The City State of Sinsna’ Te
The City State of Sinsna’ Te is a vast city sits that lies on the north side of the Great River upon a large plateau that raises approximately two hundred feet above the water’s edge. Its high walls that encircle the city are 100 feet high with towers spaced out every 100 yards with a continuous parapet running the entire thirty- mile circumference. The city is exactly 9.5 miles in diameter with 4 concentric rings of walls and gates. It is further divided into twelve sectors, each ruled by a Magistrate. Although the larger the sectors on the outside rings, the further away they are from the nobles and wealthy who wish to stay closer to the internal ring where the wealth and power brokers typically are.
There are city gates between each major ring of wall as well as between each sector so that every sector can be isolated if it was necessary from internal or external foes. From time to time, the Lord Mayor may choose to punish a magistrate or sector by isolating it from the rest of the city…a very powerful and cruel tool if applied long enough.
The City-State is ruled by the Lord Mayor, an elected official who is chosen by the Council of Twelve, the legislative body of all Magistrates. The Lord Mayor is an elected official with supreme authority for twelve years. The Lord Mayor may not be re-elected or serve for any reason beyond his twelfth year. The only other restriction upon the Lord Mayor’s power is that the Lord Mayor may not replace a Magistrate. Magistrates are elected by the registered merchants of their sector. The Lord Mayor’s Privy Council is chosen by him, and are typically his (or her) closest advisers. Although not having direct authority, the Privy Council members have the ear (and often close friendship) to the Lord Mayor whose political powers are nearly unlimited.
The City State is primarily a merchant city, trading in goods from all over the New Kingdoms and beyond. The primary trade route economy is the Great River. There are few threats to the City State by the outside due to its vast protections and respectable military forces. Internally however, numerous guilds of every kind vie for power and influence among the each other. The magistrates are also prone to intrigue and political machinations to maintain their grasp on power within their sector and beyond, each plotting his or her course to being the next Lord Mayor.
The current Lord Mayor is Sanit Servestra, a second-son of a wealthy human merchant family who moved up the ranks quickly in the military, became a magistrate as a young adult, and within a decade became Lord Mayor. Now, in his twelvth year of his term, his friends and enemies are heavily involved in shaping the future of the City State.
Sinsna’ Te is very cosmopolitan, having very rich culture and strong representation from every race. Endowments and sponsorship of the arts compliment society as do the investments in engineering, science, medicine, philosophy, and more. It is a very old city that was able to shape its own destiny a a true city-state.
The physical make up of the walls and gates are for protection from outside attacks as well as to seal-off sections of the city when there are riots, fires, plagues, etc. it is also used as a political tool by the magistrates when they have a disputed with other magistrates. They can seal off their gates as they see fit, cutting off trade to a neighboring sector (pinching the tax base of the other magistrate…and possibly hurting themselves in the process). This city-state is rampant with political intrigue and maneuvering by practically anyone who is anyone to get the upper hand…all the while living in a civil and class-structured society that is rich in trade, foods, culture. The darker sides of the city are just as treacherous, but managed by powerful guilds that keep things in balance. The more powerful (and rich) are closer to the interior rings due to their proximity to the Lord Mayor whose palace is at the center of the city. As such, most of the higher-society things are closer to the center… playhouses, museums, concert halls would get fancier the closer you get to the center. The rings closest to the outside city walls are the less economically advantaged areas.
The center roads are controlled by the Lord Mayor and the city troops as well as the interior patrols on the walls. Since it is close to the western wild lands, the military and defenses are strong. Each magistrate may have his or her own force within their sector to keep the peace (which results sometimes in an interesting class structure for the military). The Magistrates often try to ‘work their way up’ in the world by getting elected to sectors closer to the center rings. This is not always the case because there are benefits to the outer rings as well since they are larger. In essence, even though the outer sectors are not as wealthy per capita, there are more people, more territory, and quite possibly more coin to manage.
Like any other city, the populace tends to migrate in pockets of their own kind. Likewise in Sinsna’ Te, races and cultural pockets develop within each sector which adds to the multi-cultural richness of the city-state.
Externally, the city is seen by other kingdoms as a stew of corruption, but one they deal with for trade as well as information and other illicit activities.
Since the city is very ancient, it is typical that layer upon layer of ruins exist as an ‘Under city’. Some say there are still ancient chambers and wide stone tunnels connecting sections in the under city.
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