The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Cities

Aridorn - Capital City of the Rukemian Empire

"The Emperor has declared that Aridorn is to be the heart and soul of the Empire and that it should, in all ways, be a shining example of progress and power for all the world to see. In this, the Empire has succeeded. Both in the scope and wonder of its marvel, but also in political corruption, economic waste and tyranny." - Harimund, of The House of Harimund, Aridorn brothel

Aridorn, the capital city of the Great Rukemian Empire

Ruler His Most Illustrious Imperial Majesty, Radiance of the Eastern Realms, Serrax Thurin
Population 656,300
Demographics Human 50%, Grum 16%, Ogre 12%, Orc 9%, Elven 6%, Dwarven 4%, Saurian 1%, Borrellian 1%, Baenites 1%
Adjectival/Demonym Aridian/Aridians
Languages Rukemian Official language of the state.
Nationality Rukemia
National Colors Purple and white.
Year Founded 1456
Currency Rukemian
Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods Due to the immense size and varied lands of the Rukemian Empire, it has extensive natural resources. The top ten are as follows : wheat, lumber, fish, iron ore, marble, cotton, potatoes and pigs
Wealth Very Wealthy
Government Type Autocracy
Government Stability Very Stable
Allies Kitar, War Vale, Ormek, Mercia, Carrikos
Enemies Duthelm, Rift Vale, Coalition
Walled Yes
Crime Level Moderate
Technology Level Middle Ages
Primary Religion Imarus
Other Religions Barrinor, Vorkayne, Semorjon, Sarreth, Kael, Glavyris, Daramis, Drenmoragin
Climate Temperate
Terrain Grassland

Description

Aridorn is an immense city, as varied and wondrous as the empire it commands. The central city proper (those areas within the main city walls) is larger than most foreign cities are in total. White gleaming towers, bright copper domes, silver spires and colored pennants bedazzle the eye and compete for attention in a vista that is no less than breathtaking. It is no wonder that Aridorn is called the "Jewel of the East".

The City Districts

Aridorn is divided into eight sections. The Imperial District, the Noble District, the Holy District, the University District, the Merchant's District , the Common District , the Harbor District and the Outer City.

The Imperial District

The Imperial District is the heart of Aridorn. This centrally located district is home to most of the government and military buildings. Dominating the center of the district is the Imperial Senate Building with the twin suns gleaming off of its enormous dome. Nearby is the sprawling imperial palace with its 520 rooms. The Imperial District is immaculately clean and tended to. Carefully tended gardens and hedge rows flank the streets which are made of pure white stone tiles. Oak benches are strategically placed so that weary pedestrians may sit and enjoy a wonderful view of a statue or fountain or gateway. Military offices, garrisons and war schools are also housed in this district.

The Noble District

The Noble District adjoins the Imperial District and is home to many of Imperial Senators and nobles. The Noble District contains several monuments and perfectly manicured parks. It also is home to various amphitheaters, playhouses and social clubs.

The Holy District

The Holy District, which also adjoins the Imperial District, is home to the churches, temples and clergy of Aridorn.

The University District

The University District is dominated by the University of Aridorn and several small specialty schools. Here one may also find numerous libraries and museums.

The Merchant’s District

The Merchant’s District contains the many market squares of Aridorn, several hundred shops and more.

The Common District

The Common District is the largest section of the city and houses the commoners, craftsmen, freemen and others of low birth.

The Harbor District

The Harbor District, located on the south end of the city, contains the harbor and port. Many docks, mariners, taverns, fishermen's homes.

The Outer City

The Outer City includes everything located outside the main city walls.

City Infrastructure

Street Lights

Iron and copper street lanterns hung from wooden posts. These lights are maintained, polished, lit and doused by a veritable army of uniformed "illuminators". Most are young men. Many of these young lad go on to serve the City Guard or military.

Government and Public Establishments

The Imperial Senate Building

The Imperial Senate Building is the main governmental building of Aridorn. It is a massive sprawling complex incorporated over 500 offices and employing of a thousand people. It is easily identified by the huge dome which covers the Senate Chamber, the great hall in which the Imperial Senators gather to discuss the business of the day. Master Rykel conducts the proceedings in the Senate.

