Spathos (/ spɒθos /)
The city of Spathos even from several kilometers away appears as a bastion. An endless series of fortifications dug out of the farm fields, leading up to the impressive walls of the city. Once you are through the walls themselves, the environment changes, with the sounds of commerce and culture replace the stark militarism, and quiet pastoralism of the outside world.The city of Spathos formerly known as the Western gate stood for a long time as the westernmost major city of the Aeillan civilization. As a result, Spathos developed an intense warrior culture with the city producing many of Aeilla's finest soldiers and military officers. It is still one of the most influential cities in Aeilla, especially within the more sparsely populated western territories of the region.
Wards of SpathosSpathos has 5 major wards, each of which have a number of precincts under their purview. Three of these wards are ancient, and two, the New Town, and Workhome were established fairly recently as migrants flock into the city looking for work in the small but growing manufactory scene.
Palace Ward: The first and oldest of Spathos' wards, the Palace Ward is centered around the Palace itself, and most of the religious centers of the city. It is the political heart of the city.
Port Ward: An older ward that was formally established when Spathos transitioned from a frontier city to part of the central trading districts, here the trade ships offload their goods for sale in the city, or transport overland to smaller towns nearby.
Market Ward: The market ward and its numerous interwoven streets make up the economic heartland of the city, with the various merchant stalls and workman's shopfronts providing a respectable amount of goods for trade, even if it lacks in a traditional agora.
The New Town: Steadily built up as the impoverished peoples from the countryside moved into the city looking for work, and were shuffled into the workhouses that had been hastily constructed adjacent to the wall.
Work Home: The first of Spathos' districts to be built outside the city wall, this district centered around a handful of brand new manufactories have provided the first minor industrial infrastructure to Spathos.
Important LocationsThe Mustering Fields: A general public space in southern Spathos technically to be utilized to muster the city's militias, Stratelogi, or other soldiers for drills, it has slowly evolved into a public space that gets used for festivals and some market days as well.
The Temple of Io: One of the oldest and most important religious buildings, the Temple of Io, goddess of Victory, is a major stopping point for pious adventurers and those seeking clerical services.
The Armory: An old building in the Palace Ward, the armory is the central storehouse for the city militia, frequently the target of robberies, the city government will pay handsomely for adventurers willing to protect it or supplement the city watch in doing so.
The Bard's Rest: An adventurer's tavern located close to the docks, this is generally the go-to place to pick up contracts handed out by the city's employers. It also has a reputation of being the best place in Spathos to hear live music.
The Works: A small building located near the border between the Palace Ward and the Port Ward, the Works are, nominally at least the central hub for the sewers, but in actuality have long since been seized by the Thieve's Guild as a base of operations.
The Bank of Spathos: A prominent financial institution that is one of the chief financiers of political activities in western Aeilla, and in Gallaca.
The city of Spathos is home to over 137,00 residents about one in ten (13,152) residents are considered full citizens with large populations of noncitizen freemen (66,981), and slaves (56,989). The bulk of the population is human, with Spartharoi Aeillans themselves being the dominant human ethnicity, with small smatterings of other, mostly Aeillan, human ethnic groups rounding out much of the population. The city's enslaved population is mostly nonhuman, however, with large numbers of Aarumites and Terruk peoples abducted from their own societies living in the area.
The city government, to the extent such an institution can be said to exist, revolves almost entirely around the Exarchissa, Anna Deletrios being an iron-willed, and powerful woman having centralized almost all authority in the heart of her domain to herself. As nobody rules along, however, she has employed a small civil service, mostly for the purposes of tax collection and law enforcement, which she treats largely as extensions of herself.
Spathos is largely an agrarian and mercantile hub though it does maintain a modest (for the size of the city) network of skilled craftspeople and a successful financial sector. Spathoi markets are robust, but unexceptional for an Aeillan city, and as such one can find the usual, locally produced craftwork, foreign spices, and very rarely magic items, though those are usually made on commission.
Industry & Trade
The city of Spathos has a relatively underdeveloped infrastructure, especially for an interior Aeillan settlement. Due to the influences of a long line of conservative rulers, Spathos really only developed a proper road network. Water management infrastructure and lighting, while extant are found largely only within the wealthiest parts of the city, with the poor, and even middling districts no better developed than the urban denizens of other, more backward human civilizations.
The city of Spathos has long prided itself on a vast and modern wall network, using the latest fortification techniques to improve fields of fire and resist cannonball, and fireball in equal measures, and even artillery mounted for the express purposes of killing Wyverns and Dragons all over the wall. Additionally, Spathos can count on an extensive city militia, a full tagma of Penandroi, most of the Exarchate's Hetairoi, and a large city watch to defend the city if attacked.
Guilds and Factions
Under the iron grip of Anna Deletrios, factionalism in Spathos is nearly extinct. The only groups that can come close to rivaling her authority are the Navigator's Guild responsible for organizing the city's skilled sailors, and the priesthood of the city's various temples, if they could break away from their own tendencies toward factionalism. Otherwise, the only force that could oppose the rule of the government, the city's military, lies firmly in the hands of the Exarchessa herself.
The city of Spathos was one of the later founded major Aeillan cities, being founded only several centuries into the Forging Era, as the Ilosi civilization had long since begun to flourish. Spathos itself was initially a relatively small fishing village on the outskirts of the ancient and powerful Yulanis' sphere of influence, but slowly grew into a small, but a prosperous city. In the latter days of the Ilosi Republic, Spathos was eventually subsumed into the growing state and took on greater importance as the "western gate" of Aeillan civilization, developing a fierce and independent warrior culture as a result. During the era of the Aeillan Empire, the city of Spathos would continue to grow in power and importance, eclipsing even the power of Yulanis. This trend would continue even as the boundaries of the Empire continued to spread further and further west, as Spathos had produced some of the finest soldiers in all of the Empire. All of this success military came at a cost, however, as the city of Spathos became increasingly reliant on slave labor to feed itself. During the days of the Feloran Invasions, the city of Spathos would become one of the main uses of resistance in casting off Feloran shackles and set itself up as the capital of one of the most powerful successor states after the Empire's fall. In the post-Imperial period, Spathos has waxed and waned in power, throughout its conflicts with its neighbors, seizing vast swathes of territory from Falemesia and Halion, notably weak, yet losing one of its most important cities and most of its access to the Ilos to Nikea. As the Deletrioi took power, the city became somewhat demilitarized and relaxed as the early Deletrioi sought relative peace and isolation. Anna, however, reversed this trend taking up the warrior standard of old.
The city of Spathos is situated on a great plain bordering the sea, with a sizable and safe natural harbor to its western flank, and some of the most fertile farmland in all of Aeilla, on all of its other sides. This has allowed the city to grow to immense size, but the lack of natural defenses has meant that throughout the city's history, the people have relied on the walls for protection, and indeed it was only fairly recently that the city has begun to expand beyond it.