Viscosa is the capital city of Raleigh, and is also it’s second largest. The SpiritRiver runs beside the cliff that Viscosa sits upon, a dock leading straight to a road so that merchants can travel by river to the capital to sell their wares. Neighboring towns to Viscosa are Atalatha to its north, Fostervilla to its northwest, Seramore to its south, Cranebridge to its southwest, and Rattan to its east.
Because Viscosa sits mostly on a cliff, much of its population is considered rural, and spans the distance of several miles. This has made it difficult for purchases to be made directly, but there has been a market installed at the bottom of the cliff outside of Viscosa proper. Citizens of Viscosa sell directly to the market, and the salesmen there haggle for better prices whenever visitors or tourists arrive in the city.
Viscosa proper houses only about 24,000 people, but when extending the reach to the rural people of the capital, the number tops off well over 100,000. Raleigh’s tax collectors have found it difficult to keep track of all the capitals inhabitants.
Viscosa proper is shielded on its west side by the sheer cliff wall beneath it, and by a tall set of ramparts on its eastern side where the cliff is lower. The walls are stepped, to keep them in line with the cliff it sits upon. At the highest points on the western side, two large expanses are built upon the walls to let two trios of catapults sit upon, able to fire some distance to the north, south, or west. Viscosa proper has an elite set of guards, but several contingents of the Raleighn army also patrol rural Viscosa.
Viscosa was founded on the 8th of Ari, 53. Quintus Raleigh, the country’s first human ruler, and reason for its namesake, had a town built around the Cliff of Solis, thinking it would bring his people closer to the gods, and, in that regard, closer to their benevolence.
Viscosa means victory in the broken tongues of Tellest’s old languages. Quintus Raleigh believed that establishing a single entity for people to create a community around would strengthen his people as a whole. Together with his nomadic tribe, he and his brothers and sisters set to building their town, beginning in the summer of 52. He and the other viscosans, as they came to be known, worked through the winter, finally completing the small village on the day of its inception.
Over time, the small village became a city, bustling with activity as more humans began flocking to the organized area where Viscosa has been built. More buildings were constructed, and finally, the idea spread about the countryside, more small villages popping up. They all looked to Viscosa for advice, diplomacy, and trade. With that in mind, Viscosa became the capital of Raleigh it was destined to be, establishing Raleigh as a kingdom on the 22nd of Luminary, 72. A meager castle was built upon the Cliff of Solis, officially beginning the monarchy of Quintus Raleigh.
Several times after Viscosa’s creation, other humans tried to obtain political power in Raleigh, but so loved was the Raleigh line that none had ever come close to usurping the rulers. Viscosa was always the forefront and the symbol of the people of the country, and was constantly growing in size and quality.
After more than nine hundred years of cataclysmic ups and downs, Viscosa is still recognized as the capital of Raleigh, a shining example of what can be done when people come together towards a common goal.
Despite the fact that Viscosa was not formally considered the capital of Raleigh until Luminary, 72, its leaders had been considered rulers since Quintus Raleigh was nominated to lead the city on the 30th of Sunspire, 53.
Though Quintus started off just leading a small group of once-nomadic humans to a life of cooperation and stability, he paved the way for his ancestors to rule all of Raleigh. Some had even thought that through his endeavors, all of Draconis might one day be united.
Though Raleigh is ruled under a monarchy, a complimentary assembly also assists the king in his decisions. Also, while the king oversees all of Raleigh, he also looks directly over his city as well.
The current ruler of Viscosa, and Raleigh, is King Victor Raleigh, the 24th King of the country.
Places of Interest
The Shattered Steel Tavern is often frequented by Raleigh’s soldiers. Many of the soldiers who drink at the Shattered Steel Tavern are known by name, and it is known that new recruits are given a rigorous drinking test at the tavern to really be sure they are soldier material. The tavern can be found just south, and on the same street as the barracks of Viscosa within Viscosa proper.
The Bloated Nymph is a river sailor’s refuge, located just off the eastern bank of the SpiritRiver. It is much too shady to be considered suitable as an inn, but rooms are available, as well as hirable company. Fights break out regularly at the Bloated Nymph, and it is not unheard of for someone to lose their life during an every day conversation there.
