List of Major Cities
Aloria possesses many major population centers as it has a diverse spread of Races, some living together while others live apart. Each of these Cities is unique, with its own small touches that make them all their own whether it be the pearl cities of the Songaskian Masaya, the Nelfin cities built in the ruins of their former Empire, or walled Ailor settlements defended by castles and grey walls. Below is a list of the Major Cities of Aloria.
Corontium Major Cities
City of Regalia
The City of Regalia, also known as the City of Light or the Holy City, is the capital of the Regalian Empire. Its foundation by the Ailor goes back centuries but possibly millennia before that by other Races or civilizations. What is confirmed is that at least 300 years before Cataclysm, Ailor settled on a long-abandoned Nelfin fortification which had slowly sunk beneath the earth. From there, it grew and was named the capital of the Regalian Kingdom whose Kings ruled from it. Following the Five Family Rebellion, it remained the capital of the new Regalian Empire and in the three centuries after this, has continued to grow and expand its infrastructure. Only in recent times has the walled city been openly attacked, although with such a vast population, many would-be conquerors have found it hard to lock down the entire city. Additionally, several major landmarks now lay in ruins as do many traditional features of the city due to war or accidents, and some wonder what the city’s future will look like. The city is heavily divided by wealth, Race, and Culture across its sprawl. An extensive riverfront area serves as dockyards and ports for the dozens of ships in and out of the capital on a daily basis. Nearby, mercantile districts handle commercial and financial matters, with vast amounts of housing beyond this. High walls surround all parts of the city while a colossal aqueduct built in the reign of Lilienmar II gives water to the four million-plus people that live within these walls.
Axenfoord is the capital of Anglia and the greatest stronghold of House Kade, as well as one of the only major population centers in the rural nation. It was originally a simple town sometime before the Cataclysm, but with the arrival of the future Kades to the region it began to boom. While unknown to many today, the Kades were originally a crime family and soon gained the loyalty of the whole town and surrounding farmers who supported their various under the table endeavors. These jagged edges smoothed out with time, especially after the Five Family Rebellion as the Kades were named the hereditary Chancellors of the Empire. Since then, Axenfoord has continued to slowly grow, whether it be from natural growth or new administrative staff being forced to move to accommodate the powerful Kade line. The city as it stands today is quiet, built on the central Anglian plains and situated on both banks of the Axell River. On the south bank stands the sturdy Ceomar and Atheneum Castles guarding the city’s open southern side as well as civilians before Bertold’s Cloister sits alone surrounded by the fields. Opposite the bank from it, but far more urban, is Vlaas’s Temple, built in honor of Vlaas Kade's successful reign as Chancellor. Inside the city walls themselves sit the Princely Residence, a structure for visiting dignitaries and nobility who have business in the Kade Citadel, set against the river and looming tall over the largely one-story civilian houses around it. Westgate Castle stands nearby, a fortification at the West Gate, one of the main areas of entry into the city while towering above clusters of craftsmen and artisans is Liliane’s Column, dedicated in honor of the Kade matriarch who was killed by Slizzar following the Chrysant War. The final structure of note is Thedmir’s Cloister or, The Thousand Blade Cloister, where politicians may retire to and leave their swords to decorate the structure as a sign of relinquished power.
City of Calemberg
Considered the second capital of the Regalian Empire for its similarly ancient history to the City of Regalia and its prominence in Regalian history, the City of Calemberg has been a major military and religious center for decades, a fact that shows no signs of changing in the foreseeable future. The city has even murkier origins than the City of Regalia, with the consensus stating the city to have originally functioned as a minor Wirtemcaller fortress. Over time, it developed and grew, exploding under the rule of the Cadar family, who moved from the west of the Regalia Archipelago. Eventually, House Cadar's power was absorbed by House Typhonus, who currently rule over the city with a firm hand and have greatly expanded its position into the heart of the Calem regions. The city is built on the edge of the Inner Calemberg Wald and has thick walls encircling its outskirts. Inside, it is second to only Regalia in the number of Ailor living there, having a tiny minority of other Races contained within the Sectors that are determined by interior defensive walls. Its most obvious feature is the gigantic Calemberger Dom, the largest Unionist Temple in history, which is larger than the Regalian Arch-Temples in the capital city. Calemberg also has the highest concentration of Unionist worship centers per square mile in the Empire, that being three. The city is also noted for its military heritage, and many military officials have made the city and its defensive walls their home, while frequent military parades turn each Sector into a party for a day or two. These military parades commemorate military victories great and small, featuring groups of Calemberg Temple Guards or Jaëgeren supported by members of the Drixon Lancers and Calemberg War Orchestras. The city has only ever fallen once, and Calembergers swiftly remind people that this was under the extreme circumstances of the Regalian Civil Strife.
