The City of Remera
The City of Remera is one of the largest in the world, both because it is a truly enormous trade center and also because the policy necessitating that all senators and high military officials own property in the capitol has lead to massive expansion of the city in order to allow more room for capitoline property. Organized into six districts and the outlying ‘Uncity’, the city has nearly four million inhabitants, leaving it somewhat smaller than Chara. However, of these four million inhabitants, perhaps one hundred and fifty thousand can claim citizenship by right of property ownership, and thus the right to participate in Senate elections. Remera is unique among the great cities of the bay in that it has no city walls; land invasions are expected to be held at bay in distant forts, and only a fool would invade Remera by sea.
The largest of the districts is itself divided in two; the long stretch of the coast that Remera occupies contain both the heavily regimented, military shipyards of the arsenal and the huge shantytown of Harborside, which contains a substantial part of the city’s non-citizen housing. Being considered the same district is surprisingly unproblematic; while the military elite of the Arsenal would not want to be mistaken for – much less housed with- the common sailors of Harborside, they work with them and have a measure of respect for them that keep the district relatively peaceful. The sailors, for their part, find the officers to be pretentious bastards, but the competent ones at least make tolerable paymasters.
The most notable building in the district is the eponymous Arsenal; a series of eleven enormous dry-dock shipyards responsible for Remera’s incredible rate of ship production and repair. These massive stone structures can each hold half a dozen ships of the line, with the exception of the Great Yard, which is actually where ongoing attempts to build even larger warships are carried out. The turqoise-roofed marble Admiralty offices stand not far away, a testament to the wealth of Remera’s naval elite, and all military parades end in the Plaza of Triumph a few hundred yards west of the Admiralty.
The Plaza of Triumph is a large square, built around a full-sized marble model of the warship Seafather’s Wrath, the Remeran flagship at the time of the defeat of the Green Tower raiders. While small by modern standards, the warship itself is also to be found not far away in one of the smaller arsenal docks, and both the ship and its legends are wildly popular.
The Senate District
The Senate District is the smallest of the six, and has few permanent residents. It is home to most of the city’s monuments, it’s greatest temples, and the Senate house itself, but no businesses or residences are allowed within the area. There are, however, the Senate guard barracks, and the temples maintain quarters for their guards and priests. It is built high atop the central hill of the city, and only full Citizens are allowed through its heavy bronze gates (which connect to a wall perhaps eight feet high- far too short to be mistaken for anything but ceremonial crowd-control).
The Grand Temple of Poseidon can be found on the Senate Hill. A semi-circular open temple of marble columns and statues, the grand statue of Poseidon depicts him summoning an earthquake by slamming his trident into the ground- the sculptor used the natural streaking in the marble slab of the base to make it appears as though cracks from the earthquake emanated from the trident. Equally impressive, the statue sits directly in front of the beginning of the Sacred Channel: the wholly manmade river that falls down the hill and then runs in a straight line to the ocean, passing the Arsenal on its way. The temples of Zeus, Hera and Apollo, while not nearly so grand, are also found on the hill, with the same marblework and columns, and are well-tended and oft-visited by virtually the entire senate.
The Senate house is actually a fortress; a large, blockish basalt citadel atop the hill, with windowed towers and crenellated battlements, rendering the structure quite imposing. The permanent garrison of the Senate guard, some two thousand strong, mans the fortress, while the Senate meets in the center of the fortress in relative privacy.
The Residential District
The largest part of the city (unless the Uncity is counted) is taken up by the vast residential sections of the city. Largest, it should be noted, in land area; due to the tremendous opulence of most Citizens’ estates, the population of the district lags somewhat behind that of Harborside, and even then, most of the population is servants, rather than the citizens themselves. Some parts of the residential district are set aside for the great families of the Republic; the Halowells and Malwicks in particular hold large areas of their own. Other sections are set aside for senators who support certain guilds; these great estates, rather than being familial properties, pass from senator to senator and are one of the perks of office.
There is little of universal interest in the residential district; while many of the great houses own property here, which ones a person would be looking for depend on the person, and there are few that stand out well enough to be recognized by anyone other than district natives.
The Forge District
Situated between the Arsenal, the Outer District and the Senate District, the Forge District contains not only most of the blacksmiths and large industrial forges of the city, but also most of the barracks, training grounds and armories that keep the army of Remera supplied and trained. The majority of Remera’s army is not stationed here; at any given time fully half of the nation’s land forces will be found facing west towards the Kuvaldi, if not actively fighting them, and much of the rest is along the Sobrin border or involved with internal order. However, standing forces prepared to defend the city- or impose martial law – are constantly present, and rarely number less than twenty thousand. Additionally, most recruits come through here for armament and training before heading out to their actual assignments.
