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Arkers--Arena 8

The city of Arkers sits in the northern foothills of the mountain range known as the Daggerspines. It is one of the oldest cities in the Aruaki Nation. In these mist-shrouded hills, with the permanently snowcapped majesty of the Dragon's Tooth towering over it, Arkers has established itself as one of the foremost trading cities in the Andorian lands, indeed, in all Alastari. The trade of all Aruak, Convincia and Frafreja passes through the city, not to mention the northern branch of the Great Ivory Road. The merchants of Arkers are a very relaxed and patient lot, given more to making deals over a glass of fine wine than to the confusion of an outdoor market. Second only to Aruak itself in age and culture, Arkers prides itself on its many theaters, libraries, gardens and museums. The Arkers Bestiary is one of the most famed attractions in all Alastari.

Arkers is famous for its architects, masons, craftsmen and natural philosophers; the famous aqueducts that irrigate the vast fields of Convincia were planned and built by the architects of Arkers. Indeed, the stamp of Arkers craftsmen can bee seen in the design of buildings and public works all over Alastari. Arkers itself is a marvel of design. Many buildings are furnished with running water. Its public baths are a synonym for opulence. (It might be noted that the famous mosaics which adorn the baths were actually done by artists from Caleam--the people of Arkers tend towards the beauty of functionality in their designs.)

Many of the common folk of the city work in the quarries east of the city. Fine marble, granite, and other building materials are found in the Daggerspines, and provide the raw material for the architects and masons. Work in the quarries is hard and dangerous, though it pays reasonably well. The truly soul-breaking work is usually supplied by criminal labor--lawbreakers from all over the Andorian League are often sentenced to hard labor in the granite quarries.

Arkers is located over the northern expanse of the underground kingdom of the dwarves (which stretches the length of the Daggerspine Mountains). The lord of the city has an agreement with the dwarves that the quarrymen will not delve past a certain depth. Of course, if an exceptionally fine vein of stone is found, individual quarry owners are often tempted to "lose" their measuring rods. This has led to some arguments with the Dwarf-king in the past.

The expansion of the gladiatorial games to Arkers has done little to disturb the calm attitude of the city. With typical composure, the tradesmen anticipated the increase in business and took advantage of it.

Arkers is ruled by a hereditary earldom and the earl is advised by a coterie of priests from the local temple of Demnat. Though Arkers does not have the large number of shapechangers common in some Aruaki cities, its cosmopolitan attitude takes them in better stride than some of the other, smaller Aruaki cities. The temple holds far less sway here than it does elsewhere, and there are many houses of worship dedicated to foreign gods.

Ruler: Earl Iridi Marah, one of the few female rulers in the Aruaki Clanhold. Earl Marah took over rule of the city when her husband died in a hunting accident a few years after their marriage. She is a shrewd (some say stingy) businesswoman and trader. She can be ruthless to her opponents. Arkers is less church-dominated than most Arauki cities and she wants to keep it that way.

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Published on: 2002-07-14 (1238 reads)

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