The Obsidian Towers & the Cities of Gold

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The Obsidian Towers & the Cities of Gold

Postby mat.gopack » 01 Mar 2019, 23:54

(Still WIP)

Scattered across the Vale of Aekagar and its surrounding foothills and mountains rise the 7 Obsidian Towers, towering above their surroundings. At their feet spread the Cities of Gold, drawn by the power and wealth of the Councils of Life.

Name of Nation: Aekagar (for the Valley) or The Obsidian Towers (for the centers of power)
Religion: TBD
Government Type: Confederative Oligarchy (The Obsidian Council is the highest ranking in the confederation of the towers, though each tower/city is ruled by its Council of Life). 2/3 of each council is controlled by the Lifecrafters of the Obsidian Towers, and 1/3 by the wealthy elite of the accompanying city.
Official Title of Ruler: Formerly Lifebringer Orokan - currently none, until the next conclave of Lifecrafters in Year 8
Races: There is no true primary race in Aekagar, in and of itself. Lifecrafters have come from every corner of the world with which Aekagar has contact with - it is ability and ambition that matters. Within the Cities of Gold, the population is again a mix drawn by the wealth, power, and opportunities found near the Towers like moth to flame.
However, the single largest group is probably humans (assuming that's the most populous group on the continent as a whole). The type of being that becomes a lifecrafter, however, is one that has well above average magical ability.

Secondary Race: The secondary race of the region is that of the Returned- skeletons brought back to life & controlled by the power of the Lifecrafters.
Mental Strength: 1
Physical Strength: 4
Magical Strength: 1
Life Expectancy: 3
Technology: 1


Population
(Year 7)
1.1 million total
16,000 (official) Lifecrafters
394,000 other
-10,000 newly integrated orcs
693,000 Returned (Skeletons)
1,000 Returned (Beast skeletons)
30 Returned ('Intelligent' Skeletons)
+~10,000/year as of right now

Military
The standing military forces now consist of the Obsidian Guard - Lifecrafters trained in the movement/command of Returned, equipment for a force of 10,000 Returned pikemen, and 5,000 trained cavalry.

The Obsidian Towers maintain a sizable navy, stationed in Kezis, consisting of a decent number of galleys. The focus of this is on control of the Obsidian Sea, as we call the sea in between us and the Tarachi. For longer range operations, there are a half dozen larger ships, though merchant vessels could be easily pressed into service.

Cities
Image
The 7 Obsidian Towers, and their surrounding cities, are:
Aekagar, the largest and eldest of the towers, founded by the first Lifebringer. Its spire seem to touch the sky, and the city surrounding it is the largest in the valley, at 150,000 non-Returned.
Kezis, the principal port of the Vale. Its tower is perched on a promontory overlooking the excellent natural harbor and the mouth of the twin rivers, upon which its population sprawls out. Docks, dockyards, warehouses, and a stream of trade and people characterize the busy city. Population of 75,000 non-Returned.
Nadrim - 30,000
Duthas - 34,000
Lowix - 40,000
Yauzhul - 30,000
Zoxius - 25,000

Other
Aekagar is renowned as a wealthy and prosperous region - and that can be entirely attributed to the Lifecrafters of the Obsidian Towers. Their ability to breathe new life into the bodies of the dead is the foundation of the prosperity of the nation - as hundreds of thousands of the Returned toil ceaselessly, and untiringly, in the vast fields, mines, and other industries of the nation. The products of their work are brought down through the valley, along Returned-maintained roads, on Returned-manned barges, through to the nearest of the Cities. There, craftsmen work to turn those raw materials into precious commodities, into works of art or industry, or simply to package them more effectively than the (admittedly crude) Returned do. From the Cities, goods are then shipped abroad - and in return, seeking to purchase bodies, slaves, or other valuables.
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Economy, Technology, Magic, and Others

Postby mat.gopack » 03 Mar 2019, 19:22

Economy

The Economy of the Obsidian Towers & the Cities of Gold rests upon one fundamental factor - the labor of the Returned. The vast fields of the valley, the mines, the transportation from the production to the cities... All of that is achieved through the tireless, never-ending work of the Returned. It is what enables the vast quantities of bulk goods - food, metals, etc - that can be produced cheaper than anywhere else in the world. It is what creates the surpluses, and sustains the cities of not only our land, but many throughout the continent.

