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A-Z Guide to Santo-Dominian Cities [WIP]

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City of Anheit
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Slogan: The city of rising fog.
Description: A city covered by fog and smog, with exceptionally industrious residents.
Population: 136,024 (as of 1421 census)
Canton: Niedersasslen(NL)
Status: Largest cantonal city, provincial capital
Language: Common, Dominish
Demonym: Anheiter

Government: Mayor-council government

Mayor - Gladys Williamson (DCB)

Body - Anheit Municipal Council

Nestled in the north of the Dominian Archipelago, Anheit has always been an industrial hub of the country. The largest city and provincial capital of Canton Niedersasslen, Anheit is Santos-Dominius' leading manufacturing heart and part of the greater Northern Dominius industrial area. The city is one of northern Dominius' more populous and modern cities, with technological and scientific advancements allowing for the construction of ever more futuristic plants and factories.

Anheit is not a popular tourist destination. However, it is home to some of Santos-Dominius' biggest industrial corporations and conglomerates. As a result, many engineers and workers seeking manual labour for good pay often come to the city in search for various employment opportunities, which the city always has an abundance of.

ETYMOLOGY

From the An river and heit(Dominish suffix meaning "soft/fair").

HISTORY

Anheit was first settled by peoples from the island of Santos. It was also populated by emigrants from the southern part of the Auran mainland. The city's strategic position at one of the northern points of Dominius was observed by the city's rulers, who noted that Anheit lay at the northern entrance of the Darkesian Sea from the Infinite World Ocean to the west. This good fortune allowed Anheit to prosper as an industrial and trading hub, specialising in the export of Santo-Dominian products from all over the country. At first, this was fine materials like garments and riches; but as technology developed, this was quickly replaced by steel and iron. Anheit was dotted with factories everywhere, and it caused smog to blanket the city, resulting in the nickname "the city of rising fog".

These days, Anheit is far from the industrial powerhouse it used to be - the boons of automation and technological advancement have meant that there is far less need for the manufacturing plants of the past. However, Anheit is not ready to give up its long productive tradition yet - the city has been building newer and more sophisticated renewable energy plants and recycling centres in hopes that the industrious passion of its citizens can adapt to new environments and survive for generations to come.

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City of Arkurter
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Slogan: The Frontline of Time
Description: A rapidly morphing city, with little trace of its past.
Population: 425,897 (as of 1421 census)
Canton: Nordrhuin-Theronigen(NR)
Status: Largest cantonal city, provincial capital
Language: Common, Dominish
Demonym: Arkurter

Government: Mayor-council government

Mayor - Sarah Einhart (CoR)

Body - Council of All Arkurters

Arkurter is Santos-Dominius' 2nd-largest city overall, and its most futuristic. Sitting on an island in Canton Nordrhuin-Theronigen, Arkurter has long been the financial hub of southern Santos-Dominius while sustaining a friendly rivalry with Friberne for the status of overall financial centre of the country. With cerulean and pearl white office buildings in its heart, Arkurter is home to a lot of regional banks and major corporations.

Arkurter has also acquired a reputation for innovation in recent years. Technology and communications start-ups often find the bustling southern city a better and more bustling choice than the quiet, traditional and leafy Friberne. Although this has caused some crude Friberneses to accuse the city of abandoning its past, Arkurters have always coolly retorted that Friberne just can't catch up to their home.

ETYMOLOGY

From ar(prefix, origin unknown) and kurter(name, origin unknown).

HISTORY

Arkurter was first populated by emigrating people from the northern shores of the continent of Andolia. Founded on the coast with prime access to the Yatasail and Darkesian Seas, medieval Arkurter flourished as a trading port. As its founding citizens traversed the Yatasail specifically to arrive at the city, Arkurters also mastered the skill of seafaring earlier and better than other major towns in Santos-Dominius. Arkurter became a booming city where citizens hailing from Santos and northern Dominius could purchase and sell goods and products of all kinds in exchanges with Andolian merchants from near and far.

Today, Arkurter is still a trading port, but not literally so: the city has sustained its own branch of the Friberne Stock Exchange. Although this is jokingly viewed as an insult by some proud Arkurters, it cannot be denied that the stock trading activity has brought much wealth and prosperity to the city, assuring its residents that development will not stop. No matter where one goes, Arkurter always seems to have the most fascinating and modern technologies, buildings, roads, cars, and so on. Perhaps this is why incumbent Mayor Sarah Einhart declared in her first victory speech at Arkurter was on "the frontline of time".

