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Dalain

Located on the Kingdom of Sharisar’s eastern seaboard, where the lush grassland of the Övsnii Sea meets the Estrill Ocean lies the second of Sharisar’s two permanent settlements. Dalain is known as the Gateway to the Grasslands, and is actually much larger than the capital Uighurtai, and its permanent population is over three times the size. Whilst Uighurtai is known as the ceremonial capital of Sharisar, Dalain is often referred to as the Kingdom’s economic capital, as it is the only port that has been built in Sharisar. Dalain’s economic standing in Sharisar is so great that it even has its own Merchant’s Council, who represent the trading interests of mercantile individuals that have set themselves up in the town, and who lobby the Sharisian authorities on their behalf.   The town itself is built around a steeply curving bay, that gives the whole town the overall shape of a crescent moon. The coastline of the bay, which is contained within the town walls, is a mixture of purpose built wharfs and jetties, and strips of bare sand that smaller boats can be hauled up onto. Beyond the town walls to the west is an intricate network of corrals that are used by horse and livestock traders for the buying and selling of the Caravan’s herds of animals. There is also a large hippodrome that has been excavated into the ground outside of the town walls, that is used for the town’s incredibly popular horse and chariot races, alongside competitions of horse archery and beast fights.

Demographics

Dalain has the largest body of permanently settled people in the whole of Sharisar, and for the most part, the majority of these people are non-natives to the Kingdom. The proportion of Sharisians that live in the city only equates to around 40% of the population, and this 40% represents the administrators and soldiers of the Foot Guards that see to the day to day running of the town, and crown business. The rest of the population is made up of people who have moved from other areas of Turoza to Dalain, in order to make money buying and selling goods to the Sharisian Caravans that regularly visit the town to trade. This means that the town has a very cosmopolitan population, with representatives from no one species being more prevalent than any other.   The high concentration of merchants in Dalain means that there is a strong middle and upper-middle class that hold the majority of the wealth in the town, with the town’s poorer citizens tending to work in the enterprises set up by the merchants. There is a particular concentration of lower income inhabitants in and around the port, where many find work as dockhands.

Defences

Because of its strategic importance, Dalain has a defensive wall made of stone that wraps around the landward side of the town, which is accessible by a single, large double gatehouse. This defensive wall wraps around the seaward edges of the town as well, so that the only way to access Dalain without going through the gate, is via the sea. The sea passage has been further defended by the addition of several large towers that flank the shipping channel into Dalain’s bay. These towers operate partly as a defensive deterrent as they are equipped with artillery pieces, but also as lighthouses to guide the way through the rather dangerous reefs and rock outcrops that surround the bay. Dalain has a dedicated defence force of Sharisian Foot Guards who protect the city, acting both as military protection and city police.

Infrastructure

The coastline that is encapsulated within the walls of the town is entirely given over to space for trading ships to dock for loading, unloading and mooring. There are purpose built wharfs and jetties, but large parts of the harbour area have not been developed and are left as natural sand that people can drag their ships up on to if that is possible. As space along the purpose built moorings is often at a premium, ship’s captains often find themselves in the position of having to beach their ships in order to be able to land, and there are teams of dock workers who can be paid to help drag a ship onto shore, or help push them out to sea.   Most of the seaborne trade is then bought or sold in a market square that has been specifically built behind the harbour and its warehouses. Conversely, most of the buying and selling that happens with the Sharisian Caravans takes place outside the town, where an intricate network of corrals and inspection pens have been constructed so that the livestock that is brought to be sold by the Caravans can be inspected. This separation of trade has been made primarily for practical reasons, as Dalain’s town authorities did not want large herds of livestock moving through the city streets and then being held in its squares for inspection and buying and selling. In order to better facilitate trade between the two sides of the town, a thriving industry of ‘buyers’ has emerged that act as middlemen.   There are no official roads leading to or from Dalain, but thoroughfares have been created by the continuous movement of Sharisian caravans to and from the city.

Geography

The area of land that Dalain and its bay are situated in is situated slightly lower than the elevation of the Övsnii Sea proper to the west. As a result, most of the land that the town is built on is a gentle slope that runs down to the shoreline. The grass of the Övsnii Sea is mostly quite fine, compared to tall thick grass that grows in the interior, mostly due to the strong sea breezes that blow in from the Estrill Ocean.
Alternative Name(s)
Gateway to the Grasslands
Type
Large town
Population
C.10,500
Inhabitant Demonym
Dalainians
Location under
Övsnii Sea
Owner/Ruler
Queen Alliona IV
Owning Organization
Kingdom of Sharisar

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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah

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