The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Cities

"May the light of the Chaddamar burn away the darkness."
- Chaddamarian Blessing

"Six languages just to do business with them.... would that I could earn six times the profit..."
Hoakris Warg, Aukarian Fartrader

Ruler Her Eminence, Queen Tavania Sadeish
Population 186,500
Demographics Human 82%, Saridian 8%, Vaullian 8%, Other 2%
Adjectival/Demonym Illhekari/Illhekari
Languages Chaddi 90%, Other 10%
Nationality Chaddamar Theocracy
National Colors Black, grey and green
Year Founded 1307 CY
Currency Chaddamarian
Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods Rice, cotton, lumber, fish, seafood, mutton, potatoes, marble, silver, horses, iron ore, precious stones, wine
Wealth Very Wealthy
Government Type Theocracy
Government Stability Very Stable
Allies Sarid, Vaul
Enemies Trossoli
Walled Yes. Stone curtain wall.
Crime Level Low
Technology Level Middle Ages (Pre-Industrial in some limited areas and certain technologies)
Primary Religion Chaddamar
Other Religion All other religions outlawed.
Climate Temperate
Terrain Coastal grasslands, hills, forest, mountains

Description

Illhekar is a tremendous architectural achievement. Built with the blood and sweat of millions of faithful follows, this city was crafted over 700 years from the stone of local quarries and lumber from local forests.

It is a crowded, bustling, noisy city with beautiful temples and public buildings. The wealthy dwell in huge palatial estates with central courtyards and immaculate gardens. The poor live in crowded apartment buildings and "common halls". The middle class typically dwell in rooms above or behind their shops.

Culture

The people of Illhekar are both blessed and cursed. Illhekar is an organized, clean and wealthy city with an excellent system of roads, a strong government and a powerful military. The people enjoy relative peace, safe travel, abundant food and a great deal of leisure time. However, the price they pay is steep. The citizens of Chaddamar must deal with an oppressive Church which controls all business, monitors daily life, demands tithes, taxes them heavily and rules with a ruthless legal system where adherence to religious dogma outweighs justice. Most people in Illhekar and Chaddamar beyond are relatively poor. It is their labor and taxes which support the ruling elite of the Church in Illhekar.

Torture is strictly outlawed. To inflict harm upon a body intentionally in such a manner is as bad as using magic to heal a body. It is violating the natural state and grace of Nature. It is to intrude on the function of the gods. However, fines and imprisonment are common for lawbreakers. Executions are carried out by the Church, but only for the most serious transgressions - usually for crimes which are deemed heresy against the Church.

Typical dress is loose fitting, white cotton tunics in the summer and thick, heavy wool tunics in the winter. Bathing is an important Chaddamarian custom. The Chaddamarians use communal baths which are quite common and can be found scattered about the major cities and towns. Men and women use separate bath halls.

Holy festivals are common and invigorate the city. Such festivals include parades, religious plays, jugglers, minstrels and other entertainers. Birthdays are a major cause for celebration. Friends and family unite to celebrate one's birthday as a small festival. Most family households and shops have a patron deity. This deity looks over the house. A small shrine and statuette is put up in a corner of the shop.

Musical composition is considered the province of the church. Priestesses are said to be "inspired" by the Chaddamar and only then put pen to paper. While this has produced many recognizable religious themes, it has also produced some very bad music. In any case, all "official" musical compositions are created by the church. Music created by the citizenry is banned from public performance.

News, Rumors and Gossip

A hole has been discovered in the Wall and despite assurances from the local temple in Soleth, the military is not going to be able to rebuild that section of the Wall in time. Dozens of villages are at risk from the Horde.

The local thieves guild in Soleth is rumored to have a tunnel under the Wall. For a price, they can smuggle anyone into the Desolation.

The Queen is secretly building an army of armor clad priestesses whose sole function is to invade the Desolation, wipe out the Horde once and for all and reclaim the lands beyond the Wall. This project has been running for years and is nearing completion.

The City Districts

Illhekar has seven city districts. One devoted to each god and one central district which unites them. Each district has the main temple to its god at the center of the district. The city guard of Illhekar maintains a single, central garrison at the center of each district. The six districts radiate out from the center in a hexagonal design.

The War District

The War District houses the armies, soldiers, barracks, war academies, fighters’ guild hall, sword smiths and armorers of the city. The War District also houses the main city garrison, a massive fortress of brick and mortar which houses some 2000 soldiers and guards. The patron diety of the War District is Choel.

