Aremshah is the name of the capitol city of the Fourth Realm of Air, a vassal state of the Grand Caliph of the Djinn, and a large realm in and of itself. It is also home to Caliph As’ad, better known as the Druid Osoron, and to Drachmir Blacksand, gnoll mercenary.
Section about Aremshah’s history here.
Section about Aremshah’s economy here.
People & Culture
Section about Aremshah’s people & culture here.
Districts of Aremshah
The capital city of Aremshah is arranged into seven districts, the three greater districts and the four lesser districts. The three greater districts, each one accounting for a full quarter of the city’s mass, are arranged in a step-like spiral around the great Fall. Three of the lesser districts, meanwhile, are arranged in counter-spiral, on the other side of the Fall from their respective greater districts. The final lesser district, the Palace of the Stars, floats serenely atop the Fall, providing the Caliph with just about the sole lake of fresh water in the plane.
In order from the top to the bottom, Aremshah’s districts are as follows:
The Palace of the Stars
- Main Article: Palace of the Stars
The Palace of the Stars is a horseshoe-shaped island that rests just above the Fall. Here is the Caliph’s palace, built six centuries ago atop the ruins of an older building yet. Also here are most of Aremshah’s government buildings, from which the city and the Fourth Realm of the Djinn are ruled. Nevertheless, with the Fourth Realm fundamentally a feudal society, the government sections of the district are small, the most notable being the Chancellery, beneath which the treasury is to be found. Most of the District is taken up by the palace. The district is not open to the public except on holidays and general feast days, and so there’s a certain status accorded to those who live and work there.
The Solar Heights
- Main Article: The Solar Heights
The Solar Heights is the noble district of Aremshah. Here is the lowest population density of the city, with stately estates and luxurious gardens acting as a testament to the wealth and prosperity of the Fourth Realm. Aside from the noble residences, the Solar Heights is also home to many of Aremshah’s public monuments and parks, and so even those who don’t live here often travel upward to relax in the magnificent squares and verdant gardens.
- Main Article: Godsmoon
Godsmoon is the lesser district that faces opposite the Solar Heights. Godsmoon is Aremshah’s temple district, dominated by the massive Temple of Akadi, the only building that rivals (and some say surpasses) the Palace of the Stars for sheer scale and magnificence. Also present are large temples of Kossuth, Grumbar, and Istishia, the Lords of Fire, Earth, and Water respectively. A fair number of non-elemental deities are present as well, with Waukeen being especially popular, her temple rivaling that of Istishia and Kossuth in size. In addition to temples, Godsmoon also has a small residential area for the priests and acolytes, and attendant services.
- Main Article: The Sevenclouds
The Sevenclouds is the single largest district in Aremshah, as well as the most heavily populated. It is here that the artisans, craftsmen, and merchants of the city live and work. It is here that there are markets, taverns, and workshops. Most of the city skydocks are located in the Cloud District, save for the wardocks in Storm District and the private docking stations of the nobility in the Solar Heights. The district takes its name from its seven main squares, collectively called the Clouds, the grandest of which is the Square of the Golden Cloud, a hexagonal square dominated by a column commemorating the victories of the city’s founder, the Amir Hassan Malik. When people think of Aremshah, they think of the Sevenclouds.
- Main Article: The Breezeway
The Breezeway is the lesser district adjoining the Sevenclouds, and is the economic heart of the city, in the same way that the Waterworks may be said to be Aremshah’s bones. Originally an outlying rock, the Breezeway was brought into Aremshah’s fold when a portal leading to Sigil, the City of Doors was discovered. Through here, much of Aremshah’s trade flows, and the Breezeway has grown up into the main merchant district of Aremshah, with the rock taken up almost entirely by merchants shops and warehouses. Though the fewest number of people actually live in the Breezeway of all of Aremshah’s districts, the Breezeway is crowded with mobs of traders at all hours of day or night. The portal takes the same of a flat pane of rock the size of a barn door, mounted on a revolving platform powered by bound elementals. Originally, the portal opened only when the wind struck at a particular angle, but now the four earth elementals shift the gate so that the Plane’s everpresent wind always strikes at that specific angle, keeping the portal open more often than not. Charge of the elementals and the portal is given to the Gatewarden and his company of Gatewatchers, who must keep the portal open. The job of Gatewarden is prestigious but not strenuous, and usually given as a plum position to Aremshah’s war-heroes once they pass their prime.
