Vatia, The Empire's Heart
The Heart of an empire
I can see why people hold this place in high regard, you can feel the centuries of work that were put into it by the people that came before it. - Foreign DeginatryAn Ancients city that started as a lonely city-state to the heart of a sprawling empire that houses the most powerful individual from across it. It is here that power and wit rule politics in all matters and can easily decide the fate of many in its walls.
Due to its large population, much of the city is filled with commoners from all walks of life, mainly citizens of the empire. However, there are secondary citizens and foreigners that can be found here as well but are located in the poorer parts of the city. The smallest group that live here is the nobility and upper class made of political leaders and military officials that deal with the daily dealing of the empire.
House Aurelius: The imperial family rule has been cemented here since the days of old when Rexes ruled over is when it was a kingdom. Everything that goes on in it is known to them and their influence over it is strong enough to change the way it is run in an instant. The emperor and his family often take part in the daily running of the city when they have the time and can take over when necessary if bureaucracy gets in the way of solving problems. Imperial Senate : The main body of government that rivals the powers of the emperor himself. Within its ranks holds the most powerful individuals in the empire that control how its territories are ruled as well as in the city as well. Often enacting special laws that only apply in the city to ensure that power is maintained in it.
Wall of Lux: The inner walls of the city surround the Palace of Lux Eterna. Its wall manned by the palace guards is equipped with scorpions since they are more accurate in the narrow city streets if the out walls were to ever be breached. All gates are reinforced and are equipped with murder holes and a portcullis to ensure that the enemies don't have an easy time trying to open the gates. Wall of Ignis: The main defense of the city and the largest walls that stand at a hundred feet with a series of defensive towers equipped with ballistas to deliver lethal damage to the enemy before they even reach the city, along with a pitch to poor on enemies if they try to break down the gates. Holes for archers and scorpions to fire from are also used to ensure that the enemy will still be fired upon even if they are too close to the ballista.
Industry & Trade
Vatia as the capital of the Vatian Empire is considered a massive trading hub across the empire. Most traders from across the lands of Humanity brought with them exotic animals, materials, and spices to the populace. Along with being one of the largest Slave trade hubs as well with hundreds of thousands of slaves being bought and sold daily across the city. The city itself mainly gains most of its wealth from trade and much of its exports are that of olive oil, grain, slaves, furs, animals, and metals. Imports are more exotic in nature such as materials and goods to the capital for the nobility to live in luxury which can range from jewelry, animals, and slaves. It has always been a center of the arts and culture, it can be seen through its many libraries, schools, entertainment facilities, and public spaces across it. These allow the citizens of the capital to be well educated and entertained in order for them to be productive and can be rewarded by enjoying the pleasures of the city. Entertainment is highly valued since it often brings large amounts of income from both citizens and wealthy foreigners. With Wrestling, theaters, Boxing, and other specials. While the most influential forms are Gladiatorial Games, Harpastum and Chariot Racing would take place in the Colosseum were thousands would come to see them. These sports among many others would also be highly celebrated during the Imperial Games every few years. Then there are the leisures of the capital such as the bathhouses, gambling dens, brothels, and gardens, but entertainment is not the only thing the city is known for. The city holds craftsmen, such as metal workers, sculptors, and masons as well. Who often used to create many great and wonderful items and build magnificent buildings.
The city has many places to visit since it is meant to keep the populace happy. Gardens, theaters, and inns are found all around the city. The stone roads inside the city are regularly repaired due to the constant foot traffic that happens daily. Sanitation is not much of a problem either due to the large sewer systems that dispose of waste and aqueducts that bring fresh water into the city. The sewers though are often filled with criminal elements such as smugglers and thieves to have their business uninterrupted. Then there is outside of the city where the farmers are often found, though there are not really enough of them to actually feed the city, a little extra food near you before a siege can mean quite the difference in the long run. But there are no actual windmills in the area of the city since the wind does not constantly blow in the area and is considered a waste of time to maintain. There is also a harbor near the city where small boats carrying supplies on the Bato River enter Lake Elander to deliver goods and other supplies, The harbor is not as large as the average one across the empire since larger ships cannot sail on the river and nobles often sail on the lake in private boats to enjoy the weather or go fishing.