The Imperial Palace

The Imperial Palace of Aridorn is the residence of the Imperial Family. This sprawling mansion is several stories tall and holds 350 rooms. It is situated on 40 acres of perfectly manicured lawns, cobblestone walkways and terraced gardens. The grounds are home to a staff of 50 servants, 170 slave workers and the Imperial House Guard, a security force of 100 soldiers specially trained for house defense. Every possible luxury has been incorporated into this estate by magical means. Permanently enchanted sections of the house allow doors to open automatically, water to appear in wash basins, stains to disappear, food to magically heat on plates and much more.

The University of Aridorn

The University of Aridorn is the preeminent educational facility in all of Ithria. This large school employs a faculty of 1500 and typically will take 6000 students each year. The wealthy throughout Rukemia send their sons and daughters to the University of Aridorn to learn the higher arts - science, mathematics, language, philosophy, business and more. The Emperor's own children attend this school along side nobility from other nations. The school master of the University is Master Sorren. The University of Aridorn places emphasis on certain disciplines including oration, literature, drama, poetry, theatre and debate.

Imperial Military Headquarters

The Imperial Military Headquarters are housed in a gargantuan fortress easily recognized by its octagonal towers. This castle serves as armory, garrison, training school and administrative center for the various Imperial military forces. Commander General Tolien rules these forces and answers directly to the Emperor. The population of the military headquarters varies, but on any given day, there will be about 400 officers and 2,000 soldiers.

Imperial Mint

The Imperial Mint fashions the official coins of the realm. It also serves as a large money changers station and jewelers shop. A staff of 12 specialists serve Lord Entrias Bruhal whom the emperor has tasked with the financial stability of the empire.

Dungeon of Achtria

The Imperial Prison is located in the south district, far from the Imperial Palace and the other nobles. This foreboding stone keep houses the common criminals of the Empire by the hundred. It is many levels above ground and countless dungeons beneath. All prisoners, whether they are common thieves or enemies of the state are imprisoned here. The Dungeon of Achtria was named after its first warden. The city likes to maintain the myth that the Dungeon of Achtria is escape-proof, even through there have been three successful prison breaks in the last century.

Crossroads Market

This the main market of Aridorn and it is immense. It consists of a circular courtyard almost half a mile wide. The entire field is tiled with large purple and white tiles. These tiles form the crest of Aridorn as viewed from above. The Cross Roads Market is centered at the intersection three major roads in the heart of the city.

Aridorn College of Cartography

Mapmaking is an important function of the empire. The naval forces and free traders rely upon accurate cartographic information to ply the water ways and maintain trade and naval supremacy. For this reason, a special college has been formed by the emperor's decree which is focused on the art of mapmaking. The College is responsible for training young mapmakers, carefully scribing copies of important maps, maintaining a full library of maps and furthering the cartographic knowledge of the empire through continuous exploration. In all these areas, it has succeeded. Most of Ithria has been well mapped. New maps, covering the distant lands of Qeshir and Aggradar, come back with ships from time to time. The cartographic knowledge of the empire is jealously guarded as such information is quite valuable.

Imperial Mail Center

This hall is the main center for the new Imperial Mail Service recently established by the Emperor. Incoming mail is distributed throughout Aridorn from this facility and all outgoing mail is organized here to be assigned to letter bearers and wagons. Every major city in the empire has a mail center, but this is by far the largest.

The Aridorn Guard

The city guard of the grand city of Aridorn is called simply The Aridorn Guard. This group, some two thousand strong, patrols the city and monitors the walls and gates. The soldiers of the Aridorn Guard are easily recognized by their shining silver helmets  and shields, their white and purple tunics and the purple padded jerkins.  Captains wear billowing purple cloaks and their helmets have white feathered plumes and horse hair tails. The Aridorn Guard maintains their equipment in excellent condition and is subject to frequent inspections by their officers. They patrol in groups of five - four soldiers and one captain. The Aridorn Guard utilizes war chariots extensively to transport officers and messengers about the city quickly.

