City of Half-Elves, Rivers, Pathways and Shores.
When one thinks of Aegis, the thought should not be of the city, but of the spring that is it's namesake and the hardy folk that tended that spring ‘til life sprung around them as a port of trade and knowledge. When one approaches, the best way to get a feeling of the city is to come by water. To see the crashing flow that is the outpouring of Plospryn's favored well into the ocean. Ay, though it has refuse and waste galore as it crashes down the cliffs, there is a charm to be found there. In truth, this approach teaches you a measure of the life of the city. From the refuse up, knowing the trash makes the city. From the sight of the falls, the stench of which is drowned out by the supremely salty air that gleans off the coast of the grand sea, you move on towards the docks. While some northern towns have quite substantial docks with lives and stories of their own that make them almost towns themselves, the cliff-bound docks of Aegis show no true wear of age and gleam as fresh and new creations. For that they are! Even with Cliffpass to the south of them and the defenses of those landmasses, the summer floods spare Aegis no pity. The waters rise up to smite the city and dash the dreams of those who wish to gaze from their houses to a sandy beach. This is, of course, why the city of Aegis is constructed high on a cliff that is the result of the countless yearly batterings that would otherwise beseige the city. In all but the worst years, Aegis merely takes a light dusting of their refuse and the spray of salt for a number of days to weeks. And after the tides have come and gone, the docks are rebuilt and ships are brought down from the sea of Iwate. Cut into the cliffs are countless manners with which to ascend! From newer elevators for freight, to countless staircases and tunnels that climb and make a labyrinthine ascent possible. Within these are many a secret, from clubs of captains that find many a deal made, to followers best left unsaid. And we finally approach the city proper, passing the Airships perched on the edge of the cliff and into the city itself. The roads are rivers. Not in an allegorical fashion, but in the note that alongside every road is a faucet derived from the Shield Spring itself. Into which are thrown the refuse of daily life and flowers to spruce its purpose. Markets and Residence interweaves, but every street leads back to the spring. Set on a small hill in the north of the city, nearly marking it's boundary, the spring is where the council meets and the religious seek their divine connections. For all life is from this spring and it provides the city it's wellbeing.
City of Half-Elves, Rivers, Pathways and Shores.The city of Aegis is a port city that rivals any of the major cities of Renai or Forkden. Found in these water adjacent streets are a mix of species that is rarely found elsewhere. With Tritons from the sea, Elves from their ancient forests and humans from every corner of Ithungsida. The Council controls the flow of the spring, offering protection and life to all who know the feel of the cool waters of the shield spring. Guards of the Flow manage the walls and the ports, leaving much of the cliffside tunnels grated off and warning citizens away but making no effort to stop them from delving into the tunnels and unknown areas below. At the source of each and every stream and road that courses through this city is the Shield Spring, named by the elves as they fell back with their forests on the approach of man and claimed they would fall no further. The spring of Plospryn, The Thaw of Spring sprouted then as she approved their holdings and the Forests of Uuku defined that as their eastern border. Followers of Plospryn, including a colony of Firbolgs made their homes around the city and kept the elven name. Plospryn remains the patron deity of Aegis, even through the complete destruction of the city in The Orcish Incursion worship of Plospryn has remained constant. And the revitalization of the city as it has newly sprung up from the ashes and returned to the vibrancy of yesteryear has only solidified the devout's belief in their, if not protection, but blessing. The southerly winds off the ocean keep the growing season for the city open from early spring to late summer giving Plospryn’s favored city a fine bevy of flowers that grow year round. The cliffs the city is built upon is a massive area once home to the nest of a massive mythical bird known as a Roc, whose wingspan is said to have been hundreds of feet wide, dwarfing even the largest dragons. However, the bird was long gone before the Shield Spring began flowing and people other than elves moved into the area. Many artifacts in the city are often made from the remnants of roc shells. Elvish is a common language in the area, with many stores and streets having the language as well as common written out. It is the most common secondary language in the region.
The city of Aegis retains the general staple of Human supremacy in the region with the vast majority of the population being human, however, it also has one of the largest populations of Firbolg, Half-Elves and Elves.
Humans are the most common species in Aegis, with countless being born and living their lives in the area. The number of humans in the area outnumber the number of every other species combined. The locals of the area often identify with the ideals of Plospryn and wear beautiful clothes that are often said to outclass the levels of fashion otherwise found in Ithungsida. Often focusing on sundresses and warm weather clothes.
FirbolgFierce Giant-kin, the likes of which guard nature and seek to see the world as it is. The majority of those found in the city of Aegis are there for the worship of Plospryn, seeking out ties with nature as they make long-term pilgrimages to areas they find the greatest connection to nature in. The presence of the Shield Spring draws many to the city.
