The city of Jastrey, and the shard on which it rests, are unique compared to the rest of Orn. Although the original town and some of the land's features are believed to have existed before the Shattering, the shard itself does not conform to any known maps. On top of this, Jastrey has been the focal point of many noteworthy conflicts in recent years, despite the shard having no extraordinary resources or strategic value. In these and other ways, the true nature of Jastrey remains a mystery...
Unique Shard Traits
One of the most unique features of Jastrey's shard is the way in which spans are formed. On other shards, spans only form to points that were coterminous prior to the Shattering. On Jastrey's shard, however, spans seem to form at random, connecting to other locations throughout Orn intermittently rather than a single defined area. This has created a great diversity of flora, fauna, travelers, and monsters throughout the shard, and may be one reason why control of the area is so contentious.
In addition to this behavior, Jastrey's shard appears to be growing, specifically along its outer boundaries. This growth is slow, no more than a few feet per year, but nonetheless measurable. It likewise differs from all other known shards, whose boundaries remain fixed.
The city of Jastrey, within the walls, covers an area slightly larger than a quarter square mile. Farmland stretches out around the city, eventually reaching the forest, lake, and mountains nearby. While the population fluctuates frequently, Jastrey is a city of decent size, supporting approximately 10,000 people of all races, professions, and ages.
Given the ever shifting nature of Jastrey's spans, as well as it's relatively recent founding, Jastrey tends to not have a dominant culture. For better or worse, Jastreyans are known for their adventuring exploits, leading some places to hail them as heroes, and others as imminent threats.
Over the years, people of all races and from all over Orn have arrived in Jastrey; some intentionally, others unintentionally. As such, languages from all over Orn exist in Jastrey. For simplicity, most Jastreyans speak the common language, Cirth.
With the ever shifting spans, the composition of Jastrey tends to change from year to year, and sometimes even mestrun to mestrun. Most races intermingle within the city, with the major outlier being the angori, who tend to congregate in the Crimson Quarter.
The citizens of Jastrey have adopted, "There's no justice in Jastrey," as a town motto, and with good reason. Jastrey has no caste system, ruling class, or government to speak of. No less than four major attempts have been made at establishing a legal system in recent history. Each has ended in failure, to the extent that Jastrey is best considered an anarchist state, with only the semblance of order being loosely enforced by local adventuring factions. The city manages to maintain enough order to operate, but has no official government.
While faiths from all over Orn are represented in Jastrey, the immortals Thareon, Avaren, and Kragg are most associated with Jastrey. Originally adventurers who lived in Jastrey, Haven Melrose, now known as Avaren, was the first of the new ascendant immortals on First's Elgen of Arathost, 5,730 NB, followed only hours later by Kegger Ironspur, now known as Kragg. Thalenir Lestral, now known as Thareon, ascended about a mestrun later on Third's Femest of Arathost, 5,730 NB.
No records exist of the current Jastrey prior to the Shattering. Three other towns that share the same name appear on pre-Shattering maps, one in Angor, one in Nastal, and one in Sardia. Two of these towns have not been accounted for since the Shattering, however Jastrey's landmarks cannot be attributed to either. Whether the current Jastrey was built on the remains of a previous Jastrey, or simply shares the same name, is unclear.
- Prior to 5,720 NB: None alive know what went on in Jastrey from the time of the Shattering until this point.
- 5,720 - 5,722 NB: As spans begin to form, Jastrey's first residents arrive. They consist of no more than a few dozen travelers who wander in by chance. Jeb and Abigail Baumgarten lead some other villagers in establishing farmland. Gecel leads the Grandhelm clan of dwarves in mining efforts. A wizard named Dalgoon and his apprentice Numeris take up residence in a nearby tower. A woman named Nevara opens the Healer's Den.
- 5,723 NB: An elder drake named Skorch the Shard Eater dominates the local gnoll and Bonescale ogre tribes and leads them on an attack that overruns Jastrey. He uses a minor artifact known as the Dragon Stone to turn his most loyal servants into half-dragons. The few survivors are driven from the town proper.
- 5,724 NB: A ragged band of adventurers wanders in, clears the town of gnolls, and takes up residence. They briefly consider renaming the town "Legnolleum" after their struggles. They spend the majority of the year rebuilding and finally corner and defeat Skorch in the winter.
