"Those with talent should not grow lax, but strive for greatness."
A Truly Magical Place: Mageside City
Regent: Kevinar Reyse, and four other archmages, ruling as a council of five.
Flag: Golden moon with stars on a black backdrop.
Contact: Noko / The Hummingbird
Allies: Coastal Grande, the Great North, Stormward
Mageside City hosts the largest gathering of spellcasters in all of Genesaris, with many making some visit at some point in their careers, often to gain higher education difficult to receive anywhere else. Few residents are illiterate and/or uneducated, as knowledge is a facet emphasized for everyone, including the townspeople. The rest of Genesaris’ mage school’s leaders are chosen from candidates within Mageside city’s academy, whose campus actually extends the entire city. The city also boasts some of the largest libraries found in the world.
The people enjoy artificial lighting, running water, clean streets, fresh foods, scenic pictorials and other forms of luxury. Ii is generally accepted that aggressive action on the city would be foolish and suicidal. However, a terrorist attack did occur, resulting in hundreds of civilian casualties, a dozen or so city guard and a handful of novice mages. The initial attack was said to involve a large horde of undead being unleashed on the town, catching the watch off guard- unfortunately, an incompetent officer was in charge that night. The terrorist was slowed by Kevinar Reyse, at work at the tower, and later pushed out by other mages coming together.
Mageside City is located in a favorable spot between the two smaller lakes of Northeastern Genesaris; Dragonclaw Springs and Phoenix Falls. These two natural barriers are supplemented from the north and south by a myriad of rolling hills, guarded frequently by a handful of lookout towers and watch shifts. Beyond and between these hills lie the city itself, and while not as large as other cities such as Aelindra and certainly no match for Union City, Mageside is nevertheless comfortable and secure.
To nearly the direct north lies Coastal Grande, the city from which Mageside has made many a symbiotic treaty. Coastal Grande provides heavy trade and luxuries shipped to Mageside, along with providing joint education in the form of schools on separate campuses in both cities. In return, Mageside promises support in wars and protection for Coastal Grande. This results in the Greath North being, as a whole, a formidable force to be reckoned with.
To the direct south lies the foreboding Abyssal Enclave, a subject of intense interest for the students and magic practicing civilians of Mageside City, along with the Bloodmage mountains, home to an offshoot Arcantian branch of spellcasters. It is to Mageside City that Arcantians and Bloodmages both set aside their conflicting differences to send promising spellcasters to Mageside for training in the magical arts.
To the direct east and west, forests and woods lie across the lakes, with large mountains rising to the southwest of Mageside City. Environments such as these are home to many strange creatures, perhaps affected by the magic constantly radiating from the city itself. Experienced mages often venture to these woods and mountains for meditation and schools often plan protected field trips to the outskirts of their city, believing that learning requires exploration, live experience, and studying abroad rather than being confined to a single area.
Due to the generous trade with Coastal Grande and the ingenuity of experienced mages in the city, Mageside has unlimited access to advanced magitechnology and luxuries. Electricity is commonplace in Mageside, gathered from the earth and sky, directed through the city with magical leylines and supplemented by the powers of Storm Mages. Beds are often heated by firestones placed beneath the box springs and/or mattresses, and rooms are cooled on hot summer days by ice stones or, more expensively, by ice and wind spells constructed again by the mages of the city. Running water, working stoves and lights are all available in Mageside City, though in the case that magic might fail there are also water pumps, wicker lamps and less advanced resources.
Mageside City is old, and in honor of its ancient history many buildings imitate the temples and cathedrals of old. The Mage’s Academy’s main building and housing is a mix of both modern and gothic architecture, built upon to expand living quarters and education areas for the many students that flood in from across Genesaris. Even new buildings, such as banks and newer shops, take after the gothic architectural preferences of the city. Few buildings can be seen as dull squares or rectangular boxes. Mosaics and colorful swathes of tile are common, sometimes lain to tell a story, and other times for the simple, wondrous beauty and joie de vivre that can be provoked by spontaneous, imaginative art.
The city is beautiful and prides itself on its artistic flair.
Situated close to the far north, Mageside has rarely known snow or ice outside of purposeful magitech made to create such. The North is known for its neverending spring and summer climates, and the city is close enough to know only this. Hot summers and warm springs are not unusual in the least, and the weather is pleasant when other cities farther south would be suffering hailstorms and thunderstorms of fall and winter.
Flora and Fauna
Like all of Genesaris, the grounds of Mageside City shares a lot of flora and fauna with Earth. The below are just a few of the notable exceptions. It should be noted that many strange and often undiscovered creatures roam the forests and mountains near Mageside City, transformed and affected by the strong magic waves emitted by the city grounds. So far, no aggressive and adverse changes have been noted, and mages are careful to keep an eye on the surrounding environment to ensure that the animals are not adversely affected.
Great Jaguar (Feline): A mountain-dwelling giant cat, this jaguar’s black-spotted fur is a blend of gold and blue shades. Once hunted to near extinction for its prized, beautiful coat, the jaguar is now protected under sanction by national law and supported thoroughly by Mageside City and Coastal Grande. A cautious hunter and rarely seen by humans, the jaguar has once or twice been spotted at the outskirts of the city, apparently curious about the humans who have lived there for so long.
