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A cozy cottage grown from a copse of living trees just north of the Once-Great Wall. Unbeknownst to Aargh, it is located on the exact spot where he grew up, on his father's farm.

The Congregational House (originally called Middle Building) is a massive square structure the size of four city blocks. It serves as Ardilakk Valley’s seat of government and is centrally located in relation to the Ancient Quadropolis (including one block from each city: Eastie Nort, Westie Nort, Eastie Sowt, and Westie Sowt). Other than the Wizards’ Spire, it is the tallest building in Ardilakk Valley, standing three extra tall stories high. All other buildings in the valley are required to be two standard stories or less. Although most of the rooms are rented out to local business owners, the uppermost floor is used exclusively for governing, including the lords’ chambers and offices, conference rooms, administrative services, food preparation, and the Grand Rotunda. The building also contains one of the wonders of the River Wide: the Capam Speculo.

One of the Arms of Ardilakk that encircle the valley, the foothills extend from the great mountain to the banks of the River Wide, bordering Ransome Ravine, Eastie Nort, Widow’s Peak, and the Highland Grasslands. Beyond this region lies a mystery, as no trade routes have ever been successfully cut through its mountainous terrain.

Located at the top of Middling Street, right at the foot of the Congregational House, are a dozen buildings where Gemini City’s upper lords live. The western homes are called houses, named (from south to north): Granite, Travertine, Alabaster, Marble, Obsidian, and Onyx. The eastern homes are called halls, named (from south to north): Quartz, Opal, Emerald, Sapphire, Ruby, and the most famous, Diamond. Tradition holds that the closer an upper lord’s home is to the Congregational House, the more influence they wield. When one of their ranks ascends to Master Prefect (most commonly from Diamond Hall), one lower lord is selected to join them in the upper chamber, but they are rarely afforded a say and are never permitted to vote on any pressing matters.

Located in the Northern Forest, between the pine barrens at the foot of Mount Ardilakk and the predominantly deciduous trees of the lower forest, this area is considered impassable due to the instability of the terrain. As the saying goes, “Only a dwarf would risk setting foot in Falling Rocks!” meaning, no sane Geminian would ever do whatever they were talking about.

A favorite spot for Geminians to watch the comings and goings along the river, albeit an inhospitable one. It received its name after the first explorers (referring to those not indigenous to the region) struggled to return to their ships during a terrific snowstorm. Due to an optical illusion created when viewing the river through its mountainous terrain, the water appeared close, and they thought they were saved. However, when they reached the edge of the cliff, the explorers found they were standing on the highest point in Ardilakk Valley (except for the mountains, of course) with no way to reach their ships floating on the river far below.

The great stone city of Ardilakk Valley. Originally called Eastie and Westie Sowt (the southern districts of the Ancient Quadropolis), it is a thriving port and home to two of the Wonders of the River Wide: the Capam Speculo and the Wizards’ Spire.

The premiere school of wizarding on the River Wide (one of nine) and, as far as Spire Wizards are concerned, the only legitimate wizarding school. It is located at 78Block89 in the part of town once known as Westie Sowt (now Gemini City West). The complex is comprised of four two-story buildings built around a rotunda that houses an uplifter. The school’s four buildings are rightly named Building #1 (Administration), #2 (Laboratories), #3 (Dormitory), and Southeast Structure (SS for short), which is primarily for classes. Although the school is presently above ground, the old underground school still exists, referred to as the basement, but that area is seldom entered. The wizarding school’s grounds encompass four city blocks–one-half mile from west to east and one-half mile south to north. Its main entrances are at 78th Street and Westie Street (both of which cross the grounds delineating the school’s four adjacent blocks), with additional entrances at each of the square’s four corners. The northern blocks are dominated by Wizardwood, Northern Grazing Field, and Lake Hîrdehn-dūl. The southern blocks contain the school’s barns, growing areas, Eastern Grazing Field, and Private Spire Garden. The entire grounds are encompassed by the Wizard’s Wall, further separating those who live and work at the school from the outside world. It should be noted that above the school stands the famed Wizards’ Spire and observation lounge. It is by far the tallest structure in Ardilakk Valley and one of the Wonders of the River Wide. Tours are not available at this time.

