While the majority of the people living within Solaris are Nairs, others of various ethnicities live within the city, at times even working in the palace as a part of the court.
Wealth is more evenly distributed in Solaris than in many other cities, with the wealthy and middle classes being far larger than the poorer class. Much work has done to reduce poverty, including housing and care for those unable to work, but it has still not been eradicated entirely.
Despite the queen and court being in Solaris, daily administration of the city itself is overseen by an elected governor chosen by the people of the city and sanctioned by the queen, as all cities in Nairiume are governed. A city guard is in place to enforce the laws and keep the peace, and a local court judges those arrested.
Additionally, those seeking to ask the queen for favorsor assistance, or to have their voices heard at a national level may do so through a system of petitions through the palace court. The queen may also overrule the local governor in matters of administration if required, though this is rarely done.
The entirety of the city is surrounded by a thick wall, which is patroled regularly by city guards. Large gates are used to restrict movements between districts as needed.
Industry & Trade
Solaris is a center of trade, with merchants of all types engaging in importing and exporting goods. Artisans do a healthy business in supporting those merchants, exporting goods, and supplying the royal family and court.
The city of Solaris has streets paved with smooth stones. All streets are named for ease of navigation and signs designate the street names. The city was also built with a grid layout for consistency.
Near the docks are the poorer districts of Solaris, comprised of sailors and laborers, and the businesses that cater to them. These include inns, brothels, gambling halls, and shops selling cheap, poor-quality merchandise. The quality of the establishments improves the farther one gets from the docks, and guards patrol the main route from the docks to the wealthier parts of the city to ensure the safety of wealthy travelers.
At the center of the city is a sprawling shop district, where merchants sell wares of all types, including imported goods, and artisans ply their trades. These merchants and artisans live above their shops with their families. Intersecting with this trade district is one of temples devoted to the various gods worshipped in Nairiume. Another temple devoted to the communication with deceased ancestors stands among the temples to the gods.
Finally, a large district for the wealthy citizens of the city sprawls outside the shops and temples. Great homes with painted windows fill tree-lined streets and offer homes to members of the palace court and their families, the wealthiest merchants in the city, and retired members of the Eliarant who fathered royal children. Other retired members of the Eliarant have smaller homes among the mansions, which are still lavishly appointed and of superior quality.
The palace district is situated just outside the main wall of the city. The sprawling palace is surrounded by administrative buildings, militarty barracks and training arenas, public grounds, stables, and storehouses. Though it is separate from the city, its surrounding wall connects with that of the city, and a single gate and guards are used to control access to the grounds. During most days, the public is permitted entry to many areas within the palace grounds, though guards patrol constantly to ensure the royal family's safety.
Though the city of Solaris is said to have been founded, officially, in Year 1 of the Third Era, parts of the city are older than that and served as a major trade center prior to the standardization of the Eras and calendars across most of Ayrith. When Nairiume sought to trade with the nations of Phelin, Algoma, and Berk, it chose to accept the method of datekeeping of the other nations for more consistent records and communication. During this process, the history of the queens was traced back to Queen Meskhenet, who was ruling at the time the new Third Era began. She was named the Third Era's first queen, and Solaris's date of founding set as Year 1.
The oldest parts of the city have since been replaced with improved structures, though the old citadel has been converted into the city's prison. The current palace was constructed around Year 25, with many additions over the years.
Solaris is close to the sea, with a bustling seaport. The main districts of the city sprawl away from the sea on a gentle slope, and there are cliffs just outside the city.
Solaris is mostly rich in shellfish, sea vegetation such as kelp, and fish. Occasionally, whales can be hunted not far from shore, though as the city has grown the whales have stayed farther and farther away from the bustling ships.
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