Description: A walled city at the junction of 4 major roads it has been settled for millenia. It saw a vast increase in size at the height of the Suielman Empire. Hit hard by the empire's collapse the city is less then half the size it was then. Still it is a vibrant place and sees countless traffic on the roads as well as being the capital of the country of Marigund.
The city walls: The stone walls that protect the current city limits. Some thirty feet tall. Most of the stone for this wall came from the older wall. With the great loss in population the larger wall was too big to defend as was abandoned in favor of a smaller one.
Gates in the wall: All the gates in the wall have an individual name.
1) Griffon Gate - in the west wall. Known by that name because of the life size griffon statues decorating it. Rumors speak of the griffons coming to life in an emergency but this has not been confirmed. This is one of the largest and heavily used of the gates due to it being on the main east -west road.
2) Dawn Gate: - Located in the eastern part of the wall. Known by that name due to the sun rising each day in the east. Also very large for the same reason as the Griffon gate.
3) Sylvan Gate - Located on the south Eastern corner of the wall. Known by that name because the road going through it leads ultimately to the sylvan mountains.
4) Martin's Gate: Located in the South West corner of the wall. Named for a long dead hero (423CR to 485CR) - Martin Ceren who grew up near it.
The OLD city walls: Built by the Suielman but now almost completely ruined and robbed of most of its stones.
Moat: In front of the curtain wall is a large, deep moat filled with water. This moat extends outward into the open ground encircling many of the towns there. They also do double duty as irrigation and sewage ditches.
Athington: This neighborhood encompasses the Rebuilder cathedral and is the strongest of Rebuilder neighborhoods. Its western border is the Aqueduct.
East Quarter: A large neighborhood. The people here are almost 100% Follower.
Garren: This is a large Lightbringer neighborhood. It has several small Lightbringer temples scattered about.
Gold Quarter: So named because of the large number of wealthy people living there most of whom have large, ornate and expensive palaces.
Government district: This area holds the main country government ministries along with ambassadors, trade delegations and homes for the people who work there.
The Killing Field: This large open area is free of all buildings. It is an open area meant to protect the northern side of Marigund Castle by leaving no cover for an approaching attacker. It is basically a large open field. Used in peacetime for grazing sheep (which also keeps the grass low) and fairs and tournaments. In later centuries (when long range artillery makes it obsolete) the area will become an extensive formal garden and park known as Killfield Gardens.
The Legio: this is the home to the military. It contains barracks, armories, stables. and training areas. Named for an old Suielman legion fortress that stood on the site but is long gone.
Marigund castle: The official home of the Marigund royal family and parts of the government. this large, rambling structure is filled with countless walls, towers, rooms and halls of all shapes and sized. With well over 200 rooms 10 gardens and 24 towers and surrounded by a good sized curtain wall.
Market Districts: The name says it all. This is the major market area for the city and the visiting merchants. Home to countless stores, open air markets, warehouses and the like. It is divided into two areas Upper and Lower. The different things sold or traded here are done in different markets in the two areas. Each item or group having it's own market area. Each such market varies in size. Some are only a block or 2 long and others cover several square blocks. Some are officially recognized and their location and size set by law but most are more informal.
A small list of known markets includes: The wool market, gold and silver market, jewelry market. Grain market, book market, vegetable market, meat market, Wine market, Salt market.
Upper Market District: This place is always crowded and busy. During the day with customers and sellers and at night with workers and laborers. This area is filled with stores, open air markets (7), covered markets (2), and streets lined with vendor stalls, workshops and other retails businesses.
Lower Market District: This area holds most of the warehouses, bulk storage areas and other wholesale businesses. This is definitely the lower end of the scale for living conditions. The apartments here are small, generally run down and squeezed between warehouses and workshops. The only people who live here are those who cannot afford anywhere else. The grain market is located here.
Merdslow: This is a large Rebuilder neighborhood. Its northern border is The Gauntlet.
Merick: This neighborhood plays home to a large Predecessor population.
Old Town: This is the oldest part of the city. Settled when the city was first reclaimed in +228CR. It is a neighborhood of older buildings in tight, twisting streets. More of a working class district and filled with apartments and lower income families. But still a good place to live.
The Promenade: This road runs from the Grand Plaza north to Marigund Castle it is THE official route to the castle. As such it is lined the finest buildings and tall, well manicured trees. It has given its name to the area around it and is THE most desired (and expensive) neighborhood.
The Centaur Statue: Located at the southern end of The Promenade. A marble statue of a centaur shooting a longbow. Erected by Queen Benedetta in 458. No one knows why she put a statue of a centaur. Some people think she just liked centaurs.
The Tween: Named that because it is between the lower Market district and city wall and Old Town and Merdslow.
