Agra

Towering buildings and ramshackle houses share the same space in the massive capital of the Orc Empire known as Agra. To the rest of the world, the terms hodgepodge, disorganized and filthy come to mind when thinking about the expansive metropolis, but the Orcs find it perfectly suitable for their needs no matter what it may look like. It is the only one of the ancient cities built at the time of the gods that was done completely by mortals without guidance or interference with the divine. Since their culture is so deeply rooted in their military might, evidence of it can be seen in everything from their architecture to their city layout, and it has been that way since the first stone was laid upon the dusty ground.

The oldest structure in Agra is the coliseum that rests at the heart of the expansive city. Legends state that when the Orcs of times past decided to build their civilization that two leaders emerged; each with different idea of where the city should be located. One thought the desert to the north would be the best option, while the other argued that further south near the rivers would be superior. The two decided to meet halfway to fight to the death in order to decide where the Orcs would ultimately settle. As the two tangled in battle, each fatally wounded the other; spilling blood into the dust until neither could stand and collapsed into the dirt. It was there that the Orcs founded Agra, and atop the blood-soaked earth they built the coliseum. To this day, it serves as the cornerstone for their culture and still hosts official meetings and battles regularly.

Branching off from the center of Agra is a network of roads that wind their way through the different sections of the city. Controlling the largest, richest district is the Mercenaries Guild which provides the capital with most of its income from the outside world. Almost every leader in recorded history has been a part of this guild, and many of the citizens are members as well. It is also one of the only sections of Agra that is built from stone with smooth, paved streets. The rest of the town is constructed from a variety of different materials, and grows poorer and more dilapidated as it branches farther from the coliseum and the Mercenaries Guild.

The slums of Agra are barely able to pass as structures at all. Most are constructed from animal hides and bones, and are little more than tents separated by dirt streets. Because the Orcs pride themselves on what they can accomplish on their own, no one will fix up the slums, and many simply relocate to one of the nicer districts when they earn the right to move up in the world. Fights and brawls frequently break out among the poor, and it’s often a noisy and smelly place. Animals and carrion birds are often seen circulating throughout the area, picking off the dead and dying as they go.

Not all of Agra is so ramshackle however, and in more recent times the leaders have focused on encouraging the building of a business district to tempt visitors from around the realm. While still a fledging endeavor, several shops and guilds have started to pop up, many of them run by Orcs. This has proven to be a lucrative venture that has brought in trade and imports to otherwise isolated area. While the training facilities and techniques still are still the largest draw to the city, their lightweight armor and weaponry has started to sell to people all over Valindir.

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Posted October 25, 2011 by belimedra

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