Alberte is the heart of Pays Sud, Girobalda, and as some would argue: the whole southern Regalian Archipelago. It was originally an outpost founded by Pays Sud that was of little note for several decades. From there, the Ithanian Gem Boom greatly expanded the city with the sudden economic boost, and despite the Boom now being long gone, the beauty of that era remains alive in the craftsmen and craftsmanship of the city. Alberte is built along the coastline in the shadow of the northernmost peak of the Couer Montagnes in the small “Baie d'Alberton” or “Bay of Alberton” which takes its name from one of the major businessmen that helped start the Gem Boom. The city has a vast waterfront, but only a few major mooring areas while the minor ones are for private pleasure craft. The rest is beach and scenic territory; land untouched by the city for its beauty. There are no specific housing districts or divisions of the city, but the oldest buildings can be found in the center of town. Many gem carvers and clothing makers have set up shop in the surrounding area, producing a vibrant air to the city when walking around. The buildings themselves are a strange combination of Ithanian and Daendroque inspiration due to the dry climate, with flourishes of simple flower patterns on the outside of the often two or three-story homes. The other notable feature of the city is the Gem Monument, standing at the supposed exact center of town. Guarded by four full time and well-paid men at all hours, it supposedly features a sample of every gemstone known to Aloria and commemorates the success of the Gem Boom. The statue also has fine cloth tied to key areas of it, which flutter slightly in the sea breeze.
Vieux-Provence is the capital of Brissiaud and a settlement long tied to House Ravenstad, remaining a key port in the central regions of the Archipelago. The city rose in tandem with the providence of its leaders, and it grew into the administrative center of the region. In the past few years, the sexual relationship between the family’s ex-patriarch and Cedromar I even further prodded the city into the spotlight though following the man’s supposed death in 305 AC, this focus decreased. However, even today the city remains at the heart of regional trade and the Ravenstad tenure over their land. The city is set on the coast of Leutz-Vixe territory next to the Bos de Brisse forest. Its walls and major structures are of Anglian design, stout and thick-walled with few windows. Major Ravenstad monuments are scattered throughout the city, such as Machellon Castle which guards the western route into the city and Chärlz House, an estate used by the Ravenstads for decades. The rest of Vieux-Provence is filled with examples of Leutz-Vixe architecture which is also similar to Anglian design. Small warehouses by the dock hold silks manufactured by silkworms, the sole creature that provides the material for famed Ravenstad tailored clothing. A unique aspect of the city is its method of water removal as Brissiaud is commonly lashed with rain. The entire city exists on a downward incline, with water passages, tilted awnings and other features helping channel the water out into the sea through the Mouth of Richarr, an open-mouthed if not worn depiction of the former patriarch set over the shifting waves below.
El Puerto Azul
The scenic port of El Puerto Azul stands as the entry point of many to Solacia, also known as the Sun Isles. Before the Cataclysm, it was originally a simple jetty and a few buildings under the control of an Altalar nobleman who vacationed there frequently. Following his withdrawal, his slaves united and took over the area as their own. Gradually, their jetty grew into a dock for fishing boats and, eventually, small cargo vessels as contact was slowly restored to the outside world. The town has grown since then and, aside from its role within the Solacian image, is a major supply point for Ithanian, Tolonne, Daendroque, Bragacao, and Regalian cargo vessels plying the surrounding waters. The city is small and some even debate calling it a city in the first place, but it is certainly busy and sprawling. The eastern side of the city is commercially inclined, featuring the main port, craftsmen’s shops, and merchant offices. The western half, on the other hand, is pleasure inclined, with a wide-open beach and rental homes, or rooms in hostels that look out on the beach. There are also excellent taverns and restaurants geared towards tourists. The final area of the city is the beginning of the vineyards and holds many of the administration areas as well as the Governor’s Villa in a loosely walled compound on the city’s southern side. This compound also holds a majestic temple to Unionism. The city is mainly one level buildings with basements, with the two-story buildings only existing in the largest structures and usually only by the coast. The city also has a fair amount of nature, major roads holding tropical trees in the middle or along the sides in addition to semi-wild animals flying through the trees or climbing up the trunks and city walls.
