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The People's City of Yurette is a large independent city on the southern coast of Zazriel that comprises the bay of Rastolk and surrounding farmland. Located at the mouth of the large river, Akina, Yurette is a center for trade in southern Zazriel. Much of the trade flowing from inner kingdoms to the north flows through Yurette. Ruled by twelve elected individuals on a council called the People's Vanguard, Yurette is one of the few democracies on the continent. Yurette is the de facto capital of the Zazriel Res Publica, a federation of city-states in southern Zazriel.

The origins of Yurette's peculiar form of governance and trade is said to have originated with its founder, Conditor. In 12 YM, Conditor and his wife, Conditrix, had one dozen children and, from these children, it is said that the entire population of Yurette is descended. The immortal Conditor lived long enough to see the population of Yurette rise to 120,000. To his horror, it was nothing like the small village he remembered where no one had needs and everyone cared for one another. In 2,821 YM, Conditor went on a rampage through the city, killing the entire government of Yurette and replacing it with its current system. Conditor then died, having created 12 weapons to be wielded by the People's Vanguard to maintain peace, abundance, independence, and prosperity not just for Yurette, but everywhere his descendents live.

History

Pre-Fall of Haven

Before the Fall of Haven, local legend says Yurette was a small village with a population of no more than one hundred. Given the climate and region, they likely lived mostly on fish, basic gardening, and small-game hunting. Despite the advantageous location for trade, the Akina river was sparsely populated with villages no larger than Yurette dotted along its length. The village had a peculiar system of running things akin to a democracy. These ancient Yurites decided how to run their village based on popular vote and had a democratically elected mayor who acted both as judge and the village elder.

On an unknown date, a hulking figure walked into the village. At over three and a half meters tall, the figure dwarfed even the strongest village warriors. He continued through the center of the village to the bay where, after wading deep into it, grabbed a large squid. He dragged the struggling beast into the village and, after slaying it, he ate the squid. The confused villagers tried to communicate with the man but he did not understand them or any language for that matter. He stayed with the villagers for years, learning their language, helping them to hunt and catch fish, and defending them from bandits. Eventually, they would name him "Conditor."

Destruction of Old Yurette

After Conditor learned the language, bonded with the people, and became a trusted member of their village, the worst came to pass. The Fall of Haven meant a planet-encompassing genocide of its Mythra people of which Yurette was a part. A single soldier, wielding technology thousands of years more advanced than the villagers, slaughtered the entire population. Try as he might, Conditor could do nothing to stop the soldier. Invulnerable to the soldiers attacks, however, Conditor continued attempting to stop the lone soldier until the soldier grew bored and left the area far faster than even Conditor could run.

Defeated, broken, and empty, Conditor returned to find his village destroyed. Some were burned to death, others killed using magic, and still others put to death by the sword. He cried out, a cry so loud that several of the invading soldiers came to see the ruinous village. After finding nothing of note besides Conditor, the soldiers tried to use him as target practice, laughing at his misfortune. Their laughing increased as tears rolled down his face, first of water, then of blood.

Within moments, Conditor was upon them. Ripping one in half, quickly converting their laughter into screams. The legend ends with the soldiers concluding he was not a Mythra and not worth the trouble. They fled before the now much stronger Conditor could reach them.

Early Post-Fall Yurette

The legends skip in time until 12 YM, the traditional date of the formation of new Yurette. Conditor found a wife, sometimes simply called "a Mythra" and sometimes called "Conditrix," implying she is of the same kind as Conditor. With her, Conditor fathered 12 children that, like Conditor, possessed exceptional abilities. With time, however, they would die, unlike Conditor. As time went on, their descendants would go on to be identical to Mythra in terms of physical abilities.

These descendants would continue living in a humble village until a sudden population explosion in about 231 YM. At once, the population went from about 250 to over 2,500, a ten-fold increase. Conditor, only ever interacting with his children, spent this time in a daze. He hardly noticed as the population increased.

Later, as Yurette grew large enough to warrant needing a city wall, an increasing number of bandits began attacking the city. Conditor spent his days repelling even small armies bent on conquering the village. At one point, he spent over a year laying waste to a small kingdom that managed to kill a few dozen of the member of the village. The area of the destroyed kingdom, about 100 kilometers from Yurette, still exists to this day, mostly just as the ruined foundations of houses and exceptionally salty earth that most plants cannot tolerate.