It is also where the Obsidian Council, and the Councils of Life more generally, draw much of their control over the region. Every Returned is the property of one of the Towers - as is the land they work. Instead, enterprising business people/merchants can lease estates, the labor of one of the Returned, of a mine. Some prefer to simply buy upon the open markets, and then transport it simply onwards.

This system has created a highly wealthy population within the cities, and a drive for vast quantities of trade throughout the known world. And at every step along the way, the Obsidian Towers take their cut. Roughly a quarter of the total economy/profits are directly controlled either by the Obsidian Towers or by individual Lifecrafters.

Quick detailed analysis:
Rough distribution of Returned Labor:
400,000 farmers
100,000 in the mining industry
50,000 in internal transport
10,000 in external transport
40,000 miscellaneous

This creates the following surpluses to be sold:
Food - Around 800,000 units of food (from 3-4 people fed per farmer, minus the living population of the cities and the additional labor on spices/luxury crops. 1 unit = enough food to feed 1 person for a year)
Spices/luxury food: Saffron, sugar, nuts (eg - pistachio, almond), tea, truffles, cumin, etc.
Metals (metric tonnes unless specified otherwise): 3,000 of iron and lead, 500 of copper, 2.5 tons of silver, 300 kg of gold, 300 kg of quicksilver (mercury), and an additional 500 tonnes of other metals (tin, aluminum, nickel, etc).


For economy:
Total size: 106 million Gold Pieces (100 per capita, or 258 per living capita)
Total income of the Obsidian Towers: 12.25 million GP (~12% of the total economy - 1/6 of the harvest, tax + fees make up the remainder)
Main expenditures:
-fresh supplies of Returned
-Food in the cities: The Councils of Life provide enough free food to live on, directly from the harvest, to anyone living in the cities (OOC: think similar to the Roman grain dole, it's what supports the enormous size of our cities). The food isn't the highest quality of course, and the cost is that those who partake sign to give their remains to the Councils for free. Roughly 50% of the living population uses this.
-Upkeep, research, and materials for the towers themselves
-Contracts with foreign nations
-Navy
-Obsidian Guard
Total: 12.2 million GP/year (value)
Surplus: 1,000,000 GP/year
Treasury: 5 million GP (year 7)

-Returned: 10,200/year, 720,000 GP/year expenditure (at 100 gold pieces per. Internally it's roughly 50% of that price on average, due to either use of the free food in the cities, being purchased slaves with their slave contracts, or other prior 'free' handover of bodies.)
6500/year internally (350,000 GP/year)
400/year from the Tarachi (40,000 GP/year)
100/year from Nidavellir (10,000 GP/year)
200/year from 7-7 (20,000 GP/year)
3,000/year from New Andor (300,000 GP/year)
-Food dole: Current: 200,000 units of food/year, valued at ~4 million GP
-Contracts:
Nidavellir: 10,000 GP/year + 1,000 units of food (~30,000 GP/year)
-Expenses in the Obsidian Towers (research, materials, etc for the Lifecrafters, keeping everything in order): 2 million
-Navy: 150 galleys @ 20,000 GP/year = 3 million
-Obsidian Guard: 10,000 Returned equipment @25 GP/year (250,000) + 5,000 cavalry @300 GP/year (1.5 million) = 1.75 million GP/year


Breakdown of the rest of the economy:
Lifecrafters: 14.5% (14.5 million GP, ~900 GP/capita)
Cities: 73.5% (74 million GP, 195GP/capita) - concentrated with the merchants/traders, craftsmen, and other skilled labor. Much of it is through contracting & operating various large estates or mines owned by the Obsidian Towers.
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Re: The Obsidian Towers & the Cities of Gold (WIP)

Postby mat.gopack » 09 Mar 2019, 23:31

Around 30,000 Returned (the entire contingent of new Returned, double with taking some from the fields and mines) are being shifted to help bolster the mountain pass garrisons of our nation.

