Hydlaa (pronounced Heèd-láh), is the capital city of Yliakum and is mainly the home to the Ylian Race. The sprawling city is found on the first level, known as The Dome, the level that is closest to the Azure Sun. Hydlaa is protected by giant stone walls and gates and defended by the City Militia. Famous landmarks define Hydlaa's skyline. The Windowless Tower juts out, a huge mysterious hollow tower, containing only stairs and ladders for one to climb to the top. The Iron Temple of Laanx can also be seen as the second tallest structure in Hydlaa. There it houses the clergy of Laanx and The Book of Names. Underneath Hydlaa can be found the dungeon, a labyrinth almost as vast as the city and full of gems and precious ores, as well as the sewage systems, a place where many dark creatures live and feed on what falls in the sewage. Hydlaa is where all races will spawn for the the first time and when they die.
History and Mythology
Origin of Hydlaa
Hydlaa is said to have been constructed by the original natives of Yliakum, comprised of the Kran and the Lemur. It was named after the powerful Glyph that Laanx and Talad had used to create their people. Under Talad's guidance, Hydlaa was soon populated by Ylians and Enkidukais who had recently migrated to Yliakum from their lands via the Stone Labyrinths. After the appearance of the portals, more races made Hydlaa their home. The buildings that were built in the city were made in the Ylian style, with the exception of some, like the Dermorian garden in East Hydlaa.
At the beginning of the Fifth Epoch it is noted that the new races of Yliakum quickly realized that there was no food for them all to share. The top two levels were regarded as the only levels that were fertile enough to farm. Ylians soon claimed the first level for themselves, refusing to share with other races. They built fences and walls, and began to look at books about armies and armed defense. The Enkidukai that lived in the same area were driven away and this was considered an intrusion on their freedom. Hydlaa became a Ylian city for a short while before Talad was able to stabilize the conflict.
During the Fifth Epoch, a group of Lemurs, led by a young man named Galeran Tarbius, created a faith based around the Book of Names, supposedly written by Laanx. Galeran was blessed with endless charisma and willpower and was able to spread the fanatical religion of his group among others. He led the cult to Yliakum and, in Hydlaa, as a gift to Laanx, Lemurs build the Iron Temple.
It is here that since then the order of Laanx's Followers, called The Iron Hand, has its main headquarters. They are organized into five main groups called seats: Pryam, Noctar, Vestru, Ogam, and Sempter. Each has a specific function inside the order and all work in harmony to serve Laanx. Today, Laanx worship is the most popular religion in Hydlaa.
Hydlaa is located on the first level. It is found south of the Eagle Bronze Doors and west of Ojaveda, the Enkidukai's city. It is surrounded by large cliffs and is actually found on the innermost rim of the level, where giant Winches can be found as transportation from level to level. Hydlaa is on the level closest to the Crystal, meaning it has more light than other levels, but it also is more susceptible to the crystal's radiation. The proximity also means that it is one of the best areas to grow crops, and many kinds of flora and fauna can be found in and around the city.
The Hydlaa Plaza is situated in the middle of the city. Large stone steps lead down into the recessed plaza surrounding a tranquil fountain, and a statue of Laanx. The wide open space and fresh air make it a popular spot to stop and relax while taking in the sights of the Hydlaa skyline. It is also a useful navigational landmark for those unfamiliar with or new to the town. Directions are often given from the Plaza when facing the Windowless Tower, or Iron Temple. Several shops can be found around the plaza. Many gathering also take place there for special events.
Laanx and the devout followers of Laanx have played a major role in the history of Hydlaa. In addition to the statue in the plaza, in fitting tribute they also erected a large temple. The Iron Temple of Laanx in Hydlaa was built by the Lemur people under the leadership of Galeran Tarbius after they settled on the first level of Yliakum in the Fifth Epoch. Galeran gave up his own life for the creation of the temple, and is still entombed in its walls. The temple houses the Book of Names, a tome that Laanx revealed to the young Galeran and is the backbone of Laanx worship today.
The temple also boasts spacious greens just to the east, and a large well within its walls.
Hydlaa's most experienced and most famous crafter, Harnquist, runs the smithy in the Hydlaa Plaza. The smithy is open-air, with beautiful apple trees nearby. There are also extra furnaces close at hand which Harnquist allows others to use. There, ores and metals can be crafted and refined to create weapons and armour. Harnquist also buys and sells these products, along with mining and smithing tools. Aspiring smiths, miners and metallurgists often gather near the smithy to learn from the master while he is at work.
This giant mysterious tower dominates the Hydlaa skyline. Many theories have been made about the tower's origins, none of which can be proved. Some say that it was built by and houses the Octarch Engineering Academy. Due to its iron structure, another theory suggests it was built by a Lemur sect that did not follow Laanx. Many adventurers claim that it is simply full of stairways and ladders that lead to the top.