- 5,725 NB: Adventurers continue arriving in small groups. A vampire necromancer named Rizzik the Corpsecrafter takes over an abandoned monastery and is eventually driven out. Attempts to recover the fragmented mind of Dalgoon from the Astral result in partial success, plaguing town with several of his incarnations. The ghost of Atrius Bloodbrand appears along with his cursed blade Bloodtide and begins haunting the streets at night. A small contingent of Ressik soldiers make contact and declare the town to be under martial law before returning home.
- 5,726 NB: A man named Frederick Douglas leads an army in the name of Ressik to occupy the town. The local adventurers who oppose Douglas fail and the town comes under his rule. After several attempts at insurrection, they eventually succeed by invading Douglas' dreams and convincing him to leave. The body of Skorch is animated as a dracolich and attacks town on several occasions. Mysterious ruins later named the Nexus Ruins are discovered near town, explored, and revealed to be under the protection of the immortals Banekeril and Muralakrum.
- 5,727 NB: The adventurers of Jastrey go on several excursions to rid the mines of monsters and uordeq slavers. A mysterious being from the Beyond named Freewater inadvertently causes trouble for town on several occasions. Gecel is raised as a death knight and wages war on town. Skorch invades the Nexus Ruins in an bid to become immortal but is destroyed in the attempt. The seelie fairy queen Festivia arrives and declares she will be relocating her court to the shard.
- 5,728 NB: Immortals who had been lost, including Antasia, Brodix, and Hursisa, suddenly begin to reappear near Jastrey. Queen Festivia hosts several gatherings, but is later attacked by harpies and suffers a mysterious molting. The Stone of Twilight is cast into the Pit by Sir Stiers the Heartless, creating an infernal war that ends when the Stone is claimed by Lemesin. Time becomes distorted around town, allowing townsfolk to view past events, including a prelude to the Shattering. Etejeril visits Jastrey in disguise and tricks town into collecting cursed beads for him. Secronus is revealed as the orchestrator of the Shattering and, after a climactic battle with town, claims the Nexus as his own. Freewater's madness spreads, creating chaos until he is cured and returned to the Beyond.
- 5,733 NB: The Theocracy of Ressik wages war on Jastrey for the second time. Led by Marshal Frederick Douglas, large portions of the city are destroyed in the siege. Jastrey stands united and fights to the last, making a final stand at the Shady Corner. Only the arrival of allied forces from the Ashfallen Rebellion keep the city from falling under Theocracy rule again. The Theocracy forces are routed and forced to retreat from the city.
Noteworthy Landmarks Within the City
- The Shady Corner - Despite being destroyed by dragon fire, dirigible crashes, giant ants, anarchist explosions, and a variety of other calamities, the Shady Corner tavern has always been rebuilt to serve as the beating heart of Jastrey. In 5,728 NB, it was blessed by the gnomish immortal Brodix such that nagnomes would continuously rebuild it if it should ever suffer another mishap.
- The Wall (Damaged) - A large stone wall surrounds the town of Jastrey on all sides. It was erected in the winter of 5,725 NB as a defense against the army of Ressik. Two townsfolk, Haven Melrose and Thalenir Lestral, instilled it with high magic to ensure that it would stand against the siege. Some say the bodies of Ressik's followers were mixed into the mortar. The wall stood against the armies of the Theocracy again in 5,733 NB, but were eventually breached. They currently stand in disrepair.
- The Statues of Avaren and Thareon (Damaged) - Upon the ascension of the mortals Haven Melrose and Thalenir Lestral, two statues, bearing their likeness, appeared in Jastrey. The statues have an apparent connection to the ascendant, and aided in the defense of jastrey in 5,733 NB during the battle between the ageless dragons, Syflare and Ivelis, as well as the Theocracy siege two mestruns later. The statue of Avaren still stands, but the statue of Thareon was damaged during the siege.
- The Brotherhood Tower (Destroyed) - The tower owned by the Brotherhood that stood within the city was originally built elsewhere. Two townsfolk, Garith Grey and Astrum Farstep, convinced a fragment of Dalgoon to transport it into town for them. For a number of years, it housed the town library, as well as an assortment of potentially dangerous magical oddities the Brotherhood had collected. After being abandoned by the Brotherhood, it served as the holding of the Docents until 5,732 NB, when the vault was removed, the foundation damaged, and the entire tower infested by fiends and set ablaze. it continued to burn until 5,733 NB when Malkonius Stoneshield was able to use it against the invading armies of the Theocracy. Nothing but broken stone and ash remains.