The Guard Bells of Aridorn

It is common practice to have a bell system installed in a home or business to call the city guard. This bell system, known as a "guard bell" consists of two copper bells of different tones that create a distinctive sound that can be easily differentiated from the other common bells and ringing hammers around the city. In times of distress or need, a rope can be pulled and the guard bells will ring out, echoing through the streets. This allows the nearest city guards to respond immediately. A monthly fee is charged by the city for the right to have a guard bell. This insures that only businesses and wealthy private citizens may call upon the guard.

Temples and Shrines

The Basiliarch

The Basiliarch is the main cathedral of Imarus in Aridorn. It is the spiritual heart and central point of reference for the Imarusian Faith. It is the Basiliarch that ordains holy law to all other churches and grants right and title to Imarusian priests. Diplomatically, the Basiliarch acts and speaks for the whole faith.

The Basiliarch is the largest church in the realms and considered to be one of the greatest architectural wonders of the world. The construction of this magnificent building took more than a century of work. Notable architects and artisans from the time directed the construction. Among them were Borimen, Fallyr, and, perhaps most important, Berilli Domaskin. Domaskin designed the central dome and main chamber which rises 170 m (558 feet) above the floor. It can be seen from all districts of the city.  It is a magnificent building, made entirely of white stone. It is a monstrous construction, boasting fifteen floors and dozens of spires. The Basiliarch is renowned for its bells. In total, it has 120 bells, some of them truly massive, which are rung each week to call the faithful to mass. Many of the faithful make a pilgrimage to Aridorn so that they may pray in the Basiliarch at least once in their life.

The most celebrated section of the Basiliarch is the Meditarium. This magnificent chamber is said to be the most beautiful single room ever created. Every surface in this room - floor, walls, ceiling and pillars - is elaborately carved in bas relief and decorated with the rarest metals and gemstones. Several thousand golden panels on the walls contain scripture from the Covenants of Imarus, one verse each. The ceiling is divided into sixteen panels which together depict the world creation story from the religion of Imarus.

This chamber has only one purpose - to commune with Imarus. It is the most holy sanctuary of the church. Here, the Primarch retreats from the outside world to meditate and fast. It is said that here he converses directly with the Imarus. A single burgundy cushion, for kneeling, rests in the center of the floor. This same cushion is been used by the dozens of Primarchs who came before. While meditating in this chamber, the Primarch is considered to be between this world and the next. He is above Khoras, beyond reach. None may enter for any reason. Should the sun wink out or the moons fall from the sky, it does not matter. None may enter.

 

Imarus is embraced in Aridorn and, indeed, throughout the empire, as a patron deity. All of the other Elder Gods are worshiped as well.

Unique City Features

The Arches of Belairo

Gateway to the Noble District. Named after Senator Belairo who created the Noble District and the Arches that span the main entrance.

Monument to the Emperor

Near the center of the Noble's District, not far from the Imperial Palace, is a magnificent statue of the emperor. This work of art is fashioned from marble, stands 20 meters tall, and is decorated with gems and gold. Having a statue of the emperor at this location is a tradition that stretches back for several centuries. As each new emperor ascends to the throne, a new statue is commissioned. Master artisans from across the empire vie for the contract and the sculptor who is finally hired to create this work of art wields considerable clout as the Court Sculptor for many years afterward.

Founding Monument

South of the palace, there stands a huge stone sculpted piece. It does not appear to represent the likeness of any person or thing. Rather it is simply a work of art - symmetrical, linear and quite beautiful. It is fashioned from a single block of satin stone and decorated with numerous glyphs and engravings which seem geometric in nature. This stone masterpiece was crafted to celebrate the Founding of the Rukemian Empire.