Located along the westernmost squares of Gemini City, the Lowlands used to be a pristine marshland covered with tall saltgrass and filled with fish spawning in its complex intertwined creeks. At first, the city’s dumping ground was limited to the marsh’s northernmost tip, where Ardilakk’s foothills met the Once-Great Wall. But, over the generations, it grew until it completely covered the tidal lands. Lowlanders are the only inhabitants of the valley who risk venturing into the desolation of the Wastes. Everyone else leaves that to rumblebugs.

When the Northrim arrived in Ardilakk Valley, they brought with them a host of fantastic airships–more than half of which transformed into a city on the Highland Grasslands. Those ships that were seaworthy set up a blockade around the Underground Falls, and the two halves of the fleet were connected by trollies that ferried people and goods up and down the steep highland cliff face on metal tracks.

OLD MIDDLE-FOREST ROAD (originally Middle Building Street North)
A wide, overgrown woodland path that begins at the Congregational House and stretches into the Northern Forest. Near its end, it connects with Falling Rocks Pass, which is the most common way to reach Ransome Ravine. The old road is thought to have once separated the lost northern districts of the Ancient Quadropolis (Eastie and Westie Nort).

Believed to be a direct link to the Earth Mother, she is the wisest tree in the Northern Forest and keeper of the valley’s history. Wizards are presented to her as postulants and, in return, Mother Tree gives them an acorn–a link to the world of magic.

Believed to be the source of magic, Ardilakk is the tallest mountain on the River Wide. Legend says it was brought forth by the Dark Wizard, rising out of the ground during the year of the Quivering Quake at the beginning of the Second Age of the Valley. In year 3-328, the Wizard of the Council started the Great Fire and broke the mountain in two. Ever since, strange lights have appeared in the crevasse between its two halves, leading to wild speculations that a dragon had been awoken and would soon seek revenge on those who live in the valley.

A majestic forest teaming with wildlife, it once filled the entirety of Ardilakk Valley (except for the Lowland Marshes and Highland Grasslands, where the winds are too strong for trees to take root). However, today, the forest only exists in the space above the city between Ransome Ravine and the Westiewood cliffs. Within its boundaries, visitors can find Falling Rocks and the noble pine barrens at the foot of Mount Ardilakk.

When the Northrim landed in Ardilakk Valley, they took up residence on the Highland Grasslands and moored their ocean-going ships in a semicircle around the Underground Falls. No one knows why they chose this place to stake their claim, but it has caused no end of conflict in the hallowed halls of the Gemini City School of Wizarding and the valley's seat of government, the Congregational House.

The southeasternmost square of what was once known as Eastie Sowt (now part of Gemini City East). Nestled between False Hope Fluff and the highland cliffs, this square was walled off when the townies (people who live in Old Eastie Sowtown) refused to stop using wood as a building material in favor of metal and stone. An entirely self-sustaining community, there has been no communication or contact between Geminians and townies in the modern age.

The Port Pier District is a semiautonomous administrative division operated by the River Wide Shipping Consortium. A city in and of itself (considering the wharf is almost a quarter mile deep and runs nearly the entire width of Gemini City (from 0Block1 to 20), the pier system serves as the valley's window to the world.

A mysterious gap that separates the northeastern part of the forest from the Eastern Foothills. It’s believed to have once been used as a hideout for the Marauders, but over time, the way in has been lost to history. The only thing that is known for sure about the ravine is that the Underground River flows through it, exiting the valley at the Underground Falls.

The River Wide is replete with natural wonders for adventurous souls to visit, from the vast woodland wilderness stretching endlessly to the horizon to majestic mountain ranges, waterfalls, ancient ruins, and soothing hot springs–not to mention the fascinating cities that have been built along its banks with their unique cultures and even more unique cuisines. But it’s on the river itself where explorers find the widest array of places to discover, though travelers must be cautious. Sometimes places that look unsullied by human hands, uninhabited, or abandoned, harbor dangers in the most unlikely of ways.

One of the Arms of Ardilakk that embrace the valley, the foothills extend from the great mountain to the banks of the River Wide. They are famous for the Westiewood Cliffs and stories of monsters who live hidden in the fold. Beyond this region lies a mystery, as no trade routes have ever been successfully cut through its mountainous terrain.

Reputedly the barrow of the greatest explorer to have ever traveled the River Wide (Thelbaldus Harnock), Widow’s Peak is a large mound at the far side of the highland grasslands situated at the foot of the Eastern Foothills. It lies along the low pass, which is so named because of its location in proximity to the mountains, not because it is any lower than the high pass, which runs along the edge of the highland cliffs.

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