Now that the rough draft is finished I’m going to be doing a few posts while doing the rewrite exploring the story; its locales, peoples and background. Nothing that will give away too much of the plot though.
The first post will be about Adranatti, the City of Dreams.
Located on the northern shores of Amaralii, the Sea of Amar, lies the city of Adranatti, the largest, oldest and most prosperous of the Amari holdings in the land they call Hovendriun. Legends say that the city is two millennia old. Epic poems of the event describe how a pair of fishermen were caught in a fierce storm and swept them far to the north, where they were washed into the bay upon which Adranatti sits. There they met the primitive natives who, according to the poems, took them as their chiefs.
Few scholars take the poems seriously. Adranatti – more properly Adranatti Vesa Criporo, that is the Colony of Adranatti Lesser – seems to have been founded in the period when the Amari city-states were establishing colonies around the Amaralii, during the transition between the bronze and iron ages. Adranatti Vesa Criporo was the daughter colony of Adrantti Traduin; Greater Adranatti. The colonists subjugated the native Gajaru, simple subsistence level farmers and fishermen who couldn’t stand up against the technologically superior colonisers.
In the years following its colonisation, Adranatti slipped into obscurity and became something of a backwater. Wars gripped the Amari city-states as they clashed for dominance, during which Adranatti Traduin was destroyed. In the end the Amari Rhapernumi was founded, a unified nation under the Rhapernum, the High King, though intrigue and plots were never far away as the Amari cities still sort dominance within the new nation.
Adranatti itself, all but forgotten, became more a Gajaru city with each passing century. The discovery of gold changed all that. For the five centuries after its founding, it was known small amounts of gold could be found, mostly traded with the Tchirrik, a alien race of insectoid men who dwelt beyond the northern hills in the arid lands beyond. When prospectors found vast quantities of not just gold, but silver and gemstones as well in what was nominally Tchirrik lands, all that changed.
Men flocked to Adranatti, seeking fortunes and it thus acquired the name the City of Dreams. Not just fortune seekers, but the full might of the Rhapernumi. Adranatti had at the time something of an experimental democracy running the city, but that was set aside as one of the Blood, a Prince of Amari was sent to take over the city and its wealth. War soon followed, a by-product of the greed for gold. The Tchirrik nation was destroyed as the Amari sought access to all the sources of gold and precious gems and the surviving Tchirrik were driven deeper into the arid lands.
Rumours surfaced during the last years of the war that the Tchirrik had hidden a vast wealth of treasure in a city that lay deep in the deserts, a city that grew in fame and legend as the story was spread. The Amari called the city Illiatorian and it became a lure for explorers, adventures and treasure hunters.
Amar has seen great upheaval in the following centuries, with rebellions and coups, dynastic changes and assassinations. The power of the Rhapernum has waned into little more than a figurehead, the city-states mostly independent once more. Adranatti too has seen its fair share of change. At its height it was one of the most powerful cities of Amar, controlling vast stretches of the north. But the gold mines began to play out and its wealth diminished and its northern holdings shrunk. Given its locale though, it remained an important hub for trade in the north and, while not as powerful as it once was, is still a prized possession.
As the Rhapernumi begins to break apart, foreign powers circle hungrily, chief among them the Empire of Hakset and the Maedari Commonwealth, eager to bind Amari city-states to their side for a coming war that seems inevitable. Of those cities in the north, Adranatti is the most prized. A city filled with betrayal, intrigue, bribery and corruption, with a young and untested ruler, it seems primed for one side or the other to snap up.