Crystal City Settlement in Adazuri | World Anvil

Crystal City

Crystal City is one of the largest settlements in the Verdant Mountains. Built into the side of the mountains, travel to Crystal City is difficult. Most travelers wouldn't bother going out of their way to find it. If not for their main trade resource, Efflorescent Quartz, and the dazzling underground crystalline forests from which EQ originates.  
  Originally a small Dwarven settlement named Tiota, Crystal City saw its first influx of trade in part because of the Gnomes who settled there before the Devils' Storm. During this time, settlements and Folk cultures were primarily isolated. Many Folk viewed others warily. However, the Tiota Dwarves felt a kinship with the traveling Gnomes and overtime their cultures grew closely intertwined. The inventions gnomes created through use of EQ brought modest trade through the settlement, primarily in the form of earlier adventurers, who saw the value in their individual uses. It was only during the Devils' Storm, that EQ-powered artifacts began being mass produced. First, in the form of superior weapons and later through increased travel methods to move large troops more effectively. When Tifwado City was rebuilt, the Fifuaga Gnome family moved to Tifwado City and established a permanent trade route between Crystal City and Tifwado. The infrastructure of the New Independent City of Tifwado was built through dependency on efflorescent quartz.  
  Today, Crystal City is a bustling city with travelers from across the Western Continent. A direct rail line exists between Crystal City and Tifwado for transport of both material and people. EQ-powered cable carriages ferry people up the mountain to Crystal City's gates. Though the more adventurous of Folk prefer to climb the mountain to save a little gold. The wealthiest of Folk charter airships to take them directly to the City Center. Traveling merchants come to Crystal City to get the best deals on EQ, investors meet with aspiring inventors to get their hands on the next best EQ-powered item, and tourists come solely to admire the beauty of the Crystalline Forest.  
Crystalline Forest
  Although Tifwado City has an EQ garden you can tour, it's nothing compared to the majestic Crystalline Forest located within the mountainside of Crystal City. Crystalline Forest tour guides ferry people in boats through the underground crystalline river and lake. Efflorescent Quartz trees tower above the viewers, their branches twisting and curling in intricate designs. Scattered across the trees’ trunks and branches are crystal flowers. For an extra cost, Folk without dark vision can rent dark vision glasses so they can wonder at the EQ trees. During the tour, visitors are shown how EQ is harvested, as well as the care and maintenance of the trees. Touching the trees or reaching your limbs outside the boat is strictly forbidden. If you're caught, the tour guide will hit you with a "hold person" spell and a hefty fine. At the end of the tour, guest are ushered into the gift shop. A favorite souvenir is the small crystalline flowers.  
Faction Families
  Crystal City is governed by wealthy Faction Families, who are in charge of overseeing all the artisans, inventors, or laborers and ensuring they are successful in their work. Faction members are born into their parents' factions. However, they have an opportunity to switch factions by showcasing their skills to a Faction Family.   One of the largest faction memberships is the EQ Carvers. Considered to be a position for a folk with little talent but plenty of stamina. Members work long hours with low pay. Lately, some unsatisfied EQ Carvers have begun emigrating from Crystal City to find contract work with the Fifuaga Quartz Inventor Venture for better pay. Of course, this is frowned upon by the Faction Families as they believe the Fifuaga family is treading on their territory and attempting to cut out Crystal City by becoming both manufacturer and vendor.  
The Crystal Forged
  Crystal Forged Folk were originally developed in Crystal City and many still guard it today. Most Tiota dwarves and gnomes prefer to avoid all forms of violence, instead focused on the mining of raw materials, such as EQ, gold, and iron ore, and creating new EQ-powered items and artisanal tools.   Although creating new Crystal Forged as guards is largely frowned upon in Crystal City, they have the largest Forged Garden for Crystal Forged Folk in the Western Continent. As such, many crystal forged have permanently relocated to Crystal City. Either to work as guards or to raise a family.   Most Crystal Forged Folk are considered outsiders in the Tiota culture. Few join a Faction Family, preferring instead to do any work on a contract basis. Most live near each other in a neighborhood close to the forged garden cavern entrance. Although many are paid to be soldiers and guards, others have found different ways to work in Crystal City, such as earning money as bards and using their transformation skills to create dazzling stage plays.
Crystal City EQ Fest
Every year the gnomes of Crystal City organize the EQ Fest. This scientific showcase allows aspiring inventors to put their EQ-powered devices on display in hopes of attracting wealthy investors. Many notable inventors received their first investment through the EQ Fest. One notable example is Guatal Fleepbint, Gnomish inventor of the EQ Pocket Crystal, a long distance communication device and research depository.  
Contary to popular belief, most dwarves do not live underground. However, many do work within the mountains, their eyes custom to the dark. Although they may set up temporary camp when deep in the mountains, a Tiota Dwarf will always return to their settlement, which is under the open sky. In Crystal City, homes are built directly into the mountain. This allows for Dwarves to enter caverns that lead underground from their houses. In addition to the caverns being a natural defense against large forces, their backdoors are the perfect getaway if there is trouble!  
Going Factionless
  There's a growing trend in crystal City to Go Factionless, particularly amongst the inventors. During working hours, any creation made is the property of the Faction Families. Faction members are paid a set amount of gold each month. However, many Faction Families try to lay claim to inventions or tools created by faction members during recreational hours, effectively blocking their path to both wealth and acclaim. Faction Families are not pleased with this new trend and are backing a law that requires all Crystal City citizens to stay in a faction. In protest many of the most talented faction members are switching their memberships to the EQ Carves faction, believing that even if they work the hardest for the lowest amount of pay, at least they will have freedom of their minds and their art.

Cover image: by MacroVector


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Jul 30, 2021 13:04 by A

This sounds like an interesting place to visit but a more... worrying to live in as a worker if your inventions are just taken from you, and the money. But I would want more information on this Crystalline Forest and how it looks, what shapes and colours the location has. The city as a whole seems very restrictive to everyone except the elites and wealthy, creating a dynamic and potential for plots. Good work!

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Jul 31, 2021 23:27 by Cassandra Sojourn

I do want to add more information about the Forest. More than that, I want to include some images. Crystal City prides itself on their pure translucent EQ, so it would be like traveling through trees of ice or glass. Some of the smaller ones are completely submerged by the water, but others have grown so high that they practically touch the top of the large cavern. The guides need to be experts at navigating because it would be easy for the boat to crash into one of the outstretched limbs.

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Aug 4, 2021 23:20

This seems like a very interesting settlement, especially the Crystalline Forest underneath it. This answers the question I had on the EQ article where they would grow best xp The EQ fest sounds like a fun festival as well! Must be quite a sight to behold all the new inventions being on display. Are there often accidents during it due to malfunctioning ones?

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Aug 11, 2021 04:38 by Cassandra Sojourn

Thanks so much! There would be many accidents, when inventors are first developing their prototypes. And for those who maybe bring their prototypes out a bit too soon. I want to eventually write a larger article just about the Fest and now know I should include some magical meltdowns. I see the EQ Fest to be a tiny version of the Paris World Fairs during the turn of the 19th/20th century - at least the part that focuses on new science and technology.

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Aug 16, 2021 03:23 by Dimitris Havlidis

Beautiful work Cassandra, FYI you have an unclosed tag somewhere.

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