The Dovial Arch

Near the entrance into Merrimont is the Dovial Arch, a massive archway made of thick ivory that stands over a hundred feet high, seventy feet deep and almost two hundred feet in width.  It is a landmark and symbol of Merrimont that has stood the test of time since before the city was even established.  The arch is named appropriately after the large gathering of doves that perch themselves atop the structure and nest beneath its bow. 

The Dovial Arch has a lot of superstition surrounding it.  Anyone who walks under it and is hit by dove droppings is destined to die within a year’s time.  So far, every account of someone getting pooped on involved the victim’s untimely death that year.  This has led to some superstitious people to walk around the arch, even if it means walking through hedges or on flowers or in muddy grass.  Others (usually youth) dare each other to stand underneath the archway, tempting fate to see if the doves poop on them. 

The doves themselves are special, as they are not ordinary doves.  They are Merrimont’s watch and messengers.  The doves of Merrimont have telepathic abilities, permitting them to speak to anyone through thoughts.  The doves have been known to play games and perch on the shoulders of two lovers, telling each one what their lover is thinking of them.  They are also used in war time as messengers and scouts, even.  Yet no one seems to command the doves; they tend to choose who and when they’ll help.  Many feel they are loyal to Merrimont, though not necessarily to the elves

No one knows who built the Dovial Arch.  The elves claim that it was present when they settled the Merrimont region in 460 ACW.  This suggests that the elves built the city of Merrimont around the Arch.  If the elves did not build it, then it is assumed that the humans who pre-date the elves did, but no one can find any evidence of this.  Many argue against the human-built theory because none of the other structures the humans of Damir have built even somewhat resemble the Dovial Arch.  The ivory used in its construction is uncommonly tough.  It is impossible to chip and hasn’t a crack in it.  Such ivory has been known to have been found near Blood Coast, on the Ivory Peninsula, but that’s hundreds of leagues away.  Which brings up another paradox: if the ivory came from the Ivory Peninsula how did it get to Damir before international trade had begun in 643 ACW if the Arch existed before the elves settled there in 460 ACW?  It remains a mystery and a wonder.    

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