"Through our blood flows ambition."
The City that Won’t Stay Down: Celin City
A Midland city on the rise, Genesaris has not recognized it as a capital city, but the residents of Celin City still will not let that get them down. They continue on the road of economic prosperity, rising in population and popularity. Known for both their fine Mages' academy as well as the best medical station in the entire continent, Celin City continues to shine despite being taken less than seriously. Even in the face of a terrible terrorist attack, they have managed to rebuild and improve upon the city.
Because of the recent attacks, half of the city is brand new construction, rebuilt after unknown perpetrators laid waste to half the city. Due to these unexpected attacks, the city government increased the amount of security in place, adding protective shields all over the city. On a moment’s notice, these shields can be activated in an effort to protect the city and its people from another terrorist attack.
Flag: A tower in the center of a moon on a navy colored flag
Ruler: Lord Vell Daraques, an Elder Healer, with a high-ranking mage assistant
Celin City sits on a vast flat-topped hill. The ground all around the outskirts of the city begins to slope upwards as one approaches the city, growing steeper and steeper until one passes through the gates into the city proper, at which point the ground levels off completely. This is no accident of nature; much effort has been expended by the city's resident geomancers to achieve this artificial mesa. The terrain has been molded in this way so as to present increased visibility from the city walls and a significant height advantage for defenders in the event that the city should come under attack. While the perfectly leveled ground also saves many a headache amongst the city's architects when laying out the foundations of buildings, it also makes it difficult and costly for the city to expand its borders, as earth mages must be brought in to make the necessary adjustments to the underlying terrain and push the city walls out without collapsing them in the process.
Celin City is laid out in the shape of a square, a fairly well-defined one due to the relatively sharp edges of its man-made earthen foundation. Within the overall square shape of the city, there are four smaller "squares" which each occupy roughly a fourth of the space inside the walls and comprise four separate districts. However, unlike the city in general and the surrounding countryside, the districts are not separated from each other by large stone walls, so each district's "square" is considerably rougher in shape. The borders of each district are not well-defined and often overlap, with areas that fall near to two different districts frequently sharing traits of both. Due to Celin City's heavy focus on magic, featuring both a prominent mage academy and the continent's premier magical healing institution, the districts of the city are named after the primary elements of magic according to their purpose and characteristics.
The city's structures, like its walls, are generally constructed of white stone and somewhat utilitarian in design. This is due to the fact that half of the city was recently leveled, and rapid re-construction was emphasized over decorative features in the architecture of the new buildings. Still, there is half of the city which survived the assault; these older buildings are often in noticeably less pristine condition, and also more elaborately designed, sometimes featuring painted domes or rotundas, rows of marble columns on the exterior, etc., instead of simply looking like stone boxes. The choice of white as the principle color of the stone is deliberate, as combined with the city's elevated foundation, it evokes the image of a literal beacon on a hill. The connotations between the color white and holy/light magics also connect with Celin's reputation as a home of healers.
Representing the element of earth, the Vale District is likewise the metaphorical bedrock upon which the other parts of the city rest. The bulk of the city's governmental and administrative functions are carried out from this district. Embassies to other cities, the central barracks of the city watch, the city's prison, and other such buildings can all be found here. In addition to housing the bulk of the bureaucracy, the Vale District is also home to Celin City's military forces, providing their armory, training facilities, and when necessary, their lodgings. In the event of a siege, the city's defense efforts would be coordinated primarily from this sector, and the power source for the recently installed city-wide shields can be found within this district, though specific information on its location is of course a closely-guarded secret.
The Vale District is also home to Celin City's famous complement of healers, herbalists, physicians, and other medical practitioners. These personnel are drawn from all regions of the world and all walks of life to practice in the continent's Mecca of medicine, so to speak; they embody traditions as diverse as the people of Valucre itself. Celin City gladly welcomes any technique with healing or regenerative capabilities as a legitimate medical art to be refined and studied. This mentality of openness allows for the city's medical specialists to blend the strong points of a wide variety of healing schools into a more cohesive and versatile whole, the sum of its parts and then some. An array of clinics and healing shrines are accordingly spread out throughout the district, each one often embodying a certain healing tradition; these see to the more routine health needs of the populace so that the staff of Radiant Hands can focus on research and truly exceptional cases.
The trappings of the district generally represent its formal nature. It is even more white-washed than the rest of the city, featuring many structures with completely unadorned white stone exteriors, even ones that existed before the terrorist attacks. While the city's logo can be seen liberally carved into or otherwise affixed to many buildings, particularly above doorways, there is little else in the way of external imagery. Places of healing can be an exception depending on the tastes of the individuals who run them; those hailing from a more exotic location might very well reflect this in the appearance of their clinic, rendering it into an island of color amidst the sea of white. Rows of trees are often planted alongside major roads in this sector, providing citizens with a degree of relief from its otherwise stiff aesthetic.
The Pyre District is commonly referred to as Celin City's burning, passionate heart. Centers for life's more creative pursuits can be found in this district, and the majority of more highly-skilled trades in the city are housed within. Blacksmithing and other forms of artistic metalworking, pottery and other ceramics, painting and sculpture, all these and more can be found among the artisans of the Pyre District. As a result, most of the more advanced magitech items used in the city's business and construction are assembled here. On the border between this district and the Wind District, more magically-inclined crafts can be found, including enchanting services, alchemy, the molding of golems, and other such artificing. Though they are alive and well here, Celin City does not excel in any of these practices compared to the other cities of Genesaris, as its strengths lie in other areas (magic, namely healing and elemental). Notably absent from the Pyre District are any kind of facilities geared towards the construction of airships; Celin City does not build airships, and instead imports any that it needs.
