Heshi Ariko is capital city of the Aravun Yashelin, the very heart of their culture and government. The city is the oldest of the three cities, and was once the most settlement. Today, approximately 5,000 Yashelin residents call the historic city home. It is second in population to Caso Rovash to the west. It is located high on the plateau of Heshi Mountain, the namesake of the city. It is located only a few miles south of one of the very first organized Yashelin settlements, which now lies in ruins. The hike down to the base of Heshi Mountain to the ruins are popular recreational activities by tourists and locals alike. Other major attractions include the Kotuye Library and Education Center and the myriad of yearly festivals. Unlike other Aravun Yashelin communities, the residents of Heshi Ariko do not have the right to self-govern. Their laws are determined directly by the Ezekoru, effecitvely the central government of the society, and its Citizen Advisory Board is solely advisory.The original Heshi Ariko was build at the base of Heshi Mountain along a stream which flowed nearly year round down the mountain side. After they discovered the aches and pains of frequent flash flooding in the spring, they decided to move their settlement to the top of the table-top mountain rather than below, where they could better predict and even tame the water source. Coran and Heyir are recognized as Heshi Ariko's founders. Together, they chose the site of the city and developed the land on and around it. At first, everyone followed. All Aravun Yashelin lived in the city for a time. Soon, however, pockets of the population began to wander. Caso Rovash to the west came first, and then Shushani Pithin much further to the south. Long after the stream was deemed safe and comparatively controlled, a small community settled back at the base of the mountain because they prefered the proximity to their fertile fields rather than flying or riding the cable cars up and down the mountain each day.Although neither fire nor fighting made it to Heshi Ariko proper during the First War, the city itself suffered significant damage from the smoke and heat rising up from the fields below it. In the aftermath of the war, the Citizen Advisory Board lost its right to govern Heshi Ariko. Most of the board members were accused of sedition against the Ida and, thus, causing the war. Only three members were pardoned and the rest were exiled, most without trial. Nearly the moment their railway was back online, people began to move. Those from Heshi Ariko originally gravitated closer to the Kotuye Library, while those who moved to the city from elsewhere largely occupied the outskirts or lived with city natives. After the initial storm had passed, the population began to spread over the mountain top once again.The heart of Heshi Ariko belongs on the top of Heshi Mountain, a giant table-top mountain which dominates the surrounding, also mountainous landscape. The ground on top of the mountain is primarily rocky and, though it is indeed flat, it is not nearly as flat as it appears from below. It is home to hardy flora and fauna, primarily windswept trees and wild grasses. Two sizable lakes feed the Perito River, which winds downward and then cascades down the side of the mountain before settling in the riverbed below. The ground at the base of the mountain is lush and richly fertile, perfect for the agriculture which sustains the city-dwellers above.The summit of Heshi Ariko is windy and cool year-round. Frost is the longest season on Heshi Ariko. Frost is long with temperatures just below or at freezing at night, with temperatures that make the slowest dent in the snow and ice during the day. This season is followed closely by a rain-heavy Spring and sunny, mild Summer seasons. Winters in Heshi Ariko are harshly freezing cold. A rare sunny day jumps above freezing, but temperatures sharply decline at dusk. The city expects to receive severe blizzard conditions at least once per winter month.City map and districts TBAThe city is best known for its delicious, traditional food culture, owing to its proximity to the fertile crescent below and, relatedly, the Hesha Flock which headquarters there. With the exception of Winter and early Frost, most Yashelin prefer to eat their meals outside of their own home. As such, restaurants, bakeries, and other food service centered businesses make up a large portion of the city's economy. Heshi Ariko has a bustling city center filled with shops of all sorts, generally tailored to supporting the everyday needs of citizens and visitors. The entire Aravun Yashelin society runs on patronage and social capital. The city of Heshi Ariko is the epicenter. Services are typically provided either free or via the endorsement of a societal superior. Bartering is also common for times when neither goodwill nor a superior's endorsement is possible.Heshi Ariko's architecture is specifically built to withstand the wind, the snow, and the cold, using locally sourced rock and wood. Stone and wood are the most common building materials of these homes, which are constantly maintained in order to ensure their longevity. All residential homes in Heshi Ariko are a-frame in design. Businesses have greater flexibility, but most have chosen to stay close to the original design. Fireplaces are the central feature of homes and businesses alike. Evenings are defined by the smell of wood smoke and the gentle wafting of smoke from the chimney tops. The only exception to the a-frame rule is the Kotuye Library. Although the tower is not particularly tall and it is placed in a wind-protected alcove, its comparative height causes it to seem to tower above the surrounding city.The Aravun Yashelin culture is marked by their festive nature. Heshi Ariko, as the city at the very center of Aravun Yashelin culture, is the most festive of the bunch. There are many festivals, holidays, and other assorted occasions to help everyone pass the time together, whether in celebration, relaxation, or retrospection.
