Piety and Poison
“Not a soul I have met has ever provided a satisfying explanation for the Orrery of Precipice. The Violet Sorcerers are evasive on the issue, but it is my understanding that it stood long before they arrived, turning silently and enigmatically on its metallic gears.
“The vast machine’s presence, hanging there in the sky, is a quiet absurdity. And I suppose sometimes the most appropriate reaction to absurdity is further absurdity. At least, that’s the most sane reason I could imagine for someone to build a city on the darn thing.” – From the diary of Sedgeley Bleake.
The city of Precipice, located in the Nentir Vale portion of the Feywild, is an impossibility of magical engineering. The city is built on an enormous floating planar orrery which hangs in the sky over the forests and hills of Camuria.
The city was established many hundreds of years ago by the Violet Sorcerers, who discovered that the orrery floated at an aerial convergence of many ley lines. The Sorcerers, eager to harness this arcane power, built their towers on the most stable portion of the orrery’s main wheel. Over time, they magically raised motes of land and “attached” it to stable portions of the mechanism, expanding into an inhabitable (albeit confusing) town. The precarious place came to be known as Precipice to its residents.
In the centuries that followed, noble eladrin and fae houses chose to establish their own houses and keeps in Precipice, and the town expanded into a thriving city, forming the heart of numerous aerial trade routes, and becoming a magnet for all manner of strange beings from across the Feywild and beyond.
Some 470 years ago, the Tiefling Warlord Karavakos marched his demonic armies into the Feywild, coveting the floating city. His armies, a raging horde of abyssal demons which were said to be invincible, had already conquered most of the material-world continent of Kareshal.
In response to the threat, a coalition of fae houses calling themselves the Brightwing Lords raised an army to defend Precipice against the threat. They were granted emergency political powers within the city by the Violet Sorcerers, who also bestowed them with innate magical enchantments and artifacts to aid them in battle.
The Brightwing Lords prevailed and decimated Karavakos’ army in a climactic battle which raged across the land and in the skies of Camuria. Precipice was saved, though the scars of Karavakos’ conquest persisted throughout the world and the Feywild. The trade routes ebbed and Precipice fell on hard times.
In the wake of the battle, the Violet Sorcerers requested that the Brightwing Lords relinquish their emergency political powers and enchantments, and return their artifacts. The Brightwing Lords, who had suffered very heavy losses, felt they had been deceived as to the strength of Karavakos forces. They refused the request, and consequently broke their oath to the Violet Sorcerers.
The results of the oath-breaking were swift and severe. The Brightwing Lords were cursed, their tongues literally transmuted to silver in their mouths and they were rendered silent. This same curse literally binds them to the city of Precipice and compels them to act as guardian over it for eternity.
Today the Brightwing Lords cooperatively rule the city alongside the Magocracy of the Violet Tower. However, the peace between them is uneasy, and the Brightwing Lords desire nothing short of complete rulership of the city they are cursed to protect. This has led to hostility and conflict on both sides, which threatens to erupt into full-scale violence.
Today, the city of Precipice lives in fear, wondering which side will be the first to shatter the fragile peace.