Merinos (City)

Constantly booming with noise and activity, Merinos is at the center of the Merinos City-state Trading Federation. It is one of the largest cities in the Cylinder, and the largest one in the Three Seas region and the Sheherp plains. Located on the estuary of the Mering River, it has been a populated area for the last two millennia. The Core district, centered around the Merinos Cartographic Library, is a place booming with cultural and scientific activities.   Merinos is one of the most important cities in the Cylinder. Heart of a tentacular trading network, it is the wealthiest political power, and it holds the most political influence on the rest of the world. What is more, the city is generally considered as the most culturally active, the most artistic, and the most technologically advanced one of the world. Its inhabitants are on average as wealthy as the local nobility of more remote regions, and have access to high levels of education. Yet, the city is also known for its corruption, and the tight relations between trading companies and mafias or unorganized militias.   As a modern and attractive haven, Merinos is home to various peoples and cultures. Nomadic and sedentary groups share the same streets, all contributing to the cultural diversity and unicity of the city.

Demographics

Cultural diversity

 
Merinos is a very attractive city, and many members of local aristocracy have followed trade routes to join the Great Hub over time. Thanks to that, the cultural diversity of the city is a good sample of that of the whole Cylinder. Hundreds of obscure languages and dialects are spoken, and the diversity of religions in the city is only equalled by the number of exotic restaurants and taverns one can find.   Of course, the main cultural group of the city is still the "common" one : most people claim themselves as part of that mixed up culture, and call themselves as members of the Merinite ethnicity. Merinites are descended from the three ethnic groups that originally formed Merinos : Coastrels, Sheherpers, and the nomadic Wandrels.   Because of its original influence, the city is globally a genderless society, similar to that of the Coastrels or the Wandrels. However, because of the cultural diversity, gender choices are politically acknowledged as a core cultural feat, and as such people coming from cultures that do have social genders are protected and recognized. Still, a lot of conservative families have a lot of difficulties to accept that. Having a gender is often criticized by old families, who regard it as a way to create a hierarchy between people, or to oversexualize them, or to educate mentally unstable children.
 

Wealth classes

 
Merinos is probably the richest city in the Cylinder, and this doesn't only affect its aristocracy. Almost every inhabitant is able to eat everyday, there are almost no homeless people, and people have access to basic facilities ranging from baths to gyms to hospitals. The median wealth of inhabitants is that of travelling merchants, which is to say it is roughly equal to the wealth of provincial nobility in the rest of the Cylinder. Thanks to that great level of wealth, as well as the presence of the Library, inhabitants have access to a much higher education than what is generally available in the rest of the Cylinder.   Even though the median wealth of the Merinian denizens is high, the city still presents inequalities, and its higher class is on a completely different level from the rest of the population. These richest people are large company owners, militaries, or religious, and most owe their wealth at least partly to some inheritance, as well as a favourited social background.   What is more, because of the city's attractivity, extensive slums have formed around its walls: peasants and poorer merchants coming from far away to seek fortune in Merinos often found out that the city is a way to get wealthier if you are already wealthy, but not necessarily a way to get wealthy if you have nothing to begin with.
 

Perrots

 
While Merinos has a relatively conservative stance toward Perrots, an estimated 650,000 of them permanently live under its jurisdiction. Unlike in the rest of the rest of the surrounding regions, Perrots are considered as sentient beings, and the purchase of selling of birds as slaves is prohibited since 5404 AR; though this has more to do with the possibility to collect taxes on birds than an actual care for emancipation. Perrots are still mandated to be registered in the Regulating office, and have a control collar similar to the one enslaved birds have.   While most of the birds in Merinos present the local red, gold and black color pattern, some more exotic birds coming from further away are also present, trying to succeed in the big city. Birds often work low wage jobs, such as messengers, cloth and jewel crafters, or servants; though wealthy Perrots exist in Merinos as much as anywhere else.   Because bird slavery is forbidden, paying a bird exclusively in Feather Coins is not allowed. However, a portion ranging from a quarter to two thirds of a bird's wage is in Feather Coins. Indeed, thanks to agreements with the Regulating Office, the cost of a Merinos Feather block for the employer is slightly lower than its actual value, as part of it is contained in a mandatory tax for the Perrot regulating office.   Thanks to the quality of the Merinos healing house for Perrots and birds, as well as the great density of Shamans and doctors in the bird districts, Merinian Perrots are said to have some of the highest lifespan and general health in the Cylinder, only bested south of the Crescent Sea.

