Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April A to Z: Cleopolis

The largest city on Nood and capital of the Empire of Elves, Cleopolis lies protected by a natural harbour before spilling out into the waters of Backwash Bay. Though located much closer to the northern border, the city is the cultural, governmental and most importantly, economic heart of a realm that sprawls across half a continent.

When the Silvery Elves returned from Sha’nana, they brought with them a new philosophy and a new leader. Under the Empress Gloriara, they would no longer be confined to their southern enclaves complaining how back in their day, the quests really meant something and yelling at the younger races to get off their lawn.

They heralded their return by conquering the Penultima, the last human kingdom. Penultima has been long suffering under the reign of King Pladimir the Mad and the conquest was almost bloodless as many regions and lords quickly defected. Only a few pockets of royalist resistance around the royal city of Tamshanter put up a fight, but even those died away in the final battle that has become known as The Last Plummet of Pladimir.

The elves incorporated Penultima into their rapidly expanding empire, but left Tamshanter and the region to pretty much govern itself where it dissolved into the lands known today as the Little Kingdoms. Instead they moved their capital to a peaceful fishing village on the western shore of Backwash Bay. Carving stone from the White Cliffs, they built a shining city they called Cleopolis.

The city’s true heart are the two massive harbours that expand north and south from the center park that is home to the Imperial Palace. Ships from across Nood can be found docked in her harbour and peoples and races of every description can be found in the bustling waterfront, sprawling markets and crowded streets. The city is open to anyone, though only those born in the Empire are considered citizens and only Elves are allowed positions of command. Free trade is encouraged, which has brought in merchants, artisans and tradesmen from every corner of Nood, and sometimes from beyond it.

Major areas in the city include the North and South Harbours, the Imperial Park, the Great Circus, the Hammock District, The Nightgardens, The Nymphodrome, the Pool of the Moons, Little Dwarfsburg. The poorest and most dangerous area of town, known as the Snarls, lies outside the city, nestled against the walls like a bloated, but contented leech.

Though peaceful, the city is heavily protected the navy, a dedicated legion known as the Polyguard whose best troops serve as Imperial Guard to the Empress herself and by some of the most lethal and officious bureaucracy ever devised. There are also the ten Sun Towers; massive columns built each topped by mirror designed by Gnomish Imagineers to throw a devastating beam of burning light on any invader.

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