City Image - Triastu
Triastu. The City of the Three. The Hallowed City. Triastu is the holy city of Trianarianism, and is the home of the Trirex. Many have paid homage to it, and many have gone on pilgrimages to it, and have marveled in its beauty.
Triastu is located where Kathia, Reposia, and Elthia all touch.
Triastu is the holy city of Trianarianism.
Triastu's Tower of Light is inspired by the Lighthouse of Alexandria
I walked with my fellow pilgrims down the road. I knew that the city was just through the dense trees to my left, but as I was a pilgrim, I had no pressing need to take the shortcut. So instead, I took the scenic route, which would take me to the Pilgrim's Gate of the walls of Triastu. The road took me and the rest of my group for perhaps another couple of yards. The road then turned left, and the trees opened.
Triastu appeared in front of me in all of its immense glory. Its walls rose up to a glorious 40 feet tall, blocking my view of the ordinary buildings. Covering the walls were depictions, epigraphs, art, placed on it by the finest artists of each passing generation. To the left I could see the Trirexian Palace in all of its glory, standing on the hill that formed the city's northern corner. On my right rose the infamous Tower of Light, standing its famed 333 feet. As it was approaching the evening, and getting dark out, I could see the flickering of flame that would soon provide enough light that the Tower could be seen for miles.
My group and I stumbled forward, amazed at the sight before my eyes. This... masterpiece of a city would stun any who came to see it. We walked forward in daze across the rolling plains that separated the walls from the forest. The massive gates, free of the adornment of the walls, swung open as we approached, and I entered the most heavenly marvel that ever graced the earth.
Triastu's walls encase the city in a triangle, as three is a sacred number in the religion of Trianarianism. At each of the vertex's of the triangle is a hill. The wall itself is perfectly even throughout, and gets shorter and shorter to match the increase in height that the hill poses. Triastu is not worried about attack. It has never been touched by war, and is frequently used as a safe haven by the peasants of the surrounding area. Its walls are there for appearance more than anything else. However, note that the walls at their lowest point are still approximately 20 feet in height, and are about 20 feet in width all throughout the fortification.
Covering the walls is art. It is a tradition for each Trirex to find the best artist of his generation and give him a commission to adorn the next section of wall with art. Each artist is given ten feet to decorate as they please, though they do have to tell the Trirex what their plans are for the wall with a sketch. It is an honor, and a crowning achievement, for any artist to be called to decorate the walls of Triastu. This artwork completely covers the Pilgrim's Wall (the northwestern one, with the Pilgrim's Gate in it)
Another aspect of the walls is the biblical writings. Before the tradition of adorning the walls with art was founded, the entire Liber Tribus was engraved on the walls in the Old Tongue, at about eye level. Each wall has one book of the Liber Tribus, with the writing perfectly sized to perfectly fit the size of the wall.
The surrounding terrain has been landscaped to perfection. The northwestern side, the one with the pilgrim's gate, is the one used for pilgrims and tourists. Thus, that is the side that the focus on beauty was placed. A forest approaches the wall, and gets decently close. The road is to small for anything larger than foot traffic. Indeed, an inn further back along the road has a service that take luggage and steeds around the wall to the Merchant's Gate, thus allowing pilgrims and tourists to leisurely walk along the road. The forest is thick enough to block the view of the city until the final moments, where the view of the city opens up before you.
The northeastern wall is called the Merchant's Wall, and is home to the Merchant's Gate. As it is designed for traders and caravans in mind, the road and gate is larger enough for two carts to roll along side by side. The forest that blocks the view of Triastu until the critical moment is next to nonexistent here. Indeed, no care is given to it, and the forest gets thinner and thinner until it stops a good couple hundred yards or so away from the wall. A customs checkpoint has been placed about halfway between the wall and the forest, and checks imports and exports. Its large enough to make the checkpoint as convenient as possible for merchants, so as not to discourage their business.