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Town of Berchstein
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Slogan: Where the morning sun smiles at the sea.
Description: The elderly residents boast that having nothing to do is this seaside town's unique charm.
Population: 43,234 (as of 1421 census)
Canton: Zentrum-Dominien (ZD)
Status: Largest cantonal town, provincial capital
Language: Common, Dominish
Demonym: Berchsteiner

Government: Council-manager government

Mayor - Amelia McManting (DCB)

Body - Berchstein Town Council

Is there much to do in the town of Berchstein? Ask any local resident and they will unfailingly say "no". Apart from the usual grocery stores, bakeries, post office, town hall and residents, Berchstein has little to offer the adventurous traveler. But this seaside town's residents like it that way - according to a recent demographics survey, over 80% of elderly Santo-Dominians lived in or planned to move to Berchstein.

The reason for this is precisely because Berchstein doesn't have much going on. This quaint and quiet village is the perfect settling place for those who have already lived through their most adventurous, exciting and passionate years. Its pastel-coloured, mid-sized homes are excellent for elderly couples and families who wish to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of big cities like Arkurter and Sasslen, as well as the politics of Friberne. In almost anywhere else, being a town with nothing much going on is nearly always a negative. But in Berchstein, it's the defining characteristic that makes it attractive.

ETYMOLOGY

From berch(old Common for "family who lived close to a birch tree") and stein(old Dominish for "stone, rock").

HISTORY

Berchstein was founded by Emilia, Dowager Countess of Rederburg long ago. After her husband died and her son took over as Count of the city, Dowager Countess Emilia wanted a refuge where she could take a rest and stop having to deal with the complicated matters that come with being a noblewoman. She left Canton Sasslen-Vorpalain and sailed around the Dominian archipelago in search of a perfect location, and Berchstein was the place that she chose. With the money she got from her late husband, the Dowager Countess built and maintained a large mansion estate, where she lived carefree and surrounded by servants, which she treated kindly.

Right before the Dowager Countess died, she bequeathed ownership of the estate - and the town by extension - to her servants and their families, as a final act of boundless generosity. Since then, the descendants of those servants have lived in Berchstein for generations, carefully keeping the town intact and treating newcomers kindly as a way to pay tribute to the Dowager Countess. Nowadays, the town is what Emilia Redenburg would've wanted it to become - a quiet refuge for all who want to slow down and catch their breath.

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Federal City of Friberne
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Slogan: Heart of Tradition
Description: Charm, harmony and history make this place the country's greatest city.
Population: 762,423 (as of 1421 census)
Canton: Friberne (FE)
Status: National and provincial capital, largest city overall and in canton
Language: Common, Santosian, Dominish
Demonym: Fribernese

Government: Mayor-council government

Lord Mayor - Pierre Montcharrau (DCB)

Body - Municipal Commission of the Federal City

Home to the Santo-Dominian national government, there is arguably no city better than Friberne in the entire Federal Republic. Situated at the northwestern end of the Azure Lagoon, Friberne plays host to the Fribernese Fortress (the presidential palace), the National Senate Building, the National Court Building, the Friberne Stock Exchange and so much more. From the magnificent spectacle that is the Water Jet of Friberne to the haute-couture boutiques of Châtaignier Boulevard, this grandiose city truly has everything to offer. Beautifully gardened parks and splendid Santosian architecture seem to always be around the corner no matter where you go. All this add up to make Friberne Santos-Dominius' greatest city.

ETYMOLOGY

From frei(Dominish for "free") and berne(old Dominish for "bear").

HISTORY

Friberne was founded by refugees escaping from the sacking of early settlements Saxlonia and Palatinium in 144 AF. The two towns had been fighting the Saxlonian-Palatinian War of 143, which ended indecisively, and settlers who could no longer stand the warring fled south to establish Friberne.

Following its foundation, Friberne slowly but steadily grew to become a city-state; its first leader was Burne, Count of Upper Saxlonia. Back then, it was simply called Upper Saxlonia, which then was changed to Upper Sasslen when the Framboisian nobility implemented the Great Step Up reforms of 159. Nevertheless, despite its residents' desire to seek solace and refuge, Friberne was unable to avoid war forever.

The people of what is now Canton Framboise soon invaded the city-state of Lotharburg, situated in the northernmost tip of Santos. Its ruler, Duchess Joan IV, sought Fribernese assistance in creating numerical superiority so as to repel the Framboisian invaders. In spite of numerous efforts by the armies of Framboise to take Lotharburg, Friberne was able to send troops and relieve pressure on their beleaguered northern ally. The united Fribernese-Lotharburgian army ultimately defeated Canton Framboise.