City of Arvost
The City of Arvost is an old city with a vibrant, if not lower-class culture now thriving behind its walls. It was originally a simple Allorn installation from the days of the Empire, designed to watch over nearby slaves working on the island’s mines. After the Cataclysm struck, the Altalar military personnel were few and so surrendered to the slaves. They were ultimately key to birthing the city as they helped the slaves gather and grow beneath the outpost’s walls. Following the vicious attacks carried out by aristocratic Altalar forces in 103 AC, the first tetrarchy of Arvost immediately erected more defensive walls around their city, including space for future growth. Since that time, the city has only continued to grow and now live right up against their ancient defensive walls. The city’s layout is roughly divided into four main Quarters named after the cardinal points of a compass with the Central District serving as the administration hub. The notable features of the other areas is a harbor in the West Quarter and cultural areas in the Eastern Quarter like the Grand Theatre, where many Arvostian playwrights birth dramatic masterpieces. No Quarter is particularly wealthier than the other, though the four Cardinal residences kept in each Quarter and the Central District are well kept and better constructed than many of the other buildings in the city. The city itself is ruled by Quarter Masters, each controlling one quarter, who form the main representatives of a city council that pseudo-serves as supporting government for the four Cardinals. The city is known for its fighting pits and theatrical performances, but another interesting feature are the “nests” that bulge out of the city walls. They are much less well-defended shantytowns who have built themselves up around the gates of entry to the city, even forming their own walls of piled stones.
Daen Major Cities
City of Daenshore
The City of Daenshore has had a turbulent history since its foundation, but with more emphasis in recent years due to social upheaval and questionable leadership. The city began as nothing more than a hidden cluster of escaped slave tents and shacks, just bordering the water in the jungles of Daendroc. Ultimately, their settlement was the first to successfully break away from the local, then super-princedom of Bastierra, and became a bastion of resistance. They only climbed up from there, helping others break away and forming the heartland of Daendroque culture in their towns and Daenshore itself. It joined the Regalian Empire in 217 AC, but there were immediate problems which have been carried into the modern-day. The Regalian leadership of the city was tone-deaf to the local opinions and expertise of the Daen people, which led to shortages of supplies and thus rises in crime. Following the Chrysant War, work issues were also a major problem as loggers depleted the forests around the port. Subsequently, many had to travel to Caslin or Bastierra for work, breeding a generation of young men, lacking proper father figures, who turned to crime. In recent years, the city has fallen into hard times, first following the Anahera Dictatorship as the pro and anti-Regalia factions battled, and now, in the post-Bone Horror Crisis landscape of their continent. The once prestigious port is lacking the capacity it once had, though order within the city has now been restored thanks to fear, social pressure, and the criminal elements generally being all dead or fleeing to more fruitful regions. While much of the city was once pristine, a beautiful example of Daendroque architecture and design principles, many outlying areas are now in ruins while structures deeper into the city are in bad need of repair. The city as a whole is also notable for its prestigious press houses which craft books that hundreds read every day.
City of Hallonq
The City of Hallonq was once considered a dark reflection of the City of Daenshore but given recent events, is now fairly equal in dark aspects to its sister city. Hallonq was founded shortly after the City of Daenshore, as oppressed peoples from Bastierra set up a settlement in the ruins of an Altalar fortress abandoned before the Cataclysm. They soon became a bastion of idealism, aggressively spreading ideals to free all slaves from Altalar control. They also became a problem for Daenshore and the other Daen states as Hallonq would not stop its streak of individualism. After Bastierra fell, Hallonq soon found a new enemy in Regalia, who it saw as inheriting the mantle of oppressor from the Allorn Empire. When a governor was sent to take charge of the city, he was quickly assassinated and soon, the urban center was a mess of gang warfare. Finally, General Rubén Vicario seized firm control for Regalia in 289 AC, and for a decade, it seemed that all was well. Unfortunately, it was after this period that his corruption became known to Regalian officials as instead of attempting to break the gangs over his knee, he had wrapped an arm around them instead. This deal worked for Regalia, however, as they now received their first taxes from the city in decades and Rubén had some powerful friends. But, the Bone Horror Crisis severely depleted the city’s population, leaving one remaining gang to seize control. The Asaltadors now rule over the city unopposed and have been made aware of Regalia’s growing intolerance towards disobedience after the Burning of the North. The city’s two notable features are one, its great but ruinous stoneworks from the time of the Allorn Empire and two, the heavy amount of gang and illegal activity that took place there over the past decade. Many honest Daendroque bitterly complain that this city is the seed of the Daendroque criminal identity.
