Minerva, The Coastal City
Of the five major cities, Minerva is known for its love of art and theatre. Those with a bend towards creation and a vivid imagination tend to flock here as Minerva is consistently at the forefront of new technologies and art.
Craftsmen can join in the success of the plentiful artisan guilds with focuses in just about every possible skilled labour. Minerva is often known for its developing technologies which start in the famous guilds of Minerva.
The city is also famous for it’s Magician’s College of Metis. The MCM was created by aged explorers from the Exploration Guilds who wished to teach their findings to the next generation and prepare them for further exploration of the realm. But that was in times of old. Now magic is simply studied here as new developments in magic have a focus on creation to aid in the craftsman’s guilds of the city.
There are a few ways to get around in Minerva. The most used method is to hire one of the many cart drivers in the city to carry you to your destination. Just about every cart driver is employed by one of three guilds, Janus Dispatch, QuicKart, or Marathon. Most are pulled by soul or power wielding mages that can use their magic to quicken their pace and get you where you need to be faster than walking ever could. Rarer are the people who are naturally fast and strong and can pull the carts without any additional help.
But if you’re really looking to get around the city fast you might want to consider the train. There are two trains that run within Minerva, one around the inner perimeter of Minerva’s outer wall and the other cutting halfway through the city from Metis to Vulcan. each going in opposite directions and run at specific periods throughout the day. They are used both for transportation of people and goods to other parts of the city. Each train has one or two stops in each of the boroughs where several cart drivers will eagerly take you where you need to be once you arrive at your closest stop.
Being such a large city, it is often easiest to navigate the city in relation to its boroughs instead of all of Minerva itself. The city is divided into five main boroughs, Aldejove, Metis, Vulcan, Arachos, and Janus, each one running at its own speed and with its own unique culture.
Aldejove, The Old City
The largest borough of Minerva, Aldejove has two natural borders with the mountains to the north and the ocean to the east. Centuries ago Aldejove was known as Jupiter. A major city of its own, it fell into conflict with the city of Vulcan when each wished to expand into the same territory. War broke out but in the end finished in Vulan’s favour. The explorer’s guild of Vulcan had discovered powerful creatures called dinosaurs in Jupiter’s mountains and opened a path with a bomb that would lead the creatures to Jupiter’s city limits. The creatures were vicious by nature and stormed the city forcing its residents to flee as the giant lizards brought ruin to the city. Most of its citizens were killed due to the attack, either from the dinos themselves or from the monsters lurking outside of the city during their panicked fleeing.
The city is now merged into the great city of Minerva. Half a century ago an expedition was mounted to free the city’s land as the exploration guild Tan Suo was hired to chase the dinosaurs out of Jupiter’s walls. After their success a wall was erected to the north and the path leading into the mountains was closed off by powerful earth mages. The city was restored, renamed, and now stands as Aldejove.
Aldejove is a land known for its history with many people that can trace their ancestry back to the people of Jupiter as its descendants went to reinhabit their land of old. Artists with an interest in ancient architecture often come here for inspiration while upstart guilds are using its land to create new bases of operation. The land being so newly acquired is still trying to get some footing as to what it could be used for and is expected to rise up quickly to meet the demands of the city.
Io District. The closest district to the centre of Minerva, this district is a complicated mesh of merchants trying to setup commercial guilds and low income residential areas to house the people that work in this area. Apartments in the area are small but as some say, "have character", as they were built from the ruins of the buildings in the old city. This district is home to the Tan Suo guild as it took a large amount of land for clearing the old city.
Europa District. This district takes up much of the central and northern parts of Aldejove. The area was snatched up by current guilds looking to expand but due to the fertility of the land and pre-existing farmland it now shares agricultural production. Due to its close proximity to the mountains of Khembalung, there is also a gate to lead out of the city to a quarry zone deemed safe enough to mine. From here the stone and ore are transported to different parts of the city. Some residential areas exist within Europa ranging from lower income to middle class housing.
Calisto District. Taking up the entire eastern coast, the Callisto district is an entirely residential district aimed for the wealthy. The area was entirely flattened with long rolling hills and a brilliant view of the ocean. The land was snatched up by the Taitus Corporation when the land went up for purchase and construction for high income housing and mansions immediately began. Security is tight here and only the elite of the city take residence here.
