Monday, January 01, 1990

The Citadel

(Back to In The Beginning...)
(Back to The Sea of Mist)
(Forward to The Commoners)
(Forward to The Web)

Somewhere on the western coast of Alyria, between the Sea and the mountains, lies the Citadel. Once a monument to knowledge, now it is filled with the detritus of broken dreams and vain promise. Once dedicated to beauty, now it is an iron fortress filled with ruined buildings. Once devoted to righteousness, now it is a nation of oppression, a place where unwanted refuse dangles from makeshift shelters over the darkened city streets. Once a haven of light, now it is a city of darkness, a place where the dead walk the streets, reanimated by the power of a harsh god.

It always seems to be raining in the Citadel. Storms sweep off the Sea of Mist with frightening regularity, hammering the city with an iron rain. Lightning flashes and crackles overhead, striking into the massive Arches that tower over the city or into one of the many vacant skyscrapers that stand guard throughout the Citadel.

Machines have taken over the Citadel, filling it with the sounds of clanking, grinding, and hissing. Gritty soot covers the buildings and the streets, residue from the smoke stacks that belch angry fumes at the sky. Some days the rain itself is black with soot. And every day, thousands of people arise and go to their stations, prepared to service the machines. Life runs to the tick of a metronome.

Yet it is this very Citadel that is the ruling power on Alyria. Its armies keep the peace for miles around and under its protection civilization has begun to struggle back to life. Even the lands beyond the Citadel’s rule experience some of the blessing of its iron rule.


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