The Emperor's Garden

One of the more well known and unique places in Aridorn is the Emperor's Garden. This large preserve sits on 40 acres and is home to thousands of exotic plants, flowers, trees and animals. A staff of 50 work day and night to keep all of the living creatures within the gardens safe and healthy. Tours are given to those who can afford it. Security is very tight. Magic is used extensively to control temperature, provide food and water and heal the animals when they are sick. Plants and animals from all over Ithria are kept here. The groundskeepers are very proud of this biological sanctuary. Teams are sent out to bring back new wonders from the world. These teams, typically between 10 and 20 specialists, will often be gone for many months (or even years) before they succeed in bringing something back for the gardens. (Three teams never did come back). The emperor comes here once each week to "walk all lands". Some of the more amazing creatures that inhabit the Garden include a krallinar from the Shattered Mountains, a dythillin, a grathi (which is restricted to one area of the garden by magic), a sand worm from the Baen Desert and a trexiss. Despite the wonders that already inhabit the Garden, the Emperor is not  satisfied. He has always wanted to add a dragon to his zoological preserve and would be willing to expand the gardens to accommodate such a creature. However, all attempts to capture a dragon have failed. Many of his advisors tell him that even if such a beast were captured and successfully brought to the Garden, keeping it contained would be difficult, to say the least. The Garden is tended to by a small staff headed by Groundskeeper Meiloch.

Important People of Aridorn

The Emperor

Undoubtedly the most central figure in the Great Rukemian Empire is none other than the emperor himself. The vast majority of the common citizenry has never even seen the emperor. He is more legend than man for most. For further details refer to Emperor 

General Trallain, Leader of the Rukemian Vigil

Supreme military authority of the Great Rukemian Empire.

Nathan Malle,  Rukemian Freetrader/Explorer

Nathan Malle is a freetrader and explorer who ranges across the eastern realms from Borrell to the Coalition. He has no set route or schedule and wanders freely, but can most often be found in the Rukemian Empire. Nathan specializes in obtaining hard to find items and making them available for a price. He transports his goods with a group of wagons which also serve as his home and office. His own personal wagon is enchanted such that the interior is larger than the exterior. 

Arland Burke, Rukemian Freetrader

Arland Burke is an independent ship captain of the freetrader vessel Vendetta, a small sleek vessel crewed by the captain and four others. Rather than a salty sea type, Arland is, at heart, a business man and merchant who merely  transports goods with his own personal ship and keeps a close eye on his cargo and his profits. Arland is a handsome man of average height and build. He has dark hair, blue eyes and a clean shaven, well manicured appearance. Arland specializes in bringing back rare treasures and hard to find items back to Aridorn. His skill at this trade has made him a comfortably wealthy man and he wears his wealth with an aristocratic air. He is often mistaken for nobility and does everything to foster that identity.. Arland typically dresses in a precisely tailored black suit and short cape. He wears silver jewelry and carries a short black and silver cane although he doesn't need such assistance. Arland maintains well established routes ranging from Borrell to Ormek. He is a charismatic and worldly trader with a silver tongue and a penchant for expensive habits. He enjoys his reputation as a "finder of rare treasures".

Pendarin Krosha, Independent Scholar

A short, slightly plump human man with short black hair and a large nose that sits awkwardly in a rather homely, but clean shaven face. :Pendarin dresses in faded silken robes and gold jewelry. He is an high strung scholar that rambles on from topic to topic in a trembling voice, never quite completing a thought or sentence. He can usually be found in a library huddled over a stack of books sipping a cup of grumman herbal tea. Pendarin is primarily a historian and has written a number of books and papers on the Thullian Empire. Pendarin earns his living as consultant for various nobles and sages. He has received generous grants by the Rukemian government to study Thullian culture and history. Pendarin is allergic to just about everything, terrified of heights and dislikes violence.

Morgull - Black Orchid Captain and fleet commander

Captain Morgull is the master of the Imperial Fleet of Rukemia. As the highest ranking officer on the eastern seas, he is responsible for the entire fleet of ships and all captains and crew members employed. He prefers being out on the open sea to sitting at a desk back at the Imperial Court. For this reason, he personally commands the flagship Black Orchid. This ship is easily recognized by the huge black orchid image on the main sail.

