“Countries of Ryrin: Chapter 4” by Fieron

Chapter 4: The Veil, or Manifesta

Capital: Manifesta
Population: 3 million (60% ghosts, 40% living)
Denonym: N/A
Government Type: Council of Elders
Other Cities of Note: Last Port

The large island off the southern coast of the continent is house to one of the most unique cities in the world. Manifesta is layered, with the city itself surrounded by a massive stone wall covered in intricately carved and glowing runes, which is surrounded by massive Spirit Trees with trunks as big around as large villages, which is in turn surrounded by miles and miles of desert.

Manifesta is often called the City of the Dead, because it is one of only two places where ghosts can manifest completely into the material realm. These are no wailing spirits twisted by regret either. These ghosts are in perfect control, and “live” fairly normal lives. It is unclear why some souls stay behind, while others pass on to the Veil. Most of the living within the city are family members who have sought out dead relatives.

One of the lesser known oddities of Manifesta is one that the living rarely even know exists. Below the city is a place called the Stalactite, where only ghosts are allowed. This is not a law, but a physical requirement in most cases. The walls of the city continue underground, creating a vast cave with walls barely visible in the gloom, and the bottom completely lost in the dark. Common thought is that this well is bottomless, since any attempts to discern an end have met with failure. Growing down from the ceiling of this bottomless well are huge stone structures that look like stalactites, hence the name. These stone cones have been hollowed out and exist as housing for the many ghosts existing there to avoid the living. There are no roads or paths between the cones, as all ghosts can easily fly. This, in fact, is the most difficult part for the living.

The tallest structure is known as the Downside Castle, and houses the government of Manifesta, a Council of Elders made up entirely of ghosts. The government overall is pretty laissez fair compared to most countries. The Elders don’t invoke many rules upon the city other than the minimum to keep order within the city like no murdering the living, no stealing, and the like. The Downside Castle is one of the only stalactite with pathways leading from within the city, since the living occasionally need to visit. Many of the guards and servants of the Downside Castle are graveborn or other corporeal undead who seek work away from the living.

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