The Law District

The Law District houses the courts, prisons, judges and tribunals. Ysranna is the patron deity of the Law District.

The Artists District

The Artists District holds an array of terraced gardens, public parks and amphitheatres. Sennai is the patron deity here.

The Guild District

The Guild District is the business center of the city. It is crowded with shops, taverns, trading posts, warehouses and guilds. Banidor rules here.

The Sun District

Most of the common citizenry live here. This district houses a number of large public parks, several monuments. This is the largest district in the city. Arradan is the patron diety of the Sun District.

The Moon District

The patron god of the Moon District is Kreshari, the Lord of the Night. This district houses the funeral halls, the undertakers and a few guilds. The Moon District also contains the port, the harbor, shipyards and warehouses. This is the smallest district in the city. Kreshari rules the Moon District.

The Central District

At the center of the city is a seventh district which holds the main palace and certain government and religious buildings. The layout of the city has the six other districts radiating outward from the central district.

There is also a great "outer city" which includes thousands of small homes, shacks, tents and taverns. Most of the poor and huddled masses live in the outer city. The narrow, winding streets are dusty and crowded. Tiny markets can be found at almost every intersection.

City Infrastructure

Street Lights

Enchanted street lanterns that are symbolically tied to Arradan - god of light. The priestesses of Chaddamar control the enchanted lanterns with spells.

Government and Public Establishments

The Palace of Chaddamar

The palace of Chaddamar is a sprawling complex of buildings which fill the Central District. The palace contains 3,512 rooms and occupies 47 acres. The Queen and her family reside her along with several dozen of the highest ranking Church officials, their families, some 700 security guards and a veritable army of servants.

The Gatherings

Illhekar has several dozen marketplaces known as Gatherings. Each gathering is much more than a marketplace... it is where the citizens of Illhekar come to do their shopping, banking, trading, selling  and socializing. There is always something going on at a gathering. Prayer circles, musicians and  theatre troupes keep a gathering filled with music, chatter and laughter.

The University of Chaddamar

A large school of divinity. Run by Chaddamar priestesses. 

Conservatory of Spell Binding

The Chaddamarian Conservatory of Spellbinding is the only official school of magic in the entire nation. The Church of Chaddamar keeps strict control over the use of magic since, according to their religion, magic can so easily be abused. The Church of the Chaddamar does not generally trust pagan magic or the wizards who use it. Therefore, there is some friction between this school and the Church. This institution resides in the capital city of Illhekar. It has a staff of 45 and teaches about 200 students, graduating about 15 each year. The ruler of the Conservatory is Tomag Kedarran.

The City Guard of Illhekar

The city guard of Illhekar patrols the streets in large groups. A standard team consists of six town guards, one officer and a low ranking priestess (typically a neophyte in training) that serves as a representative of the Church. The officer usually has a trained war dog as well which is used to chase down criminals.

Town guards use buckler gauntlets on one hand. These are large, armored gauntlets with built in bucklers. Excellent for blocking sword blows, catching blades, punching through doors, etc. Covers hand to above elbow. It is a badge of office. The primary weapon of a town guard is the heavy hammer. They also carry a pair of smaller balanced throwing hammers and a large, serrated knife.

The Underworld

Several "criminal" organizations have evolved amidst the repressive religious world of Chaddamar.

The Six Lies

Major Thieves Guild. Broken up into local guilds - one in each town and city. The Soleth chapter of this group operates a secret tunnel which goes under the Wall and allows them to smuggle people into and out of the Desolation, for a price.

The Seekers of Shidar

This large and powerful group has over 2000 members. The Resistance opposes the Church, their control of the nation and their dogma. The goals of the Resistance include overthrowing the Church, opening up the Desolation to exploration and reshaping the nation into a Republic.

The Tithers

Whispered about in dark corners of smoky taverns, this group is known only as "They Who Collect the Tithes". In casual conversation, they are sometimes called the Tithers. The second largest criminal guild in Chaddamar. It has spies and agents scattered throughout the nation. This is a secretive society. Its members work in cells of seven members  and identify each other with hand signals and code words. This group does a black market fencing, smuggling, extortion and other scams. They take advantage of loopholes in the law, corrupt government officials, etc. Mainly motivated by profit. There is some competition with the Six Lies.

The Coffer Kings

A smaller thieves guild which operates solely in the capital city. Known for daring robberies and flaunting with danger. They operate directly under the nose of the Church. Suspected to have less than 200 members. Very secretive. Little known about them. Each member carries a small silver leaf as a token of membership. This may not always be a physical object. It could be a tattoo or it might be embroidered into clothing. But always, somewhere on them, will be a silver leaf.