Government

Merinos is considered as a corporocracy : it is governed by a Council that is formed by the industries of the city. The number of sieges available for an industry is decided by a complex calculation of its wealth, the number of people it employs, and the political unrest of the moment. The way the sieges are filled by an industry depend on the industry and its guilds and unions.   For more information on the Merinos government, please read this more detailed article about its organization.

Maps

  • Map of Merinos

    The city of Merinos, one of the most pluricultural cities in the Cylinder. Capital of a trading empire that spans across the entire Cylinder, its economic wealth is equaled only by the greed of its bourgeois elite. The city is famous for its mysterious Great Library, one of the Cylinder's greatest centers of science and magic, as well as it is known for its amalgamated slums in the Block district.

Alternative Name(s)
the River Fort, the Great Hub
Type
Large city
Population
2,350,000 Humans, 650,000 Perrots, 50,000 Condors
Inhabitant Demonym
Merinians
Location under
Merinos Coast
Owning Organization
Merinos City-state
Related Professions
Urban area (walls) : 100 sq. km   Urban area (slums) : 180 sq. km

Defences

  Ever since the signing of the Merring Delta Protection Act, every small settlement in the delta has to participate to its protection. Although each settlement used to be free to choose its own methods of conscription, the Three Coastal Wars led the city-state to enforce a general conscription system. Currently, every intelligent being under the Merinos City-state jurisdiction has to spend 1 year of military training in the Merring delta watch before their thirtieth birthday.   The Land defenses of the city consist in two layers of walls, linked together by stone arches, and separated by two branches of the delta. Although this information has not been disclosed by the Delta Watch, it is suspected that in these walls are contained several dark magic spells and enchantments aimed at slowing down any enemy approach.   It has to be mentionned that even though the city is, indeed, walled, the urban area extends nowadays beyond these walls. However, a lot of that urban area is part of The Slums, populated with peasants and people without enough money to make fortune in the city. Since most military threats currently come from the sea, this is not considered a major issue, and most of the Delta Watch's activity tends toward monitoring the Crescent Sea activity.      

History

Foundation

  The Merinos urban area became first inhabited in two locations. In the north of the Merinos delta, a group of Sheherpers created a Cowttle farming village around 4350 AR, village that progressively grew organically. Several foundation myths exist around the regions, talking about epic battles with Shadow Creatures and forbidden knowledge, but the region is generally thought to have been inhabited for a longer time.   In the South of the modern city, the coasts were largely inhabited by Coastrels at least since the 3500s AR. Over time, villages merged together to form a semi-continuous fishing band along the Crescent sea.   Although the mythical founding of the city is associated with the large Sheherp village in the North, it is thought that said village was initially named Mickelton, in the name of the village first leader. The word Merinos is thought to be a derivative from Merring (the ocean ring), which was the name given to the large band of fishing villages along the Merinos coast. The name Merring itself is suspected to have been an abbreviation of something similar to 'the Herring ring', named as such because of the initial source of fish in the delta.    

Wandrel expansion

In 4700 AR, Whaling began as a lucrative activity along the Merinos Coast. This activity attracted Wandrel families, interested in trading with the Merring Fisheries. The frequent proximity of Wandrels led to the construction of several Tulous between Merring and the now large Mickelton village in the north of the delta. Over time, some Wandrel families built permanent family settlements within Merinos, as they began to mostly trade in the delta, and only send smaller groups to trade with other groups.    

Unification

As the region became richer and more densely populate, it also became increasingly attractive for foreign aristocracies and raiding groups. In 4810 AR, the Merring Delta protection act was signed by representatives of all of the Delta, who swore to join forces against invaders. This act decided the creation of a loose government of representatives from the different industries of the Delta, that was to supervise the creation of fortifications around the delta and to manage conflicts within the Delta and out of it.   More information on the city's history can be found in the related timeline.    

