The thriving and relatively new city of Gratiashira has a surprisingly long and complex history dating back several centuries. This text will outline the legendary events that led to the city’s foundation including the history of the ruined city of Graminaci, the impact of the Blood Wars, the formation of the Ashirápes mountain range, and the emergence of Iashal and Lishrin as lesser deities.

Before the Blood Wars

The City of Graminaci

Before the Lorath Sea split the continent down it’s center, the Western and Eastern Spine were one continuous mountain range, called the Great Spine. Directly below this mountain range there was a lush valley through which the Narician Swiftwater flowed. This valley was home to some of the earliest civilizations, including the people of Graminaci, whose descendants would eventually establish the city of Gratiashira.

The Graminacian people were largely Sylvan and Fey, but were welcoming to all races. They were stewards of the land, in tune with nature, as well as skilled craftsmen with an affinity for the arts. The Graminacian people took most pride in their textiles and pottery which were sought after by merchants and travellers of the ancient world. A few surviving artifacts are on display in modern museums, still praised for their excellent craftsmanship.

Not much is known about Graminacian religious beliefs in the first few centuries, as shrines and temples from this era have long since been converted or destroyed. However, as the population mainly consisted of Fey creatures, scholars believe citizens likely worshipped Vilena or some other nature deity. This speculation is further supported by the recently discovered Texts of Lorath, in which the author describes Graminaci as “the body through which [the] blood of nature flows”.[1]

A Prosperous Era

While Graminaci had always been prosperous, the city did not reach its true potential until after 750 BB. It is around this time that a travelling Kalashtar Cleric, Khad of Sarlona, made a home for himself among the Graminacian people. While Khad was certainly not the only Kalashtar to travel to the Bloodlands, he was likely the first of his kind to appear in Graminaci. Even so, his arrival could easily have been lost to the ages had he not been responsible for the introduction of Ashira[2] as a deity. Khad was so influential in his indoctrination that to this day he is known as Ashira’s greatest prophet and the annual holiday, Khadvena[3], is celebrated in his honor.

The citizens of Graminaci aligned themselves to Ashira over the course of the next several generations, continuing to worship her even after the death of the prophet Khad. The Graminacian people sung the praises of Ashira and practiced living in joy and celebration. It is also during this time that many of the city’s temples and shrines were converted to serve Ashira. In return, Ashira looked upon the city in favor. She blessed them with prosperity, knowledge, and skill. Over the course of the next 750 years, Graminaci grew to its peak as a civilization and established its place as one of the great kingdoms of the ancient world under the rule of King Santimos the Just[4]. This period of time, which would come to be known as the Prosperous Era, lasted from 750 BB until the beginning of the Blood Wars.

The Birth of Iashal

The Prosperous Era of Graminaci did not go unnoticed by neighboring cities. The city’s success, as well as their fertile land, was sought after by many. Amidst this happy time, in the year 312 BB, tragedy struck. In an act of war, a rogue named Damianthus of Karrameah infiltrated Graminaci Palace and assassinated King Santimos. The Graminacian people declared war upon the city of Karrameah and this peaceful city entered battle for the first time.

Ashira was plagued by guilt that she could not protect her people. Distraught, she cried out to Amaranthinos[5], and asked for a son to defend her people. Amaranthinos saw that King Santimos’ death was unjust, and so the Watcher reached out his hand and from the blood of Santimos he forged a holy knight, Iashal, Ashira’s first born. Iashal, who would soon come to be known as “the Defender”[6],  lead the Graminacian people into battle and protected the city from all harm.

After the invading forces were driven out, the city returned to its peaceful growth. Ashira appointed Santimosen, the first born son of Santimos, to take his father’s place on the throne. Under his rule, and with the protection of Iashal, the Prosperous Era lasted until the beginning of the Blood Wars in year Xed[7].

After the Blood Wars

The Destruction of Graminaci

The long years of fortune and growth that were the pride of the Graminacian people were cut short by the chaos of the Blood Wars. In the heat of the awesome battle, the Great Spine was split[8] and the waters of Koranthia came pouring into the land. The low altitude valley, no longer protected from the natural dam of the mountain range was flooded within days. Countless lives were lost in the deluge; along with years of architecture, literature, magic, and technology. For The first time in their history, the Graminacian people were without a home. With no other choice, they began to seek refuge in the neighboring territory, the realm of giants.

