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NotabilityInfamous magical center
LeaderArchwizard Zarik Mashaen
LanguagesNader-Canoch, Common
ImportsMagical reagents, dead bodies

Sahova refers to both an island off the coasts of Sylira and the citadel of the same name that sits near its southern shores. The place is almost entirely populated by undead of the Nuit variety, devoted to endless magical research. The only living souls on the island are those brave enough to seek arcane tutoring or assistance from the wizards, or the occasional merchant. Sahova is not immediately hostile to strangers, though the environment is not designed for the living to be in.


The Island

Map of Sahova island.

Sahova is a jagged, rough, inhospitable volcanic island. Prior to the founding of the magical research colony, it had never been colonized due to its lack of natural resources. Its current inhabitants do not mind; they do not have to grow food, and many things the living would find uncomfortable are meaningless to them. Because of this, they have access to the island's benefits without being bothered by its drawbacks. The island itself seems built for defense, with steep rocky cliffs, deceptively inviting beaches that turn out to be dead ends, and strangely thick patches of trees and vegetation. The rocks appear sharp and wild near the shore, but slowly turn into more regular grey basalt flows near the center, betraying Sahova's origins as a volcanic island.

The volcanoes are long extinct, but have left large underground gaps and natural halls that have since been exploited by the undead, who have dug connection tunnels through the ancient stone. The cavern system is an extension of the main citadel, with secret entrances well hidden and scattered all over the island.

Sahova landscape.

Sahova enjoys a temperate climate, with hot summers and warm winters. Rather strong winds sweep across the island all year long. Rainfalls are abundant enough for wild vegetation to thrive, but the steep layout makes agriculture impossible. Flora includes acacias, oleanders, small palms, junipers, and many other types of bushes and small trees. Some specimens are known to have mutated because of the heavy releases of Djed in magical experiments. Fauna is generally limited to small animals, birds, rodents and wild cats. Sahova is beautifully wild, and gives off a feeling of warm loneliness. It is often completely silent except for the rustling of the wind through the foliage.

Locations of interest

The Harbor

The silent beach.

Sahova's harbor is a collection of old buildings that appear to be well-maintained, yet are completely uninhabited. The facilities are entirely manned by golems and other automata created through Animation, which help with the loading and unloading of cargo and direct prospective visitors to the Citadel. Everything is automated, and none of Sahova's resident wizards are ever to be seen here. Most merchants do not deal with the undead at all; instead, they conclude business with specialized golems that oversee the exchange of wares and money. The transaction is entirely cold and impersonal, for which the merchants are usually thankful, especially when dead bodies are the commodity.

The Citadel

Entrance to the Citadel.

The Citadel proper is several miles inland, allowing preparation time in the event of an assault. There is a single road, though closer to a dirt path than an actual road, leading to the Citadel; it happens to be the only road on the island. The Citadel is surrounded by a volcano's steep walls on the other three sides, making it easy to defend. It has no access to water or food, but such things are worthless to the undead. Constructing the Citadel required a massive magical effort from more than three thousand skilled wizards over five years, with two hundred losing their lives in the process. Mustering such magepower would be utterly impossible in the current post-Valterrian times.

The Citadel merges into the surrounding landscape and the visible part, with its hauntingly beautiful golem-patrolled turrets and imposing walls, is only one third of the total. The majority of the structure actually lies underground, branching off into many subterranean halls, corridors and passageways, some of which are submerged or filled with poisonous gas. While this poses no threat to an Nuit undead, the bowels of the Citadel are a very dangerous place for the living, yet it is where most of the research and experimentation takes place. Many eager foreigners brave these perils, seeking apprenticeships from the undead wizards regardless of the risks.

Individual sections of the Citadel are assigned to specific wizards and their apprentices by the Archwizard. Generally speaking, the more dangerous the experiments, the more secluded the area. Wizards have a certain degree of autonomy within the Citadel, but gather together in one of the main classrooms when they are summoned by the Archwizard, which happens regularly. Wards are often employed to protect private rooms from unauthorized access.

Not even the Archwizard has full knowledge of Sahova's layout. The Citadel was built upon what once was a vein of caverns in the island, leaving room for many secret, hidden, and unknown passageways throughout Sahova. It would be easy to get lost around the Citadel, even for a resident Nuit. As such, Sahova has directional maps in prime locations, together with blue-lit arrows to indicate the routes needed to be taken to frequented places. Non-nuits are restricted in the basement levels, unless escorted by a wizard or a golem under the authorization of the Archwizard or any of the Council Members(not that many visitors survive down there.)


