The City of Mikash
The City of Mikash is a somewhat disorderly place, having experienced explosive growth with little time for planning – not to mention the semi-regular need to remodel districts demolished by duels or magical accidents. It has a little more than one million inhabitants, some five or six hundred thousand of them magically-capable citizens, and is one of the most magically charged places known to humanity. Currently ruled by the conjurer Kadra Theolyn, the invoker Saduara Avaln and the abjurer Halon Dashervan, the city is in a period of unusual stability, as its rulers get along with little real infighting. Instead they have managed to pour their political energy into reorganizing, beautifying and strengthening the city, with the result that it might yet turn out to be a proper capital after nearly four centuries of existence.
The dockyards of Mikash are quite large, made out of stone, since Mikash desperately preserves every piece of usable timber it can lay hands on for ship-building. The Harbor Authority is notoriously xenophobic, with groups of mages teleporting out to meet and search Charan fishing boats too small to even hold all of them while Mikashi galleons often go completely unsearched – making Mikash as much of a smuggling haven as it was in the days prior to nationhood.
While no official meeting place for the government exists in any Mikashi town, it is relatively well-known that the current rulers meet in the Mages guild, a mostly open-air university made of dark brown stone, with a central tower perhaps twenty-feet tall. Never let it be said, though, that the tower is the result of any desire for moderation or humility on the part of local mages – while it is comparatively short for a wizard’s tower, it is made out of magically re-shaped ruby, and shines with irritating brightness in direct sunlight. It is one of the most hated structures in the city, a title for which it competes with exploded alchemy labs and transmutation areas from which experiments often escape. Since it is filled with harsh red light during the day and lighting lamps inside at night could easily blind someone, it has also never seen use as a meeting house, its original purpose.
The marketplace near the docks sells very few items that aren’t magical; even mundane objects in the capital often at least carry self-cleaning or self-maintenance enchantments. Of course, as virtually every household can manufacture the items for sale here themselves, this also means that the market is targeted at foreign arrivals, and the prices reflect this trend. One noticeable product missing from the market is slaves. While slavery is ubiquitous elsewhere in the western bay, in Mikash it is illegal, and while there is some debate as to whether or not Mikashi poor are better off than slaves or not, Mikash remains proud of the fact that nobody legally owns anybody else, at least. This applies as well to ownership of experimented creatures, one reason that very few mages try and create anything meaningfully intelligent.
The Temple of Horus in Mikash is one of the few great temples anywhere in the nation. As there is no state religion, it has been built entirely on donations from the faithful, though in this case it has mostly been donations of time and labor from religious mages. A large complex with many buildings, it is modeled off the ancient temples in the desert. Of particular not is the altar in the temple proper: made of gilded marble, the altar holds so much abjuration magic within it that Detect Magic spells are all but useless if the caster is facing the temple, since the abjuration aura will block out the caster’s vision almost entirely.