Capital City
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History

Founding

    Founded in the year 570 AH as New Junonsburg, it knew a quiet beginning. As a small farming coastal community, it traded goods with the western continent and tended to its fields quietly for thirteen years before the Empire arrived. This is not to say that they didn't have forewarning of the event. The ill trained farmers took up whatever tools they had to put up struggle against the imperial soldiers. 
    Cid Highwind, the second, having been on the front line of the war, ordered his soldiers to not harm the people. "For being so brave as to defend their homes from invaders even when there was no hope, these people will be our symbol", and Junon became the capital of the still young Empire, the farmers who lived there becoming the first of the noble families. 
    One such house, De Amon, was the first on the battle field to defend their homes, and one of the first to turn to the empire when the
emperor made his speech. Steadfast and true, De Amon is a symbol of the city as a whole, fiercely loyal to its protection up through today, its eldest male acting as Duke, seeing to the city's well being while the emperor sees to more global concerns.
    Another house, Ambrai, was founded in the year 540 AH, making it a top counter in sheer age. Its actual manor is the same that was constructed then, making it older than even the Cathedral, the oldest building in all the empire. It has been marked officially as a historical landmark and the
emperor puts aside money towards its maintenance.
   
N'a'schezbaernon, a house that was with the emperor from the start, did not actually original from Capital City, instead migrating with the Imperial forces from their original home more towards the center of the continent. It is the tenth of the noble houses and is known for being steadfast loyal to the empire.

Growth

    It was a ship that sailed in 633 AH, launched from Capital City, that carried with it the war banner to the West, declaring war on the 'heathens' there. The first century of war abroad brought about a golden age for the city. War spoils of gold, silver, slaves, and other resources made the city swell with abundance. It was at this time that the great cathedral began construction and the wall between noble and commoner was erected. In the year 654 AH, the city had the same basic configuration we know today. In the year 666 AH, the Cathedral was completed, the year used as a holy conjunction, placing the ultimate ward upon the building to guard it from harm.

The Cathedral

    Completed in 666 AH, the cathedral is the tallest man made object on Gaia. Towering over the rest of the city, approximately thirty stories in height, it draws more tourists to the city than any other land mark the city has to offer. It also acts as the seat of power for the church, as the pope resides from within, giving their commands out to the rest of the religious world.
    The church itself is constructed largely of marble on the outside, with the notable exception of the northern spire, which is made entirely of some form of crystal. Inside this spire resides only one person, the pope
them self, where they can look down and see the entire city below them through their very floor and walls, the crystal as clear as the air itself. 
    Once a week, the Cathedral is opened to all in a vast welcoming for Holy Day mass. All are invited to come and attend this massive gathering of the faithful in the largest sermon hall the world has known. It is there that the highest ranking arch-prelates and even rarely the pope speak to the masses about their spiritual health and well being, their relation to God, and other important religious matters.
    Those visiting the Cathedral are politely asked to give up all weapons, which are placed in a storage bin for later retrieval. It is said that the magic of the place would prevent hostile acts regardless, but the weapons are removed, perhaps just for the feeling of security it gives. All throughout its massive hallways, the sound of singing and chanting can be heard as one of three massive choirs practice their holy scriptures, singing their praises to the all father.
    There exists within quarters for three classes of people. Priests, who sermonize and service the public as a bridge way into spiritual health with god. Knights, who strike out at the darkness and protect the church and citizens as a whole, and the Wards, who are protected by the church and live there, usually orphans and/or victims of great tragedy, they are housed and fed by the church.

Suspicion

    Somewhere between the year 670 and 720, the great suspicion began. No one is sure who started the mess, but a great stink began to form about scientists and technology as a whole. Sermons were given about how it defied the order of nature. Technology that used to work just fine started to malfunction, especially newer models. Tinkerers and inventors were largely scorned from this period onwards. Though their profession was never outlawed, it was never loved ever again. Whenever an inventor's machine explodes, those around just shake their head and frown, they knew that was going to happen already. Due to this deadlock, technology has not made much progress since this age, locking everything in a perpetual Renaissance like time period with high magic reigning over as the preferred method of solving society's woes.

Mascot

    In the year 714 AH, A creature was brought from the western continent. It had blood red fur and a tail who's tip was on fire. It never stopped struggling even after massive magic was used to try and calm the beast. It was declared to be the city's mascot, a reflection of the cities refusal to ever give up, even if the odds are bad. Unfortunately, the idea went horribly wrong.
    Three years later, the beast broke free of its bindings and cut a bloody swath through the commoner's market place where it was being displayed that day. hundreds perished before enough enforcers and magi could arrive to put the beast down permanently. I would be approximately three hundred years before the city braved trying out a new city 'pet'.

Decline

    For the next hundred years, times got a bit sparse for the Empire. Repeated failed campaigns in the East and increasing resistance to the West resulted in a lowered income. In an effort to keep up empire loyalty, construction of a new great project, the castle, was begun. With the lack of money, it could not be made as large as the massive Cathedral, but it does stand tall and reminding over the entire city. As before, symbolism served the emperor well and the people rallied behind him during the tight times.
    It was also about this time that house DuLant ceased its mercenary ways and joined forces with the Empire, slowly becoming known as a loyal house, even though refusing to take on the power of being a royal house,  to the cause, they were considered a major power in the city until AH 1000 when their numbers were cut to 1 in a tragic
plague.
    Around 805 AH, a traitor of the Western forces betrayed an entire city up to the Empire. The goods of the victory was enough to rekindle and spark the faltering economy and the war picked up speed once again. This man, said from the perspective of city residents, saw the error of his ways in the light of god, and has finally repented for his sins. Remembered as a great hero in Capital City's history tomes, to the Westerners, he is the worst of all traitors, his name the most vile of blasphemies to utter.

