Within the world of Aetherin, the altars, left intact within the ruins of the four temples, serve as a device to unlock further areas. Within these altars lie 'relics', a medium which gathers aether. Once the medium has acquired a sufficient amount of aether, it must be brought to the area to which it corresponds.
The medium will then use the aether it has collected to shape the environment around it, giving its aether physical shape, and restoring a lost area to the terrain.
Deep within the largest tree in the heart of Tere lies the ruins of what used to be the Altar of Earth, home to the Earth Goddess Moss. The lush grass has lost its energy, and is decorated with the debris from the crumbled pillars. There isn't even one flower in sight to soothe a weary soul. In its shameful state, a barrier was activated to prevent all from entering. Once Tere regains its former glory, the barrier will disappear, and the walls of the Temple will be illuminated by blooming flowers.
✿ Area One [Butterfly Garden] difficulty ★☆☆☆☆
Past the winding road southeast of the Timeless Springs, a meadow filled with flowers is revealed. Each flower sits gracefully among the green grass, decorating the area with color and life. Every morning, butterflies flutter over to the meadow and dance hypnotically under the warm sun. Even the nights are calm and pleasant as the large daisies light up, pushing away one's fears. Insects and meadow faring animals may be found.
✿ Area Two [Honey Forest] difficulty ★★☆☆☆
Beyond Butterfly Garden is the tranquil Honey Forest. Giant shrooms and acorns within the forest allow living beings a place to rest. In the heart of the forest, the biggest tree in Tere sits quietly. Steps extend into what appears to be an entrance to the tree. However, a magical barrier prevents anything from entering.
Away from the entrance and at the bottom of the steps is a lone well, the only connection to a flowing honey source below the soft forest floor. Many aetherless creatures frequent here.
✿ Area Three [Gourmand Cliff] difficulty ★★★☆☆
Through the trees of Honey Forest is a steep hike up Gourmand Cliff. Along the trail, fruit trees of many kinds stand swaying softly in the gentle breeze. Mature fruits can be seen glistening healthily. The soil here is rich. Reaching the top reveals two glassed structures called greenhouse. These buildings house many herbs and plants, providing safety and a stable environment to nurture and grow.
Just a little further is the golden city of Gourmand Cliff, the main site for culinary arts. Golden walls surround the city, caving inward while forming a silhouette of a budding flower. Two windmills loom over opposite ends of the city, generating power for each building within city walls and the nearby greenhouse. Aetherless creatures here have adapted to the presence of sprites.
Ride the air current up to the highest point, and even further within a giant cloud cover lies the remains of what once was the Altar of Wind, the luxurious home of the Goddess of Wind Breeze. The pillars have tumbled, but the cloud provides a comfortable and mysterious little cave that only she is able to reach. When the relic is filled with sufficient aether for area restoration, the decor of what remains of the inner walls glow a bright shade of green~
★ Area One [Cloudy Steps] difficulty ★☆☆☆☆
Floating just northwest of the Timeless Springs, above the ground, lies the first area of Ira, the Cloudy Steps. It consists of a path of small 'step-like' rocks leading to several large islands, where a few plants grow. The main attraction is the tornado in the middle of this island, a vast air current that leads high and far into the sky. Wind sprites use this as a method of travel to reach higher ground. Snow lies on the surface of islands, creating a cold, tundra like environment; where it falls from, nobody knows. The entire area is rather misty, usually under cloud cover. Docile tundra animals may be found.
★ Area Two [Windy Commons] difficulty ★★☆☆☆
☁ Above the Cloudy Steps lies a much larger floating island, only accessible to Ira sprites via the tornado lift. The weather here is mild, with a bit of a cold draft from the ever blowing winds- such is the Windy Commons. A pasture like land, the soft tall grass provides a perfect resting spot from the chill of the lower land. Sprites will have to share the area with the roaming aetherless creatures... And again, take care not to fall off~ There is no guarantee that the Cloudy Steps will be there to break your fall~♪
At the north side of this grazing ground lies a tower that reaches up to the blue sky. A strange invention of sorts, left behind from the days of old, it has four strangely painted wooden boards that rotate slowly round and round all day and all night due to the constant wind. The doors, littered along the tower walls, opens to Ira aether, and inside is a cozy stone abode for its citizens to live in. No stairs exist- one must learn to fly in order to climb the walls of its smooth stone.
★ Area Three [Rainbow Plateau] difficulty ★★★☆☆
Even higher than the Windy Commons lies an even larger floating island. The air here is calm, and the majority of the isle is covered in a fluffy cloudscape that engulfs the platform, presenting a sort of cloud castle in the sky. A fountain, the Ira's main source of fresh water, is the heart of the island, and the water flows, somehow endlessly, trickling down the sides of the island to the Cloudy Steps below. They say it's the water from the Rainbow Plateau freezes as it falls, becoming the windy storm in the lower region of Ira.
The platform is made of white stone, surrounded by a ring of pillars. Some structures, small towers, exist, but are no longer maintained and falling apart- the same goes for stone statues. It is said that this place housed the Ira founders, the noble pioneers of old. The only thing true remnant that remains is the emblem etched above the fountain.