Luxxakhor sits as the shining heart of the Brother Kingdoms of Pharah, and the largest city within the Kingdom of Therasu. Luxxakhor was discovered, and then expanded over a period of decades beginning in 60 AC, as most early Asha settlements kept to the coastline while they gradually reactivated their marvelous ancient technology. Luxxakhor emerged from the middle of Therasu and continued to grow over the following decades until the unification of the three Brother Kingdoms caused that growth to balloon within a short few years. Therasu also benefited from the boost in the Asha population overall, as more came and learned in their hallowed halls, and Luxxakhor was itself the leading center for such an education. Modern Luxxakhor is a palatial, pristine and expansive settlement, reaching over the banks of the nearby Waseti River that runs across the region, and is even known as the City of Palaces because of this beauty. Entry into the city can come from many vectors, either along the river, or through a dozen gates existing in mimicry of the Dewamenet Gateway lying within the borders of the Queendom of Bestaal, but the grandest is through the Gateway of Guardians, a huge open-air entryway at the start of the city’s Royal Path. The entryway is flanked by huge kneeling statues, most with faces washed of details due to their age, before two huge standing figures wielding polearm Moon Blades mark the threshold of the city, and it’s low walls. The Royal Path then leads through the center of the settlement, and along several major avenues, all the way to the northern end of Luxxakhor, where the city storehouse sits, fed by machines and farmers tending vast irrigated fields and animal pens. Multiple structures dot the city, including the grand Library of Therasu and the Citadel of the Moon, alongside enormous residential complexes. The city is also notable for possessing an extensive artificial waterway, fed by the nearby river, forming a series of waterfalls that pass through water gates flanked by a pair of figures, the spout gushing the water between their shoulders. However, the most marvelous part of the city exists across the river, at the Palace Complex. A number of pyramids cover the city, but across the Waseti over an ancient bridge that is capable of opening and closing for major ships passing through the region, there exists the King’s Pyramid. A huge structure topped with Gold, lined with white marble, and serving as the home for the kingdom’s ruler and his family, it sits across from the equally impressive Queen’s Temple, a vast structure for religious ceremonies that looms over the city due to its decorating feature, two grand Gold-decorated metal prongs, known among the Asha as Divine Horns. Between the two structures sits the more low-lying Royal Palace, home of the king’s court and other offices of government.
La Portée du Paradis
La Portée du Paradis or “Havenreach” is the core of all Ithanian trade and one of the most vital Ithanian cities despite not being the national capital. The city was once a gentle fishing village, established sometime in 100 BC to benefit from migratory Red Fairfin Fish populations. By 20 AC however, the demands of commerce and regional power dynamics demanded its evolution, which continued to be aided by constant economic ties to the Regalian Empire. Ultimately, the town became a great city to fully reflect Ithanian values, supporting merchant trade across Ithania via its prime position at the center of La Mer d’Prospérité or “The Sea of Prosperity.” The Regalian Pessimism was a setback to its growth, but it showed remarkable resilience to the economic downturn before steaming ahead after the Chrysant War. La Portée was only attacked lightly by Bone Horrors in the Bone Horror Crisis, much of the city’s populace only dodging attacks from the air sea thanks to the regional architecture. Today, the city is a gleaming gem in the heart of Ithanian territory, set on the water and surrounded by picturesque fields on the l'Île du Paradis (Island of Paradise). It possesses short walls that are mainly decorative and serve as a popular pleasure walk for young lovers given the view it grants of the city and the surrounding landscape, though they are bordered by fairly large pits which caused many Bone Horrors to fall and get trapped. La Portée’s port takes up two whole sides of the city, with a glorious waterfront of low-lying warehouses, restaurants, and stores alongside hostels. Deeper into the city, taller structures contain much of the population, and the city center is built around a victory arch erected in honor of the Chrysant War. The Mayoral Manor is the administrative heart of the region which also holds many culturally relevant artifacts such as the crate of the first case of wine traded in the city and the bust of its first Mayor. The city also possesses waterfalls like other Ithanian cities, but unlike other cities where they are often natural phenomena enhanced through architecture, the waterfalls of Havenreach are wholly artificial. They are made up of saltwater, not freshwater, providing a very different experience and are fueled by complex mechanics to draw water through channels across the Paradise Island into and up through the city.