The assets that the city has are the resources and the manpower that comes to the city to properly use them to their full extent and create things that are needed for the city. Along with access to the Imperial Academy for soldiers in training in case of an emergency. The blast forges and blacksmith are also useful in case of a need for mass production of weapons and armor for upcoming battles.
Guilds and Factions
Alchimist’s Assosiation: A group dedicated to learning the arts of alchemy to use it to better improve society through its scientific process. Tradesmen Guild : A group of traders that have banded together to improve profits and cooperation to ensure that all groups have a voice heard in their place of business. Dead End Gangs: Street gangs of the slums of Dead End that do as they please as they do what they what while the guards look the other way not wanting to deal with them. Luminarium of the Exalted : The Luminaries of The Exalted lead the faithful towards salvation as they aid those in need. Under Towers: A group of smugglers that bring illicit goods into the city to sell to shady buyers that do not wish to be seen with it, often bring it in from the vast sewer system under the city. But there are other groups that go about illegal business in the city away from the city guards. Most of these groups are gangs that are found in the slums of Dead End that are often dealing in drugs, smuggling, and other illegal activities in the area. Then theirs the Church of the Spirit and Flame which can be found in their temples and churches across the city. Many of them are seen across the city asking for sinners to repent and often butt heads with merchants with some of their other items that are considered sacrilege to the church.
Desperation of BrothersIt would be a time of darkness and fear in the Age of Beasts as Humans was forced to hide away as the Beastmen ruled over the land. Many tribes were scattered across the land when the Elven Empire fell to their wrath and their forest homes to be burned to the ground forcing them to adapt to this drastic change. In the coming years, they would build their settlements in isolated places for protection and safety in order to avoid the gaze of their raiding parties that would come to them and burn them low and take what they wanted. It was the same three brothers that would find themselves with nothing as their friends and family were taken from them one night only to barely escape the destruction of their village at their hands. It was from these brothers Desisus, Meritus, and Vatus that they would come to found one of the greatest cities that the world had ever seen. Despite being only children when they left on their own they would survive in the wilderness as nomads traveling from place to place to avoid the Beastmen that roamed the land, becoming strong men in the process. But this lifestyle would tire them seeking to live a life in peace and safety, It was at that point the brothers would find a set of hills along the Bato River following a falcon seeing it as a sign of good fortune. Western Lands, however, the victory was bittersweet as one of the brothers, Vatus would perish in the battle defend his brothers from a fatal blow and they would honor his sacrifice by renaming their settlement Vatia in his honor.
In the Time of LegendsWhen the First Kingdom of Men rose to power in the west many rallied to its cause to finally defeat the Beastmen once and for all, so to did Vatia, being a large settlement that encompasses many of the hills that surrounded it to defend itself from attack. It would become a stronghold to the kingdom and supply it with many warriors to fight in the War of Beasts and withstood many attacks from them as well. Two centuries passed and the war drastically change Vatia as it would grown to become a strong city-state that hand greatly expanded its borders and population from refugees that sought safety in its walls. This would enable them to survive the chaos that came with the fall of the first kingdom after the war's end being unable to sustain itself. Leading them to expand out of its region and to its former allies and neighbors when they turned on them. It was at that point that the city and its culture would change as it began seeking to advance itself through the means of warfare and ingenuity under the rulership of the bloodlines of the three brothers that found their city and its power being able to expand until it was unable to do so being unable to face the endless foes that existed outside its borders. It was not until the time of Aurelius the Wise, the blood of Vatus would that change as his reforms and reorganization of the military would bring forth a new age of expansion to the city and allow it to become a dominating force in the region. Enabling to gain hold of more resources and build up their infrastructure to gain power over time and better equip the first legions to defend their lands and conquer others. Signifying that the city was far more than a city-state, but a raising power for years to come. This would also see the end of the power that was held by its council as they would later kill Aurelius out of fear of losing their power to him. This would lead to outrage as he was beloved by the people and would be overthrown by his son, Laius, and become the first Rex of Vatia and founding the Kingdom of Vatia in the process and the rise of House Aurelius in the honor of his father. Cementing a new era that would in later centuries change the West forever.