From then onwards, Friberne steadily became a growing powerhouse in Santo-Dominian politics. It made alliances with towns near and far, including Sasslen, Palain, St. Arlaine, Waldburg and Schwabenburg. Its prior friendship with Lotharburg was also maintained. This array of alliances catapulted Friberne into great significance, which was only further accelerated when Saint Mark conquered Santos-Dominius in 898 AF. The Saint Markian colonists chose Friberne as the seat of their colonial government, viewing it as a reliable conservative stronghold compared to cities like Waldburg(WS), Louisann(LM) and St. Arlaine(SN), all three of which have long histories with revolts. The Fribernese population lived up to this expectation - despite sharing the other cities' dislike of their colonisers, it decided to cooperate rather than revolt and face near-certain destruction.

When the Patriotic Liberation broke out, Friberne was the last Saint Markian stronghold to fall to the Santo-Dominian forces. Despite the heavy fighting that happened right outside the city, the liberating Santo-Dominians decided against destroying this historic town, choosing instead to peacefully enter. When the new Federal Republic needed a capital, the Fribernese ceaselessly lobbied for the honour in an attempt to save the city's reputation. They succeeded, as the new government thought it wise to locate itself in Friberne so as to show continuity and demonstrate that the country had been truly liberated from Saint Mark.

Nowadays, Friberne stands as Santos-Dominius' heart of tradition, contrasting sharply with the futuristic Arkurter, the bombastic Sasslen, the historic Galioveile and the fairytale-like Romant-sous-Bois. It's one of a rare few cities in Santos-Dominius that is evenly trilingual: 1/3 of the city has Common as their 1st language, another 1/3 with Santosian as their native language and the remaining 1/3 with Dominish as their mother tongue. This is reflected in the city's three neighbourhoods: the elegant and splendid Santosian Quarter, which has decadent architecture and high-fashion boutiques; the neat and tidy Dominish Quarter, which has the government complex and several museums; and the Fribernese Littoral, the tranquil lakeside neighbourhood with fancy mansions and homes.

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City of Galioveile
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Slogan: A city of awakening.
Description: This historic city is home to the Castle of Rebirth, where nobles used to conduct their rites of passage into adulthood.
Population: 45,325 (as of 1421 census)
Canton: Yatasailie-Comte(YC)
Status: Largest cantonal city, provincial capital
Language: Common, Santosian
Demonym: Galioveilean

Government: Council-manager government

Mayor - Anne-Marie Shalour(CoR)

Body - Council of Elders

One of the most mysterious and historic cities in Santos-Dominius, Galioveile sits on a partially inaccessible tidal island in the Canton of Yatasailie-Comte (Santosian for "Yatasail County"), far in the south of the island of Santos. Surrounded nearly entirely by sea, the only way to access Galioveile is to wait for the narrow sand passage connecting it to the Santosian mainland to appear at low tides. At high tides, the city is completely inaccessible by foot or by vehicle; however, the city has recently begun debating the establishment of a ferry service.

It should be noted that Galioveile doesn't just include the famous tidal island section that most people are aware of - a majority of the population actually live on the mainland side of the city, which is far more connected and accessible than its original core on the tidal island. This is why despite appearing to be very small in pictures, Galioveile actually narrowly has more people than the town of Berchstein in Canton Zentrum-Dominien.

The most famous landmark of Galioveile is undeniably the Castle of Rebirth. Sitting at the very top of the tidal island, the castle is famously known as where nobles in ancient times conducted their rites of passage in adulthood. To this day, the castle's interior walls and gardens are still filled with paintings, carvings and sculptures depicting the trials that young nobility have to go through. Nowadays, despite no longer being a site where adulthood rites are conducted, the Castle of Rebirth remains a tourist attraction, as it is rumoured in fairytales that hidden in its spire is a beautiful flower that will give those who find it everlasting adolescence.

ETYMOLOGY

From Galium odoratum(sweet woodruff), éveil(Santosian for "awakening") and possibly veil.

