Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fastigium - Heart of the Empire

I apologize for the delay in this post. I've been just a bit harried between losing a job (one of two, fortunately), and tests on the horizon for a few classes. Yet with things getting crunched, I'm committed to no less than three posts per week barring tragedy. Thank you for reading, and without further delay, Fastigium.

The War of Corruption seemed to be a losing battle. Caelum's sons were being cut down by the thousands, and every day another city burned. On those rare occasions when the scattered Crusaders did meet the Armies of the Nine Hells en masse it was near always a delay tactic, giving the refugees precious time in their desperate trek north. In a time fraught with peril it was punctuated by moments of heroism. People willfully staying behind to give the last horses to women and children. Men and women of every age and social strata taking up arms to stand in the way of a tide they could not possibly hold back. And of course, the countless thousands of Crusaders who gave their last breath for their home. It was not until the Battle of the Bleached Hills and the Rise of the Angel of Hope that the tide was finally turned aside.

Des Nekketh was a city of refugees for the years spent recovering from the war. Tens of thousands had managed their way north, yet once across the river, what home was there for them? The tenements within the cities walls grew overnight, and camps all around the city covered the fields for miles. Yet over the course of a few years, they dispersed. Some found permanent residence in and around Des Nekketh, others trekked along the river to the Theocracy of Astu Fides. Still more accustomed quickly to a gypsy like lifestyle and found a home in the Emerald Vale to the east. Yet the large body found themselves once again heading north. There was work and land to be had, and it left farther behind the painful memories of a lost home.

They were welcome outside the walls of the fortress of Fastigium, the northernmost citadel of the now fallen Kingdom of Caelum. The flat expanses that made up the southern panorama from the fortresses walls soon became tilled, and the forests that covered the foothills to the north were soon home to lumberers. The citadel, long unused for military purpose, came to tower above a wooden city grown outside its walls. As a season faded to a year, to a decade, to near a century, aqueducts coming from the mountains irrigated the farmlands and quenched the thirst of a metropolis, of which the citadel is now the seat of government and military. The line of Odric, the progenitor being the man who led a great body of refugees north from Eden itself, now presides as Wardens of the city, and Fastigium has become something of a capitol. Its armies are the only other than Dythans which holds influence beyond its own borders, and stand alone in terms of those that are welcome.

As a city it is one of stark contrasts. Though sprawling in every direction, even the manors of the city that most closely hug it are dwarfed by the enormity of the Citadel. And though it is no longer such, it maintains some remnants of its past as a refugees city. Brothels are a common sight in every neighborhood, rich or poor, and it is even such that some women are slaves in all but name. 'Indentured Servants' of a nobleman or wealthy merchant who out of 'kindness' took young girls in under their own roofs. It's a site all too common to cities that thrive upon commerce.

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