While it is in one aspect the forge in which the city's tools are shaped, the Pyre District is also home to one of fire's other common associations, that of passion and intensity of life. This district is the city's cultural center and entertainment hub, where folks from all walks of life gather when they desire leisure and distractions from their daily worries. There is a drinking establishment situated on many a street corner here, along with restaurants and cafes of all quality and price ranges placed along the streets themselves. Most forms of entertainment exist in some capacity or another in this district; smokehouses where one can rent a hookah for a few hours, dance halls, theaters and forums. While prostitution is illegal in Celin City, brothels are well-known to exist under the guise of more innocent ventures such as "spas" or "massage parlors"; the city government and the criminal elements running these establishments are in a constant struggle to shut them down and keep them hidden, respectively. Likewise, "harder" drugs--meaning mostly anything other than alcohol and mild, tobacco-like forms of smoking--are also technically not allowed, but can always be found.... if one knows where to look.
As one would expect for a cultural district, the setting of the Pyre District is considerably more vibrant than the rest of the city. Buildings are themselves often functional in nature, rather than simply serving to house clerical work or residence spaces, so their shape and makeup is much more varied than in other districts. A blacksmithy, for example, will likely not at all resemble the dancehall that it may be situated next to, with the former having only one floor, a large chimney, open-air windows, troughs dug outside to hold water or coal, etc., in sharp contrast to the multiple floors, balconies and decorative stained-glass windows of the latter. The Pyre District is accordingly the only area of the city where buildings are not constructed almost solely out of white stone, although there is still much of it to be found. Murals and other artwork often adorn buildings, whether placed deliberately to make them look more appealing or simply drawn there by mischievous adolescents; even in the latter case, owners often request that the graffiti not be removed, feeling that it adds to the "character" of their business.
While the Vale District handles most of the work concerning healing magics in Celin City, the Wind District is dedicated to the use and study of magic more generally. While elemental magic is not the only kind practiced or studied within, it is by far the most prominent; the city's activities in this area are generally surpassed only by Mageside City. In order to maintain such a high level of proficiency, a large number of buildings in this district are dedicated to the study, practice and exercise of the elements. There are vast libraries available for research, laboratories where new enchantments and spell applications are developed, and institutions locally referred to as guilds, each one housing a "school" of the magical arts which aspiring mages may join. Similar to a gym membership, participation in a guild grants the mage access to advanced training facilities and skilled partners, both for sparring and for research expeditions or treasure hunts. Rivalry between the schools is intense, and officially sanctioned dueling matches and tournaments are commonplace.
The secondary function of the Wind District is commerce and business; while the Pyre District is where most valuable goods are produced, the Wind District is where they are typically sold. While it is quite possible for residents to simply buy their goods at the source, going to whatever venue produces them in the Pyre District, and some citizens do so when they have a good relationship with the producer, the markets and merchants in the Wind District gather a great variety of goods together for display in a compact space, making it much more efficient when one desires to browse between options. Additionally, the Wind District is a required stop for anyone wishing to buy imported products, as the merchants' guild of the city has successfully lobbied to forbid foreign goods from being sold anywhere else in the city. In accord with this function, the Wind District houses most of the out-of-city transportation options, such as an airship port, warp-gate hub, and rows of inns dedicated specifically to house and serve travelers visiting the city. Like seeds scattering in the breeze, goods and people passing in and out of the city do so by way of this district.
Buildings in the Wind District tend to bear long-term enchantments which render them more or less impervious to one of the four primary elements, in accordance with the element that is meant to be worked within the structure. While it is certainly possible to fortify structures against more than one element, or even against all four--Shining Star Academy is one such example--it is quite difficult and time-consuming, and therefore not done except where it is deemed truly necessary (or where an investor can afford to pay enormous sums to the city in order to have it done). As a result, there are separate practice spaces, laboratories, dojos, etc for each element. Most buildings' shapes and decoration will also tie into their purpose; a structure meant to be used by earth-benders will rarely have more than one story, while one used to practice levitation through the application of wind magic will be a tall, narrow tower.
The district associated with the element of water likewise provides essential nourishment to the people of Celin City. Nearly all residents of the city live within this district as it is specifically purposed as Celin's residential area. There are of course exceptions depending on circumstance--some particularly dedicated craftsmen lodge above their workshops in the Pyre District, for example--but mostly everyone lives within the Tide District and "commutes" to jobs in other districts (although, again, there are exceptions; there are some jobs to be found in the Tide District, for housekeepers, child-care, gardening, etc.). The Tide District features a network of man-made canals, rivers and streams which serve multiple purposes: transportation, leisure, washing, power for mills, and most importantly, the backbone of the city's water and sewage system. Established through a complex web of enchantments and magitech, Celin City is proud to boast running water and flush toilets in every home.
