|Flora and Fauna|
Lawless and chaotic, the City State of Ssil is known as the only city on Aloria with a population consisting mostly of Tigrans. Once known as Silarthë, the Talar capitol for slave trade, the Cataclysm and the sudden weakening of magic caused the massive slave population to overthrow their masters with relative ease, a time the Tigrans refer to as ‘Ssfremma’.
Prior to the Cataclysm, Ssil was a prosperous Elven city by the name of Silarthë, located on the eastern shore of Daendroc. Due to the mass enslavement of the Tigran population of Ithania, Silarthë quickly became prominent in the slave trade. The large harbor, nowadays a popular location for pirates to stop by and recruit for their crews, was used to deliver the Tigran slaves from the north to all parts of the Elven Empire. Almost any citizen had at least a single slave, even those of the lower class. With heavy intimidation tactics by the Elves forced upon the slaves, the city was always at a relative peace. This took a turn as the Cataclysm occurred.
The earthquakes and floods following the Cataclysm caused a large turmoil in the city. It was quickly noticed that a great majority of Elven mages had difficulty casting magic, or were no longer able to cast at all. It was here that a small group of Tigran slaves took advantage of their Talar owner and her newfound inability to cast. They overthrew her, and began a chain reaction, other slaves joining their brethren in the uproar. Those citizens who did not flee into the jungles, as the stormy seas were not an option at the time, were ruthlessly torn apart by the ex-slaves. After nearly a week of battling the remaining Elven population, soldiers and citizen alike, silence returned to the city. Most Tigrans formed groups with their fellow ex-slaves and co-fighters they met during the time of rebellion, scavenging any supplies they could within the ruined Elven city.
The other parts of the Elven Empire never formally responded to the loss of Silarthë at the hands of the Tigrans. They were weakened by the cataclysm themselves, thus unable to perform any attempts to recapture the city. In the following months, Tigrans all over the continent who heard the news followed their kin, breaking free as well and fleeing towards Silarthë, hoping to find peace and an end to their oppression there. This era is known by the Tigrans as ‘Ssfremma’, which is roughly understood as ‘great freedom’. Due to the relative peacefulness of Silarthë, the Tigran population was ignored by most other states to this day. The Elven civil war and the following invasion by the Orcs left any surrounding nations too occupied and weakened to act against the new Tigran rulers of Silarthë. The Tigrans, out of disdain for their previous masters, shortened the name to ‘Ssil’.
This day, Ssil remains as lawless and uncivilized as before. Although it is officially part of the Governate of Daenshore, taxes are not being collected, and the city is otherwise being paid very little attention. During times of war, emissaries come to recruit Tigrans into the army, promising them plunder and rewards most races would see as useless. This is very convincing for the Tigrans, and so up to thousands of Tigran mercenaries join the armies of Daenshore and Lusits when needed.
Ssil is what the Tigran ex-slaves referred to the city of Silarthë after their takeover, an abridged version of its former name as pronounced by the Tigran accent. Most races refer to the city as ‘Ssil’ as well, due to its easy pronunciation. The meaning behind Silarthë has been long forgotten however, the founding of the city dating back several centuries.
Being situated on the coast of Daenshore, Ssil is bordered by the Snake Bend Sea to the east, while forests and jungles surround it to the north, west, and south. The city itself stands on a relative even terrain, though its south side sits on a multitude of minor hills. The majority of buildings are the fallen apart brick ruins of Silarthë, often overgrown by plant life. Centuries of street fights within the city and a lack of maintenance resulted in how Ssil looks like today. Many Tigrans improvised repairs using wood from the jungles and parks inside the city. The stone ruins, partially fixed by wooden planks and often overgrown by nature, are a sight often considered beautiful and unique by outsiders. As the Tigran population increased and more ex-slaves arrived, many started to create their own housing on the outskirts of the city, using wood from the jungles. These wooden shacks resemble the slums of Regalia fairly well, although the Tigrans have a much higher sense for hygiene.
Ssil’s climate is typical for Daendroc, hot and wet at almost all times. The winds coming from the sea on the east often offer a cooling breeze to the inhabitants of the ruined city. The shadows of the jungle trees having grown over many parts of the city, are a popular sanctuary from the hot sun as well.
- The Harbor of Ssil
- The great harbor of Ssil is a beautiful sight, and a famous place for sailors and pirates to stop by. Many smuggling and piracy operations are rumored to be hosted from there. Local inns, usually run by Ailor or Orcs, provide bar fights and crew recruitment sessions almost every single night. It is known as the only place in Ssil where non-Tigrans live, yet surprisingly infamous for having higher crime rates than the rest of the city. This includes robberies (even in broad daylight), smuggling, piracy, slavery of non-Tigrans, prostitution, murder, and street fights between Tigran gangs.
- The Temple of Basskarr
- Once having been a ruined temple meant for the worship of Estel, and later having served as the headquarters of a notorious group of Tigran brigands, this building has been “renovated” by the remnants of the brigands, who happened to have turned into religious fanatics when Ailor traders brought cat statues from the ancient desert temples of Ithania. Nowadays, the temple is filled with night-blue painted cat statues and bowls for oblations to the goddess Basskarr. Daily, hundreds of faithful Tigrans enter the temple to pray and offer sacrifices to their mighty cat goddess.