The bar in the higher levels of Hydlaa. From the plaza facing the Iron Temple, go up the ramp just to the west (left). Then take the left staircase going up. You'll run into a guard tower at the top of the stairs, and the tavern is just to the left of that. Or, you could just follow the smells and crowds.
Kada-El's is famous for good food, drink and lodging which can be purchased there. Owned by Kada-El and run now by the citizens and the bartender, Allelia Symiestra, that has been appointed there. As most of Hydlaa's patrons frequent the tavern, Allelia seems to see and know everyone in town. She is a good source on information, as well as drinks.
Jomed Parcen runs the grills and prepares all the food. Many of his recipes are quite popular.
Boralis Voladrand and his wife, Rinna own a general store known as The Emporium. It is advertised as a place to buy "excellent adventure trinkets underneath the Azure Sun". It is located in the higher portions of Hydlaa, near the North Gate. If you keep climing the stairs and heading north, it will be the last staircase on the right before you leave town. Boralis and Rinna can be found under a tent, eagerly awaiting new travelers and thusly new customers.
If you head east from the main plaza, you will come across East Hydlaa.
The library is also known as Jayose's Librams and Codex. It is large library owned by the grumpy Ylian librarian Jayose, hence the name. Many books about Yliakum and its inhabitants can be found here. The two-story structure is filled with so many books, and the books are so popular that Jayose has had to take on assistants to help him run the establishment.
The library can be found by heading from the plaza into East Hydlaa. At the first fork, turn left and follow the road. The library will be on your left.
A beautiful garden created by the Dermorians with their art and techniques. Also known as The Secret Garden, this place is considered sacred to Xiosia worshipers for its sacred tree, with the image of Xiosia in it. Additionally, the garden has a fountain that brings up pure water from the lower levels.
Amidison Stronghands Manor
The Manor makes up part of the Courthouse Complex, along with the Jail and Courthouse.
One of the two main entrances/exits to Hydlaa. It is often guarded by the able-bodied Moren Findel and Nevis Revori. If you head out the gate, and follow the Ojaveda Road, you eventually you will find the Dsar of Akkaio, one of many dsars that make up Ojaveda city.
The Hydlaa Winch
The Winch is an economically important district of Hydlaa. Access to this area is strictly controlled. The Winch, as one would expect, is also a name for the central building within that district and the mechanism it houses, the most important part of Hydlaa, and all of Yliakum's infrastructure, that serves the purpose of transporting goods and important people from one level of Yliakum to another.
However, because access is so strictly controlled, not much is known about the landmarks and locations contained within this district, save for the Winch itself.
These areas are outside the city walls of Hydlaa, but are considered part of the city none the less.
If you exit Hydlaa from the North Gate (from the centre plaza with the Laanx Statue, look toward a tall brown tower and make your way towards it) continue through the forest path and then take the right fork, soon you will come across Levrus Dahrenn's Magic Shop. While the shop is outside the city, and nestled in the forest, it is considered to be part of the Hydlaa community.
Levrus sells many magical glyphs there, and the area around his home/shop is also a popular spot for miners.
A giant fortress can be found just off the Hydlaa Plaza through an old and long tunnel known as the Old Quarry Road. There can be found many people from all over Yliakum who come to the Arena to train their skills. It houses many savage creatures such as Trepors and Tefusangs. Mercenaries and the more ferocious gladiators can be found, some employed by the Arena, some there of their own volition and bloodlust. It is a dangerous place that is for not the weak-hearted. Merchants can also be found within the walls, selling a variety of items.
The sewer system of Hydlaa is full of a variety of creatures, such as rats, gobbles and rogues. These sewers run all around the bowels of Hydlaa, dripping with sewage and decaying monsters that have been fought and killed. Many seasoned warriors today started out by killing the rats in these structures, since they are seen as easy prey and a good means to practice one's skills in combat.
There are two entrances to the sewers. One is near the Tavern. You will have to find them yourself.
A labyrinth found underneath the Iron Temple. The dungeons spread all around the foundations of Hydlaa. This maze of tunnels leads to all kinds of places, such as the Windowless Tower itself. It is full of creatures such as Clackers and Arangmas, and inhabited by Rogues and even Onyx Daggers.
Miners have also been known to brave the depths and dangers of the dungeon as well in search of wealth.
PlaneShift Settings - A story behind PlaneShift
PlaneShift History - A history of Yliakum and Kadaikos
Windowless Tower - A discussion on the forums about the Windowless Tower
Yliakum D.C - A discussion on the forums about the capital of Yliakum
Due to the changing PlaneShift settings, this information may become out of date and is only gathered from the current setting history as of June 2007