Polymath Redux Annex
Chapter 12 – The city graced by the sun
The morning sun drew its first breaths across the orange tinted clouds. Mordred and his band of paladins had disappeared from the small fringe village and in only a few hours had arrived at the bustling capital. ‘Solaris’, the city graced by the sun, was the capital of the Xagontetian Monarchy. An impossible metropolis bustling with life and economy against the backdrop of medieval times.
From a distant cliff, Mordred could see it all as though a small playset for a young child. The movement of the city, how little men moved about. He realized then that perhaps this world was not so different from the one he had known all his life. Fantasy or not, people still had to live and still had to move. Mordred let out a small smirk as he took in a deep breath.
At the centre of this large and round city was a peculiar object. A black, pin-like object protracted and reached toward the heavens. It extended from a base that appeared to be the royal castle, a large complex of various buildings clustered together to create the image of a singular entity. “What is… ah,” before he could finish his own thoughts the answer came. “A giant sundial, is it? How creative of them,” he praised their ingenuity despite their primitive technology.
From there it was easy to figure out their design philosophy. It was something that Mordred’s original world had practiced before becoming industrialized. Ancient cities had to be built with large walls surrounding the city to defend against sieges. For example, this city had been divided into four separate sectors. The first and innermost section contained their most important assets and architecture. The main castle at the centre, surrounded by other government and equally important administrative buildings.
Beyond that, a large moat-like artificial river had been constructed to divide up the city. Across the river were what appeared to be merchantry halls and other such guild functions. One more watery divide later there were the residential districts for the capital’s upper nobles and churches. The wide expanses of unused land dedicated to vain artsy monuments was especially eye-bleeding.
Instead of a river this time, a smaller wall cut off the inner city to the outer city. The outer city had been dedicated solely for the commons. There a variety of bustling activities took place. All manner of bartering and businesses- taverns, inns and the like- had been scattered about the outer layers. Churches were also seen in these areas, however they were not as ornate as the ones within the inner city. Even from so far away, Mordred could feel the RPG-esque aura emanating from those areas. A large smile etched across his face as he couldn’t contain his excitement. “Ah… an actual RPG city,” he commented to himself.
Finally, an exceptionally large wall was erected around the city as a protective shell. Many military personnel adorned in heavy armour frequently patrolled around the perimeter to prevent illegal entry. Beyond the walled city, a massive expanse of arable farm land stretched on toward the horizon. The progression from rich and powerful to the poor peasantry as the city expanded outwards was almost comical when seen from a near bird’s-eye-view.
“Now then, how to proceed,” Mordred asked as he took an examination of himself. His attire was the same white overcoat, however wearing this through the city would attract unwanted attention. With a quick mental check through his inventory he came across a relatively unimpressive set of armour. A set of standard ‘beginner’ armour given out to all players upon character creation. Inner black leather armour with rough pieces of dulled platemail over the chest, back and around the hips. It also came with set of similarly dulled grey gauntlets, gauntlets and enclosed helmet.
That said, there had been no way Mordred would’ve kept his beginner armour for no reason. The truth of the matter was that this specific piece of equipment had been enchanted and upgraded to hell and back. There had been no greater reason for doing this other than the that there was spare time and resources to do so. “Good thing I prepared for a situation I never knew would come,” he joked to himself.
He took out another set and passed it onto Irina as well. “Here, put this one. Though even with that I think you’d stick out.”
“My apologies, my master,” Irina lightly bowed her head in respect.
“Don’t be. I’m not placing any blame on you for that.” As he had foreseen, even with those mediocre looking pieces of equipment, Irina’s aura alone revealed a tremendous charisma and power. Her long flowing fiery hair leaked out from beneath her helmet like a cape fluttering against the winds. “I guess for now this should do. Now then…”
He gazed back down from the cliff to study the layout of the capital city in more detail. The only points of entry were through heavily guarded military checkpoints through bridges and gates. Of course, with their capabilities, sneaking in would be no effort but doing things by the book also felt more ‘RPG’ like. “We’ll enter the city through those checkpoints,” Mordred pointed down.
“Understood, I will follow dutifully.”
Admittedly, it had been an impressive sight to behold. The way those knights worked meticulously to protect the city burdened under the heat of a destructive summer’s day. Numerous knights patrolled around the outskirts of the city walls and even onto the peasant farms outside, especially along the checkpoints into the city. “As remarkable as it seems, it’s probably quantity over quality. No surprise given that this nation is supposed to be at war.”
Mordred’s ‘Intuition’ ability was let loose as he examined their relative strength. ‘Those knights don’t appear that much stronger than the Baliazoural Knights that attacked the village,” he thought to himself. There had been no doubt- since the moment he executed a Red Dragon in three moves or less- that he was ‘powerful’. However, he was unable to shake of a rather disappointed feeling writhing up the back of his throat toward these weak ‘soldiers’. “Perhaps this is just the standard of strength for this world and we’re the ones who’re too powerful,” he shook his head and sighed. “Well, for now let’s enter and formulate a plan from there.”