HOLY WAR IN GORTINA
THE CITY OF GORTINA
THE CITY OF OSTINA
JESUANISM AND CURLONGISM
NOTA: All these events and places are located inside The Enclave. For a general description of this country that is located on the continent of Dorimghen, click here : ENCLAVE
1-THE CITY OF GORTINA
On the southern border of Gorvanon rsie the moutains of Emin Lunon, that mark the limit of this duchy and the begining of the neighbor duchy of Moranon. These mountains are dominated by the proud peak of Arad Lunon. East of the Arad Lunon is a plateau where the river Arios springs from a cave. This plateau houses a city famous all over the Enclave: Gortina.
The holy city of Gortina was founded in 4301 by some of the most hardcore followers of the Jesuanism that had been deported to the Enclave. These people wanted to make sure that the inhabitants of the enclave would not forget their spiritual heritage and would always turn to a beacon of the faith to stay on the right path. This was also a way to ensure that the Enclave would not be forgotten by the rest of the world since the leaders of Gortina pleaded allegiance to the country of Etoras, craddle of the Jesuanism.
They were quick to claim that Jesua himself had appeared in the cave where the Arios was springing from, and that the place was to be claimed as holy and out of the jurisdiction of the various lords who at that time were sharing the control over the enclave. This status was never challenged and remained after the many estates were unified under the four duchies.
The city had been built in a remote position, and therefore could not expect to develop as a major settlement or trade center. But it used the fame and the respect gained from the sanctuary of Jesua, as the Arios spring had been renamed. It became a major center of pilgrimage and thrived on the many donations by the pilgrims. And as the city grew in strength, fame and power, becoming the spiritual adviser of the enclave, the duchies felt compelled to make regular offerings to ensure the blessings from the high clergy of Gortina.
The area is not complety deprived of natural resources though. A few miles below the plateau lies a succession of narrow valleys that are quite fertile. Many villages are scattered in these valleys, taking care of the crops and the cattle that provide Gortina with the food it requires.
The leaders of Gortina knew that faith is a good thing but that it is not always enough to protect the believers. As did their kinsmen in Etoras, they took many precautions to avoid having to fall through unnecessary martyrdom as had been the trend with early Jesuanists. Therefore, they built walls around their city, a fortress to protect it and several forts to defend the valleys and ensure the city could not be submitted through starvation in case of conflict. They were so thorough in their work that Gortina can claim to be not only the holiest city in the Enclave, but also the most heavily fortified.
On the slopes of the mighty Arad Lunon that towers two thousand meters above, at an altitude of one thousand five hundred meters, below a cliff of sheer black rock lies a plateau, wide and flat, overlooking a series of valleys that form a chasm between the mountains that surround the platform. The eye is first caught by the towering spires of the Josua the Just Cathedral, a huge building springing from the center of the plateau, with elegant arches and lacelike stone carving surrounding stained glass windows that glitter in the cold sun. Nearby is the narrow needle of the pilgrim tower, its golden top shining in the crisp air. Gathered around the two buildings are a multitude of clean and proud buildings, made of polished black and light grey stone and pink marble, lining well drawn streets that spring like rays and concentric circles from the main square in front of the cathedral. Each district has a church, smaller than the cathedral but each with its own personality and style and a proud display of richess and architectural ingenuosity. This quiet and rich looking city is nested behind high walls, that would seem more appropriate for a fortress than for what is obviously a place of faith and prayer. These walls surround the plateau, opening only at its extreme end, to the east, to allow the waters of a powerful stream to spring toward the valley in a four hundred meters tall cataract. On the other side of the plateau, to the west, the walls close with the cliff, on a ledge where a great fortress is built, overlooking the city. It is the Fortress of the Faith, that reminds onlookers that their faith not only guides them but also protects them. Just below