|Established: 2127 BL|
|Alternate Names: Ratha is derived from the S'Kra Mur word for "Thankful"|
|Dominant Race: S'Kra Mur, Gor'Tog, Human, Olvi, Dwarf|
|Dominant Guild: None|
|Government: The Council of Advisors|
|Guild Halls: Warrior Mage, Cleric, Paladin, Bard, Barbarian, Trader|
|Patron Deity: None|
|Warnings: See Miscellaneous|
OverviewQi. Located on the south end of Reshalia, the largest island in Qi. Divided into four tiers, with the first tier housing the poorest folk and the fourth tier housing the richest.
The first tier houses the majority of the Gor'Tog population, and is also the poorest of the four tiers. The first tier is home to numerous seedy taverns, brothels, and other such ill-reputed establishments. The first tier also boasts numerous shops, many of which are geared toward their low-income patrons, such as a chandelry, an herbalist, a pawnshop and a gem-monger.
The second tier is a more prosperous tier -- here the Rathan 'middle-class' is found, as well as many more prosperous shops, geared to a more prosperous clientele. The inns and taverns on the second tier are of a higher quality, and often offer music or other entertainment, such as jugglers, firebreathers, dancers or a dance hall. The second tier is also home to a park which features a climbing tree, a brook and a swimming hole among its attractions.
The third tier boasts the Sshoi-sson Palace, as well as many luxury shops and opulent temples, which are lavishly funded by the great families of Ratha. The third tier is also home to a newly refurbished theatre, which was funded by the Redthorne family.
The fourth and highest tier is mainly home to fabulous mansions, housing the richest and most powerful Rathans. The rest of Reshalia may be accessed from this tier.
One moves between tiers by way of a series of elevators, or lifts. The lifts are free to citizens, while non-citizens are charged a fee ranging from a few silver to a gold coin. It is possible to travel from tier to tier through the Rathan sewer system, but this is a dangerous endeavor, as the sewers are rumored to be inhabited by twisted spell-slinging lizards and their venomous offspring.
Ratha is also a major port. Commercial passenger vessels sail to Crossing, Riverhaven, Aesry Surlaenis'a, Hara'jaal, and the nearby island of Taisgath.
Play.net Description: The largest island in Qi'Reshalia boasts the teeming city of Ratha, an equally impressive sight from the deck of an approaching ship or from the highest of its four tiers.
Government, History, and Background
The Council of Advisors rules the city, a committee of the nine patriarchs of the Great Houses of Ratha. It is a complex division of labor that leaves the families jockeying for position and dominance against one another.
House Zsikiel runs the justice of Reshalia.
House Tierskel controls the docks, shipyards, and dry docks of Ratha.
House Lisska'Vran owns a major portion of the warehouses in the city.
House Moglin owns a major shipping fleet.
House Dne controls a large portion of the lucrative cloth trade.
House Redthorne owns the largest fleet of merchant vessels in the Five Provinces.
House Odalva also owns a shipping fleet and is said to be an integral part of the black market.
House Pantel owns much of the prime agricultural land on Reshalia, purchasing it during the downfall of the Empire. They grow high quality grain, selling it directly to the other families.
- Patriarch Varne Redthorne
- Chelia Redthorne
- High Marshal Aigadyn Rhewcrau
- Chief Constable Joharn Devdan
- Annalist Marhhgen Iryvykep
Although there are some indications that there was an older settlement there, it was decreed by King Sarkhhl Smo'neh that a grand city be built on the site, beginning the modern incarnation of Ratha as the capital of the new kingdom of Reshalia. It was under Sarkhhl's direction that the city gained its general shape spread over four tiers of cliffs that overlooked a sizable deep water bay. The narrow approach that allowed access to the city from the rest of the island was protected by a thick wall with two gates. A large percentage of the initial inhabitants for the city came from the recently splintered Scorpion Clan, following the grief-stricken Norayaz.
