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  • While the Gennaian Isles have many ports, none is more important than Falkynthos. Resting along the northeast peninsula of the ‘big island’, Falkynthos’ founding and claim to fame revolved not around merchant and naval fleets but for the bountiful crops produced within its farmland. Founded as a home port in the early second Cycle by Gennaios and his kin, the harbor served as the bastion of Gennaian exploration to the western isles and became the heart of their civilization. A throne room was erected on top of the plateau above the harbor, and plans for a government building were drafted. The city grew over the years, and soon became the most populous city in the region. As the city grew, so too did the harbor, with shops and houses extending from the newly founded dockyard. Trade flourished between Gennaia and Daidama, while ships regularly circumnavigated the continent, exchanging gold mined from the region of Solenvros for lavish, opulent goods.

    In 4C-116, the first of many sinkholes collapsed sections of Falkynthos, as the excavated marble allowed water to seep downwards into the earth and wash away limestone sediment. This geological activity eventually rendered the old throne room unusable, forcing the people to abandon it. Over the course of the next few decades, the people gained an unexpected boon as heated water began to well up from within the crevice, creating the now-famous hot springs that dot the plateau. While the more central pools are scalding hot, those further out are comfortably warm, attracting bathers who seek to brave the landscape in search of pleasant seclusion. Unfortunately, the springs still suffer from sudden influxes of highly acidic water and several bathers perish each year despite warnings of these effects.

    Below the springs, a larger, modern, and embellished reconstruction of the throne room rests upon the Rock of Theoros, a striking geological feature that dominates the city from above. After Sjilea's arrival, the city erected a grand temple in her honor. The temple stands tall today, meticulously maintained in hopes of the goddess' quick return. Alongside the temple and throne room are a myriad of minor basilicas, pools, gazebos, and meditative pavilions that are often used by the citizenry. Visitors to Falkynthos can marvel at the preserved monuments and structures of the early era, from beautifully carved statues by the famed sculptor Komorikos to modern works of art created and destroyed in mere moments for the thrill of life and creation. To the south of the bay lies the Royal Palace, a grand complex that sprawls along the coast. The High King resides here year-round and hosts the kings and queens of the other kingdoms when they visit Falkynthos on business. Elite citizens, both Gennaian and foreign, hold lavish parties within the palace walls while members of the lower classes attempt to participate by crashing the parties in new and creative ways. 

    At the opposite end of the city, the famed Zacheos Academy educates the youth of Gennaia, particularly from the regions of Falkynthos and Aredydes. Named for the Twin Queens that brought peace to the Isles during the fourth Cycle, it has maintained a policy of “entrance to all, progress through merit” since its inception. Students call the academy home, but those whose merit was not enough may continue to reside there for a fee. Nearby, at this end of the city, lie the city’s famous bathhouses, the Lyria Thermae. Among the most popular attractions in Falkynthos, the baths are lavishly decorated and well-visited. When locals can navigate past foreign tourists, they will use them as the daily watering hole. Those unwilling to endure the crowds have begun to create their own private baths; either by crafting large wooden buckets, modifying farm troughs, or crafting one within the frameworks of their home. Those who cannot afford the luxury of a private bath have resorted to using the hot springs, oceanic inlets, or sweat houses borrowed from the Dalkun culture, in order to maintain cleanliness.

    Towards the bay, Ascurilles Square upon an escarpment. This small, open plaza overlooks the waterfront and serves as the common meeting place of Falkynthos. The city has been built around the plaza, with most main roads and alleys eventually converging upon it. With the exception of one or two specially permitted stalls, this area is kept clear of peddlers, panhandlers, and zealots as a general rule, being reserved as a community meeting place. With its bustling nightlife, cafes and shops open far into the morning hours. The revelry of locals and travelers rings out through the night, and indeed it seems to be a place that never sleeps.

    Behind the city and towards the outskirts, fields of wheat, rice, and other crops surround several farmhouses. A new style of building becomes immediately evident, transforming from the hustle and bustle of city life to the calmer rural feel. Given the choice, however, most farmers opt to reside within the city proper, taking advantage of the available amenities while carrying out their work in the fields. Access to the harbor allows the farmers to ship their wares from the center of Gennaian crop production to the far reaches of the nation. As more farmhouses have been built over time, the Baths, which now reside beneath the encroaching farmhouses, have reached a critical point of potential collapse. The structures beneath simply were not designed to support the additional weight and traffic. After much lively debate among the citizenry, city officials have begun attempts  to secure the aging roof of the baths to prevent a catastrophic collapse.

    One of most impressive structure in Falkynthos lies entirely out of sight; its network of subterranean mausoleums. The Royal Grotto, placed behind a bland and aging door of burled hemlock (the designer’s attempt to contrast “over and above” styles of his contemporaries), houses both former rulers and some of the greatest weapons and works of art left behind by heroes of the past; displayed beside the tombs of these most honored dead. Those who cannot secure burial within these catacombs must settle for a burial in the cliff-side cemeteries south of the city, while,the poor and destitute are carted off to mass graves; though few seem to know where these actually can be found.

    A true pearl of the seas, Falkynthos waits impatiently for the return of the goddess that once called it home. Up until a few years ago, Falkynthos’ population was much larger, and most citizens worked at either the shipyards, fisheries or the academy. However, the drive to explore the Shattered Lands has created a demand for labor in the outlying areas, and Falkynthos’ population has dwindled. Those who remain are citizens the city needs to keep up with its day to day routines and labour, but that it is also now ill-equipped to handle. Needless to say, this has created tension among its populace, who, while remaining patriotic, are feeling the pressure of production and demands of the capital.

     

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