The Mark of Tyranny
“Even on the brightest day, the temperature remains a pleasant temperature, without unnecessary glare. The people are quiet, the dancers nimble, and the streets safe. The greatest of Athas’s cities.” Nibenay on the seat of his power
Ruled by the sorcerer-king of the same name, Nibenay is often called “The City of Shadows”. The sun seems dimmer, the shadows deeper, and the locals quieter, lending the place an unearthly feel. The addition of music in some of the more public districts often serves to underscore the silence and unease of the city. Nibenay is constantly in opposition with the nearby city of Gulg.
The people of Nibenay are a reserved and courteous people. They stand on ceremony, and expect decorum in all things, and pride themselves on their calmness and serenity. To show anything else is considered a character flaw.
It is easy to forget that Nibenay is still in Athas, given it’s comparative amount of water and vegetation. Perched on the edge of the Crescent Forest, Nibenay is lush and green, although still seeming quite dark at the best of times.
Nibenay is divided into several districts, though they tend to intermingle a bit.
The Western District – The largest district, this is where the majority of the citizens of Nibenay live. While not the richest district, it is far from poverty, and the people tend to live comfortable, if restricted, lives. This district also contains the Temple of Gold, one of the five branches of Nibenay’s Templars, and a primary place of worship.
The Sage’s District – Despite it’s name, this district is not purely devoted to the sages and alchemists of the city. Instead, it is where all the major merchant houses in Nibenay make their homes. By Royal law, only those affiliated in some way with the merchant houses can live or trade within this district. This district also houses the Temple of Shadow and the Temple of the Mind, two more branches of the Templars of Nibenay. The House of Discipline also resides here, a place that gives basic training and testing to women who seek to join Nibenay’s templars.
Sage’s Square – The largest market in the city, Sage’s Square houses virtually any good or service that visitors may require. Several of Nibenay’s famed schools of dance border the Square.
The Hill District – The home of the nobles in Nibenay, along with any high ranking Templars or other wealthy individuals. Perched on top of a large hill, situated so they get the most light in the city, it’s easy to forget the city being called “The City of Shadow” when on the sun-dappled hill. Frequent Templar patrols and armed guards at every gate make this one of the safest districts in the city.
The Resevoir District – In the shadow of the Hill District lies the Resevoir District. Like the name implies, this district houses a giant resevoir, that provides the city with water, even in the case of a siege. This district houses primarily farmers, who grow their crops outside the city walls, in the verdant countryside nearby, before returning to the city for the night. Rumors that the resevoir is protected by a magical beast under Nibenay’s control do not seem to stem the tide of people going to the resevoir every morning. An almost constant line of slaves can be seen lugging water to the Hill District for the noble’s baths and saunas. This district also houses a giant set of barracks and parade grounds, for the use of the Temple of War, the largest branch of Nibenay’s Templars.
The Palace District – Rising over the center of the city is a towering palace, occupied by Nibenay himself. The Palace is several hundred feet tall, and carved with dark metals and crystals that seem to drink in the light. A 20 foot thick wall seperates the palace from the rest of the palace district, whch contains mostly buerecratic or government buildings, as well as the Temple of Law, the highest branch of Nibenay’s Templars.
Nibenay is one of the largest exporters of fruit and other produce in Athas, as well as procuring the highest number of mages and psions in Athas.
Nibenay’s Templar Branches – Nibenay’s templars are exclusively female, and are divided into five different temples, splitting them based on their different skill sets.
Gold – Essentially the diplomatic branch of Nibenay’s government, the Temple of Gold trains templars gifted in the ways of diplomacy and trade. The Temple of Gold essentially controls the purse strings of the government, and are responsible for any diplomatic missions the Sorcerer-king or his commanders require. The Temple of Gold is run by an ex-caravan master named Saerith.
Shadow – Nibenay embraces his title of “The Shadow King”, and is more than ready to use assassins, rogues, and infiltrators to their full extent. This is where the Temple of Shadow comes in. If there is something Nibenay or his commanders want, or someone they want taken care of, the Temple of Shadow is already on it. Even seeing a member of the Temple of Shadow is a rarity, as they prize stealth above all else. The head of the Temple of Shadow is kept a fiercely guarded secret, with even most members of the Temple not knowing her true identity.
Mind – The most arcane and bizarre of the Temples in Nibenay, the Temple of the Mind is a place shrouded in mystery. Any templar seeking to further their pursuit of the arcane or psionic is brought to the Temple, and what goes on behind the temple doors is a mystery. Strange lights, clouds and lightning appearing from nowhere, and peculiar beasts breaking free and terrorizing the city are almost commonplace around the Temple of the Mind. The Temple of the Mind is controlled by a commanding Psion named Jasela.
War – The largest of the temples, the Temple of War teaches that you can’t trust spells, or the elements, or subtle trickery. You can only trust your body and your wits. A temple exclusively dedicated to martial practices, the Temple of War has a very simple motto. If you live, you succeed. They encourage violent competition between Templars, as long as it doesn’t distract from their duties. If you kill someone, you take on their duties, but also their rank or position. The current leader of the Temple of War, who killed her predecessor to take her position, is Kayan.
Law – The most powerful of the temples, with the power to issue orders to any of the others if neccesary, the Temple of Law makes and enforces the different laws and ordinances of the city. The guards patrolling the streets, the judge passing down verdicts, and the undercover agent in an evil cult, all belong to the Temple of Law. The Temple of law is presided over by the High Justice Temmnya.