|Head of State:||Her Grace, Sithire Isabelle Auxerre|
Lord Protector Ware ul-Broxobain Severn,|
Lord Admiral Anskar ul-Sangrith Daranek,
Lady Chancellor Melinxa ul-Huixon Rithmire,
Lord Commander Brutus Sithaladar,
Lord Treasurer Branth ul-Alfrith Truxton
The City of Drache (in Arangothek: Drekith) is the present-day capital of Transdariania in Arangoth and lies at the mouth of the Darian River. The name, although now spelled under draconian influence, probably comes from the Arangothian word dreki, meaning a port.
Origins & History
Twenty-three years ago there was virtually nothing in Drache but trees and fishing hovels; its population exploded after King BLKDRAGON and Queen AngelSin established the place as the new capital of Arangoth. There was little time to plan its streets and quarters, and so there are no wide avenues or boulevards, with the sole exception of Market Street. Rather, Drache is a spontaneously-generated city of convoluted, twisted alleyways, abrupt dead-ends, strangely-shaped "squares," and mismatched skylines and rooftops.
Very few people are natives of the city; the average "native" citizen grew up on a farm somewhere to the north in Transdariania, and at least half the population was not even born in Arangoth. It is a very cosmopolitan place: one finds Elven restauranteurs and Khalar horsebreeders setting up shop next to "silfemevas" devoted to exotic Leturian tail-dancing. If not for the high number of magic-users and healers, Drache's cramped conditions would have long since led to terrible epidemics, but as it is, few die of illness in the city. The excrement and garbage was previously removed from the streets each morning by a corps of magical gongfermers who "portal" it to a vast landfill in Ruthmarna, however, after the Civil War and formation of the seven duchies, Drache has had to broaden its methods, mostly mundane, to contend with the downsides to having a growing population.
Arangoth was originally a confederacy of Grand Duchies before King Tagran became the first king of Arangoth. Sithirel, or Dukes, have been the traditional rulers of the various Arangothian provinces for centuries. When Queen Alysia (called AngelSin) and her consort King BLKDRAGON established their new capital in Drache in the year 465, they ruled it directly from Castle Black for a small number of years, a change from Arangoth's older traditions.
After their abdication, The Raven took over as Regent, though he too soon disappeared. A Regency Council rose to take on the mantle of government in the year 469. After a powerful controversy sparked a political uprising in Drache, the Council was disbanded in 473, and one of its last members, Lord Marcion Aldenbar, named Lord Chancellor. King Arlok eventually restored the traditional forms of government and appointed a new Sithire to govern the South on his behalf.
During the Year of 483, Drache came under siege by the magma wyrm Drogyoldiiv, which lasted for over two years until the wyrm was slain by adventurers in Drache, while assistance from the Crownlands itself was completely absent. During the same year Drogyoldiiv was finally slain, in the spring of 486, the Great Shadow, a massive shadow dragon seized control of the Arangothian province of Ruthmarna and kidnapped the Sithire of Transdariana, Marcion Aldenbar. These two events served as a catalyst for the Arangothian Civil War that was declared by the Interim Council, who had taken up power in the absence of the kidnapped Sithire, and the following summer the bid for independence from the Crown came to a head as northern forces were defeated in a decisive battle, the details of which remain scarce even til this day.
In the Year 487, Arangoth returned to a confederacy of Grand Duchies as it had been previously, Transdariania being amongst one of the seven seperate sithrangel that took form in the wake of the Crownlands defeat.
Layout and Architecture
Drache is divided by the Darian River and several walls into a set of districts, each with a style and a purpose in the bustling city.
The BlkDragon Inn is in the heart of the city, the BlkDragon District, which lies on the eastern bank of the Darian River, surrounded by the city docks all along the waterfront. This area, directly east of the mouth of the river, is the most reputable and this is where some of the most important buildings of the city are located: the BlkDragon Inn (Also known as the King's Inn), the central offices of the Transdarianian Civic Guard (under Lord Commander Brutus Sithaladar), the Chancellery and the Drache Royal University. Aside from inns and other establishments, nice houses and mansions can be found here, most with tall walls and towers to discourage intruders. There is also a public park, the "Forest Reserve," located along the eastern bank of the Darian River, preserving a section of the wooded parkland that originally covered the whole area only a few years ago.
Leading north out of the BlkDragon District is Market Street, which leads to and through Merchants' Square, the heart of Drache's bustling business district. The square itself is a vast farmer's market in which produce from the back country is carted every morning just before daybreak. Also facing this square is the Drache Municipal Theatre, used for various purposes. The Merchant District itself stretches out north towards the walls and flanks the eastern bank of the Darian River, a portion of which the Forest Reserve occupies. Off from the merchants square can be found the famous (or infamous) Rumour Mill, while off towards the northern end of the district is the former Swift Talon Eyrie, which is now just known as "The Eyrie", which has been occupied by the new Drache Aerial Defense Corps.
