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Bostan, the Botanical Sphere


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Evil's picture


About a days march from any of the quasi elemental palens borders in the core positive direction, you will come across a sphere, approximately 10 miles in diameter, of a strange, tinted Acheronean Glass. Within the blinding light of the Positive Energy Plane, it only helps you see the inside better: Huge floating forests.

Seeds to trees to flowers to fruits; Winter to Spring to Summer to Fall; the passage of seasons in a single day. Entire forests grow in a matter of weeks; the Gardeners cut them down, and ship to the select clientele around the multiverse. An ecologic research center, a botanic garden, and an organic factory. Above all, its the realisation of one man's dreams.

Since the healing rate inside the Bostan Sphere is only 1% of the rest of the plane, it is one of the most hospitable places in the plane. Any manner of living creatures can survive here without need for food, drink or rest. Wounds heal 360 times faster than normal, and if a body starts eating and drinking normally this rate goes even higher, so the inhabitants have taken to only eating extremely poisonous fruits that they grow specifically for this purpose. The poison is cleansed from their system before it can have any effect, but it still helps to keep the energy overloading problem at bay. blinding light of the plane is also partly blocked, it is only as bright as a really bright summer day.

The people in charge are a group of radical druids who call themselves Bostanci*, or Gardener. Instead of watching and preserving the natural order of things, they have turned into a specific order concerned with making sure the trees and plants of hundreds of different types can survive together by nothing but constant exposure to positive energy. They than sell the product from their gardens (Bostan) to interested parties. These druids were mostly human and elf with a few earth genasi, but some of them eventually started developing plant-like traits. About half of the population are now Woodling(MM3) creatures. Their leader, founder of the place, is a blood who simply goes by the title Bostancibashi - head gardener(see below).
Though outsiders may not notice it at first, Shads make up most of the population inside the sphere; in fact, the largest population of Shad on any plane outside earth live here. With the life enhancing positive energy, and the incredible forest their ancient lore talks about, it is the paradise for them. When they first arrived, the druids tried to repel them, but then the two sides came to an agreement. They move around the sphere and over the trees with ease, and tend to the gardens with great skill. On some parts, Shad are the only race that could prevent getting ensnared by the rapidly growing plants. There are a number of Shad Druids in the forest. They are responsible for making sure the trees are grown and cut in the way the Bostancibashi decrees, and serve as both leaders and task masters to their people. The Shad live mostly on small villages of 200-300 people scattered around the Sphere.
As another sign of their radicalism, these Druids grow certain plants in the shape of animals or mythical monsters, to be later turned into tropiary creatures(MM3). These beautiful and terrible beings are also sold when they have grown to their natural sizes, so the only tropiary creatures are miniature versions of the creatures they mimic.
As this is a market garden above all, There are traders from around the multiverse, and these are the groups that bring real variety to the place. This is a place where they can get supplies of raw wood in custom shapes, ready-to-lay gardens, herbal medicine, exotic plants and spices, etc. Dao traders come here to buy decorative crystal flowers that are very hard to find enmasse in mineral, even though its their native plane. Marids come here to buy "exotic" fruits and vegetables that are normally grown on prime orchards. The Djinni are mostly interested in fragrant flowers, in fact the Bostan is the main supplier to Achmed al Misk, the Perfume maker of the Great Caliph himself. Efreet are politely refused.
Other visitors include representatives from spelljammer ship yards from the Prime and airshipyards from the Steam. Gnome, sky elves, even Scro and Giffs can be seen discussing ship masts and sails and trade routes.
Bostanci work endlessly to keep off any plant disease, mushroom, insect or vermin infestation. They tried having a few animals, mostly for summon spells, but it is clear that natural animal intelligence has a hard time getting adjusted to the conditions of the sphere. They were, sadly, disposed of. On the up side, this means every animal you'll encounter in the place will be the animal companion of a druid, a mage's familiar, or, better yet, one of those two in animal shape.

