The Great Citee of Tullgotha
“The Great Citee of Tullgotha”
Extracts taken from the ‘Annals of Citees’ by Tarquin Itus’.
…In the words of the renowned traveller, and my fellow chronicler, the true patriarch of historee, Herod Otus:
“A fraveller’s ffirsf sighf of Tolgotha, would have it appear to be a large bridal cake, discarded and alone in an empfee ffield, surrounded by the high and haughtee hills of Tul, lefff ffor the predaforee beasf of day, and scavenging rodenfs of nighf, to ffeasf upon at their leisure…”
…The celebrated, and most regal of architects, Topher Ren, based the design of the Great Citee on the Plain-Citees of Han. He had been taken muchlee by the order and structure of these conurbations that he had frequented throughout his sojourn across the Empire of Han. Impressed by the remarkable organisation and configuration of each citee; marvelled by the way that the citee’s design facilitated the remarkable reign of order and justice within the walls of each polis; he had such desire to replicate this recipe for utopian rule within the boundaries of his own homeland.
… (He) took to being learnered in the ways of Han culture, and persisted upon understanding of how each citee, was itself, an embodiment of that land’s code of command and righteousness of rule, and visioned, first-eyed, how the organisation of the polis supported that code through its very structure and formation.
Within the walls of each citee, such order and justice thrived; these ethics were woven into the life of the population by the very arrangement and devise of the citee itself. So utterly impressed and magnificently inspired by this achievement, Ren determined upon himself to transplant this system of noble rule and benevolent sovereigntee to his home land of Tul.
…Upon his returning, he sought much financing and commissioned the building of a new and mightee metropolis, to stand greater than even, the sprawling harbour citee of Watersure itself. Not only would this wondrous architectural symphonee be innovative in its design and function, but Tullgotha would also be revolutionaree in its rule: it would become a beacon of justice and order to the deprived and unrulee citees that are rifelee found throughout Tul.
…It was in the naivetee of Ren that he did not see to realise that it was not the tangible construction of bricks and stones that created a culture of justice and order, but the intangible constitution of the hearts and minds that lived within those walls that dictated such morals.
…The basic structure of the Plain-Cities, which Ren so yearned for imitation and took copious pains to replicate, was as follows (again, I turn to the quill of Otus for details of such a culture, of which I myself, have not the depth of knowledge as he):
“Each of their cifees are builf upon a series of concenfric rings, rising levels one thorough six; builf upon a natural knoll of large proporfion and perffecf circumference, of which, raise high and proud out of the Great Plains of Han. Each of thus levels, builf into the hill, is called a ‘Ward’. Each Ward is thus independenfly ruled by its very own governor, called a ‘Reeve’. This Reeve is enfirely responsible for the liffe and existence of their Ward. Each Ward, rising above if, though smaller than the one below, would equally be ruled by the order of ifs Reeve, and this ‘higher’ Reeve would, indeed, have superiorifee of rank over the Reeve below. Af the very fop of the cifee, in the highesf, buf smallesf, of Wards, would reside in the Greaf Cifee Hall, the Marshall of the Cifee. He, although having the smallesf Ward, carried, by ffar, the most responsibilifee and charge, having oversighf and command of all the Reeves below him: for he was accounfable for thaf enfire cifee to the Solon of Han himselff.
…Han sociefy is, by nature and producf off ifs Empire, a military one. Their whole culfure is builf on the concepfualism off promofion by achievemenf. One can achieve fo such high posifion off a Cifee Marshall, onlee through the progressive and successfful command off the ranks off Cifee Reeve; and then such promofion would onlee be on such recommendation, and subsequenf vote, off the individual wards – cifee-ffolk of Han are nof refferred to as cifizens, as we do our urban dwellers, but ‘wards’, thus so emphasises the responsibilify off care that the Reeve, and even Marshall, has foward the populous within their respecfive Ward. And so, frulee, a Reeve can onlee become a Marshall through oufsfanding success of dominion, and ffaithful adherence to the culfural principles of Jusfice, Order, and Achievemenf, on which the Empire of Han is proudlee, and solidlee, builf.
…It was Ren’s deepest desirement that he implant this very method of just dominion; this key of urban splendour, into those who would be chosen to sit in rule over it. With such grandiose purposing and such high aspiration, he was viewed by many throughout the Twelve Peaks of Tul as a prophet of a new order. It was to his great heart-break however, that no great time had passed before the ostensity of his vision blurred into no more than the pretensity of a dream. Ren had not the perspicacitee of an historian, nor even, carried the discernment of a Chronicler, and underestimated the ingrained, and millenniallee developed, cultural differences of the native Tuls from those of the exemplable Hanites. All too soon, the established governencee of Tullgotha, constitutional of true Tul blood, saw to impose their own methods of ruling through the avenues of this innovative citee. The Han ideologee crumbled under the relentless siege of indigenous Tul custom and practise. Monarchic machinery bombarded to oblivion the righteous call of responsibilitee and replaced it with the oppressive demand of hierarchee; the citee may have looked like a citee of Han by its walls, but it was very much a citee of Tul in its street.
