Worshipful Municipal Corporation of Aldermen of the Sanctified Grounds of Ryventemple, Guarantors of its Ancient Liberties
|Predominant language:||Praeta (official)|
|Main roads:||Avenue of the Workers' Revolution|
|Current mayor:||Sister Jeromya|
Ryventemple (Formerly known as Eliria or Elw: Елирия, Elirija, or more historically ену Елирион, enu Elirion; Babkhi: Елирияшаҳр, Eliriashahr) is the ruined capital of Elwynn. It was destroyed by antimatter bombing during the Second Elwynnese Civil War on 20.XIV.1695 AN, leaving millions of dead souls in its wake. In 1703, it was sanctified as Ryventemple by the Cult of the Sacred Detonation.
Eliria is a city that was settled around the year 500 by Elw nomads. The city is known for its religious temples, including the Treesian monastery and cathedral and the Elfinshi temple, which was later turned into Eliria Castle. Eliria became an important market place in the region, bringing various ethnicities together and becoming an informal center of power in Elwynn. During the reign of Baron Ardashir Khan Osmani in the 1490s, Eliria was considered the capital of Elwynn, known as Eliriashahr, and had a sizeable Babkhi-speaking minority. In 1493, Eliria Castle was completed and served as the home of the Baron of Elwynn and the Elwynnese government until its destruction during the Senate siege of 1589. The Great Famine of Elwynn (1512-1533) had a devastating impact on the city, reducing its population to less than 4,000 people. Duke Harald of Froyalan centralized power in Elwynn and oversaw the reconstruction of the city, establishing a legislature called the løgting and constructing several institutional buildings in a Norse style. Eliria became a center for learning, research, and culture with the establishment of the Elwynnese University College in 1552 and the Krull Opera House in 1563.
During the early modern era, Eliria remained a significant center for commerce, art, culture, and political and military power. The city was temporarily made the capital of Shireroth in 1560, which led to a sense of patriotism and nationalism in Elwynn. Eliria is also known for its cultural and artistic institutions, such as the People's Academy of Elwynn and the Ode to Multiculture statue, which was erected outside of Eliria Castle after the end of the Babkhi era.
It was the namesake of the Greater Eliria metropolitan area and the traditional counties known as the City and County of Eliria and the defunct County of Eliria and Utasia. Chartered during the first ducal reign of Scott of Alexander (1452–1470), it is the oldest city in Elwynn. It is the third-most populous bailiwick in Elwynn. The official languages of the bailiwick are Elw, Babkhi and Istvanistani.
Ryventemple is situated along the northern beginning of the White Elwynn, along the western shore of the White Lake. Around Ryventemple, several rivers feed into the White Elwynn, among these the Aiomedean and Elirian Elwynn being the most important. This had historically given Eliria fertile grounds throughout the centuries prior to the Scouring, as well as good trade access, allowing for historic Eliria's development as a commercial and political centre of Elwynn and the former northern reaches of Shireroth.
Eliria was settled around the year 500 by Elw nomads. As such, it was not until the 1390s when the first buildings were erected in the Eliria vicinity . These were a Treesian monastery and cathedral (the oldest buildings currently in Eliria), Saint Utas's Cathedral and Monastery. Once the Elfinshi took power in Elwynn in the 1470s, an Elfinshi temple was erected too (which later was brought to ruin by Baron Ardashir and turned into Eliria Castle). Eliria was chartered as a city by the first Elwynnese duke, Scott of Alexander (reigned 1452–1470), thought to have occurred in the latter part of his reign, though no actual charters have been found by historians.
The temples brought the nomads to the Eliria region often for religious ceremonies – the Elw people were under the Elfinshi era heavily subjugated by Duchesses Sirithil and Mari, and were indentured servants to the anti-technological hedonistic Elfinshi elite. As such, they dug roads with spades, built buildings with simple tools. But this also turned Eliria to an important market place in the area, bringing various ethnicities together. As such, Eliria became an informal centre of power in Elwynn. By the early 1490s, it was considered Elwynn's capital under the name of Eliriashahr when Duchess Mari Greenwood was replaced by Baron Ardashir Khan Osmani. His ascension to the demoted Elwynnese throne was followed by a large-scale immigration of Ardashirians and other Babkhis, causing Eliria to have a sizeable Babkhi-speaking minority to this day. The political and commercial cadres of Elwynn were gradually drawn more and more to Eliria, with Ardashirshahr as the only real rival to Eliria's power in Elwynnese society, both commercial and political. In 1493, Eliria Castle was completed, built on the foundations of an Elfinshi temple, becoming the home of the Baron of Elwynn and the Elwynnese government for almost a hundred years until the Senate siege of 1589 which destroyed the castle.
After the end of the Babkhi era, the Ode to Multiculture was erected outside Eliria Castle. It is a statue of the Elfinshi duchess Mari Greenwood joininig raised hands with Baron Ardashir.