West Quarter: A large Follower neighborhood. Its southern border is The Gauntlet. Its Eastern border is the Aqueduct.
Night Market: Not so much of a place as an activity. Another name for in the real world would be the Black Market. With commerce comes greed and crime. The Caial do there best to uphold the law but people are always willing to avoid paying taxes or to sell things that are illegal. With enough persistence and the application of enough money a person can purchase almost anything - literally regardless of how illegal, immoral or dangerous it might be. The only exception being slaves which no criminal would deal in.
Smuggling: There is a truly impressive amount of smuggling going on in the city at all times. There several groups that are devoted solely to it. One so large that is actually called the Smugglers Guild.
Magic: There is an illegal trade in magic both items and spells that continues to thrive regardless of how hard the Caial and the Mages guild try to suppress it. A person can purchase some truly, truly dangerous magic with enough money. A fact that really worries the Mages Guild (and a lot of other people too).
Grand Plaza - Located at the center of the city at the junction of all 4 roads. It is over 8 acres in size and can hold some 10,000 people at one time. At it's center is a large, old fountain. It has an official name that tends to change every so often at the whims of the royal family but they never stick. People called it the name it had always had Grand Plaza. Over the centuries it had played host to countless events; parties, pageants, celebrations, grand reviews, state funerals, executions and riots and is the heart of the city socially.
A note on the religious structures that are in the plaza. Specifically the Rebuilder and Follower Cathedrals. The doors of both cathedrals that open onto the Great Plaza are not the main entrance-ways into them. Those doors are indeed grand with all the carvings and artwork one would expect but they were mostly for appearance and remained locked at all times. The real entrances lay at the opposite end of the buildings, as far from the plaza as possible. No one was happy with this but all accepted it as a necessity. As the Rebuilder faith came from the older Follower faith it shared most of the same holy days. And the idea of the two opposing groups occupying the plaza at the same time while religious fervor was running high was assured of causing a riot. So on all holy days only one group occupied the Grand Plaza – five hundred of the Kings cavalry – all of whom were neither Follower, Rebuilder nor Lightbringer but are usually Predecessor.
City Hall: This tall, stone building is located in the Grand Plaza Tucked between the Mages Guild and the Follower cathedral. This is where the city government is run from. It is deliberately kept separate from the government district by the City population as an attempt to maintain some power over their own city and not be overwhelmed by the king.
Open Ground: Between the current city walls and the ruined older ones is a large open area. Once part of the older Suielman city and as densely inhabited as the present city. The buildings that stood there are mostly long gone, their materials rotted or stolen for use elsewhere. Mostly open ground now used for grazing and farming but there are several small towns and caravan stations there. It will slowly be rebuilt as the city grows over the centuries. It has already played host to some of the first serious archeology digs down in the Midlands.
The aqueduct: First built by the Suielman and since carefully repaired and maintained. Made of stone and standing over 40 feet high in most spots. It runs out of the city and up into the mountains to where it is fed by several springs.
Coliseum: A large stone coliseum that was partly abandoned in the past but now starting to see more use. It plays host to various sporting events and the like. It can hold some 2000 people at any one time. Recently it has started to see frequent use for games of Skirmish (The sport).
The Theater: Official name is The Grand Palatine Theatre. Located on The Promenade. This large wooden structure is the cities main theater. Capable of seating 400 people at a time. It is over 150 years old and one of the few buildings to survive The Burning. In need of replacement or major rebuilding it has earned the nickname of 'Old Shaky. In spite of that nickname the building will survive the centuries and will be overhauled and rebuilt a dozen times over. There are also several smaller theaters scattered about the city (usually capable of seating no more then 20 people).
the Gauntlet: This street is the dividing line between a Follower neighborhood to the north and a Rebuilder neighborhood to the south. All the buildings on both sides of the street have no windows or doors that open onto it. On the older buildings there are plainly visible places where doors and windows had been carefully boarded or bricked closed. For such an important border the street itself is surprisingly plane and bare. No one walks this street, no vendors moving along it peddling goods or services. There isn't even traffic just passing through. No one went down this street unless they had to and even then they went in large groups. It is the scene of almost constant agitation between the two groups. And 4 times in the last decade it has played host to full scale riots. The last one (and the worst) in 702 left over a hundred people dead or wounded.
The Ealadaen also called The Stone Avenue: In the SE part of the city is a long line of standing stones. They are arraigned in pairs like Stonehenge but in a straight line instead of a circle. Their exact age is unknown but it predates the city by at least 1000 years. They are believed by many to be Elvish in construction. Others think they might be from any of a dozen different nations/groups. Even the Tened! Most believe it was built by the elves.