Once you pass through one of the 6 hatches on opposite points on the glass-steel, you enter the Bostan airspace. The blinding lights of the plane are hindered by the glass shield, and it is possible to see as in normal day light. Inside this giant metal and glass cage, there are dozens of small, floating gardens in a variety of shapes, sizes, and functions. All of them are covered with plant life of some sort, though more interestingly, these gardens, orchards, groves and aquariums seem to be in constant motion, as the trees change color and shed their leaves right before your eyes. It is possible to walk in the empty space between the garden, but there is objective gravity on the gardens' surface.
The largest garden is at the center, a giant sphere whose each quasi-sphere is in a different season of the year at any given time, and these all change among each other, shifting their colors and compositions constantly, endlessly. This is:
The Hasbahche(the private garden) of the Bostancibashi. It has nearly one mile of diameter, and has only a few man made structures, which are barely visible under the giant trees. There are 4 manors on each quasisphere, and they are named according to which elemental plane they are situated towards. These manors serve as the head quarters of the Bostanci, as well as their living quarters(keep in mind they don't need sleep, the rooms don't have beds and all food served here is poisonous as a rule). Bostancibashi travels among these manors as he pleases, as he prefers to wander in his gardens instead of staying in one place. Each manor is made from beautifully carved and carpented wood and is large enough to house 100 people with working spaces included. They are also designed to resemble the planes they are named after: The Radiant House resembles a Xaositects' masterpiece with lots of bold colors and confusing shapes, both with architecture and flower decorations. The Crystal Manor is made from a transluscent white wood, and crystal flower branches it is surrounded in make it just as eye catching as the former. The Cloud Mansion is on a tiny hill surrounded by a field of steam blooms filling it with a pleasent, clingy scent. The Lightning Pavilion is on top of a collossal tree which has small arcs of pink and blue energy playing around its branches, like leaves. Each of these places may cater to visitors if they have invitations from one of a Bostanci. The gardens around these houses are truly breathtaking, with literally countless types of plant life in display in all points of their life cycles. Small statues of beautiful women and man in skimpy outfits or fighting garbs dot the field. Some point to the lack of a sculptor in the city, and credit these works of art to a basilisk hiding in Hasbahce.
At the upper point of the cross shaped by these manors, towards the core positive energy, is the School of Positivism, which houses the few brilliant mages who came here to study and develop a school of magic utilising positive energy primarily. Their leader is an Architekt-Wizard who is called the "Mimar" by Bostancibashi, and the title stuck. The two are very old partners, and he is the one who planned the gigantic glass-steel sphere.The dome, roughly 50m in diameter, fully isolates the positive energies of the plane.The School grounds are about 250 squaremeter, mostly grass fiels. Overgrown thorn bushes surround their territory. The wizards rarely need to leave their domain since Shad or some Bostanci readily help them when they need anything. Handful of wizards have each their own separate accomodations a little apart from each other, but the main research is done under a smaller dome of reflective glass, at the exact center of their land. The wizards can test the prime material results of their efforts inside. The dark that everyone knows is, there is also an instant incineration switch in case experiments go awry. How often this failsafe is utilised is a constant source of debate.
At the exact opposite corner, towards the negative energy, is the main trade place of Green Bazaar. It takes a while getting used to a bazzar without any wares on sale, though. There are only a series of counters manned by helpful Bostanci. Buyers apply requests from these counters, and after the deal is made they leave. The actual supply is then delivered on the garden where it is grown, "always fresh". After the deal is made, there isn't much left to do except wait, and in a plane where sleeping can be deadly, waiting in the same place is discouraged. Buyers are allowed on the "Market Garden" for a stroll, where they can sample berries and fruits they fancy direct from the plants. These delicious exotic specialties are actually very potent poisons, and on any other plane can kill a berk in mere seconds. Here, it just gives you a funny stomach for a few seconds. Also, most bushes and trees have large and small thorns, ensuring visitors are cut every few minutes. Repeat customers, big buyers, or those who manage to befriend the Bostanci are allowed outside the Green Market, into the Hasbahce proper, but always with a guide. It is also possible to get on-the-go drinks or juices, always with an eye watering, brain blurring hint of poisonous rush. The only tavern is the Rotten Apple, which serves only poisonous drinks and food, sometimes with diseases. At least the snow-elf barmaiden looks cute.
Acquarius: A smallish orb about 50m radius and filled with water, this place is where marine plant and reef are grown. It is tended by 5 merfolk, who love their work and the plane. They visit other places in the sphere from time to time, and enjoy visiting prime forests upclose, which they wouldn't be able to in any other plane. Here, the + energy sustains them indefinitely even outside water. They also invite others to swim in the Acquarius, and it is actually a great opportunity to have a long relaxing swim in beautiful marine environment and a genuine (fortunately deathless) drowning experience, even if you are not a sensate...
Arboretum: A disk a mile long in diameter, this is the main collection of wooden plants in the Bostan. These are also the long term investment of the buyers, as the trees grown here are exported both wholly or as timber require about 100 days (which makes 100 years in a standard prime world), sometimes more. At any given time, huge shipping vessels can be seen dock on both sides of the disk, creating the look of an airship harbor.
Viticetum: One of the more dangerous parts of the sphere, this small, overgrown disk is completely allocated to vines. The vines grow so fast so quick, there has been unstoppable outbreaks in the past where the positivist mages had to be called in. Another outbreak seems close, as more workers, shad or otherwise, are getting lost. However Viticetum is necessary for producing the quality stuff that so many wine enthusiasts has grown to expect from Bostan.
Old Dome: the Botanical sphere wasnt always as large as this. It began as a much smaller operation, in this single sphere with only a 100 meters of radius. It functions with the smae principles as the new, large sphere, and since the latter was built around it, the older sphere's positive shielding properties were doubled: the growth rate of plants is only 4 times the normal. This allows for certain sensitive plants to be grown and their produce collected with more ease. Spices and medicinal extracts are produced and processed here, as well as plants that has a low life cycle.
Garden Blocks: A number of glass cylinders, each 25 stories high and 10 meters in diameter, house the gardens being grown for customers. An entire beautiful garden maybe grown here from scratch in one tenth of the time it woud take in other planes, so some rich bloods come to Bostanci when they decide to renovate their grounds.
The Elvish Spelljammer: Is a new addition to the Bostan's space. Apparently a canny elven noble got the idea that their spelljamming ships, which are grown more than built, can grow much faster in the Bostan. He has been bringing new Elvish spelljammer ship creatures one after the other, and gating them back to his own prime world when they reached mature, spelljamming sizes. According to some, he should have an antire fleet by now. The noble keeps his identity a secret.

