Sordan figures prominently in THE SECOND STONE. Much of the book is set there and readers are introduced to many facets of the City. Not only is Sordan the ancestral and political seat of the Sordaneon dynasty upon which so much of the Triempery Revelations is focused, but Sordan serves as a cultural touchpoint for the Staubaun-centered society upon which the Triempery is founded.
Readers looking for overarching themes and foundational politics will find them in THE SECOND STONE—and in Sordan.
Sordan is third among the Five Cities—two of which vanished with the destruction of the First Creation. In the First Creation it served as a primary Rill hub and a center for science and learning. Sordan survived the Devastation. Because the Leur creators of the Five Cities raised its towers and buildings as quasi-organic and self-sustaining, Sordan also survived the many millennia (and possibly longer, given the temporal mechanics involved in making the Second Creation) preceding the Return.
The history of the Second Creation is dated from the expedition of the Aryati Amynas (Amynas Malyrdys) and the Leur Lokenalys, the first refugees—called Exiles—to venture from sanctuaries in the archived pasts of the First Creation into the “future” temporal aspect of Leur’s tripartite Second Creation. The Rift Gate they used placed them in what is now Sansordan. Having ascertained where they were—and knowing that Mulsor was destroyed—they set out to see what had become of Sordan.
Amynas, it is said, was the first to set foot upon the island, on the shore at the base of Sordan’s Citadel. This event marks Day One of the Return, 2/1/01/01. This date coincides with both the vernal equinox and the start of the Malyrdean New Year.
Amynas and the Leur left Sordan to bring home the Exiles. The first celebration of the Coming by a handful of those Exiles, including Amynas and the Three, occurred on 2/2/01/01.
Celebration of the Coming is central to understanding Sordan’s place in the Triempery, in the creation of which the City played a key part.
The Coming takes place over three days:
The Feast of First Day, which celebrates Amynas and Leur feasting upon the fish of the lake and the bounty of Sordan Island;
The Illumination of Second Day, which commemorates Amynas and Leur reawakening the sleeping City and mourning the lost First Creation;
The Consecration of Third Day, which reveres the conception and birth of the Three, the godborn offspring of Amynas and Leur and progenitors of the Triempery’s Highborn rulers.
According to the annals of Cibulitus, the actual events occurred over more than three literal days.
The Coming has been celebrated in Sordan annually for over 1870 years. It is the seminal Highborn holiday and tradition holds that all Highborn attend the Coming at least once in their lives. Many attend every year. It is part of the fabric of the Triempery’s Staubaun population that they, too, should attend at least one celebration of the Coming, which has led to a tradition of Staubauns and other Triemperal faithful making a pilgrimage to Sordan during this time.
Sordan has Aryati elements incorporated into its Leur creation: a global/lunar transportation core and bio-forges. The transportation core of the Rill commanded a network of living, Leur-raised structures and terminals and existed for only a decade before Devastation. The vast destruction of the Devastation crippled the Rill and when Amynas and Leur arrived in Sordan, they found the Rill unresponsive and useless.
Derlon, one of the Three, believed the Rill essential to growing the new Triempery he and his brothers sought to build using the remaining Three Cities as a foundation. To this end Derlon claimed Sordan as his City and undertook to revive the quasi-living system. On 2/0042/10/12 Derlon went into the machine and gave over his immortal body, fusing his Leur cells with those of the Rill. The self-healing omnificence of Leur empowered Derlon to regrow parts of the Rill, starting with Sordan’s hub and almost immediately connecting to Permephedon.
Derlon’s transformation is known as the Inception. A Temple of the Inception stands beside Sordan’s Rill terminal and platforms and is the site of an annual celebration of that Entity.
Sordan remains the Rill’s primary hub and the City benefits from its immense economic, social, and political advantages.
The progeny of Derlon continue to claim the City, rule as its Hierarchs, and are named Sordaneon. Under them, Sordan has served as seat of the Sordaneon Hierarchate, the center third of the tripartite continental Triempery conceived by the Three.
With the Rill as its economic engine, Sordan has long been immensely wealthy. The Sordaneons in the City’s initial charter bestowed a substantial Rill endowment that supports and maintains the City’s public works and spaces, defenses, academies, and houses of healing. Sordan continues its historic reputation as a center for learning and commerce.
Sordan has never been attacked. Its lake, Sarkuan, serves as a natural defense against land attacks. Ships cannot be built along its shores in sufficient numbers to present a threat. Ships sailing up the Sorand’ruil would be noticed and sunk by the Sordan Hierarchate’s navy. As a military power and economic presence in its region, Sordan has for centuries fostered mutually beneficial relationships with its neighbors.
Sordan is such a vital part of the Triempery, and controls so much of its economy, that when the Sordaneon Hierarch Labran threatened to rebel, Essera could not countenance the possibility—the Esseran King Marc Frederick seized and imprisoned Labran, then occupied Sordan to prevent succession.
Important Institutions and Structures
The Citadel. The Leur-raised center towers belong to the City and the Hierarchate, with some lower floors housing governmental chambers, administrative offices, and some centers of learning, such as the Magistracy and the College of Physicians. The Sordaneons control access to the upper towers—parts of which have yet to be entered.
The Serat. The Sordaneon residence and palace. Parts of the Serat are Leur-raised and parts have been more recently constructed. Main buildings include the Hierarchal palace, official throne hall and administrative offices; the royal family’s private residence; elite apartments and guest quarters; barracks and stables; extensive parks and gardens; the Sordaneon treasury and Trove of storied artifacts, the Void interrogation chamber, and ceremonial galleries and halls. The Sordaneon Serat is so splendid it is considered one of the wonders of the world.
The Rill Complex. Platforms, terminals, waiting areas, and residences for the Epoptes are all part of this extensive complex. The Rill structures, platforms, and terminals are Leur-raised or Derlon-inhabited; other parts are of later construction.
The Temple of the Inception. Overlooks the Godborn Stair and just below the Rill complex. An open, beautiful building conceived for contemplation. Home to a school for philosophers.
The Dekkora. Sordan’s star-shaped central plaza. The Promise Statue with its figure of Amynas holding aloft his sword stands at the plaza’s center. The Godborn Stair which leads to the Rill complex and the Temple of the Inception, the high wall of the Sordaneon Serat, and many important buildings—banks, City Treasury, libraries, influential guilds—front on the Dekkora.
The Upper City. The higher rings of residences and shops nearest the Dekkora and Citadel. Where the wealthy live and the those who cater to them do business.
The Lower City. Residences and shops nearer the harbor and shore, where streets are crowded and noisy. Less wealthy merchants, tradesfolk, and working people live in these neighborhoods.
The Harbor and Harbor Wall. Sordan’s harbor is famed for its majestic breakwater and lighthouses. Within the breakwater are a military basin and a commercial basin. Sordan’s harbor facilities are second to none, with advanced cranes, dry docks, and extensive warehouse capacity and ship maintenance.
The Avenue of Heroes. This ceremonial boulevard starts where the main road from the Lower City into the Upper City begins and leads to the Dekkora. The Avenue is lined with obelisks and statues commemorating victories, warriors lost in far off wars, and those who died committing heroic deeds. Memorials are costly and can only be erected on the avenue with permission of the Hierarch; an Unsleeping Guard patrols the Avenue (and also serves to protect the approach to the important buildings of the Dekkora).