Since it is the place where most people live, the Tide District also houses simpler, more relaxed leisure options for the residents. There are several public parks, a museum of Celin's history and heritage, and a zoo has even opened recently. While the Pyre District is where one might go for a night on the town with their mates, the Tide District is where one would go for a fun night with the whole family. One section of the district is dedicated to a small lake which the sector's waterways empty into; it is kept stocked with fish to catch for sport, magically bred in the Wind District so that their numbers can be replenished nigh-instantaneously, and is also used for swimming and watersports. Local youth have made something of a game of getting away with skinny-dipping in the lake late at night without being caught by the city watch, much to the annoyance (or amusement, depending on the individual) of the guardsmen.
Due to the need of the city to expand vertically rather than horizontally where possible, a consequence of the expense and difficulty of pushing its physical boundaries outward, the majority of housing is provided by large, multi-story, apartment-style buildings where dozens or even hundreds of people can live. While obviously not as spacious as a house outside the city walls, the apartments for the middle class (the majority of the population) are clean, well-furnished and provide multiple rooms, usually including bedrooms, balcony, bathroom and combined living/kitchen space at a minimum. More expensive apartments may include dedicated storage space or other amenities such as a magitech drink mixer.
The desperately poor and homeless are accommodated in free, public housing which is designed more in the style of a barracks, complete with one free meal provided daily. Due to the obvious problem of overcrowding, public housing is filled to capacity based on need, as determined by special judges appointed to review each case, and the remainder of applicants are "encouraged" to find another option--those who can leave the city do so, but many turn to the Undercity for lack of anywhere else to go. A limited number of full houses do exist within the Tide District in a small neighborhood protected by an iron fence; these are occupied by the most wealthy and influential residents, and are highly sought after. While not quite the size of mansions, they are multi-story and tend to be very lavishly furnished.
Known simply as "The Beacon" by most, and referred to by some as the "light district" for the secondary element which it seems to draw inspiration from, Beacon Estate is the regent's official residence constructed at the dead-center of the city. This area is small compared to the four main districts, a single point of light shining amidst the greater whole, but still occupies considerably more space than almost any other individual structure in the city. It does have its own mini-district, after all. It is here that the city's government is seated, with the regent sitting at the top of the structure both literally and metaphorically. Other important officials and decision-makers have offices throughout the various wings of the palace, with different areas being dedicated to specific functions which require oversight, such as infrastructure maintenance, military affairs, foreign relations, etc. While the Vale District contains most of the administrative machine that puts policy into practice, the actual making of policy is done within the Beacon.
Since it is the only location in the city which borders all four primary districts, passing through the Beacon provides a convenient shortcut for those traveling between them. However, such access is highly restricted, available only to those with powerful connections, truly pressing need, or the ability to pay top-dollar for the service. Transportation is provided via underground "streets" that are tunneled under the palace, similar to a subway system, although these tunnels are only in operation under the Beacon's grounds and exit back to the surface once they reach other districts. Currently there is no rail system or other public means of transit through the tunnels, although they are large enough to accommodate horse & buggy and most who utilize them are more than able to afford this or some other equivalent vehicle. There are plans to expand the system and make it more widely available to the public, but reclaiming and transforming areas underneath the city surface has proven to be difficult.
The palace grounds are encased in twenty-foot wrought-steel fencing, magically enhanced to have the same effect as an electrical fence. "Brands," essentially temporary tattoos in the shape of runes or glyphs, can be inscribed on a person so that the fence will "recognize" and not shock them, but these are given only to the regent, his most trusted aides, and the necessary Beacon maintenance staff. In the event that the area comes under attack, the steel fencing can re-arrange shape and form a nearly solid wall too dense for any but the absolute smallest of projectiles to penetrate. Once inside the fencing, there is still considerable open ground to be covered before reaching the palace itself. Additional long-term enchantments and apparatus are currently under development to further increase security and defensibility. Given recent events, the safety of the regent and other high-ranking personnel is taken extremely seriously.
The palace itself, true to its name, is far taller than it is wide, though it is also quite wide by comparison to nearly any other structure in the city. The structure consists of a "base," roughly ten stories high and running the full length and width of the building, and a central tower rising out from the base structure near its center, for which the palace is named. The central tower is quite thick, not unlike a skyscraper (though it resembles the keep of a medieval castle more so than an actual, modern skyscraper), and rises to nearly one hundred stories, capping in an open-air roof ringed with enormous crenelations. The majority of the tower above the tenth floor, the level at which it parts with the roof of the rest of the building, is utilized almost entirely by the regent, and only a privileged few know more than the barest scraps of what it is used for. As a result, it is known as the "Regent's Spire" or simply "the spire." Rumors naturally run rampant among the court and the common folk, speculating on everything from weapons development and other such mundane uses, to more outlandish theories such as a project to convert the central tower into a space rocket, or housing for a secret harem numbering in the hundreds.
It goes without saying that the entire structure is blindingly white in coloration.
Unlike other segments of the city, the "undercity" as it is called, or "the shadow district" to some due to an unofficial designation of darkness as its patron element among the common folk, does not have any true "function" or "design," as it is not technically a part of Celin City. While it certainly exists within the city's boundaries, the city's government and other civic institutions have little to no power within it and the area is more or less a subterranean, anarchic wilderness. As its name would suggest, the undercity consists of a veritable labyrinth of tunnels, caves and other underground venues running beneath the surface of Celin City. Only small fractions near the very top have been fully explored and mapped, and even these are considered unsafe as elements from further below could creep into them at any time. There is no real estimate of how deep and how complex the catacombs ultimately are, nor how far they may extend past the city's above-ground walls.
