The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Cities

"The pinnacle of the scholarly world is Vaulstav, whose marble halls, noble libraries, map collections and Senate conferences hold the wisdom of the world. It is a treasure far greater than any kingly vault."
- Salerra Agrevon, Chaddamarian Merchant

Ruler Prime Minister Geldritch
Population 52,750
Demographics Vaullian 80%, Saridian 10%, Human 8%, Other 2%
Adjectival/Demonym Stavian/Stavians
Languages Vaulsk 82%, Saradda 10%, Chaddi 5%, Other 3%
Nationality Vaullian
National Colors Grey and green
Year Founded 1290
Currency Vaullian
Natural Resources Rice, maritime fauna and flora, limestone, marble, copper, coffee beans, chocolate
Manufactured Goods and Major Exports Rice, salted fish, shellfish, quarried stone, copper ingots, javika (drink), stour (drink)
Wealth Wealthy
Government Type Democracy
Government Stability Stable
Allies Sarid, Chaddamar Theocracy
Enemies None
Walled Yes. Stone curtain wall.
Crime Level Low
Technology Level Middle Ages
Primary Religion Vaullian Mysticism
Other Religion Aerism, Chaddamar, Vejadism
Climate Temperate to subtropical
Terrain Coastal grasslands, hills, forest

Overview

Vaulstav is the capital city of the nation of Vaul. The city is a peaceful, idyllic utopia of sculpted gardens, hallowed halls of academia and chanting mystics. As the capital city of Vaul, it is a center of higher learning, home to the Hall of Ministers. This beautiful city is a blend of crafted architecture and nature. Flowering vines, potted plants, flower gardens and orchards are woven into a maze of tiled paths, marble statues, low stone walls and majestic buildings. Vaul has a very leisure atmosphere as life itself is forced to slow down and enjoy the moment. Stress seems unknown here. It is not uncommon to find vaullians bathing in a pond, holding poetry recitations in a garden or teaching a class of youngsters in the open air. Because of the mild weather here and pleasant spring, summer and fall, most activities are held outdoors.

History

This large river valley is somewhat isolated by high mountains encircling the bay. This has allowed the region to develop both biologically and culturally with little outside influence throughout the centuries. Once this valley was one of the great provinces the Kytohan Empire. The province of Vaul was a region blessed with fertile soil and a mild climate. It was major food producing province for the province, famed for its orchards, vineyards, olive oil and various wines. Each province was ruled by a duke.

When the Sundering occurred, the cataclysmic energies unleashed swept over the world and devastated the Kytohan Empire. Land quakes hit, cities were toppled, tidal waves wiped villages from the coast, volcanoes erupted and torrential downpours destroyed crops. Months of ecological disasters tore the Empire apart. What remained of the Empire was fragmented, lost and leaderless. The survivors struggled to keep their Empire together. The province of Vaul was spared the worst of the tidal waves due to the long narrow curving shape of Windward Bay.

The Duke at the time was a man named Oduris. Remarkably, the Oduris line ruled uninterrupted for more then seven centuries after the Sundering and managed to keep the region safe from roving bands of pirates, bandits and leaderless armies. War, disease, famine and drought arose from time to time, but through it all the region prospered.

Throughout these early centuries, the people of Vaul began to change physically, as was also happening with other cultures around the world. The mutagenic effects of the World Storm had accelerated and altered evolution. With each generation, the vaullians became fatter, slower and more ponderous. Their spines began to curve and their heads drooped. Their skin became grey and wrinkled even as their minds deepened and intellects expanded.

In 715 CY , a military coup led by group of officers shook the kingdom which quickly devolved into a bloody civil war. Thousands died in many battles. During the civil war, many flocked to the church. One movement that had been gaining popularity was a branch of philosophies that were the precursor to modern vaullian mysticism. The usurpers eventually failed and peace was restored in 722 CY. Vaullian mysticism played a part and helped guide many government officials through the civil war and helped the nation heal when the civil war ended.

