As we entered the city we could see and hear the enormous ammount of people that was walking across the main street, and the voice of the merchants trying to sell their products. In this city, protecting by its gigantic walls, you can find people from all over the world : elves, desert peoples, barbarians, even some of our own merchants and artisans have made such fortunes among the Seris, that they live like kings in their own palaces.At the end of the Great Street lies the Imperial Palaced, custoded by thousands of guards. We enter the complex and we see the beautiful gardens, full of flowers, with women dancing and playing instruments with such a grace that we believe that they were goddesses who had decided to live in such a majestic and peaceful place. Then we arrive to the Throne Room, called the Tiger Room, as there is a giant statue of that animal in the top of the main door. And, as we entered in it, the smell of incense invaded us, and when we look up and saw the golden and silver roofs we believe we were in heaven with the Gods. Then the emperor recieved us with great courtesy and we offer him Your letter of friendship and the gifts that Your Grace ordered us to deliver. He was very pleased and he invited us to dinner. It was such a glorious experience, in which we could taste the most delicate and exotic meals and the Emperor gave us many gifts for us and for Your Majesty and after the ended eating we went with him to the balcony and we could se the entire city in celebration and from there it appeared that all the world had meet there to celebrate the festivalGalicianus , diplomat of the Ikarian Empire, letter to Emperor Pantaleon ( 134 AP)
The city of Sakouramish, one the most populated and richest cities in the known world. Capital of the powerfull Seris Empire. With this words the ikarian diplomat Galicianus descrived his visit to the city, long time ago.
Yet, the city still have preserved its splendour and importance as it is a crossroad of the main trade rutes in the east of the continent of Karia. Near one of the biggest rivers in the world that allows direct connexion with the sea.
The city has seen dynasties rise and falls, spectacular building projects and palace intrigues and coups. But never has it lost its prestige and symbolism in the imagination of seris and foreigners. The Empire must be declining, or that is what they say, but the city still remains untouched, the city from where the sovereign of all below Heaven rules and demmand obedience and vassalage. Where thinkers and magicians seek wisdom and power to control nature or at least understand it, where painters create some of the most beautiful paintings and murals in the world and where people from many different parts of the world engage in trade.
If you want to buy the most expensive weapons, learn magic or live some amazing adventures, well, this is your city!!.
Many of the inhabitans of the capital are merchants, artisans, burocrats and, of course noblemen, as they have to attend court in the Imperial Palace and the priests. Outside the city, there are large fields, full of crops and rice specially, destined to feed the large population of the city and cultivated by the farmers of the nearby villages.
The city is famous for its artisans who provided a wide range of objects, from precious golden jewels and labourish dresses for the members of the Imperial family and the court to simple ceramics destined to be used in daily life. They all live in the so called artisan's district of the city in the south west of the city, which it is also divided among neighbourhoods, where members of specific artisan guilds life and work. For example, there is a neighbourhood of the silversmiths and other of the potters. In the North West there are located the residences of the imperial burocrats who ruled the city in the name of the Emperor. While the nobles and the court in general life in the Great Palace together with the Imperial Family.
As capital of the Empire, and one of the richest, most populated cities and one of the most important centers of trade of the continent of Karia. You cand find a lot of markets, big and small. All of them full of local and specially foreing merchants comming from every corner of the known world. From elves from the different elvish realms across the Yeia, merchants from the Desert peoples realm who sell the most precious spices, to Blatian and Oronai merchants who will sell you the finest pieces of art and weaponry.
Foreign and local merchants use to live in the south east sector of the city , close to the artisans neighbourhood and not far from the Great Street. While the the priests live in either his own houses or houses donated by the state. This last type of homes are only found inside sacred precints, usually the most important temples of the city, namely the Temple of Abbuna, the Temple of the deified Emperors and the Temple of the Goddess Alara.
The North East of the city is ocuppied by the Imperial Palace and the Imperial Guard and regular army barracks. There are also gardens across the city, but the bigger ones are reserved for the high class (Imperial family, the Nobility and the richest of the Merchants).
Nominally, the city is under the control of the Emperor, but, de facto, it is ruled by a the City Council, formed by 40 members representing the different classes of Seris society who live in the city ( artisans, merchants, priests and nobles). The Council has its own prerogatives such as, for example, collect the taxes of the capital, via the burocrats, establish laws for the guilds and the merchants, recruit and arm the local militia and judge the most severe crimes (exceptuating those commited by priests and nobles, who are judge by the Emperor himself in the Imperial Palace). They also named a so called " Chief guardian of the city" whose main role is to form and direct the Night Guard which protects the city walls and the main streets during night, as its name suggests.
