Juraedon: the capital of the Empire of Juraedon. It has everything the heart may desire, from the vilest to the most spectacular. From running water, to working sewers, to bathhouses, to fresh foods from across the world, and to clean streets — luxuries rarely known are found, here. The secrets of Runes and the full potential of the arcane arts are hidden in Juraedon's walls. And at the center lies the Emperor's palace, a glowing diamond in a cluster of gems. This city is truly The Pearl of the World's Delight.
The Golden Protrusion is a narrow peninsula of flat land that juts out from the easternmost tip of Erub. At the end of this protrusion is the Beart Promontory; at the easternmost tip of the promontory sits the city of Juraedon. Juraedon straddles the Elsmere strait with its sister city Anudaen and is the gateway into the continent of Erub. Its location near Uulsan Torall has allowed Juraedon to grow mighty in trade, and all goods that should pass between the continents must pass through Juraedon, first. Because of the city's northern location, the winters are harsh and the shore waters freeze. In the past, the frozen waters allowed caravans to pass across the Elsmere Strait during the winter. Today, the Three Silver Bridges allow caravans to pass without ferrying services year round. The strait is also unfrozen by Magical means. Ships may pass through Juraedon year-round.
A City of Wealth and Trade
The city is the wealthiest in the West. As the capital of the Empire of Juraedon, the City of Juraedon deals in trade from across the world. These items are to be either traded further downstream or are purchased by the nobility of the city, enjoying the extravagances and luxuries of the city. The most important commercial goods used to be from far eastern Tizüb, but, as war against the Naharaim continues, trade has stifled, and the various kinds of silk, glass, textiles, spices, porcelain, woodcraft - a long list of goods both luxurious and useful - are now becoming exorbitantly expensive.
Trade Routes into Juraedon
There are four main routes for merchants to travel from the East into Juraedon. The first is along the southern coast of the Orridental, slowly making their way north by riding against the northeasterly trade winds. The goods then travel through the Archine Sea, all the while sailing along the coast of Uulsan Torall, and then reach Juraedon. This trade route must pass along the coast of Atoraya-Kaldea, the kingdom of the Naharaim, and so has become heavily raided by Naharaim privateers. Although the Empire's navy does good work combatting the Near-eastern Elves, it is still a dangerous route.
The second route is a land route that makes its way through Volk. A ship will usually set sail from the city port of Volk and then travel towards Juraedon. Unfortunately, the land section of this route must make its way through Atoraya-Kaldea's heartland, which, while once peaceful and scenic, has become treacherous for merchants allied with the Empire.
To the north lay the inhospitable Altaic Country and the Yellow Ash Plains. The Altaic Front and the Alborz Mountains bound any travelers to the easier lands of the Naharaim. The routes through Altoraya-Kaldea have become dangerous. Caravan raids by the Naharaim are common, and inspections attended by bribe-requiring military men greatly lower the profit margin.
The third route is the most deadly. It is a northern naval route that passes around the Altaic Country, resupplying at the various Altaic Elf homesteads that sit atop the drifting ice floats or bury themselves in the boreal tundras. Very few merchants have ever dared this trek. It is widely considered an impossible route, only done out of financial desperation.
The last route is to travel from the southern ports of the Orridental, coasting along the southerly trade winds and navigating through the equatorial doldrums until one reaches the coast of Aran and the Empire of Kilae. Making their way north by following the coastline winds, merchants will eventually reach Juraedon with their goods. This route is the one most often taken by merchants today, despite its length. Today it is the safest route, and a great amount of wealth can be gained by trading with the many wealthy cities along the route.
The difficulty of trade has diminished Juraedon somewhat, but its premier political position has ensured its continued economic prosperity. The great city, though it languishes a little bit, will not decline any time soon due to the War in the East.
The City of Juraedon is the location of the most important cluster of financial services in the Empire. Its banking and money-handling sectors are quickly growing, and corporations are slowly becoming legalized and fleshed out by entrepreneurs and by intrepid young merchants. A great stream of wealth constantly flows through the city. As new institutions and buildings are created, more money is required, and the lending industry becomes ever more important. It seems that these things are good, for now, but they are overall new institutions, being less than half a century old. What will time bring?
The legal confines of these new institutions are slowly catching up, creating parameters and rules so that they may not poorly influence society and the common man. The nobility is taking a great part in this restriction, as they view the merchants funding these institutions as a danger to reasonable society.
