Cipher is a floating island off the western coast of Sihiri. For most beings it is impossible to access. Even if a being can fly all the way up to its surface, security is tight. A magical barrier prevents people from sneaking in unnoticed.
The island is a paradise. It contains vast stretches of pure, untouched wilderness. Wild creatures which are long-extinct on the mainland still roam here, and they're unafraid of people. Even in Cipher's cities it's not uncommon to see wild animals casually grazing amid the buildings or dozing in the gardens. Settlements here are sprawling, loosely-organised compounds with plenty of greenery. Most buildings are made of marble, onyx, or other rare and beautiful stones, and intricate carvings abound.
All Cipher residents believe in a balance of nature and a respect for all things, both good and evil. There are no distinctions made based on race. Even the dragons are frequently seen basking beside humanoids, letting their companions examine their wings and scales. There is an overwhelming sense of safety in Cipher. All crime is punished by permanent exile.
Cipher is not often discussed on the mainland. The island's residents keep to themselves. All sorts of legends have sprung up about them, especially among younger Sihirians, but it's impossible to confirm if any are true.
The only known dragons in Sihiri live on Cipher.
This prestigious school is attended by the intellectually-advanced from all over Cipher. Most students are smart but lack magical skill. Attendees are trained in all fields from medicine to astronomy to theories of farming to psychology. After four years they are released back into the island to share their knowledge with the people of their hometowns. People who've attended University are treated with great respect.
Issango and the Coven of Cipher Edit
The Coven is a group of dragons and humanoids who practice arcane magics, stockpile knowledge, and study otherwise-taboo things. Issango is the Coven's city of learning. You must be chosen as a teenager by the Coven Dragons to live here.
Prospective students leave their homes and families and live full-time at Issango. They're each assigned to a mentor, about three or four students per mentor, in a field that suits them. If the mentor decides the student belongs elsewhere, the student can transfer.
Issango prepares students to serve the Coven. Once initiated, non-dragon Coven members can never rejoin the world. They live in seclusion far up in the mountains, away from all people, and dedicate their lives to the study of their art.
Because the Coven lives in perfect isolation from the world, they are regarded as an absolutely pure source of knowledge. They protect their individual disciplines from corruption. The dragons that rule the Coven tend to ignore them and leave them alone, and the humanoids respect that distance.
The Coven Dragons themselves can come and go freely, though some choose not to. Most are of the type that enjoy companionship. They often fly over the humanoid settlements that have sprung up around the mountains' bases, making sure that all is well.
Dragon's Lair Edit
Rather than a singular lair, the "Dragon's Lair" is a gargantuan mix of mountains and volcanoes which appeal to all species of dragons that don't appreciate the company of other races.
It is rumored that the lair of the dragon that rules Cipher is filled with riches and gold from across various worlds, and it is located far beneath one of the largest, most treacherous volcanoes on the island. The volcano itself is sometimes called the Dragon's Lair. Dragons are notoriously secretive and the name of their leader is their best-kept secret -- if they'll admit to being led by anyone at all.