Vel Anir has often been hailed as the greatest Human city in Arethil. The entire fortress is constructed of thick quarried stone. Its massive towers, huge walls, and every stone building are a matching design of the same rock. Everything was carefully structured and built, perfect parallel roads, houses built on exacting grids, and manors completed within only certain sections and zones of the city. At a glance it becomes obvious that Vel Anir was designed from scratch to maintain and survive a siege. The entire fortress is structured in a way to aid in defense during war. There are dozens of lookouts, vantage points, and circling alleys that are perfect for defenders.
This careful planning is key to the appearance of Vel Anir. Its imposing stone walls and its impressive facades are what set it apart from other Human cities. It was designed with a singular purpose, and that purpose has been kept over the centuries of its survival.
Of course, Vel Anir is not just a city of pure stone. Decorating the bastion are hundreds upon hundreds of flags and banners. This livery denotes the Seven Major Houses of Vel Anir, each featuring a symbol and motto. These banners fly over nearly everything in the city, decorating inns, homes, and of course the individual manors of the Seven Houses. These banners are a way of declaring one's allegiance to a specific house, and they add quite a bit of color to an otherwise gray city. One can almost always tell the demeanor, politics, and ideals of a place simply by the banner they choose to fly.
This is an incredibly important part of just how Vel Anir functions and appears. Of course the greatest and largest of these banners decorate the walls of the city itself, representing the King and his royal line.
Vel Anir is indisputably an achievement of engineering and construction. The fortress itself stands even with the great Citadels of old, and even the Dwarves have admitted that they would be hard pressed to match the fortitude of its walls. To many Humans, even those who do not dwell in Vel Anir, the fortress is a mark of just what humanity is capable of. It is often spoken of with great pride, and the pure majesty of its appearance cannot be understated.
Points of Interest
The Walls – The walls of Vel Anir are famous around the world. Crafted and hewn from the finest quarried stone, the walls are truly massive in their size. Decorated at all times with the banners of the king, they are a symbol of human triumph and prosperity.
Designed and constructed to withstand all but the most powerful magics, the walls are twice as thick as a man is tall. They tower over the buildings around them, standing tall enough to obscure all but the Keep of Anir. The very sight of them has been enough to turn away several armies, and raiders rather attack the surrounding settlements risk an assault on the city itself.
Over the years the walls have borne the brunt of many sieges. Catapults, trebuchets, and even the powerful magics of the Elves have all failed to breach the thick stone.
Anir Square – Anir Square is the part of the city that could be considered the very lifeblood of Vel Anir itself. This are is dedicated to a dozen different purposes, though it mainly serves as the primary market for vendors, smiths, and the assorted craftsmen that attempt to ply their ware within the city itself.
Most often the square is filled with the hustle of daily life. Smiths attempt to sell their armors or swords to passing nobleman and even commoners. Men and women scramble to make what they can, often selling fruits and vegetables as well as whatever they have managed to craft.
The square is also the site of any and all public executions that take place in Vel Anir. These are arranged on a monthly basis by both the king and the High Councilors and usually consist of the hanging of thieves. Every now and again someone of higher status is executed and for them beheading is more common. Either way the executions are always a spectacle and draw great cheering crowds.
The Keep of Anir – The central set piece if Vel Anir is the singular massive keep. This citadel of the great fortress is the ancestral home of the king and his family. The Keep has housed the line of Anireth for as long as anyone can remember, its great stone halls standing guard against all those who would seek to harm the royal family.
Architecturally the Keep of Anir is of course incredibly similar to the rest of the city. It is made of the same hewn stone, built with the same rounded corners, and adorned with the same banners of the king as the wall of Vel Anir. Everything about the Keep is a reflection of the city itself, down to its highly defensive structure. It is clear from one glance that it was originally built to withstand a siege. Not just a pretty little manor house, the Keep serves as the last line of defense should an enemy army ever make their way into the city itself.
The Keep also stands as the home of the royal family. Despite its role as a defensive citadel it is still lavishly decorated, every room adorned with the finest tapestries, Elven wood, and golden luxuries. The king, the queen, all of their children and cousins live within the keep itself.
After the Revolution the Royal Family were allowed to stay within the Keep. Though some of it's halls have been ceded to the new Republic.
Vel Aerelos - Standing directly opposite the Keep of Anir and serving as a reminder of the absolute excess and splendor humanity is capable of is Vel Aerelos. This huge ten story building serves as the main point of government for all of Vel Anir. Unlike the rest of the city, Vel Aerelos is not made of plain stone. Instead it seems to be constructed of a multitude of carved and inlaid rock. Every corner, every edge, every surface of the building is decorated in some way. There is not a single piece of this building that does not catch the eye, and in a city of great architecture it is this that truly draws one's attention.
Whereas most of Vel Anir was built to allow for a better defense, Vel Aerelos completely and entirely ignores those principles. Instead the design of this building simply displays the absolute splendor that Vel Anir is capable of producing.
Vel Aerelos is now where the High Council meets and deliberates.
