Negav's Middle Tier
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The middle Tier covers about thirty percent of Negav's surface area. Due to the city being located around and on top of a hill, the district is notably higher than its poorer counterpart. When you travel towards the center of Negav, you are almost always climbing, through stairs or sloping roads. Although “Middle Tier” implies that this area is where the majority of Negav's citizen live, it is in fact a rather well situated region, inhabited by comparatively wealthy people of the middle and upper class. Discrimination and racism is significant in this part of the city, with many doors staying locked ad paths barred for anyone who is not not entirely human, leading to resentment and sometimes tensions – particularly toward the authorities, whose presence is very visible.
Although the differences in quality of living are not that big between the wealthiest districts of the lower tier and the worst of zones of the middle tier, architecture differs significantly. In the middle tier, it seems to constantly shift its focus between practicality and design. Because space is such an important issue, most buildings of the middle tier have at least three floors. The architects designed wide open streets however, so the citizen don’t feel claustrophobic. Lots of buildings have also their first floor smaller than the upper floors in order to widen the streets even more and forming galleries. The walkways underneath the upper floors are typically filed with all sort of small shops. Overhanging upper floors are supported by pillars and long, narrow bridges spanning across the streets from other buildings, sometimes forming whole networks above the ground, with all sort of shops and facilities, almost like streets on top of streets. It looks as if every spaces and corners are being used but contrary to the lower district, design mattered a lot to the architects who were allowed to let their creativity roam free. Each of those little passageway, pillars and bridges are expertly decorated, making the middle tier of Negav a true sight to behold. Common everyday supply needs are included into that architecture, with long, winding aqueducts spanning from building to building, supplying the higher floors with fresh and clear water. Small parks are scattered around the middle tier, dotting the otherwise stale beige-brownish of the city with lush green patches and giving the place a lot of charm.
Unlike the lower Tier, the middle Tier cannot be divided as easily into clear cut zones, mostly because many important buildings are scattered throughout the place, with little need to chunk specific industrial sectors together. However, there still are some notable differences between areas.
Situated between the Ascarlin Road to the northwest and Ecala Street in the east, the northern section of the middle Tier serves as the primary bureaucracy district. While Negav is ultimately ruled by the magiocrat high council, the Scribe quarter is where the real, day-to-day management of the city happens. If you have paperwork to do in Negav, fill in a registration or create a guild, it’s probably the place where to go. Its easily accessible from any Tier in Negav, although the security inside is tight, with good reason considering the necessity of every organ of the city running smoothly. Patrols are numerous, guards are vigilant and suspicious, and towers bearing magic-amplifying crystals ensure a harmonic magical environment, making it easy for wizards and scholars alike to perform their spells, should the need arises. It is not entirely unlikely this network is being used to keep track of those who make use of magic as well. The Scribe Quarter is where the town hall, city administration, police headquarters and some of the larger banks are located. It enjoys a large traffic of Negavian citizen and off-worlders alike, and it is one of the fanciest looking district of Negav, with many ornaments, majestic statues and wall decorations, both painted or cut into stone. Many public offices are built above the ground in tall buildings, adding to their majesty and creating a certain sense of awe on the onlooker of the accomplishments of the human species for having build such wonders in a world as hazardous as Felarya.
Spanning from Ecala Street in the east all the way to Otanac Square in the southwest, the eastern sector of Negav's Middle Tier is dominated by residences, taverns and restaurants. Renting a small house or even a flat in a multi-floors building is the dream of many negavians, and with good reasons. Life here seems truly ideal : one will never run out of clean water, food is plenty and delicious and the streets are peaceful. Living in that quarter also means to be part of a small, privileged elite. Appearances and pretenses are important in this place and false images of perfect families are upheld, in order to look like someone who is rich enough to belong here and to not start to be rejected. The population is nearly entirely human, and, although some of the rich citizen living here are actually from the upper class of the criminal population, crime rate itself is kept low. The great majority of offenders stem from the lower tier district, coming from disenfranchised negavians trying to take their piece of the cake by force. The biggest issue of the district remains overpopulation though. Having most people of Negav striving to live here, it is very hard nowadays to find empty space anywhere. On top of that, the location of the quarter, in the heart of the city, makes it almost impossible to add more space to it in general. Lately, rents and real estate prices have reached an all-time high and keep climbing, creating their own source of tensions amidst this seemingly perfect district.
