Capital: Lutetia (city-state)
Notable Settlements: Talenda, Banik, Buch-Kragg-Duum
Regions: Greater Lutetia, Aquetaine
Sites of Interest: The Dawn Way
Ruler: The Obligation, The Celestial Council.
Government: Feudal, covert theocracy
Languages: Common (Lutetian dialect), Elven (written)
Religion: Multitudes of state recognised churches and religions
For those not familiar with the Fabled City of Lights, Lutetia must seem a dream. It is one of the few cities that survives from before the Age of Smoke, and as such dwarfs any settlement within several weeks travel, shy of the Lloegren city of Casta. It it known for its wealth and the high proportion of artisans, artists, hedonists, and minor deities that make Lutetia their home. Surrounded only by farmsteads and villages, the city of Lutetia is synonymous with its holdings. To consider one is to consider the other.
Lutetia proper rests upon a large river (the Senona). Two islands then form the oldest part of the city, with a ring of shallow hills marking the change over to “Greater” Lutetia. Founded by boatsmen and traders in conjunction with Elven ambassadors, although ancient structures can still be found Lutetia has become increasingly dominated by human and halfling concerns over the last few centuries. Recent estimates place the urban population at somewhere around 50,000 people of all races with the Elven proportion in rapid decline for as long as anyone can remember. There was a time when Lutetia was dominated by its Elven patrons, but now it can be hard to find their legacy outside of the half-elven community, bigger by far in Lutetia than in any other city of Midgard. Whereas historical rule was conducted by a group of Elven counselors in conjunction with local (predominantly human) noble houses, the current Celestial Council is almost entirely made up of half-breeds. As a result the noble Human “Obligation” has gathered more and more power over time. They live, as kings and queens might, in the city’s royal quarter, and their holdings account for the large number of parks, gardens, and lit boulevards that give Lutetia its reputation for refined beauty. Whereas Casta is a city of industry, Lutetia is known as a city of culture. Over the last two centuries the city has given birth to a large central forum, palaces, baths, innumerable temples, theatres, and even an amphitheatre, home to both contests of skill and artistic performances.
Lutetia is as diverse in spiritual matters as it is in politics, population and architecture. Home to A Hundred Heavenly Hosts, there are almost as many churches and temples in the city as there are anything else. Lutetia boasts a god for every occasion, and often two or three. The most long-lived amongst the Celestials know the history of the matter, that this is simply a human appropriation of the elemental forces that they have brokered with since the dawn of time, but it has become more or less irrelevant. Whatever their origin, those same elementals have bent and changed with the power of faith, and now are (to all intents and purposes) the gods that the natives of Lutetia believe them to be. Due to this, Lutetian Deities tend to actually manifest in a local and concerned fashion, and their priests are therefore capable of wielding a disproportionate amount of power. Each Noble House has its own favoured spirit, and the Celestials often have individual deals or understandings with their own favourites. To that end, despite a pretense of egalitarianism and civilisation, Lutetia is very nearly a functional theocracy.
Outside of the city numerous farmsteads and villages conduct their daily affairs. They are named as districts in the city might be, and treated as satellites, both near and distant.
Only three settlements in Greater Lutetia possess any real variation on the rural equivalent of the urban mind set. To the North, Banik straddles the edges of the Nether. As a direct result it has taken on a certain amount of the grim determination that typifies its neighbours, and also a certain reputation for being ignorant, ill-refined, and brutish. To the south, Aquetaine’s Talenda acts as a watch post on the Milenesian Kingdom. Its main landmark is a huge and almost lifelike statue of a dragon, carved atop the cliffs that offer it defense. By contrast with Lutetia’s other frontier town, Talendans are known for their bravery and noble bearing in the face of a dangerous rival.
The last settlement of note is a Dwarven port town that labours under the portentous name of “Mountain of the First King”, Buchh-Krag-Duum. Until a decade ago it supplied much of Midgard’s widely famed beer, no small amount of the Porcelain slave trade, and was ruled over by four bickering clans. The place was half shallow-outlier of Dwarven culture, half hive of scum and villainy, before catching fire and collapsing in on itself. Now the port is almost abandoned, overseen by a handful of strange brewing and trading families. Apart from a few “Opensky” hermitages and temples, the Hammerfist Holds in the east are the only remaining Dwarven settlements within the first mile of Lutetia’s surface.