About 300 years ago in a fairly unknown prime world, a druid, was expelled from his Grove because of his radical belief that, as a Druid, the best way to protect nature was to make it useful for people. If a forest was constantly under pressure from foresters, best way to combat that was for druids to supply the wood themselves. Following his expellation he started wandering the world and making his substantial druidic powers useful to others. Whenever he stayed in one place too long, though, the self appointed protectors of that areas nature, in their ignorance, attacked him. Ever the pacifist, he preferred to leave, while warning them that their methods were bound to fail.
Finally, he managed to find a position in the Court of a Great Padishah, who, after a bloody coup, was in need of someone to trust his Royal Gardens, The Bostan, - and the Royal Guard, the Bostanci, for that was the tradition of that land - with. Immediately affected by his gardening skills, his grasp of natural supply-demand economics, and his wisdom, he made him the Head Gardener, and the captain of the Royal guarg, Bostancibashi.
Now, despite their side proffession of gardening, Bostanci were also extremely skilled warriors. Under Bostancibashi's guidance, all members received training on how to command the magical powers of nature to do most of their work for them. In return, the guard became a much more philosophical (and loyal, as Padishah hoped) gorup. The palace gardens, as well as all gardens, orchards and fiels that belong to the Padishah, became much more beautiful, productive and overall useful. Impressed by his methods, the Padishah ordered him to expand his new order to all the lands of his Empire, appointing Bostancis to every mayor and governor. Bostancibashi was personally pleased to finally show the world that an empire could co-exist with nature.
This is where things started to go downhill though. Druids and rangers from the lands, not in the least pleased from the developments, took a stand against him. News of nature related violence started pouring into the city, and rumor of an incoming food shortage consumed the Bazaar. Using this as an excuse, those who wanted to see the Bostancibashi go, a cabal of military and reiligious leaders, fired the fuse on riots. Citizens poured on the streets, markets were closed, soldiers joined them, and after nearly 20 years, the imperial palace was under siege by the emperors own subjects again. Seeing that Padishah was considering giving him to the rioters, possibly in two pieces, Bostancibashi took a portal hidden inside the palace to the Plane of Concordant Opposition. A number of his loyal Bostanci followed him.
What happened afterwards is not so clear, except that he started traveling the planes and gathering a small following. By now he was not even calling himself a druid, as he hated them for their faulty stubbornness. His powers had also changed to accomodate the change in his ideals, making him to the equivalent of a botamancy-specialist.
It was during this time that he met the Mimar, a refuge from a dying world, who was trying to build what he called a biosphere - small enclosed areas where people could live indefinetely without any need for outside sources. While he was a great archmage, he never succeeded in his attempts to create a long lasting biosphere.
The two became friends and started traveling together. After many long years, many dislocations, and many failed attempts, they found their way to Positive energy, where they realised both their dreams could become real at the same time. Here was a place where Bostancibashi could create an unending supply of natural materials, enough to satisfy the entire multiverse, and where the Mimar could create an enclosed space where nothing died, and the only necessary elemnt was the positive energy.
They started building a small sphere first. It took a long time to assemble, but the results of their success was immediate. Using every single copper piece they made to expand the enterprise, they started building the Bostan that we know of today. It took nearly 150 years to complete, but they could live forever in the positive, since they had already the physical effects of aging eliminated.
Ever since the Bostan is completed, business is thriving. Bostancibashi is content with supplying the needs of so many customers, if it were not him, that wood would be coming from another place. Mimar has no further intentions to expand the sphere, he has since turned his focus to replicating the positive energy effects in prime material, or other planes, so he can build more spheres like this to become refuges to people in need.

