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Viharanyavár, City of Bone and Dust

Overview

  • Government: Plutocracy.
  • Exports: Ivory, silver, quartz and quartz glass.
  • Stereotypes: Unscrupulous burgher merchant; creepy collegiate necromancer; charlatan lawyer; upstart wizard filled with hubris; thug who kills and illegally reanimates the poor to became servants for rich burgher families.

Foreign Relations

Allied Major Points: None, currently.
Hostile Major Points: Ildovár (At War; Aggressor), Tenvár (Denounced By).
Vassal States (Minor Points): Amajaszég. (Without Divinity) Csóntar, Homszég and Szélan.

Origin

Dragonskull Summit by Alayna Danner
When people first approached the hallow of the divinity Viharanya, they were struck with awe and fear. They threw themselves at her feet and asked for her aid since they were starving. She told them that if they showed devotion to her and were patient, they may find a new way to live here. For days she ignored them, while some of them starved and others left. Conflict grew amongst the people, and then she appeared. She told them to prepare their dead with the proper rites and to bring them to her. And so they did and before their very eyes she reanimated them into obedient undead and told the people, "No matter what happens, no matter how many of you may perish, you can still aid each other. I will teach you how to use your dead to help sustain the living and in return, dedicate your monuments and devotion to me."   That is how the city of Viharanyavár originated. First as a small encampment, then as a bustling town, and now as an expansive city where the living command groups of undead who protect them from the scavengers of the desert and provide labor. It is now the second-largest city in the region after Vératyavár. But this has caused two complications. First of all, not all other people or divinities find this use of the dead acceptable, and Viharanyavár has more enemies than most other Points. Of course most of the Points are somewhat separated and busy enough fending off the various threats that stalk the land, but it complicates trade. Secondly, the use of undead has lead to a particular breed of opportunistic mercantilism, specifically several merchant families have banded together into the High House of Halomúnn with the goal of gaining a larger market share of the working undead. They use unscrupulous tactics to wring ownership over undead from others, and they have on occasion resorted to murder and unlawful raising of the dead to supplement their ranks.

Structure

The city itself has a fairly simple architecture. Most buildings are made from mud-straw bricks and built into the ground for stability considering that sandstorms are not uncommon here. The undead are left in windowless, flat-topped barracks near the city's edges when they are not put to work. The city is not walled, but it is placed on a plateau and access for creatures who cannot fly or climb steep cliffs is limited to the southern hillside which is narrow and constantly guarded, leaving the city well-defensible. If they holed up for an extended period inn the occasion of a siege, the city would be separated from its water supply however.   There are few graveyards in the city, as most dead are reanimated instead. There are however several mausoleums and other grave monuments near the center of the city. Those who are rich enough can have these monuments built and by dedicating them to Viharanya they receive an exemption from reanimation (as monuments enhance her domain she incentivizes them). Only a select few can afford this kind of gesture though.

Culture

Necromancy and undead is a part of everyday life in within the city, and the streets are filled with undead going to and from work places, wearing a silver marker on their head to denote who they belong to and who raised them. Falsification of these markers is considered a high crime and subject to harsh punishment up to removal of a hand and exile.  

Social Order

Necromantic capabilities and owning large groups of undead are very important within the city, and they are determinators for influence and position. Those who show sufficient magical capability are often recruited into the College of Viharanya, where they are trained to oversee proper death rites and perform subsequent reanimation. To advance in rank within the College, you need to be backed by at least two individuals of a higher rank, which means there is a social (and often corrupt) aspect to this as well.   Merchant families, or burghers, are of great influence within the city as well. They use their accumulated wealth to buy ownership over undead from others, which they then use to further develop their own business ventures and thus increase their influence. As a result, the city is beginning to suffer from significant differences in wealth and social status between different groups, with a very small and very influential group of burghers at the top.  

Political System

Wealth is power in Viharanyavár, quite literally as it is a plutocratic republic. Votes are bought, and so are election spots. This means that only the rich can be elected, and usually the rich decide the outcome as well. Not that there is a truly unified group of 'the rich' though. These votes and election spots are bought from the government in the form of donations, which means that the money flows back into the government so they can keep the city and official institutions such as the College running.   The amount of money that a person donates is hidden from everyone except the person themselves until it is time for the votes to be tallied, in which case it becomes public. This means that many members also consider their donation as an investment, because the person they elected with their money is likely to repay them in some way. And at the same time their money is put to good use in plans executed by someone they may have elected.   The person with the most votes is considered president, but for most large decisions he has to have the support of a majority of the city council. The council consists of the six individuals who had the most combined value in votes they received as well as votes they bought, plus another three members who represent the College and the general interest of the city and its (undead) people.   The council and its president are of course still subservient to Viharanya herself, but she doesn't bother much with day-to-day politics. Instead she simply commands them on where to expand and who to fight, expecting them to get it done in whatever way they want.

Organizations

The city is dominated by several powerful factions. Originally the official institutions that were raised with Viharanya's blessing were the ones with all the control, but this has changed in recent times and Viharanya herself does not seem to be too bothered about this, as long as people continue to show devotion to her.  

College of Viharanya

The College was the first official institution created within the city by the command of Viharanya herself, to better control the flow of undead. They function as both priests, morticians and distributors. They oversee that every person who dies receives the proper rites that will allow their soul to be sent on before they are reanimated. They also perform and record the reanimations of those who have not bought a stay, and they inspect undead for quality and dispose of the subjects that are too damaged. For the distribution of recently reanimated undead they do ask for compensation, but it is far below what other institutions ask for resale, and instead they limit the amount that any individual can purchase to try to avoid a large imbalance. As mentioned though, most do resell their undead servants to richer groups, which is perfectly legal.  

Silver Wraiths

One of the branches of the College is responsible for exorcising unlawfully raised or obtained undead, and catching the perpetrators. But over time these occurrences became more common and a more extremist faction within the College felt that the rest was not doing enough to prevent this. They suspected corruption among the upper ranks of the College and decided to split off. But their leader was not just anyone, Lady Samara Tisztí was a Saintess after all, and she received the blessing of Viharanya to raise this new institution dedicated to cleansing the city. She has long since died, and the Wraiths have lost much of their former prestige, but they still carry out their duty with a vicious righteousness.  

High House of Halomúnn

This is not a noble house or anything of the sort, but a group of merchant families who have banded together to pool together their wealth and power to obtain a significant share of the undead forces in the city. They have come into conflict with the College and the Wraiths on numerous occasions for accusations of abuse of their undead workers and maintaining undead laborers who are in too poor condition to be of working rights, as well as obtaining undead via illegal means. These accusations are true of course, but the House has covered its tracks well and ensured that those who caught the blame were people who are of no importance and without the means to bring proof of the House's unscrupulous tactics to light. As such they have been able to maintain themselves and increase their vast wealth. Still, their corruption and behavior have earned them a terrible reputation and a good deal of the city's populace hate the House with a passion. Even if they can't be punished lawfully (yet), they may face mob justice at some point. Good thing they have that legion of undead laborers...

Waste Nothing.

Alternative Names
City of Bone and Dust
Demonym
Viharanyavári
Notable Members

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