The Crown City of Elric
The Crown City of Elric was first built hundreds of years ago when the Empire of Aldelgis was still in its infancy. The empire’s first ruler, Emperor Arlof Volkstadt, began his reign by slaying an elder dragon that once lived in the mountains of the Wulfetier Circlet. Once the dragon was slain Arlof Volkstadt would order the construction of the first great icons of Elric, Castle Volkstadt. There he would rule until the end of his days, but spanning countless generations his throne would still stand where it was first constructed ruled upon by each subsequent emperor and empress of Aldelgis until modern day. Hundreds of years later the capital of the empire sits a stalwart force amongst the great powers of the west coast of Fyria. Seemingly indestructible, though several nations have tried their luck in the past all have eventually failed against the cities mighty defence. And ever since the first activation of the cities Edler Shield, built on the order of the first Sunnhild family Empress, enemies of the empire rarely bother with the fortress capital, knowing well that any attack would likely fail. Even Heldrin, Aldelgis’s longstanding rival to the south since ages long past, has not thought to invade the nation since. Recently, Lady Aristea Odessa Sunnhild took the throne, at the young age of eighteen (currently twenty), after the sudden death of her mother Lord Noble Empress Rosalinde Orillia Sunnhild. Now she rules in her place, young and inexperienced surrounding by an eager council set in place by her late mother's confidantes, who now act on her behalf, determined to do what they see as best for her nation. These first few months and years will be trying for the new Empress, especially when a new threat peeks over the horizon, a threat that has grown from within their own home and threatens destroy all they hold dear.
DemographicsThe crown city of Elric is primarily comprised of native Aldelgian people, it is very rare to see any visitors and even rarer still to see anyone living in the capital that is from another nation. And if anyone from outside the nation does find themselves in the capital they are met with extreme caution and suspicion. Though, other more remote locations of the empire are more welcoming to outsiders. The citizens of Elric are extra cautious folk. Several different humanoid races comingle in the rabble of the city. Common citizens are human, half/near-elf, gnerian, avanii, and the occasional murinae family. Though the odd dwarf company will wander into town seeking trade and comfort it is rare to find them settling down in the city much preferring to stay in one of the dwindling numbers of dwarven communities secreted away in the mountain ranges of Aldelgis. It is very rare to see so-called monstrous races in town, even those commonly accepted by other nations including coblyn, half-orc, and gnoll are not received well and typically don't stay long before being shunned away. Other races like gnomes and halflings usually don't stay in the city long due to the unpleasant altitude and cold weather of the region, preferring the more temperate climates of central Fyria.
GovernmentThe capital of Elric and the entirety of the empire is ruled over by Lord Noble Empress Aristea Odessa Sunnhild, a young woman of twenty years old. She was suddenly thrust into the role of the empire’s ruler at age eighteen, while she is young and inexperienced she is known for being a kind ruler who wishes she was able to appease all of her citizens, she desperately seeks her empire's trust. Due to her inexperience and naivety, an inner council has been formed by close confidantes of the former empress in order to guide the young ruler in her early years on the throne. This council is comprised of six individuals who help create and enforce the laws of the city and the empire at large. Much of the day to day business of the city is left to this council. Meanwhile, Lady Sunnhild acts more like a figurehead than a true ruler of the empire. Only having a say when matters become an event of public or national interest. Situations where the strong and impassioned voice of a nation's ruler is required to help calm the concerned whispers of a scared population or when the need to ingratiate angry citizens becomes necessary to repair trust in the crown and the crowns council.
Industry and Trade
Elric is a very industrious place, it is actually the entire empires largest manufacturer. While the city does manufacture common items such as tools, weapons, and housing materials it specializes and constructs far more Ether related weaponry and equipment. These items are strictly produced in Elric by highly trained specialists who are educated and practice for years at the Ayer Academy, the only educational facility in the world that teaches Aldelgian citizens to craft Ether related items and equipment. The sale and construction of these items are highly regulated and goes through several rounds of inspection before being allowed onto the market.
Aldelgian Ether Crystals and Ether related items are only allowed for use in the Empire of Aldelgis, anyone caught to smuggle these highly prized items out of the country is immediately incarcerated. It is considered a powerful national tool that could be used against any potential threat or invading force; the council worries that if this technology were to fall into rival hands it could cause the eventual downfall of the entire Empire and endanger the outside world that knows not how to handle its power. Ether weaponry is a powerful tool that has kept the Empire safe from invasion for generations. Losing that edge would be a mighty blow to the entire empire.
While all Ether technology is considered a luxury, with most items in the hands of the military or the rich, the gambit of items crafted in Elric is quite broad. The most common made ether item is Ether Lanterns, a lantern, of varying size, that is illuminated from within using the powered energies of an Ether Crystal. The lanterns seem to burn brightly almost indefinitely. Thousands of these lamps can be seen hanging aloft on high cables in the cities upper levels, strung from building to building illuminating the streets and gardens below.
A more rare, but attainable item would be an Ether Guard, a small clasp with a tiny slot where an Ether Crystal is inserted. Once again using the power of the crystals this guard can be placed upon any item it will fit around, granting it a magical imbuement. These guards are often gifted or purchased by knights and noble swordsman who wish to give their weapons a magical aura. It is a high sign of nobility and status if one is seen with an Ether Guard on his weapon of choice.
