City in the Dreamlands
The only large city in the East, it is said to be the most beautiful city in the entire Deep Country. It was founded and in fact created by its immortal ruler, King Kuranes. He is said to have been an inhabitant of the waking world who was a skilled dreamer who died and moved to the Dream Realm. No one knows if he is some form of ghost, a powerful sorcerer, or something far greater and stranger. There are many rumors of how he created this city, but the truth is a secret known only to King Kuranes
This city stands at the end of the valley realm of Ooth-Nargai. All the land of Ooth-Nargai is timeless, similar to Sona-Nyl. But in Sona-Nyl one simply escapes the ravages of aging. In Ooth-Nargai everything is timeless; the roads and buildings do not crumble, the seasons do not change, the people do not grow old or die. Investigators may return to Ooth-Nargai after having been away for many years, and those they left behind will remember their having left just yesterday. This timelessness is not intuitive to outsiders and is hard to grasp. Days pass, people eat and sleep, wagons full of food from the fields arrive and are sold at market, ships and caravans come and go, but Ooth-Nargai and its people remain the same. Always the same.
Things may be changed here, but once set they remain so. Flowers never wither, but neither do they gain new growth; wounds do not heal except for by magic; children cannot be born within the borders of this realm (this is not to say that there are no children in all of Ooth-Nargai, but they must be born elsewhere and they will not grow up as long as they remain); there is no wine from Ooth-Nargai, for the aging process cannot take place. Men can effect changes here—houses may be built, enemies may be killed, and trees may be cut down. Anything which requires time as the active force cannot take place here. Ooth-Nargai is a land where time stands waiting, unlike Sona-Nyl where the residents simply never age or die. The keeper is advised not to go overboard with this admittedly very strange concept—food, for instance, can be cooked here. On the whole though things remain as they are unless acted upon by some outside force other than time itself.
The streets of Celephaïs are wide and paved in onyx, which never appears worn or broken. The buildings are broad and are made of clay and then whitewashed, so they resemble those of Middle Eastern cities such as Cairo or Baghdad. Many buildings have towers capped with minarets of bronze or copper, and fly gaily colored pennants from their spires. The tallest towers, the most slender spires, and the brightest pennants belong to the beautiful rose-crystal Palace of Seventy Delights.
This is the home of the ruler of Ooth-Nargai, King Kuranes. Only in such a place as Ooth-Nargai, where all is timeless and never suffers any wear, could such a massive structure be built from such delicate material. The palace stands behind walls of polished quartz and covers several acres of ground. The palace’s main building has seventy rooms, each devoted to a different delight. The first twenty-nine of these rooms are for the enjoyment of any who might come to visit the king, and his throne room is located in the thirtieth. Each room is more beautiful and magical than the last. The remaining forty rooms are reserved only for the king and those whom he may choose to honor with an invitation. The seventieth room is situated at the top of the tallest tower in the palace where the king might look out and survey his entire realm, for what could be more delightful to any monarch but the bounty and happiness of his people.
King Kuranes also rules the island of Serannian. Together, the lands that Kuranes rules are considered one of the Six Kingdoms.
In the center of Celephaïs is the Turquoise Temple to Nath-Horthath, where eighty orchid-wreathed priests serve, no priest less than ten thousand years old.
A branch of the Great Library of the Dreamlands is also present in Celephaïs.
Past the eastern gates of Celephaïs is Cornwall-by-the-Sea, where King Kuranes has built a Norman Abbey and a small Cornish fishing village, to resemble his native Cornwall, to which he can never return. Not far from the village stands a small Norman abbey whose bell sounds across the hills and dells, and whose churchyard is filled with headstones bearing the names of King Kuranes’ ancestors. Kuranes resides in a Gothic manor house in Cornwall-by-the-Sea.