The undercity has no uniform structure or characteristics, as it is an inter-connected web of many different underground areas, each with its own unique origin and purpose. Some are sectors previously utilized by human residents of the city then later abandoned, while others are naturally formed caves, and others still are neither natural nor man-made, carved out long ago by unknown denizens who have since departed (or in some cases..... may still lurk). Likewise, there is no real commonality among its inhabitants. For obvious reasons, a majority of the city's criminal and illicit elements make their home here, and the refuge from law enforcement that they find in the undercity is considered an enormous thorn in the side by Celin City's rulers. Unfortunately, the terrorist attack and the necessary response to it has prevented the government from organizing a comprehensive response as of yet. In addition to criminals, many destitute and homeless can be found eking out an existence in underground warrens, often barred from public housing due to a petty criminal record or other disqualifying condition and feeling that they have nowhere else to go.
Naturally, darker, more dangerous things may dwell deeper down......
The climate of Celin City is unremarkable. It is temperate on the whole, not overly hot nor overly cold, with four regular seasons and a fair smattering of all types of weather, including thunderstorms, snow, and even the occasional tornado. It is too far inland to suffer from hurricanes, although particularly potent experiments or anomalies in the city's magic-practicing institutions have been known to cause bouts of unusual weather from time to time. Fortunately, the city is well-protected against magestorms originating elsewhere on the continent on account of its newly-installed magi-shields, enormous energy barriers which are meant to keep invaders at bay.... but also do a nice job against chaotic magic raining from the heavens.
Flora and Fauna
Celin City is home to any and all flora and fauna which would normally be found in the Genesaris midlands; these are too numerous to list here, but do include analogues of most if not all earth wildlife that one would typically expect to find in forests, foothills, and plains (bears, wolves, foxes, all kind of birds, prairie dogs, etc.). More fantastic wildlife common to the setting of Valucre/Genesaris as a whole can be found elsewhere in the lore. Untamed wildlife and plant life is more or less unheard of within the city walls, but there are ample stretches of wilderness nearby. Likewise, the full range of creatures inhabiting the undercity is not even close to being fully documented, although certainly some have been identified--most anything that would live in a cavern or other subterranean environment can be assumed to exist there in some number or capacity. More or less any healing herbs or plants of any real significance can be safely assumed to be cultivated somewhere within the city, mostly in the Vale District, although abundant supply means that many citizens also keep personal gardens in their homes or workspaces.
Fantastic creatures which are more or less indigenous to Celin City and its sphere of influence can be found below, often a byproduct of its rampant magic usage:
Celin Burrowing Cricket
Appearance--Exactly what it says on the tin. This insect resembles a cricket, except considerably larger. They are typically a foot high, taller if rearing back on their large hinds legs, and two feet long.
Location--Anywhere there is dirt for them to dig.
Behavior--While the Celin giant cricket, as it is often called, mostly feeds on plants and other, smaller insects, they have been seen hunting and eating small animals such as mice as well. They are noteworthy because they are fiercely territorial. As indicated by the name, they tend to dig underground tunnels which serve as their home, and when these are disturbed by humans walking around above they will emerge and attempt to drive away the threat. Once the threat has fled a sufficient distance from their home, they will generally retreat. These insects typically live in small groups of three to five, though there are rumors of a "mother colony" consisting of hundreds hidden somewhere deep in the local forests.
Abilities--They have powerful jaws capable of inflicting painful bites and tearing flesh, but it is rare to hear of someone dying from an attack. They are capable of limited flight and immense jumps, and make a loud chirping sound when agitated. Locals consider them a pest and are able to recognize the distinct shape of their burrows, but those not native to the area may be taken off-guard if they are not traveling with someone who knows the terrain.
Durability--About what one would expect from a giant bug, several emphatic boot-stomps will often prove to be crippling, if not fatal. Catching them and hitting them through their erratic movements and ability to leap large distances tends to be more of an obstacle to killing them than physical durability.
Appearance--The packrat is a giant rat with particularly pronounced front teeth, similar to those of a beaver. It is believed that their teeth have evolved in such a manner to aid in carving out subterranean warrens. The typical specimen is three feet long, four to five when including the tail.
Location--Sewers and undercity. They occasionally venture above ground after dark, but this is quite rare, as most have learned that the guards can and will kill them on sight.
Behavior--True to their smaller cousins, packrats stay to dark, cramped places and scavenge for food, capable of eating nearly anything to sustain themselves. Unlike their smaller cousins, they are large enough to hunt and kill large prey, and have evolved to operate in a pack similar to wolves. If the pack senses a vulnerable target, they will swarm it and overwhelm it through sheer numbers, then pick the corpse clean in a matter of minutes. However, they intensely dislike bright lights, and will often stay away from one even if they could easily kill its bearer. The typical "pack" numbers in the dozens, rendering them a serious concern when venturing into the undercity; those who live within the catacombs have learned to stay in large groups at all times and carry torches when venturing into unknown areas.
Abilities--Little of note beyond their ability to jump on and bite down. Their primary source of threat is the sheer number in which they attack. While a lone packrat is likely a non-issue, fifty or so can quickly overwhelm and devour the unwary adventurer. They are not suicidal, though, and can be convinced to retreat with a sufficiently powerful or impressive counter-attack.