Ves Ivaëlle is unique in Aloria for being a modern Altalar capital, which is almost unheard of for a people as ancient as them. However, it was necessary for one reason: the original capital of Ivaëlle was destroyed. When the Wildering swept the Allorn Empire, a massive crater opened up in the city and destroyed roughly 80% of it, leaving only fringe districts intact. In the decades and later centuries, the Teledden of the region soon gathered around the ruins of the once majestic capital and built a new capital, though at quite the slow pace and a high slave death rate. Ves Ivaëlle now sits at the edge of the massive crater that was the capital, having considerably recovered from the devastation 300 years ago. Everything within the city is new, relatively speaking, and shines in the Tanarr style given the region’s massive Teledden populace. Sitting at the center of the new city is the Great Archmage’s Tower, built in the exact image of the former Archmage’s Tower located in Ivaëlle. It is not the old tower's height though, since the techniques to make such a marvel are long lost, but its spire is still reportedly the tallest of all Altalar structures. The rest of the city is laid out around the spire in compartmentalized districts, with some of the oldest buildings existing on the far eastern side of the city. It is also here that the marvelous magical elevation devices once common in Altalar cities survive here within government buildings, making the region ideal for diplomacy and other matters. In the wider city, upper and lower walkways separate the affluent populations from the poor in an additional engineering marvel left over from the Allorn Empire's time, which the Teledden of the area reverse engineered. These walkways do meet in significant areas, however, such as at the Agorana, a vast marketplace where hundreds of slaves and free members of the city come together to buy and sell their wares for masters or themselves, and slaves are often sold here. The Kaveriol Academy is one of the most prestigious facilities for the study of Magic. However, the biggest draw for most is Talea’s Tomb, technically part of the city, even if it is outside its walls. When the original capital sunk into the sinkhole, the Tomb magically survived. How it was protected from such destruction isn’t clear, though most Altalar believe it was Estel’s mercy to not deprive them of the Tomb of her daughter. It currently sits at the very edge of the former crater, which, due to decades of erosion and efforts by the Altalar to fill in, has become more of a vast canyon. The site is heavily guarded by the Imperial Mages, an order that claims they are descended from loyalists who protected what survivors they could find when Ivaëlle fell. Many thousands make a pilgrimage to the Tomb each month, and while its steps and first antechambers are accessible to the public, the second antechamber is solely for the Imperial Mages, with the third antechamber and tomb site itself not accessible to anyone. As a result, the steps and first antechamber are filled with tokens, offerings, and much more (though the food is often removed and stored at the end of each day by the Imperial Mages for their own use).
Farah’deen Major Cities
Mooriye is one of only two pearl cities to remain in the grasp of the Qadir following the Great Storm of 100 BC. Its history up until that point was relatively unremarkable, but ultimately, its survival turned it into a sanctuary. The great walled structure survived and accepted thousands of refugees fleeing to sanctuary and, later, joined with it’s sister pearl city, Al-Alus, to help reforge the Qadir identity. Mooriye was also the heart of the defense of the Qadir people, its large population rapidly mobilizing and working to beat back Songaskian pursuits while new Hadr rose or re-established themselves across the peninsula. Since that time, Mooriye has remained a staunch military-focused Hadritya, it’s innovations turned toward combat and defense. The city sits at the heart of the Almina Peninsula, and is surrounded by arid deserts and cracked earth. The city is dominated by one colossal Hadritya which sits on the northern wall, which houses the city’s leader and their families. This structure is linked to high walls that have defended the city for several generations. The Bronze Door, named for its great decorative scenes made of Bronze, is the only way in or out of the city. Inside of the settlement, the terrain varies in height as to the dwellings. Some are large communal structures where a family each owns a small room attached to a central space for eating or recreation while some possess their small abodes of several adjoined rooms. Many of these houses also face out to small, cog-shaped courtyards and squares for communal interaction. Plant and animal life is limited in the city, as instead there is all variety of Clockwork creation serving as the companionship to the thousands that call Mooriya home while all but the smallest of plants find it difficult to thrive in such an environment outside of the complex clockwork-tended gardens that feed the city.
