Helix is a city created by the Deva Solaris. Not only is it a After Isis' previous visit to Nautilus, it has been connected to the outer Western Gate of Nautilus.
In Helix, only Solaris and his Ashura could Bend. Angelii could Bend if they focused very, very hard. Unfortunately it would result in terrible headaches. Everything they did make was Helix-flavored (i.e., likely brass and copper colored, and with little sun images everywhere).
Most everybody had been killed when he decided to leave Isis. (Solaris was unhappy about this. As much as he was capable of being, anyway.) Some were spared to be brainwashed and stolen by her given the fact Solaris’ followers tended to be rather lawful.
The main difference between Helix and Nautilus is, Nautilus you can Bend things into existence, whereas Helix you kind of have to work for. You can’t just Bend things; you have to get that iron out of the ground (i.e. build a hoe, till the earth, et cetera).
Basically, Solaris’ philosophy was more focused on learning how to live normally at first and then you can Bend.
LAYOUT AND CITYSCAPE
- The city's layout similar to Nautilus, but boasts of centralized skyscraper-like buildings and structures which nearly touch the vast skies above its setting.
- The architecture in Helix, while very tall, is also primarily Arabian in decor and style. The colors are primarily red and gold.
- Anyone who visits will note that the architecture is inspired by different worlds. A canny eye will see that, unlike Nautilus, they weren’t just built up from nowhere. They were clearly built over time the way normal buildings are. In fact, there is evidence of this in the form of an unfinished neighborhood that was being built in the South. Its remains still stand in dead silence.
- There are fountains. Lots of them. Although they have been left alone for such a long time, they are still very clean. designed so anyone can actually drink from them. and a lot of them that you can walk through them as well. (There are not as many as Nautilus, which kind of was a huge fountain until Cyrus died.)
- Statues are generally abstract and most things are Art Deco (as opposed to Nautilus’ Art Nouveau style).
- The center of the city is about the same size as the Heart of Nautilus, but square and filled with sand, and the center of that is a rather odd swirled thing made of what looks like blown glass. This is where Solaris lives.
- Basically, it’s a ghost town. There are very clear signs that Solaris’ city was once very heavily populated. Some of the houses still have evening meals spread out, or chess games that were in progress.
- Shops have things from all kinds of worlds, including some very weird stuff (khepri berries from perdido street station). Unfortunately, everything’s abandoned. Unlike Nautilus, nothing can be preserved for an indefinite amount of time. If anything is found, it would be dusty or rotten unless it is within the open air market.
- Despite its desolation, it’s actually a fully functional city, much like an Earth city. Storefronts line the streets. The upper levels of most of the buildings are apartment complexes. They all have gardens inside glass domes that provide food.
- Then there are mountains with mines that are free for anyone to explore. Like the rest of the city, the mines have long been abandoned. They were put into practical use when citizens mined for coal and other precious minerals. Since they've been around forever, the safety of the mines are questionable. While anyone can explore them, they can collapse at any given moment. Without Bending, they cannot be cleared out quickly or repaired.
Helix was once a thriving city of other Wakened (at least a hundred thousand Wakened, a hundred Angelii, and ten Ashura at the city’s height. All those Wakened came from a myriad of vastly different worlds, some of which were very weird, so despite Solaris’ restrictions on Bending and powers, in that nobody had powers in his city). The problem was that Solaris obviously had a very different teaching philosophy.
Note: Solaris was against anthrocentricism so he still let you stay a giant robot or whatever if that was your thing. Despite his restrictions, it’s still reflected in how the people built that city. In other words, Helix was built, not Bent. Solaris made the supplies, everyone else built it. And then he put gears under the whole thing.
The animals living in Helix resemble those that live in desert environments. Scavengers, predators, prey, all that fun stuff. Given the fact they need to fight to survive in Helix, they aren't the nicest creatures around and will default to their 'fight or flight' instincts if approached.