After the war, it was decided that a stronger government needed to be established. The King abdicated the throne and established the Cabinet... a group of ministers who would lead the nation. From their rank, they elected a Prime Minister. Over the centuries, new positions have been created and the Cabinet of Ministers has grown. They have guided Vaul since that time.

Other areas of the once mighty empire have arisen as new nations since that time. Wars have been fought across the continent. Dictators have come and gone. Through it all Vaul has strengthened itself with time. Like the vaullians themselves, Vaul is slow, careful, patience and persistent. It is now one of the wealthiest and most stable nations in all of Aggradar.

Government

Vaul is ruled by a central council known as the Cabinet of Ministers. It consists of thirteen very old vaullians, thought by most to be the thirteen wisest vaullians in the land. These council members are elected to their positions by popular vote and serve for life (or until such time as they choose to retire). These thirteen vaullians have all distinguished themselves through public service, rank, honor, oration, charity and other accomplishments. After a life time of achievement and wisdom, they are invited to join the Cabinet. Any potential new member is voted on by the existing council, and all vaullian citizens.

Cabinet of Ministers

The Prime Minister Oversees the Cabinet of Ministers
Minister of Guilds Businesses, shops and guilds
Minister of War Is the supreme authority overseeing all military forces, naval ships, militias, town guards.
Minister of the Treasury Levies the taxes.
Minister of Ambassadors Foreign relations. Oversees a group of ambassadors that maintain diplomatic relations with all surrounding nations.
Minister of the Homeland Building roads, bridges, mapping the nation, dealing with threats to the general public.
Minister of Commons Issues of the commoners.
Minister of Nobles Issues of the nobles.
Minister of the Land Agriculture, land disputes, mining rights.
Minister of the Sea Settles fishing territorial disputes, oversees shipping, maritime laws.
Minister of Law Is in charge of the prisons, law enforcement, security patrols in the capital city.
Minister of Philosophy Serves as a religious liaison between the government and the Empyrean Regime and other philosophical and religious groups.
Minister of Academics Oversees the academy, schools and other centers of learning.

The Hall of Ministers

Huge central stone hall in the heart of the city. Appears as a vast circular building with a huge central courtyard. Conference halls, foyers, private lounges and the like fill the outer ring. The central court is the main meeting hall. When weather permits, the Cabinet of Ministers will meet in the gardens of the courtyard.

Law

Vaul is a remarkably peaceful land. Every city and town has at least one court and magistrate (Vaulstav has several). Magistrates use telepathic powers and magic to assist them in determining guilt or innocence. Magistrates also oversee public projects, settle disputes and collect taxes.

Military

The city of Vaulstav has a small, but capable city guard that patrols the streets and provide a comforting presence to the citizens. Vaulstav city guards wear thick leather armor and carry iron shod oaken staves. They patrol in the city in pairs. Their primary duty is to keep the peace. Vaulstav is generally a peaceful city.

Religion

The Tapestry

The "Tapestry" is a rather poetically named garden. It is immense in scale and sprawls across several different tiers and levels connected by meandering cobblestone paths and gracefully arched bridges. Scattered throughout this beautiful garden are a dozens of small shrines and temples devoted to many gods. It is a place of religious worship, quiet meditation and philosophical reflection.

Economy

The Main Market Square

The main market square of this grand city is a huge expanse in which are six separate tiled lots connected by paths in large grassy field. Each of these six lots holds a different kind of market. One is for food, one is for literature and scholarly works, the third is for crafted goods, the fourth for animals, plants, seeds and gardening tools. The fifth is magical supplies and equipment (and the occasional magic item) and the sixth is for services - where one may hire servants, couriers, guards, gardeners, artists, laborers and the like.

Guilds and Organizations

The Empyrean Regime

A powerful and wealthy wizards guild. The only official wizards guild in Vaulstav.