Korbamakora is said to be the epitome of every Songaskian’s dream, a vast walled fortress to the worship of the sun gleaming in the sand. When it was founded is debated by the Qadir and the Songaskians; to the sun-worshippers, it supposedly took three generations of labor to finish building the capital but ever since, its position at the heart of the Farah’deen deserts is untouched. Only very recently when the young Massya Musamansa Koné was overthrown by his uncle, did civil war erupt in the capital as supporters for both sides fought viciously. Ultimately, his uncle seized the city but abandoned it to his nephew during the Songaskian Civil War, and ultimately gave up all claims on it for his slice of a kingdom in the east of the continent. Now, the young Massya rebuilds and cleans the streets of those he was forced to execute on his return, ensuring the glory of Korbamakora stands. The city is a concentric ringed city, with an Outer District of lower class citizens living outside the First Wall, middle-class Qadir and Songaskians living in the Central District separated by the Second Wall before the Third Wall divides the Palace of the Massya from the abodes of the upper class. The city gleams in the afternoon, as hundreds of Gold-topped roofs and Sun Temples reflect the light of the sun and in the case of the temples, sometimes down onto heretics to burn them alive or for religious ceremonies. The Palace also gleams, but not just with Gold, but with Silver and a dozen forms of precious stones that stud its great roofs. Inside, the Massya conducts stately affairs in a spacious, powerful environment. A nearby structure, the Harem House, holds women and men of supposedly every Race waiting to serve at his pleasure in whatever way he desires. The Palace is also where foreign emissaries stay in order to ensure they understand the true glory of the Masaya and its leader.
Hadaria Major Cities
Barazzt is the former capital of Allossa and jewel in the crown of the East Hadar Cluster, standing alone as the only major Allar city untouched by Regalian looting and bombardment during the Chrysant War. It was founded after the Sendrassian Civil War and was crafted from the ruins of a minor mountain outpost of an unknown group. The city served as the seat to Digmaan Vorrokhar for years, the Sapphires and other veins of minerals found inside their territory enriching their rule. When the Chrysant War began, the city immediately retreated in on itself and became a bastion of defence. Regalian artillery could not bombard it at the time, and any assault was deemed suicidal, as the defenders could pour projectiles onto the troops coming up the mountain pathways. Ultimately, the city surrendered when its Digmaan learned they were completely surrounded. While an Ailor governor briefly ruled the city, the actions of the Soor-Rassa-Allar soon allowed the Digmaan to return to former duties, and so Digmaan Zzol Vis Vorrokhar took his place as one of the first recognized Allar nobles of Regalia. Since then, the city has remained quiet, very few events occurring inside its walls aside from issues caused by outsiders. Barazzt is perched on a mountain ridge one and a half miles above sea level, with small clusters of terraced fields flanking the immediate entry points to the city. Inside, the marvels of the Essa Empire survive, carvings of aquatic life inlaid with precious materials, Allar alchemy towers occasionally billowing smoke due to chemical reactions, all leading up a central road to the Digragga, or Digmaan’s House. Set at the highest point in the city, the compound holds the Cro-Allar and Izu-Allar of the city in lavish quarters, and it once held the Slizzar too, however many have been executed, and their Nessrassian temple laid empty.
