Hello everyone! I've created this blog, Aster Isle Museum, as a place to post articles and information about the Eracia campaign setting, as well as game play information for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition (which I'll be running the setting in for the foreseeable future), including prestige classes, custom feats, and whatever else comes to mind. I intend to update at least weekly, and at most whenever I feel like it.
I'll open it up with an article about the Aster Isle Museum itself.
"I find it cleansing to take a trip to the Galleria occasionally. It helps to remind me that, despite the ancient iconography of our fair city, we have moved far away from the civilization the Eracian founders sought to create. Such realizations settle my mind, and lead me to believe that someday myself and my brethren will truly extinguish the dreams of those benighted old fools. We will sink those old carvings, urns, and mementos into the sea as we did with Aster Island herself, when this land is renamed Nerenea."
--Entry in the private journal of former Prime Minister Orestes
The Aster Isle Museum is the oldest standing structure of Eracian origin in the entirety of the empire. Even the palace itself was erected several years later. The Museum, or Galleria as the locals name it, was originally a forum, and like all forums on Aster and its original colonies, it was a ziggurat. Government itself was seen to be a reflection of the authority of the gods themselves, and as such was considered an element of religion, as was magic.
The Museum itself is divided into three levels, with the lowest level known as the Representational Tier (a configuration of words which sounds a great deal nicer in Eracian than in Common). When Aster Isle was set upon by forces unleashed by the power-hungry Nereneans, a cult made primarily of mages who sought to replace the gods themselves by harnessing Titanic powers, all of the architectural and natural beauty of the island was utterly destroyed and remade. As such, the only remnants of these wonders are found in items small enough to be removed hastily during the evacuation of the islands. Rolled tapestries, small statuary, and small magical creations called Oculinum--beads roughly the size of a human eye which project captured images--were among the most common items to make it to the mainland. While many of the Oculinum have failed during the past 1100 years, numerous paintings have been made of the images trapped within them.
A veritable army of scholars inhabits this part of the museum, maintaining these more fragile items and using varying perspectives to create working models of what the island must have looked like before its destruction.
The pyramid's second tier is known as the Civic Tier, and it is here where much of the essence of Asterian public life has been assembled. Ceremonial robes and uniforms of priests, senators, mages, sailors and soldiers dominate this wing, as do the librums and scepters of office which public leaders carried with them in their exile. Copies of law books, accounts of public trials, and religious ceremonies occupy the least-visited section of this tier.
Lastly is the Personal Tier, located in the top of the ziggurat, and it is here that an enormous collection of personal effects, journals, and trinkets are kept. Of all the pyramid's sections, this is the most popular among the people of the city of Eracia, for whom it has always been fashionable to emulate their ancestors from across the sea.
Public debate has been fierce throughout the year 1109 regarding the extent to which the Nereneans have adulterated or replaced much of what the Eracians take for granted as their culture. Sadly, the Galleria is not immune to this suspicion. It is likely that no one will ever know for certain how many scholars, scribes, and curators were cult spies over the last millenium, and for those that wish to honor the culture of the sacred Isle, it is a sobering thought that even one piece of information would be lost. In the meantime, the people of Eracia will look to the Aster Isle Museum as a reminder of their glorious past.