by Max Barry

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Rovenoir - The Capital of The Gelseen Hegemony


- Rovenoir -
Behold the Night

The Vastness of time haunts the psyche of mankind to no end, in the time of “enlightened” man alone, the expanse of a few thousand years is utterly mind boggling to many when placed side by side with the brief lifespan of an average man, one can certainly imagine the kinds of questions which this truth must have engendered in the minds of primitive heathens not only in ancient Gelsia, but anywhere in Lazarus.

The capital of the Gelseen Hegemony, has roots which hail back in time by more than ten millennia, this time span has been calculated through radiocarbon dating of mummified remains found deep within the ancient foundations of Rovenoir.

“Rovenoir” in the ancient lingua of Greater Gelsia (Asteri’as), translates into “behold the night” or, “behold the dark”, depending on who is asked, and true to the name, the skies over Rovenoir are bathed in the dancing lights of polar darkness for over half of the calendar cycle, day or night, this is due to the Gelseen Capital’s relative proximity to the northern pole of Lazarus.

Rovenoir, like any other major or minor installation in the realm, is a state-of-the-art city structurally and technologically speaking, but it’s true victory lies in how generation after generation of engineers, mathematicians, scientists, artists, and architects have merged the state of technology and modernity with the greater undercurrent of ancient Gelseen architectural and cultural sensitivity.

Throughout the entirety of the city, one can not only see the legacies of bygone eras, but also witness them in novelty and freshness thanks to technological wonders like self-repairing nano-plasters capable of mimicking the original material used in the construction of a building, all structures regardless of their purpose, age, shape, or size, have tasteful artistic mosaics, or fascia’s often depicting geometric, symmetric, or fractal patterns, in the modern age, these patterns are generated by AI’s and are applied to perfection by construction drones, while the final touches can vary, this level of sophistication guarantees that every building is elegant and wholesome to behold, the theme of the city is one of beauty and contrast between delicate hoplon domes resting on beds of ornate columns of the secular, to the tall spire-clad cathedrals of religion, and from the sharp angular surfaces of pyramid necropoli or tetrahedron fortresses, to the thin, towering, blade like profiles of glass and steel monoliths of industry or business. And then there are the many grand boulevards which span the entire length of the city, spacious, and with gardens lining their sidewalks, they were ultimately made to be seen and walked upon, all vehicular traffic is made possible via a complex subterranean transportation system which serves the needs of motorists at higher levels, and a high-speed maglev metro network at lower levels, the city surface remains unencumbered.

To gain a larger perspective of the dimensions of Rovenoir, imagine a plate with shallow slopes, but a plate with a 100 kilometer diameter. Most modern cities know nothing of limits, they bleed into each other until they can no longer be differentiated from one another, but not the cities of Gelsia, an definitely not Rovenoir, the capital boasts a 1 km thick curtain wall around the entirety of its 314 kilometer circumference, this wall is no ordinary wall, presently, it has a height of 500 meters above ground, but a depth of 2000 meters below ground to prevent tunneling, additionally, it is reinforced by strong alloys, nano-concrete, and motion sensors. Like Rovenoir, the curtain wall is ancient, also like the rest of Rovenoir it has benefited from the latest technological advancements throughout the ages, the wall is as thick as it is because it is a self-contained city in its own right, it is capable of housing dozens or over one hundred divisions of the Army Corps, along with barracks, supply depos, aircraft/weapon silos, communications/control centers, and anything else needed for the long term defense of a city, while the “curtain wall” has lost it’s prominence in the design paradigm of modern cities the world over, it has enjoyed a mainstay as a necessary component to any city in the Gelseen Hegemony.

Underneath the visible surface of Rovenoir lies what is referred to as “The Hive”, and what many Gelseens consider the true city, a colossal subterranean network of interconnected vaults and tunnels used for everything from manufacturing and transport, to mining and inner-city military installations, and to a limited degree, metropolitan farming. The hive is roughly the same size and shape of the central grid of the capital, but extends into the ground to a depth of 10 km, the hive is the beating heart of a Gelseen city.

Rovenoir is the guide for all cities in the Gelseen Hegemony, a model for what is expected of a modern city, not just beauty and novelty, but also self-sufficiency, Rovenoir has the technological and logistical capabilities to produce everything it needs within the city walls, except for foodstuffs, the populations of Gelseen cities are simply too large for any of them, regardless of technology or efficiency, to be able to produce enough foodstuffs within their limits to sustain their inhabitants, and must consequentially rely on land and resources within their respective jurisdictions, or territories. However, It is not common to import food from abroad, or even from other cities within the realm, unless the products themselves are exotic or particular to a region, aside from this obvious flaw, Rovenoir is a hive of activity from industrial manufacturing of specialized products, weapons, and electronics, to it’s information technology sector, and urban horticulture is increasingly becoming more automated and efficient.

Culturally speaking, the capital is not left wanting, concert halls. museums, libraries, and parks are ubiquitous throughout all areas of the city.
The Capital has been called “the city that never sleeps”, there is no exaggeration in these words, at any waking moment there are “midnight bazaars”, or “night owl caffes”, “manufacturing hives”, or subterranean pockets of machine vaults deep under the city, operate around the clock, week, month, and year to push out the material production necessary for the well being of the populace, the military, and the grand designs of the Technocracy which rules over all Gelseens.

To conclude this brief overview of the Capital of the Gelseen Hegemony, it must be noted that Rovenoir was not built in a day, the cities of Gelsia required the undying industry, and devotion of countless generations across thousands of years to bring these cities from the world of ideas and abstraction, to the world of the real, they required the defiance and ruthlessness of it’s warriors in the face of the hordes that charged their walls, the love and sacrifice of the laborers who toiled away their lives while stung by the knowledge that they would never live to see their magnum opus in completion, they required the fortitude and mercy of the mothers and midwives who dutifully brought forth each successive generation armed with knowledge and Zeal for the people, they required blood, and sweat, and in many instances great suffering, the Capital places the best of the Hegemony on display for all to see.

Below:The "Hive Grid" or central grid, spans 50 kilometers on both axis.

Below:The "Industrial Grid" or west grid, spans 68 kilometers on it's Y axis, and 20 kilometers on it's X axis.

Below:The "Fortress Grid" or north grid spans, 20 kilometers on it's Y axis, and 68 kilometers on it's X axis.

Below:The "Space Port" or east grid, spans 68 kilometers on it's Y axis, and 20 kilometers on it's X axis.

Below:The "Crescent" or south grid, spans 12 kilometers on it's Y axis, and 68 kilometers on it's X axis.

Below:The inner sea wall serves as a naval yard for military vessels, and spans nearly the entire length of the crescent, farther out lies the port of Rovenoir, well over 100 km in length, and can harbor commercial vessels in the tens of thousands.

Below:The riverine fortress network known as the "Ursa River Fortress Complex" has been a safeguard from amphibious assault forces.

Below:The Central Pyramid/ Citadel of Rovenoir has long been the center of power of the Gelseen Hegemony, it is a city within a city, 5 km wide at it's base and over 4 km in height, it can be seen from any point in the city.

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