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During the tour we saw several ships anchored in the Shuicheng port, you can find them at: Shuicheng Tour.
Alas, we arrive at the best city in the world! Ilia, the capital of Rupani, the seat of power and home to King Jingyi and Queen Zhou. Ilia is twice the size of her little sibling Sui Hingdaih, and larger than every other city outside of Kosekya (but their fortress cities are cheating). Ilia is a massive ocean-side city that can easily dock two hundred ships, both mercantile and military, although there are not many ships in this portion of the docks today. The city rests on the western side of the Rupani lands and is guarded by the might of Beih’go Bao to the north and Chengshi to the south. And for any would be invaders we have more than enough of a home navy and militia to repel you! The capital has multiple levels due to the rolling hills upon which the city was built. The hill we are on now overlooks the western and middle of the city, although it spans out of sight past the buildings to our left. There are several other hills which hold various important parts of the city as well.
Gaze upon the Royal Palace, for all that is important happens there! The Royal Palace shimmers with the blue of the sky and ocean as they are our most important symbols, and towers above all else in the city. The tallest spire of the Royal Palace rises thirty two floors, and from base to roof is nearly six hundred and fifty handlengths tall! The other spires are not quite as tall, but are equally as important. The spire in the middle, the Da Fanzou Tah, is the realm of the current King and Queen. Both live within the main building and can observe their domain from the heights of the spire while working with ministers and Fraehalders, the General and Commanders on the lower levels. The Da Fanzou Tah is also where the King and Queen hold audiences. I’ve only once had the opportunity to have an audience with King Jingyi, and she is as beautiful as she is wise. The King and her husband Queen Zhou have brought much prosperity to Rupani with the trade between Rupani and Wajanderu, with the schools and monuments setup between the two nations lands.
The other two spires, Guo Tah and Nu Tah house the remains of past Kings and Queens respectively. Every turn of the moons, the King and Queen visit the spires to honour past Kings and Queens, gaining strength and wisdom from the dead. The ancestors of the King and Queen remain at their family’s ancestral home, including any children whom die while their parents are ruling. Anyone that serves as King or Queen can be placed within Guo Tah or Nu Tah, even if they were not ruling during their death.
Behind the palace lies a great green hill, and behind that rests the military centres of Ilia. Here is where Commanders are trained to lead armies, and the children of Fraehalders are taught the ways of war and governing so that they may defend the land the King gifted to their family. The best horses from across Rupani, and occasionally from other nations, are brought to our corral in order to breed the finest horses our nation has. These horses are gifted upon commission to Commanders and Generals, and the very best is reserved the King and Queen and their children. Occasionally one of the prized horses is purchased by a particularly wealthy Fraehalder with the permission of the King. It is truly an honour to have a horse of your family selected for breeding by the royal horse breeders, and it is common for a soldier that acquires the offspring of one of these prize horses to visit the family with gifts of thanks from the horse’s maiden battle.
See the brown coloured houses? That is the poor district, the least safe part of town. Those that live in the poor district tend to be down on their luck merchants whom cannot afford to pay taxes to the city. The strict rules of the poor district mostly prevent crime, but there are always dissidents in that district. The buildings are brown as the citizens are forbidden from painting the temporary houses, and also because few citizens wish to live there long enough to call any house a home. As people regain financial stability, they typically move to the middle district again. Houses in the poor district are small, especially for families, and afford no room for ancestor rooms. Thus, there are dedicated buildings where remains are kept for many families, and up to fifty families will honour their families together while they live in the poor district. Some houses have multiple tiers with one family living on each floor – often these houses are inhabited by an extended family, such as the married child living on the second floor with their children and spouse while the rest of the family lives on the first floor. The poor district has its own docks as well, to keep them from getting in the way of those that are making ends meet. Those that make no effort to improve their station are encouraged to leave and seek out a town that will take them in.
Those with jobs and money live in the middle district. This is also where the market and all trading occurs. The citizens here paint their houses a bright crimson, to contrast with the blue of the Royal Palace. Most merchant ships dock here, and goods often travel along the wide roads of the markets, with vendors displaying their wares to all passersby, enticing them into buying anything from trinkets to food to clothing or weapons. This is also where you will find an inn and tavern if you want to sleep in a bed for the night. With plenty of warehouse space, large family homes, and small bazaars, the middle district is always busy and full of people. Just be sure to stay off the market roads during the turn of the moons, the celebrations fill the streets to the brim!
Be sure to take a break at one of the taverns. I recommend the Swift Current, which has local ale that is so strong it is barely legal! Before we leave there will be time to visit the market roads and bazaars, so this is a great time to pick up souvenirs for your family!
Artwork By: Patryk Kowalik