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Kortiki is a town situated deep in the Fairy kingdom. It's large by fairy standards and represents a rare exception in Felarya. Indeed, for some mysterious reason, the place was declared neutral ground long ago and thus, even though it's a fairy town, it's a relatively safe place for a human to visit or live in. Theories abound on the reasons for this, but when you ask a fairy, all you will get in reply is that eating a guest is "rude and not nice at all!" You could still end up in the belly of a fairy if you do something very stupid though, such as committing a crime or stealing the wares of a merchant for example. But as long as you don't act really foolishly, the risk of being eaten is very low. Some humans and nekos have been living in this safe haven for dozens of years without any problem.
The town is a peaceful, colorful, noisy, and beautiful place. Nature is everywhere with some houses built directly inside hollow trees and lianas and vines creeping their way inside. Many fairies seem fascinated by human architecture and some have tried to build vague replicas of the houses the human inhabitants of Kortiki have built for themselves. Some fairies take an even easier route and decide to elect permanent residence inside a human's house, often much to the dismay of the owner. If a fairy moves into your home, you can expect things to get lively and "fun" very fast! Some fairies have taken a liking to domestic appliances, and unaware of (or disregarding) their original purpose, prefer to live inside chests of drawers, clocks, or even pianos.
The Kortikian culture is an odd and unique blending of the original fairy culture and of that brought by humans over the years. Artists of all sorts are highly regarded in Kortiki and the city is full of painters, poets, and musicians. On some rare occasions, rosic nekos coming from the other side of the continent make their way here as well. Kortiki is also a great place to visit if you seek old, rare books as fairies are fond of reading and the town possesses several libraries.
Living among fairies
For a human, neko, or elf, living right in the midst of fairies is a strange and sometimes unnerving experience. One have to be pretty open-minded and patient for sure, and holding a certain fondness or fascination for fairies in the first place will also help you to not turn crazy. Fairies have very little sense of privacy and won't hesitate to invade your home and play pranks. You also can't completely shake the feeling that those friendly creatures remain fearsome predators and that, should you have met them first in different circumstances in the wild, many of them would have seen little wrong in shrinking you and happily gobbling you down as a snack. It's interesting to note that on the fairy side, some of them find it highly difficult to live alongside humans on a daily basis as well. They find their materialism hard to cope with, making them eager to spend more time away in the forest than in the town in some instances.
On the bright side, fairies treat their "guests" well and they are probably the best revelers in all Felarya. A big fairy party is something you'll never forget! Overall, living among fairies makes for a relatively good life and most humans inhabitants seem content with their condition. Unions between humans and fairies are not uncommon either. Moreover, after years of spending time with them, knowledge of how their mind work, their quirks and little details are second nature to humans from Kortiki. Thus, they would be much less helpless when encountering a fairy in the middle of the jungle, than say a Negavian, as they naturally interact better with them. Even if far away from Kortiki or the Fairy kingdom, they would have a real chance at talking their way out of trouble and even get the fairy to help them.
That relation is mutually beneficial. Non-fairy inhabitants live in safety, while they can help fairies solve some of their problems. For example, a group of humans would have no trouble whatsoever in clearing a bush of feyweed, while fairies would be likely to suffer casualties. It's interesting to note that fairies don't really see sizes as relevant, so they will deal with tinies in Kortiki just as they do with its humans inhabitants. If, for whatever reasons, a human wishes to leave Kortiki, they are free to do so, and to use a portal leading to central Felarya in the Forest of whispers. If they had friend among fairies, they could easily ask to be escorted to safety.
Reaching Kortiki is very difficult and perilous, as it is situated deep in the core of the kingdom. You have little hope of making it there through normal means if you don't know a fairy who can transport you there. There is however a portal leading directly to it in the Forest of whispers, situated west of the Lake of illusions. It's well hidden though and a canopy fairy dwells on top of it, just next to a Dryad. Their job is to guard the passage and eat any trespasser who doesn't know the password. The fairy usually lay some belly traps just before the gate, while the dryad can communicate with another dryad in Kortiki so they are warned when people are expected through and the traps can be deactivated. They can also quickly close the portal if necessary.
Kortiki is little known across Felarya. In many places, the mere notion of a city where fairies and humans live together in harmony, would be ridiculous and quickly dismissed as mere tales. However Kortiki do engage in trade with a few other settlements, and this includes Negav. Of course trade with Negav is very low-key and discrete as Negavian authorities would look very dimly on any form of contact with a fairy town, at last officially. However, a quiet rumor among traders suspects that some of the magiocrats do know of these activities, and that they turn a blind eye to it. After all, Kortiki offers a wide variety of interesting commodities, such as rare plants grown only in the fairy kingdom with a variety of uses from alchemy, potion crafting, or even just for rare and exotic dishes. It largely remains a secret though. As for the Negavian traders, they know how fond of books fairies are and will mostly trade them, along with various intriguing trinkets.
Thus, every now and then a caravan from Kortiki will quietly settle in the jungle relatively near Negav. From there the Kortiki traders will meet with their contact in the city and invite them to the caravan to conduct the trade, usually as a barter, under the protection of several giant-sized fairies who are here to prevent any outside interference. The goods are then transported back to Kortiki, with the help of those fairies.
Kortiki trade mainly in plants, seeds, dyes,
The city is headed by a sage on the fairy side. She acts as a mayor of sorts, but her role is rather informal. She gives her opinion on various matters and the fairies usually follow her guidance. Disagreements are handled like fairies do : by an open and frank discussion. Non-fae species are represented by an elected leader, most of the time human as they are the most numerous in the city after fairies. The two work together to keep things running smoothly.
Kortiki have a few apparent guards who patrol the place rather nonchalantly, mostly for dissuasion and to give a sense of security to the non-fairy inhabitants. Their presence is largely symbolic though. Should the necessity arise, the real defense of Kortiki is handled by a group of volunteers of all species who are well trained and would instantly drop whatever they are doing to come together and defend the place.
Technology in Kortiki is low level and the magic ability among humans from Kortiki is more prevalent than in most others places. Firstly because the Fairy kingdom is a region highly saturated in magic in general but also because using magic is seen as common practice; so it encourages people more to develop it themselves. The close relationship with fairies can also result in hybrids who are natural magic users.
- Credits to Stabs for ideas to develop Kortiki town and to the forum for fleshing it out.