The Golden City of Qazus
Tal!! Since Qazus keeps on growing larger, I have heard of people getting lost in the winding streets of that desert city, so I figured it was time for a longer, and more detailed look at the capital of the Caliphate of Tajuk. While the old Geography entry is good and all, it is not really that detailed, and it would take up far too much space if I were to add all this extra infomation there, so the city gets its own seperate section. So without further ado, let old Bang guide you around...
Barracks: There are two of these ominous buildings, located on Main Street and Palace Row. Each is located right next to a gatehouse, so that the soldiers within can quickly and easily get to the walls and gates in the unlikely event of an attack on the city. The barracks are where the Askari soldiers spend their off duty time, which they use to sleep, eat and look after their equipment. Nothing if not single-minded are those Askari!
Darjan Avenue: This street runs south from the Golden Plaza and ends at a junction with Shoon Street. Darjan Avenue is lined with small apartments, that are home to some of Qazus' poorest people. Ironically the street that is argueably the least "golden" in the city, is named after the city's founder, Ramos Darjan.
Effendi Road: Leading south from Palace Row to Trader's Square, this street is mostly home to foreigners who have come to live for whatever reason in Qazus. Also located along Effendi Road are the embassies of the kingdoms of Rockby and Miramor.
Gatehouses: Qazus has three gatehouses that allow passage through its formidible walls. Each is named after a type of precious stone. The Ruby Gatehouse faces west towards Klima and Rockby. The Emerald Gatehouse faces east towards Radaan and Tabor, and the Sapphire Gatehouse faces south towards the Necropolis and the Rainwall Mountains. Each gatehouse is manned by several Askari guards, and contains stairs that allow passage from the streets up onto the battlements of the walls.
Golden Plaza: In the heart of the city, is this vast open paved space. Unlike in other cities, where such an expanse would be crowded with market stalls and such, the plaza is empty apart from a well in the north-east corner of it. Instead the plaza is a place for people to meet and for paths to cross. Main Street, Mosque Crescent, Sultan's Road, Darjan Avenue and the Street of Coins all connect into this square.
Great Mosque: The most beautiful building in the city, and possibly the world (certainly if you listen to the people of Qazus on the matter), the Great Mosque is a very impressive temple, dedicated to the One True God that the people of the Caliphate revere. A large square building, adorned with a golden dome on top, and four tall, slender towers, each dedicated to one of the elemental forces of the multiverse and home/prison to a genie from that element. The Great Moqsue is where the original Talib is kept, the holy book that was written down by Iman Maarum, from the dreams that his God sent him. This book details how the people of the Caliphate are to conduct their lives. The Great Mosque is situated in the very centre of Qazus, on Mosque Crescent.
Guild of all Arts: Located in the north-west corner of the Sultans Road district, this building serves as a school of sorts for the youths of Qazus. It is so named, as the building is quite extensive and houses classrooms devoted to pretty much anything that can be taught in one manner or another. The wise man Samesaj runs this place, and for a fee can often teach older folk a thing or two also.
Main Street: Main Street leads from the Ruby Gatehouse to the Golden Plaza. A Barracks is situated along its southern side, while the Office of Public Records and the entrance to the squalid Slums can also be found along this road.
Miramor Embassy: A beautiful tower, with gardens at its base, the representative of the nation of Miramor can be found here. Granted an embassy due to the amount of trade that Tajuk does with the nation, the ambassador is suppossed to work towards better relations between the two countries, but the current resident does not seem to care much for his official duties at all! The embassy is located on Effendi Road.
Mosque Crescent: This always busy road, runs from the south-eastern corner of the Golden Plaza, curving to the north-east and ending at the gates to the Palace Gardens in a junction with Palace Row. The only building of note located along this road, is the Great Mosque of Qazus itself.
Mosque Park: A narrow area of greenery situated to the south of the Great Mosque, the park is bordered by Darjan Avenue to the west and Traders Square to the east. It would be an area of calm and relaxation in the city, if not for the loud colourful birds and playful monkeys who inhabit its trees. Nevertheless, many of the cities people come here each day, even if only for a few minutes, to appreciate the simple beauty of nature.
Office of Public Records: This small building is sited on Main Street, just north of the Golden Plaza. Here all the records of deals, births, deaths, marriages and such are neatly kept in case they need to be checked. Also located here (and if you ask me, of a lot more interest than those dusty old records), is a notice board.