Architecture

 

General architecture

  Over the millennia of its long history, the architecture of Merinos evolved a lot. However, a large part of that architecture cannot be observed in the city anymore. This is partly due to the fact that a large proportion of the buildings are made out of wood, as well as to the fact that most heavy buildings tend to either sink in the delta, or are built above. Nonetheless, some buildings such as the Library, the Anima Cathedral, the Citadel, or the Merinos Fort are more than several hundred years old and still standing strong.     The city's main building materials are wood, and sandstone. Wood and clay are also used together for the walls of some buildings, particularly in the Sheherp districts North of town. What is more, more exotic materials such as red tiles can be seen on the roof of some occasionnal buildings as well, especially near the docks or on the east in the Middelborough.     Because of the massive Wandrel influence in the city, a great number of buildings and squares can be found that are a sort of stone, sedentary version of the wooden Tulous that the Wandrels build and move around. In some areas, streets are almost non existent, as almost every building consist in circular tulous linked to one another through bridges. The large district called The Block, west of town, mostly consists in several layers of buildings and arches build one above the other, joined with paved bridges. This allows for a large population density, and The Block is generally estimated to host roughly a third of Merinos, even though it represents just a sixth of its area.     In higher class districts, streets are more well-defined, and are generally paved with sandstone. Even if the streets are relatively large, they are rarely convenient to move by cart or by steed. As a result, most Merinians walk virtually everywhere they need to go in town.   As it is in a lot of cities, Merinos has a large bird district. Featherton is its name, and it is located on the west of the city close to the large Anima Cathedral park. The district is fairly easy to recognize, and to spot from afar. It consists in particularly tall and thin sandstone towers up to seventy meters high, that often join to one another near the top. Those towers are full of small houses and shops accessible almost exclusively by flying, with the exception of the Central Stairs.      

Other districts

  Merinos is a large and old city. In addition to the several districts already named, others parts of town have their distinct characteristics.  
  • The Library district is where the Merinos Cartographic Library is located. Or rather, it is built on the library itself, given how colossal and deeply buried the structure is. The district is generally full of life. Scholars, students, as well as the people making sure that students and scholars don't work themselves to starvation all live around there, which allows for frequent parties, festivals, and magical accidents. The district is often thought to be almost independant from the city, and it is partly true : its markets provide themselves with their own roads, most of the Library district's corportations are specific to that district, and a lot of people do not even move far away from the library at all.
  • The Political citadel is the political center of Merinos. The City Council gathers in the citadel, and a large amount of corporations have built their palace close to that area. The area surrounding the citadel is often called Minastershire. Its old and fancy houses and manors are mostly owned by the higher class of Merinos : the one that goes to opera and would not see the issue with throwing away a fancy suit that has a small drip of fat on the left sleeve. The neighborhood is also close to the Anima Cathedral in the west, the cult place of the The City Anima Cult in the Cylinder.
  • South of the citadel is the Great Mart. It consists in a gigantic square, where exchanges of goods from all around the world are made. it is close to the Sports Village, where several circus and competitions take place throughout the year as a mean to entertain citizens or aristocrats.
  • The Park Island is on the center of Merinos. It is a relatively small island of the delta, that has been left untouched. Although it was inhabited by Wandrels and Sheherpers in the past, it is officially protected as a natural and spiritual area since the 5200s AR.
  • South of the island is the Sea Fort district. It is the military core of Merinos, where armed ships are built and the Watch is trained. It is also the diplomatic harbour of the city, where representatives of other countries land when they are on mission to Merinos.
  • The Sea fort is surrounded by the historic Coastrel settlements. The coastline, called Fish Farms (East and West), is full of typical whaling camps, taverns, and traditionnal coastrel houses made out of wood, sand and cloth. Several historic Coastrel spiritual places can also be visited or seen there.
  • Close to the Sea Fort, one can also stumble on the Southern Sails community neighborhood. This is a cultural hub, where many festivals and art expositions occur throughout the year.
   

Articles under Merinos (City)



Cover image: by Pouaseuille
  • 3500 AR


    First settlements
    Founding

    The first traces of Coastrels fishing settlements along the Merinos Coast

    Related Location
    Merinos (City)
  • 4350 AR


    Foundation myth
    Founding

    The mythical foundation of Merinos by a family of Cowttle farmers that allegedly manage to take over a Masked Shadow Surface post on their own, without any help.

    Related Location
    Merinos (City)
    Related article
  • 4680 AR

    4700 AR



    First whaling event in the Merinos coast
    Cultural event

    This is the first event of whaling in the Merinal Coasts that is recorded in the Merinos Great archives. Although the exact location is uncertain, the dates and the hunting methods are precisely described.

    Related Location
    Merinos Coast
  • 4821 AR


    Merring Delta protection act
    Political event

    The first official document that acknowledged the need to join forces between Wandrels, Coastrels, and Sheherpers, to protect the modern Merinos Delta from foreign invasions.

