Covenant of Heroes
City Technical Details
In terms of form, Covenant is a massive torus, with the city itself built into the inside walls of the ring. The inside of the torus is a completely controlled environment, and the Astral Sea outside can only be accessed through several very careful controlled locations. Most buildings, including homes and shops, are built directly on the inside walls of the ring. However, there are a few earthmotes floating around inside the torus, reachable either by flight or teleportation. Most of these islands are under the direct control of one of the Founders, but one or two might be privately owned by especially wealthy or influential individuals. Outside the city, there are likewise several major earthmotes, most notably the Guardian’s Gate and the Foundry. The external surface of the torus has a multitude of veins covering it, and the center of the ring is filled by a large single structure.
Culturally, the number three is sacred in Covenant, so many of the important features of the city exist in multiples of three. For example, the city is split into nine Wards, each of which has a Church on one end, and a Roost on the other. The Wards are largely distinguished by the features that they contain, and while there is no official segregation on Covenant, some of the races prefer to isolate themselves within certain Wards. The Wards are not separated from each other by any sort of barriers, so travel between them is completely unrestricted, and they are similar in function to the neighborhoods that exist in many major cities.
Long-distance travel around the city is done primarily through teleportation, a for-cost service provided by the mages of the University. Personal mounts are rare, but available, although generally flying mounts are not permitted for private citizens. The use of long-distance teleportation without the presence of a properly officiated and University-sanctioned mage is a major offence, as teleportation is a carefully regulated state-provided service. All Wards have several conveniently distributed teleportation centers, known as “gateways”, that allow citizens to reach any other major gateway for a small fee. Privately, citizens can pay a significant price to have a permanent linked portal installed in their home that will connect to the nearest gateway. However, small gateways lack the power to connect to other minor gateways, so travelers generally have to pass through one of the major gateway hubs that will allow them to teleport to specific neighborhoods. All of these hubs are located within the Roosts, the regional offices and barracks of the Shield. Every gateway has a University mage overseeing it, and gateway hubs generally have several senior mages present to ensure that the vital city lifeline is not disrupted.
Travel Outside the City
Generally, citizens are not allowed to travel outside Covenant, and incoming immigrants are carefully reviewed before being accepted. The entire Fifth Ward is dedicated to incoming and outgoing personnel, and the Founders strive to keep the city secret from less-developed planes so that they won’t have to deal with amateur wizards trying to breach the city every time Covenant floats close to another plane. However, Covenant is not isolationist, and even engages in trade with outside cultures. Specifically, one of the merchant guilds provides traders skilled in negotiations that travel outside with an escort to barter with other planes. The Explorer’s Guild, now a part of the Shield of Covenant, has a large number of trained adventurers that are frequently dispatched outside the city to gather anything from information to artifacts. Citizens of Covenant are not allowed to casually travel in and out of the city, but the three Organizations do occasionally issue travel permits to allow private individuals to pursue their own interests outside the city. Of course, most of these interests are for the benefit of Covenant. As yet, the Shield has a complete monopoly on interplanar travel, and no one else, including high ranking members of the Church and University, is allowed to leave without express permission.
Suspended in the Astral Sea but still securely tethered to Covenant, the enormous earthmote known as the Foundry is connected to the Roost of the Seventh Ward. Kept outside of the city for reasons unknown, the Foundry is the source of the majority of Covenant’s advanced technology, including golems such as the Warforged and the Iron Guard. It is operated almost exclusively by Warforged, who are purposely warded against its extreme magical energies.
Very few are allowed passage to the Foundry, and there is only one teleportation node on the island, which is reserved for emergencies. Products coming out of the Foundry are physically transported to the Seventh Roost, where they are processed and sent out into the city. The Seventh Ward is largely organized to accommodate the Foundry, and the factories scattered throughout the Ward supplement the items coming in through the Roost. The Foundry might produce the focusing crystals needed for a teleportation gateway, and the Ward will produce the necessary superstructure and platform.
While few details are known about its functioning, the Foundry is continuously active, and Warforged operate it in shifts to ensure that it never has to stop. The Dragon Above and the Mind Among originally constructed the Foundry, and they are still known to visit it from time to time to double-check the systems and ensure functionality. The Foundry is also occasionally used for special projects, all of which are commissioned directly by a Founder. In such a case, Foundry functionality is suspended until the project is completed.
In exchange for their continuous maintenance of it, Warforged are have been allowed to use a part of the Foundry to produce a new individuals, and they have taken full responsibility for the construction and education of new Warforged coming from the Foundry. Recently, there has been a split among the Warforged, as only Foundry-born Warforged are allowed to work there, and Warforged that have entered the city do not easily mix with the Covenant natives. The enigmatic Iron Guard of the Shield also emerge from the Foundry from time to time, although the Warforged have no hand in their creation.