The Pillars of Heaven
Humans have lived in the Eastern Arm of the Ansomyrs for centuries, but the city of Ansolidae as it now stands was founded two hundred years ago. The region had grown rich from its mineral exports and lucrative trade with the dwarven empire, prompting noble families from the Southern cities to attempt to take an interest in the area. One especially wealthy individual known as Ansol Ardemmen was the first to venture Northwards and actually attempt to forge a city from the mountains. It just so happened that Ansol was a powerful sorcerer and former adventurer, and he managed to convince an ancient dragon to aid him in shaping the mountains to allow room for a thriving city. The city was named after him and his descendants have ruled it ever since, taking the banner of a dragon to honour their past.
Ansolidae is crowded between three mighty peaks: Razorfang, Winterwuld, and Grennith. The fertile valley between them, crisscrossed with streams, is where most of the city is built. However, terraces and opulent cave complexes have been carved out of the mountainsides for families of wealth and standing. The Dragon Palace sits deepest within the embrace of the mountains, furthest from the famed Cloudy Gates which rise hundreds of feet in the air and guard the only surface entrance into the city.
Ansolidae was one of the first cities captured by Tarentain I in the forging of his Empire, and consequently was one of the longest held. It was his first great victory, the first that showed the world his true capabilities, and he won it not through military force, but through guile. Rather than testing his army against the nigh impregnable gates, Tarentain used the ill-kept and dangerous mining tunnels linking the city to its sources of revenue scattered through the Ansomyrs to completely circumvent most of Ansolidae’s defences. The bitter joke goes that for all the city’s magnificent defences, the guards had their heads too high in the clouds to see the mouse slip between their feet. The pride and resistance to occupation that Ansolidae showed resulted in them being cracked down upon the hardest through the long years of Imperial subjugation. Another popular saying is that “dragons never forget”, referring to the grudge the Ardemmens hold against even the memory of the Quatori Empire – citizens of Tarentessalar and Quator have an uneasy tension with those from Ansolidae, even to this day.