Ganymede District. Located to the north west, this district is largely untouched. The area was largely left intact since the fall of Jupiter and as such there are many people fighting over the land. Some wish to keep it intact for historical purposes, others wish to lay claim to it to transform it into more land for the city.
Metis, Gateway to Magic
The borough of Metis, located on north western side of the city, contains the youngest population in the city and hosts the famous Magician’s College of Metis. Many people that take residence here are students and scholars that either work at or attend the college. In addition to the Magician’s College, the district also holds the Great Temple, once a holy place of worship but now a location of study for the spirits that coexist in our realm. Other than the education centre this borough is well known for its shopping district and holds the northern gate exit to the city.
It’s residential areas are mostly low and average income housing to help house the many students for cheap. The area is almost entirely apartments with small houses dotting the areas in between where several people will often rent together.
Amalthea District. Containing the northern gate, this is the first district most newcomers will see when arriving in Minerva. It is the largest shopping district in the city with many guilds setting up shop here for visitors to spend money. There are residential areas here but they are entirely small apartments with high prices attached to them.
Andrastea District. Located towards the west, this district is the oldest location within Metis. It holds the Great Temple of Andrastea initially used for communion with the old gods. The old gods have been replaced with spirit worship, and by association their study, in modern times. The district's residential areas are mostly small houses either privately owned or rented out en masse by mostly academics in the city.
Thebe District. Home of the Magician’s College of Metis, the Thebe district is the most densely populated district in all of Minerva occupying the south eastern half of the borough. People from across the continent come here to study in what is deemed the most prestigious school in the world. The residential area is filled with both low and moderate income college dorms and apartment complexes. The residential areas closest to the college are well known for being well maintained and get worse as buildings get farther from the college proper.
Vulcan, From Forge to Sea
Centuries ago, the city of Vulcan was known for its militant people, eager to expand their territory by any means necessary. They had started as fisherman but quickly expanded into the forge as its people had an unnaturally large amount of metal users. Its people were great fighters and experts in the craft of war, becoming famous by their win against the far larger and more expansive Jupiter.
Over hundreds of years of expansion the Vulcans eventually lost their place as many of their people went to the seas on expeditions for other lands only to never return. With Vulcan’s three closest cities, Metis, Janus, and Arachos, joining into one giant city, Vulcan’s remaining people felt their best way to survive wast to join in their alliance and form what would now be Minerva today.
Vulcan resides on the eastern side of Minerva and is still known for its metal smithing guilds as equally as its fishing and trade guilds. It is also home to the Minervan Guard Headquarters and the Naval Fleet of Minerva.
Sabine District. Taking up a long strip to the east, the Sabine district resides next to the eastern ocean. Docks with Guard Towers at each one dot the entire length of the district where boats come and leave at all hours of the day. It is difficult to find a dock that isn’t in use as the port has become one of the best ways to travel to other cities along the coast. Spirits possessing great oceanic beast and attacking the port are rare and the guard towers are there to quickly dispatch anything that would come up before any damage becomes uncontrollable. However, because of the risks involved in harbour life the docks are made cheaply, wares are quickly moved from the harbour, and the district doesn’t contain much in line of residential areas with the occasional dock building holding a few beds for tired crewmen.
Etrusca District. Located to the north and western parts of the borough, the Etrusca district is the closest to the borough of Janus. It holds the Minervan Guard Headquarters where new recruits perform their training, officers are placed in different districts, and where communication with the city office and all the district guard towers are sent. This district prides itself on the lowest crime rate in the entire city, somewhat understandably due to the proximity to the Guard’s Headquarters. Residential buildings in this district are mostly high end apartments and condominiums with several shopping areas scattered in between.
Hephaes District. The largest district in Vulcan takes up most of the south as the city’s refineries smelt ore and form stone into more usable forms. In old times the city would get their ore from the mountains of Khembalung to the north via sea route. But now that Aldejove has been opened up there is far easier access to the mountain range and transportation now comes in via the train. The residential areas in the area are located not far from the refineries as many town houses have been created for workers to rent from the guilds.
Martius District. The refined ore from the Hephaes district usually makes its way northward to the Martius’ district’s plentiful craftsmen guilds and shops. The area’s residences are similar to Hephaes with similar style housing and neighbourhoods.
