The Many Gates to Caelum
Almasa is a jewel among the barren sands of The Expanse. A large city of white towers and high stone walls, all protected from the swirling desert storms by ancient magics. It is said that Almasa contains a temple to every deity ever known.
Almasa is a devoutly religious city, which visitors may find in juxtaposition with the open and liberal nature of it’s population (12,000 strong). These visitors simply do not grasp the worldview of much of it’s citizenry. To Almasans, all gods and goddesses, while varying in power, are to be respected and revered. Though many do dedicate themselves to a particular deity or pantheon, they respect the beliefs of those who choose to worship others. It is a great offense to speak ill of any deity in Almasa, and faithlessness is frowned upon.
Within the arcane gates to the city, a large promenade surrounds the city, which is said to put The Road of Piety to shame. Along this path, one can find temples and cathedrals to a diverse collection of faiths; from the death priests of Kelemvor and Myrkul, to righteous paladins of Bahamut and Pelor, and healing shrines to Silvanus and Lathandar. Deities from other cultures are worshipped here as much as human gods, such as Moradin from the Dwarvish pantheon, Selune and Mielikki of the Elves, and gods of the Far North, such as Heimdall and Baldur.
Researchers have seldom been granted access to the inner workings of the city, but those who have made startling discoveries. It seems that, though it was settled by humans and elves at the dawn of recorded history 2500 years ago, they did not build the central buildings or arcane gates surrounding the city. These structures predate the known races by centuries, carved with mysterious runes and forgotten languages. Those few skilled enough to translate these inscriptions find histories of the gods themselves, with their tenets and deeds. This has lead to Almasa being considered the “cradle of civilization”, as some believe the city itself to have been built by the divine.
Almasa is guarded by the arcane shell at its perimeter, but within, tall stone sentinels patrol the streets. These powerful behemoths are fueled by magic, standing 15 feet high, carved of white stone and patterned with runes. They never speak, and seem to seek out acts of evil, and intervene harshly. They have the power to expel individuals from the city, working in tandem with the arcane barrier. Records show that these automatons were present when the city was first settled, adding to their mystery.