In the early 1900s, the nation of Aetheri came out of its long interdimensional isolation and revealed to the humans of the Symphony Archipelago that they were not alone in the multiverse. Things swiftly got ugly after that.
In the early 1990s, Aetheri's leadership changed, and in the Archipelago, a tiny broken family of half-siblings banded together in the face of the bile and hate that was boiling up between the humans and the non-humans.
In the early 2000s, that family was split apart. Hawk Press and his sister Liya Kiski both begin a long and exhaustive journey towards understanding the difference between friend and enemy--and between the family you're given, and the family you make.
Yoshi was startled by the slight tug of Liya grabbing his sleeve; she held on silently, staring about at the crowds. Yoshi looked too, seeming to finally notice how thickly the bodies pressed in around them.
"It's crowded tonight," he remarked.
"Yeah," Liya agreed, a bit anxiously, "How does anyone keep from gettin' lost here?"
"You won't get lost," Yoshi said, and nodded towards the statue of Escala. "You can see a founder almost anywhere in the city. Even if we got separated, they'd point you home. They all look towards the Palace. You'd get around without me just fine, I'm sure," he added reassuringly.
The crowds thinned somewhat when they left the main plaza at Escala's feet; a few blocks away was another plaza with another statue, this one with a jar braced on his shoulder and his eyes closed. Water gushed from the mouth of the jar endlessly; the figure himself was bald, and the nerves in his face were outlined with whiter, brighter veins of stone.
"So Escala is the one with the hammer," Liya said. She followed Yoshi across the plaza, towards a multistory building lit by more glowing white stone; a pair of whiplike dragons acted as massive columns on either side of the doors, holding up a huge lintel with glowing white Aetherian letters inscribed on its face; above the door, set in relief on the wall, was carved a pair of fish with massive snarling jaws, curled around a pair of inset crescents.
"Yes," Yoshi agreed.
"An' this one?" Liya asked, meaning the bald figure that stood in the plaza.
"Ubis," Yoshi answered. "He founded this university and a lot of the hospitals in Aetheri. 'Education and good health for all,' or something."