- The Crimson Quarter Longhouse (Destroyed) - In 5,727 NB, the angori of Jastrey erected a longhouse to serve as a tribute to Arimir and spiritual center for their people. The central feature of the longhouse is the pelt of an avalancher, who was hunted as tribute to consecrate the Quarter. In 5,732 NB a group of broken horned angori slaves, led by the human Saar, came to Jastrey after escaping the fighting pits of Neleron, taking up residence on the outskirts of the quarter. Many angori were slain during the Theocracy invasion in 5,733 NC, refusing to abandon the Quarter, even against impossible odds. The broken horned angori, Kresh, rallied the remaining angori after entering the burning longhouse and recovering the avalancher pelt used to consecrate the quarter. The Quarter was reduced to ash during the seige, but the angori who remain have begun to rebuild.
- The Healer's Den (Destroyed) - Build by Nevara early on, the Healer's Den served as the origin of what eventually became the temple district. The healer's Den was destroyed during the Theocracy siege in 5,733 NB.
- The Graveyard - Jastrey has seen much death in a short time. There's no lack of headstones to mark the graves of the fallen.
- The Sewers - The sewer system beneath Jastrey was created in 5,728 NB by out-of-control nagnomes. It is now home to a variety of troublesome species, including vermin, alligators, oozes, and even occasional constructs that are built or repaired by malfunctioning nagnomes.
Noteworthy Landmarks Around the Shard
- The Lake and Dock - The lake near Jastrey supports a much larger dock than would seem necessary, if not for Jastrey's unique spans. Many ships are surprised to find themselves in a landlocked lake, after sailing through an unexpected span. This has led to a dock more suited to a coastal port than a lake in order to support larger seafaring vessels.
- The Tranquil Grove (Lost) - A few miles outside of Jastrey, protected by ancient magic that prevents all but those welcomed by the Greenwarden from finding it, sits the Tranquil Grove. A sacred area for natural creatures, the Grove is protected by Asbjorn, an ancient bear spirit, and Firelilly, a dryad who sleeps within the oak tree at its center. Relations between the Grove and Jastrey have always been strained due to incidents of defilement over the years, some more intentional than others. In 5,733 NB, Onkruid Maer, First of Loreyza, regenerated the Grove's connection with the prime, and renewed its wards. None currently know how to reach the Grove, or if it survived the fires set by the Theocracy during the siege.
- The Nexus Ruins (Lost) - A mysterious power dwells within the heart of the Nexus Ruins, a network of underground dungeons that seems to shift regularly. The Ruins went unknown to Jastrey for many years due to a spell of tracklessness similar to the one protecting the Grove; only those who follow a very specific path can reach the Ruins without getting turned around. The exact purpose of the Ruins is a mystery to all but its chosen guardians, but it is known to be watched over by the immortals Banekeril and Muralakrum, and to create elaborate challenges for those who enter.
- The Monastery (Overrun) - An old monastery sits in the mountains near Jastrey, abandoned since the monks in residence were annihilated by Skorch in 5,724 NB. The necromancer Rizzik later took up residence, and the area has carried the taint of dark magic ever since. The monastery has been a frequent target of clacker incursions, and it's believed they have a large nest somewhere in the mountains nearby.
- The Citadel (Overrun) - In 5,727 NB, a group of Jastrey's most stalwart adventurers discovered an ancient citadel hidden deep within a system of dragotaur-infested caverns in the mountains. The dwarves of town have took on the task of clearing it out and making it usable again, however they were eventually forced to abandon it. Taklinn Forgesplitter collapsed a portion of the structure to prevent the monsters within from escaping.
- Jastrey's Wraithwood - In 5,733 NB, A portion of the wraithwood spread onto the Jastrey shard. While not as large as the wraithwood in Lower Metsar, its dark influence can be felt. Nothing dwells beneath its canopy without becoming twisted in some way. Already hags, unseelie fairies, giant spiders, the walking dead, and other monsters have been observed in this new cursed forest.
Noteworthy Player Sanctums
Please consult the Sanctums page for a list of player sanctums in and around Jastrey.