Saturday, 7 May 2011

S'raka and the Imperium

Continuing the series of campaign background / flavour posts, here's a bit of information about the city of S'raka, which has been mentioned in passing, but which hasn't actually played a role in any of the game sessions so far. The halfling race of rat-people call S'raka's vaults home.


The mighty city which lies at the centre of Old Aalia, home to millions, built upon the remains of a city of unknown antiquity. S'raka is a city of many layers -- from the deeps of the catacombs, to the vaults which lie at its foundation and the wretched castes of humanity who dwell there, to the bustle and filth of the lower city and the destitute ruins and slums at its perimeter, to the bourgeois plateau of the upper city, to the fastness of the noble city, carved from the solid rock of the great spire, to the level of the crystal city, which can be glimpsed glinting at the summit. And above even the crystal city, veiled in clouds, suspended on a beam of scintillating light -- the Imperial Palace.


S'raka is the seat of the Imperium, and abode of the Undying Emperor of the Earth and the Seven Spheres. Two-hundred and twelve years ago, the Emperor, whose name is forbidden knowledge to those below the level of the crystal city, decreed that the Imperial capital should be moved from its previous location far in the east. The construction of the crystal city and the arrival of the Imperial Palace, descending from the heavens in a cacophony of rainbows, are facts of both history and legend.

The Order of Prismists
Among the many servants of the Emperor, this order of magicians are one of his most trusted and powerful instruments. Having unlocked the mysteries of light, they are masters of information and motion. Legends say that the Imperial Palace itself is held aloft by light emitted from a vast crystal controlled by the Arch-Prismists.

The Fey Court and the Cold Prince
S'raka is a city of two sides -- in addition to its famed place as capital of the Imperium, it is co-existent with a fey city of great size, import and perplexity. In fact, S'raka is the fey name for the city, which has been adopted by humans to refer to the whole. The peoples of the two cities intermingle freely, although the true depths of the fey city are unfathomable to human cartographers. The fey city appears to also be of great political importance, as exotic delegations of fey creatures are known to visit from afar to consult with the fey court and the Cold Prince who rules it. Very little is known about the Prince, aside from his name.

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