Gardens of Arcadia
Gardens of Arcadia
The Gardens of Arcadia are situated in the north east quadrant of VulcanVerse.
The Garden of the Gods of Olympus. Once they walked its sylvan paths, sipping Ambrosia, plucking the Golden Apples of Immortality, drinking the wines of Bacchus, and filling the arboreal groves with their laughter. Hera plotted vengeance against her husband, Zeus in dusky glades, Aphrodite seduced many a mortal, even a God or two, in its sweet smelling bowers, lovers embraced in candle-lit forested walkways. Ares, Lord of War rested here after bloody battle and Ceres sowed her seeds of plenty in its lush farmland. Satyrs and Centaurs gambolled in the sunlit groves, druids and sprites tended to the trees and flowers. Even mortals, those chosen of the Gods, attended the revels. Everywhere life blossomed with joyous abandon.
Geography and features
Arcadia is the Garden of the Gods of Olympus - but it stands neglected, weed choked and overgrown. The west of Arcadia is dominated by the Deep Forest, which runs from coastal areas in the north to the walls of Vulcan City in the south west. The River of Arcadia flows through a valley just north of the Summer Palace and winds north to meet the sea. To the east of the river in the uplands is the ancient Druid's Shrine and beyond, near Arcadia's east coast, are the Verdant Farmlands.
This lies at the centre of Arcadia, so called because there is only one season in Arcadia – eternal summer. The Palace is where the Gods once stayed but long has it stood empty, its murals chipped and flaking, its rooms empty and dust-bound, its windows shuttered and its kitchens closed, the banqueting halls and bedchambers silent and empty, begrimed with the filth of ages. The Palace is surrounded by Ornamental Gardens that have also fallen into ruin and decay. Weeds and creepers fill the flower beds, hedge thorn and nettles block and bind the garden paths.
The Summer Palace is central to Arcadia, south of the great lake that is the source of the River of Arcadia. Today, the Summer Palace is abandoned and only a shadow of its former self, its interior covered in dust, vines and roots tangle across the entrance. Despite its state of disuse, the palace still stands proud and is considered a wonder of VulcanVerse.
An ancient place of worship, the Druid's Shrine is located to the north east of the Summer Palace.
The river god Ladon once lived in the gushing waters, but now the rivers of Arcadia run dry as Ladon slumbers. Perhaps the ancient springs can be unblocked, wells cleared and the waters restored to flow once more bringing with it life and sustenance the sleeping gardens of Arcadia.
The River of Arcadia is the primary river in Arcadia. It's basin is where the majority of water - great in volume thanks to the many rainstorms Arcadia experiences, gathers in a large lake before flowing north where it passes under a bridge to finally meet the sea.
A river surfaces at the Druid's Shrine and flows south from the raised ground here, where it passes the Wineries of the Nectar of the Gods before turning east and passing south of the Woodlands of Ambrosia. In the south east of Arcadia, closest to Vulcan City, are the Dales of Leaf and Stream.
The Verdant Farmlands
Once tended by Centaurs these farmlands have fallen into disarray. Sacred stables, home to centaurs, and bucolic farmhouses still litter the land, waiting to be put to use once more.
Wineries of the Nectar of the Gods
Here were grown Olympian vines, tended by Satyrs, who’s hooves juiced the grapes from which the heady wines of Bacchus were made, called the sweet nectar of Olympus.
Woodlands of Ambrosia
Much of Arcadia is covered in sculpted woodland, given a veneer of wildness but in fact criss crossed with trails and paths, dotted with arbours and bowers, statues, fountains, flowered gardens, gazebos and gardener’s huts. It was a bucolic paradise, now overgrown and truly wild. Ambrosia, the food of the gods that imparts immortality on those who eat of it, was also harvested here from the mushroomed shadows of glen and glade.Yet a few Dryads still live in leaf-thatched tree houses, some nymphs still dance in sunlit glades and gambol in the streams and pools.
The Deep Forest
These are the truly wild parts of Arcadia, found at its remoter edges. The deeper you go, the darker it gets until you reach Lykaon’s Den. Do not assume you will ever leave that place alive though. Safer places along the way are the Druid’s Groves, so long as you treat them with respect and honour. Druids still tend a grove or two – do not anger them for they have mastery over root and branch, leaf and stream and can ensnare the unwary or those that desecrate their sacred charges.
Dales of Leaf and Stream
Here dwell dwindling tribes of faeries and sprites, playing in the waters and tree lined glens, or banqueting on elderberry wine and mushrooms, roots and nuts. Beware, mortals, for to disturb the Fae at play is to risk much, perhaps even your very soul!
Many brave, noble, and mysterious creatures call Arcadia home. Those known to the House of Records include:
Phearei, Dryad of the Woodland Glades
Alpha of the Deep Forest
Soter, Lord of the Woodland Herds
Velosina of the Sacred Stables
Chiron, First among the Centaurs