Regent: Council of Seven
Dairut, popularly known as the Slaver’s Enclave, is located at the heart of the region known as the Slaver’s Alcove. This is an area that reaches from the south-western corner of the Bloodstone Marsh deep into the rocky eastern boundaries of the Velhatien Desert. It is a land shrouded in mysticism, said to be protected by the desert itself. Home to a wide variety of nationalities and cultures, the city is a collage of both foreign and domestic banners.
Dairut currently has a population of roughly 1,100,000.
The city is situated alongside the largest westward artery of the Great Lake (the largest source of fresh water in the immediate region), which in turn feeds the intricate, man-made irrigation system the city uses to grow its crops. Beyond this single waterway, which some use to travel from one end of the city to the other, district to district, Dairut is entirely landlocked.
To the north, east, and south lie the major cities of Aelindra and Raven’s Landing, Mezthaleun and Union City, and Stormward, respectively.
To the west is the expansive Velhatien Desert, of which Joran city rests on its flank. With slavery all but outlawed across the continent, many see the Enclave’s positioning as reckless. However, Dairut is an elusive establishment -- some say it is protected by powerful magic -- that is only capable of being found by those who already know where it is. Surrounded by unforgiving outcroppings and a desolate wasteland on all sides, many have died seeking its walls.
Dairut is built in the shadow of a colossal desert outcropping. It is a mass of colorful slaver tents, busy merchant shops and trader stands, and luxurious harems separated into four permeable districts (with Arabain and African inspirations). The city walls are high and thick, spiked near the top with the skeletal remains of trespassers, criminals, and rebellious slaves. The buildings are built close together and on top of each other, giving even tall spires a somewhat squat appearance.
The Jovial Flats is the largest and most popular of all the Enclave’s districts, encompassing the entirety of the city’s eastern boundary. It is a sprawling maze of harems, service stalls, and auction blocks where dozens of men and women are used, purchased, and traded every day. Some of the product available come from spoils of conquest, while others were sold into slavery as bargaining chips to clear a debt. Named after its customer’s continued satisfaction, the Flats are a living nightmare for beauties that find themselves on the wrong end of a collar and leash.
Second to the Flats is the Valley of Strength in the west, which deals in the business of selling and training slaves gifted in the art of killing. The buildings hard are generally carved from solid stone, or are reinforced otherwise. There are a number of pits located throughout this district, the largest of which is called Tartarus, where slaves are pitted against each other for blood sport.
The Etiquette Bazaar is the smallest of the slaver’s market districts, located in the south. It is the first district one passes through upon entering the city, and due to the nature of its product, is likewise the tidiest. The buildings are architecturally beautiful, the streets cleaned regularly of manure and other garbage, and the people the best dressed. Slaves that find themselves here are former servants, well-mannered and housebroken (men, women, and children that are well-educated in the expectations of a lordling’s house staff). They are seen by many as the most valuable and useful slaves, and so they enjoy a life considerably better than other slaves.
Smaller even than the Bazaar is Nebu, the living quarters for the Dairut elite. Located at the northern end of the city, only the wealthiest, most powerful slavers call this luxurious district home. These are the self-proclaimed rulers of the city, a council of seven men and women, who employ the city guard and keep the peace. All businesses pay tribute to this council in the form of taxation, and all foreign negotiations operate through them.
Year-round, the weather in Dairut is always warm, or hot, and the nights either cool or freezing. Even with its position so close to the Bloodstone Marsh, there are only two seasons: a scorching hot summer lasting one half the year, and a mild, lukewarm winter that lasts the other half. The city is incredibly dry, receiving on average only about a centimeter of rain a year, but is particularly humid throughout the summer due to its location on the Golden Path (the river from the Great Lake).
Every so often, the city is known to experience dust storms. These occur more frequently during the transitory months, with the most severe storms taking place during the winter-to-summer transition. Over the years, Dairut has learned to better track and predict these storms, and have renovated their city to better withstand their devastation.
Flora and Fauna
Valhatien Scarab: The valhatien scarabs are small (roughly the size of a tennis ball), carnivorous insects that eat the flesh of whatever creature they touch. Since their domestication by the Dairut beastmasters, they have been used as a form of execution and punishment, and have developed a keen taste for human flesh. Because of their black carapace, diamond-like in toughness, they have earned the name “black death.”
Sand Wyrm: A small snake that generally grows no longer than a meter. They are the natural predator of the valhatien scarab. They are able to emit a steady flow of fire from their mouths, which cooks the scarab inside its own carapace. They then swallow them whole.