HISTORY

Galioveile was first discovered to be a naturally defensible location by the Duke of Neuenstadt in 132 AF. However, as the Duke believed that it was a double-edged sword (defenders may also find it hard to escape), he ultimately did not establish a settlement in the area. As the years passed, rising sea levels caused Galioveile's tidal island to become more and more inaccessible, as the sand passage connecting it to the mainland slowly eroded. It was only in 196 AF that mysterious tribal settlers from faraway unknown lands(now believed to be northwestern Andolia) set up shop and founded a village on the site. Unfortunately, the settlers were constantly beset by bad luck - the village elders, who were more experienced and adept at leadership and survival skills, often died in an untimely manner of plagues and diseases. This led to the rest of the village placing a great deal of importance on training its younger members to be able to take over the reins as soon as possible and as best as possible. The first rites of adulthood were conducted at the top of the hill on the tidal island, and later generations would build the Castle of Rebirth to commemorate and honour this tradition.

Galioveile gradually became more and more well known over the centuries, as countless nobles and rich families sent their adolescent heirs and heiresses to train at the Castle of Rebirth, picking up combat skills and learning how to survive and lead. Even the Duke of Neuenstadt - now a far descendant of the original Duke - sent his young heir to train at the castle. According to ancient tales, the heir ended up losing his life while training in the spire, which was struck by lightning. To mourn the death of his son, the Duke placed a flower granting everlasting youth to one who finds it - and the legend has charmed the city's residents ever since. To this day, many tourists will pay a visit to the Castle to search for the flower, but no one has managed to find it. It is said that the flower is actually a bush of sweet woodruff - Galium odoratum - which is where part of the city's current name comes from. Nowadays, Galioveile's culture and customs differ from most of the country - and scientists and historians have consistently attempted to figure out why.

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City of Gingkalos
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Slogan: The Suburban City
Description: Calming trees and humble abodes coexist in natural harmony in this spread-out city.
Population: 354,098 (as of 1421 census)
Canton: Ostpalain-Westrhuin(PW)
Status: Largest cantonal city, provincial capital
Language: Common, Dominish
Demonym: Gingkalosian

Government: Mayor-council government

Mayor - Henrik Grosz (DCB)

Body - Gingkalos Municipal Council

The typical Santo-Dominian city, restrained by limited space for development, is bursting with high-rise towers and skyscrapers. In Gingkalos, however, it's a different story entirely. Jokingly called "The Suburban City" by many residents, Gingkalos is fairly spread out on the small island upon which it is located, with many of its residents living in typical middle-class suburbia. Often considered a great place to start families and raise kids, the city offers large spaced-out homes, cosy low-rise buildings and lots of greenery. Gingkalos' definitive symbol is the tall Ginkgo tree, which represents the family values that the municipal government wishes to cultivate in the local area.

Another distinct feature of Gingkalos is its low taxes. In recent years, Canton Ostpalain-Westrhuin has been known for lowering its corporate and income taxes in a bid to attract more investment and wealthy residents. This strategy has worked to a degree, with the city observing a noticeable influx of more well-off residents in recent years. However, some older Gingkalosians with roots in the city have complained that their better-off neighbours are increasingly attempting to hoard big properties - although the city has remained dismissive of these concerns.

ETYMOLOGY

From Ginkgo biloba(common Ginkgo/Gingko tree).

HISTORY

Gingkalos was first founded in around 645 AF by settlers who found the island's evenly-spread vegetation a great source of relief from the scorching southern Dominian summers. As it grew over time, the city's residents and authorities discussed urbanisation as a way of bypassing the island's geographic limitations. However, this was rejected - many elderly citizens preferred a more suburban, tranquil atmosphere like Berchstein to the rapid development and rampant noise of metropolises such as Arkurter. This crucial decision would ultimately shape the city to become what it is today.

In the 1390s Gingkalos was faced with another difficult decision. Being home to abundant vegetation, logging companies from Friberne and Arkurter fought with the city's residents for the right to cut and sell the local area's Ginkgo trees. The logging companies attempted to bribe the municipal council into bypassing citizen consultation and approving the logging activities, but the municipal council took too much time to consider accepting the bribe. In the end, environmentalist organisations reported the corporations' suspicious acts to the national authorities in Friberne, and the Cantonal Court of Ostpalain-Westrhuin ruled against allowing the Ginkgo trees to be cut - protecting the city's harmonious nature for years to come.

Since then, Gingkalos has acquired a reputation as the definitive representation of Santo-Dominian middle-class suburbia; many movies about family life and teenage bildungsroman(coming-of-age) movies have been filmed in the city. Population growth, however, is a concern - residential development is reaching its limit, and some residents may eventually choose to move elsewhere given the small size of the island the city is located on.

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