Nochet is the greatest and most important city in the world, and the greatest city for a thousand miles in all directions. It is the favorite resting place of Esrola, and it is the home of many thousands of gods and goddesses. Here Imarja granted the Charter of Nochet, which governs divinities and mortals alike; here Imarja gave the Grandmothers the Compact of Nochet, which ended the rule of the Evil Kings.
The “queen of cities”, Nochet is the oldest and most populated city in Esrolia. Since blessed Dormal performed the magical ritual the Opened the Seas some forty years ago, Nochet has grown tremendously, rapidly growing from 20,000 people to over 100,000 in little more than a generation, and spilling out in all directions and enriching the whole of Kethaela.
Thousands of people from the countryside have moved into Nochet, seeking work and opportunities. Foreigners from all over Glorantha reside in Nochet, with their strange customs and barbaric languages. The city is now crowded, with many newcomers packed together in poorly built tenements some five or more stories high. Many of the newcomers and foreigners have banded together in small neighborhoods. Sometimes these are like small Esrolian villages, some are like Heortling clans and are led by ‘urban’ chieftains, and others are like small enclaves from other lands such as Little Kralora and Bluetown.
The largest two cultural groups in Nochet are Esrolvuli (70k) and Heortlings (with 20k Heortlings in Nochet, it is actually the biggest Heortling city in the world). The Heortlings are concentrated in the Sarli district.
Nochet also has another 20k immigrants:
- Caladralanders 5k – main cult Veskarthan (Tendayvora)
- Westerners 2.5k – main cult Aeolian Temple, Rokar Temple (outside of wall)
- Trader Princes 1.5 – main cult Issaries (Deresagar)
- Lunars 1.5k – main cult Seven Mothers (Dearnor or Helamta)
- Handra .5 – main cult Issaries or Invisible God (Helamta)
- Ralios .5 – main cult Arkat (Deresagar)
- Teshnites 1.5 k – main cult Issaries and Calyz (Helamta)
- Kralorelans 1k – main cult Issaries, Rich Twins, Okeria and Serelaloon (Helamta)
- Trolls 3k – main cult Argan Argar (Dearno)
- Pamaltelans 1k – main cults Bendalazu and Seseine (Helamta)
- Vadeli .5k (Helamta)
- Other 1.5
Immigrants naturally flock together, centered on cults or other institutions.
There have been a number of walls over the centuries protecting Nochet. However, the great destructions at the end of the Second Age destroyed the city walls as well. Belintar built new walls from the Lyksos to the Diros marsh. These walls were built over the ruins of the ancient walls of Irillo and Kimintor.
Belintar had a new gate built to the west of the New Esrola Temple called the Gates of Life and Death.
The city can be entered by any of these gates. Each is well guarded by fortified towers, stout doors and magical guardians.
- Harmony Gate (sometimes called River Gate)
- Filial Gate
- Gates of Life and Death (rarely called the Prudence Gate)
- Harst Gate (also called the Compassion Gate or the Meldek Gate)
- Storm Gate beside Storm Hill
There was once another gate called the Lookover Gate near Haraoraneao’s Cistern, but this was blocked up a century ago.
Temples and Shrines
Nochet is a holy city to the Theyalan peoples, with scores of temples and hundreds of shrines to deities from throughout the Theyalan world and beyond. Many great deeds from the God Time occurred within its sacred precincts. Gods from every port city in Glorantha have been given shrines here with the Opening of the Oceans. Every home from the grandest palace to the rudest hovel has its shrines to the gods of the household.
Lesser shrines abound. At every street crossing are stone shrines consisting of a phallic pillar rising out of an enclosing stone shaped like a vulva. A snake often curls around the shaft of the pillar as well. These shrines are sacred to Imarja and celebrates the eternal union of female and male.
During the difficult years from the end of the Second Age until the coming of Belintar, many of the temples, palaces and residences were fortified in what became known as the Sacred City of Nochet. With the recovery of the city, this area became the province of the Queen and the priestesses of Imarja.
The Queen of Nochet lives here as well as the great priestesses of the sacred temple. It is sprawling complex of courtyards, gardens, temples, and residences for nobles and servants, with many thousands of rooms, as well as storerooms, barracks, and so forth. It is five stories high in many areas. More than 5000 people live within it.