They are beloved by all the city residents. Each stone has an individual name (which tend to change with time). It is considered good luck to walk along all the pairs touching each stone as you pass. A number of people are usually to be seen doing so on any given day. One officer even marched his entire regiment through being sure all his soldiers touched each stone. It must have worked as the unit returned a year later with no losses. Another less welcome custom is the habit of leaving gifts on or next to specific stones asking for help with problems. Different stones being believed to help with different problems. The custom is tolerated but with so much religions tension in the city anything that has even the vaguest trace or religion is frowned on.
The stones have revealed several clues. During a lunar eclipse the stones will glow! The light growing in intensity as the moons slips from sight and then slowly fading as the eclipse ends. Also at seemingly random intervals the stones do seem to glow a light green. The glow starts at one end of the line and slowly moves down to the other as each pair of stones light up in turn. When the light reaches the opposite end the stones either all go dark at the same time or wink out in the reverse of how they lit up. What significance this has remains a mystery.
Unable to settle their differences by violence all three religious groups compete in other ways for posts in the government and the military, for the best homes, for the finest lands and rewards from the King and who got what seat in the parliament. The most visible sign of that competition was in the Grand Plaza. All competed to make the most awe inspiring cathedral possible. There had long been a Follower cathedral in the Grand Plaza. A large and fine looking old edifice that was centuries old. But when the myriad Rebuilder groups got together and starting building their own cathedral suddenly the old Follower structure was not good enough. This set off a construction war between the two groups. Both pushed the construction higher and higher till the fear one might collapse under its own weight and down onto the city forced the king himself to intervene. He fixed the height of all religious structures at no more then three hundred feet. Even so the Rebuilder cathedral is three feet higher then the Follower building but the Follower structure has a steeple that was wider and sheathed in gold leaf.
Follower Cathedral Full name is The Cathedral of Saint John. There has been a Follower religious structure on this sight for centuries. The present structure is the 4th on the site. A large structure of tall spires and stained glass windows. It has 1 main alter and 4 smaller chapels. Next to the cathedral is the Cardinals palace. A place as old as the cathedral (and rebuilt just as many times). The Cardinal makes no great pretense of his arrival in the city and keeps things low key. Usually the only sign that he is in town is his official flag fluttering over the palace.
The cathedral has a very ornate main door that looks out onto the Grand Plaza but those doors are not used. they are actually kept locked by order of the King. The real entrance is on the opposite end. Those doors are never locked. There are numerous doors (both large and small) on all 3 other sides. to the north of the cathedral is a road (an important one too). To the south is land owned/held by the Cathedral. There you'll find a small cemetery with graves, tombs and crypts, a cryptorium (for preparing the dead), a charnal house (for holding the bones of people too poor to afford a place in the graveyard), Cloisters (quarters) for the monks, nuns and priests who work in and out of the cathedral. A refectory and kitchen. All of these areas are behind a tall stone wall (6 feet high and 2 feet thick) of the type you find around graveyards.
Cardinals palace: is a relatively modest place compared to some of the large and garish things built by the merchants and nobility. It is of stone and a fine looking place, well kept and at least 3 stories tall and around 40 - 50 rooms including a library, private chapel, and quarters and a small garden. The is the official Home and place of Business(so to speak) of the cardinal and is always busy, especially when the cardinal is in.
Of note - the cathedral and the palace (and pretty much everything else) was burnt to the ground in the Burning and the cathedral sat as an empty shell for several years before it was rebuilt. All signs of that destruction have been removed aside from places where a sharp eye can still pick out where new stone was used to repair walls. There are several spots in the palace and cathedral that bear the marks of the fire - Charred timbers and blackened walls. Most are in out of the way spots but one charred beam is prominently exposed to view in the cardinal's office. Attempts to remove it have been quashed by the various cardinals who keep it as a reminder of what intolerance can result in. Another fact - the palace is said to be haunted by the ghost of Cardinal Trunro - the cardinal in charge during the Burning and who was killed when the palace was burnt down. People have seen his ghost - on fire, running, screaming down several hallways. Attempts to lay the ghost to rest over the years have failed. Legends say the cardinal will not rest until everyone lives together in Marigund in peace. Penance for the bloody war he helped start.
Rebuilder Cathedral Has no full name but sarcastically nicknamed The Cathedral of Saint Question Mark. It holds 1 high altar and 12 smaller ones. A large structure of tall spires and stained glass windows and a confusing array of corridors, hallways and rooms. The cathedral has a very ornate main door that looks out onto the Grand Plaza but those doors are not used. They are actually kept locked by order of the King and an altar has actually been built up against them on the inside. The real entrance is on the opposite end. Those doors are never locked. There are numerous doors (both large and small) on all 3 other sides. to the north of the cathedral is a road (an important one too). To the west and south is land owned/held by the Cathedral. On this land is a graveyard with crypts and tombs. a small garden, quarters for the priests (separate male and female buildings), a small infirmary and various storage places. Most of the buildings on the streets surrounding the cathedral are owned by various Rebuilder groups and play host to smaller chapels. a (small) monastery & nunnery, homes for the countless laborers and servants and those priests who are married.