Shops and Guilds

Name Description
Grand Imperial Inn
Jona Vokset
Inn - The Grand Imperial Inn is almost a legend in the empire. Without a doubt, this is the largest and most luxurious hotel in Aridorn and probably in all the east lands. It has 120 private rooms, 40 noble suites, 4 ball rooms, 8 conference chambers, 3 public bathing halls and a small library. It is manned by a staff of 200. Every conceivable comfort and service is to be had here. This includes perfumed baths, scented candles, satin sheets, fine wines, fresh fruit, banquet meals, personal servants, laundry, message services, scribes and much more. The Grand Imperial Inn is used for guests of senators, military officers and foreign ambassadors. A private room costs 5 gold pieces per night and a noble's suite costs 12 gold pieces for each night!
Archive, The
Lord Neven Goir
Library/Museum - In the western quarter of the city there stands a large building of complicated architecture. It is composed of numerous sections, tall towers, balconies, skywalks, gateways, stone paths, small gardens and courtyards. This stone labyrinth is known as the Archive. It serves the city as a library and museum, but those two simple terms don't do the Archive justice. Besides thousands upon thousands of books and scrolls, the Archive also stores tapestries, heraldic devices, ancient artifacts, relics dug up from ruins, religious symbols, a vast array of maps, examples of dwarven craftsmanship and so much more. A small staff of ten scholars, led by Lord Goir, live in the Archive and tend to its care.
Kettle, The
Drakos
Tavern - The Kettle is the most popular tavern among the common citizens of Aridorn. Besides decent food and good conversation, the inn also offers safe private rooms at reasonable prices. Drakos, the barkeep and owner of the establishment, is an intimidating figure and keeps the peace. (Although he allows the occasional barfight to keep things interesting). Drakos is a mongrel of sorts and appears to be half ogre and half saurian. He is well-known and well-liked in the community. He is an ex-gladiator from foreign lands. One interesting thing of note - Drakos is for some reason immune to magic. This, combined with his size, strength and skill, makes him a very fearsome adversary. He will not discuss his unusual immunity or entertain speculation. There are many rumors about Drakos and his past, but none can be confirmed and he is not forthcoming with an explanation. When he does allow a brawl to break out in his tavern, it's almost always a very good one (and in one instance, what was described by survivors as nothing short of a small war). Drakos has a carpenter on his staff and is always quick to repair after a rousing fight.
Erin's Trading Post
Erin
Trading Post - Erin's Trading Post is the best general store in all of Aridorn. This large establishment is built into a ramshackle, three story wooden building in the south end of town. Thousands of tools, weapons, books, maps, scrolls, herbs, foodstuffs, crates, barrels, boxes and more are crammed into every cubic foot of this establishment in unorganized piles. Erin claims to have everything, but only Erin is able to sort through the mess to find what a customer needs. He seems to have the entire clutter memorized. If Erin doesn't have what a customer needs, he can usually get it in a matter of days. He has connections in several other cities and with the Rukemian Thieves Guild.
Korov's Smithy
Korov
Smithy - Korov is the best blacksmith in town. He generally caters to the common citizens and produces excellent work weekly. He was trained by an ogrish craftsman and so focuses on durability and functionality rather than decoration. The upper classes tend to ignore his work because he fails to decorate with gold plating and embedded gems. However, for those who know the ring of fine steel, Korov's blades are hard to beat.
House of Harimund
Harimund
Brothel - This establishment is a brothel that caters to the lower classes. Most of the wealthier nobles in the empire have their own harems and don't visit brothels. It is run by Harimund, a fat and balding man with a long thin mustache. He's a crafty and articulate man, though he dresses in gaudy colors and decorates himself with far too much jewelry. All of Harimund's girls are slaves and technically his property. He treats his girls well and sleeps with all of them to "educate them" in the ways of pleasure.
Falcon's Aerie
Master Lurin