- Like the planet Tatooine, Helix has two suns. The weather is also very similar to Southern Egypt. All. The Time. It never rains; it’s always about 100 degrees, and sweltering hot.
- Just like the rest of Nautilus' Western district, the sky is also a reddish color.
- Day and night pass the same way it does in Nautilus. (24 hours, no Daylight Savings Time)
Other Miscellaneous Facts
- The city is currently maintained by creatures called Sprites. These are kind of white, wispy critters that Deva can create in a pinch from their essences. Most of them are silent.
- Interestingly, any character (organic or not) will become hungry and thirsty here. Luckily, it's easily found; there's a large open air market near the center of the city that's always well-stocked with whatever a character may need.
- Outside the far gate (the one not on the Nautilus side) there are vast agricultural fields, all in very neat rows. The fields were once withered and dying, but the irrigation system was repaired by citizens of Nautilus. They now provide everything (aside from just food) necessary from apples to flax to zucchini. Orihime Inoue visited frequently to take care of the fields and make sure they thrived. BUT NOT ANYMORE.
Helix is immune to reality storms; and, in fact, if you're suffering from a storm and run out into it, the effects will fade slowly. If you're shape-changed and run into Helix, you'll change back to your normal form the moment you get over the bridge.
Dying in Helix has the same effects that it does in Nautilus (i.e. You'll come back in a few days).
If you Bend yourself stuff OUTSIDE Helix, it’ll stay with you, but you can’t get rid of it in the city. Trying to Bend feels like there’s something just out of reach but you can’t get to it (even if you jump. For instance, Angelii can ‘jump’ a little closer to that out of reach item and sometimes nudge it a little. However, it will leave them exhausted; not to mention it takes a long time).
Your powers will be with you since, technically, you Bent them. It’s easier near Bent effects, though, like Solaris’ powers that are keeping the fields alive, and the market going. However, if your powers are to be used for destruction or offensively, they won't work.
Near the market in fact even regular people can kind of try to Bend if they focus really hard but barely.
Ashura can Bend with more ease than Angelii in Helix, but not by much. Their bending power is roughly equivalent to a novice Wakened who's been in Nautilus a couple of months.
- There is sort of a traditional way to the way his people built stuff. For instance, the Wakened could focus sunlight through the crystal parts of their bodies to the point that it was hot enough to melt sand, so they’d then shape the molten sand with tools into homes and buildings. They’re also completely heat resistant.
The technology the city has to offer is pretty much at Steampunk-level. It's like the Industrial Age came and never left.
Archaic, but some of it still works. Like the gears.
If one goes outside the outer walls, or else down into the sub-basements of the building, they will start to find access tunnels. Steampunk-ish access tunnels.
This is even true if a Wakened decides to go way down under the fields/mountains in the far west. They will eventually find skyscraper-sized gears, and engines that don’t seem to run on anything, surrounded by springs and ridiculous amounts of clockwork. This is the engine that lets the whole city move, and is as large as the city itself.
Currently it’s been turned into idle mode, so it’s moving but very slowly, but you still will hear the very faint sound of clockwork everywhere in Helix, leaving an eerie feeling considering how empty the city is.
The Southwest corner of the city has Saviel’s tower, which is just a big ol’ tower covered in flowering vines.
While the tower's height can prove to be a challenge, climbing the tower is not a smart choice to make. The vines on the tower are sturdy, but they are painful to the touch. Sharp thorns and hooks cover each one, easily sticking to a person's hand if they are grabbed. They cause a burning sensation once they prick through the skin. The flowers and leaves clinging to the vines also have razor sharp edges on them; they can easily cut a person up if they ever attempt to climb up the tower, sometimes acting as if they are alive.
No one has been able to scale the tower in the first place and rightfully so – the winds tend to blow harder around that area, complimented by an intense, high-pitched ringing that fills a person's head and pierces the soul as soon as they get too close.
While the tower has no door, it has landscape windows that are one foot tall and are about five feet from the floor. They wrap all the way around the top of the tower. Little white birds also occupy the tower, perching wherever they please.