“Had Akhan broken through our defenses and plundered our archives, the magical knowledge therein would have made him unstoppable. But not in the 100 years of war did he succeed—proof of our Managuard’s mettle.”

 

The Cloudreach Mountains run hundreds of miles from north to south in central Arzu. Nestled among its thousand peaks, far above mundane eyes, is the magical nation of Aerie.

The Province first formed when early mages were persecuted for teaching their craft in Arzu. They petitioned Illuna for a place where they may study magic in peace. Illuna spoke with Sirrus, who opened the mountains and let the wizards into their new home. Thus Aerie was born.

At once a Province, a Magical College, and a testing ground for spellcasters, Aerie boasts of the highest population of mages in all the Realm. Acolytes come from all over the Realm to learn there. Only a handful of foreigners make it in, and even fewer manage to stay through the College’s rigorous curriculum.

Aerians devote themselves to the study of magic and guarding against its misuse. Wizards who were found to turn their magic for evil purposes were disavowed by Aerie and hunted down without mercy. Those who have been found guilty of the gravest crimes were turned into stone gargoyles and forced to keep eternal watch on the Province’s borders.

Within the capital of Spellhold, one can find magical workshops, marketplaces, parks, museums, and colleges for every major school of magic. The air is alive with flying carpets, broomsticks, floating carriages, and portals, ferrying people to and from the capital and its outlying cities. Mountain peaks have magical lighthouses that direct traffic at all times of the day and night.

The Aerian Arcanium is a wonder of magical design and achievement. Nestled in a valley beside Cauldron Lake, the walls of the arena are covered in magical runes. Floating platforms provide spectators a grand view of the action within. Combatants themselves must maneuver past enchanted obstacles just to clash with their foes.

Inside several hollow mountains are the Golden Archives, a network of libraries holding a vast sum of the knowledge in Arzu. Towering bookshelves require levitating platforms to reach. The Archives is so full of books and scrolls that it employs an army of librarians just to codify, arrange, and track the tomes populating its shelves. Finding the right book without the aid of the librarians may take months, if not years.

The Lord Archon Saemund Mooncaller has arranged the Aerian orders into three paths. First are the  Tomekeepers, in charge of researching, collecting, and preserving magical knowledge. Next are the Spellcrafters, who create enchanted items and gear for sale to the rest of the Realm. Finally, the Managuard hunt down those who abuse magic and protect the Province’s borders.

Aerie is a close ally of Everia and an enemy of the Scorched Lands. Much like Everia and Valoria before it, Aerians devote themselves to the White Moon, though many devotees to the dead Spirit Sirrus remain. Aerians are also proud of their history—during the Great War, their illusions and magical defenses kept the enemy at bay, and much to Akhan’s fury, the Scorched Army had failed to break through their Province’s defenses.

 

If Aerie has any known weakness, it is their antagonistic relationship with Nova, their technological polar opposite. Nova is the only Province they consider a bigger threat than even the Scorched Lands.