A Connected City
The glorious City of Concord is without a doubt one of the most significant locations in all of Existence. Located within the Concordian Valley, it is considered to be nigh-infinite in size, as making an exact estimation of its scope is considered a futile endeavor due to its constant change in size, albeit minuscule. Someone once made a good comparison of it to that of a flower; that the City itself is the flower bud and the valley is the flower petals. Part of one whole yet separated in their differences. A cosmopolitan Demiplane within a Plane of Existence that takes on the appearance and feel of the countryside.
It has existed for countless eons and its history and culture is as diverse as its populace. It never sleeps and never stops growing. Here, the lowliest thief can walk the same pathway as a Divinity, each with their secrets and agendas.
A living organism
Who built Concord? It is a topic of great debate and discussion that has been attempted to be solved by scholars over its long existence. Something that has only lead to theories and no concrete answers. One of the more popular theories out there is known as the Urban Organism Theory, which says that Concord — and subsequently the Concordian Valley — once was something akin to the mythical Plane Seeds. Near the Dawn of Time, it was placed in a Void Cavern and left to grow by the Creator Himself.
The only proof of this even being a possibility are cryptic mentions by the Divinities, the Shardholders and Guardian Himself.
However, due to the nature of Concord and the Concordian Valley, this theory does hold some merit and people are directed towards the Outer City Wall when they ask about possible proof. Usually, they will also be accompanied by a firm believer in the theory that will explain it.
Along the Outer City Wall, entire city blocks will crop up, adding to the already immense size of the City. It is something that occurs gradually over the course of several decades, though instances where the it all happens over a few weeks have been reported.
Despite this, the City has come no closer to the Concordian Forest or the Old Reminiscent Gates. Nor has the size of the farmlands been reduced. When asked about this, a majority will most likely answer that the Black Decay is responsible; a sort of corruption or sickness that affects the City's more abandoned and deteriorated areas which are then expunged in some manner and added to the Black Sooth City.
The architectural design of the newly added city-blocks can vary widely from what has already been built, though the same cannot be said about the type of infrastructure. Be it a series of family houses, factories, warehouses or perhaps even a sprawling Gate Baazar, it appears very thought out, something that might not be noticeable at first.
The Goblins are the ones who are believed to be behind the construction, but according to several witness reports of both a professional and a civilian nature, their appearance does not always result in construction advancements.
The second unknown reason is connected by certain individuals to the City's personification: a supposed entity known as Concordia. Whatever the reason is, it is why many citizens, who have lived in Concord for many years, keep themselves away from the newly built city-blocks for at least several months if they can help it. Most of the populace calls it the Seven Months of Acclimatization, which ends in a fairly high-spirited two-day-long festival known as an Acclimatization Festival.
Concorida and the Concordia Corona Cult
Despite what one might say about the Urban Organism Theory, it is well-accepted that Concord is alive in at least some fashion. That some essence oversees both the City and the Valley. This belief is taken up by one of the oldest cults in the City and one would be excused if one took it for one of its main religions. Quite a few even consider it to be one of the City's main religions, even though they do not have the numbers. At least according to official statistics.
This Cult, known as the Concordia Corona Cult by some, has personified Concord with the Divinity Concordia, an entity whose existence none of the Divinities of the Divine High Court have acknowledged. But they haven't denied anything either.
Concordia Corona uses the Urban Organism Theory and says that Concordia was born from the Plane Seed that birthed Her physical form, though if this was the case then would not every plane of existence have its own personified entity? This is the most common counterargument, one that has ironically enough been embraced with open arms by the cult, who has made up quite the pantheon.
The Black Decay and the Black Sooth City
Does the Concordian Corona Cult offer more proof than just theories? If one asks the more scholarly of the cult members, they will point to the Black Decay and the Black Sooth City. For those in the unknown, there exist a wast city complex beneath Concord's cobblestone streets that is only accessible through certain pathways. Old, decrepit city blocks melded together in a twisted, warped manner. Only City areas hit by diseases and conflicts, and which has been more or less abandoned, are the most frequently to be swallowed by ground and added to the underground city.
Fortunately, this whole process can and has been stopped and reversed but it demands a lot of attention by the populace. It is almost as if the Concord wants the area to be lived in and be appreciated, not left to abandon and ruin. There is an intelligence behind all this, and the Concordian Cult members say is the personification of the City: Concordia.
