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Just outside Dalmasca, at the foot of the Ivory Mountains, is Haradi. Due to their close proximity to a slave-holding country, Haradi is both home to several hundred former slaves, either intentionally or not, and one of the more defended Free Cities in the bunch. Haradi tends to get along with Macenians, often trading with them, as well are known to be allies with Saqqara, but relations with Dalmasca and Jihon are long since strained.

Climate

Much of the warmer air currents come from the southwest, which the Ivory Mountains block from reaching Haradi. Thus, the general vicinity of Haradi tends to be colder than the rest of Azaleon. However, the warm air from Macenia is pushed into the valley Haradi is nestled into, thereby it isn't a frigid, inhospitable region.

In winter, temperatures can drop down below 10° F. Heavy snowfall is common, and the region typically sees some thorough freeze. The vast majority of snowfall comes in late January to mid February, with it normally warming up around early March. The air is often rather dry in the winter. Spring temperature ranges are still fairly cool, with the norm around the 50s F during the day, and dropping to the 20s F at night. In summer, the humidity index picks up, quite a bit, and temperatures around 80-90° F are normal. Rainfall is typical from April to July, and strong, damaging thunderstorms can occur, and at times, become tornadoes.

Culture

Like all Free Cities, Haradi does not have a specific gender lean to its society. All genders have a chance of making some sort of name for themselves, and there are legal protections in place to help law enforcement defend citizens against sexual discrimination. Some from other nations may have a slight bit of a patriarchal mindset, but they learn.

Due to the strong presence of former slaves, Haradi has an extremely intermixed culture, with bits and pieces from all over Azaleon. The vibrant colours of Durya, the abstract designs of Galace, the droning urus from Dalmasca, the reedy tones of Jihon, the pounding drums of Macenia, the wild and untamed and graceful and refined, all mingled together. Artworks range from painting to sculpting, and often some glasswork, albeit not very much, as glass is notoriously difficult to work with. In winter, carvers will chisel images into sheets of ice near the mountains and along the passes. The city raises ice lanterns, aura lights with the light mechanism encased in a beautifully sculpted ice container, which last until the thaw of February.

Woodcarving and jewellery crafting are most honoured arts in Haradi, and crafters that can do either are well-loved. Haradi has a series of mines within the Ivory Mountains, and the strongest, and most beautiful, woods come from Haradi's surrounding forests. The city is essentially on a large valuable gemstone deposit, the only one of its kind, leading to the gemstone being named haranite. The nobility of Dalmasca and Jihon greatly favour haranite pieces, and thus, despite never liking Haradi or its leader, whomever it may be at the time, the two nations have refrained from coming to full-out war with Haradi. Through learning the manipulation of metals from the Galacese, crafters in Haradi create some of the most beautiful and intricate jewellery pieces available.

Education, at least the most basic, is required in Haradi. It is paid for by the royal family's treasury, which is kept wealthy through taxing trades and sales that occur within its borders. Five years' education is given, where the basics of literacy and mathematics are taught, and short introductions to more complex fields. Students may decide to pursue a more specialised field at the end of their required five year tenure.

For many years, Haradi was somewhat lax with slavers, as they were often within her borders for normal trade. With the disappearance of the youngest of the current monarch's sons, whom was taken captive and enslaved in Dalmasca, however, Haradi's laws regarding slavery and slavers' presences in Haradi are changing. After over five years of going in circles with Dalmasca's leaders and still not regaining his son, while king Sidonai is not quite ready to completely burn all bridges with the nation, he is getting more insistent and pressuring them harder. Slavers found in the city's borders are immediately ejected, and for each found, Haradi fines Dalmasca a hefty trade tariff. Sentries remain on lookout for slave caravans, and if one is found, the slaves within are freed and the slavers driving such caravans are sent back to whichever god awful nation they came from missing their hands.

All Free Cities have legalised homosexuality, and legally recognise same-sex marriage, and polyamoury. Similarly, they all have a concept of transgenderism. Haradi has the technology to handle hormone replacement therapy, and perform sex change surgery.

Haradian names tend toward Hebrew.

Currency and Trade

Haradi mints its own coins, as well, though they are not metal, and instead take the form of varying quality levels of gemstone chip. These are the koruna, and come in a spectrum of blues. The paler and more greenish it is, the less valuable it is, while the darkest and bluest korunas are the most expensive. Due to the chips being made of haranite, which most nations and other Free Cities want for jewellery and decor, korunas are always accepted elsewhere.

Demographics

Haradi is constantly in a state of flux. It is a common location for new freedmen to turn to, and anyone whom may have escaped slavery, as Haradi will protect them to the best of their ability. Thus, there is always a large influx of emigrants to the city, but a handful leave shortly after. Birth and death rates remain somewhat even, and the people in Haradi tend to live a good long while.

The monarchy sponsors those that cannot afford to feed themselves, at the very least, and funds several shelters for the poor. These shelters attempt to teach those that come to them a trade, or a craft, or a skill, or further their education, and then helps them re-enter the workforce. Once one gets back on their feet, they can then donate back to the shelter, to help others in similar situations. It works fairly well.

One could consider the royal family the only truly wealthy individuals in Haradi, as most live well within their means, but very few live in extreme excess, barring the royals. However, the royal family's treasury is always dipped into in times of crisis, natural disaster, or some other serious occurrence, thereby technically, the royal family is actually closer to the poor end of the spectrum, as they rarely ever use their wealth for themselves, instead for their own people.

Government

Haradi is a monarchy, presently ruled by House Assad, the current monarch being King Sidonai Assad. Haradi was founded by King Sidonai's distant relative, thus the crown generally follows House Assad's bloodline, though it has been lost a few times due to usurpers (it is, at least, always regained). King Sidonai has a large cabinet of advisers and respected individuals from varying industries and walks of life, those of whom he turns to when he needs to make decisions, thereby in a roundabout sort of way, Haradi almost qualifies as an oligarchy.

Religion

As with all Free Cities, Haradi has no single organised religion. There are as many atheists as there are spiritualists as there are those reverent of Kirinyaga. All major temples and religious orders have a presence in the Free Cities, but no single one is given overall, government-backed preference, so which one a citizen of a Free City backs is entirely personal and up to them.

Technology

The auratech movement originated in the Free City of Haradi. As a result, Haradi is the most technologically advanced on Azaleon, and has many technologies and auratech that other nations and cities do not. For instance, Haradi invented and began building the aura gun and aura cannon, and later purchased the designs for airships from a Dalmascan pirate. Their walls are strongly built, of carefully laid stone and brick, their sentry towers equipped with aura cannons, their soldiers trained in using and always carrying aura guns, and even citizens are allowed to carry guns, with the right permits and training.

Haradi features a massive water filtration system, which is sourced in the Ivory Mountains, runs through the Ivory Mountains, and is eventually sent back to them. Farmlands on the outskirts of the city are irrigated through rain and natural mountain snow melt, through specially chiselled channels. Several mountain rivers power sometimes multiple hydroelectric plants that feed the electricity grid in Haradi, but for most simplistic electrical powered items, such as lights and small appliances, people use aura. The streets of Haradi are also specially designed for vehicles, basically cars in design and very aerodynamic, to be able to pass through without impeding foot traffic. These run on aura-based thermal engines. Instant communication lines have very recently been built and put into use in the city, currently used as military and royal guard resources, but scientists and engineers are working on aura-based communication waves that civilians and airships can tap into.

In many ways, Haradi borders on modern, all powered by magic.