The Council City
The city’s founding name is Spoke. It began as nothing more than a war torn crossroads with a rickety bridge across a narrow point of the Jormungar River. No great city would stake claim to it, for fear of unified resistance from the others. The Confederation of the Six Cities changed all that, choosing the site as the location of their mediating council. The city practically appeared overnight as carpenters and masons arrived from all over to begin construction. Merchants smelled the profits to be made from such a gathering of diverse people, and schools, guildhalls, and temples were built so that the Sixians could learn from and share with each other. The Axle Market came to encompass all of these activities.
Spoke became the cultural and economic hub of the Six Cities nearly overnight, but was still a destination for business and pleasure for those that could afford it; the permanent citizens were relatively few. The Liberation War was far more than the forces commanded by the council of Spoke could hope to counter, and the fear and speed with which Talozad attacked prevented useful coordination of the cities through their council at Spoke. Spoke was the first city lost in the war.
Upon the successful completion of Leonard’s campaign, Spoke was the destination of thousands of displaced Leonarians. The city was rebuilt better, faster, stronger, and far more magnificently than before. The city center surpassed the old Axle Market with the Grand Marketplace, where dozens of the richest merchant shops, guild halls, and temples crowd around the two bridge plaza. On one end of the central plaza stands a 50 foot tall statue of Leonard the Liberator holding his giant war hammer protectively over the bridges. The city was renamed Leo in his honor upon the completion of the statue, which is the largest monument ever carved from enchanted Icetrout bone. On the other end of the plaza sits the fortified Council Palace, the grandest structure in Leo. A tower constructed by each city in its own unique style is connected seamlessly to a central dome in which the council meets. Representatives from the rulers of each of the other cities, usually a trusted relative or even their heirs, meet here regularly for weeks at a time. The Councilman from Leo, currently Councilman Dreka, resides at the palace permanently and administers the city itself.
Leo has grown into a giant city with many distinct wards. Wards may represent clustering by race, home city, profession, or social class, but the most distinct differences are economic. Some wards settled by commoners who had lost everything during the Liberation War remain poor to this day, while many noble citizens of Leo grew quite prosperous during the reconstruction. Some nobles lost much of their estates, money and power during the war, and never fully recovered. They now blend (sometimes abrasively) with the artisans, soldiers, merchants, and other middle class that form the bulk of the city.
Law is maintained in most wards, to an extent even the poor ones, by a hard working and relatively corruption free group of constables. Thieves are often caught, murders are not a common occurrence, and for the most part citizens feel safe in the street. The city does not lack an underbelly, however…. There are certain streets that even the bravest constables will not patrol.