Aqamenad
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Aqamenad is a military city with a large and seedy underbelly. Soldiers patrol the streets and the garrison enforces the Empire's laws with brutal punishments, and yet in the bazaars, taverns, alleys and shadows of the bureaucrats' towers crime and corruption are rife.

Though not as openly wicked as the notorious Kallazand, Aqamenad festers with secrets and deceit. Con-artists fleece visitors from all throughout the Clashlands. Smugglers trade in contraband, corrupting the garrison with wine and goblin narcotics, and traffic the stolen goods of corsairs. Goblin insurgents play the part of cowed servants and wreak bloody havoc when their conquerors' backs are turned. Blackguards, pickpockets and burglars rob citizens between and in their homes, but the guards quickly run them off - unless they have had their sword-hands weighed down with silver.

Danger comes from the military occupation as much as the criminal factions. Victorious generals still wet-bladed from border skirmishes against the dwarves in the foothills, anti-piracy patrols or the interminable quagmire of blood and mire that is the Chalnfens are rotated to Aqamenad every few months. This means that the garrison is often composed of new faces, without the chance to form relationships with the locals, causing strife and misunderstandings. Even worse, the janissaries and auxiliaries seeking rest and recreation are usually still in the throes of bloodlust and battlefield-fear, making them prone to overreaction when faced with dissent or ingratitude from the 'civilian scum'. Often this takes the form of brawls, rape, or looting directed against the populace, to which the commanders turn a blind eye. Neighbourhood militias and gangs have sprung up for the citizens of Aqamenad to defend themselves, and the very architecture of the city has been shaped by this oppression. The grand vizier and nascent civil bureaucracy are frustrated by the trying to run a city under constant occupation and intermittent violence, and seek

History


The ideal natural harbour Aqamenad presents mean that it has seen long seen use as a haven for ships. Elves have always used it to weigh anchor when travelling along the Cairnfire Cape, and for millennia it has been a favoured spot for the gatherings in which new Ma'Janah are constructed, earning the name of the Cove of Rising Masts.

corsair's harbour
chainbreaker uprisings, slave revolts lead to slavemarkets and housing being removed from the city
day of red streets, worst riots and most violent suppression in recent history

Geography


Aqamenad lies almost in the middle of the Clashlands coast, halfway between the murky river Daal which marks the beginning of the Chalfens, and the steep rapids and whitewater terraces of the Desert river which gives way to the lands around Corsair's Bay. It sits on Aqamen Bay, a wide bight that catches and softens the typhoons off Hal'Ashan's Sea, and generally enjoys strong northerly winds, bringing elven tradeships to its waters and hastening the journey of cargo hulks heading south along the Cairnfire Cape supply the armies in the Fens, to Sutharad and beyond. The city lies a few miles north of the NAMELESS RIVER, where barges and pleasure-craft dock and set off upstream to pick up produce and deliver House nobles to their manors and plantations along its banks and NAMELESS TOWN. One road crosses the NAMELESS RIVER, approaching Aqamenad from the south; another leads east from the city before reaching the village of Tuoleq where it forks. Tuoleq is also the home of the new slavemarkets, since they were banned from the city.

The city is built around the best natural harbour on the western coast. It is a deep, round, crater-like bay pinched between two elevated headlands, and shielded from the weather by an island slightly beyond them. These headlands curve back into the mainland, cupping the city between them like two hands. The north and south parts of Aqamenad are thus situated above the central districts, especially the Fist and Magazine. The Embassies and southern Fivebazaars are the lowest-lying, making them the easiest for travellers and caravans to reach, while the Mazes rise in a tangle of terraced slums to the very gates of the Fist, and the northern, craft- and Caste-oriented areas of Fivebazaars are located on higher ground than the rest (much to the misery of slaves and camels that have to ferry materials up there).