The Storm District
- Main Article: Storm District
The Storm District is Aremshah’s military encampment, filled with empty barracks and quiet streets. Aremshah is a feudal society with no standing army, and so at any given time only a few mercenary regiments garrison the city along with handful of professional units Aremshah fields, such as the Palace Guard or the Gatewatchers. In times of war, however, the Storm District swells to bursting as the Caliph’s vassals bring their troops here prior to being mustered out as a united army. Most of Aremshah’s perpetual mercenary units have had long and often-renewed contracts, to the point that a good few of the mercenaries have settled down with wives and children in the Storm District, which combined with the general emptiness of the place during peace makes for an air of seclusion and quiet. The fact that every second resident is a trained soldier keeps crime down despite the wealth of near-abandoned places in which miscreants can flourish. Vane’s Breakers is the largest mercenary organization in residence, halfway through its sixth 50-year contract, still led by Ulivinus Vane, svirfeneblin hierophant of Jergal.
- Main Article: The Fogs
The Fogs are the slums of Aremshah. Located at the very bottom of the city, the Fall has by now been churned through so many industrial mills in the Waterworks that a good part of it has become a noxious mist, one which spreads across much of the district when the wind is right. Most of the denizens of the Fogs work in the great mills of the Waterworks, tending the machinery. The district is dominated by an ever-changing array of crime lords, despite the attempts of Caliphs to take control of the district. These periodic cleansings usually succeed in ousting the current crop of crime bosses, but new ones arise in a few years, when the will and attention of the Caliph wanders. Notable crime lords of the Fogs currently include the drow wizard Athtar and the smuggler-king Assam.
- Main Article: The Waterworks
The Waterworks is the seat of Aremshah’s industry, the area immediately adjacent to the great Fall. Here, mighty mills take power of the Fall and use it to power the vast looms that give Aremshah its economic dominance. Countless merchants range throughout the planes, buying up cotton and wool and other sources of raw textiles, which are shipped first to Sigil and thence to Aremshah. There, they are converted into huge bolts of cloth by means of the Waterworks, to be sold across the Plane of Air as is, or further crafted into cheap and elegant clothing by Aremshah’s thousands of artisans. Nevertheless, while the trade in textiles is the economic lifeblood of Aremshah, working in the industry, particularly in the Waterworks themselves, is a dangerous and thankless job, with the everpresent risk of being consumed by the great machinery or else to slip into the Fall, to be smashed by the force of the water against something far below. Most of the Waterworks is owned by the merchants guild known as the Traders League, but more recently the Planar Trade Consortium has been trying to usurp the League’s dominance.
The following parts of Aremshah are unofficial districts. These locations are either smaller, but very significant parts of other districts or sections that extend throughout a majority of Aremshah.
- Main Article: The Skystates
The Skystates are the ultimate status symbols in Aremshah. Free-floating estates above the Solar Heights, accessible only by aerial transportation, they are the domain of the magnificently wealthy and the inhumanly influential, the prized possessions of the high nobility of the Fourth Realm. A Skystate is more than just an aerial estate, though the Skystates are some of the most majestic manors in the Realm. A Skystate is also a status symbol, a mark that the possessor is one of the great men and women of the Realm, powerful beyond all measure. Currently, eleven Skystates hover above the Solar Heights. Of them, eight belong to the great noble houses of the Fourth Realm. The ninth is the home of [[Chancellor Tahir al-Halam]], while the tenth is the home office of the Traders League. The final and most recent belongs to the mysterious elven wizard Vackal, a jagged obsidian tower that sprung up in a matter of days.
- Main Article: The Drafts
The Drafts are the common name for the ramps, stairways, and elevators that lead from one city level to another. Each one has a separate name and some are wide enough to allow businesses to operate. Elevators are found only in and around the Waterworks, while dozens of ramps dot the city’s outer sections. One Draft, the Angel’s Ascent, is a magically-powered perpetual updraft created to facilitate easier upward travel for flying creatures.
- Main Article: The Pipes
The Pipes, so named because of the complex pipework running through them, is the term for the underground section of each district. Aremshah’s earthbergs are large enough to comfotably support at least two subterranean levels. Since land space is at a premium, the Pipes see just as much activity and population as the surface streets. The Pipes are divided into two sections: the Channels, which are the levels just below the surface where Pipe-dwellers live and work, so named for the wind channels that provide good ventilation; and the Mists, which are sections reserved for the city’s water system, including aqueducts and sewage lines, so named for the constant, cool humidity. Officially, only maintenance crews, called waterworkers, are authorized to go into the Mists, but the Mists see their fair share of other visitors. A section of the Pipes is referred to by the district above it (e.g., the Solar Pipes or the Breezway Channels).