Inn - The Falcon's Aerie is a large and expensive inn. It is a favorite among the city's nobles. This establishment has 80 rooms, all of which are spacious, clean and private with a large bed. This inn offers its fine rooms to anyone who can afford them. However, at 4 gold drokmire per night, only the city's nobles stay here. This inn is run by one of the few avarians in the east. By charisma and avarian pride, Sir Lurin has charmed his way into the social elite of the empire and, despite his feathered nature, has become a favorite of many imperial officials.
Ringing Blade
Richard Malstrom, Dregan and Caidor
Smithy - This blacksmith's shop is run by an unlikely trio: a blind human, an orc and an ogre. The human is Richard Malstrom, a blacksmith of great skill who was accidentally blinded in an explosion caused by an overeager apprentice, Dregan, the orc. Dregan, who lives with the guilt of the accident every day, has sworn to repay Richard by make the Ringing Blade the best smithy in the empire. Recently, Dregan, who has been having trouble with thieves lately, has hired Caidor, an ogre mercenary. Caidor was originally hired as a guard and bouncer, but has discovered an interest in smith work. With Richard teaching them both, Dregan and Caidor have become passable blacksmiths.
The War Pit
Assamoc
Gladitorial Arena - The War Pit is a large gladiatorial arena where all manner of fighting is arranged and bet on. This large circular building is built around the main pit which is 30 meters (98 feet) in diameter and 7 meters (22 feet) deep. The War Pit is run by an ogre named Assamoc who also teaches at the Warriors Guild. All manner of events are arranged here - one on one duels, group fighting, animal combat, etc. One of the main attractions is a captured xorian warrior (escaped from the Rift Vale) who lives as a prisoner at the War Pit. He has been nicknamed Ravage by the clientele and is one of the most popular fighters. Ravage spent the first of his months here trying to escape, but has since settled into his new life. He's grown to enjoy the roar of the crowd.
The Feathered Blade
Mancinel
Tavern - The Feathered Blade is a large and successful tavern on the east side of town. It is a front for the Rukemian Thieves Guild. All manner of cutthroats, bandits, assassins and robbers hang out here to find partners, obtain contracts and fence stolen goods. This establishment is run by Mancinel, a half elven assassin with a specialty in poisons and seduction. She also has connections with the Church of Karenia.
Slave Lords Guildhouse
The Master
Guild Hall - The Slave Lords are an independent guild of slavers who maintain a network of guild houses throughout the eastern kingdoms and also have a few waystations along the southern coast. This large building is their largest guildhouse and serves as their headquarters. They capture "primitives" from the west and transport them to the eastern empire (usually by ship). The Slave Lords have a rigid hierarchical rank structure and are easily identified by the black outfits and colored sashes (each color signifies a different rank). The Slave Lords are ruled by a reclusive figure known only as the Master. The Master dwells here, in the Aridorn guildhouse.
Captain's Galley
Captain Trenchard
Tavern/Inn - This establishment is run by a colorful character - an ex-sea captain and officer of the Rukemian navy who clings to his past with a passion. He still wears his uniform and captain's long coat every night as he walks among the patrons of his bar, telling tales of the high seas and passing around drinks. Captain Trenchard has a patch over his left eye and a bad limp. He is a sort of father figure to the sailors and naval officers of Aridorn. He is a civilian now, but still quite popular and influential in the city. This is the best tavern in the city for mariners and is a frequent stop for most sailors when they are in port.
Imperial Theatre
Haimon Brumley
Theatre/Playhouse - Despite its name, this is a privately owned playhouse that puts on six plays each year under the direction of Lord Haimon Brumley, a nobleman who owns the playhouse and also fancies himself a master of the performing arts. He unveils each play with great fanfare.
Horse Drawn Works
Agus Welf
Specialty Woodcraft Shop - This large shop manufactures chariots, wagons, divans, and other land based transports. Most of these are horse drawn transports, but the shop has been known to craft custom litters for senators and other such objects.
Cargan's Bread Market
Cargan
Bakery - A huge bakery with 300 ovens and 76 bakers and assistant bakers. They bake thousands of loaves everyday for the military, ships going out to see, the palace and the general public. Cargan has ten carts which take the bread out into the city and sell loaves of bread

This website was last updated April 1, 2017 . Copyright 1990-2017 David M. Roomes.

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