The terraced city of Aranthaes is heavily fortified by three walls, each wall separating and elevating the three main tiers of the city, Aranthaes Wynds, Aranthaes City and High Aranthaes.

City Wall

The outermost wall surrounding the whole fortified city is a sight to behold. It’s a towering structure of grey stone, standing at least twenty feet tall and reinforced with sturdy buttresses at regular intervals. The wall is thick enough to withstand a battering ram or a siege engine, and its imposing presence is enough to deter most would-be attackers.

The wall is punctuated by guard towers at regular intervals, each with a small garrison of soldiers keeping watch over Aranthaes Fields and the surrounding countryside. The towers are tall and narrow, with arrow slits and battlements at the top, giving the guards a clear view of any approaching danger.

The single gate in the outer wall is of heavy wooden construction, reinforced with iron bands and studded with spikes. Manned by an elite detachment of the City Guard at all times, entry to the city is strictly controlled. Non-citizens must register and may need to submit to a search before they are allowed inside the city walls.

Due to strict laws on the use of magic within the city, non-citizens with magical abilities must additionally register with a magic guild representative at the gate and be fitted with an amulet which restricts the use of offensive magic. Queues can become very lengthy at times.

City Wall is a relatively recent addition to Aranthaes, built within the last century to provide additional protection against the growing threat of bandits and marauders drawn by the city’s great wealth.

Mother’s Wall

The ancient city wall that separates Aranthaes Wynds from the city center of Aranthas, known locally as Mother’s Wall is a marvel of primitive engineering and a testament to the ingenuity of the city’s distant ancestors. The wall is made of a hard, glassy rock called tektite, known for its durability and resistance to weathering. The tektite is a dark, almost black color, and shimmers in the sunlight.

Originally the fortifcation for Aranthaes ancient precursor, the wall is over 20 yards high and about two yards thick, and is punctuated by battlements that once housed archers and other defenders. The battlements are crenellated and would have provided excellent cover for defenders during a siege.

The wall’s single gate is grand and imposing, leading from Aranthaes Wynds to Aranthaes City. Called the Wynds Gate it is flanked by two massive towers that reach high above the wall. The gate itself is made of heavy, ornately carved wood and is reinforced with iron bars and bands. Above the gate is a portcullis made of iron bars that can be lowered in the event of an attack. Some say the gate is additionally protected by an ancient magic.

As one approaches the Wynds Gate, the noise and bustle of Aranthaes Wynds fades away, replaced by the sounds of commerce and prosperity in the city center. The gate opens onto a wide, cobbled boulevard that leads directly into the heart of the city. On either side of the road are grand buildings made of stone and brick, including banks, guild halls, and mercantile houses.

The wall itself is an impressive sight, with its dark tektite blocks set in a pattern that seems almost organic. The wall’s surface is smooth to the touch, and has a smooth slippery texture that makes it almost impossible to climb without magical assistance. In some places, the wall has been worn down by the passage of time, revealing the layered strata of tektite that make up the wall’s structure.

Despite its aeons old age, the wall is remarkably well-preserved, a testament to the skill and care of the city’s original architects and builders. It is a symbol of Aranthaes’ longstanding power and influence, a tangible reminder of the city’s breathtakingly long history and its enduring legacy.

High Wall

The third and innermost wall rises high and mighty, separating the city’s elite in High Aranthaes from the hustle and bustle of the city center and ensuring they are wholly removed from the cramped Aranthaes Wynds far below. It is made of the same material as the outer City Wall – strong, sturdy, grey stone – and it has been embellished with beautiful carvings and intricate designs that depict scenes from the city’s rich history.

Beyond High Wall lie the lush gardens and sprawling mansions of the wealthy and powerful, each more opulent and extravagant than the last. The streets here are wide and well-paved, lined with tall trees that provide shade and a sense of tranquility unavailable anywhere else in the city.

At the very heart of the top terrace sits the peak of the mountain, upon which High Temple, the greatest temple dedicated to Lady Bune is perched. The temple is a structure of gleaming white stone, its towers reaching towards the sky like the fingers of a supplicant reaching out to their deity.

The temple is a popular destination for pilgrims and worshippers from all over the realm, who flock to its hallowed halls along a central path and long stairway smoothed by the passing of millions, to pay tribute to the draconic goddess.

Surrounding the temple are gardens of unparalleled beauty, filled with exotic plants and flowers from across the realm. Stone walkways wind through the gardens, leading visitors past fountains and pools of crystal-clear water, and benches placed in quiet alcoves where one can sit and meditate amidst the tranquil beauty of the surroundings.

If heaven can be found in the mortal realm, nothing can come closer than Aranthaes Heights.