The western section of the Middle Tier, reaching from Ascarlin Road in the north to Otanac Square in the south, makes up the market district. It is by far the busiest place in the city, and during prime times some say it even overtake the amount of people in the northern Lower Tier. The market quarter is the best place for anyone who wish to spend their money, or to make some by working in one of the countless shops, service providers or entertainers. From food stores to jewelers, between carpenters and clothiers, artificers and magic schools, rare are the things that are not on offer here. Most of the off-world wares of Negav are found here, and it is not unusual for another world to have its own specialized store, much to the delight of those who originated from it but opted to live in Negav and are feeling homesick. Because Felarya is a crossroad world, connecting with so many other places throughout the multiverse, It makes the market a place of nearly limitless wonders with an incredibly rich array of products. Not just items, but also services can be found here, from mundane haircuts, beauty salons all the way to escort services and fortune telling (both frauds and genuine ones). It’s not uncommon to come across wares that are so exotic, one can’t tell what it is on the first glance.
Many people have their home in the market quarter, owning or renting flats in the upper floors of pretty much every building. Almost the entirety of what can be found on the ground floor is devoted for shops and stalls though. It comes as no surprise that this sector of the city is heavily patrolled by guards, in order to dissuade thieves and make sure not too many robberies, pick-pocketing and economic “misunderstandings” happen.
The Inner Wall
The Inner wall is part of Negav's defense. Much thinner than the outer walls and less heavily guarded, it remains a sight to behold nonetheless and is very effective at keeping potential trouble at bay. Multiple turrets and cannons are situated on various sections of the structure, manned even in times of peace and tranquility, and ready to strike down anything that might have, somehow, managed to cross the outer walls. The cannons come with varied formats and types. Some stand on small turrets and can rotate a full 180 degree, others point from plot-holes carved in the wall and only cover a limited angle. Regardless, there are enough of them to fire at anything between the inner and outer wall, should the need arise. If martial law is called upon by the magiocrat council, special contraptions within the wall can be opened, allowing the deployment of lower cannons, aiming downwards into the Lower Tier itself, to turn it into another line of defense should an enemy ever get that far. In order to prevent an atmosphere of constant threat and suppression however, those cannons are kept hidden and can only be seen in time of extreme crisis.
The Wall Gates are natural choke-points connecting the Lower and Middle Tier. Anyone wanting to enter the Middle Tier has to come through one of those 19 gates, unless they are able to sneak in using flight or to move through hidden underground passages. Each gates possess a massive and intimidating set of heavy doors. Depending on the size and importance of the gate, Some of them can even reach a 2 meters thickness. Some of those doors are made of stone, metal, wood, or a mix of those materials but all of them are magically reinforced, making them extremely resistant and almost impossible to break. Some legends claim no Middle Tier wall gates have ever been breached, even during the time of the great destruction, and any attackers would have an easier time breaching the actual walls to the left and right of the doors instead. It’s not true however and several of the doors were undoubtedly smashed during the mayhem of the great destruction, but the fact such legends exist in the first place is a testament to just how solid those doors are.
The Wall Gates are used as checkpoints by the local police, with at least six guards watching the access at any time of the day or the night. While the Middle Tier of Negav is officially accessible to any Negavian and most Off-worlders, in practice the guards act as gatekeepers and have the last say about whether one is allowed to enter the middle Tier or not and they won’t hesitate to question, search or ban anyone suspected of illegal intentions or prevent them based on more questionable grounds. Protocol requires one guard to be the shift leader being responsible for every person coming through, and at least one guard will usually be a mage, preferably with some mind-reading abilities. Although guards are rotating on a daily shift to prevent corruption, it is still relatively easy to enter the Middle Tier if one know the right persons to bribe. There is an undeniable difference in crime rate between the Middle Tier and even the safer regions of the Low Tier though, so the overall system works.
Safety is a very important theme to many Negavians living in the middle and higher tiers, as demonstrated by the amount of guards patrolling around. While security forces of the lower Tier are mostly responsible to ensure Negav's safety against threats coming from the outside and thus, are heavily militarized, security forces in the middle tier are more like a common police; They are trained in combat of course but their job require a lot more interaction with people, in order to maintain a proximity with the general population. Members of the police are well educated to get around all kinds of different cultures and species, and to be knowledgeable of their habits and abilities. The Police headquarters are situated not far away from the House of a Thousand Suns in the scribe Quarter.
It’s a large, imposing and rather stern structure standing at the crossroad of several important streets. It’s not particularly beautiful and looks much less fancy than most of the majestic and glittering buildings around it. In fact it looks remarkably like a fortress and, despite the absence of a moat, this is exactly what it is. The structure is made of old stones and carry an air of solemn solidity and stability. As soon as you pass the gates and the entrance hall, you enter a very large courtyard paved with worn out slabs, battered and eroded by thousands of steps on them throughout the years, huge, majestic columns and many guards patrolling among them, training or going about their business. circling the courtyard are all sort of offices, bureaus, archives an storage areas. Some modest decorations can be spotted in the courtyard, but all in all the building interior keep the stern, functional and imposing look of the outside.
