Under Feet of Clay
“Do not speak ill of the dead.” -Chilon, Sage of Death
Home to the great temple of Thantadeus known as the Sancta Morium, Chilones is built in the literal shadow of death. An elven city on its lonely, rocky island home, Chilones has more dead buried beneath it than living within its walls. Outside the city walls, fishing, herding, and agriculture are the norm, but the island is more famous than anything for its apiarists. The bees of Chilones produce phenomenal wax and honey used in candles and for sweetening wine across Calopius. Some vineyards dot the landscape, though the more common fruit of the island is the pomegranate. With rocky coasts along all but the southern shore, any visitors to Chilones must walk the Path of Penitence, a trail winding through the hills and up the cliffs to the metropolis dotted with statues of gods and memorial tiles.
In archaic times, the Sage Chilon tended his bees and pomegranate trees on the island as he contemplated the nature of the soul, its fate after death, and ultimate virtue. In his stead, philosopher-priests known as the Ophiops rule and continue his care. The elven priests maintain great necropolises built into the caves where the dead are placed with loving care in family vaults. While most commoners from across Calopius will be buried close to home or set to a funeral pyre, the wealthy and aristocratic send their corpses on the funeral ships of Chilones to find rest tended by the elves. A bastion of law and charity, the priests of Chilones guard the dead and their citizens with magic and spear in equal measure.
On the island, the elves of Chilon’s line also offer refuge to the Fetchlings, those half-shades born form the line of the heroine Nethana after her return from the halls of Thantadeus by the sacrifice of her betrothed. Glad to tend and guide the spirits of the dead, and drawn to the very caves that might tempt them back to the hall of death which they defy, the Fetchlings rarely venture to the surface.
The Ophiops Priests are the rulers of the island of Chilones, with Landowners having some say in politics. After this the Laboring class earns their living, with Servants beneath them. Unlike in some other cities, Chilones ensures even Servants have rights. The Shadowed class of Fetchlings who tend the necropolises and explore the depths of the caverns below stand apart from this hierarchy, but are still largely subservient to the Ophiops. As a rule, the people of Chilones are virtuous, noble, and hospitable. However, their strict laws will be met with righteous punishment, and the priests of the dead will not hesitate to add another body to the list of the souls they tend. The island is roughly 65% elf, 20% Fetchlings, 5% human, 5% gnome, 5% other. Heroes from Chilones trace their ancestry to Thebarchos and Nethana, though the elves largely consider themselves the children of Chilon himself.