The southern wall is the Royal Wall, complete with the Royal Gate. It is for diplomats and ambassadors, and, of course, visiting royalty. The forest of the Pilgrim's Wall wraps around here, and is maintained like the one over there also. It never hurt to impress the rest of the world with Triastu's splendor. Therefore, though the emphasis on aesthetics is more present in the northwest, it certainly is not lacking in the southern wall.
The plains that lie between the forest and the city have not been neglected. Every spring, they are examined and landscaped. Flower seeds are usually scattered across the fields randomly.
I and the pilgrims wandered through the Pilgrim's Gate and into the city. People streamed in an orderly fashion through the twisting roads and allies of the city. I followed the general flow of traffic into a plaza, where I sat down on a handy bench.
'I'm here,' I thought to myself in wonder, not quite believing it. 'I'm in Triastu.'
I looked around the plaza. In the center, a public fountain sprayed water a good five feet into the air, where it came to rest in a pool. A simple cup rested on the lip for people who wanted a quick drink. Four statues, each in line with the corners of the square, gazed down at the fountain. Benches lay between them.
I stood, and used to cup to drink of the fountain's water. I then proceeded along the roads and street passing squares adorned in a variety of ways, most of which featured fountains, so that the citizens could use the water for drinking and cleaning. Magnificent temples dotted the area, and though most were for Trianarianism, I noted the rare Lunist temple.
The whole place was beautiful. I was in awe when I finally checked into an inn and went to bed.
There are three main sections to the area inside of the walls. Those would be the Green, the city, and the hills (see the next three sections for the three hills).
Between the bottom two hills and the city is a strip of grass called the Green. Anyone is allowed to use it, for any purpose, though merchants are only allowed to hawk their wares on the Green on Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the year, its a common destination for the locals to relax for a moment, and spread out on the green, or for dog owners to walk their pet. The only thing that mars the green is the three roads (excluding the two that lie on the interior of the wall and the one forming the perimeter of the city) that head to the Tower Hill and the Ruin Hill (see below), and the one that goes from the Royal Gate (see above) to the city itself.
The main city covers the majority of the area within Triastu's walls. Its roads are of the type that are common everywhere- a main road two carts wide, and a sidewalk for pedestrians. Cobblestones, carefully fitted together, form the streets and pathways of Triastu. However, for the three roads the lead from a gate to a hill, that crisscross in the center of the enclosed area, marble lines both the road and the sidewalk.
The buildings themselves are typically constructed of stone, roofed with red tiles. In the southern parts of the city, they are typically two stories in height, with the exception being the apartment buildings that soar to heights of three to five stories. The northern part of the city is the richer side of town. It features the mansions of the the rich, town offices, the barracks, the granaries, etc. Most of those buildings are at least three stories in height, and quite wide at the base.
Scattered throughout the city are squares and plazas. Typically, they have a fountain, which has both the practical reason of providing drinking, and cleaning water and the aesthetic one of pretty jets of the liquid. The water from most of the fountains stems from goblin-made 'pumps' (created before the Year of the Exile, back when a kingdom's borders weren't determined by what race was living there. The fact that they are goblin-made has been convieniently forgotten by Triastu and the human world). These 'pumps' are little more than steel tubes imbued with the goblin's inherent magic.
Statues and other works of art are also a common occurrence in the squares of Triastu. The Trirexes of the past have spent many a coin on making Triastu a marvelous and beautiful city. This is both a survival technique (to keep foreign rulers so impressed with the city that they don't attack) and a selfish one ('We have the most beautiful city, ha ha ha. How does it feel, living in those dung-heaps?').
Triastu also has a darker side. It has the poor district, located in the southwestern part of the city (roughly everything below the Merchant's Gate and west of the Trirexian Palace). This is where the drug dealers, whores, thieves, cons, counterfeiters, burglars, pickpockets, murderers, rapists, and paupers work and live. It is somewhat noticeably grungier than the rest of the city in the main streets, but it is in the allies that one can really know that they are in the Pits of Triastu. The streets here, unlike the rest of the orderly city, are chaotic and confusing. The streets twist and turn until you find yourself all alone, except for the one person, stepping out of the shadows, and saying, 'Well, lookit what we gots here. Lost, all alone, no one gonna miss 'im? Looks like I can have some fun tonight.'