If a member of the populous wants something a little more upscale without having to travel into the walled portion of the city, they can visit Caymus’ Chilled Glass, just east of Viscosa proper. Caymus is renowned for providing excellent service to any and all of his clientele, no matter how rich nor poor, no matter their race or creed. Business has been so good for Caymus, he had to expand and add a second floor to his establishment.
The Flaming Pitch is a laborer’s inn outside of the walled portion of Viscosa. On the opposite side of the road of Caymus’ Chilled Glass, the Flaming Pitch is open to everyone, but provides a fair discount for local laborers. Just like Caymus’, the Flaming Pitch has survived and thrived through the generosity it provides towards its customers.
The Stately Lady is an inn that can only be found within Viscosa proper. It is known for its exceptionally high prices, though that pays for a bit of luxury that is supposedly only rivaled by that of Viscosa castle. The Stately Lady is located just on inside of the walled area of the city, across from the Bath House.
All of the temples to the gods are located outside of Viscosa proper. This both limits necessity of the lower class to pay the toll to enter the walled section of the city, and encourages the ruler to tend to his people outside of his walls.
The Temple of Mathias is located at the center of the unfortified section of town. The temple is monumental, and has four entrances to the building. The congregation all look toward the center of the building, where a huge effigy of the king of the gods was erected hundreds of years before. The temple had actually been built around the statue of the deity, yet the figure has never been moved. A large glass skylight still allows the sun to shine on Mathias. Many priests labor for the people of Viscosa, and many annexed living areas have been built into the temple for the priests to sleep within, as well as a large dining hall and a small library.
Because Viscosa is among several of the northernmost cities of Raleigh, the Temple of Nerot was initially built on the south side of town. Though Raleigh finds itself allied with the only country to its south, Daltain, the temple has never been relocated, only adding to its eminence. Soldiers from the Raleighn army go there to pray to survive the oncoming battles, or to die a glorious death.
The Temple of Ariyas is the newest of the temples of Viscosa, having only been constructed recently. With so many people populating the area, it is not difficult for a partner to be found. The temple is where people can go to give thanks, or if they are unable to find love, ask for their blessings. The Temple of Ariyas was built on the northern side of the city, in perfect symmetry with the Temple of Nerot.
The Temple of Animus is located on the far eastern side of the city, far from the wall. It is distant from the rest of Viscosa because it is close to mortuaries and the cemetery, distant to keep plague away from the populous if possible. The cemetery was kept far from the SpiritRiver to protect it from water damage. People come to the Temple of Animus to mourn the dead, or to pray for good health. Farmers, both professional and hobbyists, also come to the temple to help their crops or gardens.
On the other side of the city, beneath the palace and the Cliff of Solis, the Temple of Hudorian was built, overlooking the SpiritRiver. The farmers of Viscosa often visit the temple, offering up their respects and tithes for a bountiful rainy season to help them irrigate their crops. Hudorian is also worshipped so that the SpiritRiver does not rage too fiercely, endangering the nearby residents.
Cedwick Manor belongs to Arnthal Cedwick, the head priest of the Temple of Mathias. Arnthal is known throughout Viscosa and much of Raleigh for several of the miracles he has performed upon the citizens of the city. He has given vision to the blind, voice to the mute, and hearing to the deaf. Several claims have even been made to his ability to resurrect the dead. Cedwick Manor is located upon a hill to the northeast of the temple where his services are greatly renowned.
Renzeya Manor is owned by Cedric Renzeya, who was the captain of Viscosa’s guards earlier in his life. During an attack on the city by a well organized band of brigands, Cedric saved King Victor’s life. He was rewarded substantially, and purchased a lot of land just outside the gates of Viscosa proper. Word has it he runs a reputable adventurer’s guild out of his domicile, which lies just outside of the gates of Viscosa proper along the north side of the road.
