Tales of Skytopia
Silver Hearth is the capitol of Agonos, and a strange city even by Skytopian standards. The city isn’t on the islands’ surface – rather, it is buried deep inside the tunnels that crisscross the island, illuminated by a series of cracks and tunnels lined with yellow sun-crystals that reflect the daylight almost perfectly. Here and there in Silver Hearth, one can see the sky straight through such a tunnel, and directly above the city is a large crack in which birds sometimes perch – so unlike what one might think of a subterranean city, it is both brightly lit and supplied with fresh air. The crystal-tunnels convey the sun’s light almost perfectly and an outsider would not find the city particularly dark – but the day is somewhat shorter than on the surface, because the crystals can’t quite catch sunlight that comes at an angle.
Silver Hearth is the high seat of Barbara and her small army of specially trained soldiers and martial artists. These are very secretive, and train mostly inside their appointed barracks and caverns – common folk in Silver Hearth see very little of them, but many hope to be able to join their ranks. Barbara also runs most of the day-to-day business in Silver Hearth, although she delegates much of this work to her aide, Li the Serpent.
Silver Hearth is considered by many the safest place on Agonos, and its population has swelled in these troubled times as Agonians seek their way closer to the heart of the island. For now, the mining industry is keeping most newcomers occupied – but its overseers have to be careful not to overtax the mines, and they are already exceeding the required number of miners by orders from Barbara. The mines are bleeding money to unnecessary employees, and fast – something which could have serious consequences for the islands’ economy if it persists.
People of Note
Li the Serpent is an Earth-born and Barbara’s aide. A clever, snake-like woman in her thirties, she is a wry and cunning bureaucrat but very poor at gaining peoples’ trust. The locals love Barbara and accept Li for essentially no other reason than that Barbara said they should. Rumors fly that Li has been accepting bribes and engaged in other unscrupulous behavior; if this is true, not even Barbara’s approval can save her.
Marcus Silver has a dubious reputation as Skytopia’s fastest gunslinger. Armed with two magical sidearms of angel-gold and quicksilver, he is a feared duelist and oft-hired mercenary. Strangely, Barbara has not recruited him for her army of elites – or perhaps she’s tried, and Marcus declined the offer. He currently lives in Silver Hearth, lounging all day and spending money without earning any. It seems like he’s waiting for something – or someone.