The Great Shipyard
On the 168th day of our expedition, we arrived at the Human kingdom Maqenid's capital: Bristanaq. Among all the sien-grisso cities that I saw, it was by far one of my favorites. Even if our White Castle is, of course, higher and more beautiful, Maqenid's king lives in a wonderful domain overlooking the city and the sea below it. Its sight immediately made me wonder if Maqenid's people could hear his voice from the streets too. Ah, I really miss my home.Bristanaq is the coastal capital of Maqenid, one of the 5 countries that form the Seaglow Coalition. It is located on the northernmost point of both Maqenid and Aiqura, the continent where the Coalition thrives. The kingdom being renowned for its fleet for centuries now, Bristanaq is the birthplace of many of the ships used by the Coalition in the war against the Ivering Empire.
Dinio Glen Renta, member of the first Géroun expedition to Human lands.
Layout and districtsThe city stretches on a few kilometers along the coast. Three large islands were linked by bridges to the mainland and now serve as districts of the capital. The islands, surrounded by sharp rocks form a protective shell for the inner bay where most of the boats are parked.
GreywatchArchitectural prowess and home to the king, Greywatch is one of the highest building on the continent and the first thing that comes to sight when approaching the capital. The castle is located on the south-western side of Bristanaq, atop a rocky hill, overlooking the whole city and its surroundings. Around and below the castle's foundations and towers are some of the wealthiest noble houses of the realm. They live directly next to the royal family as permanent members of the court. Right next to their domains and roads are marvelous terraced gardens that give color and floral scents to the streets they surround. Within the castle are a few observation points, as the Bristanaq would be the Coalition's next bastion if the base on the Seaglow island was to fall.
The UplandsThe Uplands are the western side of the city, starting from the bottom of Greywatch. It is where the rest of the wealthiest domains and homes of the city are. The local barracks are on the north-west, followed by the first line of coastal defenses, mostly made of long-range cannons. Further north is the bridge to Flicker, one of the three islands of the city. There can be found a small residential district where workers from the nearby shipyards live. The shipyards themselves are on the inner coast, on the eastern side of both Flicker island and the Uplands. They are either owned by the crown, or by one of the noble families of Greywatch. The ships coming out of Bristanaq are renowned, and many say that without them the Coalition would already have lost against the Empire.
The SlopesRight east to the Uplands are The Slope. It is the name given to both the port, the residential and artisanal districts on the central-eastern side of the city. The port stretches along the bay until it reaches the bridge to Stoneflock. Fishermen, merchants, travelers, and smugglers intersect there every day. It is also one of the only areas of the western Slopes where you can actually see the Greywatch, as buildings tend to be more spaced than the other districts'. Going south from the docks, the artisanal district also stretches from west to east and separates the water and the residential area. There, countless workshops can be found, from smiths to clothiers.
Stoneflock & The SturdThe north-eastern districts of the city are located on two islands, linked by bridges to the rest of Bristanaq. Stoneflock can be accessed by the north of The Slopes, and The Sturd by the west of Stoneflock. Stoneflock is a somewhat bourgeois district, for those who cannot afford The Uplands. This makes it a beautiful neighborhood, decorated by stone statues and fountains. Slightly higher than the Slopes, locals also boast about the view of the city, which is unarguably stunning. The Sturd is a bit special. Most of its surface belongs to the Maqenidian University of Naval Arts and Engineering.
Maqenidian UniversityProudly standing on The Sturd island, the Maqenidian university is where the brightest minds of the realm are educated. Founded four hundred years ago, it kept growing and growing to finally occupy the whole island. As the specialty of the kingdom, the main courses are of course marine engineering. The students are taught everything they need to know to draw tomorrow's ships and how to lead their construction. Aside from marine engineering, a captaincy course is also available. It focuses on the military aspects of handling a fleet and how to maneuver in most situations. As the university grew, it also attracted different kinds of teachers, that now dispense courses about civil engineering and medicine.
Astounding popularityGraduates from the university are extremely wanted among the Coalition's army. They usually get offers as soon as they leave school and pursue their career at war. Engineers also found a lot of offers from when Gérouns modernized their infrastructures. It is only recently that the university also hired High-Morknar teachers, that found the establishment very fitting to their quest of evergrowing knowledge. Even more recently, the academy welcomed its first Géroun students.
From all the continentThe university welcomed bright students from all the realm at first, but now from the whole Coalition and even overseas. While dormitories were built during its growth, they were not enough to house all the pupils from the other countries. The crown bought a few plots on Stoneflock and built an extra few dormitories, better looking than those within the school. These new buildings quickly attracted the wealthiest of the students, that left the old ones to the poor.
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I'm sure that we'll be fine, even if Seaglow falls. This place has nearly as many canons as inhabitants. What would be tough is housing all the soldiers. I bet the poor from Flicker would have to move out, and I don't even want to think about what the University would become. It's literally right behind the defense lines.
The shipyards smell like a mix of freshly cut wood, oil, and salt water. Every workshop is carefully aligned next to each other, crafting their own type of part required to assemble a ship. Humans arrive shortly after dawn and start working immediately. The alley is dotted with taverns and messes where the workers eat at midday. The workday ends at 6. The only thing that was disturbing us was the presence of brothels just next to taverns. An odd woman even tried to drag me inside. I am a Géroun. I politely declined and quickly walked away.
Dinio Glen Renta, member of the first Géroun expedition to Human lands.
Aside from that human woman with questionable tastes, we did not find any trouble in the city of Bristanaq. The locals were welcoming, open to trade, and eager to hear the stories we had to tell. I will plainly inform his majesty that this land is safe for us to send merchants and even students in the future. What an honor to be one of the first Gérouns to walk here, founding the bases of a hopefully long-lasting friendship between our species.
Dinio Glen Renta, member of the first expedition to Human lands.