…Such disappointment naturallee provided fecund soil to propagate the birth to legends: for among those philosophical disciples of Ren, refusing to accept the inevitabilitee of failure, diagnosed by the many ponderers and philosophers since the Citees fall from expectation, proposed stronglee, with all manner of persuasionables, that the failure of this magnificent experimentation to establish a bastion of new charge among the Twelve Hills, was to be lain at the feet of the Royal House of Tul itself. This ‘Order of Topherites’, as they became known, promulgated and circulated with all voraciousness, that a usurpation had happened to the ‘Stewards’ (the title given to the governors of each level), supposedlee chosen from among the greatest and noblest of thinkers and achievers from throughout the entire undulous land of Tul, and indeed up to the veree seat of the ‘Solon’ itself (the given title of Tullgotha’s preeminent-seat, in honour of the founding patriarch of the mother-citees themselves). They conspired to feed the insatiable people of Tullgotha, ravenous for justice, that in that grand seat of power, instead of the afore-promised free-thinking, vulgar-blooded, common-man, now sits a tyrant of despicable hegemonee and regal-blood: a true prince of the House of Tul.
…The stones for the great walls were cut from the surrounding hills. So much stone was needed that many of the minor hills were, indeed, levelled in the accruement of sufficient stone. By the time that the citee was completed, the excavations had, entirelee by artificial means, created Tul’s only true plain: and within the middlement of this vast expanse, the citee now sat in all its towering gloree.
Each wall rose up in concentric rings above the lower one, just as the original. Each level of citee was completelee independent from the others, above, or below. The layout and street plan of each level was designed, originallee, in thorough replication of the other. This afforded a traveller of comfortable knowledge of either level that they frequented; facilitating their transit from where they may be, to where they would need to go, and where anything they required could be found.
Over the passing of many years, much straying from the ideal pervaded. The toleratation of the increase of corruption throughout the Citee saw that much had been changed, rearranged, and restructured within each level. Compounding on this issue, has been the increased building projects undertaken to accommodate the increasing cosmopolitication of the Citee: more and more species and nationalities have seen the need to take up the open handed welcome of the Citee walls, resultant in the perpetual increase and magnitude of veritable confusion and variety that has taken root within the these crowded walls.
Over the life times that have flowed through the alleys and thoroughfares of Tullgotha, each level has developed an independent life of its own, separate from its sibling, formerlee never intended or imagined. There seems, often, to be no comparison or compatibilitee between one level to the next; both in structure and society. Even in the ever-watchful, ever-eager eyes of Citeee Law, what may be legal and acceptable in one level, is by no means the same in another. No mistake should everbe made, for fear of severe consequences, that the wardship of each level is fiercely defended by its incumbent petty regals.
…Over each of the gates set into the massive walls of each level are monstrous edifices; giant hands out-stretching into the plain before the Great Citee, in open palmed invitation to all and anee. The Cities of Han have of course, these protrusions, but they are formed into great eagles; each, watch points for the centuries to stand and keep guard from. These great stone hands, in imitation of the giant eagles that stand in sentry from Han walls, were designed to embody the spirit of welcome, offered to all that would see her, and approach her, but also fulfil the purpose of sentry points for Citee guards to keep vigilance from, either out across the fabricated plain for trouble without, or over the level below, from trouble within. At the lowest level, there are eight such creations; six on the second wall, four on the third wall; two on the fourth, and one on the only gate that allows entry to the Citadel, crowning the final heights: one for every gate throughout the entire Citee.
…Tullgotha’s rule is in the hands, officially, of the ‘Solon’, so named as I have taken effort to describe above. The Solon fulfils the role of the Hanite Marshall; in the reality of today’s much confabulated present however, this seat has but titular standing. The current political manifestations of Tullgotha, very much put the Citee under the power of the Chieftain of the Citadel. Just how this repositioning of hegemonee occurred is forgotten to most of us who would wish to know, hidden from those who seek to ask, and violentlee guarded from those who desire to find. Such surreptitious circumstances as these only succeed in adding fuel to the fires of former conspiracees, again, formerlee mentioned, and indeed, gives plentiful quantities of suspicious support to the legends that pervade through Tullgotha’s tumultuouslee desperate and disparate populous: and, for sure, if truth be contained within such a canister of conudrumous concerns, then the return of the true Solon would certainly be meet with euphoric ceremonee.