The next day, once I had broken my fast, I headed to Trirex Hill, where the Trirexian Palace was located. I walked to the main road, which led from the Royal Gate to the Palace, and followed it to the hill, where I first laid eyes on the Palace of the Trirex.
It bore a certain similarity to the classic Trianarianist temple. As in, three towers and a central building connecting them. But that is where the similarity stopped. The three towers all connected to a building at least five stories, probably six, off the ground. The central building had to be at least three stories in height, with the towers themselves continuing past that height. Resting below the building, between the three towers, was a verdant garden.
I found the tower that corresponded to the deity I was the annointed of, and entered it. The stairs spirled up, around a central emptiness that was pierced by the light of the windows placed periodically along the wall. The climb put me in a reflective state of mind, and given my surroundings, I pondered my faith, my progress, and my Anointing.
But then I entered the central hall, and my ponderings were forgotten.
The Trirex's Palace stands on Trirex Hill, overlooking Triastu's wall. If an observer chose to look from either the road that lead to the Pilgrim's Gate or the road that lead to the Merchant's Gate, it would give the impression of being a tall central building with three towers emerging from it. This illusion is shattered when you come to its foot.
The central building does not touch the ground, and instead is supported by the three towers. Sprawling over the rest of the hill is the gardens. Though they lack a special name, the gardens are quite marvelous. A small hedge maze lies next to the walls of Triastu, with a flower garden with small decorative fountains and benches between the maze and the palace. Below the palace is more plants, but instead of ones that need full sun, that need partial to little sun.
The towers themselves look almost dainty when you look at their base- and if you ignored the hulking behemoth of a building they were supporting, they'd keep their dainty appearance as your eyes travel up. Of course, this dainty appearance is an illusion, with quite a lot of support structures being placed within the tower to make sure the entire structure doesn't topple over. Each of the towers bears a hue that matches the colors of each of the three, with the north tower bearing a light red hue, the southeast bearing a light yellow, and the southwest bearing a light blue.
The main palace starts on the seventh story of the towers, and takes up three floors. The bottom floor is the temple, and is freely accessible to all pilgrims who want to come during visiting hours. It is adorned with art from the greatest of artists, and even has stained glass windows depicting representations of the Three. As glass is expensive (a glass sphere the same size and shape of a diamond costs far more), this is quite the show of wealth.
The second floor is where all the official buildings are. The vault, the treasury, a private shrine, and more along those lines. It is strictly off limits to pilgrims, and other people who aren't employed by the palace. The art and the general ornateness of the second floor is significantly lower than the first, as there is no need to impress. Ambassadors and foreign guests are given quarters in the city proper.
The third floor is the residence of the Trirex, as well as the Trirex's family. It has dining rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, pantries, living rooms, bathrooms, and so on and so forth. The area is strictly off limits to all but the Trirex and his guards, as well as any guests that the Trirex decides to allow.
The guards at the Trirex's palace are all the very best the city has to offer. Though the protection of the city depends more on diplomacy, and the fact that any Trianarianists would loathe the kingdom that sacked Triastu, the protection of the Palace and the Hill is taken very seriously. Guards constantly patrol the area in groups of six, with four swordsmen and two wizards. Any possible intruders are immeadiately removed from the palace and the area. Visitors are kept under careful scrutiny. The name of the guards is Sanctus Custodes.
The guard's quarters, as well as the servant's quarters, are kept in the Palace's basement. A secret door, carefully hidden, lies in each of the three towers. Opening these doors reveals a staircase heading into the basement, which is located deep within the hill. Most of Triastu, and next to none of the rest of the world, does not know of this area, as it is a potential attack route.
After my visit to the Trirex's Palace, I waited until the next day to visit the most holy site of Trianarianism. I took the road that lead to the southeastern hill, and crossed the Green.
The hill itself was modest, humble, unassuming. Looking at it from its foot, from the Green, from where I stood, one would never guess that the miracle that occurred there would ever grace it slopes. For this was the hill that the old temple the prophet Adonis visited to ascertain its secrets was located, and this was the hill where prophet Adonis had his world-changing revelation.