  • 4985 AR


    Foundation of the Crescent coast Whaling Union
    Founding

    The Crescent coast whaling union is founded by a consortium of whaling camps in the Merinian coasts.

    Related Location
    Merinos Coast
  • 5034 AR

    5037 AR



    Construction of the Drying Tree whaling camp
    Construction beginning/end

    The Drying tree whaling camp, oldest whaling camp of the Merinos Trade federation, is built after the burning of a fishing Perrot camp.

    Related Location
    The Drying Tree whaling camp
  • 5120 AR


    Foundation of the Merinos Cartographic Guild
    Founding

    The Merinos Cartographic Guild is founded by the gathering of scholar societies wishing to share knowledge and funding.

    Related Location
    Merinos (City)
  • 5224 AR


    Foundation of the Merinos City-state trading federation
    Political event

    The leaders of the Merinos Trade Empire take over the city of Merinos, and create the independent trading federation that Merinos currently is.

  • 5227 AR


    Foundation of the Perrot regulating office
    Founding

    The Perrot regulating organization is created on the demand of both traditionalist Merinians afraid of a Perrot invasion, and Perrots wanting to be listened to by the City.

    Related Location
    Merinos Coast
  • 5237 AR


    Inclusion of the Perrot league in the Merinos government
    Political event

    The Merinos Perrot regulating office is given political power inside of the City state council.

    Related Location
    Merinos Coast
  • 5269 AR


    First Coastal War
    Military action

    Overpowered by the Three seas empire, Merinos loses most of its shoreline, only managing to keep hold of the Merring delta.

    Related Location
    Merinos Coast
  • 5276 AR


    Inclusion of the MCG in the Merinos government
    Political event

    For the first time, a Merinos Cartographic Guild representative is allowed to seat in the Merinos City-state Council. This event is not a recognition of the importance of the Library for the City , which was never put at doubt, but rather a recognition of the importance of the City for the well-being of the librarians.   This event was particularly regarded as a victory by the Cartographic Guild, as it is an official acceptation that the Guild is indeed the valid owner of the Library. In the past, members of the several Merinos guilds and companies traded and communicated independantly with the library, weakening the grip of the Cartographic Guild on the library.

    Related Location
    Merinos (City)
  • 5301 AR

    5303 AR



    Second Coastal war
    Military action

    The Merinos City state, helped by various mercenaries, manages to retake the Merinal Coasts from the Empire of the Three Seas.

    Related Location
    Merinos Coast
  • 5303 AR

    5325 AR



    Construction of the Merinal Fortifications
    Construction beginning/end

    The currently famous fortifications that protect all of the Merinos Coasts are built.

    Related Location
    Merinos Coast
    Additional timelines
  • 5341 AR


    Rise of the MCG influence
    Political event

    After their creation of the Northern Wool trading route, and the development of the Shadow biofuel motors, the Merinos Cartographic Guild reaches the same political power as the Central Whaling Company, one of the largest trading corporation of the Merinos City-state.

  • 5389 AR

    5409 AR



    Third Coastal War
    Military action

    The Trisean Empire tries to colonize the now powerful Merinos City-state. After the first particularly violent attack, the campaign turns into a maritime defensive war, and ends up with the defeat of the Trisean Empire. The loss of resources caused by the war led to starvation and poverty across the Empire, and ultimately caused its collapse.

  • 5404 AR

    45
    Thymmer

    Abolition of ownership
    Political event

    The purchase and ownership of Perrots in Merinos is abolished after some pressure by the regulating office. From this day, it becomes mandatory to pay birds with a wage that includes regular money as well as Feather Coins.

    Related Location
    Merinos (City)
  • 5412 AR


    Foundation of the Foodcorp
    Founding

    The Merinos general food road is founded by a consortium of taverns, and sheperds from the Sheherp plains.

    Related article
  • 5540 AR

    5543 AR



    Ghost Angers
    Military action

    During a period of 3 years, the frequency and violence of Masked Ghosts ambushes in the Sheherping plains are increasing.   The attacks finally suddenly stop, for an officially unknown reason.

  • 5550 AR

    5556 AR



    Great Federic Crusade
    Military action

    One of the most violent conflicts in modern history, the Great Federic war opposed humans and non-humans across the entire Temperate Band. While the series of conflicts recently ended, it seriously deteriorated the relations between humans and Perrots in numerous regions of the world.

    Related Location
    The Temperate Band

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