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Zeltiva

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Zeltiva
RegionSylira
NotabilityTrade and Educational Center
LeaderLord of Council Maria Satterthwite
Population20,000
Races
Human90%
Other10%
LanguagesCommon
CurrencyMiza, Zeltivan Nilo
ImportsFood, Metals
ExportsShips and Shipping Supplies, Timber, Academic Texts and Books

Zeltiva is a city on the eastern coast of Mizahar, known primarily as a commercial and educational center, and a place of seafaring and study. Its shipyards build the fastest and most seaworthy vessels available. Travelers from across Mizahar come here because of the almost unmatched opportunities for commerce and learning. The city has a unique atmosphere, because two very different spheres of life collide. It is also one of the only remaining examples of the 'Old World', containing many pre-Valterrian structures and buildings.

Contents

Geography and Climate

Zeltiva in Summer.

Zeltiva is built on a narrow strip of flat land between the Zastoska Mountains and Mathews Bay. The only way into the city by land is over the Mirahil Pass, which threads between two of the highest peaks in the Zastoskas. The portion of Mathews Bay that abuts Zeltiva's eastern end is sheltered from the waves and forms the best harbor in Mizahar. All incoming ships are funnelled towards the port by the bay and mountains, reducing the chances of piracy in and around Zeltiva.

The climate is temperate, with four distinct seasons. Snow in Zeltiva itself is rare in the winter, but the mountains are often covered, and the easterly wind off the Bay (known to locals as the Bonesnapper), is intensely cold. Summers are warm and calm, with temperatures rarely exceeding 90 degrees F. Almost all of the flat land is occupied by the city itself, with less than 5% given over to agriculture. The mountains are covered in deciduous forest up to the treeline.

History

No place in Mizahar had been spared the effects of the terrible cataclysm that had so violently marked the end of an era. However, Zeltiva was relatively sheltered due to its protected geography, and is in fact nearly alone among major cities in Mizahar in having an "old quarter," where buildings from the Royal period have been preserved and are still in use.

In the Royal period, Zeltiva had been the home of the Royal Navy of Alahea, a city of seafarers and shipbuilders. After the Valterrian, the Navy was gone, but some of the shipbuilding knowledge remained with the survivors. Over the next century, they painstakingly reconstructed their craft, and in doing so, produced the finest oceangoing vessels in the world.

As soon as they could, the Zeltivans began exploring the ocean once again. They re-mapped the coastline, and established trade routes with other, distant cities. Indeed, such has the commercial influence of the Zeltivans been that there are Zeltivan "colonies" scattered along Mizahar's coast, placed there as waystations for sailing expeditions. The Zeltivan sailor Kenabelle Wright was the first person to completely circumnavigate the continent of Mizahar, although nearly her whole crew was lost in the process.

Because of its dominance of the ocean, Zeltiva has become a hub of trade and higher learning. It remains something of a jewel of a city, inhabited by proud, fierce people with an insatiable curiosity. The University of Zeltiva is one of the finest institutions of learning left in Mizahar, and people from across the continent come there to study.

Demographics and Politics

Zeltiva is a city of about 20,000 inhabitants, making it one of the larger cities in Mizahar. 90% of its residents are human, with the other 10% being drawn from nearly all the other races in Mizahar, without any one predominating. Its large population is partly due to the growing student community in the city, with people of all ages travelling from across Sylira, and wider Mizahar, to study at the University.

On paper, the city is governed by a Lord of Council (the title is the same whether the Lord is male or female), who is elected by all adult citizens and serves a three-year term. In practice, however, this role is almost ceremonial, as nearly all power in Zeltiva is exercised by two groups that exist in an uneasy alliance: the three-member Administrative Committee of the Sailors' Guild, and the seven-member Board of Regents of the University of Zeltiva.

Zeltiva Today

Zeltiva is a wealthy, but precariously balanced city. Although Zeltiva's marine power is unmatched, their army is small, no more than a few hundred, and they rely almost entirely on the city's protected location for defense. Despite the city's prominence, Zeltiva is essentially incapable of projecting any real power inland, and what territory beyond the mountains it once had has long since been appropriated by Lisnar and Sunberth.

Because the city contains almost no arable land, food shortages are common. Nearly all staples except fish and kelp must be imported, generally from Syliras, with whom Zeltiva has a cold, but generally stable relationship. The markets, which are often rationed, are essentially the only way to obtain food; Zeltiva has no public restaurants. It does have a smattering of taverns, but the only drinks available in them are water and a local concoction called kelp beer, the most generous description of which by a non-Zeltivan is that it is "an acquired taste."

Locations of Interest

The Old Quarter

A group of buildings at the extreme northwest of Zeltiva, approximately six square blocks, escaped destruction during the Valterrian due to its protected geography. These buildings, made of the local granite, represent one of the very few surviving examples of pre-Valterrian architecture.

Half of the Old Quarter is now occupied by the University of Zeltiva. This includes the former City Library and Museum of Art, the closed archives of which are rumored to contain information that survived the Valterrian. The remainder includes upscale shops, the Lord of Council's official manor, and a few private residences, which have remained in the same families since before the cataclysm.

University of Zeltiva

The University of Zeltiva is considered one of the finest institutions of higher learning in Mizahar. Most of its buildings are located in the Old Quarter, with the exception of the College of Navigation. The main building itself is divided into a West Wing and East Wing. The former teaches more traditional subjects via the College of Applied Skills, while the latter has a magic, and experimental focus in the College of Scholars. Almost any conceivable subject is taught here, by some of the most learned instructors.

The University is one of the main attractions of Zeltiva, and is also a major factor in its politics. It wields a high degree of power in the city, and organises many of the city's festivals and events.

Notable NPC's

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

University:

The Docks


Other Links

Information threads
Paragon's VBlogMore information on Zeltiva
Echelons VBlogEven MORE information on Zeltiva
Zeltiva Player's GuideZeltiva Player's Guide