Vedas

Figures

Population: 15,000

Location: East Coast of Elysia.

Government

Governor: Lord Allister Wu Zhu, Earl of Vedas

Protection: 1 Peace Keeper Precinct of roughly 40 Keepers, plus 400 Novari Soldiers (dominantly Daruni). 1 Transport Barque (Radiant) and 3 Patrol Clippers. (Port of call for passing fleet vessels.)

Landmarks

Vedas Town Hall (built upon the 'Grand Dais' of antiquity), Vedas Quay (south bank of the Aka river), Finch Square and the Mermaid Fountain (town apex), Inn of the Rook & Raven (popular tavern).

History

The earliest inhabitants of the Vedas region were those who left ruins throughout Elysia, their passing in the long ago leaving their identities and purposes veiled. The name Vedas itself was given by early settlers to a structure left behind on the rocky eastern shore. Translating roughly as "Grand Dais", the plateaued area smoothed from natural rock and it's hewn stone altar forms the foundation of what is now the Vedas town hall. Those settlers had arrived from lands unknown, but soon were joined by other Elysians who in kind recognized a significance to the place, choosing to dwell 'round cultural bones. A subtratum exposed near the sea, tan and sienna rock determine the palette of much of the township, dredged up from the water's edge or quarried from cliffs to the northwest. Many Vedasean rooftops are wood shingle, though some of the poorer cottages maintain a thatch.

As the Vedas seaside is a sheer drop of five feet and prone to breaking surf, ships wishing to stop in Vedas typically must do so by daylight. Navigating into the mouth of the river Aka, they moor at a long quay on it's southern bank. From the wharf the first of two cobbled streets leads east past warehouses and the commercial properties until it reaches Finch square, a paved plaza outside the town hall where all three main roads meet. At a rough center of the square is a statue of a bare-chested mermaid on an outcrop of rock. Below is a wide basin and the mouth of a natural chute which leads out to sea and can erupt seawater when the tide is right. From Finch square the second cobblestone road leads southwest through a market and exits Vedas where it becomes the main road to Rook & Raven pass. The third road is unpaved and strikes south from Finch square and meanders into a district of residential buildings which often serve as brothels and taverns. Such operations are viewed as downmarket however, the better establishments found on the west side of Vedas near the garrison building at the west edge.

The slices divided by the main road leading into Vedas are referred to on the west as the rooks and on the east as the ravens, this has one way or another led to a social as well as geographical division. The older neighborhood of the ravens is densely convoluted owing to a wall around it's southern edge and the natural barrier of the sea to it's east. The rooks are more recent and conversely take advantage of being inland to sprawl comfortably into the countryside. Near the main gate of Vedas is a grand public house which also takes it's name from the pass and the two neighborhoods. It is the Vedasean hub of entertainment.

Vedas' large military concentration owes to it's relative isolation from the rest of Elysia Isle. As the mountainous regions make troop movements from Olympia and Elysian City a sluggish and impractical affair, the Vedas garrison is a necessary luxury for the security of the east coast. To keep the forces from stagnating in peacetime, these Novari troops are regularly assigned to work gangs as civil engineers and tradesfurres, maintaining roads and residences throughout the Vedas area. Regular patrols are sent north and south by land, also by sea in patrol clippers. Even so, much of the enlisted males time is spent idle, which has ensured steady growth in the taverns, brothels and playhouses.

Vedas is ruled by the pastoral fishermen-cum-nobles of House Zhu. They share much in common with their agrarian subjects, asking few taxes and displaying fewer still courtly manners. House Zhu has managed to petition the Queen for further coastal defenses and a naval detachment of Vedas' own. This foresight allowed precious bought time against Novari reinforcements during the War of 1579.

Excerpts from 1583 Census & Survey

"…Mostly impassable. The best route to Vedas now branches from the highway where it turns north between Elysian City and Olympia. The road is thick with underbrush in places but remains certain in it's course across rolling hills, through woods and an enclave of ruins to the pass of the Rook and Raven. Named for two craggy pinnacles of rock curving up over the path, the pass is a crevasse in the range which stretches north and south. It's bed has been packed down with sand and gravel, so the path is flat and easy - but narrow, our wagon went with a canid either side just neatly. East of the Rook and Raven, Vedas maintains it's roads well…"

"…Highly irregular. Like many settlements Vedas' population dropped sharply during the conflict, however in three days not one pre-conflict citizen could be found for registry. The township is inhabited almost entirely it seems by Novari elements. The formal Novari garrison splits it's attention between regular duties and domestic affairs. A militia of released or retired Novari soldiers keep peace amongst themselves and by far the smallest demographic - Elysians, who themselves are mostly immigrants from other parts of the island or arrived by sea from other ports. The ranking officer is new to his post and few answers have been forthcoming…"

"…What luck! I have met a retired engineer in one of the popular common rooms who asserts he was part of the original invasion force, though his tale is a tall one at best. The fellow (A tortoise, claims to be at least 100!) rebuked the suspicion that some grand-scale slaughter had occurred during the landing. Instead, the story he tells is that his division arrived in a Vedas which was largely deserted. The old and infirm found in clinics told that Vedas had emptied practically overnight, departing to either reinforce the ill-fated mountain defenses or simply becoming refugees. This still leaves something of a mystery however, for the Novari at that time were a liberating force against the Arrym. Furthermore it seems few - if any - of the original settlers returned after the treaty of 1582…"

"…Many empty dwellings, Vedas is ripe for expansion. The need for a civilian governance is plain, and labourers to work the numerous fields which have been left to grow wild. At the very least a civil authority must be established to issue titles and leases, also to commission the search for any persons in other cities who may have legal claim in this respect. For now Vedas is very much a military town, with trade revolving mostly around food, drink an entertainment. General order in the city is impressive, probably owing to so many enlisted males. There is however, an unstemmed demand for more femmefolk, those already in Vedas being either prostitutes or pets, with very few exceptions…"


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