Tellura

This city is located high up the Facing Cliffs on the windward (western) side of the great peninsula which makes the Crescent Lands. The fertile plain surrounding Tellura rises up in a great wave till it crest high at the point where the city stands. From this vantage, the towers and black marble walls of the city climb skyward above the plain. Because of its many high reaching towers, spires, and steeples it is often referred to as the Climbing City. Within its forty five feet high, glass smooth, crenellated walls reside between seven and ten thousand people. This city is unlike any in the Crescent Lands for, while it rests within a country know for its rabid intolerance of magic, it is considered by many to be the heart of magic in the Crescent Lands.

Before the founding of Aereolus, the Mage Guilds of Aereolus, Ma'Cab, or SpireWall, even before the Isle of Wizardry, it stood. It is claimed that the black, marble walls surrounding Tellura were built and waiting empty when humans first migrated to the Crescent Lands from Boreala. Whether this is true or not, it can not be disputed that Tellura is the oldest extent city in the Lands. In the ancient non human tongue Aerthmoour, Tellura means "earth".

Whatever it is about Tellura, it has historically attracted mages. Even with persecution by Minh, the Mage Guild of Tellura is considered to be the finest training center for mages in the Crescent Lands. Though its archive has recently been surpassed in size by that of the Guild in Aereolus, it still has the finest collection of pre human manuscripts, early Crescent Land's magic and lore, and non human histories anywhere.

Because of its extreme age, Tellura's architectures is unique in its juxtaposition of extremely primitive buildings in the Early Founders Period style, with the later ornate multi spired SpireWall Revivalist, and the recent grand style of the Benges Affluence.

Tellura's main financial support is found in the training of mages, alchemists, and apothecaries. At any one time, as much as twenty percent of the population could be students of the various disciplines. It also exports the finest stained glass in the Crescent Lands, and antique stained glass, particularly the Red Glass Period, is greatly valued and sought after. Its stone mason are considered the finest outside of Monarch of the Mines. Further, it has a small but profitable trade in magic items. The fertile fields surrounding the city supply as much as one third of the food grown and raised in Ar'Ethmet.

The city is putatively ruled by a mayor elected at five year intervals. In reality, the Mage Guild (referred to as the Eminence) controls the city and the mayor simply approves its decisions. The city guard and constables are paid by the Guild, as well as all city services, such as fire brigades, sewers, street cleaning, water etc. Ninety percent of taxes collected from the inhabitants of the city and the surrounding valley go into the coffers of the Guild.

Similar to Minh, Tellura has its harbor set at the base of the coastal bluff (the Facing Cliffs). This separation requires large cranes to move cargo and visitors up the cliff to the city. Four years ago, Tellura contracted the dwarves of Monarch of the Mines to design a motive engine to power the great cranes which haul cargo. Since the installation of the engines for these cranes, a small dwarven contingent has remained to maintain and guard them.

Unlike Minh, Tellura's harbor, Pos'arta, is deep and clear of silt, sewage, and shifting sand bars. While, Tellura has no military naval force to speak of, in recent years it has begun to build and maintain a quite respectable mercantile fleet. The civil war in the Serranthro M'lethet and Ar'Ethmet's subsequent invasion have also contributed to the swelling of Tellura's fleet as fleeing expatriates from this once great mercantile power have brought their sea faring expertise, equipment and ships into this city to buy citizenship.

In a break with the general rigid stratification of the rest of the country, Tellura does not demonstrate the ranks of its military by the number of swords they carry, nor is their universal conscription. All mages and skilled guild members are exempt from service.

Using the recent chaos created by the retreat of Ar'Ethmet forces from the Serranthro M'lethet and the Lord General Fran of Cine's coup to regain power, Tellura declared its independence from the rest of the country. With the support of Aereolus, Monarch of the Mines, the recently independent Serranthro M'lethet, and other powers willing to undermine the power of Ar'Ethmet, Tellura managed to declare itself a free city state. With this declaration, it also annexed all lands in a one hundred and seven mile radius. This action effectively makes Ar'Ethmet totally dependant on imported food. Most experts on the situation believe that Ar'Ethmet, and particularly Minh can and will not let this situation continue and thus endanger the independence of the Imperium. A military response is expected.


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