The capital is protected by massive walls, with more than 250 towers and 4 enormous gates. Each section of the gates has at least 2 catapults for launching projectiles at the incomming enemy and siege towers. Each one of it has to be managed by a crew of at least 4 persons and can be a serious trouble for the besieging enemy .
Also the city is defended by the local militia, numbering around 20.000 men and by regiments of the regular army that adds another 50.000 men plus the members of the Imperial Guard ( 10.000) if needed. So the city is heavily garrisoned.
Also as it was mentioned the city has estates granaries than can provide food in case of siege. Also some water can be storaged in various pools across the city that would allow the inhabitants of the city to drink water for a brief period of time, perhaps enough for the city to be released. But fortunately the city hasn't been sieged for centuries.
Industry & Trade
The city as explain before has a network of river docks, and their position alongside the river Iran makes the capital of the Seris kingdom a bussy trade center, in fact a major world center. The river Iran and the other nearby rivers function like a highway allowing ships to travel across them transporting their goods from the city to the nearby provinces and viceversa.
The most important imports that the city recieved are silk, usually from the other side of the straight, from Blati, exotic woods from the Eastern states, who are most of them tributaries of the Empire and some types of spices which cannot be found in the continent of Karia and have to be brought from the continent of Teria.
In contrast, the city exports lots of jewelry and precious stones that can be found everywhere in the known world and they are highly appreciated by the elites of both continents. Seris horses are also very preciated across the know world, because they are fast and ideal for warfare. Every year, a horse fair is held in the capital during which many of the best horses avaliable are sold for foreign armies and nobility.
The inhabitants of the neighbouring villages also came to town during weekends in order to send their products in the local markets.
The city is crossed by the river Iran from The th North East to the South West and so, there are a lot of bridges across the river in order to connect both sides. It is also a network of trade, as little ships enter the city from the so called River Gate, and unload their goods in the different docks across the river. There are also various watermills outside the city, near the fields which use the river's water to grind the grain. Some of this are state owned, used for collecting the grain for the city, and others are property of rich farmers.
The are also various gardens across the city, varying in size. The bigger ones are reserved for the high class, namely the nobility, the richest merchants, the priests and the Imperial family. One example of this is the so called "Serenity Garden", with his famous pond and waterfull, decorated with statues produced by the finest Blatian sculptures who lived in the city.
The city is articulated in grids, starting from the great main street that leads to the Imperial Palace complex. This main street is full of shops where you can find everything you can imagine at whatever price. Across this street there are also the State Granaries design to provide food to the city in case of siege and famine, and because of that they are of course, heavily guarded by soldiers.
Almost at the end of the street. near the palace there is a square with two building located one in front of the other, separated by a fountain and a little garden. Those are the two Courts of the city, one for judge seris citizens, and the other for judge foreigners.
Baths are also very popular among the inhabitants of the city, and you can find thousands of them. They're usually very cheap, and not only they are a place for personal higene, but also of socializing with friends and neighbours. The biggest of all of them is of couse located in the Main street close to the Serenity Garden.
If you want to buy a good sword or armor, go the the blacksmith neighbourhood inside the artisans district, but you can also visit the shops they have in the main street of the city, but, i warn you!, the weapons they sell there are very expensive so if you want something of good quality but at a reasonable price,definetly, go to the blacksmiths neighbourhood.
If you're looking for the best quality art and the most beautiful pieces of art, definetly visit any of the Blatian shops across the Great Street.
Guilds and Factions
Apart from the Imperial Court, the most powerfull factions are the merchants, who represent the 30 % of the city, the nobles and the priests. The common people has some representation in the Town Council, but generally speaking these are the powers who really dominate the city potilics.
The nobles seems to be sometimes worried about the merchants, specially the richest ones, because the can by some means, as marriage or specially buying nobility titles, enter into their class. Even if a merchant is richer than a noble, the latter will ever see the first as inferior or as an opportunist, since for the nobles what really matters is blood and not wealth. Most of the Nobles are also part of the warrior class (they can carry swords in public), so they life is focused on war and honor. And they entire life, believes and ideology is ruled by this code of honor. According to this vision of the world, trade is seen as unpropper for nobles, who generate their fortunes thanks to their states ( a thought that is also shared with the Blatian nobility). Also they are worried about the increasing power of the merchants that can surpass that of the nobles.