The Order of the Mind

A guild open to vaullians with exceptional telepathic abilities. It functions as part social club, part guild and part training academy.

The Vaullian Historical Society

A scholarly order devoted to collection and preservation of historical texts, artifacts and knowledge.

The Grand Amphitheatre

The Vaulstav Grand Amphitheatre is the largest building in the city. It is an open roof oval amphitheatre which seats 8,000. Dramatic plays and oratory presentations are a common attraction and fill the theatre to capacity. To a lesser extent, some athletic and sporting events are played out here.

The University of Vaulstav

Comprised of numerous colleges within one core campus. Tall stone buildings stand regally above carefully tended gardens and grassy fields. It includes the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the College of Mathematics and Engineering and Braitek's School of Wizardry. This is considered, by many, the finest academic institute anywhere. Graduates of the University are highly sought after.

Important People

Prime Minister Geldritch

The current Prime Minister of Vaul is named Geldritch. His immense girth and age are exceeded only by his staggering intellect. Geldritch has a quiet, confident demeanor. He speaks eloquently and can discuss almost any subject intelligently. He leads the Cabinet of Ministers by example as much by law and most of the ministers strive to follow his example.

Grenok, Captain of the City Guard

A very unvaullian like vaullian, Grenok is a battle hardened veteran who has fought the Chaddamar Theocracy long ago, the Sybrenar and raiding tribes from the Fire Isles. He has traveled the entire continent. He assumed command of the vaullian military some 12 years ago. His most pressing concern is the growing threat of the Sybren Imperium to the west. Their military vessels have begun attacking vaullian vessels at sea.

Culture

The Vaullians are happiest when pursuing scholarly and artistic endeavors. Scattered about the walkways and terraced gardens of the city, a visitor will encounter small gatherings engaged in vaullian sand painting, chanting, mediation, debate or literature readings. Outdoor amphitheatres have musical presentations in the evenings where citizens fill the grassy slopes for the evening.

Vaullian music is slow, serene, stately and, quite often, very sad. It is formal with specific styles and well-documented melodies. Vaullian musicians adhere to traditional style and structure. They do not adapt or vary traditional themes. The most important piece of Vaullian music is the chanter pipe - a wind instrument that consists of a large leather bag and several parallel pipes of varying length. It has a deep, sweet, rich sound. It is a complex instrument to play and takes years to master.

Javika (pronounced ja-VIE-ka) is a concoction of brewed coffee beans, chocolate, cocoa butter and goat's milk. It is very thick, very sweet and a strong stimulant. The vaullians invented it and enjoy it as an after dinner dessert drink, but it is too potent for most people. The magrakians love it since it's strong enough for even their dull senses to be overwhelmed.

Another popular drink is stour. This is a thick, sour ale made from fermented tubers. It's a popular drink that originated in Vaul, but can be found throughout Aggradar. Stour comes from the words "stout" and "sour" which perfectly describes this ale.

City Districts

-

Monuments and Public Spaces

Statue of Unar, Founder of Vaullian Mysticism

Seventy foot granite statue. Ancient, crumbling and cracked. Depicts the vaullian Unar dressed in robes and sandals.

The Serenity Gardens

A 14-acre site of terraced gardens bursting with color, stone bridges crossing of trickling streams, marble statues, copper gazebos and a large amphitheatre. At the center of the Serenity Gardens is a circular stone gazebo in which there are 13 copper statues depicting the 13 Ministers.

The Pool of Memories

A large enchanted pool that plays out historical scenes and events with water which shapes itself into people and objects and moves to simulate the scenes.

Architecture and Infrastructure

Virtually all buildings are fashioned from stone, or mostly stone. Limestone is used frequently and therefore most vaullians are a light grey. Roofs are usually tiled pieces of shale. The vaullians favor broad domes on their major bujildings. Their towers to be squat and likewise domed.

Because of the abundance of copper in their region, domes are usually covered in copper tiles which have oxided to a uniform bluish green.

