Alcazar

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Alcazar

This is the capital city of the Duchy of Ranke.

History

The City is an old one around 1200 years old and it has grown from a small centre for mining to the city it is today but its origins are still evident in the names of the buildings and the like.

Winter 811

Duchess Meredithis announces that Ranke shall be governed in her name by Countess Chenaya Vigiles until she has a child that can be made Duke or Duchess of Ranke in her stead. Courtiers from Chenaya’s circle of associates start taking up shared roles and positions within the Royal Court of Ranke and current courtiers and functionaries begin becoming more noticeable (one way or the other) when they are assessed for their competency by a committee of Rankene and Western Kingdom Auditors.

  • 1st Snow 811 - Duchess Meredithis has decreed that the city shall return to its old name of Alcazar
  • 3rd Snow 811 - The Count of has been unmasked as a slaver in contravention of Ranke’s laws on slavery and his county and title have been removed back to the Duchess who has appointed in his place. The Count’s family have been exiled from Ranke after the public flogging and hanging of the Count.

812 WK

813 WK

814 WK

Population

This large and old city is home to the Royal Court of Ranke and around 30,000 other citizens.

Geography

The city is quite far inland but on a key intersection of river and road traffic, and near rich copper and lead mines. The city of Alcazar rests along the shores of Lake Daysan the source of the Irtish River. The lake itself is fed by mountain streams and runoff from the nearby Bluestone Mountains, and is situated in a valley at their base. The surrounding woods and mountains provide the primary sources of revenue of the city by way of ore, quarried stone and lumber. A steady flow of lumber comes down to the town itself.

Features

The city has many bridges as it has been built at the confluence point for several watercourses and beside Lake Daysan and overtime the height of the city above water has grown and now stands at 10ft above the high tide water levels due to the extensive remodelling of the city over centuries of flooding and rebuilding on firmer and higher ground.

The city also boasts a market precinct called the Cazar Rows where several levels of the exterior buildings are used and merchants climb stairs to buy and sell product in the various stores in the rows as well as moving through the large open market/bazaar in the central area.

The city’s proximity to the Bluestone Mountains has other benefits in that thermal pools have been found on the western edge of the city and then these waters are directed into the central city via aqueducts where the Alhama Bathhouses use them along with a few other select locations such as the palace.

The city has high walls along the river that have been built on levees built up over successive centuries to avoid mass flooding in times of rain and storm and this gives the city a distinct feeling of distinct districts including the Royal Court or Palace district in the centre of the city.

There are a number of walls around the town that are in various states of repair and use but mark the boundaries of the village and then old town and then new town and subsequent periods of urban sprawl over the centuries but there are 3 main rings of walls which are the Old City Walls in the centre of the city, the Wizen Wall which is midway through the city and the Cornan Walls, which are the outmost of the city walls and the smallest but thickest.

The city also boasts a formidable fortress that seemingly rises up from the lake but is actually built on a small island; this is Janjira Hold which was finished in 550WK and named after the wife of the Duke of Ranke at the time who was said to be a formidable woman whom let nothing get past her. A 1 mile long arched walkway connects Janjira Hold to the city proper.

Alcazar boast a milder climate than would be expected from one so far inland and above sea level but this is partially attributed to the thermal activity nearby and a lucky confluence of geographic factors. The city is known for its thick fogs that blanket the city many times each year and sometimes for days on end covering everything, leaving high towers and the surrounding hills poking through the thick fog.

The Royal Palace

The Royal Court of Ranke which is otherwise known as ‘The Red Palace of Ranke’ is an imposing sight with high Redstone walls surrounding a large area of elevated ground that houses numerous palaces, bureaucratic offices, towers, storage facilities, royal guard barracks, parade grounds, royal cavalry stables, scriptoriums, extensive gardens, seraglio’s and the like encompassed in an area measuring about 2500ft in length by 700 ft. at its greatest width. It extends from west-northwest to east-southeast and covers a vast area. The court is home to most the functionaries and bureaucrats that run the Duchy of Ranke in a way that has continued for hundreds of years.

