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Noviria

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Ancient Athens, by nkabuto

Themes: Greco-Roman, Medieval Fantasy

Founded five centuries ago, Noviria was once the seat of power for House Arcos—a martial bloodline renowned across Ursa Madeum for its conquest of Thraece. Its members were purged during an invasion led by the Veluriyam Empire, although their influence still persists in the hearts and minds of the local populace.

 

Geography


Cityscape & Topography

Noviria was built around a natural harbour, where trade ships arrive with goods from distant cities like Port Mars. Two great marble colossi, sculpted to resemble legionaries, guard the city’s waterfront with both spear and shield in hand. The hills above the harbour tower hundreds of feet high, with three rivers running their lengths and under bustling stone bridges. One hill, to the east, is the political and cultural center of the city, while the other hill to the west functions as its mercantile center. In between lie residential areas for the middle and lower class. Behind the city is Mount Augustus, an inactive volcano named after the founder of House Arcos.

Many of Noviria’s greatest structures are built entirely from marble, inlaid with bronze, adorned with painted tiles and beautiful mosaics. Huge roofed colonnades and stoa provide shelter from the sun, which beats down upon the city with a consistent fervour. Greenery is plentiful and tame; farms on the outskirts are rich with the land’s bounty. A warm breeze blows in from the ocean, filling the air with a slightly briny scent.

Togas and plain tunics are the typical mode of dress among the local populace. Fashion styles commonly seen in Andelusia are growing somewhat popular as well. Members of the city watch still wear legionary armour as a cultural holdover, though the former red-and-white Arcos motif has been muted to a dull grey. Arcos Banners have similarly been taken down, replaced by those of the newly-coronated House Mythal. Statues have yet to be torn down as a result of political and public debate.

Climate

Noviria enjoys sub-tropical weather like the rest of the archipelago, such as humid winds, summer rainfalls, and exceptionally mild winters. Clear skies seem to be more common in Noviria than in any other city, something that practitioners of the old faith attribute to the ritual sacrifice of livestock. Several constellations in the night sky, adopted by Ursa Madeum as a whole, are the invention of stories and iconic figures in House Arcos culture.

Flora and Fauna

Many creatures from Arcos mythology do, in fact, exist, such as minotaurs, wyverns, sunstalkers, panoptids, whitescales, behemoths, and stonewraiths, among others. These are typically unique to the island of Thraece and the waters that surround it. Flora tends to be of a Mediterranean variety, though tropical plants are plentiful further inland.

Culture


Though a few years have passed since House Arcos was removed from power, its absence is still a fresh wound that stubbornly refuses to heal. People are reluctant to embrace King Mythal and the sweeping changes implemented by his government, for Arcos rule was prosperous despite its intense martial rigidity. As things currently stand, the city is a hotbed of animosity and dissension. No revolts have been openly conducted, but many believe it’s simply a matter of time.

Among the many things Novirians value, loyalty and duty are the first that come to mind. Trust is not easily extended, as is it something to be earned rather than given. Oaths are considered sacred, consequently, and are expected to be honoured even to one’s own detriment. To break your word is to seek redemption—the alternative is to suffer shame and dishonour.

Athletic prowess is celebrated every four years in the form of The Great Games. Competitors from all over Ursa Madeum are invited to participate in the various competitions. Gladiator contests are also wildly popular as a means of entertainment, though participation is completely voluntary since slavery was abolished within the last century.

Noviria’s population consists of humans and little else. Elves are rare, Shifters more so, and other species are often the subject of naked curiosity.

Government

Following House Arcos’ demise, a new council was quickly set into place. Some of its representatives were former vassals who aided the Veluriyam Empire during the city’s notorious siege, while the rest consist of imperial representatives or alliance house members.

Economy

Like any seaside city, Noviria benefits from fishing and trade. Artisans, farmers, scholars, and textile workers otherwise form the backbone of Novirian society. Members of the upper class offer patronage to the lower classes in exchange for status and political favours. Clients receive food, money, and legal help, in addition to protection when required.

Some of the finest vintages in the Kingdom are the product of renowned Novirian wineries. The city is also famous in an artistic capacity, mainly for its epic poetry and dramatical plays.

Spoiler

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Credit: The Elder Scrolls: Legends

Notable Locations

  • The Agora – A central public space that serves as the heart of the city itself. Merchants gather here during the day to trade and sell their wares, plying their craft under the stoic gaze of ten-foot-tall statues. All manner of goods can be found here, from foodstuffs such as fish, meat, wine, and cheese; to animals such as cows, goats, and sheep; to pottery, clothes, armour, and weapons.
  • The Great Palace – An imposing structure supported by carved stone columns, boasting lofty architecture, unmatched artistry, and a beautiful garden ringed with trees. A series of steps leads to the Palace’s entrance, where a grand hall awaits. It is without a doubt the most well-guarded place in all of Noviria.
  • The Colosseum – Built inside the long-extinguished caldera of Mount Augustus, the Colosseum is the city’s largest and most popular venue for hosting athletic competitions. Rows upon rows of galleries and benches have been carved into the volcano’s walls. An intricate set of mile-long tunnels—formerly lava channels which have now cooled into solid rock—can be found deeper beneath the arena floor. Only a select few know how to navigate its passages.   
  • The Academy – A sprawling campus situated in the noble district at the edge of the eastern hill. Its most prominent facilities include an arcanum, a great library, a hall of debate, and various other training grounds for athletes and would-be soldiers. The Academy is spread throughout more than a dozen buildings and is well protected by both faculty members and patrolling guardsmen.
  • The Theater – A grand marble stage that extends before an orchestra pit. Tiered seating is arranged in a concentric half-circle with no railing or partitions to speak of. The Theater is busiest during times of celebration, especially when food and wine are aplenty. A play is held every few days, and citizens are occasionally welcome to observe performers while they practice.

History

  • 80 WTA – House Arcos is formed and construction of Noviria begins.
  • 87 WTA – Noviria is established as a proper city and the central authority of House Arcos.
  • 227 WTA – The Conquest of Thraece begins. 
  • 588 WTA – Dominus Dridak, leader of House Arcos, bonds to the Oathblade Marrow and is declared Ninth of the Oathsworn.
  • 591 WTA – House Arcos enters into an alliance with King Damien Gillick.
  • 594 WTA – Dominus Dridak is slain in battle during the Break. His daughter, Adrya Arcos, is granted the title of Dominus.
  • 596 WTA – The Veluriyam Empire lays siege to Noviria following its successful takeover of Andelusia. Lanius of Thraece, Legatus Primus of the Legion and wielder of the Oathblade Willbreaker, defends Adrya's escape before disappearing during the battle's final moments.
  • 597 WTA – House Arcos is disbanded and its legions are dismantled. The Veluriyam Empire officially seizes power much to the chagrin of the city's populace. 
  • 598 WTA – The Oathblade Marrow is stolen from the royal vault in Andelusia. Rumours abound that Adrya Arcos is responsible, and that her half-brother, Lanius, has been spotted alive in Thraece.

 

Credit: Shoutout to @samo for being a cool dude and helping me flesh out my ideas. 

NOTE: I do not claim ownership of any art. No copyright is intended. Images will be taken down upon request.

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