Durability--Equivalent to their size, about what one would expect from a fox or other small animal, perhaps slightly tougher. The most notable feature of their body is its ability to keep biting down on a victim in spite of nearly any amount of trauma, similar to a snapping turtle; the severed head of a packrat has been known to remain staunchly attached to its target long after death, requiring surgery or other delicate techniques to safely remove.
Origin--Rats have proven to be both oddly sensitive to, yet resilient in the face of, mutations caused by constant exposure to ambient magic in the city's water supply and other utilities. Why such influences only ever seem to make rats larger and fiercer, never smaller or sickly, is still a matter of research and debate among scholars.
Appearance--Serpentine in form, winter wraiths are elemental beings composed entirely of sharp chunks of ice fused by cold energy. They can range in length from two feet to over ten feet in the largest documented specimen, though most are no longer than four.
Location--Winter wraiths are seasonal creatures, appearing only during the coldest two months during the winter, occasionally three in a particularly bitter year. They can manifest anywhere, but are more likely to appear where there is a greater prevalence of snow and ice. They do not form inside the city walls, but can rarely spawn in the undercity. They are almost always found alone, but there are exceptions.
Behavior--Relatively unknown. Winter wraiths will often avoid attacking unless provoked, but they have been known to spontaneously attack on their own if one gets too close. They can occasionally be observed attacking and killing wildlife, but they do not seem to eat the remains. Scholars speculate that each individual wraith forms its own tendencies over time.
Abilities--Winter wraiths radiate extreme cold, with the air up to five feet around them typically being far below zero degrees fahrenheit. They typically float several feet above ground and seem to slither through the air. When angered, they will lunge at targets and bite with fangs similar to a snake. They are not poisonous, but their bite does more or less guarantee frostbite upon contact, in addition to physical trauma caused by the bite itself. Prolonged contact with exposed skin is extremely dangerous.
Durability--Winter wraiths are vulnerable to all forms of attack which would affect a normal, living creature; once their ice body has taken a sufficient degree of physical trauma, they will fall apart and become normal, inanimate chunks of ice. Their hardened ice has an armor-like quality, making piercing or cutting attacks relatively ineffective by comparison to blunt force, unless carefully aimed at the "joints" in between the plates of ice. Naturally, they are weak to extreme heat, and fire-based magic can kill them very easily. If it fails to kill, it will often cause the wraith to flee in apparent terror.
Origin--Winter wraiths are the result of an experiment aimed at combining the essence of snakes with a golem mold to create a new type of construct. When the imbuing process misfired, the result killed the unfortunate mage working on it and promptly flew into a nearby sewer entrance, disappearing into the undercity. They are considered a magical anomaly, as their process of formation and reproduction is not understood.
Appearance--A medium-size cephalopod, the sewer squid has a tubular body roughly the same size as a grown man, with a dozen long, thin tentacles, lined with suckers and ending in larger "pads" equipped with larger suckers for grasping prey. While its skin is pink, streaks of blue occasionally appear on its surface in varying shades, with each squid's individual pattern shifting over its lifespan.
Location--Underground waterways, hence the name
Behavior--Carnivorous in nature, the sewer squid can subsist on small fish, algae, etc., but prefers larger samples of meat whenever it can have them. They have been known to reach out of the water and snatch animals (or people) into their domain from half a dozen feet away from the water's edge. When attacking, the squid's technique is to wrap and restrain its victim thoroughly before dragging it down and holding it underwater until it is drowned.
Abilities--This is an animal combined with some magical qualities; in addition to its strong tentacles, it possesses a limited degree of water-manipulation. It is not intelligent enough to use its power creatively, but it can fire jets of high-pressure water from its tentacles as a secondary method of attack. This also appears to be its method of propulsion, as it can be observed moving through the water at high speeds with apparently minimal movement of its body.
Durability--Even for a squid, this creature has an especially durable and elastic body, making it able to absorb and recover from blunt trauma relatively easily. Slashing attacks and hacking off tentacles are typically more effective, as it has no hard skeleton to prevent its body from being cut apart. Its blood is a deep blue color and seems to be much more similar to water than that of most creatures; it is highly resistant to fire or heat based attacks even while out of its natural aquatic habitat, though not impervious. While it does not appear to "breathe" in the same sense as most animals, it does draw energy from its watery environment somehow, as it will begin to dry out and eventually "drown" if forced onto dry land for an extended length of time.
More will be added (or discovered/created!) no doubt.
- Civilian Population: 9,000,000
- Minors (Under 16): 2,225,000
- Elderly (Over 60): 1,625,000
- Male/Female Ratio: 48.4%/51.6%
[*]City Guard Total: 8,500
- High Ranking Officers: 52
- Jail Workers: 400
- Capital Guards: 250
- Special Assignments Officers: 25
[*]Military: Houses 33% of The Great North's Army, about 800,000-850,000 troops.
- Territory Coverage: About 400mi Radius
- Estimated Number of Forts (Contains a brigade): 275
- Troops able to defend city within 1 day: 50,000-52,000
- Time to gather entire army: 5-10 days.