Rankene poets have described the palace and precincts as "a pearl set in rubies and emeralds," in allusion to the colour of its buildings and the extensive park around them. The palace complex was designed with the lowland site in mind and many forms of technology were considered. The palace garden are overgrown with wildflowers and grass in the spring and was planted with roses, oranges and myrtles as well as a dense stand of elms that were brought there by King Sigismund in 475WK. The gardens have a multitude of nightingales and are usually filled with the sound of running water from several fountains and cascades which are supplied through conduit into the local lakes and rivers.

The majority of the palace buildings are quadrangular in plan, with all the rooms opening on to a central court; and the whole reached its present size simply by the gradual addition of new quadrangles, designed on the same principle, though varying in dimensions, and connected with each other by smaller rooms and passages. The palace has been extended by the different rulers who lived in the complex; however, each new section that was added followed the consistent theme of "mountain paradise". Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional complexity. In every case, the exterior was left plain and austere. Sun and wind were freely admitted. Blue, red and a golden yellow, all somewhat faded through lapse of time and exposure, are the colours chiefly employed.

The decoration consists, as a rule, of stiff, conventional foliage, Rankene and Arabiq inscriptions alongside geometrical patterns wrought into arabesques. Painted tiles are largely used as panelling for the walls.

Inhabitants

Tracy Cotterall - A dashing male minstrel known for his ability to play to the palace nobility and the down trodden poor masses. He runs a small shop selling musical instruments named The Pure Note.

People of Note

The city has an extroidinary range of people resident but there are some of note to those who are making more than cursory stays in the city. The following list is not extensive but what has come to mind to date.

Previous details (As at Mid Winter 811) - Dayrne has become the Captain of ‘The Countesses Own’, a personal guard for her ladyship, Countess Chenaya, Harlston has become personal valet to Countess Chenaya, Dendur has been made Castellan of Ranke Castle by Countess Chenaya, Dismas has been made 2nd assistant secretary to the Lord Chancellor of Ranke, Gestus has been made 2nd assistant secretary to the Treasurer of Ranke, Père François, the court sage to Countess Chenaya, Leyn has been made a Lt in the City guard recognizing his martial inclinations and aspirations, Ouijen has started a gladiatorial school in the City, Several deeply cowled and hooded mages from the Sanctuary Mage Guild (SMG) have arrived in the City and become the countesses Intellectual Advisors on magical matters. Names have yet to be provided.
  • Marechal Davout - Grand Constable of Ranke. He is the commander of the Rankene Royal Guards
  • Pierre de Rochfort - Lord Chancellor of Ranke. He is the main channel for politics and finance. The chancellor is assisted in his tasks by the Keeper of the Seals.
  • Moreau du Guesclin – The Marshall of Ranke. He is the senior officer in command of Rankene forces except for the Royal Guards
  • Victor Gravin is the High Steward of Ranke. He is the head of the Ducal Household aka the Royal Court of Ranke
  • Jean-Baptiste Perry is the Admiral of Ranke. He is the officer in command of Rankene naval forces
  • Louis de Mole is the Grand Ecuyer - the officer in charge of the Duke’s stables
  • Jerome de Maudreou is the Garde des Sceaux (the Keeper of the Seals) and he is an assistant to the Chancellor
  • Lowan Vigiles is the Lord Chamberlain to Countess Chenaya, looking after the Countess’s personal quarters and chambers and nominally reporting to the High Steward.
  • Dayrne has become the Captain of ‘The Countesses Own’, a personal guard for her ladyship, Countess Chenaya
  • Harlston has become personal valet to Countess Chenaya and assistant to the Lord Chamberlain
  • Dendur is the Castellan of Ranke Castle.
  • Dismas is the 2nd assistant secretary to the Lord Chancellor of Ranke
  • Gestus is the 2nd assistant secretary to the Treasurer of Ranke
  • Père François is the court sage.
  • Leyn is a Lt in the City guard reporting to the Castallen and Grand Constable
  • Ouijen has started a gladiatorial school in Alcazar and the first intake will be in Summer 812.