The City of Vathir
|✥ Physical Environment ✥|
|Country: Ralubia||Region: Vathir||Type: Large City|
|Urban Population: 64,000||Regional Population: 700,000||Population Density: 256 ppl/acre|
|Military Resources:||Wall Type: W5||Citadel Type: C5|
|Area: City - 250 acres||Elevation: 80 m||Climate: Temperate Continental|
|Terrain: Plains||Appearance: 4||Hygiene: 6 (Strict Public Enforcement)|
|✥ Intellectual Environment ✥|
|Government Code: Theocratic Monarchy||Control Rating: 4||Corruption: 0|
|Executive: Elar of Vathir, Lords of the Citadels||Legislative: Melandriate||Judicial: Priesthood of Maldai|
|Tech Level: Early Medieval||Market Code: C||Wealth: 4 - Comfortable|
|Magic Tolerance: /10||Magic Prevalence: /10||Magic Diversity: /10|
|Scholastics Tolerance: 6/10||Scholastics Prevalence: 6/10||Scholastics Diversity: 1/10|
|✥ Spiritual Environment ✥|
|Language: Ralubian||Literacy: 60%||Demonyms: Vathirian|
|Arts Tolerance: /10||Arts Prevalence: /10||Arts Diversity: /10|
|Religion Tolerance: 6/10||Religion Prevalence: 7/10||Religion Diversity: 1/10|
|Temples: 1 Great Temple; many small temples||Shrines: Many shrines||Monasteries: None|
The capital of Ralubia, Vathir was built by the god Maldai over the ruins of the Relorian city of Sorel. She is a massive fortress with six levels of buildings on top of each other, and guarded by four citadels and a ring of outerworks. Rising through the center of the city is the Spire of Maldai, twelve levels high, which is both a major temple to Maldai and the palace of the king.
Vathir means "House of God." The Ralubian vath means house, and -ir is a suffix indicating divinity. Tradition claims the city was built from the mud on the shores of the Phirine Sea by the god Maldai.
The city of Vathir is built on top of the ruins of Sorel, a city that was the Relorian capital back when those people pretended a civilization, before being crushed by the Kruthad Empire. These ruins, rather than being filled in, were converted into an underground labyrinth and used for holding prisoners. The Dardonor was introduced later. The legend says he was a prince who, by the experimental sorceries of an evil king, was transformed into a hideous creature.
The city has its own self-contained gardens located on its lower two levels. Several hundred lower-class inhabitants tend these gardens. Outside the city walls are also fields of grain which supplement the delicacies grown in the gardens.
Vathir is especially known for its jewellers and finesmiths. Members of the Delandriate have a penchant for adorning themselves with metal ornaments.
Vathir is basically square; about 1 kilometer to a side and six stories high. At each corner of the square sits a squat citadel with sloping sides protecting a gate into that citadel's quadrant. At the center of the square is the twelve storey tower called the Spire of Maldai.
The lower levels house the lower classes. The ground level has fungus gardens, smelly industries, sewage processing, and the like. The topmost level has wealthy penthouses, private gardens, observation decks, bird roosts, and rain collectors.
There are four quadrants. The center of the city is a mini-quarter dedicated to religious facilities. The quadrants are separated by walls pierced by two or three gates. Each quadrant is assigned a set of industries for its inhabitants.
The Citadels of Vathir
Ralubian free society divides itself into what are basically corporations or guilds. Each association specializes in a sector, guarding its secrets and profits with complex initiations and harsh punishments for transgressions. In Vathir, they are also organized under one of the four citadels for protection. Even in other cities, craftsmen will identify themselves with the Vathirian citadel.
First Citadel: Includes the Stoneworkers Hall and the Woodworkers Hall.
Second Citadel: Includes the Jewellers Hall and the Brotherhood of Metalworkers.
Third Citadel: Includes the Clothworkers Hall and the Perfumers Hall.
Fourth Citadel: Includes the Beastmasters Court and the Hideworkers Court, as well as the Block (the Slavers Hall) and the Red Chambers (Society of Torturers).
Fifth (High) Citadel: Includes the Engineers Hall, the Hospital (Society of Physicians), the Temples, the Scriptorium (Scribes), and the Hall of Timekeepers.
Vathir has a humid continental climate, with winter temperatures often dipping below freezing, and mild summers with occasional hot days. Precipitation and humidity is highest during spring and summer, particularly spring. Temperatures during spring and autumn are cool.
Vathir is a theocratic city-state. The head of the church is the Elar (or Elare if female) who is also the head of the Delandriate military caste (templars). The Elar is selected by the Lords of the Four Citadels from amongst the Delandriate caste and serves for life. Bestowed upon the king is Mandovel, the Star Hammer, a sacred relic and symbol of state.
King of Ralubia, Elar of Vathir: The representative authority holds executive power, enforced by members of the Delandriate.
Delandriate: Graduates of the War Temples, these individuals serve the Elar in a military hierarchy. The highest ranking officers below the Elar are the four "cardinal barons" who reside in each of the four Citadels. The Delandriate is hereditary. The king is selected (or fought over) by the Lords of the Four Citadels and serves for life.
Priesthood: The judicial branch, the priesthood are guardians of the religious laws, which serves as a constitution. They serve as judges and protectors of rights.
Melandriate: The merchant caste elects a council responsible in part for legislative duties, specifically for mundane laws. These laws are interpreted by the Priesthood for adherence to the religious Law.
A normal succession involves the highest ranking priests from Tharam, Delanthel, Aribind, and Caracand meeting together with the Lords of the Four Citadels in a private chamber within the Spire of Maldai to select the next king.
About 97% of the population is Ralubian. Other significant groups include Pallonians, Relorians, Krishari, and Verentians.
In terms of religous affiliation, 96% of the population is a member of Ralubian cults.
Ralubian religion as practiced in Vathir differs somewhat from that practiced elsewhere. Following is a list of notable practices:
- The "Laws of Maldai" are written on tablets affixed to a wall in the Spire of Maldai; the wall is in an area accessible only to members of the Privileged/Ruling classes
- Membership in the state religion is limited to Ralubians
- Non-Ralubian religions are tolerated but segregrated
- Cleanliness in the city is strictly enforced.
- Regular, ritual bathing
- Mystical significance of gemstones/adornment
- Delandriate males must be trained in the War Temples
- Some members of the Melandriate may also be admitted to the War Temples; the bulk of the military receive mundane training in army training fields
- Marriage is a financial transaction
- Any rules can be relaxed given enough money
Prominent Buildings in Vathir
There are five major temples in Vathir:
- Spire of Maldai
- Temple of Dreams (Dranzzar)
- Temple of Nintar and Ansilet
- Temple of Gold (Jaldrali)
- Temple of the Mother (Gavilet)
There are also numerous shrines both foreign and domestic, most prominent of which are:
- Bezzaitor Shrine
- Piajet Shrine
- Rhivon Shrine
- College of Arcane Studies
- Melandrian Mercantile Academy
- Tower of Art
- Tower of Music
- Vathir Plaza
- First Citadel
- Second Citadel
- Third Citadel
- Fourth Citadel
- Timekeeper Square
Vathirian inns (nuli) often run up all six levels and include not only food and lodgings, but also accommodations for the conduct of business. The amenities preclude the need for foreign merchants to venture very far from the welcoming visitor areas.
- Nuli Diliezz (named after the tragic hero)
- Nuli Smarel (named after the local tree)
- Spire Inn (named after its proximity to the Spire of Maldai)