Kingdom of Yurette

Yurette eventually became a monarchical society just like its neighbors. By around 312 YM, it had become a formidable nation. It began training elite soldiers befit of a city with no walls. The Kingdom has a fearsome reputation for barbarity and armies fled at the sight of Conditor who, with enough prodding, could be made to join the army in an attack on neighboring nations.

At the age of 7, every member of the population became subject to harsh training in schools. Boys and girls alike would, at first, be taught things such as gymnastics and calisthenics. Additionally, hand-to-hand combat and basic competency with a spear was taught in case of invasion. At 17, each would be subjected to a test of strength. For the strongest, they would move on to become soldiers in the army. For the average, it would mean becoming a laborer, fisherman, or farmer. The weakest were simply thrown onto the street and, if lucky, could find a job somewhere.

The population of Yurette became fierce, strong-willed, and difficult to defeat. Never once was Yurette captured thanks to this system. Upon age 30, those in the military received citizenship and could vote. The King himself was an elected official that, if incompetent, would be voted out of office. Resisting the system usually meant a swift end.

With time, the Kingdom of Yurette became feared across southern Zazriel, most known for their brutal subjugation of the nearby kingdoms. They took pride in not relying on Conditor for every military victory, later making a point to never take him with the armies. By 545 YM, it had captured a massive slave population from nearby kingdoms. It was the first kingdom to institute chattel slavery based on race. The Yurites believed themselves to be superior to their neighbors, thus justifying this practice.

Creation of the United Guilds of Yurette

The Kingdom carried on until 912 YM when Conditor finally looked around his city. He saw the brutal treatment of slaves, the poor trampled, the weak cast aside, and saw many starving. This was nothing like the small village he once knew. After seeing one of his descendants beat a slave simply for the sake of it, Conditor let out a cry of anger and grief. Once again, his eyes began to weep tears of his rose-gold-colored blood. At once, all of his descendants wept similar tears. Conditor, in his rage, began to kill those with significant power in the city. Generals, business owners that treated slaves poorly, wealthy individuals, and the king all died. Covered in the shiny pink blood of his descendants, Conditor continued his rampage through the military. Not even their strongest soldiers lasted even a minute against his fury.

After several hours of rampage, dozens of destroyed buildings, and thousands of deaths. Conditor began giving a speech to the poor, the enslaved, and the disabled. To those brutalized by the system they had no choice but to participate in. He gave a vision for society, a vision which would return Yurette to its days as a village. No one went hungry, all cared for one another, and all were free to live as they saw fit. People fished, worked, and farmed not just for their own survival but for the survival of the whole village. After stating his vision, a large portion of Yurette began following Conditor in his quest to restore Yurette to its former glory.

After forming what is known as a "guild," a democratically operated organization, called "The Vanguard Guild," the people began to reshape society. It was not good enough that only citizens could vote for the leader, everyone could. It was not enough that the government was democratic, all institutions had to be. Everything, from farms to bakeries and fisheries to mines would be ran by those who worked there. After declaring that the Vanguard Guild would be the ones tasked with maintaining this newly created society, Conditor entered a state of inactivity.

From there, the United Guilds of Yurette (UGY) formed. Its territory fell greatly due to a mandate by the Vanguard Guild and the massive shrinkage of its military made an expansive kingdom impossible. Slaves were immediately freed and granted equal rights, the blood test to determine Yurite ancestry was abolished, and private ownership of land was abolished. All land became owned by the state as the Vanguard Guild became more organized.

Military Expansion

After becoming the first republic in its region, Yurette's relations soured with most of the minor kingdoms once under the Kingdom of Yurette's imperial influence. In 916 YM, the Vanguard Guild held its first elections. Vin Sanctra became the first leader of the Vanguard. He began a campaign of conquest to spread Yurette system to its enemies, which the electorate viewed as a noble goal.

Every village that was conquered was forcibly collectivized, often with great death tolls. Peasants using stone-age methods for farming were gathered into one place, given modern Yurite steel plows created by the state, and forced to produce food. After gathering this food, Yurette would export the crops to neighboring regions. Using the money accumulated, Yurette expanded its army, navy, and began investing heavily in the study of magic.