East of Merchants' Square, and northeast of the BlkDragon District, is a section of the city set aside for religious structures, and here one finds the Royal Church of Transdariania and its accompanying granary. Various religious affiliates and their appropriate houses of worship can be found here, along with housing and other facilities to accomodate the population. The House of the Silver Swan can also be found here, strangely enough, or perhaps suitably enough.
Over the years, as Drache has grown, the BlkDragon District has lost its position as the seat of Drache's rich and powerful, the vast majority of which have taken up roots in Western Drache. Home to the Podar ul-Sinetattel, opulent mansions, impressive manor houses, and no small number of high class restaurants and establishments to cater to the needs (and deep pockets) of its local population. While merchants may do business in the district across the river, those successful enough prefer to rest their heads here in the safety and comfort of others of their status. The Western Guard Barracks can also be found here under the reigns of the newly appointed Spell-Commander LayTrayin ChasingFire.
The Diplomatic Quarter is part of the District of Western Drache, which serves as a suitable set piece of scenery when catering to foreign diplomats, nobility and dignitaries. The embassies of foreign nations can be found here in the shadow of Castle Black, along with suitably impressive housing and other amenities, ranging from exotic restaurants and cafes of foreign and local design, to impressive bath houses and other such luxuries. The rights to establishments and footprints in this quarter are highly sought after (and often fought over, albeit in a civil but no less cut throat fashion) by merchants wishing to impress and forge contacts amongst foreign dignitaries.
Formly known as the Royal Arangothian Ironworks, now known simply as the Drachean Ironworks, this district houses the vast majority of metal workers on both a commercial and government contracted metalworks. Tools, arms and armaments flow out of this district into the hands of merchants, tradesmen at the port and into the hands of adventurers and soldiers throughout the region far and wide. Towards the western end of the district is a neighborhood known as Little Ruthmarna, which is where a sizable portion of Drache's dwarven population resides.
The Goblin Slums is not an official district of Drache, which itself is located beyond the city walls and on the western side of the Darian River. Various goblinoid races make up the majority of its population, from which it draws it namesake. Most denizens live in relative poverty, attempting to eke out a living in the shadow of the city, some of which take refuge here between their daily treks within for work. While crime and criminals aren't exactly uncommon, bandits and highwaymen rarely find much comfort, as its population isn't extremely keen on outsiders bringing down the law on their homes. Many tanneries can be found here, along with other vocations that are considered 'dirty' by the general populace, while various merchants and the like can be found peppered within, such as butchers with oft questionable sources of meats for sale.
The Mingit District, home to Drache's displaced Mingit population, and also one of its oldest districts in Drache. Generally middle to upper class, though there are some pockets of lower class neighborhoods intermingled, the Mingit population very much prefers to keep to their own company regardless of social status and standing, their cultural and traditional dispositions take precedence over such things. In a somewhat similar manner, the Elven Quarter that has sprouted along its western edge and grown in the passing years, in mostly the same circumstances, though this is more due to the disparity between human culture and their vastly longer lived elven counterparts.
The so-called Gessi District, formed when members of the Cult of the Silver Flame decided to settle in Drache after the Cult's dissolution, was almost but destroyed during the magma wyrms siege and following disasters that struck Drache. As such, the district was rebuilt, and now consists of lower, middle and upper class housing for the growing population of the city. The lower class can be found at its southern edge, bordering the Wharf District and Red Lantern District, while the social status and standing of inhabitants rises the further north one travels through it towards the northern wall.
East from the river, through the heavily-guarded Iron Gate, is the Wharf District, a place of warehouses, shipyards, net makers, stevedores and the like. This district has cut throat bars and opium dens, and is home to the Red Lantern District, the streets with most of the town's brothels. The Wharf District is what remains of the old fishing town of Drache, and although it's safer than it has been it is still a dangerous place at night. Even worse is the Back Alley, home to the most disreputable elements of Drache's underbelly, which can be found towards the center of the district.
Off the Coast
Off the coast of Drache is a small, island chain. The water around the island chain is full of thick, viscous sediment of a particularly black shade. Thus, the area is called The Black Water. The islands are relatively uninhabited, rocky crags that serve no societal or strategic value. They can be accessed via ship, or a smaller boat, if the sailor is particularly skilled and capable of navigating the treacherous currents and sheering winds that surround the chain. The Black Water is known for foul weather and rapid changes in wave height and frequency, making them particularly dangerous and avoidance is recommended on all navigational charts. Many shoals in the area are unmarked. While several of the islands feature caves and wreckage that are perhaps worth exploring, only one island has a permanent structure, the infamous Black Water Asylum, home to rumors of human experimentation and the criminally insane. The Mage's Guild, a new addition to the shoals, can be found here as well off the coast of the mainland, which serves to tutor and cater to the growing academic population of magic users found in Drache.