Arachos, Artistry and Poverty
Located in the south, Arachos is the smallest borough of the five. The borough stands upon a large amount of fertile land and as such enjoys much in line of produce and food. Its plant production rivals no other borough in Minerva and the area has always enjoyed a more laid back and lax way of life. But while Arachos has an excellent food production industry it hasn’t much else. Guilds attempting to setup in the land find themselves rarely making enough production. It is difficult to expand in Arachos without conforming to its atmosphere. Some would say Arachos is filled with lazy hedonists that refuse to work and while it could have a valid argument it can’t be said that the borough doesn’t provide for the city.
Art and nature are at the forefront of the borough. You can’t walk more than a couple blocks without seeing a park or piece of natural beauty preserved and pristine. Its difficult to find a building without vivid paintings on their walls and if you do it won’t be for long. Some would call it vandalism (as in some cases it very much is) but even the Minervan Guard find difficulty in preventing it as there are too many street artists to stop.
The districts within Arachos are filled with colourful people eager to lay back and enjoy the world as it is. The smell of Jazz, an inhalant, permeates the alleys and in some of the poorer districts the streets themselves.
Lydia District. At the north of the district lies the Lydia district, the smallest district in Arachos. Here the Lydian Theatre resides where plays are performed once a week by a rotating set of troupes and playwrights. Other than the theatre, various shops and restaurants make business in the pleasure industry. Only the best street artists dare touch this part of the district out of respect (or fear) for the guilds that run the show here. There are no residential areas here, only hotels and other temporary accommodations.
Metash District. Located in the western portion of the borough are a few guilds that produce consumable goods. Bakeries, distilleries, and other such industries can be found here where the people of the Phoses and Metash district typically work. The Metash district has several small apartment complexes that aren’t well maintained. It is easy to call this district entirely a slum.
Phoses District. South of the Metash district, it is easy to simply call this the residential sector. There are no apartment complexes in Phoses, only houses of varying sizes from the small communities to the huge privately owned pieces of land.
Ovid District. The largest district in Arachos taking up two thirds of its land is the Ovid district. It is entirely farmland and houses for the farmers. The Ovid district is distinct in that all of the farms have managed to remain privately owned as each farm is not run under the jurisdiction of any guild.
Janus, Heart of the City
Taking up the western and central portion of Minerva, Janus is where Minerva initially began. The youngest of the boroughs, Janus began as a dream by a famous exploration guild’s leader, Quirinus Janus. Seeing the southern wall of Jupiter as an opportunity he claimed the land to the south and began construction of a new city. With low taxes, fertile land, and a prominent guild backing the city, several guilds took a chance on the city. The city expanded greatly from that day on.
When Vulcan looked to be making moves towards Arachos, the city of Janus took it as opportunity to form an alliance with Arachos. When Metis joined the alliance for protection and expanded resources with Arachos, it made sense to create a new city joining the three together. Minerva was created with Janus retaining leadership for the new city.
Janus is where the city of Minerva is run; all governing decisions are made here. In addition, it enjoys a strong commercial district and a wealthy residential district.
Janus connects to every other borough making it almost necessary to pass through in order to get to any other district. As such its districts closest to each of the boroughs tend to have their cultures bleed into Janus’ districts.
Pater District. Located to the south west, this district rests between the walls of Metis and Arachos. This district is one of the youngest as it was created when Metis and Arachos joined Janus to create Minerva. The district is mostly low income residential areas with a mesh of apartments and small houses focused around some craftsmen guilds who send their wares to Metis’ shopping district. This district’s close proximity to Thebe and Metash has created a unique experience of hallucinatory spirit vision quests in the area with many fortune tellers taking advantage of it. This form of fortune telling is slowly making its way into both districts.
Geminus District. Slightly North of the Pater district and Arachos is the Germinus district. This district was once farmland but now contains the borough’s highest concentration of craftsmen guilds, shops, and entertainment. Perhaps the most notable destination in Geminus is the large stadium, the Rhodes Sport Plaza. The districts residential areas are apartment and business complexes rising higher than any other part of the city.
Iunon District. To the north of Janus is the city’s government buildings and upper class citizens. Mansions and high class condos fill the area with expensive, beautiful parks dotting the area. The district is one of the best maintained in the city with gated neighbourhoods and privatized security patrolling the streets. The city’s elected officials meet at the City Hall to make decisions on the city’s direction.