Magocratic Era

With the introduction of magic to Yurette, a two-tiered society quickly formed. Those who could not use magic simply continued living their lives as workers while those who could had far more prospects. The Vanguard Guild gradually became filled with magic-users. By the time the last founding member of the Guild died in 549 YM, the United Guilds of Yurette was entirely controlled by mages.

At this point, southern Zazriel was mostly devoid of strong cities to rival Yurette. The UGYs population, including its outlying possessions of over 500 square kilometers and the main city, was over 500,000. Of these 500,000 souls, roughly one percent could use magic. After a census divulged this data in 951 YM, the government began an initiative to solidify its rule over the region. Every city, town, and even village would have a mage act as "Chancellor." This mage, if need be, could suppress rebellion long enough for the military or, later, other members of the Vanguard Party itself, to arrive.

To prevent mages from rebelling, a genius system was devised. Magic research was a time-consuming process that required hundreds of workers to create expensive scrolls, often yielding no results for months at a time. As such, it could only be conducted in the capital or, later, other large cities within the UGY. All magic research was done under the watchful eye of the most loyal of the party officials. Random villages could never produce magical research of any kind which, under normal circumstances, would cause mages stationed there to fall behind their peers. Mages receive new spells in exchange for loyalty, which were staggered to be released four times per year. Were a mage to rebel, they would quickly fall behind and end up easily defeated by the retaliating army.

Yurite Ascension

After another 100 years, the UGY expanded to contain two more major cities, Yuopolis and Masmov, which they renamed to Yoaatte and Shiinette. After gaining control of these population centers in the mid 1600s YM, the population of Conditor's descendants, the ethnicity Yurite not the nationality, exploded. Intermarrying with those of different descent was not seen as a bad thing; in fact, it was encouraged as a way to create more workers to further Yurette's strength.

The UGY controlled almost all of southern Zazriel, had a population well over one million, a staggering number only one thousand years after the Fall of Haven. This explosive population growth is largely thanks to an emphasis on healing magic amongst the mages, with over half of all mages capable of only healing. These mages were forced by the state to offer their services for free to keep the population healthy, causing the mages only to heal the young only if standard medical treatment could not. A similar pattern of explosive population growth is seen in every nation that masters magic. Given the UGY's head start, it was able to drastically outnumber enemies.

The Middle Calamity

This period of prosperity would not last, however. After about 500 years of this Yurite Ascension, a period known as "The Middle Calamity" began. It began with the Rabuka War, a war between the Yurites and the underwater species called the Rabuka. For decades, The UGY had been raiding Rabukan shallow-water farms for crops and materials. Eventually, the Rabukan monarchy would declare war on the UGY. Using various magics unknown to the UGY, Rabukan soldiers were able to enchant themselves to breath in the air, allowing for an invasion onto land. Over ten thousand soldiers flowed out of the bay into the capital city. The conflict claimed the lives of thousands and caused over a fifth of Yurette to burn. The other cities within the UGY managed to push the Rabuka out of Yurette, only narrowly defeating their mages.

For the next decade, Yurette was cut off from ocean-based trade as the bay of Rastolk was rendered unusable. With this, Yurette's economic power dried up. The other major cities, Shiinette in particular, were entirely capable of self-sufficiency, causing a rift between them and Yurette. Eventually, the war would end as Yurette unlocked the ability to give its soldiers water-breathing but only after sustaining heavy losses. Even after these losses, Yurette attempted to annex the Kingdom of the Rabuka, collectivizing as they went. Obviously, the peasants were not fine with this and they soon rebelled, causing even more resources to be sunk into the conflict.

Yurette fell behind as its sister cities, by this point just as Yurite as Yurette, gained influence. By 1,800 CE, the majority of people lived outside of Yurette's limits, a first for the UGY and a huge blow to its stability. Even so, the Vanguard Guild's officials would continue behaving with impunity. In 1,809 CE, Yurette rallied the forces of the entirety of the UGY to lay siege to the island of Ado. Ado was a very strategic location that could be used to mount an effective offense onto southern Zazriel or blockade it. The Vanguard Guild decided that this island was too important to leave in the hands of its hostile inhabitants.

