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From Mizahar Lore

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Populationaround 900
LanguagesCommon, Symenos


The City

Kalinor is the floating home of the Symenestra formed from the ceiling of a great cavern. Buldings are fashioned from massive stalactites or clay into cocoon-like shapes that drip downward. Dwellings often have reams of soft fabric on the floor and niches in the walls for sleeping and storage. A table and chairs are usually the only pieces of true furniture in a Symenestran structure.

Little natural light wanders into the cavern, so most illumination is by fire or phosphorous stones commonly called opalgloams for the moon-like glow they cast. Due to their ability to see in the dim, the perpetual twilight does not bother the Symenestra.

The Floating City

Streets are a weaving of cords of silk, thick and sturdy as ropes, hung with decorative flourish from one structure to another or to each other. A marvelous lace has resulted from the streets almost haphazard construction. Red cords serve as the main streets and will take a traveler to the most common destinations. Heavy goods are transported on especially thick black cords by carrier guards who operate large baskets that use a simplistic system of wheels and gears to move along the ropes. One guard turns the gears by hand while the other defends the goods. This is also a common way for non-Symenestra to be moved about.

Drinkable water enters homes through an elevated aqueduct system that flows into the roofs of cocoons. Gravity and ingenuity moves subterranean and above ground streams into a massive cistern from which all water flows. Waste and trash is either dropped into endless gorges that marble the floor beneath the city or burned in the mire-pit deeper in the cavern. Hideous creeping things and insects inhabit the deepest chasms, feeding off the refuse in a strange symbiosis.

Due to the complexity of roads and water systems, Kalinor was vastly overbuilt in anticipation of the city eventually being filled. Structures of various tones and sizes lie uninhabited, making a ghost town of half the city.


Being underground, Kalinor only feels a slight influence from surface weather. In the wet seasons, the caverns tends to grow a trace humid, whereas it is cool throughout the rest of the year.


Before the Valterrian, the Symenestra were tree dwellers in the northern jungles of Falyndar, part of the Suvan Empire. Their suspended city was a marvel, crafted with ingenuity and care from wood and glass, the structures connected only by graceful streams of fabric. Agile as they were, they required nothing else for a bridge. They lived in peace until the Myrian conquest reached the furthermost edges of Falyndar. The Symenestra did not expect the barbarous race to move so far north and were unprepared for the attacks. Choosing survival over territory, they migrated to Kalea and rebuilt their elevated city for roughly two-hundred years. This city was called Kalinad, meaning above Kalea. Kalinad had a greater sense of permanence, as its construction used more elements of adobe and clay in addition to the traditional styles.

When the world began to crumble around them and their airy city was lost again, the surviving Symenestra fled underground. They hid in caves and grew accustomed to the dim, coming out only at dusk to hunt. Dwellings were gradually built in a particularly vast cavern, resembling their old treetop homes, but they were a dour shade of the grace the Symenestra had once known.

While Symenestra have become reacquainted with the bright and arid day, they still find comfort and protection in Kalinor, "beneath Kalea". Over generations their refuge had transformed into a home.


With a small population, Kalinor tends to be self-governing. A ruling pair maintain the balance of the city and its commerce with occasional forays into judgment and arbitration. This male and female pair are selected by way of physical and mental trials and hold the position until either's death. However, if the remaining half is still fairly young they may keep their position if they will marry a newly selected counterpart. Frequently, one child from these pairs succeed to the position, while the other is chosen through trials. The ruling pair are compelled to wed another. The current ruling couple is Avadon Hyacinth, born to the position, and Nessora Hyacinth, chosen through trials.

Trade with outsiders is crucial to the existence of Kalinor, so the heads of commerce wield a good degree of power in the city. The dangerous and disorganized nature of Mizahar makes trade limited, as does Kalinor's location. What few traders dare enter the city are paid well and treated hospitably by the Aconitum, an organization that oversees commerce with the outside world. The central figure is the well-spoken and charming Laudavyn Aconite. The Aconite Web are the prevalent members of the organization, but they are not the only involved Web. Most outsiders that have entered Kalinor have done so under the shield of being a trader. The Aconites are unvaryingly kind to and protective of these visitors, giving traders an inaccurate picture of Symenestra as a gracious, misunderstood people. It is rumored that the Aconite Web actually has sympathies with the Esterians due to their frequent exposure to outsiders.

