Aidrice, the Last Standing Nation

In the center of a dessicated landscape, standing in the center of the barren fields of former farmlands and forests is the city of Aidrice, the last remaining traces of a nation that was once the center of the world’s greatest empire. In an earlier age, Aidrian influence spread to nearly every corner of the known world. Its capital city was its crown jewel, a sprawling metropolis that served as a central hub of both commerce and culture. People flocked to the city gates in droves, and the buildings stretched to the sky as high as ten floors to hold them all. Aidrice had declared herself the world’s greatest power, and her right to rule all within her reach was absolute.

Aidrice’s fall from grace came not from mortal hands, but from far beyond mortal control. While none in living memory can know for certain, many believe it was the work of the gods that spread salt across the world like a blight, destroying all life in its path. Crops withered in days, entire seas were tainted and rendered useless and famine claimed lives without relent. Entire cities now lay dormant as millions of lives were claimed by starvation, dehydration or the wars that erupted in desperate bids for the world’s few remaining resources in the aftermath of what became known as The Sealtan Malediction.

More than twenty generations later, mortals have proven themselves to be both resilient and determined. New cities rise from the husks of the old like tree sprouts growing from living stumps, and while most lives’ focuses have shifted to little more than survival, life continues. None embody this mindset more than the people of Aidrice, the only city in the known world to have endured throughout the malediction. Even in an age when most do not have the resources to focus on anything outside of their own lives and survival, the name Aidrice is still known as the last standing city of the old world.

For all of her determination to survive, Aidrice has not emerged unscathed. Buildings as far as the eye can see crumble under the relentless sun, long abandoned with none to care for them. The common people continue to struggle on a daily basis to procure enough food and water to survive until the next sunrise. The city’s nobility caters to their own needs and desires in their towers, often completely ignorant to the suffering around them. The bandits of the old world that once took refuge in the seclusion of the wilds fled to the relative safety of the city after the malediction, and have thrived in the midst of the suffering around them. They are most often only kept from running unchecked by the criminal organizations that have risen in the absence of a formal military presence. People suffer and die every day, and far worse, those that survive them must carry on in spite of it all.

Despite all of their woes, the people of Aidrice endure, and their labor bears fruit, however slowly. Children once again run and play in the streets. While far from plentiful, food and water manage to come in a steady supply to those who can afford it. Masons repair and rebuild the old city with dreams that the buildings will once again reach to the sky. Airships once again take flight, reopening trade routes that have not seen use since the malediction and, as many hope, create the possibility of exploration and the discovery of a land untouched by the salt deposits that stretch beyond the horizon and leach life from all they touch.

Project Sunset (tentative title)