Two things of note can be found within the Forge District. First, the Sabor-Sibarit foundry, notable for being both the most productive forge in the nation, supplying fully a quarter of the refined metal in Remera, and also for having the finest armorers in Remera, with the result that most high-quality equipment comes from foundry as well. Secondly, the Column stands roughly in the center of the district. The Column has only a general cylindrical shape in common with the many columns found in Remeran architecture; it appears to be formed of dozens of different types of stone, all seamlessly formed together into a single rock, inexplicably smooth and completely immovable; even visiting mage-engineers from Mikash have been unable to dislodge the pillar, or the 100-yd diameter circle of ground beneath it. It’s purpose and origin unknown, the Column is held in both awe and suspicion by the people of the city.
The Remeran Market
At the confluence of Harborside, the Senate Hill and the Residential District lies the Remeran Market, an enormous, chaotic mass of shops, stalls, trade exchanges and warehouses that even the natives can only barely navigate. The Remerans boast that anything under the sun that can be sold will be found in the Remeran Market – or under it, as even the most law-abiding Remerans have at least a passing familiarity with the great underground market that contains the majority of the cities alchemists and black-market dealers both.
The Strangers’ Vault, a Mikashi-run shop which sells magical items of high quality, is one of the best-known structures in the district, as the distinctive statues of the falcon-headed god Horus made quite a ruckus when they chased down a small band of thieves trying to rob the owners. Additionally, the thick-walled, blocky sandstone of the shop is quite distinctive from the Remeran shops around it.
The Mages Guild of Remera headquarters itself here, being as much a mercantile institution as an educational one, and sells potions and minor magical items in great quantities, hoarding the more impressive products for themselves, though there are rumors that they offer viewings to wealthy or influential persons.
Illion’s Inventory is a shop well-known amongst adventurers, pirates, mercenaries and the like for an eclectic collection of mundane and magical items ranging from bizarre but useful to outright insane, including a few elven pieces whose origin goes unquestioned.
The Outer District
The Outer District circles the rest of the districts; it is a place of scattered houses, towers, and city guard posts between the ‘True City’ and the ‘Uncity’ in most places, though on the northern border of the city it instead connects to the edges of the wilderness and the great hunting grounds in the forest nearby. The Temple of Artemis is located at this edge, where her clergy can hunt freely and commune with the wilds. They also, though it is not common knowledge, tap sites of wild power deep within the woods, greatly strengthening their magic and allowing them incredible knowledge of the wildernesses of the continent – knowledge most people assume is simply a result of their being well-traveled.
The Outer District also contains the embassies of the other nations, which maintain relatively large garrisons due to the almost lawless nature of the area they inhabit, and the strong concentration of criminals in the Uncity nearby.
Strictly speaking short for ‘Unaffiliated Cities’, the term Remera used for the large towns outside its capital in centuries past, both Remera and these spare cities have grown vastly since, and now border each other uncomfortably. The cities outside the capital have far less funding to rely upon and virtually no law enforcement, making them dangerous places. However, every one competes violently to amass resources and improve their spaces enough to be considered as candidates to join the True City, with the result that, unsafe and poor as they are, many of the Uncity’s areas LOOK quite wealthy and clean. This deceptive environment has been the down fall of many travelers who did not understand the nature of the Outer District as a barrier.
The various sectors of the Uncity are virtually always engaged in some sort of armed conflict, though it is rarely overt; when fighting breaks out in the streets the district is all but automatically dismissed from consideration by the Senate for years to come. The Senate has also been known to assign unpopular Senators the job of trying to improve certain areas and render them admissible – at which point every other Senator will quietly pour resources into ruining the entire sector the area is contained in, resulting in the Senate having an even poorer reputation with Uncity inhabitants than it does with most of the Republic’s poor.
It is quietly acknowledged by most of the upper class that several of the larger criminal groups in the Uncity may be avoiding each other’s territory for a new reason: while previously their aversion to open violence kept them in check, there is some suspicion that another organization may be controlling them. The name, origin and even purpose of this organization remain unknown, but scraps of information and a handful of crime scenes marked with a new symbol – a strange, stylistic eye etched in icy blue – have brought a measure of concern over the matter to the Senate.