Then we have the artisans, who tend to represent their guilds and by extention the common people. They always try to have some voice in the City Council sometimes siding with the merchants or with the priests and even in some ocassions with the nobles.
The exact data of the founding of the city is unknown, legend situated the founding of the city by the mythical king Bamtun in 1144 BP. But the first mention of the city is in the year 980 BP, before the creation of the kingdom of Ytarym, when the city was named Tehiran ( lit. settlement on the Iran river). Later on it was renamed Sakouramish (city of harmony) by the first king of Ytarym Yükteru I.
It has been the capital of all Seris dynasties since the stablishment of the Seris Empire 659 BP, and had grown from a very modest city to one of the biggest in the world and one of the mayor centres of trade of the known world. It has never been sacked by a foreign power, but it has been sacked brutally during various civil wars across Seris history, but it has always been reconstructed and expanded trought the centuries.
In the beginning the city was located on the west bank of the river Iran, but Emperor Yüttak IV expanded the city southwards reaching its modern limits, he also began the construction of its gigantic walls. he also build the docks across the river and the first bridges, which, in the beginning, were made of wood, but centuries later, during the Sitakid dynasty were rebuilt with stone.
The Imperial Palace, which is in reality a complex of palaces, is the main building of the city was built by Emperor Arsakes I the Unifier and have been expanded by different emperors and dynasties. The most beautiful of them is the Phoenix Palace, which is currently the residence of the Emperor of Seria, build by
Arsakes IX, second emperor of the Sitakid dynasty with roofs made entirely of gold and silver and a splendid garden, called the Serenity Garden, which contains examples of all the flowers in the known world.
The city is full of temples, built during different eras, being the biggest one the temple of Abbina. The other great temples are the Temples of the Deified Emperors and the temple of Alara. So a lot of pilgrims come to the city every year during its religious festivals in pilgrimage, seeking the favour of the gods and give offerings to them and also for consulting their oracles in order to know their future or seek advice from the gods.
New Year festival is also a touristic attraction, as hundreds of thousands of seris travel to the capital in order to enjoy the festival and iniciate New Year in company of their family in the city ( if they have one). It is during this festival that foreign kings, specially those of tributary kingdoms came to the city to pay homage to the Emperor and offer him gifts. They enter the city via the main gate in an extraordinary procession leading to the Imperial Palace that atracts a lot of the curious inhabitants of the city .
Other people come to the city to seek knowledge, specially magic, as it is home of one of the most famous Great Schools of Magic in the world, situated on Mount Nara and founded by the great sorcerer Yemu.
The Mauseleums of the deified Emperors are also a very popular atraction for seris and foreigner. For the first,it is a place for pay tribute to the great kings of the past and to connect with the nation glorious past, for the others, this is an example of the glory and might of Seris power and also of its arts, as the entire temple is covered with frescoes narrating the live of the great monarchs of the seris past, made by the finest seris artists.
The walls of the city are of white stone like the palaces of the nobles, the houses of the most prominent merchants, the houses of the priests and portions the Imperial Palace. The most humble houses for lower class citizens are built either with wood or mud-bricks . Every building has its roof covered with tiles.
The seris also have master the use of the dome, at is is show in some temples and public buildings such as temples and the Courts buildings.
The capital is situated in an open valley, surrounded by mountains and crossed by the river Iran, and also it is near of his little tributary, the river Ilys so both rivers provide fresh water to the city. The mountains are all covered by dense forest that is the home of numerous animals such as rabits, foxes, deers and boars. The most common trees are, birch trees orange trees, Cherry Trees, chesnut trees and pine trees.
The natural resources that you can find near the city are, of course wood from the nearby forests that are used for different purposes such as buildings, forniture, for building ships... etc. Precious metals are also found near the city, specially the gold mines on mount Hari who provide a lot of wealth to the city and the nearby regions. Those mines of course are controlled by the states and most of the workers there are local villagers. Thats why gold in so abundant in palaces and temples. Also, in other mines closeby, you can find some of the finest gemstones in the know world, and, needless to say, these mines are also controled by the State.
Fish is also abundant in the city markets, as well as rice, which is the main food of the citizens and it is produced in the farms outside the city.
The Queen of cities, City of Harmony