The city's peacekeeping force, the Ochya (eyes), is small as everyone knows one another or are at least some close relation of another. In times of conflict, all Symenestra would be compelled to defend the city. Violence towards another Symenestra is considered the worst of crimes, followed by theft. Both are punishable by banishment on pain of death, as Symenestra are loath to destroy their own.





Symenestran art is embodied in three words: dark, elegant and delicate. When they lived among the treetops, their style of architecture was organic and weightless with arabesques and thin filigree. In the caverns, the design has darkened while retaining its eerily organic feel. Smooth black and white structures hang like cocoons from the cavern ceiling, suspended between stalactites and flowing over the edges of limestone flows. Fabric is used in excess, creating furniture, walls and dimension in an otherwise minimal interior.

Ladders and bridges do not exist, only narrow ropes making a web between structures. It is impossible to ascend or descend into their community without a Symenestra willing to escort you.


While many of the common forms of art (painting, singing, writing, music) can be found in Kalinor, there are two for which it is especially known.


Kalinor is renowned for its fabric, primarily its silks. It possesses a prestigious weaving school that trains inhabitants from a young age to excel in the craft. They learn to harvest the raw materials, spin it into thread and weave it into usable fabric. Older students learn finer embroidery skills and seamstress skills.

Most homes are filled with fabric in place of furniture, and many Symenestra wrap themselves in fabric as an additional protection for their delicate frames. It is a strong part of their culture visually and financially. Both genders practice the art without stigma.

Fabric from Kalinor tends to be deeply colored with minimal ornamentation. What designs are present tend to be organic in theme.

Aerial Dance

Most of Kalinor's inhabitants are the gravity defying Symenestra. Their unique acrobatic ability and passion for fabric has resulted in a rare and beautiful form of dance. Aerial Dancers perform a weightless style of dance that defies typical stage structures.

Aerial Dancers are often wrapped in silk and carry a long swath of the same. This swath is used to connect to other dancers or nearby structures, but its most common usage is as a flourish to the dancer's movements. Like another limb, the silk swath will move in concert or wrap around the dancer's body to achieve exquisite poses.


In the rest of Mizahar, Kalinor's cuisine is a byword for something unpleasant in texture. Food from this city comes in liquid or pulp form and is predominately plant based. Due to the concentrated nature of the ingredients, cuisine from Kalinor is thought to be overbearing in flavor to outside palates.

A favored dish is Bruka, a blood based "porridge" made with mashed tubers, egg yolk, cream and a mix of spices including bay leaves and garlic. Fruits are often blended in unique combinations for dessert. Dairy is coveted but rare due to the location of Kalinor, and meat tends to come from smaller animals raised in the city or captured in the nearby wilds.



Swiata vo Viratas, The Festival of Viratas:

In spring, when flowers bloom and green takes over the land above, the Symenestra in their underground city celebrate.

Swiata vo Viratas is the biggest religious holiday in Kalinor. No Symenestra works that day.

Most Webs start the morning with a light meal, followed by small, private ceremonies. They usually spend most of the day at home, praying and remembering the past year, those of their Web that have passed away and the Harvesters that have left for the surface so that their Web can live on.

During Swiata vo Viratas no Symenestra is permitted to kill another living being, unless it is to defend their own life, and thus most Symenestra only drink juice or eat fruit that day.

In the course of the afternoon, the people of Kalinor usually make their way to the great temple of Viratas and gather around the blood pool in its very center. One after the other they sacrifice some of their blood and let it flow into the pool so that a part of themselves and their memories lives on. At the same time, those sacrifices are a way to thank Viratas for what he gave to the Symenestra and that Kalinor survived another year.