There is only one point of entry and exit into the Citadel. After passing the first portcullis at the main wall, the path goes straight to the second portcullis, passing by what used to be a great garden path, decorated with life-size statues of prominent people in Alahea. One formally enters the Citadel through a blue-lit cavern, at the end of the which lies a great double door three stories high, the first glimpse of ancient Alahean architecture. The vestibule is a wide hall filled with arched niches that contain reliefs or sculptures of some of the greatest leaders of Alahea.

Those who are new to the Citadel have mixed reactions to the tall stationary cylindrical golem four human spans in diameter in the middle of the vestibule. This golem facilitates and logs the entrance and exit of all Sahovan Nuits and visitors. This Greeter golem--too humble a name for its duties and responsibilities--works in tandem with eight messenger golems. It can offer directional guide to visitors who are looking for apprenticeship (or what ever twisted business they wish to conduct; the golem could care less or, rather, not at all) and act as a messenger for Sahovan wizards who cannot bother to meet their expected visitors in the Hall. With the proper inquiry, the vestibule golem can also provide information if any of the wizards are hiring help, or are offering missions or quests outside Sahova.

Synchrograph Office

One of the unique features of Sahova is its bureaucracy. While the Archwizard enforces a semblance of management, the rest of the community can go about their science projects with the least interruption possible. This is accomplished with partial help from the Synchrograph Office, a golem-operated stock room that provides the wizards with most of the supplies that they will need. In addition to this, it serves as a convenient merchant within Sahova that facilitates the trade of various goods inside and outside Sahova. Most wizards find it convenient to buy and sell their magical stuff through the Synchrograph because it saves them the hassle of meeting up with merchants in the Harbor. The office is also a mechanism to regulate and keep track of everybody, as the ingredients, materials, and requests that they send to the office is recorded and monitored.

The Great Library

Sahova has one of the most extensive book collections on magic, pity most are written in the Ancient tongue. Most of the books are rare compilations about Alahean knowledge on science and magic and ancient historical archives. Well-preserved and well-maintained, the Library houses most of the answers to the questions of scholars, including those both lost and forbidden. Since Drainira's betrayal, the library was left without an omniscient librarian. However, Catalog Golems are still available to provide library users assistance, including, but not limited to, retrieving books, reaching the upper shelves, and tracking the list of borrowers and borrowed books. The CGs, no matter what assigned number or version, are programmed to assist Nuits, and do not respond to Pulsers.

The Library has two main sections: the General Section which is replete with books on magic, all neatly organized alphabetically on towering shelves; and the Restricted Wing, which can only be accessed through the special permission of either the Archwizard or one of the members of the Council. Sahovan wizards are allowed to take out at most five books from the library which they can study for an indefinite period of time, but must return in pristine condition, unless they want to meet an untimely end.

Palsa Hydrasa

Most corpses that are bought from the mainland are immediately sent to Palsa Hydrasa, Sahova's embalming facility. The best embalming techniques are employed to ensure the longevity of the corpses which are later preserved in cryonic sargophagi. Aside from treating imported bodies for later use, Palsa Hydrasa has its own bath designed specially for Nuits who want to take the extra mile in preserving and prolonging their body. Additional services include facial reconstruction, tissue stitching and repair, and body wraps.

Venenium Herbarium and Laboratory

The Venenium is a natural underground network of tunnels that is designed to allow the artificial cultivation of poisonous plants. The idea behind building the herbarium was to create an environmentally controlled area for nurturing poisonous ooze and fungi. Most of the specimens found within the cave network are endemic to the island of Sahova. No living creature can exist within the caves, although golems and Nuits, under certain precautions, are perfectly able to navigate the caverns. Directly connected to the area is a specialized poison laboratory used to synthesize and experiment on various plant specimens, including those found outside the Herbarium. The laboratory's second floor, where more philtering and poison making takes place, is in the Citadel's first floor where it can be accessible to pulsers who wish to visit.

Most of Venenium's products are toxic, mind-altering, and psychoactive. Some wizards are known to ingest a drug called Zoomers, a recreational drug that is also secretly exported to the mainland.

Workshops and Common Laboratories

Sahovan Nuits work continuously on various projects and research, some magical, some evil. To this cause, they are provided rooms to practice and hone their chosen disciplines. The Nuits who are barely competent in their chosen discipline are usually under the apprenticeship of Masters, and are only able to work in communal laboratories and workshops.