Perhaps due to the lonely nature of this area, the Goddess, in times of old built on top of the abandoned fortress, her playground. Around the fountain are many contraptions thought to be 'fun' by her, made of multi-coloured glass similar in appearance to the rainbows that appear in the sky. Slippery glass panels that sprites may roll down, seats that by swinging will raise sprites airborn, and many other toys existed for Ira sprites of all stages alike!
Submerged under the water, down the whirlpool at the bottom of the ocean floor, resides a magical reef. In the center of the reef lay an enormous clam, and the Altar of Water rested within, of which used to be the home of Salt, the God of Water. However, now, the clam has clamped shut and the reef has lost its vibrant colours. The aquatic god vowed to bring back his once beloved home, eagerly awaiting the day when aether fills up the relics once again.
☂ Area One [Origin Falls] difficulty ★☆☆☆☆
Dropping down the waterfall just southwest from Timeless Springs reveals a pond in multiple shades of blue, shielded by a rain forest filled with luscious green trees. The secluded resort provides sprites with a comfortable living space to frolic around in. Have no fear, if riding the waterfall appears to be too much of an extreme sport, there is always the option of climbing down the surrounding boulders. Harmless rainforest animals and freshwater fish may be found here.
☂ Area Two [Sunshine Lagoon] difficulty ★★☆☆☆
Stepping out of the lush rainforest surrounding Origin Falls, you begin to feel a gush of gentle breeze sweeping through your fingertips as you enter Sunshine Lagoon. Just beyond the huts ahead lay a stretch of sandy beach being caressed by the saltwater lagoon. The shallow water calls out, tempting any listener with the serene lull of waves hitting the shore, inviting them in for a swim.
Numerous palm trees and raised beach huts align the shoreline, providing peaceful and comfortable shelters for the local sprites. Care to enjoy some tea on the lookout deck? Or perhaps an afternoon nap by the beach? Just don't leave any valuables by the shore overnight; after the sun sets, the rising tide can be quite mischievous.
☂ Area Three [Icy Cavern] difficulty ★★★☆☆
Past the river that connects Origin Falls to the Sunshine Lagoon, a parting in the middle leads to another, new region. Drastically different from the beach, the temperature drops exponentially as one draws nearer and nearer. Casting a new shadow over Esa is a cold mountain, and within lies the Icy Cavern.
Within the mountain, it isn't as cold. The inside path of the mountain is carved in the form of a spiral, and sprites in days of old made their homes within the safety of the hollow, from the tip of the mountain to levels just above the surface. At ground level, beside entry, there is also a spring, its beauty argued to match that of the Timeless Springs by proud Esa sprites.
The spring, unlike its mother, is very deep. But why...?
Perched high above the mountain tops of Vaal rests the ruins of what once was the Volcano Temple, home to the Fire God Kor. The glorious temple overlooking all of Vaal is now reduced to nothing but cracked walls, crumbled pillars and faded memories. Once the relics within the temple regain their splendor, the hieroglyphs lining the large walls will again glow, restoring the Volcano Temple to its original glory.
☼ Area One [Scorching Dunes] difficulty ★☆☆☆☆
Across the fiery bridge northeast of Timeless Springs lies an area with sand as far as the eye can see. Scorching Dunes, as its name implies, contain hundreds of sand dunes burning to the touch. The blazing sun shines brightly here more so than it does anywhere else on Aetherin. What little shade in this area is only found under cacti and protruding rock structures, unless one is keen to dig under the sand where the moisture collects. Desert faring creatures may be found here.
☼ Area Two [Char Canyon] difficulty ★★☆☆☆
Far into the northern reaches of Scorching Dunes, where the sand thins out and the rocky terrain takes over, lays a canyon plunging thousands of feet down. Char Canyon, as it is called, is decorated with steep hedges on the side of its grand walls, making the trek down a dangerous one. Fortunately, just across the bridge hides a rocky path leading down to a seemingly residential area embedded into the bedrock. Heat from the molten lava flowing beneath its raised platform warm the temperature to a broil, engulfing any Vaal sprite in a cozy blanket of warmth.
Large cracks found along the canyon serve as entrances into simple cave structures. Inside, ores line the cool walls deep within the crevices, its metallic sheen quivering like liquid fire when light casts upon their coarse surface. The sound of scurrying alert you are not alone, proving even small critters can survive in such a harsh terrain.
☼ Area Three [Crimson Coliseum] difficulty ★★★☆☆
Beyond the bridge of Char Canyon, a sea of red can be seen spreading across the extended landscape. Once known as the Crimson Coliseum, this area is littered miles wide with trees dyed in the color of blood. A giant stadium built from heavy stones and solidified molten rocks cements at the center. Elevated winding roads leading to bridges and high pagodas surround the intricately detailed structure, its purpose once serving as the symbol of Vaal’s mighty strength.
Warm hues of red and orange paint the sky, the colors a reflection of the orientalesque scenery. Petals and leaves alike constantly float between the warm currents of air, as if dancing solely for those who bother to spectate. Large mountains pan the horizon, yet nothing else appears beyond them.
The Ira tornado is Ira's elevator of sorts, and it travels and reaches all five areas of Ira. So no, there's still assistance of sorts to reach the plateau, but Stage 3 Ira sprites should be pretty good flyers by now regardless.
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