Easily rivaling the size of the Capital of the Empire even before the time of the Cataclysmic Wars over 1000 years previously, in addition to its size Notarikon lays claim to the most efficient and well developed irrigation and sewage systems on Elatreus.
Notarikon is also the first city to openly use electricity in the form of a city-wide power grid; its invention made possible through deep study of magic and technology and has made it the envy of the modern world, with many attempts made by the Empire and other civilizations to emulate its use, but so far without any significant success (primarily due to the lack of the raw materials that were depleted in setting up the city itself, but also due to cost and difficulty recreating the generators, which transform solar energy via a sophisticated array of rare Kremeldite crystals).
While some of what Notarikon has contributed to history are confined to the great city, many more had profound and wide reaching effects on the entire continent. For it was here the Archmages created ‘Weetweed’, a fast growing, magically disease resistant crop, and the fast growing, fast breeding (and quite tasty) Chowhog as well as many other minor ‘tweaks’ of natural plants and animals that effectively made starvation and famine a thing of the distant past..
Most of the city is made of stone buildings that did not rise above five stories tall. This was intentional, for in the center of the Sorcerer City lies the sky-scraping building its citizens refer to as the Spire. This same building remains the tallest building in all of Eletreus and is home to the ruling council of 12 Archmages, responsible for regulating and controlling the study of magic across the Empire and is accessed by magical ‘sky carts’ which allow easy access to even the highest floor without the need to climb the intimidating spiral staircase.
History of the Sorcerer City
It is recorded that the Sorcerer City of Notarikon was built upon an already existing city-state on the far eastern edge of the Kingdom of Parthania known as the lands of Torion. An independent city-state, Torion would have likely faded into history and become just another Imperial city if not for a single event nearly 2000 years in the past that changed it into what it is today..
In the year 950 B.E. one of the enigmatic and powerful Qahoori Nomads, Enkil the Sage, suddenly arrived at the gates of the fledgling city-state, and was welcomed by the King of Torion, Aldis the Earnest. King Aldis accommodated the wandering magician, welcoming him into his court as an official advisor and returning the King’s favor, Enkil taught a few members of the royal court he saw had potential a few simple magic spells.Making himself at home, Enkil began to accumulate and author many tomes and scrolls containing deep esoteric secrets – a collection that was to become the foundation of the great library later known as the Grand Archives.
Over the course of the years that followed, exiled Elves from the Elven homelands – who had been banished for experimentation beyond the established rules of magic laid down by the elves found a new home here (banished ostensibly to prevent a repeat occurrence of the events that led to the dark birth of the so-called ‘Shadow Elves’, but seen by the exiles as simply a mechanism for the Elven high princes to to exert their control over their peoples). These Elves found a new home in Notarikon, and working closely with Enkil the Sage, only added to the cities reputation as the capital of Sorcery in Eletreus.
The first 200 years of the Sages influence saw Torion change dramatically. As more and more inquisitive minds and people talented and willing to study magic flock to the city an official ‘Council of Archmages’ began to form, and they consolidated their political power. The Torianian Royal family, who had already merged with the Council of Archmages, were becoming increasingly relegated to ceremonial duties until finally the last King of Torion ceded his authority to the Council of Archmages – and became nothing more than a figurehead. This momentous event in the year 750 B.E. marked the foundation of the Sorcerer City of Notarikon, the name derived from the Qahoori language meaning ‘the city that touches the sky’.
The next few centuries, from around 700 B.E. to 300 B.E. were a golden age for the Sorcerer City. Under the leadership of Enkil and the Council of Archmages, Notarikon prospered and became the largest city in the continent at the time and its central location made it a beacon for trade, commerce and of course, students of the arcane arts, regardless of race. However, in the 300s Enkil the Sage started to become increasingly reclusive until in the year 200 B.E. he disappeared from Notarikon and the annals of history entirely. Neither his destination nor the reasons for his departure were known, and even today, the Council still makes futile attempts to find his whereabouts, sending expeditions every few years to all corners of Elatreus and beyond for any signs of their Great founder, but to no avail..
In the years after his disappearance, the Sorcerer City of Notarikon maintained and protected its neutrality in the matters of the world. While it had the power to forge an Empire, it was content with the status quo it had created, and its wizards and sorcerers held a great deal of personal autonomy – for they had both great power and great wealth.
However despite its reputation and power, in the year 31 B.E. everything changed suddenly as the Catalysmic Wars engulfed all of Eletreus, and even this great city could do nothing in the face of the DeathKnights fearsome onslaught..
The Cataclysmic Wars
During the wars that set Eletreus aflame, Notarikon’s continued status as a neutral city state was directly challenged by the power of mad DeathKnight.Having captured some agents sent to recover any tomes following the raid on the Great Library of Khartoum, the DeathKnight sent his envoys to the city, demanding they hand over the core of the Great Archives or as soon as he had conquered the Western Lands, his armies would march on Notarikon and turn it to rubble like they had just done in Ankarath.
After several tense court sessions, the Council finally decided that an alliance with the Aleutians was be the best possible course of action – an alliance that remains in place to this very day.
