Poems are written about her golden walls and white homes, war are waged for her fertile lands. Her temples rise out of the sands to pierce the sky in every weather. Senet'tu assures the soul that humanity might very well stand forever.Once the center of a powerful empire, Senet'tu is the oldest of all human cities still standing, set upon the fertile banks of the river Tajut in north east Sura. Though the times when Senet'tu ruled are long past the city remains one of the richest on Macalgra. It is sometimes called the "White Oasis" for the lime washed walls of its buildings and the desert that spreads out beyond it. Senet'tu is most famous for the titanic architecture of the Wa'Senet people, in the forms of tombs, palaces and temple complexes, and for mysterious The Godspire that stands at its heart. It is the second most populous city of the Sura Empire.
HistorySenet'tu was founded around 3000 RC, six thousand years ago. It was little but a small town for the next hundred years, farming the fertile soils brought by the annual floods. However a population boom and particularly fertile decade around 2600 RC allowed the city to grow, and it consolidated a number of its neighbours under the control of Senet'tu. In 2500 RC the small kingdom launched a military campaign that would over the next century unite most of northern Terrosea.
Sa'att will tell you, there are mysteries in the walls of this town. The stones whisper. They tell me things.Senet'tu's position as capital and center of the nation led to lavish spending. The Waenirth was erected as the royal residence around 2300RC, and the Noldutt by 2000 RC. The city was abandoned as royal capital in 1900 RC when the Thaesh, Viyaw, had Yekeen built for its fortified position. Senet'tu remained economically successful for centuries afterwards, even as Yekeen was burned and the kingdom collapsed in 1500 RC, but entered a long decline. By 10 RC, the city had been virtually abandoned and was the sole domain of the priesthoods of Hetu and Ahuronsu, with the civilian population preferring the new city of Heyentt nearby. The wealthy Kibmehhk family began the long project of revitalising the city in 211 YSB, demolishing many of the abandoned homes on its outskirts and building irrigation systems and grain storage. They transformed the cities outskirts into extremely productive farmland, and took the Weanirth as their personal residence. Their pioneering plan proved successful, as the Kibmehhk became extremely wealthy from the fruits of Senet'tu over the next century. They successfully vied for the throne of Pahlir in 421 YSB, and made Senet'tu the capital once again. With the Kibmehhk conquest of most of Terrosea in the 800s, Senet'tu entered a second golden age. The Noldutt doubled in size, and extensive new fortifications were built around the city. The Kibmehhk's empire was dismantled in 1258 YSB but Senet'tu remained an important city for the next century under a cadet branch of the family. It became a client of Sura in 1353 YSB, and the Kibmehhk finally lost their throne. A cadet branch of the Masil dynasty of Sura was installed as hereditary governors and Senet'tu has served as the Suran center of governance over northern Terrosea since. Though few notable events happened to the city over the next thousand years, it remained of economic and political importance. The Suran government had the cities temples renovated and rededicated in 2140 YSB when Suran and Wa'senet religion were united, and in 2987 YSB its fortifications were again rebuilt, surrounding the outer city with large sandstone walls, erecting a new keep, fortifying the Waenirth, and building a new port upon the Tajut. The city has since expanded beyond these new walls again.
The Tirhsh, they wanna keep it quiet. They don't like it when I tell stories. Keep your ears keen, I won't tell you twice. The Spire, its the key. They say god built it, pah, it's not some Suran god's boudoir.
The city has been ruled by the Tirhsh for the last two centuries, an appointed cousin of the Suran Emperor. They act as governor, and oversee the large bureaucracy that manages the agricultural land of the surrounding countryside. The city is the seat of government for its province as a result. Traditionally the Tirhsh is advised by the heads of the High Clans of the Wa'senet people. Though legally they have no requirement to take that advice, to ignore the High Clans endangers any ability for the Tirhsh to government effectively.
GeographyThe city is set straddling the river Tajut, surrounded by flat farmlands that eventually give way to sandy desert. Senet'tu itself is surrounded by golden sandstone walls in two rings, as is popular in Suran cities. The first ring were built over a thousand years ago at the cities height, surrounding the inner city. A second set of walls were built in 2897 YSB to surround the area where the city had since expanded, but its homes now spread out far beyond the protective barrier yet again. The river Tajut flows through the city center, and is the lifeblood of the city. It waters the fertile lands around Senet'tu, and is directed through many irrigation canals to reach the outer farms. Canals of the Tajut also snake under the city to various water catchments. Some of these are used as a form of transport during the high season, though they fall too low in summer.
LayoutThe city is divided into three segments by the nature of its walls. The inner city contains the most ancient part of Senet'tu, including its many temples and family shrines, the government complex (the Waenirth), the Noldutt (now dedicated to the One God), a military garrison, colossal grain stores, and a small number of the estates of the extremely wealthy. The Outer City is a square that contains almost the entire remainder of the city, and is divided between a number of districts. On the east side of the river, the city is dominated by pottery works, brick workshops, and the homes of the people who work there. The west side of the river is primarily residential, as well as a sprinkling of stores, markets and many more grain and water stores. There are also further administrative complexes. Outside the walls are a small number of minor manufacturies and the homes of farmers and the poor.
ArchitectureSenet'tu today is a mixture of the ancient Wa'Senet architectural styles, favouring angular, flat roofed homes with few windows, to protect against the sandstorms that strike Senet'tu. They are usually multilevel, though rarely more than four levels. Most are built of fired clay bricks, the material plentiful and harvested from the river banks. Exteriors are whitewashed. Stone is expensive and rare in Senet'tu, whose quarries were depleted in ancient times and where the land is relatively flat and sandy. Most stone buildings in Senet'tu are of considerable age and titanic size, including many of its temples. They are generally flat roofed and as angular as homes, but ornamented with decorative carvings and colonnades, and with great square pillared avenues serving as walkways upon approach. These old temples are extremely weathered with age, their inscriptions difficult to read and statues now featureless, but they are repainted yearly with murals of their deities.
I'll tell ya the rest when you buy me nother round. Best wine in the Empire, right here in Sura, but nothin's free. Right works an old man's purse down to empty, it does.
Senet'tu is reliant on its agriculture. It is capital of one of the most fruitful agricultural districts in the Suran Empire, but grain is not the only export of the city. Senet'tuan pottery, though not quite to the standards of products from Liang, is popular across the empire, and plentiful local clay has supported this industry. Senet'tu also produces bricks, fine glassware and papyrus and the economy is also supported by the military force stationed in the city by the Suran government.