The City of Light

The City of Light
Total Population: 40 Million
Spoken languages: Politika, Common
System of government: Theocracy
Total military forces: 15.000.000 split between 5 armies.
Alignment: Lawful Good

“Though we do not live underneath the Sun, we are not without Light.”
Etched upon the skull of Archdaemon Malzafel, mounted over the City’s golden gate.

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The City of Light, the House of Vaylen, Paradise on Fuin ‘Yaana, the City that Stood, or simply the City is the name of the country-sized state created by the God Vaylen to be the cradle of all life in the world. In ancient times, the City was first populated by the then recently uplifted Great Lizards and Human outcasts who had fled the surface world and discovered Terra. Now, it is the world’s dominant superpower, commanding respect and possessing the world’s most capable and far-reaching military, the Vaylen’s Own. Through cunning diplomacy they have created the similarly Human-led Protectorate of Wine, which governs the once disunited South, and the Coalition of the Northern States in the North. These are essentially Client-states of the City and in reality are only semi-independent.

The City itself is the home of millions of Great Lizards and Humans, with the former comprising the majority of the Citizens (over 70%), but with Humans controlling most of the Priesthood, which in turn governs the City. Its official leader is the High Priest of the Pantheon, who has both secular and religious powers and rules from the Temple of Light, a palace created by Vaylen Himself. It is so massive that it can contain the entirety of the City’s population and still have room for more. The acoustics, decoration and architecture are all divinely inspired, literally. The walls are made of solidified sunrays, which are anathema to daemonkind, necromancers and other evil creatures, the same stuff that the City’s walls are made of. The entirety of the decor is made of the purest gold, while even the tiniest whisper carries over, which means that the audience must remain silent whilst the High Priest delivers his sermons, or be politely asked to step out by one of the Temple Guards. The Temple is also the headquarters of the Vaylen’s Shields, whose armories, training grounds, living quarters and strategiums are located underneath the Temple’s main floor.

It is clear then that the City is the religious capital of Fuin’Yaana, but it is also much more than just that. Large spaces of the city are devoted to agriculture and the growth of crops, even though there is no sun for them to grow under; the miraculous conditions of Terra allow grain of the highest quality to take root and feed its population. Additionally, the artisans of the City create many goods, from religious artifacts to weapons and armor. The City imposes a comparatively light tax upon its inhabitants and provides medical care in the form of state-ran hospitals. To have access to these boons however, one must be recognized as a Citizen by the bureaucracy. As of the end of the Age of Blood, all Humans and Great Lizards, regardless of their original birthplace, culture or beliefs, are considered to be Citizens. Other races must first prove themselves by enlisting for 20 years of service in the Vaylen’s own.

The City is ran by several religious tagmata, or orders which in unison are known as the Foteinei. These include:
• The tagma Martyrikon. In charge of cataloging those who have died while in the City’s service. Also responsible for the burial grounds the City maintains, and distributing alms to the families of the deceased.
• The tagma Stratiotikon. In charge of the Vaylen’s Own, the City’s garrison and expeditionary forces, the Stratiotikon is responsible for arming, training, feeding and paying more than 10 million troops, a monumental task that only the City’s bureaucrats can achieve. Thus, it is considered to be the most important of the tagmata.
• The tagma Thriskeutikon. In charge of keeping the population religious and striking down heresy, this tagma is the one with which the people most often interact, as it contains the majority of the lay-priests that preach to the Citizens.
• The tagma Erevnitikon. In charge of researching new technologies and studying the City’s existing Lore, this tagma is also responsible for maintaining the many public libraries that exist in the City.
• The tagma Diplomatikon. In charge of presiding over the City’s external affairs, the Diplomatikon has embassies in the capitals of most nations, save for Helke ‘Arta and the Great University.
• The tagma Ekonomikon. In charge of the City’s treasury, collecting taxes and making sure that everyone is well-fed, in reality the Ekonomikon is the most corrupt of the tagmata, but it manages to succeed its mission, though no-one knows how.
• The tagma Scholastikon. In charge of running the schools and academies of the City, the Scholastikon provides free education for all, provided they are Citizens. Those who are well-off however prefer to employ private tutors, as the Scholastikon focuses on teaching only basic arithmetic and reading.
• The tagma Esoterikon. In charge of the City’s internal affairs, this is the tagma from which the High Priest is elected. Citizens are free to cast their votes, but essentially the Higher Clergy decide amongst themselves who the new High Priest shall be.
• The tagma Naitikon. The Order of the Vaylen’s Shields, comprising of 1,000 mages trained in the art of war. Originally monks who took up militant duties against the Mad King’s daemons, the Vaylen’s Shields have evolved into the world’s most elite fighting force, acting as the bodyguards of the High Priest and shock infantry when used in battle. Their Lizardskin battle-plate gives them their distinctive appearance and many forces have surrendered rather than meet them in battle. Their Grandmaster is also responsible for leading the Vaylen’s Own.

Only males are allowed to enter the tagmata and those who do are considered to be members of the theocracy, leading to better wages and lodgings. However, they must remain celibate for the rest of their lives, a policy that is not very popular with the Great Lizards, who are pathologically driven to procreate at least once in their lifetimes. This rule was created to keep the leading caste Human, even though the priests claim that it is simply because they must devote the entirety of their lives to the good of the City. It is also public knowledge that many of the tagmata are corrupt, although who is responsible for this is unknown.

However, it is not the City’s bureaucracy that makes it mighty; the size of its armies is. The devastation wreaked by the Mad King means that most nations can field very small armies and must depend on mercenaries instead. This is not the case for the City, which, despite the thousand year long siege it endured, managed to come out on top due to the rate with which the Great Lizards breed. The Vaylen’s Own number not in the thousands, nor the hundreds of thousands, but in the millions. If it wished, the City could likely take on the entire world and still emerge victorious, if extremely bloodied. Such thoughts however do not linger long in the minds of Citizens. They have earned their peace, for now.

This does not mean that the Vaylen’s Own are going to be demobilized anytime soon. Only one army is stationed in Terra, to police the City’s population and man its walls. The other four officially have “peacekeeping” roles, though in reality they are stationed in the surface to deter any ideas of rebellion. If either the Protectorate of Wine or the Coalition want to become fully independent, they will have first have to contend with the phalanxes of the Vaylen’s Own and that is not something they can do alone. Despite its noble fame, the army is starting to become unpopular in the North. Even though they certainly have the manpower to sweep Yaal’than aside in a tidal wave of spears and shields, Brother-General Angweer is officially waiting for orders to arrive, which will not come anytime soon…

The City of Light

DARPG: Heroes of Fuin Yaana. Crusadeath