Through their suffering, the Graminacian people were unwavering in their faith. While in their new hostile environment, Iashal's protection was their saving grace. The citizens, now nomads, were unable to settle for more than a few weeks at a time, when they would eventually be discovered and attacked by giants and trolls that inhabited the area. Their prayers to Ashira grew more desperate until she could bear their sorrow no longer. She once again reached out to Amaranthinos, requesting his aid to save her people. The Blood God turned her away. As unfortunate as the circumstances were, it would be unjust to take rightfully owned land away from the giants. Ashira disagreed and swore she would do right by her people, with or without the Blood God's help.

The Founding of Gratiashira

Ashira, led her people North, along the shores of the Lorath sea. She found a portion of the land where the freshwater of the Narician Sweetwater flows into the sea. This is the land she chose for her people and she and Iashal defended it. The battle was long and relentless, but Ashira shielded her people from the danger.

In the form of a great Phoenix, Ashira raised her talons, surrounding her people with the sharp points of her claws. In doing so, she formed the Ashirápes mountains[9] which remain standing strong to this day, protecting the city from invasion. With this newfound protection the battles ended. On the first day of April, in the year 56 AB, the Graminacian people founded a new city: Gratiashira[10].

The Birth of Lishrin

In the days after the battle, there was much celebration. Thanks were given to Ashira and Iashal, and many festivals were held. Having overcome the darkest of days, Ashira's chosen people rejoiced like never before and from the overwhelming joy that filled the new city, a new deity came into being. Ashira's second-born, Lishrin, would come to be known as the Keeper of Good and the Goddess of Ceremony[11].

The founding of Gratiashira and Lishrin's subsequent birth are commemorated each year during Gratisfest. Gratisfest is a week-long festival, widely regarded as the most extravagant celebration in all of the Orlanthia. The festivities begin at the darkest hour of night on the first Sunday of April and continues for the next seven days. During this time there is continuous music, dancing, feasting, and tournaments all through both the days and nights. It is said that Lishrin often walks among the citizens during the event and many have claimed to see her dancing along to the music.

Facts and Statistics

Population: ~62.4K citizens

Founded in 56 AB

Region: Stoneleaf

Prominent Languages: Common, Sylvan

Prominent Deities: Ashira, Iashal, Lishrin, Amaranthinos

Notable Locations: Ashirápes Mountain Range, Temple of Ashira, Temple of Iashal, Temple of Lishrin, Gratiashiran Museum of History and Art, Sal Veah Opera House.

Historical Figures: Khad of Sarlona, Santimos the Just, Hanklin Margoris, Cabarana Teatin, Ild Barror, Grilla Partalli

  1. Texts of Lorath, Text Fragment C12, ”Gratiashira esse sina bodime i sangui o vysi celusse”. ~1500 BB. Common translation by Xintonin of Veradon. Language Archives. Print.
  2. Umass, Imahd. Gods for Dummies. Dec. 534 AB.  Veradon Arcaneum. pp. 1-2. Print.
  3. “Khadvena,” roughly translated, means “Khad’s Arrival”. This holiday is celebrated on the 25th day of Autumn by citizens of Gratiashira as well as followers of Ashira, Iashal, and Lishrin. During the festivities, lanterns are placed in trees along pathways to symbolise the Light of Ashira, which first guided Khad to Graminaci.
  4. King Santimos the Just (806 BB - 312 BB), a high-standing young elf was given divine right to rule by Ashira in 747 BB at the age of 109, shortly after the arrival of the prophet Khad.
  5. Umass, Imahd. Gods for Dummies. Dec. 534 AB.  Veradon Arcaneum. pp. 1-2. Print.
  6. Umass, Imahd. Gods for Dummies. Dec. 534 AB.  Veradon Arcaneum. pp. 3-4. Print.
  7. Year Xed, also known as 0 BBAB is the term used to denote the changing of the calendar from 1 BB to 1 AB. This year is marked by the start of the Blood Wars.
  8. Callowhen, Jacra M. The Blood Wars: When Gods go to War. “The Blow that Reshaped a Continent”. 8 April 501 AB. The Great Library. pp 856-892. Print.
  9. “Ashirápes,” roughly translated, means “Ashira’s Claw.” This mountain range is said to have been formed by Ashira in April of 56 AB. It is also regarded as one of the 12 Majesties of the Bloodlands.
  10. “Gratiashira,” roughly translated, means “Ashira’s Grace.” The city was founded in April of 56 AB.
  11. Umass, Imahd. Gods for Dummies. Dec. 534 AB.  Veradon Arcaneum. pp. 3-4. Print.
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