There is a steady supply of common items, materials, and equipment for project research and development, which is provided for the wizards, free of charge. Almost all kinds of raw materials in Sahova is free, but there is a need to file a request to the Synchrograph Office to get some. Personal projects are allowed, but are not encouraged. These, too, must go through the Synchrograph.

Private Laboratories and Offices

Having a personal laboratory is a privilege reserved for Masters, for they are those who have the right amount of skill and competence to pursue projects that would otherwise become disaster in the hands of novices. Most of the time, private laboratories are within proximity of the common workshops and laboratories, except the labs for dangerous disciplines like Alchemy, Malediction, and Voiding. These private rooms are usually warded or guarded by golems, to prevent thieves or snoops. Some offices and rooms are also installed with spying devices that keep an eye and ear on apprentices left alone. In order to use private laboratories, one must first get consent or apprenticeship from the Masters.

The Golems of Yachluria

Yachluria is a subterranean forge, located in the first basement to the northeast, a structure that was created and designed apart from the rest of the Citadel. It is a large two story oval cave, connected to the Citadel through underground passages and lava tunnels. Sahovan technology is highly reliant on golems and magic; Yachluria is where most of the production and refinery of metals and stones take place.

Rubellum Chamber

At the very bottom of the Citadel rests the most important chamber - this is where suitable dead bodies are stored for the undead wizards to use. While Nuit-type undead have few needs, their bodies degenerate in time and cannot be healed when damaged. This forces them to perform body jumping regularly, at least every few years; if they cannot move into a new body, they will eventually be destroyed. Since their existence depends on finding new bodies, they stock up on them whenever possible. The chamber is filled with cryonic sarcophagi, each holding a preserved and frozen body. The magical effect is achieved through the use of ice-based Reimancy fixed onto the sarcophagus with advanced runic Glyphing.

The Testing Grounds

Map of the Testing Grounds.

The Testing Grounds is the name for Sahova's northern woods. This is where the wizards collect experimental data on their research, for example, unleashing modified creatures or pitting golems against each other. This is the one place on the island that even the undead wizards deem unsafe, mostly because no-one knows exactly what everyone else is up to.

The area has four sectors: X, Y, Z, and A called The Prairie, Mudpool, Bloodhills, and Heartland, respectively. The Testing Grounds is assigned to Chabizas, the wizard with the highest combat magic ability in the community. He and The Wardens serve as guardians and protectors of the Testing Grounds.

Sector X: The Prairie

The Prairie is a vast barren land. The earth is dry and almost void of vegetation. Its wide space allows wizards to conduct experiments that require the use of large areas. There are obvious wizard-made signs of destruction: craters made by explosives, bones of dead creatures, the occasional ritual circles, and charged glyphs that serve as traps.

The field is bordered by Zayan Furugu to the east, a well known spot for Ghost hunting. To the north is the Forest of Thorns, the only hunting area in Sahova where one can find medium-sized animals that are safe to eat. The trail to the West leads to Sector Y.

Sector Y: Mudpools

When referring to the Testing Grounds' Mudpool, it would usually refer to the third mudpool, reachable only by traversing the northeast area of sector Z, or the Bloodhills. It is a very colorful mudpot known to have precious Capofilm, the rarest source of Sahovan poisonous ooze. The fumes and gases that surround the Mudpool are very desirable, and misled adventurers often end up staying longer longer than they should. Even golems malfunction while in the Mudpool's vicinity.

The insignificant first and second mudpools belong to the western section. The first mudpool is accessible near the trail that leads to West Zayan. It is a large grey-white mudpot characterized by the smell of rotten eggs. The clay deposits that surround the mudpool are sources of geothermal ooze and certain microorganisms that some of Sahovan wizards study. The second mudpool is located past the northern tip of West Zayan. It is surrounded with a landscape textured like an elephant's skin. Less visited as it is, the second mudpool conceals a path that leads to a vein of precious crystals and gemstones.

Sector Z: The Bloodhills

Named as such due to the reddish hue of the earth, the Bloodhills has a heavily guarded perimeter. Some Nuits claim that the earth had turned to red due to the sheer number of deaths that had occurred in the area. Like the prairie, the Bloodhills is a space for the practical application of experimental theories. It is, in contrast to the Prairie, reserved for the dangerous and sinister productions that only a great wizard has the talent to supervise or, if the need arises, destroy.

While a portion of the Forest of Thorns lie well into the southern tip of the Bloodhills, the Glannoch Woods is more popularly attributed to Sector Z. It is a place teeming with Valterrics and various flora and fauna that would otherwise be endangered if not extinct to modern day Mizahar.