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The Fist

Manor Houses
Road of Rains
Courts
Katib Towers

The Magazine

Barrack Blocks
Armouries
Arena
Bestiary of the West
Parade Grounds
Flesh Pits and Brothels
Soldier's Drinking Halls

Fivebazaar

Bazaar of Oranges (luxury goods)
Bazaar of Olives (bulk produce)
Bazaar of Ingots (ore, metalwork)
Bazaar of Silks (cloth, sails, rope, nautical supplies, wooden goods)
Bazaar of Horses (animals, meats, leathers)
Sixth Bazaar (impromptu, mobile thieves market)
Domed Temple
Tanneries
Maiden's Ride Tavern (the Whore and Horse)

The Embassies

Sign of the Talisman Tavern
Legate Oshoras's Residence
Dryad Grove
Imperial Customs Stronghouse
House of the Sweet Sting (Apis Coster brothel)

The Mazes

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The infamous Skampering Alley in the Mazes.
Peacekeeper's Watchhouse
Old Slave Markets
Plucked Buzzard Tavern

The Bastion

Island-Fortress
Satrap's Palace
Cairnlight

Politics


government, power structures, sources of power, laws and justice, crime and punishment, military and defence

press gangs, large military bodies are garrisoned there on a monthly basis, so the city politics changes several times a year as powerful and decorated generals come and take over, and lesser generals are cowed by the ruler, and their soldiers are pressganged to clean up the streets
citizens live in fear of new soldiers being rotated in, due to the looting and demonstrations of force that often accompany them.

military and government based on the Bastion, an island-fortress that dominates the harbour, while the rest of the city is more disreputable. noted for its brutal punishments, including the 'cage of swords', cubic metal cages hung from the walls with bars sharp enough to shallowly cut as the prisoner's weight pushes down on them.

The Satrap-General

imperial dispensation of satrap

The Military Government

martial law
satrap considering making a law that all returning generals must leave their troops outside the city (ala the rubicon in rome), but this might promp one of them to make a play for the satrapy himself.

The Grand Vizier and the Imperial Bureaucracy

bureaucracy: grand vizier, vizier, over-katib, katib, under-katib
newly constituted peacekeepers
grand. viz. policy is to discourage new settlers with high fees and taxes, because he fears that the city is soaking up all the growth for the Clash

The Imperial Factor

judge sent to quell rebellions
the judge's eyes and hands, secret police (third section, jinyi wei)

Economy


industry and trade, subsistence and population flow, trade and communications, taxes and tariffs

Culture


etiquette and customs, arts and entertainment, diet, fashion and sumptuary laws, religion

charters grant each house a unique colour of dye or item of clothing
crudely fortified buildings against unrest

Factions


Brotherhood With Green Sails

(militant elven trade flotilla)

Apis Coster

(alliance of orcish trade castes under the bee-banner)

House Braves

(braggarts and thugs for the houses)

Old Ravens

(concerned citizens, vigilante/adventurer veterans and oddballs dedicated to protecting the city, involved with founding the peacekeepers)

Rat Kings

(thieves guild based in the Mazes)

Dead Suns

(thieves guild based in Fivebazaars)

Hanged Men

(prison escapee gang)

Downwind Caste

(thieves guild based in tannery)

Obsidian Gate

Obsidian Gate.

Characters of Note


Officials

Satrap-General Aghan Oqantar Wishes he was down south fighting goblins, in charge of the clashlands occupation, hates being disturbed, so day-to-day run by a subordinate military governor. the houses of the region compete and conspire to fill this role and others in the administration.

Grand Vizier Sumeq Dulsan Wants more civil power and authority.

Immortaliser Remahl Varqishar Grand priest of Aqamenad, keeper of the only Godwall in the Clashlands.

Judge Maruhq Imperial Factor, Eye of the Shar, Aqamenad's master of spies, and inveterate plotter.

Jilantel Maruhq's pet murderer.

Legate Oshoras Sorcerer-ambassador from Zaguristra.

Citizens

The Peacock Knight Elven gladiator, champion of the fighting pits.

Mistress Luqreza Seljorq Leader of House Seljorq, Aqamenad's wealthiest citizen.

Qolanth Zarand Barman of the Sign of the Talisman

Sarunsim Itinerant goblin priest, nuturing the hopes of slaves.

Laamak Du'ul Dwarven stargazer-monk and diviner.

Captain Rhaqad Retired corsair.

Lady-Captain Gahgarym Leader of the Green Sails.

Criminals

Goldeye and Grinn Rat Kings mob enforcers.

The Raker Freedom fighter or serial killer.