Crime

There is very little crime in Vaulstav. It is surprisingly safe for a city of this size. Most crime in Vaulstav is committed by non-Vaullians.

Inns and Taverns

Name and Proprietor Description
Inn of the Fluttering Leaf
Daiker
Inn - Run by a retired Thought Master and seven of his former students. The Inn of the Fluttering Leaf is a tavern and inn, but also has a definite academic atmosphere. Stories of their days in school are told by the staff. The Master often quizzes his students with riddles and philosophical quandaries. All this while food is served, meals are eaten, customers come and go. Daiker often becomes quite excited when discussing art, history, philosophy or the sciences and sometimes will engage the entire common room in a lecture. Most regulars know that this is simply part of staying at this inn.
The Sputtering Lantern
Durak
Tavern - Known to have the best doeza in the city. This establishment gets its name from an ancient brass lantern (an artifact from the Kytohan Empire) which is lit every night and hangs outside the front door. This establishment is run by a large family including Durak, his wife, his four sons and three daughters. Durak's sister also lives here. The family leaves on the second story. 
The Wearied Foot Inn
Grim Tuma
Inn - A small but well built inn run by Tuma, whom most call Grim Tuma because of his frequent foul moods. Argus, the cook here, is obsessed with recreating a certain meat stew that he had once in a faraway land. When asked about it, he is somewhat vague about the details. But he continues to tinker with recipes, sauces, spices and methods of marinating. While Argus insists he hasn't recreated the dish yet, he has become an excellent cook and has managed to create a dozen new recipes that the regular patrons love. This small establishment has one dozen rooms for rent and one large common room.

Shops

Name and Proprietor Description
The Silvered Web
Tomarken
Glassblowers Shop - Run by a young vaullian with a head for business. This establishment is actually a cover for the local thieves guild. Secret chambers beneath this shop serve as the headquarters for the only major thieves guild in the city.
The Hall of Words
Erlich
Museum/Historical Society - Run by Erlich, a smaller vaullian male. Erlich loves the sound of his own voice and can never pass up an opportunity to tell a story, educate the ignorant or read a famous passage from one of his many books. Erlich has a remarkable memory for literature and can remember where almost every book is in the main library. He claims to have read them all. The museum holds a number of fabulous artifacts brought back from all over the world and Erlich fancies himself an expert on every one of them including the culture from which it was taken, the history of the item and its socio-cultural significance. Erlich heads up the local historical society and holds meetings here. He relishes such meetings as he really gets a chance to show off.
Gailler's Fire
Gailler
Blacksmith - Gailler has a large open area in front of his smithy with a roof over four pillars. He does all his work outside beneath this pillared roof. He has two apprentices - a human named Komusar who is a boisterous loudmouth who hawks the wares loudly and draws a crowd with his antics, and Piltharis, a saridian obsessed with improving upon tried and true Vaullian smithy techniques. Komusar can't stand either one of them.
The Hoarded Word
Akaena
Library - Run by a young female vaullian who took over this establishment from her uncle. The Hoarded Word is well known as a place to exchange books. Scrolls and books of all kinds are bought and sold here. Akaena's collection is quite impressive and includes works from almost all lands in Aggradar. Akaena is very organized and developed her own categorization system.
Haelle's Herbs
Haelle
Apothecary - Haelle is an elderly maternal vaullian. She lives in a crumbling stone house atop a grassy hill over looking the town. Outside her home she has gardens, greenhouses and potted plants. She grows every herb, weed, root and flower imaginable. Haelle often goes into the wilderness to gather seeds and fungi to add to her collection. She brews potions, poultices, elixirs and tinctures. Haelle is the mother of Grenok, the Captain of the City Guard of Vaulstav.
The House of Riddles
Assad
Social Club - Something of a social club, wine club, riddle club, library. Its members consider it quite fashionable, although many of the older vaullians consider it too focused on community and not focused enough on intellectual pursuits.

Footer

This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.

Contact Webmaster