20.5.5 Republic of Spinesreach
The city of Spinesreach is an ancient fortress that sits in a pass of the Tarea Mountains between the Dry Plains and the Southern Tundra. Once home to the Ankyrean Order, Spinesreach was sealed first behind the Grand Artifice, before having its Citadel sealed again by the magics of the Ankyri. Little is known about the secrets that have been left behind by the Order, but with the reopening of the Citadel, Spinesreach has once again become a full city, known as the Lion of the North. The city's structure is split into sections, with the Outer City mostly consisting of farmlands and the looming Ironmaw Complex, while the Inner Gate serves as a gathering place and marks the entry of the colossal Citadel in the center of the city. The Citadel is the nerve center of Spinesreach, housing a bustling marketplace, governmental offices, an expansive library, and the iconic five spires that tower above the northern landscape. Like the Ankyrean Order, Spireans bear an immense sense of pride, as their city is home to unequaled intellects and warriors who pursue progress and enlightenment while paying little heed to frivolous hindrances such as morality. Spinesreach is a city that bears a single-minded, inexorable drive towards gaining power in all forms, and it instills a sense of freedom in the will of its citizens, encouraging them to employ whatever tactics they deem necessary to obtain victory in this regard. Calling the Lion home are the Syssin, Sciomancer, and Archivist guilds. The Syssin are sworn defenders of Spinesreach who use guile, deception, and deadly assassination techniques to subdue all who threaten their home, while the powerful Sciomancers claim mastery over the destructive element of Shadow to make the city a global superpower, and the Archivists unravel the mysteries of creation, using arcane sciences to unlock and hoard hidden powers that weaker minds would crumble to behold.