this fortress, a cave opens on the dark rock, and from the mouth of the cave comes the spring, clear and merry, filling a wide basin before overflowing in a cold stream that crosses the city, spanned by many elegant bridges, until it reaches the east wall and the cataract. Beside the clear pool, a wide and low building with pink marble walls and seven cuppolas of blue enamel reflects itself in the silver waters. It is the basilic of Jesua the Savior, where pilgrims flock to pray their savior before going to drink the holy waters of the Arios Spring. There are great gates on the walls to the North and the South, from where start roads that will bring the pilgrims from Gorvanon in the North or Moranon in the South. Slightly below the city, to the South East, on a wide ledge half way to the first valley is a group of buildings surrounded by a wall of dark stones. A bellfry springs from among the buildings, allowing the onlooker to know the place is dedicated to religious service. And indeed it is for this is the great Abbey of Saint Amarac, known all over the country for its liquors and its enamels. A steep road winds down the mountain from the South Gate toward the Abbey. This road keeps coming down and soon reaches a village, marking the entrance of the first valley, four hundred meters below the city but still over one thousand meters above sea level. This valley gently slopes down, narrowing and widening, and opening into an other valley, and so on, until the altitude is only five hundred meters and the mountains turn into hills, releasing the Arios that has now become a powerful river that slows down its rush as it widens and flows down a less steep slope.
Gortina has a POPULATION of 35000, but it can rise up to 50000 in time of holy festival because of the many pilgrims that come to the city in these occasions.
The city is built around the great CATHEDRAL of JESUA THE JUST, the greatest Cathedral in the Enclave and second greatest Cathedral in the world. It was built over 400 years, completed in 4743 and officially consecrated by the Great Pope of Etoras in 5108. Click here to see a plan of the cathedral and here to see an elevation drawing of the eastern facade.
PLACES OF INTEREST and fame in the city are: The Fortress of the Faith, the great castle overlooking the Sanctuary of Jesua. The Basilic of Jesua the savior just below the cave, the Pilgrims tower where are displayed the ex votos of those who have been granted wishes by Jesua, the 15 churches of the companions of Jesua. (Saint Arteon, Saint Beltor, Saint Pasterna, Saint Ermion, Saint Tadar, Saint Roman, Saint Dalion, Saint Kerdeau, Saint Marton, Saint Baltus, Saint Pernon, Saint Fermin, Saint Pastol, Saint Brughes, Saint Dalvo), the street of the Pilgrims with its hundreds of shops offering souvenirs and various items to remember the trip and bring back home to show that you are a good follower of the faith. On the outskirts of the city is the Abbey of Saint Amarac, a great place of meditation and knowledge. The abbey is famous for its liquors, its manuscripts kept in the great library and its enamels and silverwork.
All kinds of BUSINESSES can be found in the city, blacksmith, carpenters, inns, banks ( The Church of Jesua became rich with a system of banking that they managed to spread in many countries of Dorimghen), masons, traders... Alcool is not forbidden by the religion and the abbey produces excellent wine cider and liquors that are sold all over the city in the many inns, kep both by non religious citizen and members of the church. It is in fact hard to distinguish sometimes a church inn to a secular inn.
The city is crossed by the Arios spring, from the cave it springs from to the East wall where it jumps of the plateau in a long cataract. The river that crosses the city is narrow, not very deep, crystal clear and powerful. But it is not in fact the only flow of the Arios. The spring of the Arios is made of many subterranean channels that snake through the plateau and all mic into the great cataract, accounting for the already powerful river that begins to flow down the valleys four hundred meters below. The city is thus sufficiently provided with water since many wells reach deep in the rock in each district to meet the underground streams of the Arios. The opening of the city walls through which the arios flows to fall over the edge of the plateau is barred by a great iron gate, that doesn't prevent the water to flow but stops people who would fall in the powerful stream to be dragged to their death. The Arios is strong and pwerful and thus never freezes, even in the coldest winters.
