Alom Vilag

Alom Vilag is a small Southern nation located on the coast between Chiaroscuro and the border of the Varang City-States. This nation is known for two things: its fine porcelains and its rich purple dye. Its potters take the kaolin clay from the Razek cliffs that separate Alom Vilag from Chiaroscuro to craft the fine porcelain that is sold as far off as Nexus and the Imperial City. Likewise, its coasts boast the rare murex conch, which are used to make a fine purple dye coveted through Creation.

Alom Vilag is known for its obedience to the Guild. Over a century ago, the şah (King) of Alom Vilag granted the Guild the right to build a set of border stations along the border of Alom Vilag and the Varang City-States.
Part of the Guild's intention, however, was to provide a site for the sale of opium to those brave enough to sell the drug in the Varang City-States where it is illegal. Unfortunately, as a result of the ample supply of opium, many of the citizens became addicted to the substance.

When the şah and his mandarin-eunuchs made the drug illegal, the Guild retaliated economically. This began a series of escalations that led to armed conflict between the military and the Guild; unfortunately, due to draconian measures on the part of the government, and deliberate propaganda and goodwill efforts towards the citizenry by the Guild, the Guild had the support of the populace, forcing the king to capitulate.

Today, Alom Vilag is peaceful but nowhere near as prosperous as it once was. The number of opium addicts is still fairly high, though the Guild sells a relatively weak mixture, so as to prevent completely crippling the nation's ability to produce the coveted porcelain and dye.

Because the quality of the porcelain has lowered, and the amount of dye reduced, the Guild is capable of selling the truly finest examples for astronomical sums elsewhere, in trade for relatively low-grade opium.

Though the king and the mandarin-eunuchs sponsor programs to help their citizenry break their addiction, they dare not anger the Guild as risk ruining their economy or worse — fomenting a full-scale revolution, backed by the financial and military might of the Guild.

The royal family bears the surname Vilag, and has ruled the nation since time outside of memory. Though the nation sends regular tribute to the Realm, it does not warrant more than the occasional visit by a bureaucrat every twenty years or so.

The king is aided in his governance by a council of mandarins. Part of the nation's ability to resist the influence of Exalted and gods lies with these mandarins, all of whom are the god-blooded children of the six small gods worshipped by the people of Alom Vilag.

By ancient compact with the royal house, these gods have the ability to sway the course of the nation through these mandarins. However, in order to prevent the establishment of divine bloodlines that might come to rival the king's for power — or worse, breed into and usurp the royal line — each of these god-blooded advisors must be a eunuch.

Vilag is the largest of the settlements of Alom Vilag, Vilag also is the only true city; most of the other settlements are towns that rarely exceed 20,000 people. Many of the settlements of Alom Vilag are cliff-towns, with homes bored into the cliff-faces.

Vilag (Pop. 95,000):
The city of Vilag is surrounded by a high wall, said to have been crafted by the Six Gods of Alom Vilag. Crafted as a hexagram, the wall itself is has towers at its corners. In the center of each of these walls is a temple to one of the Six Gods that also functions as a gateway into the city. The middle of the city features another hexagram wall, this one surrounding Vilag Keep.

The city is divided into six neighborhoods, referred to as Chambers and dedicated to one of the Six Gods. The first of these is Footstep's Chamber, dedicated to One Hundred Footsteps, the god of caravans and the roads of Alom Vilag. Merchants and traders usually make the markets of this Chamber their main destination, and Footstep's Chamber is where most of the inns and similar locales can be found. Unlike the rest of Vilag City, no one even really notices outlanders here.

Blade's Chamber is dedicated to Blade of Absolution, a local goddess of battle — specifically, of battle with the halberd. The soldiers of Alom Vilag are known for their skill with this weapon, and this Chamber contains mainly military and the sorts of places that cater to fighting men, from large barracks for rent for traveling mercenary companies to schools of fighting and weapon merchants.

Dowager's Chamber is dedicated to the Dowager Shurija, a small goddess of proper bureaucratic interaction, and the timely application of paperwork. An opulent god, he is also something of a patron god to the wealthy of Alom Vilag and his Chamber is where most of the fine, rich homes of the city's elite can be found. There are a variety of parks and other such pleasure places scattered between the rich estates found here.

Benediction's Chamber is dedicated to Thankful Benediction, a god of prostitution and joyful sexual relations. His temple is renowned for its sacred whores, who induct young men and women into adulthood at the proper time, taking their virginity and instilling in them a respect for lovemaking. There are many pleasure-houses, taverns and similar places to be found here. Many healers and herbalists also make their homes here.

Midnight's Chamber is dedicated to Surreptitious Midnight Gesture, a god of pickpockets and sleight of hand. He is also the defacto god of the poor, because most merchants and wealthy folks refuse to live in his Chamber, so it has developed into something of the city's slum, where those who can afford to live nowhere else live. It is customary in Alom Vilag to carry a pouch that is easily accessible to pickpockets, offering up the little bit of wealth within in return for being left alone. This doesn't always work, however; those who put little in those pouches (or worse, who've already been pick-pocketed) are likely to have their other goods swiped. Thieves in the city are expected to tithe properly, and those who come to the temple of Surreptitious Midnight Gesture may be coming to beg alms from the tithes or to pay their theft-tithe. There is no real way of knowing, and the dark-clad priesthood will not identify who does what in the small, private chambers they meet with the faithful in.

Shaper's Chamber is dedicated to Ulranis the Shaper, the local god of pottery and dye-making, as well as the defacto City Father of Vilag City (though that position is coveted by Shurija). This Chamber of the city is where most of the craftsmen of the city dwell and sell their wares.

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