Sector A: Heartland

Although the Dendrik Ravine belongs to East Sector Y, it is considered part of Heartland, as it is the only way in and out of the least explored and most feared sector. Heartland is a deep valley surrounded by mountainous cliffs and inhospitable terrain. It is unconfirmed if the earth truly turns a deep shade of scarlet as you go deeper into the ravine and the mist that wraps around Sector A eat both the living and undead. No one exactly knows what horrors Sector A keeps except for Chabizas, the Training Grounds Warden.

The Vault

The Vault.

The Vault is an independent construction inside one of Sahova's extinct volcanoes. Connected with the Citadel through a long underground passage, it was originally to be a silo for holding high-potential magical weapons for Alahea's war effort against Suvan, but the Valterrian annihilated both kingdoms, making this purpose pointless. It now serves as a separate storage place for finished artifacts. The volcano's thick walls shield the artifacts from the powerful Djed that runs rampant on the island, protecting the items from damage. It also makes it easier to guard them from unwanted visitors.

Some of the items in the Vault have sat there for centuries now, and several date back from pre-Valterrian times. As such, their value would be historical as well as practical. It is said that the Vault even holds magical items designed by the famous White Enchantress, Areesa Tallshade.


Sahova was founded about a decade before the Valterrian by Archwizard Zarik Mashaen, at the time Court Mage of Alahea. Mashaen, an accomplished Animator and one of the best wizards of his generation, was not given a choice, as he received the order from an even stronger wizard, the legendary Sagallius. With his family taken as hostages, Mashaen had no choice but to sign a Grand Oath to build an arcane colony and research new, forbidden magic until such a time when Alahea would crush Suvan. A Grand Oath is sacred and breaking would lead his soul and those of his loved ones to an eternity of torment. Mashaen founded the colony and then accepted several hundred volunteers to populate it as undead created by himself.

Their numbers have thinned down over the centuries, but the colony still exists and performs research as originally instructed in the Grand Oath. Sahova survived the Valterrian thanks to its reinforced structure and strategic placement, and is now one of the only places that still retains portions of pre-Valterrian history. More importantly, the colony has had to open its doors to the external world as bodies and materials are no longer provided by the Alahean kingdom. Since the Grand Oath does not forbid trade with the living, Sahova imports what it needs and exports its lore and knowledge. It occasionally helps the Syliran city-states against each other or the horseclans of Cyphrus.


Corridors of the Citadel.

The key to understanding Sahovan society lies in remembering that everyone is undead and a wizard. This posed a series of organizational challenges that Archwizard Mashaen had to solve. On the one hand, undead tend to be loners who isolate themselves from others; on the other hand, it is known that the primary task for the leader of a magical community is to identify deviant behavior early on and nip it in the bud, removing the unstable wizard before he becomes a threat (see Wizard psychology). Therefore, the wizards on Sahova possess not one, but two traits prone to causing mental disorders.

Further adding to the problem, the main method for discovering dangerous wizards is through social contact. Undead, however, have very little reason to be social. They do not need to gather together for meals or other group activities, and they do not need to sleep, allowing them to work on their research for months on end. If left unchecked, an undead society might very well dissolve or fragment into a number of smaller factions which might then grow hostile to each other.

Mashaen countered the problem by introducing certain social events and forcing everyone to attend. The most common of these events is the Reacquaintance. As Nuit undead move to new bodies every now and then, a Reacquaintance is held and celebrated on that occasion. The stated purpose is to allow everyone to familiarize with the person's new appearance, though it also allows the Archwizard to keep tabs on everyone. Occasionally, Mashaen has had to dispose of dangerous wizards, especially in the colony's early days.

The Archwizard's authority is nominally absolute. He literally decides who lives and who dies. He is in charge of accepting new members and turning them into new undead, and he can assign a member to an external mission to be carried out away from Sahova. The Archwizard's job is not a simple one, as he has to rule over a number of wizards that could defeat him if they banded together. Often, a troublesome member needs to be sent out on a suicidal quest to do something or find some reagent. The wizard leader's second rule is that anyone can be replaced, after all.


The Master's Guild

The Silence

The Wardens

People of Sahova

The following is a short list of Sahovan characters (check Category:Sahova for more).

Part of a series of articles on Death, undeath and the dead
Concepts Afterlife · Soul
Gods Dira, goddess of death · Uldr, god of the undead
Ghosts Spiritism · Possession · Materialization · Soulmist Projection · Black Rock
Nuit Daek-nuit · Sahova · Zarik Mashaen
Other undead Chained One · Wretched One · Desolate One
Factions Returned
Other Embalming