"Protect us, oh holy one,
from the dangers of the night
may your smoke and ashes
to our souls with clarity ignite"
There are three ways to live. And living them well, living them with purpose, allows you to die easy.
"Death. What happens when one dies? A question that all civilized peoples have tried to answer. Some claim you go to a place where you are rewarded or punished based on what you do when you're alive. Some claim that you a simply reincarnated.
"They are all wrong. The truth is that we are in a state of transformation. Humans are simply in a complicated version of a caterpillar in a chrysalis. We started as mere animi. Now we are humans. And just like the caterpillar turns into something grander after its time in a chrysalis, we become something grander when we die.
"You see, we become gods."
The Noble Expertise of Creating the Remaining Organism is a gentlemen's club. People who don't belong call it the Noble Expertise, or perhaps the Expertise, but the people in the club call themselves necromancers, and the club itself N.E.C.R.O.
Banished from their foolish tree-hugger kin, the Plains Elves were forced into a semi-nomadic lifestyle.
"The HAS Endeavor is this ship. Its run by these 'obbit pirates. One day, me and me mates were sailing to this island, 'cause there was some old dungeon that I had a really good reason to loot at the time. So's as we sailed, them pirates led by their cap'n, a 'obbit called Ralph, boarded us, and stole all me gold! I was pissed for ages."
-Old Gerald, man in the pub
The city of Nausopol is built on stilts. Lots of very sturdy stilts and butresses, of course, because it rises about five hundred feet from the ocean. Even the most terrific of storms is only heard in the city as a distant cacophony of blasts as waves strike the solid stonework fathoms below. It has never been attacked because of its isolation and impregnability.
It's not a place for the faint-hearted: vertigo and sea-sickness are not desirable traits. But when you are standing in the middle of the city there is no way you could tell that you were standing above an ocean, separated only by a gulf of air and a few stones.
A thousand steps lead down from Nausopol to the floating docks. These docks are pitch-coated wooden and can be raised by winches during squalls. Trade with other cities and countries is good: Nausopol is built over a sunken atoll whose minerals are still mined by divers, and it was from this that it originally derived its wealth.
But the principal method of getting to and from the city is by riding the giant sea-eagles which have been captured and bred for that very reason.