Archangel existed even before the rise of the Holy Empire. Built in the same year that Christ died, the city was raised around the tomb of the Messiah, so as to honor his memory. After the War of God, Aeolus Hawke ordered the restoration of the ruined city and eventually, Archangel became the capital of the Empire.
Archangel is, without a doubt, the biggest city in all of Gaia. Built on an immense plain, Archangel extends itself over several dozens of miles. Its streets have lampposts to illuminate the night, and it has a modern sewer systems. The Zafir River crosses through Archangel in two different places, providing the city with all the water it needs.
In the center of the city sits an immense column crowned with an open-armed stone angel whose wings are extended. This structures, which gives the city its name, is almost 1,000 feet tall and can be seen from across the region. There are three enormous forts that exist within Archangel - the Imperial castle, home of the Empress Adelina Borges and her court, the Averus castle, reserved for the Lord of War, Thadeus Kisdain, and the currently uninhabited Holy Headquarters, the Alkavian Cathedral, traditional seat of the Supreme Archbishop. Also, there are hundreds of splendid palaces owned by nobles and the most important bourgeoisie.
Since the dawn of the Empire, Archangel has sheltered all the cultures and ethnic groups of Gaia. Each group has done its part for the city, which is reflected in Archangel's festivities, traditions and organizations. Currently, the city has almost three million people, more than double of any other city in existence. Archangel consists of different municipalities, each of which has a civil governor that deals with security and answers in turn before the delegate of the Empress and the master of the guards.
Archangel has no defensive walls and it does not need them. The city was not built with the intention of being a bastion, but rather a jewel that dazzles the whole world.
The Wings of the AngelEdit
This is the name for the centermost section of the city. Here, one can find the three largest palaces, as well as the richest houses and the most luxurious inns. The entire area is decorated with grand gardens, groves, and fountains, which are watered thanks to a modern system of channels that redirect the flow of the river. There one can also find the Chapel of the Resurrection, where it is said the body of Christ was buried. In this district, the guards have no jurisdiction, for it is the very same Heaven Order, the personal agents of the Empress, who are in charge of maintaining the order and watching out for safety of its citizens.
One needs an official pass to access this area, which costs 1 Gold Crown.
The Grey ZoneEdit
The Grey Zone is an enclave found in the northernmost part of the city. It gets its nickname because of the ashen-colored rooftops of houses in the area. The buildings within The Grey Zone, though separated from the central area of the city, are luxurious multi-story affairs. This area is filled with pubs, taverns, and inns, as well as gambling houses and other illegal establishments. It tends to be the liveliest area to visit at night, and each business keeps its doors open until sunrise. The guards turn a blind eye to most small incidents, as well. This is probably the only place in town where one can be the victim of a violent theft.
Near the center of town, one can find the Arena, an impressive coliseum that has room for almost 100,000 spectators. Many athletic spectacles are performed here, observed closely by the emperors (who can see from a nearby altar close to the palace). Every three years, with the coming of spring, the Tao Zan, a prestigious combat tournament which pits the best combatants in the world, is held. The only thing not allowed in the Tao Zan is the intentional killing of your opponent.
Archangel possesses the most complex sewer system in the world - and extensive and intricate web of tunnels and levels that extend across the length of the whole city. Since sleeping in the streets of Archangel is prohibited by law, the few vagabonds and beggars that live within the city find refuge in the sewers at night. Nevertheless, many of the sewer's tunnels have been sealed off by Imperial forces. Perhaps those access points are too close to the Empress' castle - although rumors speak of other strange secrets.
The Lys QuarterEdit
Lys is the most important commercial area in the city. While it is possible to acquire almost any type of product on any given street or market, the Lys Quarter contains the rarest and most extravagant goods, brought from the four corners of the world. Here, one can buy anything, from mechanical gadgets to firearms. Nonetheless, it is also one of the most expensive merchant areas in all of Gaia, with prices two to three times higher than other markets.