The ancient city of Sassrakkand is one of the holiest sites to the Slizzar but it is also now their only bastion in the world. The structure was built perhaps millennia ago and protected the Slizzar from many natural disasters, but it was finally the Regalian Empire that proved a disaster too much. The ancient walls of the fantastical city were finally breached in 291 AC, shortly after the official end of the Chrysant War. Thousands of Slizzar citizens died, but ultimately Regalia was turned away, unable to breach the center of the settlement, thus leaving much of it a great ruin today. Slizzar still live there though, and it remains their only place of true sanctuary in Aloria. It was a great concentric ringed city, built in shallow, reef-filled waters with three walls. In its current state though, the outer third wall is breached in many places, and the settlements within the outer ring have been flooded by the sea water around the city. The second and third walls remain largely intact, though noticeable damage has been incurred by the second wall in some key areas. The city’s centerpiece, at the heart of the core district, is a great and mysterious pyramid well known as a skyline. What is within, if indeed it can ever be accessed, is a secret no Slizzar would tell an outsider. While the outer district is abandoned by the Slizzar, the other two remain populated and generally well maintained, though their population numbers are fairly small compared to the great heights they once possessed a mere two decades or so ago. Additionally, the outer district possesses a unique feature, that being a herd of feral Vannhestias unusually far from their traditional breeding grounds. These astonishing creatures, a union of fish and equine, are largely passive unless directly targeted by an individual for harm. The herd is both seen as an eternal symbol of Regalian victory by the Allar (as horses are not native to Hadaria), but also a sly wink to Slizzar that in their mind, any “herd” of Ailor can very easily fall into their thrall.
The North Belt Major Cities
Kongehaug stands as the iconic picture of a Velheim city, as well as the most populated center in The North Belt as the capital of Nordskag. It originally began as a simple fishing village in 150 AC, but when members of the Skagger Horde from Regalia fled to it in 172 AC, they greatly expanded the small town, adding walls and hundreds of new homes. The city has rarely been attacked since then, only twice by neighboring Hvitskag and once by Regalia. The Bone Horror Crisis hit the city hard, but ultimately the defenders of the city held out long enough until another magical event made the creatures killable and Regalian reinforcements arrived. With a new King on the throne, and one far more Regalianized than his predecessors, the city looks to be modernized in the near future unless there is great protest from the population or other parties. The city is constructed around a natural bay, sheltering it from the strong sea winds. It holds a vast waterfront as well as the largest fishing market in Aloria, the smell wafting up into the rest of the city frequently. The majority of the city is simple Velheim in construction, with simple wooden beams forming the tight-packed houses that fill the sloping walls of the bay. At the city’s highest point sits Kongeslot, the royal castle from which the Krumme dynasty now rules. The structure is rather imposing, with fortified battlements and leering gargoyles hewn from dark granite and fashioned upon a large rock arch upon the cliff face. Although boasting an expansive view over the sea and city below, there have been fears that someday in the future, the building will tumble down into the waves as natural erosion on the rock arch takes its toll.
The Far West Major Cities
Parthalaar is an ancient city, though it was only established as the Dread Empire's capital after the first, Saal’avan, was obliterated by a Fire-scar launched by the Suvial Altalar in 97 AC. Since then, this capital of the Kathar people has grown into a sprawling, equal parts grotesque and gorgeous expression of their ideals. Sitting at the very top of the site is the Grand Palace, a massive facility where the Empress, her Champion, and the 14 Khaahls routinely hold their meetings and carry out their many political schemes surrounded by allies, enemies, and the unrelated. Surrounding this place are numerous districts, from the Metal Quarter with its smiths and forges of unique and often ornate armor to the Pleasure Palace, a vast series of pleasure centers located against the city’s northern wall with warm water common there due to local hot springs. Beyond the city walls are the broader settlements, divided into the Western, Southern, and Waterborne Enclaves. The Western Enclave is mostly made up of tribal Kathar living within a single patch of jungle that has survived around the fringes of Parthalaar. Beast markets exist there, with the selling and breeding of both exotic and everyday animals for sacrifice, domestic purposes, and meat. The Southern Enclave, meanwhile, is dominated by the steppe travelers and is almost a carbon copy of their existence out on the Kathar Steppes, with their unique tents known as Jarak’nga, plenty of Myaakgerus moving about, and plenty of pits for brawls also dotted throughout the subdivision. The Waterborne Enclave is the shantytown of some of the poorest in the city’s society built out and around the city’s extensive harbor. Murder is rampant here, and so-called Dock Kings rise to prominence every few years to exert total control over the expanse of floating homes, businesses, and crude wharves. These Kings are perhaps the most powerful any Kathar can hope to be in the Enclave. Most are immediately snatched up by politically powerful Kathar in the capital for use as advisors or warriors. All and all, the city is said to be twice the size but half the population of the City of Regalia, making it home to some two million people.