All these more common items aside, the main focus for the development of Ether technology is for military use. Strange weapons and armour are constantly being developed and tested in the yards and research facilities on the grounds of Ayer College. Large suits of armour walk and/or roll out of their gates on a regular basis, being magically imbued by the work of Ether. With highly trained pilots steering the impressing pieces of technology while sitting inside a cramped control chassis from within, guiding the hulking armours towards battle and the never-ending fight to protect their beloved empire.
Another piece of military weaponry developed by Ayer College is the Volthammer Rifle. A rarely seen example of a fully functional rifle in the world of Fyria. This weapon uses specially developed Ether rods to fire concentrated beams of energy at unfortunate targets. Both short and long-range versions of the Volthammer are currently in circulation amongst the military, mostly in the hands of specialized troops and high ranking officers. Though these prototypes are few and are currently in the field testing phase of development.
The Empire of Aldelgis is very guarded, and Elric is much the same, staying cloistered within the Wulfetier Circlet. They primarily only trade and export items between cities and villages within their own empire only must need items are imported from other countries and only when it is required. The Empire trade in gold, mined ores, and commonly grown crops like squash, potatoes, and brewers hop when exporting and trading with other nations. As such, other nations view Aldelgis and it's capital Elric as snobbish people unwilling to join a growing trade market between the nations of the west coast. Though many Aldegian believe this to be a necessary action in order to protect themselves and their rare assets from theft and possible violence.
DefencesThe city has stood undefeated for hundreds of years, with barely a scratch to its name. This is in part thanks to the Wulfetier Circlet that grants a massive defensive advantage, shielding the capital from would be attackers for all but the eastern road. However, the mightiest defence the city has at its disposal is the impenetrable Edler Shield that surrounds it upon word of an emergency from the Empress, her council, or a select few high ranking officials in the military. Once word, has been given, all citizens are commanded inside their homes, if they are unable to return in the short time given they are left outside the walls of the city without any potential entryway back, they must wait until the emergency ends and the shield drops. This shield is powered by a gigantic ether crystal that sits affixed to the top of Volkhardt Castle. When the shield is activated a bright beam of light erupts from the crown of the crystal shooting hundreds of feet into the air before stopping and spreading to the far reaches of the city. Eventually ending several hundred feet away from the border of the city, creating a nearly impenetrable wall of force for the people of Elric to lie in wait within, protected from any potential threat. The largest downfall to this strategy is that it cuts off the supply chain the city relies on to feed its citizens. And though the supply stores of Elric are vast, they will not last forever.
GeographyThe Crown City of Elric is located in the northwestern-most region of Aldelgis. The city is surrounded by an enormous ring of mountains called the Wulfetier Circlet. These mountain ranges are laden with materials used by the citizens, builders, and artisans of the city. All of which is mined in a continuous 24-hour cycle by an enormous squad of miners. These mines carry all sorts of mineral and ore, including copper, iron, gold, silver, and zinc. Though the most precious and sought after resource are Ether Crystals. A resource so rare that according to common knowledge the only place they exist is the Wulfetier Circlet surrounding Elric. Dozens of freshwater rivers flow down from the mountains around the city, providing plenty of drinkable water, some of these rivers flow into small pools and lakes that surround the city. One of the largest rivers, the Ryth River, flows in a single stream from an unknown location within the mountains peaks, all the way down, working its way towards the capital, making it one of the easiest sources of water for locals living on the southern side of town to reach. Afterwards, it continues running eastward past the city, running for hundreds of kilometres until finally emptying out into Rickard Lake several days southeast of Elric. Travellers to and from the city can easily follow this river either way and eventually find civilization. As Elric lies to its western end, and the small fishing village of Lynst lies on the banks of Rickard Lake to the southeast.
Elric is nestled tightly into the western side of the Wulfetier Circlet, its back flanked by the rocky steeps of the mountain range. The city itself is layered, consisting of four levels. The first level starts in the easternmost point of the town, this is where many of the lower, poorer citizens live and work, conducting their lives the best they can. This is where Aldelgis's cross-national path ends/begins running directly from the cities gates all the way to the easternmost cities of the empire. Travelling this road the entire way would take nearly a month to complete on foot but is regularly patrolled by empire guards. This first level also stretches around the other levels of the city, allowing those above to peer down on this portion of town. The westernmost part of the first level connects to dozens of mines where miners work day and night harvesting ore and priceless Ether Crystals from the ground.
The second level of Elric is where most business and trade is conducted, dozens of markets, spas, and workshops hum with activity and life. Scattered throughout these businesses are the small apartments where the business owners and their families live. These structures are tall and typically made of wood and stone, many housing several families in one building. Luckily the convenience of the dwellings and relative comfort of the community quells most squabbles that may potentially arise due to the tight living conditions. A large church to Illdyr also resides on this level, it is by far the most popular church in the city, seeing upwards of 1'000 worshippers praying in their chapel daily.
The third level is where Ayer College and the manufacturing and development facilities reside. Though it is smaller in size when compared to the previous two levels it still houses almost 20'000 citizens, mainly military personnel and in training technomancers, researchers, and historians.
The fourth and final level is strictly reserved for the Empress, the royal family, the council, and the lucky few granted special permission by any of those stated previously. If you pass through the gated archway of this floor you will find yourself in the Grand Gardens surrounding Volkhardt Castle. This immense structure has been the home of the ruling family of Elric since the dawn of the Aldelgis Empire. The castle having been built for the first ruler of the empire, Emperor Arlof Volkhardt after he valiantly slew the dragon that once lived in the Wulfetier Circlet near what is now the castle grounds.
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