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CITADEL (City of)
Location: Northwestern Bettellyn, along the southern shore of the Llyn River, floating continent of Alphatia. HW
Area: The size of a mountain.
Population: 30,000. [Population figures are tentative, pending census. Ed.]
Languages: Alphatian (Randellyn dialect).
Coinage: Alphatian Standard: crown (gp), mirror (sp), judge (cp).
Taxes: 15% income tax on all those of favoured supplicant status or higher. Labour performed by supplicants is considered taxable income for whomever that labour is provided to.
Government Type: Capital of the Kingdom of Bettellyn.
Industries: The chief industries of the city include education, things arcane, and bureaucracy.
Important Figures: Llynara (Queen).
Flora and Fauna: See Bettellyn. In addition, magical constructs (especially those pertaining to the element of earth) abound in Citadel. Gargoyles and living statues scurry throughout the vast complex carrying out the orders of their masters. Earth elementals can often be seen scaling the inner walls of the city, as well as tunnelling through the lower levels and those portions and passages that have collapsed.
Further Reading: Dawn of the Emperors boxed set, previous almanacs.
Description by Xanshahu of Rimpos.
Citadel is truly one of the wonders of our world. It was one of the very first settlements in Alphatia. Originally designed as a military supply post, Citadel was founded on a defensible hill along the Llyn River just before its waters became too shallow to support river craft. The small fortress sent re-supply ships down the river in order to support troops in their campaigns against savages inhabiting the area. After the mainland was secured, there was little need for Citadel's military responsibilities. It was not long, however, before river boats started sailing in the opposite direction and Citadel became a major stopping point for trade goods headed from the eastern coast toward the capital of Sundsvall. Over the span of 2,000 years, that small trading post has expanded into a mountainous structure reaching 1,000 feet high. The outer portions of the city are the most densely populated while many of the inner portions have been abandoned or filled in with rubble. The royal city stands at the top of Citadel.
The lowest level of Citadel resembles a castle parapet, although on a much grander scale. 600 years ago this level was the city. It is said that wizards from Thothia journeyed to Citadel and strengthened the base of the city so that it could begin to grow upwards instead of outwards, but this rumour (some might say blasphemy) cannot be proven. [The original settlement of Citadel was built at the top of a hill and now most likely resides deep in the bowels of the current day city. As Citadel expanded over the centuries, it outgrew its original perimeter and slowly covered the entire hill that it was built upon. So in fact the lowest levels of Citadel are not the oldest levels. Ed.] Now its main function is to serve as support for the rest of the city. The outer wall still stands, heavily modified from its original incarnation. There are no entrances into the city from ground level. Centuries of magical strengthening have left the walls polished smooth with no breaches. The old gatehouses and windows were sealed up long ago. The only openings to the outside world at this level are the battlements, several of which are still standing (and in operational condition) around this mountain of a city. The inner level is a dank and lightless place. Most of the inner level resembles a natural cavern more than a city. Few travel through this level (other than the occasional geomancer), as the chances of being caught in a dangerous city quake are highest here.
Most supplicants dwell on the mid levels of Citadel. There are numerous openings in the outer wall at these levels. Vast causeways lead from the ground level to mid level entrances. Many of these are lush hanging gardens, supplied with water from the levels above. Fine restaurants are common here, as are many of the magical colleges and institutes. It is at just such an alcove that the famed cathedralists make their headquarters. [The cathedralists are reportedly an offshoot of the Followers of Earth who have devoted themselves to the study and construction of architectural wonders. There are also rumours of constant skirmishes between the cathedralists and their geomancer neighbours below. Ed.] The inner chambers of the mid levels are still damp and dark, but more light (either natural or magical) reaches their interior. Supplicants live and work in these areas, and there are several fortified positions that guard entrances to the lower level.
The upper levels are encased in huge sheets of glass and crystalline rocks which allow most of the interior to be bathed in natural light. Vast gossamer catch basins, magically woven from spider silk, are stretched like the translucent petals of a giant flower all around the outer wall here. Each morning these delicate constructs collect enough water to fill the many pools and cisterns throughout the city. On a normal day one can hear a small, but steady trickle of water constantly echoing throughout these levels. During rainfall this trickle becomes a torrent, and gushing waterfalls can be seen dropping from one level to the next. The catch basins are usually quickly retracted during such occurrences because heavy rainfall (or worse) may damage the spider silk weave.
At the very top of Citadel sits the royal city. This is a glamorous city, much like other large Alphatian cities, except that it has a view that could match any of that in Floating Arkan. Several skyship berths rim the outer wall here. [At this point the outer wall is little more than a waist-high railing. Ed.] Arching bridges and narrow catwalks reach between many of the buildings here. In many places the ground opens up to reveal the levels below. In the very centre of the royal city is Queen Llynara's palace.
The upper levels of Citadel on a rainy day are spectacular to behold. If one can put up with the torrent of noise that accompanies the waterfalls then one will be in for a sight they will never forget.
Some of the inner levels, especially those near ground floor, are quite dangerous. The threat of city quakes is high, and few rarely survive being caught in them at those depths. [City quakes are caused by the pressure of the higher levels on the lower ones as the city settles. This pressure can cause ripples in the very stone of Citadel itself, and in structurally weaker areas these ripples can be deadly. Ed.] On occasion a creature will emerge from the depths to wreak havoc upon higher levels. There is also the threat of gargoyles and constructs which free themselves from their masters' control.