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Qurtujah, the Great City

Cathryne gazed up in awe of the high, smooth walls of the city. She had heard stories of the Great City since she was a child, and had read in old lore books about the legendary kings of Qurtujah who had built one of the greatest kingdoms of the South. As she fixated on the enormous etchings and engravings along the walls, she notices that the battlements, sharply hewn out of the rock, were bristling with soldiers in bright armor with all the panoply and regalia of war. The renowned Naibaat warriors of Qurtujah were men of myth, and there they stood watch over the harbor of the Great City, the curved blades of their glaives glinting in the midday sun, sallet helms bouncing the rays back to the sea, their white and orange garments signifying the ruling house of Okibe. Upon high towers sat great perches that must be for the great armored dragons that flew over the city. Cathryne suddenly saw this once faraway place come to life before her eyes, and she began to understand the true scale of the world outside the Republic. As she unboarded from the Windsprite, she gave the guards at the dock the customary warrior's greeting like professor Waldendorf had taught her, and she set on her way into the great, sprawling, labyrinthine, regimented streets of the Great City of Qurtujah, hoping her studies had prepared her for the negotiations ahead.


The city of Qurtujah, known around the world simply as "the Great City," is the great bastion and stronghold of the Okibe dynasty in Samartha on the island of Kaba-ise. The city is quite old, but its reputation which gave it its title manifested much later. During the time of the Pilgrimage during the Age of Faith, the island of Kaba-ise as well as the other islands nearby were controlled by the Wakome dynasty. The islands were home to the Serpent god Akaze, who was revered by the peoples of the islands and, in exchange for their worship and material offerings, gifted the Wakome kingdom with his children, the wyverns, as well as his lesser creations, the Drakespawn (now called Akari), to be their slaves.

It was during this time that the Moravite pilgrimage had reached its height, and the Sauvians and Maruvians sought to claim the fertile islands of the East for themselves in order to create sites for the worship of Shamah, god of the Sun. What began with peaceful settlement of coastal colonies quickly transformed into a form of crusade, with Moravite ships carrying not only settlers, but also trained soldiers, mercenaries, marauders, and religious zealots, who would raid the Wakome coastal colonies in the name of Shamah. Thinking this to be a scheme of Shamah to seize a greater domain in Samartha, Akaze sent forth the Akari and the wyverns to defend the coastal settlements from the raiding bands of Mouradran immigrants. Meanwhile, Shamah was preoccupied completely in a separate Samarthite war against Dai, Manaat, and Sha'alwe. With the intervention of several lesser gods and their armies, the Akari and the armies of the Wakome were driven off the mainland. After much more god-meddling, Akaze diminished from the land, bringing most of the Akari with him, in return for the sparing of his children, the Wyverns, from the wrath of the crusading Moravites.


Eventually, during the early years of the Age of Faith, Moravitas sought greater control over the islands and navally invaded them several times. The Venetos eventually seized control of the southern island, while the Maruvians and Sauvians repeatedly laid siege to the island of Kaba-ise. The Moravites eventually seized control of nearly the whole island save one city: Qurtujah.


Qurtujah was the capital city of the now-extinct Wakome dynasty. Upon the ascension of Akinji Okibe following the death of Jokabe Wakome and the departure of Akaze, the new Okibe dynasty transformed the city of Qurtujah into a fortress unlike any other the world had ever seen.


Okibe liberated the remaining Akari from their bondage to the nobility and conscripted vast swathes of the population into the brutally long, arduous, and resource-intensive construction of Qurtujah's now Babylon-esque walls and defenses. Possessing a walled-in harbour, the city is highly defensible by sea and land alike. After failed aerial attacks by the Knights of the Phoenix, the walls were equipped with ballistae of sufficient size to slaughter even the largest of flying creatures. Additionally, the city retains the elite Wyvern Guard, who patrol the city and its perimeter night and day to secure this last possession of the Kingdom from the myriad threats that have arisen in its vicinity.


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