Together, the Archmages and the Aeultian army developed strategies that would maximize their effectiveness on the field of battle. It was during this time that the first ‘battle mages’ joined the service of the Aelutians – specialized spell casters who were able to single-handedly reap death and destruction on the field of battle.
However, it was not until AFTER the Catalysmic Wars that the city experienced death and destruction firsthand.
Kurzatchal the Life Ender
At the start of the year 23 B.E., the Deathknight summoned what was later identified as a Golgoloth, a gargantuan, inter-dimensional humanoid monster with the potential to end all civilization if left unchecked..
Such magic had never previously been attempted, but it had opened Pandora’s box – and in the years that followed, the council became increasingly curious about the portal that had opened and what other beings lay beyond. Some of the Archmages argued that such raw power, if properly harnessed, had the potential to end all war once and for all – while others argued, rightly as it turned out, that this was a power that should be left well alone and that even if it could be controlled at first, a moment of inattention or complacency could see it break free and turn on its keepers..
Before a consensus had been reached, a few senior members of the council, led by Councillor Hermenion II, began the ritual and successfully brought a Golgoloth into the world.. However, they almost immediately lost control, and what followed was a rampage through the city by what was later identified as an entity calling itself Kurzatchal the Life Ender..
Many thousands of innocent people lost their lives as the monster stomped and burned the city with the heat from its fiery body. The council of 12 was in the end reduced to only 2, but the sacrifice was not in vain, for just before the life-ender was able to breach the spire and extinguish the only ones capable of defeating it, the mages discovered its true name and bound it to the spot, where it was finally banished once and for all by the Flame of the Host as the Paragon himself arrived to dispatch it with the only weapon that could do it harm – and in process, annexed the Sorcerer City, bringing the once-independent city-state into its borders as they try to salvage whatever tomes remain.
The Edict of Paragonia: Notarikon the Imperial Mage Capital
It took decades before the Empire could rebuild Notarikon to anything vaguely resembling its former glory. With the threat of the marauding Thanish hordes and the Deathknight receding, the Paragon turned his attention to ensuring that such a catastrophic incident could never happen again, distilling his formidable wisdom into the mighty tome known as the Edict of Paragonia. This text became a major part of his legacy and the cornerstone upon which the future of the Imperial Mage Capital of Notarikon would be based.
The Edict of Paragonia is a set of sacred tomes second only in holiness to the Elder Tomes itself. It is a set of strict rules, edicts, and guidelines designed to prevent any catastrophic disasters or incidents caused by magical spells. The set of rules primarily constrains and controls the teachings and sanctioning of spells above the 6th Tier, where any mishap can prove just as disastrous as the Tragedy of Notarikon. However, the Edict of Paragonia also outlines the ideal for the moral behavior, organization, tactical doctrines, and application of magic casters both in times of peace and warfare.
Upon the Edict‘s implementation, in an event that would rename the former Sorcerer City into the Imperial Mage Capital, each of the newly elected councilors retained their ranks, responsibility, and some level of political primacy amongst their peers. However, since the Imperial Mage Capital is no longer an autonomous city-state, the new Council of Archmages report directly to the Imperial Court and the Aleutian Empire’s Royal Family.
In addition, the Archmage Council is required to supply a certain percentage of their yearly trained magic casters to the Aleutian Empire’s army in order to serve as battle mages according to the yearly tithes as decreed by the Imperial Court. Furthermore, members of the Archmage Council will serve as court sorcerers to the Royal Family, providing magical protection, scrying, and other magical services as required by the Royal Family.
Aside from the aforementioned changes to the city’s political standing, status, and laws, the Imperial Mage Capital of Notarikon still maintains its status as a place of high academia and deep study of magic. Even today, many sorcerers, wizards, and magic casters from all the corners of the world flock there to study magic.
Mages in Society
Considered to be elite tradesmen and women, mages trained at the Sorcerer city are usually directly employed by the Empire to facilitate communication, assist in disputes (primarily by using spells that can identify false statements), help divine good and bad omens, find and track down outlaws and as assist in eliminating any magical threats that may arise within the Empire or along its borders.
Other uses for their spells are for entertainment purposes – either as illusionists providing light entertainment to the upper classes to common street performers, and on a grand scale, providing amazing displays in the sky. Such magic shows spare no expense to show the glory of the Empire, often re-enacting pivotal moments in history with the dark sky itself providing the canvas – and always ending in a spectacular display of sound and light that tries to become more exciting and amazing each and every year.
Additionally, all Imperial Envoys are trained at Notarikon in the way of the seer – learning how to use an Imperial Orb-link, a polished ball of pure Kremeldite crystal to relay both visual and audio information instantaneously across any distance. The use of this device has allowed the Empire to react quickly to any existential threat, and as such, every level of Aleutian society is linked back in one way or another to this great magical city..
Imperial mages are identified by a white inner robe, red cloak and official Imperial seal. It is not obligatory for them to wear the robes they are provided upon graduation, and contemporary magical fashion in the Sorcerer city itself can often be very outlandish and highly stylized – but conversely, it is illegal for any non-mage to don the robes of a mage and they must be worn at official mage gatherings as a sign of solidarity and respect for the Archmages and the council.