Voices in the Great Silence
Nations and their rulers
Erast is a city of splendor, trade, and travel. If you want to find something or see wonders of the world safely, Erast is the city to visit. Many work their whole lives to save up enough money to vacation for a week in the city. The buildings are sleek and seem to have risen from the ground without any seams or fastenings. A small river runs through the town pooling into a lagoon filled with gems and in the middle of the lagoon is the isle of the Rani Vireca and her sprawling palace. Three bridges connect the isle to the rest of the city and there is a small dock. Two other bridges connect the north town to south town. There are six districts in town; Bylar, Nethlil, and Bazaar/entertainment quarters are in the northern section of town. The southern part of town hosts the Nerum, Vornis, and Universitas. It is said you can find just about anything in Erast and there is a guild for just about anything.
Economy: Erast gains money from guests, permits, and selling most of the gems harvested every year to the visiting nations to use as their currencies. Most Erast merchants trade by bartering or by Erast bank notes. Education by the University or the Entertainer’s guild is sought after and assists in drawing the wealthy to invest in Erast. The guild of advertisers requires each visitor to take a tour of the city though one of their various agents and historians assisting visitors in ‘learning the city’.
Businesses: Common businesses are usually segregated by districts, such as Bookstores and curiosity shops are found in the Universitas district, the Grove of the Thirteen reside in this district. Metalworking, armor smithing, and weapon smithing are found in the Bylar district, there are a wide array of inns and brothels in this district too. Artwork, general goods, and jewelry are found in the Entertainment and Bazaar district. Feats of engineering, craftsmanship, glasswork and tools are found in the Vornis district. Claywork, foods, and normal clothes are found in Nerum’s district. Nethlil’s district is filled with veiled individuals and is entirely bland compared to the other districts. Nethlil’s district is the only place you can buy silk clothing and dyes.
Politics: Erast stance is that of neutrality. Their people try their best to keep the other nations distracted or at least separated while visiting their city. Rani Vireca semi rules or at least is a distracting figurehead of the city and the trading council makes the policies and procedures of the town. The council has various committees that help them manage the day to day affairs of the city. Committee of oversight, law, permits, education, and politics usually meet in the Rani’s palace. The thirteen wealthiest merchant families have a voice on the trading council.
Laws: Some laws are circumvented or at least the penalty is lessened if the criminal has a permit. Such as thieving is severely punished unless the criminal has the writ from the Council. Disruptions and open insults are discouraged on the island due to the large number of patriots from visiting nations. Some punishments entail being sold into slavery, public humiliation, public death, or sent on a detention ship while serving your sentence hunting large sea animals.
Cuisine: Usually soup based kelp and salty broths, a vast array of sea creatures delicately and artfully displayed on a plate. Plus each countries individual flair in the corresponding districts, one would not want the guests to feel too homesick.
Special events: Day of the falling gems happens every year during the summer where gems fall from the sky and land in the gem lake of Erast. This event brings droves of spectators and the day is preceded by many parades which the populace gets to see Rani Vireca usually in an elegant palanquin or astride some exotic animal.