Era of the RexesVatia would see many improvements over the next few centuries as the capital of the Kingdom of Vatia, with the resources that came from the conquered land of the kingdom the city would become something to behold. Mighty stone buildings and towers reached the sky and marvels of machinery were created to increase production. Culture would flourish as the arts would become a part of everyday life in the city. It even expanded its walls in order to deal with its ever-expanding population. It was even said that it gathered and recorded documents with libraries being created around this time when the rest of the land was still using oral traditions. It was a peaceful time for the people as well since food was plentiful and there were very few conflicts that ever reached the city creating a false safe hood. House Aurelius since its conception would also maintain a stone hold of power in the kingdom and would build a great palace known as the Palace of Lux Aeterna to cement their power. The military was still part of the city with much of the legions being stationed in key locations to deal with incoming threats since most of the settlements under the control of the kingdom were villages and towns with cities not being built much later. Vatia since that time would have a golden age and its culture would slowly spread across its territory and influence its neighbors. Tesoni would reign down upon the kingdom and catch them off, guard. Much of the legions were forced to leave to hold off the invaders and were left undefended, allowing the barbarians to invade the city with ease. The Sacking of Vatia would be considered a haunting reminder to the Vatians of one of the darkest hours in their history. Much of the city was torched and lay in ruins, documents, treasures, and historical buildings were destroyed and lost to history. Only the palace was the only thing left standing due to its own personal walls and the troops defending them. Its citizens who actually manage to reach it were the lucky ones and those who were not were killed or enslaved. But out of this tragic day would bring forth something that would bring fear and destruction to all those who dare face the might of Vatia and a reign of terror only known as the Scorching Campaigns would see this ruined city reborn into the very heart and soul of the Vatian Empire.
Conflict and TurmoilIt took time for the city to be finally rebuilt after the city was sacked, but the resources that came from the recent conquests of the Scorching Campaigns saw Vatia into a larger and more majestic city than ever before seen. The city for the time found peace as war was waged all around the land to expand the empire. But the reign of its third emperor, Alexios Septimius Aurelius would begin an age of terror. Alexios' rule was at first peaceful and more agreeable with the people, but a few years later he soon began to consolidate power to the nobility and restrictions were made on the citizenry as the nobles were allowed to do as they pleased. The political groups that made up the city consider this an act of tyranny against the people and tried to negotiate with him to have better terms. But this would lead to the Night of Daggers, leading to the death of hundreds of politicians that were a threat to him. Later on the First Vatian Civil War would begin and the first few years of the war would see the city under martial law by the Imperial Royalists in fear of Citizen’s Alliance spies to be hiding amongst the populace who hated them. Leading riots and purges of the surrounding districts to keep control of their power. But would later be under the control of the Citizen’s Alliance when the war was in their favor and would end with the conflicts end. After Alexios' execution, the Imperial Senate would be created and be a permeant part of the city. Two other civil wars would follow in later years, but the capital was considered off-limits in order to preserve it. Centuries later and Vatia would remain out of the sight of future wars, only to be constantly dealing with political turmoil from its own leaders and its own inhabitants from time to time. Yet the city became one of the largest and most prosperous settlements in the West. But it would be broken when emperor Hector the Cursed was revealed to be a Vampire and turning many of its citizens and his closest follower into them. Before proper action was taken, Shadow Magic was cast to create a vail of darkness that blacked out the sun and allowed the Vampires to make easy work of the defenders around them. Much of the inner city was consumed and many more unnatural creatures followed so after. Weeks passed and the shadow vail continued to grow with each passing day with more and more of the city taken by it. Soon enough the Black Order was called upon, along with members of the Order of the Righteous Flame to end the threat when its soldiers failed. A combined group of seven hundred was sent into the vail and after many days and nights the vail was destroyed, but only a hundred returned. It would take a few weeks to clean up what remained of Hector's followers and things would go back to normal over time. Being marked as the last large conflict to reach the city to this day.
