Nurn - City of a Thousand Colours
The Tainted Maiden tried. Tarquinnias greatest Emperor tried. Auror's Golden Army tried. Where are they now? Ashes, dispersed and forgotten. But we stand. So yes Knight of Feranar, I invite you to try. Bring your allies, all lords of the Summer Coast if you dare. Let their blood add another colour to our walls.Between the lush green of southern woods and the stormy blue of ocean waves, one may witness a striking sight, similar only to the shining sun among clear blue skies. From the hills of the surrounding area, the city of Nurn is a single mass of shimmering colour. The haze obscuring the city may at first be attributed to the distance. Only shortly before entering the gates will one realize it to be the result of thousands upon thousands of tints, from ordinary red, blue and yellow to regal purple and amerian green. To any foreigners eyes, they form a strange shade, impossible to define. Every building, from the greatest palaces to the most weather stricken shack, shines brightly and together they form a maelstrom, drawing any visitor into a river of bliss and dreamlike euphoria. This is Nurn, City of a Thousand Colours, the largest settlement on the Summer Coast. A major hub for trade, especially dyes and other chemical components, it is among the richest cities in Vardania. Home to magnificent temple complexes, expansive markets and unconquerable walls. A mace of endless streets and vibrating, pulsating light. Many will agree that Nurn is a work of art greater than any masterpiece. The home of the Mykarans, or Bleachskins as some call them, is testament to the people's long history and monument to their perseverance. But even among the shimmering palaces and glowing temples, shadows linger. Where there is light, there will be darkness and Nurns harrowing past may one day rear its ugly head again...
From infrastructure and inland trade to maintenance of the city's defences the realm of the Third Queen is far-ranging and varied. The descendants of Ifri the Good sit in the Iron Bastion, largest of the forts that surround the city.
Maritime trade, sanitation and health are the areas which the Second Queen has control over. Due to her command over most of the naval facilities, she is also second-in-command of all naval forces. Ruling from their harbour palace are the descendants of Nikira the Bloody, most trusted companion of the ancient warrior queen.
The First Queen is the de facto ruler of the city. While the office shares its power with the other regents, it keeps supreme control over all military affairs, as well as internal security and veto power on decisions made by the other two. These vetoes can be overruled should the First Queen be unable to give a justifiable reason for said action. First held by Shitar I. before being usurped by Ameris in 1520 DA, the office is now for the first time in nearly 2000 years in the hands of a man. Grishar I. the Unlikely, last of his line, now rules the city, a shaky position, under harsh judgement from all sides.
The seat reserved for the goddess Cybelle and in old times filled by a Matriarch of the cult, this position served as the sole religious authority within Nurn, subservient only to the High Matriarch in Scetia. Dismantled during Ameris's purges, the seat of Nurns fourth ruler now lies buried together with the ruins of her temple, deep beyond the catacombs, in ashes and darkness. Modern Mykarans worship a variety of gods and their representatives form a smaller council, assisting the Tetrarchs in keeping the peace between the various religious groups.
Although nearly two millennia have passed since it's founding, the city has stayed true to its origins as a temple-fortress. From the palaces, temples and markets to the cheap blocks of the slums, nearly every building is constructed with the city's defence in mind. Nowhere is this clearer than in the old city, where every single house is built like a mini fortress. This harkens back to the days of the cult when every member was expected to fight to the death rather than surrender. Every quarter can be become a citadel on its own, every street and intersection a deadly trap.Among those colours is the blood of nearly two dozen armies, the remains of would-be conquerors, forgotten to time but now forever part of the shimmering painting that is Nurn.
IndustryAn industry that has developed as a side effect, is the production of fireworks. The receipt for the special Mykaran Fire is kept secret and the various forms of rockets, crackers and flashers are sold throughout Vardania. More sinister however is another, rather unknown branch of industry. The production of alchemic weapons. Capable of creating all manner of poison and weaponry, the Kinogare (Alchemists) of Nurn can unleash some of the most devastating mixtures known to man.
From poison that merely causes slight nausea to a shroud that chokes the life out of an entire region. Truly, my lord, there is nothing we cannot create.
Legacy of the CultDanger looms outside the city as well. Ainach and Methlan, ancient and powerful, remember the terror of days past as clear as ever. Eternal enemies of Nurn, they will use every chance they get to demolish the city's power. That is nothing to say of the Feran lords of the Summer Coast. For them the city and its people represent an affront to their way of life, another holy war is only a matter of time...
Why the colour? The Mykarans apparent obsession has two reasons. They are of a very pale, almost corpse-like complexion with hair that ranges from ash grey to pure white. In ancient time they wandered the far northern reaches of Scetia, a land of grey and white, as devoid of colour as were its people. Centuries of such life have had strange effects on them. They perceive colour different from most other humans, valuing it higher than even diamonds. In their city, they surround themselves with it, the maelstrom having a slight drug-like effect, causing them to be euphoric and motivated.
Daughters of Cybelle Originating in the chaotic landscape of Scetia in the early 2nd Millennium DA, they are comparable in their infamy only to the Order of the Red Rose or Odium Cult. Matriarchal in the most radical sense they saw women as the goddess created givers of life, whereas men were mere animals, slaves for labour and war. Using advanced shock and guerilla tactics, psychological warfare and propaganda as ingenious as it was insidious, they ruled large parts of Scetia and Vardania throughout the 16th century. Enslaving millions, their destructive ideology would eventually become their undoing and by 1700 DA, their enemies had annihilated nearly all traces of it.
Green? Oh no no, my good sir. For a moment I forgot you are a foreigner. No this isn't just green. Amelian and Oak and Sulphuric...on this wall alone there are over two dozen different shades. They dance and mingle, mix and contrast. It's...a thing of incredible beauty.
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