The eight major islands of Caelius were created in two waves were each of the four of us created an island. Then I polished everything up and fleshed out some of the ideas. Solvino was a first wave island crafted by Audrey. It's one of the warmer, more bountiful islands and has a culture built around the appreciation of that bounty and preserving it.
In the distant past, the people of Solvino changed their lives radically when they decided the best way to preserve the island's surface for resource management was to move beneath their own island. So aside from farmland and small settlements, all the larger population centers grew hanging in the shadow of their home.
This compounded with a religious fervency around Sol, a deity of light and life. Life and food required the light of their god and so the culture has developed around the idea that natural light is sacred. Finding ways to bring the sun's light to their domains on the underside of Solvino was a challenge that helped improve their engineering prowess. Not only did they need to build stable hanging cities, they needed complex ways to light up those cities.
This endeavor was aided by a collection of four holy artifacts, the Sol Hearts, which were brought down from the singularly large holy mountain on Solvino by a goliath prophet of the deity Sol. These Hearts produce sunlight on their own and through their use, could bring the sun’s light to huge swaths of land beneath.
As the civilization grew and their technological architecture and engineering grew with them, they set out to create a capital city that would be able to bring light and life to the entire underside of their island, while itself remaining in the holy light of Sol. It would hang between the pronged arms of their island so that the people could feel the wisdom of the Unknowns (a trio of underworld gods said to live in the Farsea) and Sol. Thus, Skylit City was created.
To this day, it is the single greatest feat of engineering on the planet. The city itself is approximately size of London and sits on top of four huge plates that interconnect with each other. Each of the plates is connected to the land by numerous bridges and other supports. From Skylit City, it is possible to travel to the cities beneath Solvino or to the lands atop it. The capital even has bridges that lower and allow passage to other islands as they pass by.
Over the last century, they've been bringing the Sol Hearts to Skylit City and creating places for them. These Sol Heart facilities generate huge quantities of sunlight that are spread through huge mirrored refraction tubes that interlock the entirety of the island’s underbelly. Truly, Skylit and Solvino are unlike any other place in the skies of Caelius.
While writing this summary, I asked Audrey what she was thinking as she created Solvino and she had this to say, “What if ethical consumption of resources meant we didn’t live where the resources were? What if Venice was a suspended city instead of canal city? Also I love the idea of a city of architects.”
I think it’s interesting that she started with an ideal that makes me think a bit of the Solar Punk genre. Funnily enough, the Island of Solvino, which worships the sun god Sol, is definitely a bit of a Solar Punk splash in a classical fantasy world of floating islands.
We look forward to sharing more about Solvino and Skylit City with you as the characters explore it.