Rightful ruler of the Bostan is Bostancibashi. Though it seems nowadays he is more interested in wandering through his gardens aimlessly, he is still aware of everything that goes around him. Everything as in everything, since he can see and hear through the plantation around him. He is letting his younger gardener assistants do more and more of the work, but occasionally interviews an important customer. Somewhere around 50 years ago he became a woodling, and he now resembles a small, leafless tree. He has the wisdom and patience of a treant, but he is no longer the pacifist he once was: he personally dealt with more than one wilder and druidic intervention. It is better if you don't argue with him about his ideals.

Behind The Throne:
Mimar, the Architect of the place, and also the resident archmage, remains in the backseat simply because he is satisfied with how things are. He agrees with Bostancibashi in nearly everything, after all, the two had a century or two to settle their differences. He still cannot forget the cataclysm that befell his world, and is always willing to help adventurers who are trying to prevent another. He knows too well somethings cannot be prevented though, so he is working on how to make sure the largest number of people can be saved. Other members of his group, the Positivist School, may have different motivations, bu he is completely honest about his beliefs. He looks like an ancient man (he was already pretty old when he discovered the trick to eternal youth), but the positive energies keep him up.
Akran Stoneroot, the second in command of the Bostanci, is an earth genasi of surprising agility. He moves around the Bostan and especially the Hasbahce a lot, and keeps an eye on the Shad, because he's afraid with their supercharged fertility rates, they can quickly outrun the place if left alone. His favorite method of keeping an eye on them is keeping them busy; he is always moving from one Shad task master to other, controlling their progress and giving them new assignments.
As much as he is respected, this doesn't make him popular among the Shad. A magically talented upstart by the name of Golklak Fastknuckles, is making a name around the Shad by his speeches about the Bostanci's unequal treatment of them, (as well as his exploits with the Shad ladies). The Elder of the Hasbahce Shads, Baklam Everright, is keeping the Shad in check by reminding them of the hardships they suffered under Dao rule, and recounting old legends about their races creation, which are tied to Druids.

Wood and timber of all types, shapes or sizes, grown specifically for the customer (waiting time, 100 - 400 days), plants and flowers for decoration, perfume or other uses(1-30 days), alchemical or herbal plants(1-30 days), exotic spices for food(1-30 days), quality grapes and wines(1-30 days), delicious common, tropical and exotic fruits, vegetables and other plants or their extracts, including poisonous types (1-7 days). Plants that emit or require negative energy can't be found here. For non wooden, non magical plants the normal waiting time is about 24 hours, however some require special care and may require you to wait the full 1 mmonth. The delivery date will be given to you when you make a request at the Green Bazaar. Prices are higher than normal, since you have the convenience of having everything(sort of) in one place. For fruits, vegetables, crops and produce, buyers are expected on the rendevouz place at exactly the given time, which is usually within 24 hours. Beware of the size limit; return journeys on consequent day might be needed. The "Mass Protection from Positive Energy" spell is included in the price to prevent the stock from getting overripe before it leaves the plane, but repeat casting of the spell has additional fees.
A garden can be grown according to personal tastes, preferences and needs, with the conditions of their destination plane in mind. Prices vary, waiting time is maximum 1 year.
It is possible to buy passage on departing spelljammer ships or airships from their owners. If a blood has the jink, she can even bargain with the shipyard representatives to have them build one for her, to be delievered at a later date of course.
A limited number of positive energy related spells and magical items can be purchased from the School of Positivism. Tropiary guardians, wood, flower, thorn golems and similar constructs can also be ordered. They prefer to trade other magical items and spells, or precious stones usable as material components for spells.