The city is RULED by the Cardinal of Gortina, helped in that task by a high council of bishops. One of these bishops is a member of the Church Knight Order, having the rank of Bishop but the title of Protector Father but being in fact a warrior of the faith and full fledged military man. He is the keeper of the Fortress of the Faith. As of 5301, the Cardinal is Monsignor Trapelli, and the keeper of the fortress is Protector Brabant. Half of the city is composed of chruch men, priests, abbots, brothers, church knights and soldiers of the faith. They work as well on the holy places and spiritual tasks that on the more secular and mundane tasks, for instance the various businesses related to the pilgrims or the many jobs required in a city. The other half of the city is composed of faithfuls, who rent the places they live or work in to the church, and perform the activities that would not befit holy men (Although there are very little of those). The secular folks of Gortina elect every 2 years a Mayor, who represents them in the high council. This mayor is chosen among the representatives of the secular guilds prest in the city.
The high council is backed by an office of the Censor that takes care of the rules and daily laws of the city. The bishops are assisted by a complex administrations of Brothers Administrators of various ranks who have the task to take care of the daily functionning of the city. If the high council is in fact the ruling body, the high functionnaries of the Administration hold a strong power since they make the final decisions for most of the common cases related to the functionning of the city.
GUILDS of Gortina: Carpenters Guild, Stone Cutters, Traders, Blacksmiths, Farmers, Artists, Performers, Potters, Tanners, innkeepers, Garments makers, Mountain Guides.
Other professions are not numerous enough to be represented by a guild and form the assembly of the citizen to elect their representative to the board of the guilds and have a chance to get a Mayor from their ranks to be elected. As of 5301, the MAYOR is a representant of the Traders Guild whose name is Abelar Gorion.
LAW is enforced in the city by a City militia force composed for two thirds of secular citizen and for the other third (mainly at the commanding posts) of religious members. The patrol the streets, arrest the criminal and take care of the general safety in the city. The fact that there is no thieves guild in Gortina makes things much easier but it has been oftenly rumored that such an organization indeed exists, to control the many beggars that live from the generosity of the pilgrims and the many pickpocket who thrive in time of festivals. However, it must be noted that there is very little ciminality, murders or agressions or robberies in the city and it can rightfully boast to be one of the safest cities in the Enclave. JUSTICE is upheld by a holy court of justice with 6 branches that split the cases between the districts of the city. Punishment is severe and the justice system is based on the fact that the accused is guilty and must prove his innocence.
Gortina has its own ARMY of 5000 soldiers. They are all under religious service members of two religious military orders : The Church Knights and the Soldiers of The Faith. This regular army can be assisted in time of needs by an other 5000 force drawn from militia reservists, trained regularly, and drawn from the ranks of both the religious community and the secular citizen.
FACTS AND POINTS OF INTEREST
NON HUMAN are not welcome in the city but they are not forbidden to enter. Of course, since very few non human live in the enclave and they don't follow the Jesuanist religion, they would have no reason to come to Gortina. A few of them did though and there are currently two elves and four dwarves in the city who have embrassed this new faith. The city was originally closed to them but when the council of 5050 in Etoras decided that Non human are not necessarily creatures of the demon but misguided children of the Only God, the city, like the other centers of this faith in Sharene chose to try what it could to bring them on the path of the right faith, make them abandon their legends and fake gods, stop shamanic and other esoteric practice and become good Jesuanists. So far the result is quite low (6 converts) but there is a special office for the non human races in the city that is always ready to tackle the problem.
TRANSPORT in the city: The most common and efficient way to move in the city is by foot. It is possible though to hire transports. They come in three forms : Horse carriages, which are the most costly and less numerous since horses are heavily controled inside the city and visitors' horses are to be left at the stables near the city gates; Rickshaws, that are two wheeled carts pulled by a man, and sedan chairs, more comfortable and private but quite expensive.
MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
2-THE CITY OF OSTINA
3-JESUANISM AND CURLONGISM
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