In 2,120 YM, the UGY began its conquest of Ado. Facing stiff resistance from the native inhabitants, Yurette would end up facing numerous raids from Corvus-riding raiders from Ado. Even so, in 2,134 YM, the last of the island was conquered and colonists were sent to establish proper cities on Ado. The native nomads' numbers continued declining until almost everyone on the island was ethnic Yurite only a few hundred years later. Before then, however, the UGY faced a debt crisis. They had borrowed large amounts of gold and electrum from the Eastern Union to finance the conflict.The Vanguard Guild was forced to massively cut back on spending, allowing numerous villages on the peripheries to end up falling to outside raiders and tribes.

Outside Influence

As Haven became more globalized and international trade increased dramatically, Yurette became a center of economic action in the UGY. Trade flowing down the Akina river for other places, usually the Eastern Union, had to pass through Yurette. The small tariffs from this added up and in the, at first moneyless economy, made the tariffs impractical as they were simply portions of goods being taken. Money, called "Libras," would eventually be phased in. Official state doctrine said that they only existed to facilitate trade and that the UGY was still a socialist nation. In 2,202 YM, Yurette began exalting the merchant class. The Vanguard Guild stated that the merchant class was the "distributor of essential goods" and "necessary for any state to function."

Shortly thereafter, the first "Dictator" came into power. The ongoing debt crisis technically qualified as an emergency, allowing for the Guild's leader to declare themself Dictator indefinitely. In an even more unprecedented move, the Dictator, named Ivus Ophiuchus, stated that his son, Ivus II, would be the next Dictator, effectively creating a monarchy. The rest of the guilds would become a sort of aristocracy in which the aristocrats did not control land, but industries.

Geography

Yurette is the southernmost city on the main landmass of Zazriel as well as the largest city therein. It is one hundred kilometers north of the island of Ado and the nearest major population center to the city is the city of Yoaatte. The Akina River, flowing from the Starmiin Mountains to the north, provides nearly all of the water for the city and the agriculture around it. Yurette exists mostly on arable land with the exception being sandy soil on the southern end of the city as one approaches its beaches. Consequently, the largest structures of Yurette are located in-land where strong foundations can be built.

Rastolk bay is a deep water bay with a small atoll near the center, forcing ships to use the sides of the bay as they make their way to Yurette's port. The atoll is a part of the City of Yurette and hosts a monument called Conditor's Fist built to recognize the city's founder. The project required accelerating the growth of the coral around the island using alchemy to support the impressive weight of the structure.

The originally somewhat hilly area of Yurette has been largely flattened over the 2,000 years that the city has been very large. Much of the earth excavated was used for land reclamation in the bay. Today, much of the city lies on land that did not originally exist. Due to the fairly common storms that can ravage southern Zazriel, there exist several dykes protecting Yurette from storm surges. These dykes took over three centuries to complete, are reinforced using hardened Yurite Steel, and are consistently patrolled in case of attack. Many of them are still being repaired from damage sustained in the All's Rule War.

Buildings

Most of the tallest buildings in Yurette, those over 10 meters tall, are reinforced with Yurite Steel, allowing for heights of up to 100 meters. The tallest building in Yurette is known simply as "The Commons," a 100-meter tall tower housing 8 of the 12 elected leaders of Yurette at a time. On four sides of the hexagonal tower, there are steam-powered crossbows with range just large enough to strike outside of the city. Called "The Batteries," these four colossal apparatuses have been essential for warding off unwelcome ships in the bay or invaders on land. Atop The Commons is a meeting place for the leaders of every city in the Zazriel Res Publica.

Other notable structures include the "Stadia," a series of large structures used for public debate, events, and elections. The largest of which, called "Stadium Primum," can hold over 10,000 people and is the site of numerous speeches, events, games, and even public executions. Accompanying the Stadia are large market-places where goods are distributed and luxury items are traded.

One of the most important buildings in Yurette is the Institute of Magical Research which, despite the name, is also used for the studying of science. The scientific method, while scorned in many places on the continent, was accepted in Yurette relatively early on, allowing this institution to be one of the first of its kind on Zazriel. From this building came most of Yurette's recent advancements in science, magic, and especially alchemy, in which the institute specializes. The building, the largest by volume in all of Southern Zazriel, is also the site of the first "Fabricae," which was specialized in steal production. Numerous other Fabricae have since popped up, collectively owned and modeled after the Institute's.

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