Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for: Koyr and Ak'koyr (#AtoZchallenge)

Situated on the western Gulf of Camac, only a few days’ sail from the capital, Koyr was the third-largest city in the empire. It was primarily a shipbuilding center. Lumber from Vlis was floated down the Vliskoyr River to Koyr, providing a ready supply of raw materials. (On the southern coast, Stolevan was supplied by forests along the Wide River.)

Koyr’s distinctive features were the Iron Gate (a great treasure) and the acropolis just outside the city. Built on a high hill, it had seven walls rising up the hill like a layer cake. The hill itself was a vast underground city, riddled with hallways and rooms. The upper reaches held granaries and the like.

During The Madness, Captain Anlayt evacuated the sane to the acropolis, where they waited out the destruction in relative comfort. Once things settled down, the survivors removed the Iron Gate and set it up in place of the gate in the topmost wall. They renamed their home and refuge Ak’koyr (Koyr Above). As a safety measure, Captain Anlayt ordered all Koyr’s mad to be slaughtered, and their bodies thrown in the harbor. This injustice led the souls of the mad to walk Koyr for centuries, and the old city could not be resettled until the shades finally began to pass away some 2300 years later.

Still, with a large population of survivors, and ambition to match, Ak’koyr quickly became the chief city during the Age of Heroes. Many of the ruling families saw themselves as Camac Reborn, and made many attempts over the centuries to re-establish the empire under new rulers. The Conclave of Sorcerers moved its headquarters to Ak’koyr from Stolevan (which was in ruins), and those Captains whose territories were yet unsettled often made Ak’koyr their home.

Unlike Camac, which sought to provide all its citizens with a reasonable standard of living, Ak’koyr demanded much from but gave little to the least fortunate among them. Seeking some measure of freedom, some began to inhabit the lower reaches of the underground. They named their passages Nightwalk, and it became a de facto city within a city.

By the end of the Age of Heroes, Ak’koyr began to give up on the dream of empire. Their dominion always covered much of the Gulf, and there were brief periods where they had the Northern Reach and a few nearby Eastern provinces under their heel. There were several further attempts to reconquer at least the Northern Reach, but a few more centuries left Ak’koyr content to rule itself.

A generation before Accidental Sorcerers begins, the last of the shades faded from Koyr proper. Poor folk began to resettle the old city, claiming choice property and triggering a land rush. The old order was upended, and Ak’koyr became little more than a museum piece.

Next: L is for: Lesser Moon (and Greater Moon)

6 comments:

  1. It sounds fasniating! And richly detailed!

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  2. Nightwalk sounds really cool. I always like cities within cities.

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  3. crazy ghosts running around town for centuries? Sounds like a vacation resort. :)

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  4. Thanks, Patricia! History is an important part of world-building, IMO, that a lot of people neglect.

    Sonia, I've been working on this world (on and off) since 1980. It should have some detail by now! :D

    Thanks, Philip. There's a story that takes place in Nightwalk, called What Is Due, here on the blawg.

    David, that's an interesting way of putting it. Hmmm…

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  5. Very interesting history for Koyr and Ak'koyr!

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