The city of Omrazir in northeastern Idiri is one of the great cosmopolitan ports of the Sirdabi Caliphate, and the chief hub of activity in Song of Avaria. It is the provincial capital of Raziya and also an important pilgrimage destination for Azadi faithful.
About (Excerpted from Mamoun al-Afzal's The Traveler's Guide to Omrazir)
"Located on the northeastern coast of Idiri near the mouth of the Strait of Sorrows, Omrazir is a glittering city of commerce and learning, the whirling confluence of streams of merchants, scholars, and curious travelers from both north and south, and even from across the seas. As one of the major cities of the mighty Sirdabi Caliphate, and situated as it is at the intersection of three different worlds, Omrazir is a cosmopolitan place and a bustling hub of trade, learning, spirituality, and political intrigue. Life is conducted at a hectic pace here, but the hubbub and clamor are always offset by the openness of the diverse citizenry and the transcendent gleam of towers and terraces warmed by the sparkling sunlight off the bay.
"Or so it seems to the casual eye of the short-term traveler. For beneath the glimmering surface one glimpses from the docks, there seethes a hotbed of pirates and smugglers, con artists and thieves, and bitterly opposed factions whose rivalries sometimes owe more to tradition than to any more substantial animosity. In fact, my friends, this city thrives on conflict -- between orthodox faith and the questioning minds of natural philosophers, between new money and old, between legal trade and the black market; yes, even between east and west. In some cases this conflict serves only to unsettle the city and endanger its residents, but at its best these tensions spur a dynamism and daring spirit that place Omrazir at the forefront of new and unexpected modes of thought and ways of doing things. Chaotic and restless and perilous it may be, but Omrazir is certainly never boring."
Located in the north of the Sirdabi province of Raziya, Omrazir overlooks the Strait of Sorrows from the fastness of its perch in the coastal hills. The entire city is spread out over a long tumble of cliffs and hillsides, which in some places roll gently and in others plunge precipitately down towards the sea. Gazing northward on a clear day, it is possible to glimpse the shores of Cadenza as a thin shimmering line in the distance, more mirage than substance.
The city generally rises in elevation from north to south, and also from east to west. From the sea, the bulk of Omrazir appears as a multi-colored crazy quilt spread between two lofty masses of rock that flank it on the east and west. The more slender of these two massifs serves as the foundation for the renowned Temple of Storms and the associated temple complex, while the bulkier western massif houses a number of notable structures: the Elucidarium Academy with the great mosque and library at the heart of it, the palace of the bey of Omrazir, and the substantial casbah that guards the port. Omrazir is known for its many terraces built into the hillsides and for the resplendent domed minarets overlooking the city, as well as for its multitude of walls and arcades -- brick and stone, carved and painted and exquisitely mosaicked -- that set off both the private and public spaces of the city.
The walls of Omrazir, which guard the elevated south and east perimeter, back up onto a broad and arid expanse known as the Plain of Storms. However, the dry barrenness is relieved on the southeastern side of the city by the sizeable Sidi Mircasset Oasis, which is itself intermittently encircled by a half-hearted series of walls, the stones of which are often pillaged by nomads and other itinerants to create temporary enclosures for their livestock. Much of the moisture of the oasis stems from the springs that represent the subterranean flow of the River Tamrasset, which appears dry for most of its length but from this point flows to the sea in a narrow channel cutting down the middle of the city.
Omrazir is divided into east and west halves of roughly equal population, with the River Tamrasset as the ancient dividing line between the two. The older eastern half of the city is known as Dawn, and the western half as Dusk. These areas are further divided into numerous districts and neighborhoods, from residential areas to the grounds of temple or academy. Although there is much variety in terrain and architecture to be found throughout the city, in general the west side is steeper, and characterized by tall multistory baked brick buildings and still taller stone spires. The larger and more moderately sloping east half of the city is made up of lower adobe and brick structures, where many of the religious and civic buildings are topped by domes. The greatest dome, of course, is that belonging to the Temple of Storms, whose brilliant blue radiance can be glimpsed well out to sea.
Omrazir's major roads were laid out or renamed during the city's rule by the Ruveran Empire, during a time in which trade and other connections with the heart of the empire were strong. It is for this reason that these main arteries are named using Ruvan convention. The ordinary streets and cul-de-sacs branching off through individual quarters are, in contrast, named in Sirdabi and various Idiri languages, usually descriptively or for prominent individuals or families.
Omrazir is crossed by two major thoroughfares. One of these, the Via Maris, overlooks the Strait as it runs east-west, connecting the port of al-Sakhna to the city via the northeastern Maysa Gate. From here it passes just above Omrazir's docks and rises further to skirt the edge of the Academy District and Palace Precinct, where it terminates in a grand plaza at the palace gates. The second and larger avenue, known as the Via Magna, bisects the city along a north-south axis. Running from the docks in the north through the Bazaar of the Nine Winds and up to the southern Nthanda Gate, the Via Magna is also an important cultural boundary in Omrazir which, along with the River Tamrasset that parallels it, marks the division between East and West.
In defiance of these two straightforward avenues, most of the streets of Omrazir are nowhere near as direct, and it is an easy thing for the visitor to lose himself in the course of ten minutes' walking through any given part of the city.
- Bazaar of the Nine Winds: One of the greatest markets in the entire caliphate and the heart of commerce in Omrazir, where nearly anything can be obtained for the right price.
- Dockside District: The wealthiest neighborhood in the city, built upon the profits flowing through the docks which it overlooks.
- Fish Market: A small but thriving market spread out across a terrace by the docks, where fish and other daily essentials are bought and sold.
- Wharf District: The seaside promenade and its adjoining docks, where passenger ships and wealthy trading vessels moor beneath the oversight of the Omrazir Customs Authority.
Dawn (East City)
- Bloody Quarter: The neighborhood in which the majority of the city's Yehani population resides, home to the Yash-nalim Temple and the genteel Fountain Square market.
- Dampstone Close: A small community built above the subterranean course of the Tamrasset, noted for its artesian well in the main plaza.
- Hospital District: The district containing the Jumana Bimaristan and numerous associated facilities for the care of the sick and aged.
- Kingfisher District: The old and still elegant neighborhood that is home to Omrazir's oldest and proudest lineages.
- Temple District: The site of the towering Temple of Storms, consecrated to the Idiri goddess Nirzali as well as to the Prophet's wife Adwa.
- Wali Djebeli Cemetery: The city cemetery which offers striking views of Omrazir, where the mausoleum of the great holy man Wali Djabeli can be visited.
- White City: The site of the original Elam Rassi in its glory days, now a derelict neighborhood rife with poverty, drugs, and illicit activities of all sorts.
Dusk (West City)
- Academy District: Home to the renowned Elucidarium madrasa and mosque, as well as the greatest library of the entire caliphate.
- Cursed Quarter: A sprawling cluster of shops, houses, and gardens in the heart of Dusk, abandoned to a shadowy curse.
- Ferenghi Quarter: The quarter where many of the city's foreign-born population have come to reside, encompassing expatriates from across Avaria.
- Palace Precinct: A neighborhood of dizzyingly tall towers and spires built on Omrazir's western ridge, home to many of the city's most influential families as well as diplomats.
- Razmani Enclave: The lofty home of the city's Razmani population, carved directly into the sheer cliffs overlooking the city.
Pages in category "Omrazir"
The following 18 pages are in this category, out of 18 total.