Palace: The sumptous home of the Caliph himself, supreme ruler of the Caliphate of Tajuk. This large building houses the Caliph, his harem, guards and advisors. It is quite a sight to see, as there are several paintings worth a look hung up around the palace. To get to the palace, one must pass through the gardens. The palace is located in the north-east corner of the city.
Palace Gardens: A lush oasis of greenery amidst the overcrowded buildings of Qazus, the Palace Gardens are a sight to see. Lovingly tended by expert gardeners, the gardens are kept immaculate all year round. There is a fountain here for visitors to drink from, though more often it is the colourful peacocks who strut around the lawns who drink from it. The gardens are located on Palace Row, and a visitor wishing to enter the Palace itself, must first travel through them.
Palace Row: This busy road, leads from the Emerald Gatehouse to the Palace gates, where it ends in a junction with Mosque Crescent. Many travellers and traders move along this road every day, as food brought in from Radaan and Tabor enters the city by way of this street, before dispersing to shops and homes throughout the city.
Qudra Way: This is a very short road that leads south from Shoon Street to the Sapphire Gatehouse. It is lined on its east and west sides by common housing. The street sees very little traffic really, apart from when a funeral procession heads south along it to pass through the gatehouse and head along the trail through the desert towards the Necropolis for burial. The word Qudra in tajukian means Loss.
Rockby Embassy: As solid a building as you are ever likely to see, the Embassy of the dwarves of Rockby is practically a fortress. The ambassador of the dwarves is a very important person within the city, representing the Caliphates longest standing trading partner and strongest ally. Should the Caliphate or Rockby ever find themselves under serious attack, the forces of the other would march to their aid. The embassy is located on Effendi Road.
Shoon Street: Named for a series Tajuk's Caliphs, but most likely for Shoon the Sixth, who came to power in a military coup, created the Askari, then saw to getting rid of the army that had brought him to power (lest they be bribed to turn against him), getting them wiped out in an attack on the barbarian lands. The majority of Qazus' population lives along this long road that runs through the souther portion of the city from a junction with Darjan Avenue at its western end, to end at Traders Square.
Slums: This is the worst area of the city, home to beggars and the desperately poor who have fallen on hard times, or simply been born into poverty and unable to claw their way out of it. The buildings here, if they can be called that, are made from scavenged brick and wood, and sheets of cloth. The slums are massively overcrowded, but there is no more space for them to expand into, as the city walls and other streets pen them in. There are a couple places of interest withint the slums though:
Street of Coins: This long street, leads north from the north-eastern corner of the Golden Plaza, and it is where the more expensive shops and market stalls of the city can be found. In contrast to the wealth on display in the shops and stalls and those who shop in them, the street is often lined with beggars and performers, striving to get enough coins each day to buy food for themselves and their families. The shops that can be found here are:
Sultans Road: The name of the street and the district clustered around it, Sultans Road is the area of Qazus that is home to the wealthy and the elite. It joins the Golden Plaza at its northern end, and a side spur of the road leads into Darjan Avenue. Along this road can be seen large, expensive mansions, towers and palaces, including the homes of the Caliphs sons, and the head of the Slavers Guild.
Sultry Siren Festhall: If you can overlook the fact that the women who can be hired to serve your pleasures here are slaves, bought and owned by the festhall, then you won't find a better place to enjoy the company of a female. Slaves they may be, but they sure know their stuff as they are trained in many pleasure techniques. This place is sited at the eastern end of Shoon Street, just south of Traders Square.
Traders Square: The name of this place is a bit of a misnomer these days. While it was originally a square, extensions to the buildings along its sides, have long since changed its shape to be more of a wide street. This is the common market of Qazus, where the majority of the cities population comes to buy food and goods from the many stalls and shops here. The most notable of those stores are:
Walls & Towers: Qazus is surrounded by a formidible set of walls, adorned by towers. These walls serve to not only deter any enemies from attacking the city, but also to prevent the desert from engulfing it. The walls are patrolled at all times by many Askari soldiers, and lookout keep a perpetual watch over the wastes that surround Qazus from the towers, ensuring that any approaching force would be seen in plenty of time to ensure that by the time they reached Qazus, the city gates would be shut, and the walls fully manned with Askari ready for battle!
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