I walked the carefully marked path. It was a simple dirt road, maintained, but not very. Some leaves has fallen onto it from the trees that covered the landscape. This hill alone escaped the perfecting and the landscaping and all of that- and I personally believe that it is because someone looked at it, and said 'This is all ready perfect.'
Eventually I came to the crest of the hill, and I saw the cleared area where Adonis's entourage had faced the storm while the prophet had had his epiphany. Someone had placed a couple of simple wood benches here, and some other people were sitting on them. I chose a secluded bench and looked at the temple.
It had not been renovated. It had not been touched. It lay there in the same state it had been left in the night of the storm. It was marvelous.
The Ruin Hill was not touched once Adonis laid the foundations of Triastu. The only additions to the hill was the creation of the simple dirt path that leads to the ruined temple and the simple wood benches that are in the clearing before the temple.
The temple itself is old and decrepit. Though it used to have three towers, these have long since toppled. The bricks that made them can be found either around the hill or caved onto the ruin itself.
Only the central nave of the temple has survived. It has, as life has gone on, sunk into the earth. The walls are almost completely enclosed by the dirt, and the domed ceiling functions more as a ground than anything else.
A crack mars the ceiling. Wide enough to serve as an entrance into the temple, it allows those that enter into the second story of the temple. This top floor is old and falling apart in certain places. Indeed, old rubble blocks most of the doorways except for the one leading to a hole.
If a person were to go through this hole, they would come to the central nave of the temple. The three doorways to the temple have long been blocked by a mixture of rubble and rocks and dirt. Old pictures, most of which dealing with the Three, adorn the walls, though most of these pictures have long since faded into obscurity.
A tradition of the Trirexes has been set down. When the next Trirex is chosen, they must, with only bread and water, stay in the ruined nave of the old temple for one day. They enter the structure in the morning, and they leave the next morning. Besides this infrequent visit, no one is allowed inside the temple.
I had heard that the climb of the Tower of Light is far more spectacular at night, and my common sense agreed. Therefore, the evening of the day I had visited Ruin Hill I left for Tower Hill. All ready, the fire was beginning its flickerings, and soon it would once again grow into the massive bonfire that would shed light for miles.
A single door marked the bottom. I entered, and saw the base of the tower. A set of stairs winded its way around the edge of the tower, with windows providing a way to see the outside and mark your progress. A lift was in the center, and was clattering its way down. I decided to try my hand at climbing the stairs, and so I set off.
I was gasping for breathe once I had finished the first third of the tower. I had to rest for a moment on the floor, and drink of the fountain. Marshaling my strength, I set off up the second third of the Tower of Light.
After a longer rest on the floor between the second and third sections, I set off again, and I forced my exhausted legs up the stairs, to the very top. After reaching the top, I laid down, gasping for air. Crisp and cold, my inward breathes soon woke me from my stupor, and I gazed out onto the sleeping city of Triastu, bathed in the eternal fire at my back. The woods gleamed as the full moon and the Tower shed its light onto them, and I could almost swear that the moon's light and the Tower's light danced on the treetops. The view was breathtaking.
The Tower of Light's dimensions and architecture were laid down by Adonis in the Liber Tribus, and those dimensions were followed exactly. The entire tower is 333 feet in height, and divided into three 111 foot sections.
The first section forms the base of the structure, and is the widest of them all. It is a nonagon, or a nine-sided polygon. Located on each of the sides, at the bottom, is a doorway permitting entrance. The second section is smaller than the first in diameter, and is a hexagon. And the last section, the third one, is once again smaller than the second, and is a triangle.
Between each section is flooring, with the rest of the sections being empty space. A staircase spirals around the walls of each section, until it comes to an open area. The base of the sections all of arches permitting entrance to permit entrance from outside the structure to the inside. A small pool of drinking water lies at each each section.
If you choose not to take the stairs, a lift has been added. It was first made while the tower was being built, to get the workers where the needed to be without the effort of climbing the stairs. A separate lift connects each section.