Torch Sprites (Spirit): These strange creatures are tiny balls of burning light, often graced with wings that number anywhere from two to six. They are only seen in sunlight, and appear to be attracted to strong sources of magic. It is unknown whether the Torch Sprites are natural creatures or the result of magic experimentation or other human causes. The Torch Sprites are however harmless, a common sight seen floating around magical torches and light sources and sometimes humans who are especially strong in magic. They do not eat or drink.
Summersky Tree (Tree): Created by magic bound to flora, this tree grows only in the warm climates of Mageside City, unique to its grounds. Its strange, glowing cyan wood reaches heights of fifty feet, and sprouts leaves of a greenish-blue color. Its berries, similar to black raspberries, are sour and acidic when eaten ripe, but when eaten early when they are a deep red color, indicating immaturity, they are pleasantly mild and sweet. Mageside keeps gardens of these trees to harvest their berries in the late spring and make sauces and pies from their juices.
Nearly all of the people in Mageside City are well-educated, open-minded and willing to help. The only ones who seem out of the times are visiting tourists or new students from faraway, poorer cities. Literature, art, and theater are all valued in Mageside City, though none are close to the value the citizens have for magic. Spellcasters are well-respected guaranteed education and a job if they choose to remain in the city. Rarer breeds of mages, such as Sensers and Seers, are nearly revered as minor celebrities.
With warmer weather year-round, the citizens of Mageside dress themselves primarily in bright, colorful, flowing layers which insulate them against the heat of midday and night's mild chill. Jewelry is common on both men and women and often significant, with both genders often choosing to wear numerous rings, necklaces, and ear piercings. Permanent tattoos are uncommon, but the younger generation have begun to experiment with water permeable dyes which they will sometimes use to paint totems or natural scenes on their flesh.
Laws and Norms
The Imperial Edict
Mageside is a member of the Empire and such is expected to conform to the Imperial Edict, however there are several portions of the edict which the city struggles greatly with: the first is the birthing requirement, with women often enrolled in magical learning, ensuring such mundane affairs as childbirth has never been a priority for the City. It is rare for the City to even make mention of the rule, never mind enforce it.
The second is the prohibition on heretical acts: as a city steeped in multi-culturalism, its dedication to the Sitratic Faith has always wavered somewhat. There are still deep enclaves within Mageside who worship the old gods, foreign gods, or natural processes, in varying levels of openness. Mageside City has always viewed itself as a bastion of religions freedom and continues to try and find a balance between that freedom and the Emperor's wishes.
Mageside has many laws, most of which are common sense and broadly enforced. However, it has a few long-standing laws that are widely respected, universally embraced, and worth noting.
The first is the concept of Hospitality and all it entails: in Mageside, dinner is always a communal affair, with large swaths of people gathering over several hours at enormous open-air restaurants. Violence and aggressive disturbances are strictly prohibited during common eating and punishable by appropriate lengths of manual labor.
The second component of Hospitality is welcome; citizens of Mageside will welcome visitors into their homes, and provide them with food and water if needed, and refrain from unprovoked violence or injury while their visitors are in their home. This may seem naive, but in a culture as blended at Mageside it is exceedingly important to maintain peaceful relations between individuals, races, and cultures that may otherwise be at war.
Additionally, most citizens of Mageside are more than capable of defending themselves against a randomly aggressive visitor.
Civilian Population: 3,750,000
- Minors (Under 16): 625,000
- Elderly (Over 60): 875,000
- Male/Female Ratio: 53.6%/46.4%
Mageside’s economy thrives from the schools and education fees, as well as the trade supplied by Coastal Grande. The government protects Mageside’s economy as well by buying the services of local mages and buying magical creations invented within the city. Most financial success, however, comes from the Mage’s Academy, which charges fees that can range anywhere from reasonable to flamboyant to oddly generous to the poorer students.
Major Companies and Institutions
Mage’s Academy of Magic: The Academy’s campus actually spans the entire city of Mageside, with students living close to the main building where lectures on various types of magic are given and studied. Buildings for practice spellcasting and more risky endeavors surround the main building, situated at the center of the city. The students study the eight Tiers of Magic for the eight elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Lightning, Light, Dark, and Alta). They also study spell circles, crafting, and more, free to choose extracurricular activities relevant to their field of study.
Parks and Recreation
Landmarks and monuments
Temple of Sauriel
This newly erected temple is devoted to Sauriel, the Blood God and ruler of Umbra, capital of the Arcane East. Beautiful in size and glorious in architectural brilliance, those who enter this mighty building feeling a deep and enlightening connection to their just and benevolent god. Though a blossoming religion, the creed has steadily grown in popularity, promising the growth of Sauriel's presence throughout the land.
Temple to the Lost Seals: A foundational religion in Genesaris, a prominent Temple to the Lost Seals has been a fixture in Mageside for as long as the city has existed. While the city shouldn't be considered highly religious, by any stretch of the imagination, support and commune with the Lost Seals has been a consistent presence among the general populace.
