Aurelian is a Lost Zone region in Wayfinder.
Equal parts library, temple, and arcane workshop, Aurelian was once a monastery for the Order of the Silver Codex. Originally founded as an Imperial outpost in a dangerous frontier, the ruins of Aurelian boast imposing fortifications which loom over the Highlands. Rumor tells that the monastery was abandoned during the height of the Mazewars, though the details of the raid on its denizens remain unclear. Still, it is well documented that Aurelian once supported a robust population of monks and travelers. The Seekers believe there may still be supplies and both technological and arcane boons capable of restoring Skylight hidden within the monastery's walls. Yet mystical wards and ancient traps linger in the ruins, plaguing any scavengers that dare explore Aurelian's forlorn halls.
While initiates of the Silver Codex trained and worked in the monasteries on the surface, the most important tasks were performed deep underground. Those who passed the Trial of Lingering Light began the Wisdom's Walk, and descended into the Undercroft.
This platform is suspended by pure radiant energy. The Avar spellsmith who designed the first Ascension lift said "The light of the Architects will carry us to the heavens."
Chamber of Lingering Light
The name of this chamber refers not to the practical illumination of the room, but rather to the knowledge that gives each individual the moral fiber to live a just existence. In theory, the initiates who faced trials in this room had to rally the light they carried within and prove themselves worthy of the Architects' wisdom. In practice, the knowledge that lies beyond may be far more sinister.
The council of the Argent Hand once gathered in this place to contemplate the mysteries of the Architects and determine the path of the Silver Codex. This is where they would address the fledgling initiates of the order, and it seems that this is where they made their final stand against the Archons.
What drove the Silver Codex to create Broodmother S'ilreth and her foul children? How many innocents were consumed by these spiders before Aurelian itself collapsed into the Gloom? The monks surely justified their actions with the pursuit of knowledge, but these secrets were bought with blood.
Aurelian was built to celebrate the Celestial Architects and uncover and record the mysteries of Evenor, their creation. There was a time when this chamber was filled with initiates exchanging ideas with scientists all over the Empire, when the monks were joined together in the purpose of bringing glory to the Arcs. Ultimately they gathered here to face the ruthless invaders, and here they met their doom.
The Gloom holds glimpses of what was and what might have been. This is a glimpse of the Monastery fallen to time rather than to mortal enemies, an Aurelian where nature has taken its due.
Orreries are often used to chart the movements of moons and planets, but this one appears to have settings that are not strictly astronomical. It seems these orbs measure the balance of arcanic elements, and some bear notations about the tension between different realities held within the Gloom... clear evidence that the monks of the Silver Codex were studying the Gloom long before the Fall.
The monks must have crossed this chamber regularly in the course of their duties, and yet there is no bridge across the pit. The only logical conclusions are either they had a mobile bridge that no longer exists, or that their faith showed them the path across the void.
Arcanic power surges through this massive machine. It was made to bend reality, to summon Echoes from worlds that exact only as shadows of this one. Notes suggest that the Codex monks developed it in the pursuit of personal immortality, but never managed to perfect this tool.
The Silver Codex recorded secrets on traces of light. Here those sparks were translated into written words. There's no knowing what was lost in the assault or swallowed by the Gloom, but there may still be secrets that can be pried loose.
Though the ground is clean of stains and other physical evidence, you are certain vile experiments have been performed in this chamber. Your nerves tingle with residual arcanic power, and the air feels thin and strangely fragile—as if a sudden movement could split reality wide open.
At the height of the Mazewar, the Empire attacked and brutally massacred the monks at Aurelian, which lead to the monastery being abandoned. The details of this raid on the denizen remain unclear. Still, it is well documented that Aurelian once supported a robust population of monks and travelers. The Seekers believe there may still be supplies and both technological and arcane boons capable of restoring Skylight hidden within the monastery’s walls. Yet mystical wards and ancient traps linger in the ruins, plaguing any scavengers that dare explore Aurelian’s forlorn halls. Thus, like most silver linings in the Highlands, little hope remains.