Since the takeover by the Tigran slaves, Ssil never had a formal government. It is constantly chaotic and plagued by gangs fighting each other. Any previous attempts at restoring order in the city have failed, and a success is very unlikely to happen in the future.
List of Rulers
- Pre-Cataclysm - Various Elven Rulers
- 76 BC - 0 AC - Councilman Reluvethel Horith
- 0 AC - Present - General Tigran Population
Ssil’s surrounding states, as well as Aloria’s super powers such as Regalia or Qadiriyye, pay very little attention to the lawless city of the Tigrans. They cause little threat to its surrounding nations, not being outgoing and aggressive, save for scattered brigand groups assaulting Nelfin and unlucky travelers outside the city. Although the high criminal activity at its harbors are a concern to some, an attempt to cleanse the location would not be worth it, considering the difficulty it would provide, and the potential loss of Tigran troops as part of Daenshore’s military.
Ssil has no formal military. Should the city ever be under a direct attack, it is safe to assume that the majority of its citizens will fight back as a makeshift militia. The strength of combined brigand gangs would likely surpass the strength of the militaries of many other nations, as Tigrans are ferocious fighters, even though many of them went through harsher, more informal combat training than most soldiers.
Economy and Technology
Ssil is very poorly technologically advanced, its population mostly just making use of what the Nelfin left behind several centuries ago, and what they manage to steal from others. A formal currency does not exist in Ssil, and the city state does not have a primary import or export. Tigran citizens forage or steal everything they need from others, only rarely creating it by themselves. As self-sustenance is very important for the feline people, actual trade occurs very rarely. The exception is within the harbor of Ssil, where foreign sailors and pirates frequently trade with Regals.
- 91% Tigran Dargon
- 4% Ailor Human
- 3% Orc Gorr
- 1% Various Nelfin
- 1% Other
The culture of Ssil is a peculiar one, often going against what many expect from the feline people. Law is non-existent in Ssil, and the wealth of the individual is not measured by their amount of coin, rather by the amount of jewelry they wear on their body. As for clothing, the local Tigrans prefer simple robes or loincloths, both to adapt themselves to the warm climate, and because any larger clothing would practically be ruined by their fur. Often seen as a joke, the Tigrans of Ssil also highly value hygiene. Hardly any trash is seen in the streets of Ssil. Citizens are expected to bathe frequently, the washing and brushing of each other’s fur being seen as a ritual that brings Tigrans closer together. Their sense for family is very strong as well, as Tigrans usually choose a mate for an entire lifetime, and barely ever leave their children behind. Besides the daily “mass” at the Basskarr worshipping sites, the people of Ssil hold no festivals, as the chaos of the city makes planning or hosting any such events without major disruptions, impossible. The worship of Basskarr could technically be seen as the official state religion, almost half of the Tigran population having converted already. While most Tigran live in the ruins of old Elven buildings, often reinforced with wooden planks, newcomers have started to build wooden shacks on the outskirts and in some parts within the city. Surprisingly, their self-developed architecture closely resembles that of Ailor Humans, and can easily be compared to the poorer districts of the city of Regalia.
A national symbol or flag of Ssil is non-existent. Most flags and banners of Silarthë have been burned down or destroyed. Many Tigran gangs invented their own banners, which can sometimes be found hanging in their territory or painted on the brick walls. Said banners usually consist of very cheap colors and are kept very simple, such as a dagger painted with charcoal and blood.
- The large amount of ships and weaponry left behind by the Nelfin is a major reason Tigrans have taken such a liking to piracy.
- Nelfin are an extremely rare sight in Ssil, for obvious reasons. They are almost immediately targeted for robbery acts, and barely any Elves make it out alive, or unharmed.
- An adventurous group of faithful Unionists once set foot into Ssil, where they attempted to convert a group of Basskarr faithful Tigrans they met. The two groups eventually had a long discussion, resulting in the group of Ailor actually being the ones converted into the religion of the Tigrans. It is unknown how exactly that could happen, but most assume that it was either done through forcing compassion onto the Ailor, or through intimidation and threats. After this, there have been a few more cases of non-Tigrans having been converted to the Faith of Basskarr.
- Slavery is still an occurrence in Ssil, albeit a bit uncommon. Ironically, the vast majority of slavery victims in Ssil are Nelfin.
- At one point in time, a Tigran tried to form an effective bureaucracy in Ssil and name himself king, after he had gathered a vast fortune in slavery, large enough to pay others to force his way through. Unfortunately, he met his end at the hands of a common street thug, who didn’t even know who he was, just for the sake of stealing his golden earrings.
- Due to the large amount of Ailor Humans visiting Ssil from time to time, and with the distinct lack of Elves present, many Tigrans begun to speak common tongue over time. Today, the majority of Tigrans accepted common as their main language, with only a few Elvish speakers remaining.
- Many Orcs from Daendroc have come to Ssil, usually being welcomed with open arms as they greatly contributed to the downfall of the Elves, and respected for their strength. Sometimes, it is possible to see Orcs as parts of the local city gangs.