DemographicsToday, the Library District remains the most developed district. Though most of the residents have since spread back out, it is still the central location for Heshi Ariko's businesses, governmental buildings, and other services. Approximately 13% of the population lives here. Heshi Ariko's population is dominated by the Yashelin. Approximately 60% of the population is Idin Yashelin. Almost 39% of the population is Tikiran Yashelin. Fewer than 1% of the local population falls into any other category, namely the and a handful of Fas. The overwhelming majority of Heshi Ariko's residents both live and work in the same city. Several hundred Yashelin visit the city from outside settlements each day for work. Sometimes thousands flock to the city on festival days, merrily crowding the streets.
UtilitiesHeshi Ariko is connected directly to the same vimstone-powered electrical grid which powers the Chamatoye Public Railway. As such, they are almost always guaranteed to never lose power short of a major natural disaster. Water passes through a local treatment plant from the lakes through pipes into buildings. Waste is collected biweekly, transported down from the mountain top, and then incinerated at a regional plant.
MedicalMost medical care in Heshi Ariko is provided by the Heshari Medical Clinic. Residents may either travel to the clinic directly or request at-home services. Visitors must present themselves directly to the clinic except in the case of emergencies.
EducationalAll Aravun Yashelin citizens are provided the right to a free and accessible education. Heshi Ariko is the home of the Kotuye Library and Education Center, so its residents are in the perfect position to acquire said education either via formal and informal educational opportunities. The center is entirely free to everyone, regardless of one's background.
RoadwaysHeshi Ariko's streets are wide. The main, wide thoroughfares are divided in the center to make way for the tramway. All other roads are designed entirely with pedestrian traffic in mind. There are only two roadways leading to and out of Heshi Ariko. One leads to the agricultural fields and their related outpost, and the other connects to Caso Rovash. Shushani Pithin is only accessible from Heshi Ariko via railway or flight, though there is an informal path for the determined hiker.
Heshi Ariko TramwayThe Heshi Ariko tramway begins at the base of Heshi Mountain. The aerial tramway provides people with an easy and energy efficient means of getting up and down off of the mountain without the stress of flying. The tramway travels all around the city, with several stops in every neighborhood. There are five streetcars which run daily, with five more on reserve for high traffic days.
AirwaysThe Kotuye Continent, and Heshi Ariko in particular, is riddled with well-trod aerial roadways for those who prefer to fly. Aerial roadways are color-coded by brightly colored flags on the ground and placed every half mile, which although small to outsiders, are still easily perceptible for a Yashelin's sharp eyesight.
Art, Culture, and Recreation
Festivals, Holidays, and Special Occasions
FestivalsHeshi Ariko hosts approximately seven festivals on average each year. Four of the festivals are dedicated to celebrating each season. Two other festivals celebrate each resident Serayin and their flock, namely Ezeki, Seri, and Heyir.
Winter FestivalThe winter festival marks the transition from Autumn to Winter, which also heralds in the new year. While festive as always, this celebration takes on a more reflective tone than others of its type. The winter represents a blank slate for the Yashelin, as the Ida's universe was once a blank canvas. During the winter festival, the Yashelin traditionally tell stories from the previous year and make goals for the next one.
Spring FestivalSpring is here! The flowers are blooming and the growing season for the spring crops is well under way by the time this festival rolls around. It is a celebration centered around the beauty of nature and its ever changing cycles. The festival culminates in a mass guided hike down Heshi Mountain. Everyone dresses up for the occasion in ridiculous outfits, from the youngest to the eldest of Yashelin participant. At the bottom, names are pulled out of a hat and the lucky "winners" must perform in front of the crowd.
Autumn FestivalSimilar to the other seasonal festivals, this festival celebrates autumnal weather. This season's festival occurs in the middle of harvest season for the Hesha Flock, a time of plenty for everyone. Food is a key feature of this festival. Traditionally, residents enjoy competing for who grew the largest vegetable or who could bake the best bread.
Frost FestivalThe frost festival date changes each year in accordance with when the snow ends and, instead, a continuous frost creeps in and freezes everything and everyone who is not prepared. This festival is held only in the late morning to early evening in order to take advantage of the warmest part of the day.
Zezu Summer FestivalThe Zezu Festival is a celebration of the Zezu Flock and their flock's leaders, Ezeki and Seri. It is held during the peak of the summer heat - the perfect time for an indoor festival. The Kotuye Library opens its doors wide with extra special events, performances, and crafts during this festival. There's plenty of food, drink, and fun to be had - all in a climate controlled environment. Other libraries and museums in Caso Rovash and Shushani Pithin are also permitted to open their own doors, for those who wish to stay closer to home.
Festival of LightsHeshi Ariko hosts the winter solstice version of the Festival of Lights. The Festival of Lights celebrates the sun during the day and the moon at night. The winter solstice version of the Festival of Lights has a sedate daytime celebration followed by a riotous nighttime festival. The Shushani Flock removes Uri's crown at dusk and then the Hesha Flock crowns Heyir, to represent the transition from day to night. The winter version of the Festival of Lights, driven by the Hesha Flock's desire to show off, is known for having the freshest and best tasting food and drinks in spite of the cold weather.