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[Edited most recently on November 22nd, 16:08, by Agent Saren codename LAUGHTER]


QELB OASIS

DESCRIPTION: A large artificial basin formed from the conflux of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that run through Gunjynh. Here, the two rivers merge into one and flow into the sea, so it only made sense for the capitol to be built around this vital location. Qelb, the Farsi word for heart, is a fitting name for the oasis that serves as the primary water source of the capitol. It’s governed and regulated by the Heliopolis Water Authority, which has existed since the city’s formal founding. The authority provides proportional amounts of water to citizens relative to income and consumption, and has proven surprisingly reliable through the centuries. Little, if any corruption taints the authority, and the water source itself has never run dry or failed the Pokemon of Heliopolis. Its central position in the city allows for easy universal access, and it also doubles as a nice port. While Gunjynh is landlocked, ships may sail up the Tigris to enter the capitol and trade, and the oasis provides a handy location for shipbuilding and naval exports.

THE DRIFT

DESCRIPTION: The slums of Heliopolis. Technically, there is no official name for the shantytowns that occupy one third of the city; the name Drift was used by the nobles as a derogatory term for the neighborhood. It was a reference to both the type of Pokemon the nobles associated with the place—shiftless, lazy drifters, and the density of the slums, overcrowded with Pokemon. Indeed, it’s not entirely the Pokemon’s fault; with property prices so high in most of the city, the Drift is all most can afford. The lucky get to live in the Azzane Quarter, but for the most part, the Drift is the home of the common Pokemon in poverty. Living conditions there are far lower on average than those in other quarters; in the Drift, disease rates remain high while hygiene rates remain low.

HISTORY: The Drift was never officially founded; rather, it came into being by natural demographics. When Heliopolis was first created, the Drift and Azzane Quarters housed all classes of Pokemon—masters and servants lived as neighbors, and politicians and paupers alike walked the same streets. However, the Drift was cursed with slightly more arid land, and the Azzane Quarter’s property rates began to overtake those of the Drift. As this happened, an exodus of young, penniless Pokemon hoping to strike it rich in the big city arrived, and took up lodgings in the Drift. Disgusted with having to share so many of the same facilities with their inferiors, the nobles and merchants decided to leave, uprooting their homes and settling in either the Azzane or Khariid Quarters. Recognizing this, landlords cared less about their tenants and made no real effort to improve their flats. Thus, the Azzane and Khariid Quarters enjoyed the bulk of economic growth in the city, while the Drift has only recently begun to “drift” towards real progress.

Pokemon from this quarter include craftsmen, laborers, paupers, and disgraced statesmon and military personnel, exiled by a combination political intrigue and conniving merchants. For some reason, the Pokemon of the Drift are significantly more honest and virtuous than their richer counterparts in the other quarters. Perhaps they haven’t been tainted by the corrosive influence of money. Perhaps their closer reliance on their families and friends has made them happier Pokemon. Perhaps their spirits aren’t broken by poverty, but bolstered by it. Either way, the Pokemon here are incredibly receptive to foreigners and welcome them gladly. They’re a pious, frugal lot, in contrast to the ostentatious nobles, and retain strong moral codes that permeate their local activities. Violence and crime are rare in the neighborhood, and local festivals and celebrations are more common than local gang wars or assassinations.

AZZANE QUARTER

DESCRIPTION: A district of Heliopolis, the capital of Gunjynh. Azzane is widely considered one of the richest districts of the city (if not the richest), and many of its residents are prominent government officials or nobility. As a result, Azzane is rife with its widespread corruption and political intrigue, fueled in part by violent feuds between rival bloodlines. As part of the capital of Gunjynh, it suffers from the country’s trademark lack of water. Unlike most of the country, however, the affluent quarter houses many private artificial oases and even personal Water-type servants, whose sole duties are to provide a steady flow of water. A healthy market in assassinations and guard services, however, also ensures a steady flow of blood in the city. The district itself is almost ostentatiously beautiful; opulent palaces and great halls are the norm. It’s a shame that so many of those marble floors and proud columns are often slathered in blood.

HISTORY: The Azzane Quarter was established by a Flygon named Azzarun roughly two hundred years ago. Azzarun, a wealthy jeweler, wished to retire in peace, and to this end purchased a vast lot of land as a retirement home. Though he did manage to create quite a luxurious home for himself, he found that it was impossible for him to occupy all of the dirt-cheap land he had purchased. So he decided to sell some of his properties out to other elderly gentry—and buy even more land at low prices to generate profit. Azzarun was nothing if not a conniving businessmon. Soon, the Azzane Acres, as Azzarun called them, were full of aging statesmen and magnates.

However, even as the older generation claimed large swathes of land, the younger generation were already eyeing them enviously, eager to horn in and take their share of paradise. When the old Flygon died, a conniving litigator managed to claim the land as federal property, and immediately went about selling remaining land to the highest bidders. Thus, the Azzane Quarter began with absurd wealth. Almost immediately, however, there was a problem. The younger Pokémon didn’t just bring their families and servants with them when they moved to the district; they brought their feuds, scandals, and weapons too. Roughly a hundred and fifty years ago, someone drew a scimitar on another noble, and the rest is history. Ever since then, the district has been embroiled in conflict. Gunjynh’s national army once stepped in to quell the violence, but peace only lasted for three years, abruptly shattered when a Sableye killed a Mawile with a steak knife at a dinner party. After that, the government decided it was too much trouble to defend the area, and pulled out.