The city is one rooted deeply in the ways of old. All but removed from the cultural revolution of the world beyond the desert, Dairut has maintained the ways of the Age of Conquest. They have coined many popular phrases such as, “You keep what you conquer,” and “Take that which is yours.” Despite these imperialistic mottos, Dairut has long-since lost its thirst for battle and expansion and has instead become a centralized hub for like-minded individuals.
However, it is through their firm belief of ownership by conquest that they validate the exercise of slavery. Those that are too weak to defend themselves, to define themselves, become the property of another, stronger individual, and thus are subject to their definition of them.
Slaves do not have any manner of civil or human rights in Dairut. They can be beaten, maimed, humiliated, or even killed at their master’s discretion (as many are). And while it is not incredibly uncommon for some owners to treat their slaves with a hint of dignity, offering roles similar to indentured servitude, this is often done indoors, away from prying eyes as to avoid ridicule.
Unsurprisingly, damaging another owner’s property is regarded as one of the most serious crimes in Dairut. Punishments range from compensation, immediate or long-term, to death.
All slaves from Dairut are given the opportunity to earn their freedom during an event known as Kaf Shakur, an annual tournament. It is the most celebrated event in all of Dairut, a glorious affair of debaucherous festivities and brutal combat. For six nights, ten slaves are thrust into the Tartarus pit in a battle royal and made to battle each other to the death. On the seventh and final night, the survivors of all six rounds and once again made to fight, with only the sole survivor able to claim their freedom.
In addition to their practice of slavery and all that it entails, Dairut has a rich history in the literary and fine arts. Many merchants savvy to the city’s location travel from across the continent to purchase their goods, from tapestries to paintings and written word.
In spite of its isolated location, Dairut boasts a notably strong and self-reliant economy built almost entirely on its slave industry. Attracting buyers and sellers from every corner of the continent, hundreds of pounds of gold and silver flow through its gates every day, along with various other forms of currency. As with most merchant-based cities, the city also makes use of a strong barter system, whether it be land, goods, or slaves. Dairutian merchants likewise supplement the slave trade with the sale of exotic native jewelry, art, and attire (African-Arabian).
Major Companies and Institutions
The House of Domestication: The most well-known slave training facility in the city, focusing on the domestication of unruly pleasure slaves. Through the use of extensive and rigorous training regimen, the handlers at House Domestication mold the finest servants of pleasure one can ask for.
The Treasury: Arguably the most important institute in the city. The Treasury is the largest bank-- and one of the largest buildings --in all the city and holds over eighty percent of its wealth. It is said that the Treasury’s subterranean faults have never been stolen from.
The Gilded Chalice: The most luxurious inn throughout the city, located at the fridge of the Nebu district. Travelers with enough coin enjoy the finest cuisine, scenery, and pleasurable company in all of the city.
Parks and Recreation
Landmarks and Monuments
Tartarus: A large coliseum located on the west end of the city, in the Valley of Strength. A number of high-profile gladiatorial events take place here, including the Kaf Shakur.
The Council of Seven: Dairut operates outside and beyond the Genesar government, and answers to no other empire. They are instead governed by a council of native elite, seven of the wealthiest men and women in the city. Together, they oversee the day-to-day operations in and around the city, including its security. It is through their combined effort that the city has prospered into the desert metropolis it is now.
— 1 Khafre (Commander)
— 100 Khufu (Elite Guard)
— 5,000 Overseers (Slave Drivers, Trainers)
— 40,000 City Guards (Infantry, Calvary, and Beastmasters)
Traditional education beyond the rudimentary requirements for business (reading, writing, and understanding basic arithmetic) is of little value to the people of Dairut. They raise no poets or scholars or scientists, but master slavers and merchants. Most education throughout the city is trade-based, with individuals learning what they need to be successful in their particular area. There are no postgraduate institutions in Dairut. Of course, the wealthier individuals in the city pay for exceptional education from external sources, and many professors have been brought in from prestigious institutes across Genesaris.
Roads, Walkways, and Bridges: Given the size of the city, the primary method of travel consists of an intricate system built on cobblestone roads, stone walkways, and both narrow and wide bridges connecting broad rooftops. This web of travel connects the various walls, sectors, and districts of the city.
Cabbies: Whether they are horse-drawn or magic-fueled, cabs -- or carriages -- are the leading method of transportation throughout the city.
Riverways: The city has the beginnings of an elaborate canal system running through it. While not entirely operational yet, the eastern and northern side of the city riverways has been introduced to great success.