Ialadel

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Ialadel was established by order of the Empress Brynnia in 121 TC. The city at the mouth of the Ialadryl river, in tandem with The Locks, would become the artery through which trade would flow to the capital city at the base of the mountains.

Aligindelite architects and stonemasons saw the establishment of the new city as a grand opportunity. Aligindel had been established more than two thousand years ago, and had endured long periods of Jotunnish occupation, civil war, and other ravages of history. The city had sprawled out across the slopes of the mountain, and though beautiful to behold, it had not been designed as a single work of art. The new city of Ialadel would be. The three great dictating principles of establishing Ialadel would be dock space, defense, and ascetics. Many sites were surveyed and many designs considered before final construction was begun.

The famous architect Romando Bellini designed a beautiful city built on a massive stone arch, to be constructed above the mouth of the river, but his design was rejected as impractical and impossible to expand. Favio of Tyalladel drew up plans for a city built on marble pillars, constructed out in the long fjord the Ialadryl empties into. This design was nearly constructed, but finally rejected because of the difficulty of defending such a city.

Finally, the site and design chosen by Rafe Carracolo won the competition. Sited on the east bank of the fjord, the city site would rest atop a thick layer of dark grey granite, with an average elevation of fifteen feet above sea level. The entire city was to be laid out on a grid pattern, with the outer borders of the city protected by a novel moat and wall. The building of the moat would quarry much of the granite required to build the wall and other significant buildings. The moat would simply be a trench twenty feet in depth and twenty in width, going all the way around the neat square of the city. The wall only rises another ten feet on the interior side, but Carracolo's moat employs a smooth angled glacis on both edges of the moat, steeply sloped and more than six feet long. Atop this, on the interior, rests the city wall. The wall is quite heavy and thick, twelve feet in most places, and is built all round, even facing the sea. Two gates pierce the wall's landward side, one facing north towards Aligindel, the other south, towards what is today wilderness. Six smaller gates face the harbor. Carracolo's city walls off even the sea, making the entire town easily defensible.

However, part of the purpose of Ialadel is trade, and here Carracolo's genius shows. His masons completed the walls and glacis around the sea-side of the city, building in gently sloping ramps to the gates, and fashioning an outer 'dock' area some one hundred feet from the wall, and a mere two feet above sea level (on the very highest tides, the granite bed floods, but Ialadel docks are built with this in mind). Great wooden docks, resting on granite pilings, extend so far into the harbor that even Greatships may dock here. Not content merely to defend the city itself, Carracolo's design called for two large towers to be constructed out in the harbor itself, along with a long, low jut of rock on the sea-side, to protect the anchorage. Though the city wall and the harbor berm are completed, construction still continues on the harbor towers in the modern day (176). They are expected to be completed by the end of the century.

The city itself is fascinating. Carracolo designed the entire city to slope to seaward with a drop of one inch for every hundred feet, meaning all rainwater and such simply drains down into the sea, leaving the city dry and clean. Streets were laid out by simply cutting through the turf and earth to the granite below, so many buildings sit two or three feet above street level, leading many to call Ialadel 'The City of Stairs.' Of course, Ialadel would not be an Aligindelite city without a long aqueduct, bringing in fresh, cold water from the mountain lakes to the south.

Great public buildings dominate a central garden square, and the avenue of temples, though much smaller and less grand that Aligindel's, is still a sight for any traveler. Nearly all of the buildings in Ialadel are constructed of the same grey stone as the streets and city wall, giving the city a pleasant, soft color nicely accented by Carracolo's mandatory red tile rooftops. Not content to merely leave exposed turf and stone on the sides of the streets open to public view, Carracolo's city uses long slabs of granite to cover the exposed earth, serving both to shore up the earth and to make the city all the more charming. Though many blocks still have only the plain stone slabs, most have hired artisans to carve bas-relief artwork into them. The temple avenue has scenes depicting legends of the gods, the merchant quarter ships and far lands, and other areas to their own liking.

As a gift from her country, Queen Casta Galili hired gifted masons to carve the history of Aligindel as a series of three hundred and fifty two sculpted panels, set into the interiors of the very city walls themselves. Viggo's 'March of the Frost Giants' alone proved to be such a masterpiece that he was hired by the Emperor to carve a similar, though smaller, set of bas-reliefs in Aligindel.

By 176 TC, much of the city remained empty. Carracolo designed for a city of twenty-five thousand, only three thousand dwell there. However, with time and bountiful trade, Ialadel is growing into a beautiful jewel of a city. Ialadel has the highest population of Aruthiens living anywhere outside of their own lands. Many Aruthiens came to the new port city seeking their fortunes, along with several hundred who have come to study under Viggo, master stonemason. In addition, there is a thriving school of swordplay newly established in the city. Sites of interest include the Great Ship Alyndia, the very vessel that bore the Seafarers on their quest to rescue the lost Princess Sia. Ialadel is also the headquarters of the Surion Line, a wealthy and powerful trading company.