Inizio D'Oro

From skaldsong companion

This is a massive and sprawling landlocked city that is easy to get lost in, with heavy real-world Italian influences.

Description

The architecture sports colorful stucco walls, terracotta roofing, and hilly cobblestone or wheel-worked dirt roads with tightly placed buildings at its main hub. As the city expands outward, buildings become further spaced apart, giving it a more picturesque countryside appeal with rolling green hills dotted with farm plots. Carvings and decorative structural art are generally themed around The Great Skald, particularly in older parts or centers of gathering places such as mass markets, festival locales, and so on. Sometimes these pieces are subtle, the clef note appearing at the top of pillars or in the corners of door moldings or as a door handle. Sometimes they are grand, such as an entire fountain dedicated to their creator.

The city spans for what seems like forever and is such a maze that no matter the starting point you always feel like the building you're after is just the next street over... but then you realize there is yet another street between you and it. Even the relative elevation gives you nothing to infer either as the cobblestone streets wind this way and that as well as up and down. The buildings range in a simple but colorful palate that pair well with the terracotta shingles on the roofs. Occasionally the stone walls will have lush green vegetation blanketing them, keeping the beauty natural and making the congestion feeling a little less claustrophobic. Music, string or wind in nature, is often heard as the players practice in their homes with the windows open. Shops can be found strewn throughout as well and little cafes are often hidden in shaded side streets like little rendezvous points.

The crowds, when encountered, are lively and move with a choreographed precision with no one bumping into one another that you could tell. This is helpful, as the main market hub just south of the central plaza is nothing but a mass of bodies in motion. You can hear the calling of the sellers as they market their wares but you can't actually see their stalls to know if you are positioned right to swoop by, but somehow the crowd works you through the endless dance to your destination. At the center of this buzzing hub is a large roofed area where the richer merchants set up flea-market style. These merchants must cart in and out their wares daily and their beasts of burden are tied up on posts on one side of this market. For additional entertainment, one might often find young performers working together by a support column to practice their craft, their worth measured by the coins of passerby.

History

Inizio D’Oro was founded at the very spot that is said to be the one and only true sighting of The Skald and was the birthplace of the Maestros and the Guilds. It was declared the capital by the most respected of the Maestros, Berenice Terrazzo, and quickly became a religious mecca for those worshiping The Skald. Those worshipers who make the pilgrimage or are fortunate enough to live in the city worship The Skald by celebrating heroes of all capacities. The architecture of the city was heavily influenced by classical art and in older parts of the city, art and decor are more so crafted with The Skald as influence and muse. Because of this, it is estimated that the city is just over a millennium old.

In contrast to this age, the existence of the Prima Famiglia was established three centuries ago as a means of fighting against the corruptive influence of the Virtuosos. It was the brainchild of Leone Arturo, leader of the guild Battaglia (now known as Battaglia Militancy). The thought behind this change, ratified by the other guilds, was that by having mortal overseers, the ability of any Virtuoso (and to some extent, even the Maestros) to influence or interfere with guild activity and governing would be hampered, if not cut off in total. If things were clearly getting too far out of line The Primo Uomo (or in his absence, the Prima Donna) could issue orders for any overly harmful actions to cease, lest the perpetrating guild in question is punished. In doing so, the Prima Famiglia’s ultimate goal is to keep the guilds unified.

One prominent way to promote this unification has been through interguild marriages, especially with the Prima Famiglia. These marriages aren’t always pre-arranged, but when they are they are usually done as a calculated move by a guild leader. Another way is the Annual Review. Each year at Midyear, the Primo Uomo will engage in an annual review of all the Guilds, their leaders, and their territories. If the annual review happens to fall on a year in which a Primo(a) Figlio(a) comes of age, the king will use the annual review to also announce the partner he has selected for them. This partner is usually from another Guild, although it is not uncommon for noted heroes to be selected as well.

In the past, the leaders of each guild used to send their heirs to Chanson Isole'e's Chateau Vocal for 'finishing' as nobility. However, within the last two decades, the Primo Uomo (Name) made a choice, without explaining his reasoning, to have the heirs moved into the Prima Famiglia manor. At the manor, the heirs were lumped into specific jobs based on their guild's status (ie whether they held a town or not), similar to the way real world Louis XIV ran his court at Versailles.

Culture

While the arts are an important feature across The Tapestry, it is more so here at the capital. People are almost snobbish regarding it, with most of the locally renowned people all proficient in some art form, and their preferred dress among the upper middle class and higher being colorful if not lavish.

Religion

Skaldic (Primary)

Economy

Population

~25000

  • Even mix of races
  • Mostly well-to-do.

Main Exports

  • Grapes
  • Wheat
  • Commissioned art

Places of Note

Scordatura Alley

A long and winding road that weaves its way through a less traveled part of the city. Its different from the rest of the city and is implied to be the undesirable part of town. Whether this is a bad thing or not is up to you to discover.

The Choir

The Choir is a massive white and gold building set on the top of the Capital's central plaza. The plaza itself is perhaps both the most decorated and spatial part of the city. It is a large, empty space that is well suited in it's design to be filled with standing crowds for proclamations from the Choir's front steps.

On sunny days, painters would sit in the plaza with their easels and work on expanding the depth of their skills, with portraiture usually paying the best. Public speakers also chose this place to stand on crates and display their ability to inspire and inform. Up the steps and into the building you would find that it was not a palace but a hall of halls, as it is sometimes called. The guilds have large two-room offices each and center of all of them a universal room where they all confer and parley. Rumor says that the leaders meet with the Prima Famiglia there.

The Manor

North from the Choir you'll encounter a long, double gated stone bridge. Across this bridge is the entrance the grounds on which the manor of the Prima Famiglia lies, walled and gated from the rest of the city. The three-floored manor is set to the back of the property with the front yard made up of pathways of crushed oyster shell and hedges manicured to waist-height into grand box designs. Italian Cypress is planted aplenty here, especially along the walls and bordering the main path to the front door. Halfway between the main gate and this entrance is a fountain pool filled with water lilies.

But this is all you can see from the iron gates on the city side of the bridge. The tall wall surrounding the property extends no promises to those who may try to swim across instead. The lack of guard suggests that the civilians overall are rather respectful, or in the very least have no reason to try and visit. Or perhaps they know something and stay away on their own volition.

It is here that the heirs to the various guilds across The Tapestry live in splendor and serve the crown, getting intimate with their future as potential king or queen.