The line of Rathan kings, sometimes remembered as "the Blood of Sarkhhl", ruled over the city for the next two thousand years. Most of the day to day activity was taken care of by a bureaucratic administration overseen by six ministers who reported directly to the king. Even though it existed from the beginning of the kingdom, it is popularly remembered as the Shasudan Bureaucracy, after the king who rebuilt the system into an efficient machine. A later king, Qahhro, is also remembered in association with it for his new "Qahhro's Rule of Avoidance" that greatly limited the power of the administrators.
Ratha became the center of S'Kra Mur culture, reaching its peak between 1350 and 1023 BL, exploding onto the scene with new painting, theater, alchemy, metalworking, shipbuilding, and the first literature of the reptilian people. Beautiful temples were constructed on the third tier, as well as a respected university known as the Disilogen (later destroyed by an earthquake during Imperial times).
The power of the king and his administration was greatly diminished during the time of the Seven Star Empire, but most Emperors never made any great effort at truly integrating Qi closely into the Empire. The line of succession continued, even if the king technically served at the sufferance of the Emperor in Throne City. It was in these years that Ratha saw its first great influx of populations (including Olvi, Human, and Dwarf) other than S'Kra and Gor'Tog and the rise of the Great Houses.
After the end of the Empire, the Great Houses had a great deal of influence on politics and trade in Ratha, but they didn't take primary control until the death of King Arhekesaar in 173 BL. The once great Shasudan Bureaucracy, already in tatters, fell into ruin and the Great Houses ran things in their place. Although there have been movements that called for the restoration of the throne, they have all been suppressed and the families downplay the history of the Rathan Kings who once ruled all of Qi from Sshoi-Sson Palace, which has been left to rot.
Locations About Town
The first tier is home to Neh dock, one of the largest of Ratha's many docks. This tier also boasts a bustling Bazaar, which runs between the first and second tiers, accessible from both sides. Local merchants gather here to hock their wares, which range from food to furniture and nearly everthing in between.
On the second tier, an immense memorial arch may be found. The towering marble monument is a wonder of sweeping arches and tall columns. Built by the merchant guilds of Ratha, the monument is a testament to the military achievements and patriotic sacrifices of the Zsikiel family. The street does not bypass this feat of architecture but actually runs under its sweeping columns. Additionally, a telescope is available to all astronomers, both amateur and professional, at Amakra Close on the western edge of second tier.
The third tier houses many opulent temples, but all are overshadowed by the Sshoi-sson Palace. The palace is also home to many provincial offices, as well as an extensive library. The Hotagi'rath Theater has also recently reopened on this tier.
Unique Shops and Services
Ratha is home to an embroiderer, who will embroider soft items (such as containers), a glassblower who sells vases suitable for flower arrangements, and a tanner who will customize his leathers with various crests upon request.
Bars, Inns, and Taverns
Old Rat's Tavern is probably the most popular bar among the denizens of the first tier, frequented by visiting sailors and adventurers alike. Despite the efforts of Masul, its proprietor, Old Rat's Tavern is almost always embroiled in a general brawl, usually between adventurers and the belligerent Bawdy Swain who come there for cheap liquor.
Jack Tarr's Rest is also on the first tier, but despite its better fare, it is less popular than the Old Rat. Jack Tarr's rest is actually run by Jack Tarr's widow, as Jack himself was lost at sea many years ago. Jack Tarr's offers both room and board.
The second tier is home to the Golden Heron Inn, where a troupe of players, lead by the famous Labrindar, regale their audiences each night with songs, dancing, juggling and many other entertainments. It is rumoured that one of the exotic S'kra ladies on staff knows a few of the mysterious traditional S'kra Mur dances. The Golden Heron offers room, board, entertainment, as well as a dance hall, parlor and dining area.
The Imperial Palm, situated on the third tier, is the most opulent inn in the city, with many lavish rooms, an indoor garden, a ballroom, extensive kitchens, as well as the Wayfarer's Tankard, a cozy, traditional tavern with an extensive (but reasonably priced) drink selection.