People of nearly all races and cultures can be found within the City walls. A fair amount of them has grown up in the here, and it is a number that slowly but steadily increases every year. The majority, however, are immigrants from either one of the two Nexus Worlds, or from one of the infinite numbers of Alterations that exist out there. How these people have ended up in the City of Gates differs from person to person. It should be noted, that a significant number did not arrive in the city of their own free will. Some, such as Morgan the Bounty Hunter, have been abducted by cults or other societies, while others, like Astiri Astra, have simply found themselves in either the Valley or somewhere in Old Reminiscence and then taken to Concord by a citizen, without any memories of how they ended up there.
It is not known exactly how many people live in the City, though it is at least several million. Many have joined one or more of the City's uncountable Guilds and other types of organizations, such as the Anvilites' Guild or the Phasma Ecto Cult. Others have joined one of the City's governmental bureaucracy and administrative elements, such as the Concordian Knights of Peace.
The City is primarily divided into several Districts, each of which is overseen by a Guild. At the center of a District there lies a Headquarter where individuals of similar mindsets and interests will amass during special events. Depending on the type of Guild, the Districts differ widely in size as well as appearance. Some might be the size of large towns, while others are as small as villages, or even hamlets.
From time to time, conflicts known as Guildwars will break out in the City, usually between two coalitions containing several guilds each. If matters are resolved quickly and without too much bloodshed, the winning Districts will usually grow in size. If it drags out with much bloodshed, there is a real possibility that both coalitions might find themselves disbanded by the Concordian Knights of Peace. These conflicts also have a high risk of making city areas attract the Black Decay.
Everything is Connected.
What connects most of the Districts with each other are impressive building complexes known as Gate Bazaars. They house the Gates, which mainly located on the main floor, that allows access to the two Nexus Worlds and their Alterations, as well as their respective Planes of Existence.
Besides the Gates, they also house a wealth of different stores, including tailors, blacksmiths and book shops to name a few. An abundance of rooms can be found in these buildings as well; some of them might appear recently used as if their occupants had just gone away on an errand. Others look like they haven't been used in millennia.
Inside the Bazaars, one first discovers complicated labyrinths of streets-wide corridors. It should be noted that some of these go deep below ground level and even fewer leads to the Caves of Discord far underneath the City.
Most of the street wide corridors are also lined up with mostly similar-looking stone doors, which in turn leads to rooms of various sizes; if one is lucky, or unlucky depending on who is asked, that room might contain a Gate. If it is activated or not is another matter entirely.
Not all Districts are connected via Bazaars. Some are connected to the so-called Crossroads; city squares or garden parks. They differ in size, but most contain at least one of everything: One Gate, one market, one guard post and one bottomless well. During Guildwars, these are locations where most open conflicts occur and thus are most prone to Black Decay.
The Ruler of the City
The ruler of Concord is the mysterious being known as the Veiled Lady, who is said to have been appointed by Guardian Himself. She wasn't the first ruler of the City but it is assumed that nobody except the Shardholders, the Divinities and the Primordial Gods remember that time. Crumbling papers in old dusty archives hint at at least three former rulers, the first of which is believed to have been the Creator Himself.
Regarding the Veiled Lady, nobody is quite sure who she really is, what her name is or her history. Not even the Divinities. The only beings that might know this is Architect as well as Guardian, though the former has supposedly said to not know. The cult of Concordia Corona claims she is the personification of the City itself, while others say she is an unknown Firstborn and thus a sister to both Origin and Guardian. She could even be the oldest living Mountain Lord for all one could know.
The Concordian Palace
The Veiled lady resides in the largest building in the City, the Concordian Palace where the majority of the city's government is located. She has the last say in all matters of the state and can enact any laws and edicts. Underneath her exist the Council of Ministers, which is made out of representatives of all the governmental branches and also acts as the main advisors to the Veiled Lady. Besides that exists the Chamber of Guildmasters where representatives of all the City's Guilds can attend and vote in certain matters to have their voice heard.
The World City, City of Thousand Worlds, The City of Gates, City of Discord
Related Tradition (Primary)
Characters in Location