Carinitha is a city known for its unique flora, located on a small patch of land toward the north. So small, in fact, that it quickly became overpopulated with the humans and halfling groups who migrated there. The area of land solid enough to construct foundations on was limited to the center of the small island, so the residents had nowhere to go but up, and up they built. Though, not in the way one might expect.
Carinitha, isolated as it was, wanted enough land to become self-sufficient in terms of the food it produced. So through powerful magic, hundreds of years of hard work, and the deconstruction of several surrounding islands’ soil, they created a sturdy cylinder of land extending up into the sky. It is relatively narrow, maybe a mile in diameter, and contains plenty of farmland, houses, shops— anything one might expect to find in a normal city. But the second you step on Carinitha’s soil, gravity is shifted, assuring that your feet stay planted firmly on the circumference of the pillar as you walk up toward the sky. All of the buildings, crops, and inhabitants of the city are, from the perspective of the rest of the world, sideways. It even has “rivers,” streams of fresh water running from the top of the pillar and into the ocean below. Carinitha was hugely successful, and its residents prospered over the next several hundred years.
Structure and Operations:
In general, farmland takes up the north-facing side of the column, which gets the most sun. The south-facing side, which is always or almost always in shadow, is where the residential area lies.
Due to its unique climate and conditions, many of the crops and other species of plants in Carinitha can be found nowhere else in the world, making them extremely valuable. Many of the species have gone extinct elsewhere, kept alive here only by constant, meticulous care.
Today’s Carinithans are almost entirely direct descendants of the original founders, as very few residents move from or migrate to the city. The former is because of a deeply-instilled pride in their history and traditions, and the latter because these traditions are often kept from outsiders to ensure their techniques remain among the members of the community. Plus, even if they were shared, the methods take years and years to learn. Carinitha isn’t exactly the best place to go to make a quick buck.
Carinitha is governed by tradition, each of its residents expected to do their own part for the good of the community. Money does not change hands frequently; usually only when outsiders are involved. There is, however, a small council of well-respected members with a few special tasks. The first is, naturally, to oversee the adherence of these community policies and to take action when necessary. The second is to ensure fair trade with any outsiders and decide how to distribute incoming goods and money. The third is to pass down the traditions and techniques of the ancestors, and to retell their stories.
The council is composed of one High Councilperson and five members elected by the public with the Councilperson’s approval. Once elected, the Councilperson holds the position as long as they wish or until their death, at which time they choose one of their five council members to succeed them. Currently on the council are three humans and two halflings. The High Councilwoman is a half-elf named Luti’ei Cavaran, whose election caused much controversy as her elven heritage is proof that one of her parents was an outsider. Besides the initial unrest, however, she seems to be serving the community fairly well.
The Column of Carinitha
The exact method for the magic governing this altered gravity has been lost to time, but it is generally understood that in the center of the pillar is a strong column of magical energy keeping the structure stable, even through severe storms.
The column is one mile across and about eight miles high... we think. Past about 9,000 feet, no crops can grow due to the lack of oxygen. At 16,000 feet resides the highest altitude at which any resident of Carinitha lives. No one has made it past five and a half miles, at least no one in recorded history. Which begs the question: why build it so high in the first place? And what lies at the top?