Ratha has two main gathering places, one located in the Atrium of the bank on the first tier, and another on Truffeyni's Green on the third tier. Both also serve as triage points.
Getting favors on Ratha is somewhat different than it is on the mainland. On Ratha, one must find an altar to the god with which one wishes to achieve favor. If the altar is not clean, a Cleric must be found to clean it, and then one must offer on the altar a sacrifice pleasing to that god, or god's aspect. If the sacrifice is accepted, a favor orb will appear on the altar. If not, the god will strike the sacrifice from the altar. Sometimes determining what sacrifices appeal to which gods is difficult. If neccessary, the local Clerics are usually willing to dispense advice.
Ochre La'heke have overrun the wreck of the Seerah, which can be found through a gap in the warehouses on the western edge of the first tier. Sand Sprites and Blueclaw Sand Crabs are rumored to inhabit the nearby tidal caves.
Kra'hei inhabit the Ehhrsk highway, a mazelike warren of passages that runs between the tiers, accessible from each tier through a large bronze valve. Kra'hei Hatchlings are rumoured to prowl through the Beetle, Ferret and Snail warrens, which also run from tier to tier, but are even darker and more mazelike than the Ehhrsk highway that the larger Kra'hei inhabit.
It is whispered among the Clerics of the third tier that gigantic venomous scorpions, the Dobek Moruryn, inhabit a cavern dedicated to Alduath deep below Urrem'tier's temple, though the entrance to such a cavern remains a mystery.
Many other creatures inhabit the island of Reshalia, if not the city of Ratha itself. Among them are:
- Armored Warklin
- Dark Spirit
- Pale Grey Death Spirit
- Retan Dolomar
- S'sugi Malchata
- Silver Leucro
- Skeletal Sailor
- Spectral Pirate
- Warklin Mauler
- Map 90 - First and Second Tiers of Ratha
- Map 90a - Wreck of the Seerah (Sand Sprites, Ochre La'heke, Blueclaw Sand Crabs)
- Map 90b - Kra'hei Hatchlings (Ferret, Beetle and Snail Warrens)
- Map 90c - Ehhrsk Highway (Adult Kra'hei)
- Map 91 - Third and Fourth Tiers of Ratha
- Map 91a - Cavern of glass (Dobek Moruryn)
- Map 91b - The Imperial Palm Inn
- Climb Ratha (script)
- Ratha (script) --Travels to nearly every shop, creatures, and important service on Ratha. Especially useful for moving between the tiers as safely as possible without using the lifts.
Ratha can be an extremely dangerous place for someone who does not know its hazards. Particularly dangerous to new explorers are the wreck of the Seerah, the Ehhrsk Highway, and the pool in Eluned's temple.
Many people become trapped in the wreck of the Seerah and find themselves unable to swim out, eventually drowning. Swimming into the depths of the wreck is very easy, but swimming out requires hundreds of swimming ranks. Do not explore any submerged part of the wreck of the Seerah unless you've previously arranged rescue services, you will need them!
The Ehhrsk highway is dangerous for different reasons: namely, the Kra'hei. They cast spells -- among them fireball, ice patch, and lightning bolt. Many an adventurer new to Ratha has gone through the large bronze valves into the Ehhrsk highway and there met a gory end. Even worse -- few frequent these areas and it's unlikely that anyone will come upon your corpse, should you fall. Do not explore the Ehhrsk highways unless you're prepared to deal with the snap-casting lizards!
Eluned's temple is the last major risk to exploring Rathans. The pool there looks very inviting, the dolphin friendly and playful. However, while it is very easy for most people to swim to the bottom of the pool, swimming up to air again is almost impossible unless you're unencumbered and are at least a beginning dilettante in swimming. What's worse, the pool is warded against magic, so if you find yourself drowning, you cannot gweth out for help, and upon your demise, no one will be able to magically locate your body. Additionally, attempting to attack the dolphin who inhabits the pool is foolhardy, as it will rip your leg off and pull you to the bottom of the pool, there to drown or bleed to death, whichever comes first.
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