City in StrifeVatia in the last few decades has seen a decline in its conditions as much as the empire around them. Once bustling streets full of commerce seemed to have been less crowded as the lower classes struggled with unemployment and the lack of reforms to government policy has left it in a sorry state. What more is tension between the Emperor and the Imperial Senate after unsanctioned War of the Raptors has left a void that may lead to the bloodshed in the streets. The War has also disrupted trade, leading to military forces being moved elsewhere making it much more difficult to protect roads and trade routes making it much harder for the city to relieve its usual goods, leading to unrest in the city and political groups such as the Veritas try to bring change by rallying the masses and political turmoil in the streets. The possibility of bloodshed in the streets seems to be much more possible in the future.
The buildings of the city are made of stone and marble-like most other cities since wooden houses are considered for barbarian cultures. The roofs of most buildings are made out of clay as well. The building would often have murals and paintings in most parts of the city. The buildings would also have carved details such as patterns and sculptures as well. These would be mostly done for public buildings though since it would just take too much time and effort to do every single living complex in the city. Public places and buildings would also have the building's name engraved on them in order to make sure that people would not get lost since many public buildings look the same. Most people do not decorate outside of the buildings since many live in apartment buildings with their families and the rich and nobility believes that is beneath them. There are a lot of monuments in the city as well often to remained the people of tragic events, glorious achievements, and historical figures.
Vatia was built right next to Lake Elander on the Ascar Plains. The lake itself has been considered the jewel of the empire due to its clear water and has many different areas for people to enjoy picnics, sail, a fish. It also gives access to the Bato River for trade with the rest of the empire. As for the plains all you can see is miles and miles of grassland were ever you go. Except for the East then you can see The Spine after traveling a few hundred miles from the city.
The only actual resource that is outside of the city are the farms that are built around it, trade is usually how the city flourishes since all other resources have been used up in the area over the centuries to build the city.
The Imperial City, The Imperial Seat
Streets of Intrigue
You can find anything in this from honest merchants to the secretive thieves that made these streets their home. You see just about everything the longer you walk them without any real surprises. - City GuardAny city as large as Vatia is bound to have all kinds of people living within its walls going about their days. Some are more welcome than others, but not all are to be seen by all that live here. In this city, anything can happen even things that most would not know existed nor should they be able to sleep at night. It is through them that individuals and groups can rise to power or fall into obscurity depending on how things are in the city. It is a place where all should expect the unexpected if they wish to live long enough in it.
Way of Politics
You best keep your mouth shut in public places when talking about the runnings of the Senate, not everyone will have your opinion. If that won't stop you then someone might just shut your mouth for you personally. - Tavern PatronIt doesn't matter how hard someone tries to avoid them in the city, politics are a staple of it. The people often wish to know how their leaders are running things, especially within the Imperial Senate which added to electing Senators into office. Meaning that people are going to take sides on what they value most and which political groups suit them in the long run. This often leads to troubles in times of elections and laws that are trying to be passed in the Senate with people in the streets preaching in the streets to curry favor with the crowd. This can prove to be dangerous as other political groups will not like their rival to have more power over them. Often leading to violence in the streets with public beatings and even murder in some cases. The worst case scenario will be that of a riot that can be caused by just about anything and can last for days or even weeks if not put down before it get out of hand.