Other Temples: As a city of intellectual immigrants, Mageside boasts a high number of Temples and other locations of worship which serve the religions and spiritual needs for each of the large number of cultures that can be counted there. For the most part, these cultures and religions co-exist under Mageside's persistent enforcement of religions freedom, and hospitality, but recently the creation and expansion of the Temple of Sauriel has caused some growing unease.
SkyFire Air Base: Mageside is no exception to the supply of airships, though its base is smaller than most. Five airships, used for transporting students far from home back and forth to their homeland and for field trips, as well as for trade and general transportation, sit on the waters of the lakes situated to either side of the city. Although generally used for these harmless trips, the airships are still fully armed with weaponry and defensive shields and are always prepped for use should war break out.
Libraries of Metaphysics: Concentrated not just on metaphysics, the many libraries, six in all, lie scattered across the city offering resources for students and general study for any who wish to search the tidy shelves and highly organized rare books and scrolls kept with loving care.
Regent: Council of Five
Prime Military: The Arcane Fists
Much of the military is based on normal soldiers, but given the high number of available mages, they augment and fortify their armies with heavy protective enchantments and offensive boosts. Their warriors are trained to utilize gifts to the best degree know to protect their platoon mages. These casters turn an already effective and well-trained group of soldiers into augmented fighting machines.
City Guard Total: 3,600
- High Ranking Officers: 24
- Jail Workers: 200
- Capital Guards: 120
- Special Assignments Officers: 12
Military: Houses 20% of The Great North's Army, of which, more than half are Mageside Magic users. About 400,000-600,000 troops.
- Territory Coverage: About 150mi Radius
- Estimated Number of Forts (Contains a brigade): 180
- Troops able to defend city within 1 day: 75,000-80,000
- Time to gather entire army: 3-6 days.
These numbers do not account for mercenaries, assassins, or Edgemasters who might work within the city. These numbers fluctuate on a daily basis and cannot be accurately counted due to government secrecy.
The best education resides around the Mage’s Academy, but smaller elementary and high schools do exist for general education, teaching students to read, write, and count, as well as offering subjects in theater, art, literature, and more. These schools are supported by the government and funded by joint efforts from both Mageside and Coastal Grande, valuing the importance of learning and sophistication.
Roads and Highways: Most roads and highways are meant for walking with wider paths used for horses and carriages.
Crossroads Gate: Placed in a station to the south of the city, the crossroad, ten in all, sit ready to be used for a small fee, with students taking advantage of a steep discount. These crossroads have been altered and shaped to lead to any of the capitals of Genesaris.
Public Airships: small, bus-sized airships are available for use when traveling across or touring the city, for a small fee with discounts given to students graveling across campus grounds. These airships usually carry around 20 to 30 passengers seated, and provide cubbards for luggage and smaller loads. These travel in the sky along carefully charted routes, landing on small stations located throughout the city.
The Council of Five: the council is chosen annually by the votes of residents, a small democracy with power tempered by the residents themselves and the power of Union City.
All That Gold Can Buy, Mageside City
Lady Nahara held an open housewarming party at her new villa in Mageside City to kickstart her business and reputation, as well as gathered interested mercenaries to be her bodyguards. She entreated Kevinar Reyse with patronage to the Mages' Academy to attend, and gave him the Cruor Codex in exchange for having him seal the Vault in Nahara Villa with a blood-lock that only Narcissa can open. Narcissa struck blood-oaths with her three mercenaries: Cassus Ram, Helvast Swans-Lyre, and Dryston Silver-Blood, binding them all to her service.
An emissary, Augustus, from the eastern kingdom of Umbra arrives at the High Mage's doorstep, offering gifts with promise of power and in exchange for Mageside's conversion to Umbra's newborn Blood God. Kevinar Reyse's stubbornness and pride brings forth Sauriel himself, and together they come to an agreement; Mageside will be the haven and nexus of religious freedom, and it becomes Kevinar's duty to prove that despite religious differences, mankind can still unite to quell the xenophobic threat of the Cold South. To seal the pact, Kevinar drinks an eleixer of immortality, and promises to erect a temple to the Blood God within 3 weeks.
Once, Genesaris prided itself in highly skilled mages known as Adepts. These Adepts could cast spells like no other, drawing energy from the spirit, earth, sky, and even dimensions beyond the understanding of normal citizens. They often sought out young mages who could not control their power as well as they should, training them to become proficient in the magical arts, and, if possible, become Adepts themselves. During this time, however, training in the magical arts required independent study and relied on mages willing to become teachers, unfunded by the government or any city. Small schools were often closed due to insufficient finances. The Adepts, seeing the problem, came together to create the city of Mageside.
Choosing the gothic temple architecture of religious beauty, the Adepts built the city with their magic, power and influence, making what is now essentially a massive campus specially created for students striving to learn to control their power.
Today, the Adepts are no more, but their city continues to grow and thrive. The Mage’s Academy is a famous school, and continues to turn out the best mages of the land.