Chemah vo Ranek: The Morning of the Moths

Held in early Summer, Chemah vo Ranek is the four day celebration of the latest harvest of the Ranekissra's, Soft Moth's, cocoons. The cocoons are made to create the valuable Symenestran Silk, the city's primary export.

The celebration begins with a contest between weavers, deciding who created the most beautiful silk tapestry. The winners receive a prize purse and their tapestry is hung in Kalinor's massive gathering hall among past victors.

The Queen and her moths.

On the same day, a "Moth Queen" is chosen to be the officiant of the celebrations. This is usually a well-liked, unmarried girl who will then don the silken costume of the Moth Queen. The Moth Queen will then appoint her "moths" to help with her duties. These are usually her female friends, though young men in this part are not unheard of.

The Moth Queen is a coveted but difficult role. She is tasked to not only raise spirits during celebrations, but to visit as many families as possible during the four days. In these visits, she usually brings a small token for the children. Often "moths" bearing small gifts are sent where she cannot go. While the Queen's visit is a treat, the "moths" are greatly enjoyed.

Early the next morning the harvest begins. A few trained Symenestra visit the Rose Caverns under the guidance of the primary Moth Keepers and begin to collect the cocoons. In Kalinor proper, webs conduct a "hunt" for the children where cocoon shaped parcels are hidden with treats inside.

The third day is given over to showcasing Kalinor culture in the gathering hall. Histories are performed, music is played and the weaving school, The Weft and Warp, have lessons and displays.

On the fourth and final day, the inhabitants create dyes within their homes and offer them as gifts to the silk makers. In return, each donor receives a patch of finished cloth in their color towards the end of the season. These patches are usually quilted together and serve as a reference for each year. Often important occasions will be reflected in the color for the year. For example, if a child is granted to the family the color will be some variation of red to represented the blessings of Viratas.


Notok, The Harvest Festival:

Deceptively named, this festival has little to do with fall and everything to do with harvests. It is a three-day celebration during which the youths sent to harvest in years prior are appointed to return home with their surrogates. It is the grandest celebration the city has.

The first day is reserved to sweet reunions between nests and a collective feast. Surrogates are hidden from the awaiting family's until the second day when the women are presented at a grand dance with all the pomp and anticipation of a lavish gift. On the third day, the women gather with their respective surrogates entering them into contests judging the most beautiful or exotic among them. Prizes are on a grand scale and greatly coveted by the harvesters.


Do-Vedenza Kina, Farewell Feast:

In late winter, those who intend to participate in the harvest take their leave on the day of Do-Vedenza Kina. Nests observe this solemn day individually, whether they are sending off a loved one, or their harvester has yet to return. Gifts are given to the harvester and a filling meal is prepared. Before the harvester departs, a red scarf, embroidered by the female(s) the harvester is gathering for is tied about the harvester's arm as a token of goodwill.

Locations of interest

Listed below are some of Kalinor's important locations.


The society of Kalinor is almost wholly Symenestran. The city reflects the abilities and values of its people. Symenestra tend to think more in terms of the community and family than in the individual, and the societal structure reflects this.

Outsiders find Kalinor both strange in form and troublesome to navigate. To non-Symenestra it is a mysterious and inaccessible world. For its people it is a haven, the only place in Mizahar where the Symenestra are not only welcome, but celebrated.


Due to a small population, each position has a certain amount of worth due to its necessity. Options are scarce, and a workman is not easily replaced. With this comes a particular pride of place, few are ashamed of what they do.

Hierarchy is informal and based on an intersection of merit and bloodline. Old bloodlines are respected for their purity and enduring legacies. Survival as a nest is achievement enough, indicating the harvesting prowess of its inhabitants and the strength of its blood. Merit will also secure a place of respect, but for Symenestra, personal excellence is due in part to good blood. The concepts are strongly tied in the mind of Kalinor's people.

People of Kalinor

The population is almost exclusively Symenestra, with rare traders and captive surrogates comprising the rest.