A further project is in the works to create a new military guard.
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Re: The Obsidian Towers & the Cities of Gold (WIP)

Postby mat.gopack » 14 Mar 2019, 03:25

As tribes of orcs are being escorted through the Vale of Aekagar south, the recently formed Obsidian Guard (or more precisely, the Lifecrafter's who've trained in its control, a force of sturdier Returned, and the cavalry contingent) have been repositioned to the north - in order to maintain the continuity of the forces there.
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Re: The Obsidian Towers & the Cities of Gold

Postby mat.gopack » 30 Mar 2019, 20:46

Early spring, year 6

Weeks ago, the summons had departed the tower of Aekagar. White robbed messengers, traveling to each of the other towers of the valley, sent to every recognized master Lifecrafter throughout the entire world, bearing invitations to the unveiling of Lifebringer Orokan's latest research. Two years worth of delving into the inner workings of the body, magic, and soul, and the elusive promise of the final elusive barrier to the Lifecrafter's art: eternal life.

Now, it was time to see the results.

There had not been so many Master Lifecrafters assembled in one place since the last Conclave - over a hundred were making their ways into the Obsidian Council Chamber, perched hundreds of feet above the capital. Dozens of figures dressed in formal Lifecrafting robes, blindingly white in the room. Their featureless white oval masks examined the preparations in the room, flicking through the brief provided to them.

Kallana watched from one of the edges of the massive circular, bright room. A complicated, intricate series of engravings had been added to the floor of the ancient chamber, far dwarfing that of any previous ritual ever attempted by a Lifecrafter - fitting, after all. In four locations through the series of magical runes and enchantments, careful additions to the ritual, were those who would be helping Orokan reach his immortality - four ancient, deathly looking beings, magic faintly able to be felt through them. Their life debts had been claimed early by the Towers, purchased from their relatives - sending them into their afterlives early, but for the sake of powering such a ritual.

Seated in the very center, at the core of the entire mass of the focused magical energies and inscriptions, was the sole black robed, black masked figure - Orokan. In a rehearsed motion, he started to gather those energies - a dozen assistant lifecrafters, scattered throughout the room, channeling their own magic to assist.

It was the most dazzling display of life magic that she'd ever seen, she could recognize. Such brilliant potential, reaching for something beyond the scope of anything any other Lifecrafter had ever attempted. For over a half hour, the gathered Masters watched enraptured, in awe at the display. But then it went wrong.

It got no warning - at the height of the ritual, five minutes after the last of the four souls had left their bodies, a flurry of magic poured into Orokan. An instant later, a burst of magic blinded all present - and as it faded, no sign of the Lifebringer was left behind.

As the assembled lifecrafters began to squabble over the disaster, and the need for the Conclave to be called, or assorted cacophony, Kallana turned aside, mind racing. The issue was...

-------------------

Three hours later, in her long unused chambers, a fourth bound body slumped over, accompanied by a surge of energy. Kallana breathed in, focusing. The magic swirled around her, thick, intoxicating - but it would overwhelm her, if she gave in, just like it had the old man. No, she needed to ... channel it. To pour it into something, to prevent her death...

Kallana, Master Lifecrafter of the Obsidian Towers, concentrated - and drew her last breath.

Her white gloved hands reached out, settling on a small, unremarkable pendant - and she smiled.

Two years, before the inevitable conclave would meet. Two more years to learn, in the halls of Tarach. To plan...
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