Temples and Shrines

The Temple of the Chaddamar

The main temple of the city is in the Central District.

The Six Greater Temples

Each district has the main temple for its patron deity. Special ceremonies, admin offices. The wealthy attend mass here once each day.

The Lesser Temples

Dozens of them in each city district. Convenient places to tend to the masses, to keep from having to make a long journey. Daily prayers.

Unique City Features

Statues of the Chaddamar

Six immense statues in the Central District carved of marble blocks.

The Old Wall

A piece of the Old Wall. Greatly damaged. On display at a crossing of two major roads. As an example of the power of the Horde.

The High Gardens

This architectural wonder is a terraced garden that actually exists on huge stone levels. They are stacked and staggered in a geometric array.

Important People

Her Eminence, Queen Tavania Sadeish

Her Eminence, Queen Tavania Sadeish is the supreme political and religious leader of Chaddamar. She rules as the mediator between the six demi-gods of this land and the people. She is the link between the mortal and spirit realms. Serving her is a staff of thousands.

General Morg Arkus

While the woman rule the church, the men rule the military. Ruling over the armies and navies of Chaddamar is a highly decorated military officer named Arkus. This giant of a man stands 7 foot 2 and weighs 300 pounds. He is easily recognized by his steel blue armor chest plate and cloak fashioned from a bear skin. General Arkus fights with a great silver tipped spear named "Sarkus" which, in Old Kartese, translates roughly as "Infidel Ripper".

Tomag Kedarran, Chief Magical Authority

Ruler of the Conservatory of Spell Binding. Great strain exists between the Church and the mages of the land. The mages must constantly walk a fine line and not cross into "church matters". There are certain types of magic which are forbidden.

Saramuthak, Greatest Wizard/Necromancer, Imprisoned

A brilliant mage that served the government/church for years before his radical ideas eventually labeled him a heretic. Had numerous troubles with the Church. Was finally accused of necromancy, imprisoned,  later escaped and later imprisoned. He is, without a doubt, the most talented and most famous wizard in Chaddamar. But now, he is imprisoned, entombed forever in the dungeons of the town of Soleth. He is often made an example of when the Church speaks of the dangers of necromancy and dark magic.

Beljarn

Leader of the Seekers of Shidar. A mysterious criminal figure who rules a portion of the Illhekar underworld. The Church of Chaddamar is constantly seeking to bring him to justice. He is something a folkhero to the commoners.