The sacred city has been continuously occupied for more than 2000 years. Queens continuously tear down old parts and build new complexes. This thing sprawls up and contains thousands of years of utterly inconsistent architecture. Nobody knows where all the corridors lead or where all the rooms are.
One of the rich noble districts, and one of the two oldest in the city. The district includes the Knowledge Temple and the Great Hospital. It is famed throughout Glorantha as a center of learning and healing. It is a wealthy district, home to many scribes, administrators, and officials.
The Knowledge Temple is the main intellectual center in the Holy Country. Like the Sacred City, the Knowledge Temple is basically a city within the city. Works of literature, law, medicine, mathematics, celestiology, philosophy, and history are all gathered here from around Glorantha. The Knowledge Temple is a scriptorium, where scribes can be commissioned to write legal texts and letters, and where texts in other languages are translated. Any initiate of Lhankor Mhy may reside within the Knowledge Temple with free room and board; priests, scholars, and staff are supported by the Temple. As many as 1000 scribes live in the temple’s residential halls.
Somewhat jarringly, the district also has most of the troll population of Nochet. Some 3000 trolls live in the area south of the Night Temple and bordering on Backside.
This district has a significant Western population of Esrolvuli, Trader Princes, and even Safelstrans. House Oranaeo is dominant in northern Deresagar and control Great Street. House Evaeo dominate around Kena Hill and Watchside. Though containing many traders and merchants from the West, the district includes ‘field’ workers for the Esrola temple and many common laborers.
Much of the city’s stone arrives here and stone cutters dress the stone for use in new building projects.
The Helamta District is often called Foreigner Town. It includes the Harbor Square and the Great Market, the largest and richest of all the markets in Nochet, it serves as the major trade emporium for all lands. This is where the great trading vessels of Glorantha come to dock, sell their wares, and take on other wares for their home ports. An enormous array of goods is on display along the waterfront, within the Temple of Issaries, and even on the streets leading to it. All foreign trade comes through this area and much traffic along Green Street to the Riverside docks, the Way of the Vessels heading for the Sacred City, or the Way of the Quill heading for Redstone Square.
About a third of the population comes from outside of the Holy Country, including Kralorela, Teshnites, Handrans, Pamaltelans, and even Vadeli. There are even Lunars from the former Moontown. There are over a score of temples and shrines to gods from all over the world, including Calyz, Bodkartu, and Seseine.
This is the most “Esrolian” district and with very dense square houses. It is also the oldest of the ‘working’ districts. It is the center of pottery and ceramic work in the city producing the finest of those goods, also make fine clay pipes for the sewers and terracotta for roof tops. There are many other artisans here: Masons, stoneworkers, sculptors, metalworkers (redsmiths). Neighborhoods resemble large villages centered on small squares.
One of the rich noble districts, and one of the two oldest in the city. Nolerian is notable for its many noble palaces and its fine metalsmiths and jewelry makers. The Sacred Way winds right through this district.
The largest Heortling urban center in Glorantha, Sarli is dominated by the Grace Temple and Orlanth’s Hill. This district has grown enormously since the Lunar conquest of Dragon Pass and has received thousands of new refugees in recent years from Heortland and Sartar. Dozens of temples and shrines to the gods of Dragon Pass can be found here.
Chiefs providing protection and patronage (and backed up by gangs of toughs) rule the neighborhoods. Neighborhoods resemble clan holdings and many are very territorial, particularly in the Loop and Northside. There are many skilled crafters, including weavers, masons, potters, redsmiths, and stoneworkers in this district.
This district has a large Caladralander minority and its neighborhoods resemble large villages clustered around temples. Here can be found the Axe Temple, Esrola Temple, and the Veskarthan Temple. There is even a small population of dwarves here.
This district includes main river docks receiving much of the supplies of grain, poultry, timber, charcoal, stone, as well as river goods and fish. The main granaries for the city are here as part of a temple to Asrelia – smaller shrines abound to help protect the grain from spoilage, rats, etc. The neighborhoods resemble large sprawling villages centered on the docks and markets.
Immediately outside the southern wall of Nochet sits Meldektown, a poor slum of Esvularings who claim to follow their Invisible God and his follower, Aeol, who revealed the ways and scriptures to these folk. They spend their days toiling in the great clay pits that feed the kilns of Nochet and return to their homes to offer prayer to their soulless god. More recently, the queens of Nochet have arranged trade treaties with the distant Dukes of Nolos.
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