Slaves of New Arkos
None who have seen it can think of New Arkos without envisioning its heights. Its sun-baked streets wind switchback paths down the bright cliffs, its steep stairs cut nearly vertical ascents between buildings, and its suspension bridges arc between earthmotes high overhead. Titanic pillars of stone rise from the sea to the level of the land above, and inscrutable hedrons hang suspended in air, inscribed with their impenetrable secrets all throughout New Arkos.
Arkos existed as a the capital of the Arkosian Empire over a thousand years ago. It was the crown jewel for the Dragonborn who called it home. While the city survived much during the war with the Tiefling empire of Bael Turath, Arkos met massive destruction as the result of a powerful ritual designed to wreak havoc on the Emperor’s throne. Having just achieved a massive victory over the last of the Turathi forces, the Arkosian military was welcomed home for honors and accolades. With the Emperor, the noble clans, the upper eschelon of the Arkosian military, and thousands of adoring citizenry in attendance, the final act of desperate Tiefling magic users ripped the city to shreds. This final act of the dying Turathi empire killed all in attendance, thus leaving the already weakened Arkosian Empire in ruin and the city of Arkos remained an empty shell for several centuries.
Arkos was just another dead empire’s tombstone dotting the desert landscape when a powerful Dragonborn warrior named Maddanock led his band of Griffin riding allies to the city. They cleared the city of monsters and undead mote by mote. Once cleared, New Arkos became a rallying point for Dragonborn far and wide looking for racial solidarity and a chance to rebuild a long lost empire. The presence of fresh water, easily defensible land, and Maddanock’s protection brought in settlers by the hundreds. Soon, the Kingdom of Arkosia was reborn.
The vibrant city-state lays claim to miles of surrounding desert and clings to the cliffs on the west side of the Dragon Sea.
Population: 78,000; another 9,000 live in the nearby countryside. Most citizens are Dragonborn: A large minority of elves and humans also live in the city.
Government: Queen Favmeena Redden has ruled New Arkos since the death of her long-live father. Four stewards control various aspects of the city, and together they can overrule the queen’s edicts. Dragonborn occupy all important roles of power in New Arkos. This is due to both the traditional political structure and outright prejudice.
Defense: The New Arkos defenses are divided between three corps: the Waveriders, the Ground Defense League, and the elite Crimson Sky Guard. These professional soldiers form the core of its armies and the city watch during peacetime. The reset of Arkosia’s military is conscripted from the population, although only a small number of non-Dragonborn are included in the conscript catalogs.
Taverns: The Dregs, The Hook and Eye, The Drunken Gull
Landscape: New Arkos sits on two facing cliffs over a river. Earthmotes and massive stalagmites sitting in the river provide gorgeous views of the Dragon Sea and form the Winged District. The cliff-sides are riddled with original catacombs and newly dug caves that adorn the switchback stairs carved into the walls. These protected homes and businesses form the Scaled District. The lower depths of the city are packed with the poorest residents of the city. Filled with harbors, fish markets, and run-down temples tending to the weak and sick, this area is called the Clawed District.
Unique Features: Along with the earthmotes, large octahedral pylons float throughout the city. These “hedrons” are covered in arcane runes. They range in size from twenty feet tall to one hundred feet tall. No one builds on these hedrons due to their dangerous nature. When a creature or object comes within a certain distance of a spire, it lashes out with a blast of fire, lighting, or some other kind of energy. The larger the hedron, the greater the distance that it lashes out. The residents of New Arkos are well aware of the spires’ danger and know to give them a wide berth.
New Arkos is ruled by a hereditary monarch who is advised by a council of four noble Dragonborn called the “Stewards.” The stewards are elected by the noble Dragonborn clans to serve for ten years. Magnol Withengar, the Iron Steward, manages the three military forces: the Waveriders (Navy), the Ground Defense League (Army), and the elite Crimson Sky Guard (drake riding airforce). These forces also serve as the local law enforcement during peacetime.
Tradrem Kethtrod, the Silver Steward, manages all the information that the kingdom must know to be secure. This steward heads a group of informants and spies both within and outside of the Kingdom of Arkosia. Only the ruling monarch and former Silver Stewards know the full extent of the size, means, and goals of the organizations under his control.
Crosis Gil, the Copper Steward, oversees the business of the realm. His agents deal with issues of taxation, gaining building rights for businesses, shipping permits, docking and caravan fees, price fixing and so on. If it has to do with money, the Copper Steward is likely involved.
Lehaya Chandrish, the Adamantine Steward, acts as lawgiver of New Arkos and the entire kingdom of Arkosia. Her appointed judges try the cases and the prosecutors that argue them owe their employment to the Steward.
The Infernal War
The most devastating event in the last century was the appearance of Mephistopheles, Archduke of the Eighth Layer of Hades in the material plane. Summoning devils by the legion, the Lord of Hellfire conquered and destroyed much of the known world. Even allying themselves with the powerful Eladrin city of Mithendrain, could not stem the tide of advancing devils. the desperate nation of Arkosia fought bravely for months, but were on the brink of abandoning the city in the face of the terrible onslaught when a mysterious city appeared from the desert. No one had heard of the Sharalian Dominion, but without asking for recompense, their paladins, battlepriests, psions, and monks brought the tide of evil to a standstill. The divinely protected forces evened the odds of the war, but still could not bring it to an end while the Archduke still roamed the earth. In a desperate attempt to destroy Mephistopheles, the combined forces of all the civilized nations made a final push to fight the Lord of Hellfire. Despite the bravery and skill of those warriors, the devil was simply too powerful. Defeat loomed ever closer when a lone human swordsman named Cervantes Malshear climbed up from the earth offering the nations to stop the war in exchange for a kingdom. Desperate for any help at all, the royal prince of Arkosia agreed to the terms. The swordsman then proceeded to fight Mephistopheles for three days before finally destroying the Archdevil. With their leader out of the way, the combined armies of humanity cleansed the remaining devils from the region. In the end, Malshear was given one of the Bleakmire Throneholds for his amazing deeds and has ruled there for the past fifteen years.