Imperial Magi

    In the year 800 AH, the Imperial Magi were formed. A group of elite magicians. They were trained not only in the arts of magic, but martial arts and sword mastery as well. Rarely seen, these shadows pursue the goals of the emperor without anyone else being the wiser for it. Globally feared in the central and western continents, they use whatever methods are needed to get a job done. Their reports to the liege are sketchy as best, usually as simple as 'Error Corrected' or 'Mission Accomplished'. In part to protect their leader from any implications. They are never directly ordered to take lethal force or use immoral methods, but they do it as a matter of course, accepting full punishment should they be caught. 
    The Imperial Magi work
separately of the Mages Guild. They usually do not give nor take orders from the guild, being the only mages permitted to operate without a guild badge or certification.

Mages Guild

    Formed, originally, in 52 AH as the Istari, the Mages Guild has since grown and moved away from Wutai. It has branches all throughout the central and western continents with one in the forbidden and several in the southern continent. They are officially recognized as being loyal to the empire, often working in concert with Imperial forces as strike forces or defensive placements with their powerful magic.
    All mages who enter Capital City are required by law to register at the Mages Guild. It costs nothing, and the person is given a badge of membership which they must carry always. Not told to them is that the badge taints all the magic they perform. Should the holder of a badge perform a crime with magic, they can be
easily tracked. The penalty for using magic without a badge ranged from a few days in jail to public execution, depending on the severity and damage of the spell used.
    The guild is operated by a council of professions. Each branch of magic has one person who
excels in it and is considered a master. White, Red, Blue, Caller, Geomancy, and Time; Each has a representative. In matters of policy making, council meetings and majority vote decide how the guild will react. Each 'Sorcerer' is also in charge of selecting teachers that will train novice magi in their chosen branch of magic.


Merchants Guild

    Formed officially in 210 AH. It predates the Empire. The merchants guild holds a secret that none other possess, the spell of teleportation. Though others have attempted to emulate this talent, all who have tried too hard have ended up vanishing without trace. The guild refuses to speak even a word on how they do it, but for a price, will transport almost anything or anyone to anywhere else.
    The merchant's guild is completely neutral in both wars, and will not transport troops into hostile territory. Because of this limitation, ships, both sea and air borne, along with occasional railways, still see a good amount of use, both as a luxury item, and for military propose.
    Not many join the merchants guild. Most who apply are turned away for one reason or another. This does not include merchants who wish to share in profit. Merchants can get a general membership
easily if they promise to nose use other forms of transportation. Most take up the offer, finding Merchant Guild transportation to be fast, and cost effective.
    Unlike other guilds, the Merchants Guild offers no allegiance or loyalty to the Empire as a whole. They will service anyone, friend or foe to the Empire. This has gained the guild some frowns and whispers amongst nobility and commoner alike about their motives, if there are any beyond getting more gil.

Night of Tears

    Occuring in 1006 AH, early in the fall months, the Night of Tears was the direct result of celestial whim. The stars aligned in a dreaded formation, plunging the world into darkness and despair. Day after day of pure pitch and with the air stinking of decay, the populace was depressed and saddened.

    Would that this was all to happen. On the fifth day of Typhoon, when the darkness was at its worst. The water clocks reported midnight when the first reports began. Everyone with any amount of elemental taint in white or day energies began to glow with a ghostly light.

    Enormous twenty stories tall creatures of darkness stormed every major population center. Born on their backs, each had a massive army of skeletal humans, and were escorted by creatures of shadow, invisible in the darkness, and capable of slicing foes in twine.

    Drominham and Capital City faced the brunt of the assault on the central continent, successfully fending off the assault with a unified front and a call to the great spirit Alexander. The city of white struck down the army of darkness, ending the battle.

    Shinsei, a city of Wutai, did not fair as well. They fought to the last man, but failed to halt the relentless march of evil. Though the remaining city-states of Wutai won in their individual battles, they owe their relatively easy victories to the brave sacrifice of the Shinsei citizenry.

    The barbarian states did not disclose their losses, but they seemed eerilly untouched by the event.

    Fate being what it was, an incoming army from a rebelling Imperial city of Tanwater was slaughtered on the field, ceasing the threat on the capital in a most gruesome of fashion.

Drominham

    Founded in 832 AH, on the site that was formerly Midgar oh so many years prior. Drominham grew to infamy under its latest ruler, Tashiro Kurosawa. Heralding from Wutai at birth, he was filled with rebellious notions and outlandish ideas. Nobles continue to perplex over what possessed Highwind to place Kurosawa in that position, but there he was.
    Drominham was and still is very important for the continuing welfare of the Empire. It sits on the greatest iron and steel mine known to the world. It was a small out of the way mining city, filled with people who were happy to dig in the dirt all day long.
    Under Tashiro's guidance, in only two years, the city woke up, now a fully recognized metropolis. This did not come without pain. The city itself was
believed to be cursed, filled with sinners and blasphemers, its citizens embracing monsters, slavery abolished within its walls. The city was, for a time, completely boycotted by the Merchant's Guild. It was attacked by a full army of angry peasants and magi.
    Despite the opposition, Drominham stood tall and firm, repelling all attempts to topple it. In this, Tashiro earned the respect of the nobles who remember what it is the Empire was founded on, and is probably the reason Tashiro was allowed to rule until he decided to return home. Currently, Kiga rules over the city, having already led it to some bit of glory with its assistance in the Night of Tears.