Athdaelda is the seat of political power in Karkuras, its ruling family considered “cousin” (though only sometimes by marriage) to the Imperial family of Cirsova. Though well respected (principally in the heartlands) the Princes and their kin command very littly authority outside of Karkuras (and some would say Athdaelda itself). Still, the pomp and circumstance surrounding the trappings of royalty can be felt in the city which once stood alongside a divine king bringing low a dangerous foe in Sabrio.
The city stretches and sprawls for miles upon the plain, far beyond the old city’s walls. The old city, at Athdaelda’s core, is built upon and around a small butte which has been formed into a stable earthwork. The old city is divided from the rest of the city by an octagonal outer wall, which surrounds the old city and the “upper city” (really the inner citadel), a walled diamond with each point a gatehouse oriented to a cardinal direction. The paths from each gateway spiral down the rocky perch of the citadel to the lower portion of the old city.
In the walled section of the “lower city”, which surrounds the base of the butte, one may find the old guildhouses, public halls, temples and houses of wealthy patricians. Here, all manner of business public & politic is conducted.
Within the walls of the “upper city”, the cardinal lanes lead to the palace keep, residence of the Prince and immediate royal family of Athdaelda. Though during the period of unification this keep was hardened and prepared for long sieges, the palace has long since been retrofitted for creature comforts. Armories are now dining halls & museums and barracks are ballrooms.
The palace itself is an imposing structure of sublime symmetry. Each cardinal path leads to a heavy wooden door carved with intricate details recounting the deeds of past Princes. Each corner of the palace is adorned with a vine-trellised tower, and a great central spire rises up from which the Princes can gaze over the plains.
The rest of the “upper city” has largely been converted to gardens. A few of the old barracks remain to house the palace guards, groundskeepers and other palace staff who do not reside within the keep.
Of a somewhat exciting note, as of this post, the Brief Guide to the Imperial Provinces now exceeds over 20,000 words! The average length of a Campaign Mastery post.