Shops and Guilds

Name and Owner Description
Tavern by the Glen
Raegus
Tavern - Is located outside of town on the outskirts by the forest. An attractive 30-year old red haired woman and her father Raegus run this place. Tara is the consummate host, constantly gliding between tables to check on her patrons and ensure that everyone has what they need. This level of hospitality and the good food has won her many faithful customers. Tara is a tall woman with a shapely figure, a quiet air of dignity and nobility and grace. She is always composed, cheerful and has a ready smile. She never raises her voice. The Tavern by the Glen serves the best breakfasts to be had - mostly combinations of eggs, potatoes, bacon and pancakes. Tara also has a younger sister named Lynea with striking blonde hair. Lynea is somewhat less social and a bit spoiled. She dislikes working in the tavern.
The Inn of Six Blessings
Unaldan
Inn - A huge inn with 150 private rooms and dozens of master suites. The Inn of the Six Blessings caters to the wealthy, government officials, high ranking military officers and the like. The Inn, as it is often called, has private stables, a dozen courtyards and a staff of 200. It has its own security force of 80 well trained and well equipped guardsmen. The Inn of Six Blessings is found in the Sun District.
The Chanting Heretic
Valeli
Smithy - The Chanting Heretic is the name of a large smithy located in the Guild District. It is named after Brohan, a giant of a man with mixed eshtari and aukarian blood. He is a renowned heretic who refuses to bend knee to the Chaddamarian gods. The only reason he is tolerated is that the establishment is run by Valeli, a Chaddamarian woman, at least on paper. And Brohan is one of the best smiths in the city. The smithy is named after Brohan's habit of singing pagan songs while hammering away at his work. Valeli handles the paperwork.
The Painted Face Theatre
Ferrigan
Theatre - Once the grandest theatre in Illhekar, this theatre has suffered decades of financial trouble and is now suffering for it. Cracked stone walls, weeds, musty tapestries and dank carpeting have been the hallmark of this declining playhouse for the past few years. Only recently has it been bought by Ferrigan, a wealthy merchant, who has plans to revitalize it. Despite the poor condition of the theatre and recent change of ownership, the Painted Face Theatre puts on a play three nights a week.
Mygar's Emporium
Mygar
Trading Store - Mygar is an energetic man with curly black hair and a slight paunch. He has intelligent black eyes, a rather large nose and enjoys adorning himself with jewelry and occasional makeup or face paint. Mygar is an expert merchant and trader. There's nothing he can't buy, trade or sell. Being the consummate businessman, he is always looking for a way to squeeze a little more profit out of a good deal or trying to hide his wealth from the tax man. Mygar's store is a two story wooden building stuffed to the rafters with colorful clothing, rugs and tapestries, furniture, common household items, mundane supplies, works of art, jewelry and trinkets, adventuring equipment, odd pieces of junk and curious relics from distant lands. Mygar loves animals and keeps eight cats as pets. Mygar dabbles in illegal activities with trusted customers. He has a small selection of poisons, antidotes, acids, explosives, rare spell ingredients and other alchemical products. He is in contact with the local underworld and will occasionally fence stolen goods. Mygar dislikes the church, but plays the part of an honest businessman and devout believer. Mygar likes to collect rare treasures from distant lands and has a private collection of treasures. Mygar lives and works alone in his store. His prize possession is a large dragonstar gem. The gem radiates strong magic, but Mygar has been unable to determine what the gem does. He keeps it with him at all times.
The Six Winds Tavern
Athor
Tavern - The Six Winds Tavern is a seaside port tavern that caters to mariners and fishermen. They have a variety of foods which mariners crave after long sea voyages Ė the types of food that donít keep well and canít be had on board Ė fresh beef with rich mushroom gravy, sweet yellow potatoes, raspberry iced tartlings, etc. This tavern serves no seafood or fish of any kind. The clientele here are mariners and usually sick of such fare.  The Six Winds also serves as a way station for trading and messages. Athor is a huge bald headed and heavily muscled man with dozens of scars. He is a former mariner and, some say, pirate.
The Emerald Garden
Udanas
Apothecary - The Emerald Garden is a well known apothecary and herbalist shop. It is a tall three story wooden building surrounded by several gardens and greenhouses. It even has a garden on the roof. Udanas is a large woman standing over six feet tall and weighing about 300 pounds. She has long brown hair (now greying) which she often wears in a bun. She typically wears earthy colors, browns and greens, and her clothing is usually dirt smudged as are her hands and face. She spends most of her time working in her gardens and greenhouses. She is the most knowledgeable plant expert in the region. She employs several helpers, typically young people who want to learn herbalism, plant lore and gardening from her. She sells her flowers, plants and herbal extracts at local markets and fairs. She specializes in rare and exotic plants and flowers and seems to be able to grow almost anything in her gardens. She and her students also grow fruits and vegetables, some of they eat themselves and some of which they sell. Because of the restrictions placed on spellbinders and healing magic, Udanas is often visited by spellbinders looking for a rare ingredient or healing herb. Udanas and her students often help out at the High Gardens.
The Furled Scroll
Nathard
Library- A small library and bookstore in the heart of the city. Run by a wealthy young nobleman named Nathard who is part of the wealthy Ferazir family. Nathard has taken his fortune and indulged in his love of books by founding this library. It's white marble columns and beautiful sculptures attest to the money he put into it. The Furled Scroll has a number of scribes that copy Chaddamarian holy texts, prayer books and other manuscripts. These are sold to the faithful. Literary services, scribing for hire, original compositions and more are also offered.
The Red Boar Tavern
Raldon
Tavern - This tavern is run by a man named Raldon and his wife, Jemra. Raldon, a former sea captain, returned from a grand voyage with half his crew dead, but a cargo hold full of treasure. Raldon took his share, purchased a tavern and settled down for a quiet life of prayer and reflection. This tavern employs a staff of 8 and has several rooms for rent. Raldon is a devout Chaddamarian believer and requires all in his inn to join in on the daily prayers. The inn itself is a sturdy three story wooden building with a great stone fireplace, a huge bar and a beautiful spiral staircase in the center of the main dining room. An oddly fashioned bow hangs above the bar. This is from Raldon's sailing days and he claims to have been given the bow as a gift from a barbarian chieftain in a faraway land.He and Jemra have three daughters. Raldon also has a pair of dogs named Ysranna and Arradan, after the Chaddamarian gods of peace and light.

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