Built and run by a committee of some 12 separate Follower groups. The building and grounds are actually owned by the breithan. A nonprofit organization whose sole members and the same 12 Rebuilder groups. With so many groups in one location there is some friction but things run surprisingly smoothly. Which group uses the high altar on a specific holy day is rotated among the groups.
Lightbringer Cathedral/temple: This site has played host to a Lightbringer temple since at least -549 CR. Later Archeology digs will turn up signs of an elvish temple on the site going even further back. A large, structure built of stone resembling a Greek/roman temple with the columns outside. There is one High altar and 9 smaller chapels (1 for each of the Good deities). See lothanasi There are also quarters for the priests and priestesses, acolyte and servants. Also there is a library, catacomb/graveyard and garden. Like the Follower and Rebuilder places the main doors to this temple overlook the Grand Plaza but are always kept locked. The entire complex was completely gutted during The Burning and took over a decade to restore.
Spitalfield Abbey: formal name is the Abbey of St Mary in the Fields. A recent (within the last 10 years) addition to the city. It is an attempt by the Patriarch to peacefully recover (so to speak) the country lost to the Rebuilders. A good sized abbey with over 100 monks. It holds a large and modern infirmary which is actually the largest and best equipped hospital in the country. It also has a small school, library, and a good sized church. Located in the open ground right outside the city walls. Location not set on the map yet. In later years it will grow into Spitalfield General Hospital and remain remain a highly respected medical facility. (Writers note - It is based on a real life abbey that was once in London. The abbey is long gone but the area still bears the name Spitalfield - a shortened version of Hospital field.)
Predecessor Temple: There are numerous smaller places scattered about for the Yehudim to worship but there is a large one located in Merick that is considered the main place. Built of brick and ornately decorated on the inside. On the outside the place looks something like a fortress. Seeing as it was built 611 - 2 years after the end of the Burning that is understandable. Next to it is a small graveyard. Location not firmly set yet.
The City Watch: Nicknamed the Caial after it's founder Caialann Armulin. Mostly acting like a police force and fire dept. Their patrols go thru all parts of the city. Their HQ is a large rambling fortress and buildings located next to centaur statue on the Promenade. Standing in the center of the fortress courtyard is a tall bronze statue of a man wearing archaic armor and carrying a long staff. On the base of the statue was the words ‘Caialann Armulin, Founder and leader’. That is of the man who founded the Caial.
There are smaller Watch stations scattered throughout the city.
Royal Company of Healers: This is the officially recognized organization of healers in the city.
The Wool Guild:
Royal Order of the Muffin Makers
City/Country tensions: One long running tension/competition in the city has been over control of the city itself. The city government tends to be overshadowed by the Royal/country government. This leads to a constant issue of who controls what. This can be serious as it effects exactly how much the city gets to collect in taxes and how much must go to the government. People will note that the Caial HQ is located OUTSIDE the Government district and in the city proper. This is deliberate as it shows that the Caial belongs to the city and answers to the Mayor. The tension of control tends to go up and down with different Kings/queens and Mayors in power. At the moment it is fairly quiet.
? to -601__ an unwalled elven settlement exists on the site. Name unknown.
-601 City is founded by the still expanding empire on the site of the Elven settlement after driving off the elves. It is named Marigundium.
-559 to -549 Human-Elf war. The small settlement was attacked and destroyed. With the end of the war the city was left in the hands of the empire by treaty. It remains a (very)small Suielman province in an area mostly held by the elves.
-549 to +150 The city flourished as a crossroads of several roads and a brisk trade with the elves and human settlements. The trading is uneven at times as both empire and elves are uneasy with the others presence. It remains something of a border town but brisk trading makes it a popular place. With time old hatreds are slowly forgotten.
+150 to +228 With the collapse of the empire the Midlands is overrun. The city falls and is sacked in 151 and subsequently abandoned. The elves push the lutins out and reclaim the ruins and the surrounding area but the city remains empty. When the army of Prince Ovid finally routs the lutins in the midlands around 228 the the city is slowly resettled but at only a fraction of it's original size.
+328 the last elvish elements withdraw from the city leaving it totally under human control.
+603 to +609: The time of the religious turmoil called The Burning. It ended with Aelrig's 'Declaration of Silence' outlawing all forms of public display of religion.