TritonsHonor-bound and generally found in the sea, these points bring up a question of why there are more Tritons then Half-elves in the city of “Half-Elves”. As one of the favored races of MeyGana, Roar of the Sea, those that live in the Aegis Sea make often trips to the city itself, bringing culture and order to the city through their constant presence. With their constant presence in the area, they bring a sense of honor and culpability to the politicians in the Council and the Guards of the Flow. Many choose to stand as guards for a time in the city.
Half-ElvesHalf-Elves are a common sight in Aegis, with countless spawned from illicit relationships between elven nobles and servants or others that resulted in child. The majority of which are banished from the area and sent to live in a city that bears little relation to the greater portion of the collective of Uuku.
MousefolkMousefolk are common in most cities, most places and could be said to rival the prevalence of humans if the majority of their groups weren’t so demure and almost impossible to know exist. Mousefolk have built many warrens in the city of Aegis as it is a spring-point for young to board a ship and leave for new and distant lands to spread to.
GnomesWith as large a port for airships as there is, to not find gnomes here would be something of a strangeity. The majority of the gnomes in the region make their homes on the Roc’s Perch and delve into the mechanical workings found therein.
DwarvesDwarves are an uncommon sight in the city, but a stable community has risen around the exploration and mining of the depths of the Catacombs beneath the city, finding lost resources and divining the location of newly found veins to dig into. From the Estranged Noble, to those that find an interest in the mortal world. The most common place to find an elf outside of the Forests of Uuku is within the walls of Aegis. Most often, they find their callings in the political structure of Aegis, which heavily favors those with long lives and elven descent.
The government of Aegis leans heavily on the lackadaisical support of the @Uuku, but holds most matters without referring up the chain of leadership. While most major matters such as construction, resources and devotionary support goes through the Council, a shadow government of business owners and concerned citizens has risen to dictate terms of treaties, trade, business expansion and preparations for the future in the shape of the Flow.
The CouncilThe Council has been around as long as the spring has, a group of people dedicated to maintaining the land around it and keeping the base of the spring pure. When the orcs marched on the city of Aegis, the councilmembers of the time held people inside the spring until the Wizards of the College cracked open their portals to help evacuate the survivors, helping to reinforce the truth of the Shield Spring. In modern times, post Orcish Incursion, the council resembles its initial design to a very small degree. While the majority of the leaders are still elven or firbolg, several humans have attained ranking as well as a number of Triton and Mousefolk helping to establish a true sense of diversity in the leadership of the city. They maintain the spring itself as well as the relations with the forests of Uuku and religious devotions that many believe help to protect the city and ensure that the spring will flow.
The FlowThe Flow is a newer invention, a sign of the changing times and waning influences that are battling over the various cities of Ithungsida. Those that represent the Flow are the city community leaders and port officials, the guards that manage the wall and the citizenry that wants some level of protection beyond what they received as Vhaskus stormed the city in the Orcish Incursion. The guards of the receive massive amounts of training and patrol large swaths of land out to the sands of the southern desert. While they patrol, the leaders of the Flow maintain strong relations with Elven forces of Uuku, the Iwan Fleet and the Forkden Navy as well as practicing annual evacuations of the city and tests against disasters that could strike. The name “The Flow” comes from the wanton state of affairs that lasted since before records started until the fall of Aegis at the hands of Vhaskus. Those leaders that maintain the Flow hold a motto amongst themselves that stands unofficially for the entire city.
We will not go with the flows of nature or abide by the tides of the DraKaise, we will buck and snap at any trend that ensures the downfall of our city in the way the state of affairs before the Orcish Incursion tore us to pieces and burnt the remnants.
Built on a hill against the edge of a cliff, most believe the newest incarnation of Aegis to be almost entirely unsiegable. Three walls standing at 30 feet tall with regimented guards constantly patrolling, and backed against a cliff with pitch and divertible streams of water to drop down the many passages and stairways, attacking would truly be an ordeal. In addition, the Shield Spring has large pools around it that can divert massive flows of water down any road to help wash out an enemy. Since the rebuilding after the Orcish Incursion, this newest rebuilding of Aegis is built to weather an assault.
Industry & Trade
Aegis has a large Hospitality sector, a vast amount of people that work in construction, and a large group of people that live off trade and the shipping industry. The hospitality sector ensures that there are always inns and food available to weary travelers, as well as plenty of entertainment in the way of minstrels, and traveling musicians. Those that work in construction have a largely seasonal job, for they are the ones that disassemble and rebuild the docks every year with new designs and ideas. The rapid assembly requires a large workforce that is paid rather well for the long strenuous hours they work as the floodwaters recede. The shipping industry is cutthroat and full of large rewards as countless privately owned and corporate ships battle for bids for the real trips from Aegis to Kravmaw or elsewhere. The growing Airship Industry is only making this a more dangerous environment as more competition brings prices lower, but higher populations drives demand ever skyward.