Places of Interest
- 1 Overview
- 2 Defenses
- 3 Places of Interest
- 3.1 Sanctum of the Shining Star
- 3.2 House of a Thousand Suns
- 3.3 Venmys-Pieaug Library
- 3.4 The Negav Eye Journal
- 3.5 Grand Market District
- 3.6 Grand Market
- 3.7 Negav Academy of Science
- 3.8 Dayama theater
- 3.9 The Fringelis Star
- 3.10 Street of Red Flowers
- 3.11 Healers' Guild
- 3.12 Negav Baths
- 3.13 Elven District
- 3.14 The Lit Ciggy Bar
Sanctum of the Shining Star
The sanctum of the Shining Star is an ancient temple devoted to Minalca, the goddess of luck. Standing next to the Otanac square, the structure itself is not that impressive, and actually quite hard to spot among the massive hanging gardens and vegetation surrounding it. This place is very pleasant and quiet and many Negavians love to take a stroll through the gently shaded alleys. The temple and the gardens are open to all, but guarded discreetly by Keepers of Fortune, who are famous for being able to cast bad luck on those who trouble the serenity of the place. The only part that is closed to public is the Tomthumb city of Pelnepi.
House of a Thousand Suns
The House is the center of worship of the god Oth on Felarya. It's a massive, imposing building, with a large dome and even more massive spire. It's outsides are burnished with gold and carved with intricate patterns. The central, circular, Theater of Truth is where the preachers give their word to the masses of Felarya. However, the building works as much more than just a cathedral - within are the many offices and other facilities that the religious officials of Oth use to organize their Felaryan base. It is interesting to note that, while the building appears to be built of only stone, it has many highly technologically advanced devices and functions concealed within it. Rumors tell of an underground complex full of automated sentries guarding the secrets of the cult, as well as many facilities of questionable religious value such as barracks and training grounds. Paranoid Negavians also claim that the Othemites can spy on them from secret cameras located on the spire...
Danger: Very Low to Hazardous
Inhabitants: book wyrms
The Venmys-Pieaug Library of Negav is famous in many worlds for being probably the largest in the universe. Indeed, some mysterious and terrible accident occurred centuries ago, and caused the area this library is built on to become distorted. Thus, although the building looks unremarkable from the outside, there is in fact a large dimensional plane within. When you pass its doors, you enter a seemingly regular but vast library, with huge shelves stacked with books spanning as far as the eye can see. The further you go, the stranger the place becomes. Once you have gone beyond the "safe zone" (with guiding markers on the ground), and past the numerous warning signs, you truly enter a new world, a changing maze of shelves with vegetation made of paper. In some places, the shelves are ridiculously huge, resembling cliffs rather than shelves, and the alleys become as large as a canyon. The Venmys-Pieaug Library has a fauna of its own, very strange and unpredictable. Schools of wild, flying books will sometimes throw magic at you, or the carpet on which you walk will reveal itself to be... something else. It's rumored you can even find some dryads if you venture far enough; they somehow grew there and got used to reading books. Many mages believe the Library to be an ever self-expanding plane.
The Negav Eye Journal
A tall, oval-shaped building is the housing place of the Negav Eye, the best-selling newspaper in Negav, and probably in all of Felarya as well. The paper has been accused of relying on sensationalism to attract customers, publishing stories of crazy conspiracies, hidden treasures and dubious reports on predator behavior. It is also the only paper in Negav that will run stories on events outside of Negav... no other company is willing to go through that many employees each year. This work has paid off, as apparently some reporters have succeeded in actually getting interviews with predators! A very famous expedition was the horrific failure of an attempt to interview the Naga Anna Demorah.
Grand Market District
The Grand Market is just what it sounds like. Originally designed as a large city square, it became a place for merchants to sell their wares. As Negav grew and space disappeared elsewhere, soon merchants from all over the city, and from many worlds, started to flock here. Today it's a sea of merchant tents, stalls and pavilions. The buildings around the Market are also almost all shops of some sort, forming a large shopping district. Merchants there range from shady dealers selling exotic or suspicious wares on a carpet in the middle of the street, to small stands, to department stores housing a rich variety of products. Nearly anything can be bought or sold at the Market - from food to weapons, from magic items to household appliances, from amusing curiosities to bizarre relics. While there are smaller market districts scattered around and below Negav, the Grand Market outshines them all. One could spend years here and never truly see everything.
