Greshen Dale was the most magical city in all the land. The original city was underground to avoid the extreme temperatures that are the norm in the far north. However, a swarm of bulettes came through the area destroying much and making too many unwanted tunnels. These extra tunnels collapsed most of the old city making it unlivable. A change had to be made, so the council of mages decided to create a flying fortress impregnable against any assault to house the population of Greshen Dale.
The plan for the new floating city was made by the powerful mage, Tentineh. He devised a method for harnessing the lava of a volcano to power the city. The annually active Dahak Volcano the previously loomed over the northern end of Greshen Valley was chosen to power the city. In addition to the lava power, Tentineh ripped magic from various endowed places and put it into the items that keep Greshen Dale afloat. This reaping of the land has created a few Spheres of Annihilation in Greshen Valley, but the citizens didn’t care. They were literally above that.
The Dahak Volcano was ripped from its natural place in the Terror Mountains and turned upside down to make a flat place to build upon. As all volcanoes in Cimmeria are prisons for great and terrible monsters this act didn’t come without its consequences. The monster released from the volcano was the Dahak. He wants Zeus to have a son with Metis. Dahak’s repeated attempts to free Metis earned him the treatment reserved for the most terrible of monsters. Dahak did not kill his savior, Tentineh, in the typical evil monster way, but thanked him and summoned a group of omnielementals to help with the construction of the floating Greshen Dale.
A separate group of wizards in the old underground-based Greshen Dale attempted to rebuild the city above ground, but further south. The settlement flourished for a time, but the frequency of troll attacks in that area eventually led to the abandonment of what was dubbed New Greshen Dale.
The flying city constructed by Tentineh looked like a three mile wide half-sphere of rock with four smaller half-spheres overlapping around it. Large holes in the center of each of these balls emitted tremendous blue light that illuminated the entire valley underneath the city.
The top of the city had many pure white stone buildings with large, marble paved streets in between them. The avenues had grass and fruit trees growing in the middle of them. The buildings had a blue trim and were built in an Arabic style. Most food was magically created, but rather bland. Everyone had a garden to make the magically produced gruel taste better. Some people used their gardens exclusively to make olive oil and wine which they sold to the rest of the city.
There was a labyrinth inside the volcano of the city where lava flowed to power all the street lights, eradicate all the waste, power the magic that produced all the food and water, and project the forcefield around the city that prevented flying and teleporting intrusions. The artifacts, elementals, and other things that powered the fortress were all guarded by golems other elementals. The five artifacts that powered the blue lights keeping the city afloat were surrounded by a wall of force and were guarded by dragons.
Greshen Dale had a very static population of 20,000. The city had no more room to expand to include more population. Births and immigration had to be carefully controlled. The Sky Patrol, the city’s police force managed population control as well as police duties. The Sky Patrol prevented anyone from flying into the city and anyone who teleported into the city was redirected to the entry pad on the south side. People who can teleport in on their own or have been to the city legally before were allowed to stay with a tourist pass.
There was another way into the city without teleportation. Those with legal access to the city before could use the teleport pad directly below Greshen Dale to ascend to the entry pad without expending a spell. Everyone could leave the city in the same manner.
This leaves out those who weren’t born in the city and those who can’t teleport on their own. Such people must traverse the caverns that were once the original city of Greshen Dale. The caverns contain many traps and minor constructs to challenge people. Within these winding passage ways are magical items that act as tourist passes and allow access to the city.
All the necessities in Greshen Dale are free. You need not pay for food, water, clothes, or a house. They are all provided by the magic of the city. Luxuries, magic items, and the right to see tourist attractions must still be paid for. Luxuries and attractions are at fairly steep prices as well for this is the only way to make a living in the city without using magic. Magic items are cheaper and the selection wider because Greshen Dale is where most of them are made and exported to other cities.
Greshen Dale is home to many schools of magic including the prestigious War Mage Academy. Entrants are mostly from the city itself, but some foreigners pay large amounts of money to the city to get in without going through the trials or knowing how to teleport. Education must be paid for just like other expensive goods and services.
Greshen Dale is ruled by a council of mages. A councilor is allowed from each university and from each guild present in the city. They meet every two months to discuss the business of the city. Until recently the presiding councilor was traditionally not a mage, but a psion with the title, Cerebremancer. The last Cerebremancer was a dromite named Talon. The head of the War Mage Academy, a grey elf named Krodius, leads the Sky Patrol which enforces the decrees of the council.
The center of the city has a large plaza where many things are sold and magic tricks are preformed. In the exact center of the plaza is a large well that goes all the way through the volcano. The hole has rails preventing people from falling in. At the center of this hole is the Staff of Oblivion, an artifact known for its power against undead. Twelve bolts of lightning continually emanate and crackle from the staff and go to the sides of the hole. No one is sure why Tentineh placed it there, but most assume for defense or to have a piece of what keeps the fortress afloat visible to the public. The well is used to make offerings to the Dahak who is still a patron deity of the city.
During the First and Second Alliance Wars Greshen Dale has so far remained neutral. The Xorians offered citizenship to the people of Greshen Dale after the Battle of Phoenix in the Second Alliance War, but the council of mages declined in favor of continuing their neutrality. This declination also involved the signing of an official neutrality document. This document allowed free access to the city for Xoria’s dragovinian population. The dragovinians moved in, led by Lady Li of Colchis, and began converting the people of Greshen Dale to Dragovinysm.
Cerebramancer Talon, seeing that his people would inevitably decide to join the Xorians, attempted to stop them from joining with an evil power. Talon allied with Amalius, Torin, Tagenadi, and Eathirilu to secure the Red Orb of Dragonkind from the northwestern sphere of Greshen Dale. The sphere could float for a time on its own without the Orb. The Orb could then be used to dominate Lady Li and her followers and expel them from the city. Unfortunately, Amalius deviated from the plan by willfully destroying the Red Orb in order to free the captive red dragons, Invernix and Sartoria.
Talon’s involvement was quickly discovered. He fled into the lava tubes beneath the city with a few loyal followers. In his absence, Lady Li and the new dragovinian Sky Patrol Leader, Krodius, rule the city. Talon and his followers fight a guerrilla war against the dragovinians in the city, but it is only a matter of time before the city officially joins with the Xorian Empire.