Iumbari, the City of the Obsidian Throne
Low and sprawling across the savannah where the twin rivers Naya and Mbaya meet to form the Greater Nbaya is the mighty capital of the Iumbu Empire, and home of the obsidian throne. Founded over three thousand years ago after the defeat of the Dragon Imperium, it is the oldest city on the Southern Continent, and among a meager handful of ancient cities that managed to survive both the Magister War and the Lost Era relatively intact. Its streets ring with the cries of merchants and the sounds of industry, its skies regularly see the skyships of the merchants permitted to use them, and its public houses filled with music, song, philosophy, and the scents of spices.
The demographics of the city and its districts is predominantly Iburi, with a few significant minority populations. As of 100 SR, the city demographics are: 75% Iburi 12% Saqan 5% Dakan 3% Orc (Silt) 2% Orc (Smoke) 3% Other (various other peoples)
The city is ruled directly by the Emperor, Niamban III, though in reality, there are four noble houses that see to the daily running of the city. They are careful in their actions though, as Niamban III is known to keep his own intelleigence network, likewise with the Empress in Waiting, Atamba, who is currently his high councellor.
The Iumbu Empire's military is headquartered in the city, and keeps several vessels of the sky navy and at least a battalion of soldiers on hand at all times, in addition the the city watch, city militia, and the Obsidian Guard, the Emperor's personal force. The city is well fortified, and its peoples have generally high morale. The city has been attacked several times in recent memory, but has withstood all thrown against its walls so far.
Trade and industry are key in Iumbari, and its location makes it a major hub in the trade network of the Southern Continent, and in particular, the Northern Savannah. Between trade on the rivers, by land in the immediate area, and by sky to distant points, Iumbari has a thriving economy. Ceramics & Pottery: Iumbu is famous for its quality ceramics and pottery, but the artists of the capital have few peers in this area. Both are major export items. Textiles: Cotton grown on the west coast and along the GReater Nbaya is shipped to the capital, where it's converted into fabric, bandages, and more befor ebeing shipped back out as a finished or near finished good. Baobab: The nearby Great Baobab grove has been carefully tended for generations, and is a constant source of material for the industries it supports. Vessel Manufacturing: Both civilian and government skyships, land barges, and air skiffs are built in the city, and the naval yards in particular have seen a massive uptick in activity over the last decade. On the whole, Iumbari is a net importer of grains, foodstuffs, and raw materials. Maintenance of the trade networks it has are paramount to the city's survival, as it long agao surpassed the threshold of the local area's carrying capacity for humans. This weakness is not unknown to the factions who seek to cause strife in the empire for personal gain, and the punishements for getting caught intterfering with trade can be quite severe.
Outsiders to the city are astounded by the sheer magnitude of the city's infrastructure. Public water works provide clean water, sewage systems are entirely enclosed and make use of alchemical processes to purify the city's effluence before it is released into the Greater Nbaya river. The city is encircled in a basalt wall 30 metres high and 20 metres thick, with regularly spaced towers, whitewashed and decorated with simple patterns of lines and shapes. Mighty kilns burn night and day to produce the pottery the city is famed for, and even its poorest districts are quite clean. Iumbari is a tribute to the efforts of the Iburi through the ages, and is seen by many as a beacon of safety and stability in a world gone mad.
The city is the centre of industry for the Empire, and its assets prove it. The Imperial Treasury is there, as well as the Imperial Engineering Warehouses, where the materials to build skyships, landbarges, and other magical constructs needed for imperial service are stored.
Guilds and Factions
Like most cities, there are a number of guilds in the city, and even the unskilled labourers have their own guild. These guild have some political power, but walk a fine line to avoid imperial sanction in their actions. There are several notable Adventurer Guilds in the city, notably Red Hyena, Obsidian Mirror, and the secretive Skeletal Hand. Like most realms, the Iumbu Empire perpetuates the pre-war practice of managing adventurers through guilds, and Iumbari is home to the most famous adventurer guilds in the empire.
Iumbari traces its history to the victory of the Iburi heroes over the Dragon Imperium and the unification of the peoples of the Northen Savannah under them. The oldest part of the city and the core of the imperial district, is a fortress that was built to dominate the rivers. Since then, the city has grown steadily, and with a careful hand at the tiller the entire time. Like other Iumbu and Iburi settlements, central planning is a large aspect of the city, to ensure all citizens can receive the same basic services.
The city is built in tradtional Iburi fashion, but on a grand scale. The primary difference is that there are a number of basalt buildings and structures, favouring the same rounded style of the fired buildings, and the fortifications, district walls, and the imperial citadel are all built from basalt.
The city is situated on the fork of the Naya and Mbaya rivers, where they merge to form the Greater Nbaya, near the rough centre of the Northern Savannah. Originally a floodplain, the city has extensive works built to divert and control the flood waters through and around the city. To its north is the Great Baobab Grove, which is home to a handful of elves, and to its south are the Obsidian Fields and ruins of Obana, where the final battle against the Dragon Imperium occurred. The terrain arounf Iumbari is largely flat, with a few gently rolling hills in the distance.
The Great Baobab Grove is the single greatest natural resource near the city, followed by farmlands and claypits. The city was originally founded as a defensive work, so it has few natural reasources to draw on past water and broad killzones around its walls.