The heart of Negav's economy is the Grand Market, out-shadowing any other place of trade not just in Negav but in all known cities and settlements across Felarya. It’s a wide open space that once served as a large city square, where merchant started to gather, becoming progressively more and more numerous over the years. Today it has been turned permanently into a vast and colorful sea of of tents and stalls, ever busy, loud and pulsating with life at any hours of the day or the night. The Grand market is the busiest place of Negav, with countless merchants from many worlds offering their wares to the endless stream of potential customers walking through. Anyone can trade here, as long as they possess a table to display their goods. In such a busy place, crimes such as theft and pickpocketing, are commonplace. It’s very easy for the trained trickster to show up, commit their misdeed and quickly disappear within the sea of busy people and voices filling the entire plaza with a permanently high noise level. Policemen patrol the public square to the best of their capabilities, but the plaza is, most of the time, as busy as an anthill. Finding someone specific amidst the unending flow of walking people is about as likely as finding one’s way out of Tenebra maze with a single set of matches.
Negav Academy of Science
The largest and oldest theater in Negav. It's a massive structure standing in the middle of a plaza along the Avenue of Heroes, guarded by two imposing statues marking its main entrance. Its facade is built of Pyralite, ornamented with a number of sculptures and moldings, giving it a monumental and grandiose aspect. The interior is richly decorated in Neo-Sagolian style with majestic flights of stairs, opulent painted ceilings, carved alcoves and fresco representing Felaryan mythology. The auditorium has a large stage, and many rows of seats. Several levels of balconies overlook the arena, usually frequented by nobles and the upper class of the city. Even higher are a couple of separated boxes offering an impregnable view of the stage. They are considered the most prestigious places in the whole theater and usually only seat a handful of people such as dignitaries, kings or magiocrats. A wide exit hall leads to several large rooms, allowing the movement of crowd of people and offering space for socializing and relaxing during intermission.
The Dayama theater is a thriving center of culture in Negav that pride itself in hosting a wide array of events from all around the universe, from chorus and drama to exotic Qesjhatams stilted dances, Korchielan puppetry, choreographed combat ballets, and Rosic orchestras. It showed the performance of famous figures like the Nemesis danser Tey Moonsong, famous composers like Ochibal, Umoskeli, and Karmana and the Kiggstragan royal troupe. It stands as a symbol of Negav's prosperity and wealth.
The Fringelis Star
The Fringelis Star is the biggest bar where non-humans gather in Negav, many of them being frown upon in other drinking establishments. It's a strange, exotic, and rather shady place, where you could find the very rare hybrids such as nagas inhabiting Negav, a group of Nemesises musicians playing strangely captivating tunes with their complex instruments, some alien races from far away worlds, and the occasional neko. Humans are not exactly welcome in the Fringelis Star, although a few of them can be seen occasionally, when they have business. At the first sign of making trouble though, they are politely but firmly pushed out by Bolde Klastoon the bartender, a hulking colossus with four arms, a wide and friendly grin, and enough strength to bend a steel bar with one hand.
The Street of Red Flowers is a long avenue in Negav that has become the city's foremost entertainment districts. It's a like a little city within the city, with its own set of rules and culture, made of a strange mix of elegance, beauty, depravity and decadence.
The Healers' Guild serves as Negav's main hospital, providing care to the sick and wounded as well as those who have fallen prey to a curse or ran afoul of baleful magic.
The Baths of Negav are housed in a large, tall building that straddles the Higher and Middle Tiers. It is noted for its beautiful stonework, on both the exterior and large interior chamber. Inside are a multitude of pools, of varying temperatures and sizes, where Negavians can pay to come to relax. Large windows and skylights give the place an open atmosphere with lush vegetation. The most impressive part of the building is the Waterfall - it tumbles from the Upper Baths, where the wealthier Negavians frequent, down into the lower pools, making a jaw-dropping centerpiece.
Though many elves won't admit it outright, the city of Negav, with its formidable defense, is often much safer than their smaller settlements. However, used to living in their tight-knit communities, elves are uncomfortable living so close to other races, and the styling of Negav is distasteful to many. Because some of the most powerful native mages working with the Magiocracy are elves, they pushed for a circular district in the city to be made theirs. Thus, the Elven District can be best described as a city within the city. It is surrounded in a circle by a wall, clearly marking its boundaries. Inside, the architecture is definitely elven and the area seems to be comprised of just as much gardens as buildings. It creates a beautiful combination between the natural, the artificial and the magical, with many buildings almost entirely covered by the greenery. It is also a self-sufficient community, with its own hospitals, restaurants, banks and law enforcement in the form of the Keepers of the Law. Elves are allowed to travel where they want in Negav (if they wanted to) but members of other races must get a permit to visit the Elven District. The Negav Police are only allowed to arrest someone there if they committed a crime outside its border.
The Lit Ciggy Bar
- Credits goes to Silenteric for the Lit Ciggy Bar, to Jaette-troll and Shady-Knight for the Grand market idea, and to Jaette-troll for the House of thousands suns, Negav eye journal, the bath, and Elven district, and to Melancholy-Melody 13 for the Venmys-Pieaug Library.