Polanis (/ polanɪs /)
As you enter Polanis, you find yourself in a piece of Old Aeilla. By all appearances, a princely sight, Polanis' citadel sits upon a hill overlooking the rest of the city. Below you hear the sounds of a lively marketplace and see a crowded network of streets and squares leading to a bustling port.The city of Polanis is located on the horn of Cielon near the Bay of Storms. Often called the jewel of the East, Polanis is the largest city and the capital of the Exarchate of Polanis. It is one of the chief cities of the Aeillan region, a status it used to have in the Aeillan Empire. As one of the easternmost cities of the Aeillan region, it also serves as a gateway into the realm of Qua'adar.
Wards of PolanisPolanis has is comprised of five major wards, which are, as a rule, larger than the norm. The first and oldest of these wards is the Palace Ward, which is home to much of the important edifices of the state. The outer wards tend to be newer in comparison. The five wards of Polanis are as follows.
The Palace Ward: Situated on the hills overlooking the lower wards, the Palace Ward is the first, and oldest of Polanis' major wards. It is the location of the seat of the municipal government, the senate, and the palace of the Exarch itself. As well as many of its major attractions outside the market.
Cliffside: Near the Palace Ward itself, Cliffside is the home of the ancient aristocracy that has been at the top of the city's society since its foundation. True to the traditions of the Exarchate of Polanis, many of these aristocrats maintain extensive farming estates tended by large numbers of enslaved workers.
Port Ward: The wealthiest of the "lower wards" the port ward consists of the port of Polanis, and the surrounding commercial wards. It is here that one can contract financial services, conduct trade, and where one can find adventurers and mercenaries alike for hire.
New Ward: The New Ward is the poorest district of Polanis, and is filled with much of the urban poor. The populace here is often conscripted for major projects or work on farms in the areas outside of the city. The only thing of note here is the Eye of the Beholder tavern, a well-known tavern for low rent adventurers.
Outer Estates: The Outer Estates are part rural war, and part rural farming area with a lot of Polaris' population of free farmers taking up residence in the outermost regions of the city, and working in the fields further afield.
Important LocationsThe Temple of the Sun: The Polani Temple of the Sun, located in the Palace District is the religious heart of the city. Dedicated to the sun goddess Poleo, the Temple of the sun is the place to go to obtain clerical services. It is also home to a fairly extensive series of catacombs that occasionally prove to be a breeding ground for the undead.
The Megálo Théatro: The Megálo Théatro or Grand Theater is one of the largest theaters in the entire Aeillan region, and is seen as the heart of the Aeillan theater culture. Some say, however, that the Grand Theater's cutthroat competitiveness goes further than the merely artistic competition.
The Panepistímio Polanei: The Panepistímio Polanei or University of Polanis is the third, and newest of Aeilla's academic institutions. If one needed to obtain information about esoteric matters or appraise the value of ancient artifacts they would come here.
The Eye of the Beholder Tavern: Owned by an immigrant from Merida, the Eye of the Beholder has a reputation as an adventurer's tavern. Low rent adventurers or those down on their luck can come here and a chance meeting might bring them the employment to change their fortunes.
The city of Polanis is large, maintaining an active semi-permanent population of 62,116 residents, of which 51,212 are free residents, including 21,650 citizens of the Exarchate of Polanis, and 9,904 are either indentured or enslaved. Most of the population is composed of Aeillan humans, with a considerable minority of Hadar humans. The bulk of the nonhuman population includes half-orcs, half-elves, orcs, and kenku, most of whom are enslaved. Polanis is at least nominally home to the bulk of Polanis' merchant and noble classes with about 5,650 of the cities residents being from these classes.
As the seat of the Exarchate of Polanis, the city of Polanis is, at least nominally, directly owned by the Exarch, Kornelios II, himself. In practice, however, much of the power in Polanis is handed down to the Polani Senate, as well as a local administration consisting of educated scribes. Law is kept by a semiprofessional city watch and in the Palace District the Polani Hetairoi. A small, but slowly growing class of professionals maintain the sewers underneath the city.
Polanis is host to 400 soldiers of the Exarchate and additionally maintains a fairly sizable city watch that can serve Polanis' defense in a pinch. This is generally sufficient to drive off bandits and raiding parties. However being a fairly open city lacks static defenses, aside from an internal citadel, both of which are comparatively out of date. This does make it vulnerable to a concentrated attack.
Industry & Trade
The Exarchate of Polanis' chief industries are farming and fishing, for which Polanis itself serves as the central market hub in the Exarchate for long-distance traders. Polani markets often serve to exchange less perishable foodstuffs for spices, manufactured goods, and other luxury items that are hard to produce locally. Polanis' manufacturing center is nascent at best with the only organized facilities for mass production being an ironworks, and a small shipwright, both near the Port Ward.
Polanis is fairly primitive despite its comparatively massive size as a city. No Aqueducts currently provide water to Polanis. In spite of this, a basic sewer network does carry waste out to sea, keeping the streets of Polanis, at least in the wealthier districts, fairly clean. Polanis is one of the easternmost hubs of the old Imperial road network, with five major roads converging on Polanis itself near the Port Ward.
Guilds and Factions
Political discourse is dominated by three chief interests. The oldest of these, the agrarian aristocracy maintains most of the power, having a controlling share of the Polani Senate, as well as the backing of most of the priesthood. The burgeoning merchant class is the second of these, having some representation in the Senate, but with most of their power being derived from the Merchant's Guild, Porter's Guild, and the banks in the city. The last major power bloc comes in the form of the skilled tradesfolk who are largely represented by the Ironworks Guild, the Shipwrights Guild, and the Mason's Guild.
Formally founded in EF 17, the city of Polanis began its existence as a small fishing town. Its position dominating the south bank of the Bay of Maretal however, meant that it was in a good location to attract traders from both the east and west and from further up the Tyros River. Over a relatively short period, the population of Polanis massively expanded, and with those new resources, it gradually expanded its influence over a sizable territory, establishing one of the largest and most powerful Poleis on the Tyros River. Polanis was, however, slowly eclipsed in power by the growing Ilosi, and later Aeillan Republics eventually being subsumed by the Aeillan Republic in EF 450. It became an influential part of the Aeillan Republic, as one of the largest constituent Poleis of the east. As the Aeillan Republic transitioned to Empire following Marcus Argentius Aquilarius' coup, Polanis became the capital of the newly established Imperial Consulate of Polanis. Polanis would go on to serve as the eastern gate for the Empire throughout the whole of the Aeillan Empire's existence. When the Empire broke up, Polanis quickly established itself as a dominant power in East Aeilla, only losing one war, and a small portion of its territory to Iskandris shortly after the end of the 1st succession war. As the centuries have gone on, however, Polanis has been largely in a state of genteel decline, forgoing much of its political power as the population has become less and less militant due in large part to the relatively secure borders the Wider Exarchate has, and the relatively positional security of Polanis itself. Instead, Polanis secures its continued position as a "jewel of the east" by being the central commercial hub of much of the most productive farmland in the Aeillan region.
The city of Polanis is largely located on flat ground close to the Bay of Alexios. This was historically the old fishing town. However, as time moved on, and many outlying villages were subsumed much of the upper classes moved onto one of the hills overlooking the bay, and this became the Palace Ward, and cliffside, the oldest and most prestigious of the wards. On the lower flatlands, the lower wards formed the commercial and residential hubs for much of the population.