Art and Industry
The City of Juraedon is a center of industry. The cottages and villages that once were the centers of production have been moved to within the walls of Juraedon under a centralizing edict enacted by the Emperor Aelmourne. These industries are various, and the most profitable industries are the paper, wool, timber, and glass industries. The glass industry does not produce glass as refined or as delicate as that of the city of Quen Called Thalassokratia's, but Juraedon still provides much of the glasswork used in the northern territories.
But industry without heart is meaningless. Thus, the City of Juraedon has become one of the four great patron cities of the arts, the others being Lille, Uendale, and Quen. The statues and pillars that fill Juraedon are opulent and imperial. They impress on the mind the monumentality of the Empire and its claimed eternality.
The roads are of finely paved stone, and the streets sparkle with magical influence, giving off the appearance of silver at night, and in the dawn, of gold. The stalwart buildings that line the streets are both homely and bold. They exclaim that this place was built by the hands of Man, far removed from the works of the Elves or Dwarrow, and they tell of the pagan household gods of Man, which the Empire carries on in spirit, but also of the continual, renewed, and ever-reborn life of the Church, which the Empire keeps close to its heart. Heavy arches are built in grand pavilions. The Imperial Hosts of Juraedon will march parades through these arches, so that all citizens may see the might of the Empire, here to stay. Stately parks take up great spaces, and drowsy summer days are passed by here, which are the dwelling places of fair women in dressy gowns and picture-hats eating luncheon with their men, who are courteously helping their ladies, exemplars of chivalry. Facades of museums stand solid with high pillars and white stones and golden gilding, carved in the ancient styles of the Nelqorana. The museums are white and clear in the sun; they are centers of expansive exhibitions of various feats of art and Magic. The Archmage Simon only ever presents his new findings in the Gallery of Magic, the most prestigious formal artistic institution of Magic in the world.
While the mayoral office of Juraedon will be entreated more properly in a separate article, the general government of the city will be discussed below. The Government of Juraedon is responsible for the entire Greater Metropolis of Juraedon, which is a region of 4 Million people.
The Juraedon City Government is nominally headquartered at the Parliamentary Palace, and is structured into three tiers: a metropolis-wide, general tier; a local, decentralized tier relegated to the city proper; and the local, decentralized tier relegated to the wider metropolis of Juraedon. The metropolis-wide tier is managed by the Greater Juraedon Authority, while the local tiers are managed by a variety of authorities of smaller stature. It is the most ambitious municipal government in the world, and its works are ones of resounding success. There is also the special administrative government of Anudaen, which will not be entreated on in this article, which is currently being considered for absorption to be under the Greater Juraedon Authority, although this will considerably increase the GJA's workload.
The Greater Juraedon Authority is responsible for strategic planning, management of the City Guards, appeasement of the landed nobility, the absorption of the private fire-fighting companies, and most aspects of the city's economic development. The current mayor is Boren the Fat.
The City of Juraedon, straddling the Elsmere Strait with its sister city Anudaen, lying between the Sea of the Mother and the Archine Sea, is the stronghold of the Empire and, therefore, has a cosmopolitan population. All races can be found here, all ethnicities gather under the city's proud walls, all seek their golden futures in Juraedon.
To date, there has not been a finished demographic study of the city. Each attempt to do so, usually spearheaded by the University of Jelum, had come to failure due to either empirical, statistical, or methodological issue. But the general multicultural feel of the city can be felt. Indeed, barring the cities of the Elves, one would expect the City of Juraedon to have the greatest collection of that reclusive folk. Dragonborn prowl the street. Dwarrow are especially common. They man many of the shops and banks in the city. Halflings wander the roads, in awe of a city so markedly different from their pastoral shires. Indeed, even Goblins and Orcs may walk through the city without shame or fear, so long as they do not cause trouble, for Juraedon is an enlightened city, and the people therein have been taught of the virtuous values of even the Cursed Races.
The city has an incredibly massive population. The size of the city and its greater metropolitan area is only possible due to the varied effects of Magic. Through Magic, fields become more bountiful, people become more manageable, and communication becomes easier.
The White Shining Walls
If the Walls do fall, then so will the City; for as tenderly as the eggshell holds the yolk, so does Juraedon's White Walls hold in the city's innards, and its courage.
The first thing a visitor sees upon reaching the Beart Promontory are the tall White Walls of Juraedon rising from the earth like Strength made manifest. These White Walls were constructed at the Founding of Juraedon when the Empire of Nelqora was still the premier civilization of Val'Vahan. They were built well beyond the borders of the initial colony -- built in expectation of a larger colony to come. While long ago these walls protected mostly farmland, the Juraedon urban region has spread to, and beyond, the White Walls. Their white coloration comes from the thin lacquer of adamant that coats the wall. It is this adamant that renders the White Walls indestructible.
