Children of the Temple
Celes is known as the Holy City due to the presence of The Great Temple. The Temple’s location was chosen due to its confluence of Land, Sky and Sea, and the city itself has grown up around it.
Celes resides in a depression in the landscape, bordered on the north by a cliff over which pours a waterfall onto and around the Great Temple at its base. The river then flows south through the city and makes its way to the sea. A number of stone bridges span the river throughout the city, and the river itself is often used for the transportation of cargo to and from the south.
To the west and east, the cliff settles down unto a series of gentler hills that have been likened to a pair of cupped hands, with the waterfall at the wrists and the fingers pointing south.
The city revolves around the Great Temple. A series of great bells ring out to mark the four corners of the day – dawn, noon, dusk and midnight. Many service-related establishments are open all day and night, though some operate only during day or night.
Most buildings are decorated with either symbolic representations or artistic renderings of one or more gods. On some buildings, one can read the history of the site itself as decorations were added to invoke the god relevant to a new business in the location. As it would be considered ill-advised to remove a god from a building, artists strive to either make subtle changes or stick to additions. This can result in the alterations becoming smaller and smaller as building space is used up. In rare instances, additional walls are added to the structure solely to provide a blank canvas on which to restart.
As the Holy City, Celes sees a large number of pilgrims, and sees both those making the journey out of respect for the gods as well as those desperate to appease the gods or get their attention.
Traditionally, pilgrims to the Holy City are accorded free travel through any intervening territories, though this does not always mean by the shortest path or without delay. Particularly large groups of pilgrims have been known to be asked to disperse or take separate routes when political tensions have been high.
The population of Celes is overwhelmingly human. It is often claimed that humans are simply the race that is most comfortable living in a large above-ground city.
Celes is considered neutral territory, and serves as a marking-post for several adjacent countries.