The Cayman Estate is a popular location for would-be and has-been sailors and river merchants to visit that stands just off the waterfront of the SpiritRiver. Terrence Cayman occupies the house, which had belonged to his father, Hartigan Cayman, a reputable merchant who made a fortune traveling the world. The belongings within the house have become invaluable since Hartigan’s disappearance at sea. Terrence makes his own fortune, treating the home like a shrine, and charging people to view its belongings.
Because of assassination attempts on the several of the Raleighn Kings of the past, a large wall was constructed that runs to the rear of the Cliff of Solis. The wall also extends several dozen feet past the bottom of the gently sloping cliff, into the plains beside it.
Many of the buildings within Viscosa proper are also seen as privileges to the upper class. The people of Viscosa have to pay a toll to enter the walled portion of the city (but not to exit it). The exceptions to these are members of the council and their family, including the king and his family. Soldiers are also among those who do not have to pay to enter Viscosa proper, as their barracks are within the walls.
RaleighCastle has been expanding for centuries. At first, RaleighCastle was a merely a one room fortress, which had been constructed upon the flat area atop the Cliff of Solis. But over the years, the structure has grown in every dimension, nearly hugging the back edge of the cliff. It has been widened and heightened, and even its depth has been amended, a large basement floor for supplies and personal space for the King and his family to find leisure and pray built along the years.
There are also rumors about secret tunnels having been constructed into the cliff of Solis by a laborer named Fentimus Arcturo following the death of the fifteenth ruler of Raleigh, Magnus Lorenthal, who had murdered the previous ruler, Bidouin Raleigh. There is no substantial evidence to prove the claims of the tunnels however.
The theatre is one of Viscosa’s more popular attractions, but is more upscale than most people can afford. As such, it is considered more widely for the royalty, members of council, and exceedingly wealthy members of Viscosa. Well known bards and thespians lend their talents to the theatre, which is located north of the Temple of Mathias.
The theatre is known for its dramatic interpretations of historical events, such as the Demon War involving Romus Youngblood and the fallen angel, Semia’Laz. This view is made in stark contrast to the humor in which many other performance groups portray the same events.
The theatre provides shows on a monthly, sometimes bimonthly basis (depending on the material).
The circus is the average civilian’s response to the theatre. With cheap tickets and several weekly shows, the entertainment venue is said to perform as well as, if not better than the theatre on the opposite side of town. It also boasts arena style seating, allowing many more people to witness the spectacle of acrobatics, storytelling and magic within the center of place.
The circus is about the same distance away from the Temple of Mathias as the theatre, but in the opposite direction. It is played out beneath an oversized, ensorcelled canvas tent, which is held up by nothing else besides magic.
Much of Viscosa’s society is rewarded by the circus’ presence as well; it provides many needed jobs to the populace.
The Whisper Tree
After nearly two hundred years of peace in Raleigh after Viscosa was established, the country was besieged by a legion of trolls. Nasir Raleigh, the country’s eighth ruler, organized a military force capable of driving the terrible beasts out of the country, pressing many of them into the ocean. In doing so, humans became the most celebrated race in the country for a time. Many gifts were bestowed upon Viscosa, mostly conceived as treasure or valued art. The elves, however, donated a giant Lynwood tree, the species which is said to sound as if it is whispering when the wind blows through its leaves. The Whisper Tree is located southwest of the Temple of Mathias, and its branches provide shade for a diameter of several hundred yards.
The Bath House
The Bath House is another iconic display of what the wealthy can afford and the average citizen cannot. Located just north of the Stately Lady, on the opposite side of the road, the Bath House provides an unprecedented experience to those who enter it.
The members of the Bath House are often faced with an almost ritualistic, artistic cleansing, which consists of incensed waters and fountains, magical sands, and aromatic oils which are massaged into the skin. The occurrence is said to be healing and invigorating, leading to a longer, more satisfying life.
The Counting Quarry
Because Raleigh’s government relies heavily on the financial well being of its capital, the need for banks and tax collectors arose steadily with the increase of settled populous. The Counting Quarry is an organized area northwest of the Temple of Mathias that houses several banks and tax collectors that Viscosa relies on to expand financially.
The area where the Counting Quarry is located is also the same place that Raleigh’s first bank was conceived.