Monday, September 24, 2012

Des Nekketh - Trade Hub

Caelum is a world that I continue to expand. To share everything I have in just one pass would be a matter of pages upon pages of writing, and with regular updates, I would end up with a novel in a matter of a week. There are cities, dungeons, regions, customs, cultures, and characters I want to share; I'm pretty excited. So I need to first paint in broad strokes, then narrow my focus as the picture starts to come together.

I want to start with the Surviving Kingdoms; Des Nekketh, Fastigium, Astu Fides, Anmera, Lorem Ipsum, Mansipium, and Incendium. These are the city-states that are bastions of order in a world that has mostly fallen to ruin. I'll spend a few posts on each, giving first an overview of each then taking a sharper focus in subsequent posts, and through the series I hope to not only give you a picture of each city, but to give you an idea of the world. From there, it will be somewhat less defined. Perhaps the Fallen city of Astu Lumen, or artwork portraying different characters and locales.

Yet first, Des Nekketh, the trade hub and catch all of the Surviving Kingdoms.

An ancient city, it sits on the River Des at the head of a prosperous vale and serves as the only distinct crossing to Where Angels Fear to Tread in the Surviving Kingdoms; even the mighty theocracy of Astu Fides bars the way with steep, natural cliff faces and a stone bulwark spanning the only break in the cliffs. Yet this is not for an unconquerable military force. This part of the river has known some peace; a farming community has even taken root beyond the walls of the city in Where Angels Fear to Tread. Though it is not the safest living, holy wards and silver weapons repel what attacks do come out from the heath.

The heavy stonework that looks toward the Bleached Hills in the distance pays homage to the military history of the city, as do the winding catacombs that honeycomb the Plateau of the Argentum Keep, seat of the Lord Warren of the city. The Knights of the Warden, heavily clad cavalry bearing heavy spears of silver etched with holy runes, are the last true military force of the city, and are a picture painted in steel of the greatness Caelum once knew. Yet years of relative peace and wealth have caused the city at large to turn from this regal past toward the trade wealth to be had on the River Des.

From Mancipium in the West come flatboats of grain, and horses are raised in the verdant fields of the countryside. From Astu Fides come blades and symbols of wrought silver, and farther still from the elves in Anmera and the Dwarves of Lorem Ipsum come works of craftsmanship beyond compare. Seralund Halfmoon presides over this greatest enterprise of his family's clan, and they control most of the trade that moves along the Des.

The Eastern half of the city is home to much of this trade wealth, with great estates and manor houses of the Kamroth, Azaer, and Halfmoon families dominating the cobbled streets lined with shops, markets, and Inns. Yet over these, in a wooded, quiet sanctuary from the rest of the city looms the Septarch's Tower. It serves as a Temple of Ioun, and the mysterious, seven sided structure of stone as verdant as Harkens Heart Forest stands in stark contrast to the native stone of the rest of Des Nekketh. Though the archmage wields significant arcane power, he and his followers are removed scholars, preferring quiet study.

Mirroring the position of the Septarch Tower is the Argentum Keep, seat of the Lord Warren, standing atop the Plateau home to the ancient catacombs of the city. What it overlooks is in stark contrast to the Eastern city; though many temples of the city hug the Western Gate and the streets near the Plateau, the large swath is the tenements that radiate from the wharfs. Small wooden structures often housing several families each, closely hug the streets, and rogues, thieves, and every unsavory sort plague the narrow alleys. Near the quays, Barstromunn holds an iron grip over the workers, taking a part of their wages as his own and charging exorbitant, undocumented fees on those bringing their goods to market. Not to mention, many of the petty criminals and cut throats of the dock district of the city are in his employ.

The city is not only a dichotomy between rich and poor, but as the attacks from the south increase in ferocity and the power of the Angel of Hope seems to wane, this trading city will become a major front in another War of Corruption.

No comments:

Post a Comment