- Minors (Under 16): 2,225,000
The majority of Celin City's population is human, although small pocket communities of other races do exist. More people than not prefer to live inside the city walls for ease of access to its many amenities and institutions, but a substantial amount do reside in "suburban" communities, villages and farms and such, surrounding the walls, whether by necessity or simple preference for more open living space. Distributions of age and language are unremarkable; the common tongue is spoken by more or less all but the most distant of foreign travelers, and while secondary languages are often required courses in schooling, they are taught in the classroom only and more or less unused in daily life, so proficiency in them tends to be lacking. Due to an emphasis on adequate housing and the provision of substantial public housing, as well as considerable effort by the government to remove "undesirables," there are no true "slum" neighborhoods and official reports and figures would have one believe that the distribution of wealth in Celin City is very well-balanced, though still far from perfectly even. However, it is neither practical, nor has it been attempted to count the number of destitute who dwell within the undercity, so astute observers remain skeptical of the city's supposed economic fairness.
The people of Celin City are known for their positive outlook and optimistic demeanor; this is reflected in the city's nickname, "The City That Won't Stay Down," earned after a terrorist attack leveled half the city only for it to be re-constructed and even improved upon in record time. Celin City residents often reflect this exuberance in their personal lives and life choices. There is a strong competitive streak in its people and it is considered essential to be the best at whatever one does, or at least to be the best that one can be. Since this attitude is applied universally to all areas of one's life, the people of Celin City, like the city itself in some ways, are often good or proficient in many areas but true masters at none; the ideal that many people of the city strive towards is similar to the notion of a Renaissance man, accomplished in various areas and activities.
While this energy has certainly helped to propel their city to new heights, it is not without its drawbacks. An emphasis to excel and always reach for more often leads to intemperance in situations where more is not necessarily better, such as alcohol or drugs. The city's artists and other socially involved populations are notorious for their high rates of alcohol abuse and drug addiction, despite many of the substances they use being illegal in the latter case. While debilitating physical effects of these habits can often be alleviated by the city's resident healers, personal and behavioral problems caused by their use are not so easily swept aside. Likewise, the pressure to succeed can often cause people to crack when their lives don't measure up (or sometimes, even when they do); depressive tendencies are shunned and sometimes outright mocked, so people experiencing such feelings often repress them and leave them to fester instead, leading to a somewhat higher than usual suicide rate.
A strong tradition of the study and practice of magic runs through Celin City's history. None are sure where it originates from, but it is believed that a group of powerful sages settled in the area in ancient times, and that their bloodlines and legacy have carried forward into the present day even though their names and the events of their lives are lost to history. Most residents of Celin City are proud of this one aspect in which their city rises above nearly all others on the continent, and as such mages and magic usage tend to have a very positive image with the people. There are ample opportunities for those with magical talent in the city, and its rich and famous are often both powerful magic users, and enjoy their elite status because they are powerful magic users with important roles to play in the Vale or Wind Districts. The ability to use magic, healing spells in particular, is therefore more common among the general population than in most areas; in many households there are no bandages or other materials for treating simple injuries, as one or both parents know sufficient healing magic to address minor injuries and illnesses.
Celin City has no particular emphasis on religion in public life, though obviously many of its citizens do consider themselves religious. Religion is considered a private and personal matter, kept entirely separate from government and rarely practiced in public. The people follow a wide variety of faiths stemming from all over the continent, a diversity fostered by the many small pockets of distant cultures brought in to assimilate their healing knowledge and techniques. While most practice religion at home, sometimes with a small personal shrine or idol if the faith calls for it, religions with a particularly large number of followers sometimes rent out small buildings to use for group/ritual worship in the Pyre or Tide Districts.
Though it has historically been a more peaceful and stable city, recent events have led to crime being on a serious uptick in Celin City. The terrorist attack occupied nearly all of the government's manpower--including the city guard--for quite some time, and with the full unveiling of the undercity criminal elements were given a refuge from which to conduct business more or less free from scrutiny. While the city is still relatively safe during daylight, many citizens have taken to staying indoors after dark, and doors are now generally kept locked where once they were left open without a care. The Tide District, as well, is relatively safe at all times due to the very high population density; it is difficult to commit a violent crime there without immediately being reported by other citizens witnessing it from their window or balcony. The other districts, however, are "fair game," as the city's less savory residents are fond of saying. Many citizens have become concerned with the regent's apparent lack of interest in taking decisive action to remedy this state of affairs.
As a major city of Genesaris, Celin City has a large and complex economy. The surrounding grasslands are amenable to farming and as a result the city is more or less self-sustaining when it comes to food, however, it does import a significant portion of its building and crafting materials, especially metals for use in golems or gear for the military and city guard. The re-construction effort following the terrorist attack put a severe strain on Celin's ability to produce satisfactory amounts of these materials on its own. In addition to the major industries listed below, there are no doubt a great variety of additional products and services produced in smaller, less notable quantities. The categories following are only the ones in which Celin stands out compared to most other cities.
- Magitech, R&D--With large sectors of the city devoted to the practice and study of magic, it is no surprise that Celin exports many products and services related to the mystical arts. Golems, enchanted items of all varieties, scrolls and tomes imbued with spellpower, the list is exhaustive.... and growing every day, as new applications for magic are constantly discovered.
- Healing products--From its gardens in the Vale District, Celin cultivates and preserves the rarest and most potent healing herbs to be found anywhere on the continent. Carefully bred over several generations and enhanced via all manner of magic, the plants produce the most powerful restorative effects on the market. The money is in the quality, not the quantity; top-dollar alchemists, potion shops, hospitals, and other such venues all over the continent use Celin's products.
