Scions of Invention
The land around Chéad Chathair is made up of low, rolling hills. The terrain is marked by rugged rocks that poke through the lush greenery. The earth is shallow and rocky, making for difficult farming. Native flora tends to be sparse, low-lying brush and small trees.
Less than one hundred miles west of the coast, the city itself is built on a large hill. While not an elevation worthy of a mountain, the tor still towers over its surroundings. The
Chéad Chathair sprawls across the entirety of the hill, concentric rings of walls separate social classes as well as industrial zones from markets. Each wall beyond the first has been constructed or refitted with large turbine fans that work to blow smoke and ash away from the upper tiers.
The base of the hill is surrounded on all sides by warehouses, distribution centers, and clearing houses. Unlike the other districts, there is no wall built around the storage yards in order to keep the flow of traffic unobstructed. The streets closest to the first wall are paved but as they make their way outward, cobblestone gives way to dirt and mud.
The southern portion of the Bottoms is set aside for a rail yard that is fed by a spur from the main line found half a mile away. In addition to housing turntables, garages and other rail-related facilities, large cisterns, furnaces, and pumping stations for the steam plants can be found here.
There is no color behind the lowest wall. Smelteries, textile factories, and other industrial facilities dominate the cityscape in the Grey. Smoke, ash, and stem cloud the air here Fans in various states of disrepair struggle to blow the pollution away from the homesteads found above the Grey.
Between the bastions of industrial progress, the poor live in hobbled-together shelters and hawk what goods they can in open air markets. The denizens of the Grey labor in poor conditions, hoping one day to be able to afford to move up the hill and into the Warrens.
The Warrens are home to the majority of the working class as well as the middle-class business owners who cannot afford to live in the Gardens. Some businesses can be found here, supplying goods and services on a more personal level to their neighbors. Additional pumping stations and cisterns are scattered throughout the district.
Overall, the Warrens are a cleaner place to live as opposed to the Grey but it is still not a clean and healthy place to live. The fans built into the lower wall, meant to fight the pollution, have fallen into disrepair are the few that work are those that are maintained by skilled individuals who happen to live near them.
The bulk of Chéad Chathair’s mercantile can be found here. Very rarely do the poor venture here from the Grey but the rich and middle class mix often. The homes of well-to-do merchants, additional warehouses, and churches of the various religions from across the Empire are neighbors to the various shops, boutiques, and other businesses. The fans
By far the cleanest and best maintained district of Chéad Chathair, the Gardens are where the majority of the city’s rich and powerful call home. Because of the confines of the geography of the hill, there are no expansive estates here. Clean cobblestone streets are lined with ornate homes with modest lawns and gardens. Boutiques and shops with high quality goods can also be found, providing for the rich so they do not have to venture into the lower markets.
Government offices and military facilities ring the peak of the hill. Four mooring towers at the cardinal points of the compass of the wall between the Watch and the Gardens rise above the city. The military is primarily Caminan but a token force of Odiarcean infantry occupies the headquarters station.
The Crown is now a cultural curiosity and historical monument. Ancient standing stones ring a weathered stone alter.
In ages past, Chéad Chathair served as a neutral ground where the Ard Rí (High Kings) of the clans and their druids met. During the Odiarce conquest, the Emperor decided to hold the sacred hill hostage against the Clans rather than pulling it down and raising their ire and creating a unified front.
Originally, the hill that is now Chéad Chathair was a bare, stony peak on which the original clans had built an alter to their old gods. This sacred ground served as a place of neutrality were grievances were aired between the Ard Rí and witnessed by their druidic advisers under the watch of the gods.
As time passed, a small town rose at the base of this hill where the clans would trade and barter for goods during these gatherings. They would also compete in various physical activities to prove which clan was stronger. Chéad Chathair, which roughly translates as First City, was precisely that. Each clan had it’s own permanent settlements, but nothing so large as the one that grew here.
When the Odiarce Empire arrived on the scene, Camina was the kingdom to fall beneath the organized might of the Empire’s legions. The remnants of Camina that managed to avoid conquest and the other clans rallied to form a unified front. The superior tactics, unfortunately drove them back from Chéad Chathair where the Imperial forces dug in and began to build fortifications.
The Imperator of the legion determined that the tor would serve better as a hostage against the ‘savage’ ideals of the clans. This act did stay their hands, not wishing to ruin the sacred hill. Although assistance from neighboring nations did prevent the surviving Clans from being conquered, they were unable to liberate Chéad Chathair from the invaders.
With the mysterious reduction in Odiarcean forces in the east, talk has begun to spread of returning Chéad Chathair to it’s rightful place as a cultural center for the Clans.