At the very top of the 333 foot tall Tower is the eternal flame. Produced through a mixture of wizardry and goblin magics, the flame goes out every morning and returns every evening. When it does return, it sheds light for the entire city of Triastu and a good chunk of the woods that surrounds it.
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? Responses (8)
This really got me thinking, specifically about the holy trinity of christianity. No matter how fanatic they have been in the past and present, they've never once (to my knowledge) built a triangular city. And it doesn't take much thought to understand why, I'm no math-wiz but I calculate that approximately 50% of the space is lost in a triangular walled city as opposed to a square one. Not to mention, that if you were to expand the walls as the city grows, you would have a much harder time doing so in a triangular city.
Don't get me wrong, I like the novelty of the idea, but it's not very logical and speaks volumes about the level of fanaticism and stupidity needed for anyone to build it.
This was a hard one to vote on, while the sheer length of it deserves recognition, the content feels a bit bland. I'm missing some really outlandish locations to go with the novelty of the city.
Since you don't seem to appreciate when I correct typos, I will refrain from doing so. But since you misspelled alleys as allies twice, I felt inclined to at least point it out.
This is a good city description - it paints it well.
It does go into more detail then other City Image submissions.
As for triangular cities, there are some Triangular Castles
Well you wouldn't necessarily run into the same issues with a castle as with a city. Sometimes castles are built on very narrow hills and what not, in order to make them better defended, so not all castles have the room to expand, or for that matter, the room to build in a more traditional shape in the first place.
I find it plenty logical in the context of the submission. As long as it makes sense in the boundaries of its internal logic, I can easily suspend belief. Having trouble trying to frame your argument with that in mind. Anything on the site wouldn't make sense if you imposed outside logic and beliefs into it.
Loss of space, expansion, etc would mean very little to a city that was developed to be the Holy City of Trianarianism.
Even in a world of magic or hyper advanced technology, a triangle is still a triangle. That's not outside logic, that is an essential truth.
There's nothing wrong with the idea, it would just suggest that the followers of Trianarism are fanatical beyond anything we've seen on Earth (which isn't saying a little). But I would argue that secular interests (expansion being one) normally comes first, usually to the benefit of the religion, after all, a bigger city means more pilgrims, more wealth, more impressive statues and what have you.
And there are ways to work around this fanaticism, as I would presume not everyone living there are so deeply religious, but more practical at heart. For instance the city could expand beyond the initial city walls, or even build secondary city walls. All this without having to suspend belief. That's just my preference, I enjoy logic, it makes things so much easier.
Your points are all well and good. A triangular city is very illogical. All I can say on why Triastu is a triangle is that Adonis was an archaeologist, not a civil engineer.
Now, for your growth concerns: Triastu is not planning on growing. If they did, they'd either have to build on the Green (which they find useful for circuses, merchant vendors, public announcements, etc.) or expand past their wall (which they find to be more beautiful without a bunch of buildings in front of it). To avoid growth, they do three things: export people, employ people, and educate people/
First, they either exile petty criminals or execute serious criminals. Or just jail them for life. But most of the time they exile them. It's also not just criminals who leave, though: being the Holy City of Trianarianism, they also train and send priests all over Atheus to tend their flocks. Some lucky ones get sent to cities, some unlucky ones to villages.
Second, they employ people. Around the belt of forest that surrounds Triastu are farms and villages. Typically, the city will provide the homeless with a small farm by one of these villages (which also has the added benefit of improving Triastu's appearance). They do the same with the poor, who specifically ask and provide a good reason for it. There are also mines and logging industries that require workers but don't set up shop inside the city. People are sent to make a living their.
Third, they employ lots of population controls, and educate their citizens about them. They also impose heavier taxes on families with three children, with more and more taxes the higher amounts of children there are. They also have lots of healthcare, which keeps the birthrates and the death-rates roughly even. Of course, in times of plague, the taxing-children thing would be dropped.
What a beautiful city.
Excellent descriptions in the pilgrim POV. Inspired me to use this in the city post I am currently working.