Sallatar was formerly a minor city near the western coastline of Shi Velakarta, the middle island in the Shi Island Group that makes up Avela Üttra’vel. However, after the devastation unleashed by the Kathar on the capital of Avela Travinda, the Avelas promptly came together and appointed it their capital. Since that time, the city has greatly expanded to accommodate the administration requirements and is often packed with people. The city has unique planning given that it is an inland city, with access to the sea through the nearby Salla River that cuts through the far southern corner of the settlement. It is here that the city has its meager port facilities, mostly made to serve fishermen and small-scale trade, as the vast majority of trade comes in via land. Next to the river is the Salla Estuary, a region only partially within the city’s boundaries and home to scant housing as such. The city’s boundaries are determined by no zoning or government, but instead the peculiar purple shield produced by the ancient Dragon Temple at the city's heart. Heavily guarded by many of the best mages and fighters in Sallatar, the Temple has existed for centuries though some wonder if the shield’s existence is more recent in what is likely a millennia-old history. The steps leading up to it are decorated with thousands of offerings and other gifts, thanking its power. Proceeding straight on from the Temple is the central lane, which in turn leads right to the Moon-Fire Door, the largest and most impressive entry point into the city (with several others scattered around the edges of the shield’s border). Made of rose quartz and located at the northern edge of the shield, it is ornately carved and said to have strange inscriptions written into an ancient, almost mythical scenery showing Dragons, Nasha, Altalar, and other fantastic imagery. The Door is the only way for Exist-affiliated people to enter or exit Sallatar. The city’s markets are closely connected to the central lane, with the rest of the city dominated by housing. The western corner of the city holds the Avelan Palace, the location of most Avelas political representatives, their administration, and the military planning offices. Lastly, the city is circled by a high, pale yellow sandstone wall that seamlessly connects to the often highly decorative doorways into the capital, though the wall is set back from the shield’s edge so that the defenders are protected themselves.
The Far East Major Cities
City of Dexai
The city-state of Dexai was once a simple agricultural island on the far periphery of the Sihai world. But when the Jade Wall rose, and the Loong Dragons descended into the Great Slumber, the simple island was the sole point of weakness in the Jade Wall which now shielded Sihai-kind from the new threat of the Akula. Since that time, Dexai as a city has come to envelop the single-mountain island which remains after this stunning event. Facing the open waters of the Jade Plains, and the Jade Sea, are the stunning port facilities. While sprawling and forming a crescent around the small bay that makes up the harbors of the settlement, the structures make heavy use of Engineering to raise and lower an emergency gate locked into the sides of the Jade Wall which loom far overhead, a minor defense against Akula season, but also to deny individual’s passage in, or out, should the need arise. The waters of the bay themselves are clear of Jade, but the shoreline and area ringing much of the island are covered in huge, curled waves of frozen water, turned into Jade by the power of the Loong Dragons and now carved into homes by the local Sihai. Away from the port facilities and shorelines are the inland districts, a patchwork of some twenty divisions of Sihai, and not-Sihai living spaces with a rise and fall in wealth and housing equality. Each section is devoted to one particular group, from the Occult slum known as Interloper Corner among the Sihai, but more affectionately called Glitter-Gleam Den by others, to the alchemy-filled Scaleborough, home to many Allar, to the simple but stately Beian Borough, home to Sihai who have traveled from Beian. Further inland sits the foot of Xinwai Peak, where vast flat wooden landing sites for the famed Sihai airships rest, before one may proceed within the mountain itself, through one of four tunnels, three natural and refurbished, and the last entirely artificial. These reach into the Temple of Young Spirit, a grand orphanage also known as the place of Xin-Shidai, the Welcomer’s rest. Here, minor shafts cut into the mountainside bring natural sunlight into the Temple, while the children within the structure also commonly go on excursions out to the surface. The last area of the city is not urban whatsoever but is instead the rural fields of agriculture used to produce an array of goods or support ventures local to Dexai on the far side of the island from the bustling urban sprawl. Quiet and peaceful, it is not uncommon for musicians to be heard playing gentle melodies, or practicing new pieces.