- Criminal enterprise--With construction jobs from the city's re-building finally dried up, a disturbingly large portion of the population has become entangled in some form of criminal activity or another, even if they only serve in a relatively innocent role such as a carrier bringing drugs from a production house to a distribution point. Celin City has both the demand for illicit substances and, in the catacombs, a place where they can be produced somewhat "safely," away from the law's prying eyes. Even more concerning are recent reports of a burgeoning human trafficking industry, including sex trafficking.
Major Companies and Institutions
Braxton & Sons Theater Co.
The region's premiere stage troupe is not a traveling act, but rather, operates out of an enormous entertainment hall situated in the heart of the Pyre District. This company and its employees put on not only stage plays, but also dancing & ballet shows, carnival/circus like events showing off magical oddities and people with strange talents, and other such attractions. It is considered one of the most popular and posh places to gather for leisure, and the city's elite and powerful can often be seen in its expensive balcony seats. There is, naturally, a full bar and tavern operating in the building's basement. Recently, it has gained a reputation as a meeting point for crime bosses wishing to discuss their business in the privacy of the establishment's VIP lounges.
The Shining Star Mage Academy
A fine mage school for students not looking to go as far as Mageside city, this school is headed by a powerful and talented mage and draws a great deal of talent, even if they are unable to pull in the same numbers as the magic based city. The tower rises high and boasts numerous levels above ground and below, with rumored secret floors built out of extra dimensional space. No one can confirm these, despite wandering off from numerous offered tour groups.
Radiant Hands Infirmary
The most advanced healing infirmary in all of Genesaris, it is said that to be offered a placement at this prestigious hospital is to have been bestowed a great honor and recognition. Advancing the arts of healing to new reaches unmet before, they serve as a center for specialized healing as well as training for those who serve with the militia as needed. As their practices are secret, they do not give tours of the education departments, but they do give guided tours through some medical facilities and the beautiful campus.
The New Celin Zoo
The brainchild of a wealthy nobleman's bored wife, this attraction has opened recently in the Tide District and already procured specimens of many rare and fantastic creatures from across the continent, primarily through the exercise of said nobleman's exorbitant stores of cash. Many of these creatures are magical in nature, and likewise constrained by magic, with glyphs or other spells woven into their skin to render them docile or harmless while retaining their wondrous appearance. Most citizens have little to no chance of ever observing these species in the wild, and could certainly never hope to do so safely, so the zoo has proven rather popular. Naturally, the Zoo limits itself to beings with animal-like intelligence at most, and makes no attempts to cage highly intelligent entities such as fairies or vampires.
Landmarks and monuments
Gardens of Renewal
Located in the heart of the Vale District, this is one of Celin City's premier recreation areas. It is the largest park area in the city, considerably bigger than the various smaller ones dotting the Tide District. The "gardens" are less of a garden and really more of a localized, highly-stylized forest. Plant life of all imaginable shapes and sizes has been planted here, everything from massive trees the size of oaks down to delicate flowers and tiny shrubs--each one a species possessed of healing or restorative properties, many of them imbued or enhanced through magic. Once one gets deep enough into the Gardens, all views of the surrounding city fall away and one truly feels as though they are immersed deep in a forest.
Plaza of Storms
Among the markets of the Wind District one location in particular stands out: A massive platform the size of a city block, raised up from the surrounding street, walled off by transparent magitech barriers, and offering the largest open space in the city. The Plaza of Storms is used by the city's innumerable elemental magi for congregation of all kinds. During a typical day, one can find mages of all stripes mingling here, whether they are looking to make trades, arrange business, or simply socialize. The space is also used to test new spells and provide space for magical sparring duels and tournaments. The stone floor is inscribed with countless runes and glyphs which can be activated to produce various effects, simulating different types of terrain to use as necessary. The Plaza's name derives from the miniature magestorms that often form above it on particularly active days.
Recently erected to serve as a new attraction in the Pyre District, the Grand Arena is built colosseum-style, a circular structure with tiered seating leading down to a combat "cage," a large open area closed in by reinforced glass to provide a crystal-clear view of the action with none of the risk of stray projectiles or spells. The Arena is currently in use for Celin City's first Grand Tournament event, arranged and organized by the regent himself. While it is certainly a wondrous structure, many citizens have whispered their concern that the regent would empty the city coffers on such extravagance while crime rates continue to rise and the Undercity remains almost entirely unmapped and untamed.
This man-made lake in the Tide District supplies water to most of the city, with advanced plumbing systems purifying and recycling the water to keep the lake's water level stable. Citizens can regularly be seen swimming, fishing or partaking in other aquatic activities on the lakefront. The canal system running through the Tide District all empties into the lake as well, allowing boat owners (or those with other means of water-based transportation, such as access to powerful water-based magic) easy access to the rest of the district. Fish in the lake are magically bred to be docile and remain at a certain depth, which serves the dual purpose of accommodating fishermen while sparing swimmers from being brushed by fish hanging about near the surface. Rumor states that there are connections to the Undercity hidden in the depths of the lake, but this is vehemently denied by the government and remains unconfirmed by any external sources.
Celin City is run by a non-democratic government most closely resembling an oligarchy. The regent has traditionally been one of the oldest, most skilled, and most well-respected healers from Radiant Hands Infirmary, as the healing center and the buildings around it were originally the center of the settlement, from which the rest of the city grew outwards as more people moved into the area. The regent appoints his successor when he feels that he is nearing a death from old age, or simply wishes to retire. A regent also has the authority to appoint a council of advisers, who oversee various activities within the city ranging from street-cleaning, to police work and infrastructure repairs. The Councilor of Elements, an appointee traditionally hailing from the leadership of the Shining Star Academy, oversees the regulation and proper study of magic within the Wind District, and is often seen as the regent's unofficial right-hand man.