The Great Famine of Elwynn (1512–1533) laid waste to the city. By the time Harald of Froyalan became duke in 1533, Eliria had a population of less than 4,000 people. Harald centralized power in Elwynn more and ensured a reconstruction of Elwynn. He established a legislature, called the løgting, of high nobles who met at Eliria Castle. During this time, several institutional buildings were constructed throughout Eliria in a Norse style. Among these, Eliria's Court House and Treasury House. By pouring Storish money into Elwynn and Eliria, Eliria was once more the cultural, commercial and political capital of Elwynn.
Early modern era
The following decades saw Eliria grow very little but somewhat steadily nonetheless. With the Elwynnese legislature, now termed the Council of Eliria, taking on more political power, Eliria remained a place of commerce, art, culture and political and military power. The culture of the city was during the 1650s marked with optimism. The pan-Elwynnese People's Academy of Elwynn, established in 1550, set up the Eliria University College two years later in 1552, which made Eliria a centre for learning, research and culture the following decades. In 1563, the Krull Opera House was inaugurated.
In 1560, the Kaiser temporarily moved his government to Eliria. Eliria was for a few months that year the temporary war capital of Shireroth. This brought a sense of patriotism in Elwynn. Although the Elwynnese nation did not really consider itself a great part of Shireroth, having the political centre of Shireroth in Elwynn's capital, led large parts of the Elwynnese nation to consider the Elwynnese civilization to be on par with the Shirerithian one. Elwynnese institutions, ways of doing things, commerce, art, education – the Elwynnese nation – was, even as an exaggerated view, a catalyst for more Elwynnese nationalism. Once the Kaiser made the fatal mistake of abolishing the duchies in 1562, Elwynnese nationalism grew exponentially, culminating in the declaration of Elwynnese independence in early 1667.
In 1550 the Grand Canal was cut around Eliria Castle, transforming the seat of government into an artificial island. The Grand Canal would serve as the hub for the dramatic expansion of a network of fifty kilometres of canals, a feature for which the city would eventually become famous, forming concentric belts containing forty-five islands and seven hundred and fifty bridges laid down during the Elwynnese Golden Age (1550 – 1600 AN).
First independence era
After the independence of Elwynn was declared, Elwynnese authorities had only scattered control over the former Duchy of Elwynn territories. Among the territories actually held by the Elwynnese independentists was Eliria. Independentist delegates met in the first Elwynnese congress. The Congress's physical building was in central Eliria, in an auditorium lent to the independence movement by the People's Academy of Elwynn. However, in 1568, the Congress was subjected to a terrorist bombing by Babkhi extremists. Although no congressmen were injured, the entire building was damaged beyond repair. With Elwynnese independence being recognized by Shireroth in 1569, Eliria found peace and began growing exponentially. In the 1670s, Eliria was a centre for optimism. Favourable trade agreements, as well as the inclusion of the agricultural paradise of Amokolia, brought quick money to the Elwynnese capital. The population of Eliria doubled each new decade until the end of independence in 1600.
Most of Eliria as we know it today comes from the 1570–1600 construction boom. The architecture of this era was based on the ideal of "Elwynnese nationalism and majesty" (as architectists have described the period).
The Senate building, newly built, was notably destroyed in the Senate siege of 1589, after which the Elwynnese government appropriated Krull Opera House and transformed it to government headquarters. Krull has been the seat of Elwynnese government ever since.
In 1600, optimism died in Elwynn and Eliria when Elwynn was forced to reintegrate with Shireroth. Eliria was no longer a national capital, only a state capital of an imperial state of a larger Shirerithian empire. Although Elwynn's institutions remained, largely centred in Eliria, belief in Elwynnese politics suffered a serious blow. Already within the first five years in Shireroth, the Elwynnese capital saw two coups that toppled the power in Elwynn. In 1606, the new government under the so-called Coordinated State ended private corporate ownership. Eliria was at this time officially made a bailiwick with the same borders as today.
The Coordinated State divided up the population in five guilds, nominally equal in dignity to one another. It was a type of fascist socialist society in which one did one's part. As such, Elwynnese economy was crippled, and poverty increased. The former Elwynnese ideals of openness and liberalism were gone. The society was very much a surveilled one. The changes caused mass upheaval across Elwynn. The Icebear Church, before this time a small insignificant cult in Cimmeria, converted hundreds of thousands of people in northern Elwynn, with financial support from Verionists. They announced a Theocracy of Elwynn, ruled by the Icebear (a divine polar bear), and moved their now armed people towards the south. In 1609, the Icebearists briefly lay a siege on Eliria, narrowly missing out on entering the city. The following years were hard for the Elirian people. By 1612, the Elwynnese government banned money. People's savings were wiped out overnight. Large portions of Elirian society were disgruntled.