The double White Walls are among the most formidable structures in world. They are, having been built by the High Men of the North, nigh indestructible. Only the most powerful sorts of Magic can harm these walls. Records show that construction took nine years, and was directed by the Mayor Pelegos of Juraedon, during the reign of the Emperor Kjan-Asqltir of House Jelum.
The walls were built to surround the entirety of the city on both land and sea, preventing attacks from all fronts. They were constructed to have two layers: the inner wall and the outer wall, which are separated by a walkable perimeter. On the westernmost side of the walls is a long moat. There were seven gates constructed on the western side facing towards the continent, six gates constructed facing the northern Darkly Inlet, nine gates constructed facing the east and the continent of Tizüb, and three gates facing the south towards the Archine Sea. Natural harbors and constructed harbors dot the perimeter of the city and the double White Walls. At the beginning of the colony's history, only the western Third Military Gate and the eastern Trader's Gate were in use. Today, all the gates are used constantly and are never closed during the day unless in times of attack.
Besides the double White Walls of Juraedon, there are other, lesser, walls that lay deeper within the city. These walls are not as extensive and, due to their later construction after the Sundering of Nelqora, are not as strong as the double White Walls. Nevertheless, though the White Walls have never been breeched and these inner walls have long been unmanned, all the walls are still well kept, and the various gates that are attached to these inner walls are always open. There are three sets of walls within the city. They are called, in order of their appearance after the White Walls, the Spring Wall, the Walls of Blachernae, and the Palace Walls.
The defenses of Juraedon are impregnable, and one would do well to understand that, and to avoid all forms of conflict with this greatest of cities.
The Decree of the Centralisation of Magic
The Laws of Magic have been refounded. They have been lost since the days of Nelqora, and it is the Empire of Juraedon that has discovered this most wondrous branch of the sciences. Nevertheless, it is a young and volatile sort of science, and it suits both commoners and the imperialists' interests for the Empire to control the studies of Magic. Therefore, the universities have been adjusted to teach Magic coupled with the virtues of restraint and patriotic service.
In the spirit of safety and glory, the High Courts of Imperial Law have decreed that three-fourths of all practicing and professional magicians must reside within the White Walls. Graduates of the University of Tang Yu are exempt from this law, and can be private practitioners. The Church has assisted the Empire's efforts to restrain magic users, and, as the Church is the primary institution of education and therefore magical studies, these efforts have borne great fruit, and it is estimated that perhaps two-thirds of all magicians reside within the walls of the City of Juraedon. This great collection of mages has allowed projects otherwise impossible to be constructed.
So then, if one has been wondering about how the wonders of this city are possible, how so many people can live in one, urban location, then here is your answer! The Empire has gathered the brightest minds and greatest powers into one place, and, through their collective strengths, has created the City that Never Darkens. Juraedon is ever lit by pale bulbs that shimmer at night and light the darkest alleyways. The Pearl of the World's Delight is linked to its sister city across the strait by three silver bridges that have no columns for support, uplifted as if by only the wind, and arching so high that even the great masted ships of the Imperial Navy may pass under unscathed.
The streets are as if made of gold when the dawn shines, and of silver when the unclouded moon appears. The wonders of an age long ago have been rediscovered in this city, and vehicles of singularly extraordinary make and kind putter and spout through the streets. Horseless Carriages carry lofty nobility through the countryside. Instantaneous communication is available for every household. The children on the street are taken in and taught in public schools. And who can ignore the Emperor's Palace, stretching towards the sky like a spike of pearl and colored more brilliantly and brightly than any dye, more iridescent than the northern lights. This is the City of Hope; this is the City of the Dawn of Man. And it is because of the many Wizards stationed here, that all these wonders are possible and manageable. What a wonder, Magic is.
Maybe most incredible of all the wonders of Juraedon are what are called Runes. Runes can enact magical effects with great pomp and splendor. Their range and flexibility are great, and the full potential of Runes is still unknown. Much of Juraedon is powered by Runes. Small totems, or white disks, are how most runes appear after refinement. Not much will be said here, for Runes will be properly treated in another article, but Runes, and their continual, passive qualities, are of unspeakable importance to the City of Juraedon.
We have survived so much. Do you think, now, of all times, when the Empire eases herself into the coming Summer of her life, Juraedon should fall?
I would die for this city; there are many cities to die for, but on this one, I plant my flag as say, "This is my city for whom I will die. She is mine, and I am jealous for her."