Current Chant:
-There is always rumor of a Druidic incursion, an adventuring party raid, or worse yet, an attack by a Power of nature, life, feys, etc... While what it would be and when it would happen is a matter of debate among the locals and visitors; a common proposal is for the Bostan to find a Patron Deity... Clerics find it hard to run a temple where there is no need for priestly healing though.
-The rival spelljammer builders are willing to pay for revealing the mysterious elvish noble's identity... They are afraid of a monopoly.
-The Bostan was specifically built on a position where there were no natural portals. However, recently there is some talk that a portal to Sigil's Market Ward appeared. Bostanci themselves refuse to comment on the subject.
-A popular chant in the last few years is that a fallen branch from the magical tree in the Athar's destroyed HQ was brought here, and is being grown in absolute secrecy.
-The Mimar spent too much time in Tintibulus, doing Magical research and procuring enough GlassSteel. While he was able to build an artifact level Sphere of Postive Energy Shielding, he lost much of his youth and life force. He is actually trying to bring some of it back with his current research.
-The sphere's magical protection need to be replenished on a monthly basis. This creates a lot of pressure over the responsible mages and Bostanci, but they manage.
-There are two unwilling guests in the Hasbahce, which the Bostanci wish to keep a secret. The first one is the Dryad who was brought here along with her oak tree. Her tree has been growing nonstop for years now, and she probably has the largest oak of all Dryad. She thinks the entire place is an abomination and that her tree is corrupted, but she can't leave it, so she can't leave the plane. She hides with her tree unless forced to leave it. The Second guest is the Mad Treant, who actually came to Bostan many years ago to put a stop to the Bostanci. It was a druid of considerable power itself, but its powers were not enough against the larger group, and it fell on a hill near Crystal Manor. There, it started growing at an incredible rate, and the quickened passage of seasons eventually drew him mad. It is now a treant of Gargantuan size, but it can barely move, and has lost nearly all its druidic powers along with its sanity. Most of the time it blabbers to itself, throws un-treant-like swears around, and every once in a while casts a random druidic spell. Locals moslty leave it alone.

How to Get in & Out:
Once inside the Positive plane, finding Hasbahce is possible by normal means. Entrance is free and unrestricted for everyone except creatures with fire or fey subtypes. Druids are allowed in, but they are always accompanied and watched.
Moving goods from Hasbahce is harder. There is a variable portal on the outermost entrance of the upper hatch. This is actually a man made gate: The gate goes to Avalas & Tintibulus in Acheron; near Rock of Bral in Prime Material; a days march spireward from Arcadia's gatetown in Outlands, near large genie settlements on elemental planes of earth, water and air, and near a cloud fortress on Steam. Gate is large enough to accomodate a spelljammer. It is always guarded/operated by a team of Bostanci and a wizard., who are inside the middle hatch. They rarely refuse anyone, but close the gate as soon as those who opened it are in (or out). Opening the gate from the inside is free to your destination plane if you've made a large purchase, otherwise you'll have to find another way. Opening the gate from one of its other entrances requires the casting of a dimension door or knock spell on it.

1. This turned out much longer than I thought.
2. The speed of regeneration in positive energy, for a 1 hd commoner, is 36000 times normal(according to my calculations). So 1% of it makes 360 times normal. Going from that I guess 1 day in Bostan makes 1 year outside.
3. Some things about sizes of places may be inconsistent, I changed them a few times. I will try to edit them later.
4. Some clarification on names:
Bostan: Garden, or more accurately, Market Garden, in Turkish/Ottoman Turkish.
Bostanci: A person who works in Bostan(garden). Also the name of Ottoman Imperial guard. They were responsible from the personal security of the Padishah and his palace, + from the royal gardens and market gardens. They also worked on personal gardens of the Imperail family and sold their flowers, fruits and other products to various shops, gaining a considerable income. They also had other responsibilities as well, such as fighting fires in the city.
Bostancibashi: The bostanci-head, he was the leader of the Bostanci group and a close companion to Padishah. He was the only person allowed to grow a beard in the palace other than the sultan. His special power and position won him a lot of enemies among other government officials.
Hasbahce: Private Garden, in Ottomans, sultan's private garden.
Mimar: Architect.
5. My thoughts on Bostanci is that they are a minor sect who would like to expand but lack the resources or motivation to do so. They hope that the rest of the multiverse is gonna catch up with their ideas sooner or later. The Bostanci "druids" are very likely a prestige class for druids, or a specialist kind of druid, in which the focus is on plant effecting spells.

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