There have been calls for change in the city's means of rulership from time to time, with complaints made that the current system fosters elitism and excludes the vast majority of citizens from having any voice in the city's policies. These complaints have typically not been loud enough to make a dent in public affairs, as Celin has traditionally been a fairly peaceful and prosperous city, and so most citizens have been more or less content with its rulers. In recent years, this tone has shifted, and there is talk of serious unrest among the people. There have been a few riots, but no attempt at a real rebellion as of yet, as the regent and his councilors have close ties with the city's military leadership.
Prime Military: Life Brood
Given their extensive advancements in the healing world, it comes as no surprise that everyone in the field dreams of working for the medical center of Celin City, as well as serving as legion healers in their army. With at least one healer assigned to each platoon, these armies are trained to work with their healer, keeping them alive at all costs while staying within a tightly knit group hard to penetrate and harder to fell. The groups fight with shields, spears and swords, blocking rushes from their ball shaped formation, which keeps them in range of a regenerative field setup by their healer. In moments of need, a healer can restore the health of a seriously wounded soldier quickly, so long as an overwhelming need does not arise.
Some politicians have recently been lobbying for the name to be changed, claiming that it makes the city's armed forces sound too much like a vampire clan, but these requests have fallen on deaf ears so far.
- Roads and Highways: Celin City's system of roads covers the entire city; it is neat, orderly and well-maintained, paved with white flagstones and regularly repaired by expert earth mages.
- Rails/Subways: None currently. Ideally a subway system could be built in the Undercity, but this seems far-off at the moment.
- Riverways: A detailed canal system spans the Tide District, roughly one-fourth of the city. The remainder is dry; although there are certainly waterways in the Undercity, they are far from safe to travel.
- Cab (mounted horse, etc?): Carriages do operate in the city as a sort of taxi service, but they are found mainly in the Pyre District where they can found ferrying wealthy, drunken citizens from one place of entertainment to the next. In the other districts they are a rare sight, though they will certainly carry someone there if hired to do so.
- Private: More or less anything residents can utilize so long as it poses no real harm to, nor interferes with the daily business of others. Popular ones include air mages who fly to work and moderately-skilled water mages who use their magic to power small wooden boats through the Tide District's canals.
--Lord Vell Daraques: The current-sitting regent, Lord Vell is an enigmatic man who is rarely seen outside the Beacon these days. He is an elf and has reigned for over a hundred years now. While the early years of his reign were seen as a time of growth and prosperity, many have now begun to question his leadership, and if not for his occasional (although still very infrequent) appearance in public the people would likely talk of a conspiracy that had supplanted him. Some still do.
--Councilor Mior Valourian: A former professor at the Shining Star Academy, Councilor Mior is second to none in his mastery of the elemental magics. In his days at the academy he was known to surpass some of his own instructors before finishing their classes, a feat which has rarely been replicated and never at the frequency with which he achieved it. He has managed the Wind District well enough, but since being appointed by the regent to oversee the execution of the Celin Grand Tournament, he has, like Lord Vell, seemingly disappeared from the public eye. As with the regent, some citizens are concerned by this.
--Grand Healer Kaesoro Milea: The foremost healer at Radiant Hands, she is rumored to have once raised a man from death; however, she maintains that the person was never "truly" dead. The details remain sketchy. Regardless, Grand Healer Milea’s skill in the healing arts is unquestioned. As Grand Healer she has moved to more of an administrative role than one of performing healing techniques himself, and works tirelessly to advance Celin's knowledge of healing to ever-greater heights--research which is funded, of course, by the coin of the rich and powerful from all over the continent, who come to her hospital and pay exorbitant sums to be treated should they be struck with a particularly dread illness or injury. It was she who devised the lifeward charm used in the Celin Grand Tournament.
--Headmaster Vance Tarrin: One of now-councilor Valourian's instructors during his time at the academy, the Headmaster proudly claims that he was never surpassed by the councilor while he was in school, though he admits that he has been surpassed since. He is a competent mage in all four primary elements, as would be expected of any Headmaster at Shining Star, but he specializes in magic of the sky: Specifically, that of lightning. The Thunderbolt school of battlemages held a number one ranking for years while he fought within their ranks before eventually leaving to accept the position of Headmaster. He has proven competent, but rumors swirl that he has some ill-advised vices which are swept under the rug. This is, of course, vehemently denied by the school administration, and proof of such accusations has never been found.
--Madame DuCain: The wife of an elderly nobleman, she holds a tight grip on her husband's purse-strings despite none of its technically being her wealth, and brags to anyone that will listen about what a good, kind and submissive spouse he is. She is effectively among the city's wealthiest and most influential citizens, and also one of the very few among its elite to not wield magical powers of any kind, preferring to wield her money as a blunt instrument instead. She is the owner, proprietor and creator of the New Celin Zoo, an establishment which has only added to her stacks of cash since it opened. As an unabashed socialite and gossip, she is privy to all sorts of juicy secrets, and can be trusted to know something about everything that is happening within the walls of Celin.
Will you change this?