The Pillars of Heaven
Neysiris is the Jewel of the East, the most prosperous and cultured city in the Empty Earth. Built around a sprawling port that takes in ships from across the world, Neysiris is built in a motte-and-bailey fashion, with the poorest regions of the city gathered around the port, and the most wealthy atop the walled hill that surrounds the highest points. A city of narrow, winding streets and crumbling beauty, Neysiris combines wonder and decadence into one gently decaying package.
The city is run by an oligarchy: a council of members from the Sodality, the Preservers League, the Arcane Academy, and the Pillars. Political impasse is common, and disagreements have grown steadily more destructive as disagreements spill into street violence and quiet assassination.
The Sodality, the powerful trade guild, has lost sight of everything but profit, and seeks to squeeze every last ducat from the city’s residence. The Pillars desire to expand and exploit the knowledge of past centuries for future profit, while the Preservers League hope to contain that same knowledge and study or exhibit it. The Arcane Academy, meanwhile, seeks to uncover the arcane secrets extant in the world, rather than trying to rebuild ancient technology. These ideologies frequently clash, and with just too little to go around, the city’s infrastructure is slowly falling to pieces.
Great wealth still moves through Neysiris, however, and for those with privilege and power, it is likely the most comfortable place in the Empty World one could live. Blue-roofed townhouses and tenements line the narrow cobbled streets. At night, gas lamps cover the city in an orange glow, made more beautiful by the mysterious fog that surrounds the walls. Fountains and statues of figures both new and ancient decorate the piazzas and squares. The fountains sometimes run dry, and the statues are sometimes covered in bird droppings and dirt, but there is still beauty left.