|Map of the Azurite nation.|
|Government|| Monarchy (in theory)|
Aristocracy (in practice)
|Races|| Human (90%)|
|Exports|| Azurite steel|
Inhabitants of Azure City
Organizations in Azure City
Azure City is the largest city in the Southern Lands. Though the large seaport metropolis is simply called Azure City, the nation held a vast territory beyond its walls and across the Cyan Peninsula. For ages, it was the base of the Sapphire Guard paladins until it was conquered by the forces of Xykon.
Azure City RegionsEdit
The largest settlement other than Azure City itself, Blueriver Fort was an important military installation and gateway to southern trade. Though it began strictly as a fortification on a highly-defendable river bend, it became an important trade center when several villages of merchants and farmers established themselves around it to keep the capital provisioned. It also handled supplies for nearby watchtowers. Though it was believed to be completely impregnable, it was destroyed by the massive Hobgoblin army that later sieged Azure City.
A port town sitting at the end of the Cerulean River, Robinsegg is located to the south of the Azure City farmlands. It was typical to attempt to enter Azure City by bribing one's way onto one of the cargo ships that sailed regularly to the capital rather than crossing the mountains on foot. The port's status after the Battle of Azure City is unknown.
The jewel of the Southern Lands, Azure City is the largest city in the South, though it is dwarfed by Cliffport. Approximately half of the population of the nation lives within the capital city. While travelers from all lands are welcome in the city, in order to gain citizenship one mush have human blood in them.
The city was defended by two layers of walls, on the outer side of the city and the inner walls defending the castle.
The outer walls were the best defended part of the city, connecting the mountains the lie on both sides of the city and protecting the only land route into the city. It was the first line of defense during the Battle of Azure City, and suffered major damage due to Titanium Elementals that tore up a large section of the wall. The damage was more or less repaired during the Hobgoblin occupation, though the damaged section was simply filled with boulders.
The inner walls that surrounded the castle, while much taller, were far less defended than the outer walls. They were easily captured by the Hobgoblin army.
Built by Soon Kim and the Lord of the City over 50 years prior to the Battle of Azure City, the massive castle loomed over the entire city. It was built around Soon's Gate so that people wouldn't wonder why the area was so heavily defended. Its massive size has led people to wonder why it had to be so large, with some suggesting that the former Lord of the City, Ronjo, was overcompensating for something. The castle held the primary garrison of the city's armed forces and housed the many Paladins and Clerics on the Lord of the City's personal staff.
The seat of the Lord of the City, the throne room was built around Soon's Gate, sealed with a sapphire adorning the throne. 1st level Paladins meet the Lord of the City here once they complete their training. Trials take place in the throne room, where the Lord's divine practitioners utilize their divination magic to determine a defendant's guilt or innocence. For important cases, beings from the Upper Planes are summoned to serve as jurists. The murder of Lord Shojo at the hands of Miko Miyazaki took place in the throne room.
An antimagic detention facility is located within the castle to hold particularly dangerous criminals. The Order of the Stick minus Belkar Bitterleaf, was held here pending their trial. Following their capture, Nale, Sabine and Thog of the Linear Guild were also held here and were joined by Miko Miyazaki following the death of Lord Shojo at her hands.
The castle had a number of storerooms in which Belkar Bitterleaf made his escape and fought with Miko Miyazaki.
The Azure City harbor was the exodus point for civilians just prior to the Battle of Azure City. Monster-filled sewers emptied out in the harbor, and later on Xykon's phylactery made its way in them.
Azure City OrganizationsEdit
Azure City MilitaryEdit
Headed by General Chang, the military had approximately 9000 members in their ranks prior to the Battle of Azure City. The majority, including General Chang, were killed during the battle. What few were left either joined the Azurite Resistance or deserted and joined the refugees on the last boat leaving Azure City. Those who joined the Resistance were later killed by Redcloak.
Founded by Soon Kim, the Sapphire Guard was a secretive group of dedicated paladins that worked to protect Azure City from any threat, and secretly preventing the sealed Gate from falling into enemy hands. The Guard was effectively disbanded when the majority of its members were killed by Xykon, who inscribed a Symbol of Insanity on a bouncy ball and bounced it all over the room, causing all the paladins to kill each other. The only known remaining paladins of the Sapphire Guard are Hinjo, O-Chul and Lien. Ho Thanh survived the Battle of Azure City due to being way on a diplomatic mission to Nowhere at the time, and later came back and joined the Azurite Resistance. He was later killed during Recloak's attack on the Resistance headquarters.
