It is in Mara where we will all find our riches, men. Beyond that great wall lies those seedy streets I love, filled with every opportunity imaginable. Women, gold, spices and more await our ambitious souls. I may not have been born a Maran, but I’ll be damned if I don’t die one.
-Markus Targonum, Great Bartanian Trader and Explorer
The City of Light
Mara is the center of the world, my friend. It is where all dreams are possible, as well as where all manners of wickedness may befall man. With over three million plebs scouring about the labyrinth we call our capital, danger and wealth are frequently found as one and the same.
You should come to know the city, whether you live here or are spending a fews days leave off ship. Those who don’t will not survive. Law is enforced by locals and gangs, so the ignorant may find themselves ill equipped to survive.
In today’s Mara, the teeming masses of people continue to cram into an incredibly small space. The combination of the Loba Revolution and the millions of recently enslaved creatures drove hundreds of thousands into the city looking for work, as they have been put out by science and slave labor. Crime is worse than I have ever remembered, and rent in the Inner Servian can be through the roof!
With real estate at a premium, the rich and powerful have started to build up. Buildings called Sky Towers, aided by the latest construction techniques, have risen in the center of the city as a testament to Maran engineering and science. Buildings over 20, 30 and even 40 stories have erected in the Inner Servian and across the city. In a few of these areas old neighborhoods have been ripped out, and with the removal of the old crooked alleyways and passages we are left with clean and straight avenues patrolled by abundant amounts of personal security of patricians and rich plebs. Money truly can buy many things!
The slum towers outside of the city heart, however, are impressive for all the wrong reasons. Within sight of the extravagance that takes place within the walls, the poor of and starving masses wallow in filth and scratch a living of trying not to die. The wall guard, which is one of the only state security entities that exists in the city limits, seems to only exist these days to charge taxes and keep the poor wretched souls of these neighborhoods outside the walls. Nevertheless, they scrape out a living and hang on to their dreams of making it in the big city. While Patricians do indeed hold many of the cards still today, Mara is full of many stories of pleb rags to riches. Some of these stories are even about non humans (conservatives gasp!)!
In the Crimson Bay you will find the world’s largest and most sophisticated port! Sailors, traders and scum from all over the planet converge here to sell their goods, spend their gold and find good slaves. If you are a gambling man, or are looking for a fight, make your way into the Boardwalk district or the Pier Strip district on East End.
If you are rich enough, however, you will frequently want to escape the city, if at least for just the day or afternoon. The Emerald Isle, which lies in the middle of mouth of the Utica river, is home to many mansions, as well as the world’s finest baths. They maintain a high fee, but are well worth it to any citizen worth his salt. Afterwards, cross over the bridge and stay in the North Landing district to get away from the bustle of inner Mara. While many people do indeed live in North Landing, with the lack of any activity you would probably never know that fact.
There is too much more for me to go on with, less I seem to be a rambling old fool. Just know that the city can be either your best friend or worst enemy. That rule applies to you whether you are lowly slave or the greatest of Kings.
Hail Mara. Welcome to the best of your life.
The City can be properly divided into four descriptive areas. Within these quadrants lies many districts of all sorts.
|Inner Servian||I.S.||The entire city within the old Servian Walls||This is the oldest and richest part of the city. With exception to the Tower of the Magi, practically every important governmental and religious building can be found within the walls of the Servian. It has the highest population density, and the highest amount of Sky Towers.|
|East End||E.E.||The peninsula east of I.S. that is blocked off from the rest of the world by the Servian Wall, even though it is not walled itself.||This is the second oldest and densest part of the city. The Tower of the Magi is here. The entire port district that encircles the Crimson Bay is found here. It has many rich areas, but is home to much of the working class today (particularly those working in the shipping and port industry).|
|Outer Servian||O.S.||All of the districts south and west of I.S. and not protected by walls or geography.||This area is home to the Field of Martus. Today it is a sprawling slum of ex slaves and low class. Building standards are often ignored in these areas, among other laws. The size of the O.S. has ballooned the last decades, and hundreds of thousands pour into the city seeking work. It is more spread out than the other quadrants, but is heavily populated.|
|North Landing||N.L.||The entire area on the north bank of the Utica River||This area is the more prosperous cousin to the O.S. It is plagued by the same sprawl of the O.S., but it contains many more neighborhoods of class and worth. For whatever reason, it has become a sort of sub-urban area for Marans wanting to get out of the chaos of the city yet need to still be close. It is the least populated and least busy quadrant of Mara.|
There are many districts in the city. You should know, however, that the core foundation of the city revolves around five hills. These are the hills of the ancients; torn out of the Erdos by Kronos.
