When construction of the city of Annabella was announced, the King held a contest to determine who would design the castle at the city center. Respected architects and artisans traveled from lands far and wide to bring submissions to the kings court, but the winner was selected from an unlikely source – a 14 year old boy.
Hagen Zin, then apprenticed to a master stone mason who was before the king to present his own design, shocked everyone present when he spoke against his master’s submission, offering his own alternative. Admiring the young boys confidence, and realizing he had destroyed any future as a stone mason by speaking up, the King allowed Zin to present his idea in full – a castle consisting of multiple bell towers, all controlled to ring in concert by a single, massive clockwork mechanism.
In spite of angry objections from most the contestants, cries from the nobles regarding potential cost, as well as legitimate concern as to whether such a young boy could actually deliver on the proposed design, the King choose to move forward with Zin as the lead architect.
Though construction took nearly 20 years, and and encountered numerous technological problems along the way, Castle Annabella (usually referred to a “Bell Castle”, or “Bell Keep”) is consider to be the greatest technological achievement of the the modern age by the few scholars of the old world who have seen it. The main structure is encircled by 12 towers, each with massive silver bell at it’s peak. The bells ring in concert on the hour, each day, beginning at sunrise. As the day progresses, the music the bells create becomes more and more complex, until the final arrangement of the day, known as the sunset chorus, plays for a full 10 minutes. Each arrangement the bells produce is supposedly unique, never to be repeated, and city inhabitants often stop everything they’re doing at the top of the hour in order to listen to each performance.
The enormous clockwork mechanism that controls the bell towers is built into the earth itself, with arms and levers that extend all the way up each tower. It is said that the entire hilltop Bell castle sits upon is filled giant caverns filled with clockwork machinery, though anyone making such a claim has never seen them first hand. All maintenance on the machinery is handled by a select group of the king’s men who’s identities are kept secret in order to further protect the secrets of the clockwork itself.