Darryl Speed's Collection of Characters
Traedorn, City of Marvels
The city of Traedorn serves as the centerpiece and namesake of the unprecedentedly powerful empire of Traedorn. As the Traedornian empire continues to assimilate and ally with faraway nations, the treasures and peoples they bring back further add to this cyclopean masterpiece. While no proper census has been collected in over 150 years it is rumored that the city has surpassed 2 million inhabitants which is a number most rural peasants think is made up by travelers to bewilder them. Marble streets lined with guards adorned with the finest weapons and armor of any army on the planet, often adorned with frivolous embellishments depicted the family history of the guard and the persona he wishes to project to those who understand the subtle language of armor decorations. The Old City that lies over the remains of the original city of Traedorn first constructed by the great god Hadrian himself, serves as the holiest place one can visit within the empire. While for the most part Traedornians have come to accept the various cultures and gods of their conquered peoples, none of these foreign blasphemies are allowed within the Old City. Even during the Abkani dynasties the throne room had to be reconstructed in what is now known as the Traitor’s Row(due to the Abkani sudden betrayal of the treaty that united the two great empires).
The City is divided into several sections, most will not be covered until a later time, with three supersections, The Inner City(not the same thing as the Old City, which is a subsection of the Inner City), The Boroughs, and The Outer City. Within the inner city lies the homes, shops, temples, and theaters of the wealthier native population and the guards. This portion of the city is known for its blinding opulence, with marble colonnades and pillars embroidered with gold and gems that have tempted many thieves to try to remove the stones during late night raids, but to no avail. The marble structures of the Inner City are designed by masters of architecture whose knowledge exceeds that of any known mathematicians across the world. Just like the thieves with the gems, foreign architects come to study the mysterious qualities of the marble returning as unknowing as they arrived(at most they’ve learned what its like to have a knife driven through one’s back). The unnamed architects of the city have many highlights that glitter the streets along the Ithnigan River, a river that runs through the heart of the city. Dumping or despoiling this river is considered one of the greatest crimes that can be committed in Traedorn and is punishable with the Sacrament of 77 drownings, where the victim is quite literally drowned 77 times(if they survive that long). Along with many of the ancient customs of Traedorn, how they arrived on 77 drownings, remains a mystery. Among these highlights are the Hadrianic Imperial Library, the Temple of the First, the Palace of the Unending Sky, which will all be detailed later.
The second supersection, the Boroughs, serves as where the bulk of the civilians sped their time. This is where the bulk of the legal trading occurs, and where the world renowned gladiator pits lie. Though slavery was outlawed in Hadrian’s time, the pits were far too popular for him to totally eliminate so he had the Pit Lords establish a new system where fighters volunteer and go through a series of preliminary fights before they appear before the screeching crowds calling for their blood. Surrounding the massive Colosseum lies the Sunless Markets, where goods from all across the known world(and even beyond in some cases) are brought to be sold among these territorial grounds. In days past it was first come first serve so whatever merchant could arrive at a spot and defend it, causing many to hire mercenaries to guard their stands from squatters who’d tear it down and build their own stand if the merchant’s vigilance wavers for but a moment. This led to a very tense marketplace where fights could break out at any time. After the Epistiosic Riot(which erupted after the greatest upset in gladiator history) the Vernori merchant guild realized it was necessary to maintain some semblance of order in the market so there’s the 15 sun’s charter, a document that lists who is allowed to station where at the prime real estate near the Arena. The more wealthy merchants have already found a way to control this by buying out spaces months in advance(despite the charter’s strict regulation forbidding this practice), the current wait list for a new merchant to set up a stand by the pits sits at 100 years.
The final supersection is The Outer City, the area farthest from the watchful eyes of the guards. This is where the majority of the shady dealings and poor gangs take refuge. Runaways, kidnappers, pickpockets, fortune tellers, and all manner of strange folk find themselves relegated to the Outer city. Often times the guards will have recruiters positioned at taverns and gates looking for youthful, naive adventurers who they’ll hire to serve as honorary guards for the Outer City. More often than not these adventurers meet grim fates months if not weeks into their career, but those who don’t become fearsome enforcers that even the many gangs cower in the face of. Called the Outer Watch, once these adventurers reach a reasonable skill at dealing with the hardships of the Outer City they’re often assigned as muscle for the many investigators who have secret offices, looking for slavers and other big time illegal activity. The investigators serve as the primary information gatherers for the Empire and are vital at keeping the Spymasters informed with affairs far out on the frontier, while spies mingle with the aristocracy of faraway lands, the investigators are looking into bloody corpses and alchemical explosions.
The Temple of the First is widely considered one of the most impressive achievements in the history of architecture, it dwarfs nearly every other building known to exist(unless you consider Dragonscale Citadel one building) in either height or floor space. Created by Hedronomedes the Great, after his meteoric rise to the throne in the wake of the last Hadrianic emperors destroyed each other in a civil war called the War of Revelations. After dragging the troubled empire out of a 30 year long civil war, Hedronomedes wanted to establish that a new era of peace was beginning and repealed many of the rather backwards policies established by the corrupt sons and grandsons of Flavian, returning Traedorn to the essentials of Hadrianic law; Rights of Man, and the Codes of Civil Order. The mysterious Traedornian architects spend over 5 years planning and theorizing how to construct the absolute mammoth of a structure. The design is intentionally humbling and many have reported that just being near the 5 towering statues of the first emperors brings tears to the eyes of even the most jaded scholar. “Beauty unparalleled” wrote the renowned Benalish poet Mangrinan Sordovo, “When the great pontiff speaks, even the animals kneel in reverence. He tells us ‘They may not have intelligence, but they have faith and that is enough’ Stone gods and silver dragons were never further from my mind”(context: In Benalia the two primary religions worship a god of Stone and a Silver Dragon god)