|Capistine Hill||Capis||I.S., Center of City||The original hill of Marius. It is the oldest and richest part of the city, and is where many governmental building reside.|
|Alustine Hill||Alus||I.S., South end of I.S., South of Capis||Old working class neighborhood, known then as the craft and industrial center of the city. Due to the proximity of Alus to the port, it developed to an area full of the merchant class. Prices have gone up, making this place less affordable for many of its old inhabitants.|
|East Kronostine Hill||E. Kron||I.S., North West end of I.S||Oldest inhabited side of the hill. It was the spiritual center for much of Mara’s history, and is still home to many of the city’s most important temples.|
|West Kronostine Hill||W. Kron||I.S., far north west end of I.S.||Newer side of the hill. Still old by most of the city’s standards, but has less features than the eastern half. Least wealthy hill section in all of the I.S.|
|Inner Mara||I.M.||I.S., Dead center of the city. Surrounded by the three hills in I.S.||Popular heart of the city. This place is where many monuments lie, as well as home to the largest circus and game centers of the city. Many Sky Towers have been erected here as well, but it has a mix of income levels, with extreme income levels existing in close proximity to each other.|
|Mercus||Mer||I.S., Between the Capis and Alus, south east of I.M.||This is the financial and commercial center of the city. The world’s largest forum can be found here, as well as many the world’s most prominent banks and businesses. Most decadent Sky Towers are located here.|
|The Proxima||XX||I.S., South west of I.M. and the Alus. SW area of I.S along the wall.||Named after the city main gate, the Proxima (after the God Dragon). Known for middle class living. Old living area for many tradesmen and transients, who were driven off the Alus back when real estate first spiked up there.|
|Outer Mara||O.M.||I.S., area on western fringe that wraps around the Kronos||Known as the edge of town for so many centuries, it was the poorest district of the city for a long time. It still has its hold outs, but has slowly redeveloped over the last decades.|
|Sernus||Sernus||I.S., NE end of I.S. sandwiched between the wall and the Capis.||Named after the father of the Republic. Originally a poor area before the Republic, it is a quiet neighborhood full of Patrician homes now.|
|Boardwalk||B.W.||I.S., SE of the Mercus district, on the outside of the Servian wall (walled off by additions made).||Old port section of the city. Home of large boardwalk and is worlds largest import/export center. Incredibly active slave market processes them here. District is well off and expensive to many.|
|Nosto||N.||I.S., between the Servian wall and the Utica river.||Walled off by additions, this is a large fishing area. Large problem with smuggling originating from this area.|
|Pier Strip||P.S.||E.E., running the entire stretch of the Crimson Bay in E.E.||Large region of the working class that does the daily ship processing. More affordable area than the Boardwalk, along with more rough types. The “Vera” district is contained within here.|
|Vera||V.||E.E., a piece of the Crimson bay area contained within the P.S.||The renowned brothel and vice district, where men may lose more than just their money!|
|Solistine Hill||Solis||E.E., SE end of E.E., the hill that guards the Bay.||Destoryed many centuries ago, it is now home to many well off middle class merchants. More minorities, who’ve made it in the world, are likely to live here instead of a hill in the I.S.|
|Opistine Hill||Opis||E.E., NE end of E.E., guarding the mouth of the Utica.||Hill was also destoryed so many years ago and forgotten, until population increases saw a demand to use the space. The only exception is that the Tower of the Magi has always been on the hill, but it is in another district. lower-middle class types can afford this area.|