Azure City had a very active and powerful noble class. Though Azure City was theoretically a hereditary monarchy, the majority of the power laid within the noble houses, which were also hereditary. Each noble house was headed by a daimyo, and each house controlled a number of workers, craftsmen and even the seemingly independent businesses. As such, while the Lord of the City can order a noble to do something, it is more common for the noble to threaten to withhold their resources from the Lord's plan if they don't approve. Furthermore, the Lord of the City is restricted by law in terms of how he can punish (if he can) the nobles, while the nobles have no such restrictions.
As the name might suggest, nearly everything there is blue, not only the buildings but the eyes and hair of most of the human inhabitants, known as Azurites. Their architecture and customs often recall various East Asian models (pagodas, rice as a staple food, a New Year's celebration incorporating a dragon dance and firecrackers, etc.), and personal names appear borrowed from Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese. Though fishing was important, the economy was clearly diverse and specialized, with at least one shop selling musical instruments. The government was a hereditary monarchy under a Lord of Azure City, whose power was limited, on the one hand, by law and tradition, and on the other by a restive and factious nobility, the strongest and most ambitious of whom (such as Daimyo Kubota) might hope to supplant the ruling dynasty during times of chaos.
The sky above Azure City contains Soon's Gate, one of the five rifts or Gates, discovered by the Order of the Scribble, through which the Snarl could gain access to the world. The rift was originally so small that Lirian and Dorukan were able to seal it within a sapphire. When the Order broke up, Soon Kim, himself an Azurite, undertook the protection of this Gate, founding the Sapphire Guard of paladins sworn to eliminate all threats to the Gate's safety. A strong castle was built up to and around the Gate, and Soon persuaded the then Lord of the City to incorporate the Sapphire itself into his throne, so that "no one would question why the tower was so heavily defended" and thus uncover the secret of the Gate.
After leading the Sapphire Guard in campaigns to eradicate all public knowledge of the Gates, Soon Kim resigned the command of the Guard to the Lord of the City (Shojo's father), uniting still more closely the fate of Gate and state. Lord Shojo inherited the throne, and command of the Guard, when relatively young, and maintained both throughout a reign of 47 years, though in his last years the turbulence of the nobles and the fanaticism of some Guard paladins compelled him to resort to perpetual subterfuges to maintain his authority. Although the aged Lord Shojo cultivated an appearance of harmless senility, after his assassination by Miko Miyazaki the nobles recognized a vacuum of power, and Kubota in particular made a strong bid for the throne before Hinjo, Shojo's paladin nephew and heir, was able to assert his claim to the Lordship.
The Battle of Azure City, against the invading hobgoblin army led by Redcloak and Xykon, was already looming when Lord Hinjo took the throne, and much of the population was fleeing out to sea, hoping to return once the army and Sapphire Guard had defeated the invaders. The city walls were fiercely defended, but the invaders' powerful magic, innovative tactics and sheer numbers (about 30,000 against the Azurites' 10,000) drove the defenders back to the castle, looting and burning elsewhere in the city. The ever-impatient Xykon, flying into the throne room and massacring the paladins standing guard there, triggered a confrontation with the ghosts of Soon and the dead paladins. Soon had the upper hand of both Xykon and Redcloak, and would probably have turned the tide of the battle by defeating them, if Miko had not arrived in the throne room, misread the situation, and destroyed the Sapphire lest the Gate fall to the enemy. The resulting explosion, which Xykon and Redcloak escaped, obliterated much of the castle and killed most of the remaining Azurite defenders, making a total defeat inevitable. Hinjo and a few supporters, including Durkon, Vaarsuvius and Elan, escaped to the docks and thence to the refugee fleet. Roy had died in the battle, and Haley and Belkar remained in the city to retrieve his body for resurrection.
Meanwhile Hinjo and many refugees left for regrouping and finding allies to claim the city back. The city was overrun by hobgoblins and the survivors were enslaved. The area was permanently surrounded by a yellow whirl that did not allow sunlight pass, nor any scrying spells. Haley and Belkar who remained behind formed a Azurite Resistance (among other 2 rival groups) who stole from the warehouses and freed slaves.
After about a year of occupation, Azure City became the cradle of the nation Gobbotopia.