Tears, known to the residents of Kidegia as the Citrine City, or the Capital of Knowledge, lies in a long, low valley on the western edge of the plains of Dimnar and the eastern edge of the great forests of Corryne. Prior to the great plagues that swept the peoples of Kidegia from the surface of Theall, Tears served as the home of the Empire’s most learned academicians and accomplished researchers._
The Plague of Crimson Tears struck the city in a series of calamitous blows; built upon the ideals of freedom and thought, it was these same thoughts that crippled the city’s defenses. The city elders refused to undertake the same drastic steps as other cities, believing that their combined resources would enable them to find the cure that none else could. They were wrong. Regardless of how quickly city officials acted to secure victims of the disease, more would spawn. Some came from the spread of the disease within the community itself, others came from visitors who had fled to Tears to escape the plague elsewhere.
The Plague of Claws fell upon the city like a beast from nightmare. Terrified scribblings from the time claimed that hundreds of the undead rose from the ranks of the diseased in a single eve. They laid waste to the city, devouring many of the citizens and turning many more. The city fell to flame and claws within days. It has lain fallow ever since.
Tears was the pinnacle of Kidegian learning. Five landmarks dominated the city’s landscape, as well as the minds of those dreaming about the Citrine City.
The Serrava Theatre of Conflict: Also known as the College of War, the Theatre transformed thousands of noble scions into the finest military commanders of their age. Every year, the Theatre hosted the Celebration of Martial History, opening its doors to the general public, allowing them to tour the grounds and marvel at the historical relics within. The instructors held trials during the event, seeking to find those amongst the attendees who possessed a talent or knack for tactics or strategy. The event culminated in the Grand Battle: two of the Theatre’s Masters would recreate a significant historical event using thousands of miniature forces. The sight of these tiny troops, combined with the magical pyrotechnics used within the battle, would be retold in countless inns and taverns across the realm.
Positioned on the western edge of Tears, the massive stone building now lies in ruins. The multiple roofs, made famous in Heril Ontagio’s masterful painting “The Theatre”, lie broken upon the interior floors. Hideous red and green ivy wind their way around and through the obsidian stone walls and the few artifacts and treasures that have not been looted by scavengers have surely been destroyed by the destructive forces of nature.
The Stellan Academy for Illumination and Research: Founded by the reformist Emperor Stellan Rankin, the Academy soon built a reputation that rivaled its rather ostentatious name. Emperor Stellan, known for his distrust of anything he could not see or touch, desired an institution dedicated to the understanding and research of non-magical phenomena. The Academy grew to become the leading establishment in the empire for research into mathematics, architecture, medicine, chemistry, and many other scientific pursuits. Its success was due, in no small part, to its own rules that none with the necessary talent and capabilities would be turned away.
The Academy’s campus climbs the southern lip of the valley in which Tears rests. Once a tightly built series of buildings and structures of various sizes, much of the academy’s property was destroyed by fire in some long ago attack. What little that remains is covered by scrub grass and creeping vines.
The Tower of Sorcery: Historically, the study of magic has been a lonely affair, popularized in tale and song as the wizened old wizard imparting his knowledge to a freckled, fresh-faced young apprentice. This tradition, however, was extremely inefficient, especially as the demand for magical technology increased. Thus was the Tower of Sorcery built.
The tower itself was a soaring construct, rising hundreds of feet into the air. The base of this towering spire was formed of seven brilliantly colored spheres, the material of each reflecting a particular color of the rainbow. Now, however, the spheres lie deadened and black, and the once graceful spire has collapsed across the city like a tree fallen across a wooded stream.
The Cathedral: Unlike many religious edifices across the Empire, the ancient building, the true first of the learning institutions in Tears, is a simple structure: simple white-washed walls, decorated sparingly with understated symbols of the Seven. The Cathedral was not a place of education, nor was it focused on administrative tasks. Instead, the massive stone structure served as a place for researching, questioning, and understanding the powers and emphasis of the Gods.
Perhaps due to its construction, perhaps due to one last blessing of the departing Gods, the majority of the Cathedral remains standing strong against the forces of nature arrayed against it.
Sorseth’s School of Material Delight: Possibly the strangest of all the centers of learning in the Citrine City, Sorseth’s catered to those interested in providing entertainment for others. The greatest bards, story-tellers, jesters, acrobats, and more, all learned at the feet (and hands) of the Master’s at Sorseth’s.
Originally built as one would see a travelling fair, the School only added permanent buildings once they achieved enough enrollment to justify administrative buildings. The student’s however, lived the life of gypsies. Sorseth, one of the greatest bards the Empire had ever seen, was fond of saying that the life of the road was the only true way to master the craft of entertaining. Sadly, that thought was also the reason that very little of the School still remains.
The Grand Conclave Repeater: This structure would easily be one of the most famous in the Empire, if there were any left to make it so. Still intact, the Repeater towers 105 feet above the ground. Three legs, curved into the center, support three ledges, each 33 feet above each other. It is upon this tower, as well as 8 others like it, that the greatest mages and priests of the Empire stood to chant the Grand Invocation into the chilly night air.