Vel Tenebria – Though Vel Anir stands as a gleaming example of Human architecture, beneath the city itself lays a remnant of something that most have long forgotten. Not a city itself, but a ruin that had been dug into the earth long before humanity ever even dreamed of constructing the great walls that now stand.
Vel Tenebria cannot be described as a city, nor truly a town. More accurately it is a collection of carved caves and caverns, each connected through a complex series of maze like tunnels. The walls within Vel Tenebria sing of a magic long ago lost, and the rooms found within are often decorated with intricate mosaics depicting battles and death on a scale unknown even to the most veteran of soldiers. There is something hauntingly beautiful about this place, though most do not even know of its existence.
Those that do tell nothing but stories. Tales of shadows and death, of stalkers within the night, of safety from the Nobles and a path that most peasants can only dream of. Some fools not smart enough to hold their tongues also is also say that the halls of Vel Tenebria are home to the Asure Anir, a guild of assassins that lurk in the forgotten realm until they are called upon.
Whether or not these stories are true is difficult to say, but few who venture to confirm them return.
Though Vel Anir is a powerful city in it's own right it also lays claim to several other cities as protectorates and Vassals. Listed here are several, though not all Anirian Cities that have either been RP'd or thought out as a concept.
A small fortress on the Anirian Border with Cortos. The Desert Bulwark of the Northern Armies, Arnim is considered the unofficial headquarters of General Volstes Erran. Though the city itself is small, it is nonetheless considered an important site for current Anirian affairs.
Considered the magical repository of knowledge for Vel Anir, Vel Acan is a seaside city that functions as both library, laboratory, and repository. Protected by dozens, if not hundreds, of 'retired' Dreadlords, Vel Acan is an important cultural touchstone for many mages of Vel Anir.
A great fortress city located at the western limits of Vel Anir's influence. Vel Castere sits along the Castere River that branches off from Cairou river to the north, making it a prime trade port for many in the region. Used as the last holdfast on the frontier, the city is the lock and key between the Empire's cities to the west and the Anirian cities to the east. The Army of the West, headed by General Blackforge, operates out of Vel Castere.
Last Wall of Humanity, Vel Cirak is planted as a citadel against the Falwood. Considered the last point of 'civilization' before the Falwood, Vel Cirak has been a centerpoint of Anirian frontier-ship. Unfortunately, deep within the Falwood Vel Cirak is haunted constantly by monstrous werecreatures. A plague that has fallen on the city almost since it's founding.
An ancient and oft forgotten city, Vel Draza sits at the top of the mountains of Fel Draza. Looked after by the Monks of Vel Draza, the city acts as a massive repository of the forgotten past of Vel Anir. Filled with dozens of artifacts, scrolls, books, documents, and long buried men, Vel Draza is an echo of Anirian history. Often ignored, and all but forgotten.
The Guard against the Savannah, Vel Hetren is a small Anirian Bulwark built some hundred years ago. It stands as a fortress against the various threats of the Savannah, though has also acted as a trade post for various tribesman.
This island city was conquered by Vel Anir nearly three hundred years ago. Taken for it's role in piracy, the Anirians turned this city into a haven for the wealthy. Vel Odren now serves as a beach getaway for many of Vel Anir's more wealthy citizens.
Once the religious center of all Anirian territory, Vel Stratholm has stood as a shadow of itself for nearly three hundred years. The sight of numerous religious rebellions, Stratholm suffered heavily under the hand of the Great Houses. Now with the Republic in power, Stratholm hopes to reclaim some of it's former glory.
The shipyard of Vel Anir, Vel Luin has been the main producer of nearly all of Vel Anir's navy. This city is heavily working class less merchantmen and more dock workers, shipwrights, and those who would cater to them. The Virak's and Luana's are both well beloved in Vel Luin.
A cozy, small city in the northern reaches of the Republic. True to the Pirian name, Vel Numera's outputs and specialization are primarily agrarian, its fields extending far around the periphery and each year proving bountiful with their varied harvests. A mountain range called The Jades flanks Vel Numera's eastern side and some of its southern end. Appropriately named, the Jades have vast deposits of jade within them, and the jewelers of the city specialize quite heavily in jade-working.
The historic home seat of House Luana, and one of the first Cortosi cities to switch allegence to Aniria. Vel Vara is a coastal fortress city that protects lush pastures and breeds some of this continents most famous horses. These horses are sold for their speed and are favoured bets in horse races and also form the backbone of the Anirian Relay System. Vel Vara is also the major port of Anirias Western front and is vital to the armies who wage war against Cortos
A wondrous city of art, culture, and beauty, Vel Zrada was founded and created to show the sheer talent of humanity. A monument to what Anirians are capable of, Vel Zrada was created as a place of peace and beauty. Built as home to craftsmen, artists, and those who wished to hone their skill.
Though House Virak claims only Vel Anir as it's true home, the great House has long held it's Winter Estate in the city of Viret. Having the full support of a Great House, Viret is a sprawling coastal city well protected and seen to by it's patrons. Standing host to a small army, as well as the Great Houses massive Manticore Pens, the city is often joked about as 'Virak's Backup plan'.