The quarter today still remains a hotbed of political intrigue. Guards and assassins in the city have always been a hot commodity, and the quality of these warriors is unparalleled in the nation, thanks to decades upon decades of practice and experience. The district can be divided into three social strata: the nobles, the fighters, and the townspeople. The nobles are the ones who generally instigate these feuds, but are also the same ones who pay for much of the quarter’s infrastructure and facilities. They prove essential for their money. The fighters are the guards and killers who generally don’t instigate as many feuds because it costs them money. The nobility hold them at a higher level than laborers, presumably because they could turn on their employers and kill them at a moment’s notice. They prove essential for their muscle. The townspeople are the ones who are mostly employed by the nobles. Pokémon such as servants, cooks, smaller shopkeepers, barkeeps, and construction workers are in this category. They prove essential for their labor.

BEZREGU BAZAAR

DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized bazaar crammed in-between the Drift and the Azzane Quarter. The bazaar sits in the third of the city with the Azzane Quarter, and is accessible from the Drift through a simple bridge across the Euphrates. This is the commerce hub of Heliopolis, where merchants both make their livings and homes. The bazaar is notorious for its incredibly persistent street vendors, who descend upon tourists and foreigners in droves to offer overpriced counterfeit goods. Despite these nuisances, Bezregu Bazaar still holds a good reputation for high-quality goods sold from regular merchants. While they love a good haggle, the merchants will still charge higher prices to fresh foreigners than locals and repeat customers. Business is business, after all. The best food there can be found from somewhat dubious street peddlers, who sell richly spiced kebabs, breads, and stews. Good inns and taverns are often found here as well, unless a traveler wishes to risk the sanitation of the Drift or the bloodshed of the Azzane Quarter.

KHARIID QUARTER

DESCRIPTION: The royal and religious district of the city. The Khariid Quarter, despite its misleading name, occupies the last third of the city split by the rivers. It’s famed for its massive palace, the Tyetjynh, which serves as the official legislative chamber where sultans pass legislation with their viziers, and the official home of all three sultans (though two of the current three choose not to live there for safety and privacy reasons). As such, the national army’s barracks and training grounds are also located here to keep the violence from the Azzane Quarter out. The Khariid Quarter, however, is also the other favored home of prominent statesmon and viziers who wish to keep their friends close and enemies closer. Temples also litter the quarter, allowing free worship of Moltres, Groudon, or whatever deity you believe in. The most prominent places of worship, obviously, are the temples devoted to Moltres and Groudon, and both deities even have shrines in their honor in the quarter. Living conditions here are high indeed, comparable to the Azzane Quarter.

HISTORY: While the Khariid Quarter bears an unfortunate infamy for its ostentatious wealth (the royal Tyetjynh palace houses enough wealth to keep the entire Drift living well for generations), there is one significant difference between the Khariid and Azzane Quarters; the Khariid care about Pokemon. Or, rather, the priests do; the politicians still could care less about the lower echelons. However, the priests have a long-standing streak of benevolence towards the poor from the Drift, and provide free meals and shelter to those in need. It’s this admirable trait of kindness and open-mindedness that keep the temples well-attended by poor and rich alike. Religious services vary by temple, but generally include fiery sermons, minor sacrifices, and community interaction. Occasionally, you’ll find a more bloodthirsty cult that demands Pokemon sacrifice, but this is generally frowned on in the Khariid Quarter, which prides itself on being better than their Azzane counterpart.

Of course, this may be due to the fact that the Gunjynh National Army houses several training grounds and military academies here. Since this is the most politically important zone, it only made sense to station the military here too, and the guards and soldiers do a good job of keeping violence down in the district. Heliopolis politicians know better than to draw blood in the Khariid Quarter; thus, they relegate violence to the Azzane Quarter and duke it out over there. The Khariid Quarter is thus less battle-hardened as the Azzane, and definitely more peaceful. The district is similarly divided along three lines of social strata, but instead of guards and assassins, the district values priests and fakirs. While the nobles still prove essential for their money and the workers prove essential for their labor, the priests prove essential for their services in kindness, not killing.

The Khariid Quarter is technically “Old City”, being the first part ever formed. It was formed under the name of Karrida, meaning “of rocks”, a fitting name for a town near a mine. As the mine grew spent, however, the townspeople looked to the nearby rivers to see if they could somehow merge those and form a hub of naval commerce. Over several generations, the Qelb Oasis was finally created, and Heliopolis was formally established. By this time, Karrida had grown into one of the most populated cities in Gunjynh thanks to the labor that showed up, eager to help build the oasis. It established itself as the de facto capitol, and its strategic position meant no other city was ready to contest its claim. Thus, Heliopolis was formally formed.

POPULATION: Roughly 79,500.

GOVERNMENT: Consular system. Originally, only one sultan held power, but after a rapid succession of ascendant and assassinated rulers, statesmen agreed to institute a tripartisan system. Three sultans jointly hold power, and each has their own cabinet of viziers. These viziers are personally chosen by the sultans, who each hail from their own family line. Sultan power is hereditary, while the viziers may fall in and out of favor and be dismissed at any time. Nepotism and embezzlement run rampant in the city,. Throughout most of history, the sultans have wrestled with one another for more control through a mixture of corruption and power plays, but there has only been one monopoly of power over the sultanate in Heliopolis’ history. That, fortunately, only lasted six months, when the reckless sultan pursued a war with Gang Tie that ultimately led to her regicide. Or sultanicide.

ECONOMY: Primarily trade and service sectors, with some production in fishing and mining. Many business moguls in the city have boosted the city’s wealth considerably—though it would be nice if most of that wasn’t spent on palaces. Much of the city’s revenue comes from trade in the Bezregu Bazaar, and shipping coming up the Tigris. Unfortunately, the old mine near the Khariid Quarter has mostly run dry, though limited activity still goes on there. Rather, most of the economy is powered by their employment of services such as cooking, construction, and assassination. In a sense, their primary export is blood.


Guide written by: Krookodelicious
Original post: Factbook: Heliopolis

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