Eliria, now a bailiwick, had its government vested in the Worshipful Municipal Corporation of Dunporters, Artisans, Artificers, Factors and Aldermen of the Bailiwick of Eliria, Guarantors of its Ancient Liberties.
In 1613, a schismatic group from within the ruling Nationalist and Humanist Party, joined the Elwynnese Workers' Party, and undertook a coup d'état of the Elwynnese government in Krull Palace. They announced this as the Workers' Revolution, pledging that the new society would bring an end to the forced guild apartheid brought on by the Nationalist–Humanists, and that the new Elwynnese society would be a true socialist one. Despite the good words, Elwynnese society functioned largely the same with production quotas and mass surveillance. The Workers' Revolution ameliorated the workers' conditions only a little – the normal people in Eliria and Elwynn were not much better off, except for more annual leave from work and shorter working days.
Only five years later, the communist regime had to cede power to "democratic" elections in which they lost power. This was a blow to the communists who had engineered the election law to allow them to remain in power. But even by making the rules hugely in their favour, the communists lost the elections and had to cede power to a democratic government, which confirmed Nathaniel, the exiled prince, to be the Prince of Elwynn. The main architectural relics from the communist era can be found in the Old City of Eliria – called Old City despite being completely torn down by the communists. A main east–west twenty-metre avenue was dug out across Eliria (destroying large parts of the city). To this day, it bears the name Avenue of the Workers' Revolution. This architectural upheaval brought on some quickly residential buildings in the outskirts of Eliria where people were relocated. They were built in the style of socialist brutalism and remain a low-cost living area in Eliria to this day.
The democratic nature of Elwynn remained only a few days. Prince Nathaniel instigated an auto-coup, caused the principate to be dynastic. Little did he know the effects of it. Nathaniel died "a first time" in 1618, and was succeeded to the Principate by his cousin Jonathan. Jonathan did not enjoy being prince and spent very little time there. At the same time, he was also Kaiser of Shireroth, and considered the duties to Shireroth more important than Elwynn. He abdicated, and his closest relative, his half-brother Noah, a Storishman born in Haraldsborg (grandson of High King Harald), was named Prince.
The new Storish-led regime brought on a massive transformation of Elwynnese society. Nowhere more than in Eliria was this more evident. Eliria's population doubled with Storish immigration. The Storish in Elwynn would now be called Froyalaners. Noah was proclaimed King of Elwynn and with Storish funding, attempted to retcon the entire Elwynnese history and culture to legitimize the Froyalanish takeover. Vanic temples were erected across Eliria, native Elwynnese people were forced out of the central parts of the city to the outskirts to allow for housing for the new elite. Buildings were plastered over with an over-the-top medieval style. Krull Palace, for example, was furnished with medieval towers, gargoyles and decorations. Former efficient roads were laid with cobblestone. Private automobile traffic was banned as it would cause upset to the medieval view of the Kingly City of Eliria, as the city now was known as.
The Years of Inauspiciousness
Following the Auspicious Occasions and the subsequent generations of divestment were the tumultuous years of the Kalirion Fracture, which only degraded the overcrowded and often politically violent capital. By the late 17th century, it was public knowledge that the question of another civil war was not if, but when. When war did break out in 1692, the city became a warzone almost immediately. The suffering Elirians would never see peace; on 20.XIV.1695, Eliria, along with three other Elwynnese cities, was subjected to antimatter orbital bombardment by the Raspur Pact, bringing about absolute destruction to the population and most of the metropolis itself. The Scouring, as it came to be known, decimated an already struggling Republican force and directly led to their unconditional surrender soonafter that same year. Northern Elwynn was placed under a military government by the victorious continental forces of the UGB and Southern Elwynn who would later form the Benacian Union.
By 1703, the wasteland that encompassed the enormous blast radius lay flattened and empty. At the behest of the Sovereign Confederation, which had ascended within the Union during that year's ongoing Congressional session, the bulk of administrative and financial duties over the core of the northern bank and most of the south were granted to the Cult of the Sacred Detonation. In return, the Cult promised to recolonize what remained of the Scoured cities of Benacia, which came to be known as the Exclusion Diocese. The site was renamed to Ryventemple, in honor of the patron diety of the Baths of Fjorleif, which miraculously and pristinely withstood the blast. In the late 1710s, plans were put into place to build a great Cenotaph over the baths, to create a true temple complex. The cenotaph would cater religious services used to spiritually cleanse oneself after a Baptism of the Lotus in the central baths. The great concrete dome over the temple features pinholes to allow light in to the enormous central camber which houses the baths in the configuration of the stars as they appeared on the night before the Scouring, that the baths may remain forever ignorant of the devastation that they withstood.
Ryventemple had one of Elwynn's few spaceports, the Eliria–Ryventemple Airport and Spacesport, before it was wiped out in the Scouring. There are ongoing efforts by the Boomists to gain funding for a limited renovation