The city of Aegis is separated neatly into 6 districts; the docks, the Deep Catacombs, the Cliffside, the Roc’s Perch, Plospryn’s Fields, and the Shield Spring.
The Docks are fresh cedar. Fashioned yearly and built out from the base of the cliff they are never static. With new crews and ships moving through the docks daily each year forms its own identity that is recorded in a gallery in the city with artistic depictions of the previous hundred years of docks, showing the fast-paced evolution of changes and alterations that have created one of the most efficient docks in Ithungsida. The only constants of the docks are the Port Authority offices and the inns carved into the rocky base of the cliffs. Which are, of course, repopulated and rebuilt yearly as well to match the new theme and design.
The Cliffside is populated by a variety of ways up to the Perch and the source of the waterfalls. With the waterfalls demarcating the edges of the city and the expansion of the port below, it also marks how wide the cliffs spread in terms of the stairways and homes found there. The class of citizen that finds their home on the wall is either of an eccentric taste or, far more often, of a poorer nature. For a wide amount of the cliffside is slammed by the yearly floods and must be evacuated during those times. They also serve as homes and inns for those sailors that don’t wish to make the endless ascent or to pay the rates of the lower inns that populate the docks.
The Deep Catacombs are largely outside of the public Purview, while the cliffside makes the climb towards the very top of the cliffs, the many tunnels that lead into the rock of the cliffs themselves go somewhere very different. Within these tunnels are countless secrets from thousands of years of history from elvish settlers that first cut into the tunnels to the Orcs that spent years smoking out stalwart survivors within the tunnels. Nowadays, the majority of what is found within are bars, brothels and areas that like to be outside of the public’s eye. But for every alley populated by denizens of those darker crowds, there might be a group taking a much darker turn of events within.
Roc’s Perch is the top of the cliff. With twin pools that are lovingly referred to by citizens as “Plospryn’s Lakes”, they are much closer to ponds and smell as a strange mixture of refuse and flowers that blend in a disturbing manner. Many restaurants find their fortunes here, giving a beautiful view of the Aegis sea and the docks below, while the menagerie of airships make their escape from the city into the skies above. This is also where all airships, that actually enter the city, make their approach and land. However, the fees and resulting requirements including potential boarding and searching by the Flow guards have lead some areas outside of the city to be established as landing zones for those not dealing with large quantities of passengers or cargo.
Plospryn’s Fields are the actual homes, businesses and areas that populate the city. Built atop the cliff, these are where the roads, the rivers and the city reveals it’s true nature. That of a cultural paradise with elegant elven architecture mixed with a mortal eye for detail and roughness that gives a sense of feeling as though the city itself is truly alive, well and growing under the care of Plospryn. This is where business occurs, the majority of people live, and where every road reaches the Shield Spring.
The Shield Spring is the heart of Aegis. A heavily regimented and carefully constructed part of the city, the Shield Spring pours out a massive amount of water into carefully maintained baths and areas that then lead out into the rest of the city. With temples of every deity present and many buildings for the cultural enrichment of the area with longstanding art galleries and meeting places for the rich and poor alike. This is where the elites gather and where the beating heart of the city can truly be seen.
Outside of Uuku, Aegis is the most elven city in Ithungsida. The streets are built to be rivers, with canals 4-5 feet wide on every street and a number of small boats offering transport down them. Due to this, most entrances to houses have retractable bridges that are generally pulled up and render homes difficult to enter. The majority of the buildings themselves are made of marble and fine stone that has been carved, by elves reminiscent of home, to resemble trees and plants. This gives the impression that almost every building is but a tree growing from the waters beside it. And grow they have, most buildings tower up to three or four stories and have bridges that reach across the streets entirely, forming a set of passages on could take without ever touching the ground.
Aegis is built around a medium hill against a sharp cliff that drops 210 feet before you reach the solid shores below. To the east are the Forests of Uuku, to the West is the Iwate River which turns into a set of rapids that can be difficult to maneuver, but has been tamed over the last number of years with a set of man-made water locks that have been carved into the rock to act like elevators for ships.
Aegis has a bevy of natural resources garnered from nowhere else due to it's intimate trade relationship with Uuku. This is where the minute elven lumber is sourced from and where countless specifically elven inventions such as a number of rare types of wands and other inventions are sourced. As well, Aegis has a large fishing industry aided by native Tritons that help keep the Sea of Aegis clean and full of fish. And local farms bring large amounts of what they grow to Aegis, making it an agricultural hub as well.
City of the Shield Spring, City of rivers, Bulwark against the Desert
Aegiseans, (Shield Bearers in Elvish)