Aurelia, Aure Region
“The city of gold…”
City of Lights, City that never sleeps, City where the sun sets,
Capital of the Aurelian Union
*Largest city in the world (population and area)
Population: over 52,000,000
Aurelia, historically known as Ar’ene, is the capital city of the Aurelian Union, the capital of the Aure Region, and the largest city in the world by area and population. Aurelia is located in a crater that was created by an ancient meteor impact. The meteor created a flat area in an otherwise hilly and mountainous region. The surrounding rim of the crater originally concealed the settlers who first arrived there. From the east, the city is hidden behind mountains with only the glow of light pollution suggesting anything is there at all. Three massive tunnels bored through the rim provide access to and from the city. In the more level places of the rim, highly affluent communities provide mountainside homes with a perfect view of the city below. In the immediate vicinity of the rim are several smaller and more suburban towns. The city is home to multiple government and corporate headquarters the most notable of which are the A1 and A2 Towers Complex, the Hex, Chief Justicar Jo Memorial Stadium, Raya Corp., and more. A1 and A2 Towers Complex holds the title of the first and second tallest buildings in the world respectively and is home to the Chief Justicar's personal and work quarters. From space, the city is the brightest point on the planet during the night. The city's massive highway network has a similar shape to the veins of a leaf, with a massive park and forest preserve area dividing the city in half down the center. Aurelia is often considered the most modern city in the world, featuring an unprecedented cooperation between plants and preserves, with residential and commercial centers.
Aurelia is situated on the eastern coast of the continent of Borealia, as well as near a relatively dormant fault line. The geographical location of Aurelia makes it prone to rare earthquakes and hurricanes. The relatively soft ground at the bottom of the crater historically created instability and risk for flooding. Over time, Aurelians learned to adapt to these conditions. The ground on which Aurelia lies on is approximately 8-10 feet higher than originally settled. Flooding and instability in buildings is now a well-controlled issue.
Aurelia has a massive network of public transport that includes trams, monorails, subways, the largest sunken highway network in the world, the largest and busiest airport in the world, and other various methods of aerial transport. In the city's most highly trafficked areas, including the city's highway network, autonomous driving is mandatory. All motor vehicles are mandated by law to be fully equipped with autonomous driving technologies. In the city, on the busiest roads, the organization and implementation of autonomous driving is automatically managed by the city's traffic managing virtual intelligence computer called the Aurelian Intelligent Traffic Management System (AITMS).
The area that Aurelia lies in was originally settled by Yela Ar'ene, a noblewoman from the historic Eridanian Kingdom, and the passengers aboard her fleet of merchant vessels. Yela's arrival, referred to simply as The Arrival in historic texts, was by complete chance. The existence of Aurelia remained a secret to the world outside of Au're until 1732, when Aurelia was rediscovered by Zenteli Calenti, an explorer sent by the Sostian emperor to discover a new route to the well-renowned riches of the Hunta Dynasties. The rediscovery of Aurelia initially came as a surprise to the Sostian people, as the fate of Yela Ar'ene's fleet was assumed to be grim. Unaffected by the war, disease, and famine that prompted Yela to leave in the first place, Aurelians were more technologically advanced than their Sostian counterparts, having already developed and implemented steamships, guns, and more. The rediscovery reopened contact and trade with the Aurelian people's origin continent.
Initially, the growth of Aurelia relied on the fertile dirt exposed by a meteor impact millions of years prior to Yela's arrival. However, with such a limited gene pool, birth defects were more common than acceptable by modern day standards. In the decades following the Arrival, contact was established with multiple tribes who lived immediately outside the rim of the crater. The natives, referred to as the First Peoples, believed that the crater was the nest of a massive mythical bird that would retaliate against anyone who would settle in the crater. The First Peoples initially believed that early Aurelians were children of this mythical bird, and as such revered them as highly respected people. Although knowledge of biology was limited at the time, Yela Ar'gene knew that in order to continue to prosper, the people needed to intertwine in culture, economy, and ultimately in gene pool. Over time, Aurelians began to integrate First Peoples culture into their own, the most visible of which remain an integral part of Aurelian culture today. Tattooing and face painting, as well as adorning leaders and distinguished persons with sacred headpieces, all originate from First Peoples traditions. The Aurelians and First Peoples exchanged knowledge, culture, and technologies. This strong relationship continued until over time the First Peoples themselves became Aurelian. Aurelia enjoyed massive growth during the 18th century.
After the establishment of the Aurelian Union in the 19th century, Aurelia became a famous world city. Having been spared from the shortcomings of their origin continent, Aurelia was more advanced than the rest of the world. This raised eyes in the Sostian Empire, who coveted the lands and technologies of the Union. While remaining advanced, the Union had a low population and never needed a standing army to defend its borders. This rapidly changed as the Sostian Empire began to exert its influence as a world power on Aurelia. The emperor of Sostia ordered that the city was to be seized. Several weeks later, a large Sostian fleet arrived in an attempt to attack the city. Many ships were damaged and sunk by unseen rocks and formations lying on the floor of the bay that partially flows in the crater. Without Aurelian charts, the Sostian fleet was essentially entering a battle completely blind. Aurelian ships were quicker and more agile than Sostian ships, but the Sostian fleet had numbers. The Sostian attempt to take the city ultimately failed, but Chief Justicar Sa'rene took pity among the Sostian sailors and offered them respite in the city in exchange for relinquishing their Sostian citizenship, and agreeing to a life of community service. Some Sostian sailors accepted death, while others integrated into Aurelian society. This set an offensive precedent to the Sostian emperor and marked the beginning of a long era of hostilities between the two nations.
Prior to WWI, Aurelia retained much of its historic architecture and infrastructure. This lead to traffic and overpopulation issues that crippled the city's growth and drove many to move to other nearby cities such as Renna, Prospekt, and Meridian. With the floor of the crater mostly developed for residential and commercial use, supplies had to be brought into the city by road or by train. Valoria, a newer and more modern city held the title of financial capital of the Union prior to its abandonment in WWII as a result of the Valorian Incident. When WWI began after the invasion of Selonia, Aurelia began to serve as a capital in more traditional sense, with regions agreeing to centralize powers in the city. With the Sostian invasion inevitable, the city became home to a vast network of defenses and bomb shelters. School curriculum began to include basic survival skills and emergency preparedness. Defensive measures were built and placed throughout the city. WWI reached Aurelia with a swift invasion by Sostian bombers. The war caused catastrophic damage to the city and destroyed much of its infrastructure. Despite all the planning and countermeasures Aurelia had, the Union lacked the ability to quickly mobilize units due to the vast distances between cities. By going directly for the capital, the Sostian Empire effectively crippled the nation and defeat became a quickly approaching reality. Shortly after this realization, Chief Justicar Kendari forwarded the usage of two atomic bombs against Sostians and the war ended soon after. The Reconstruction Era began with a significant endowment from the Unified States of Selonia as repayment for the Union's role in removing Sostian occupation in Selonia. Chief Justicar Kendari assembled a special council of engineers, economists, city planners, and various other Civil Service officials in order to plan the rebuilding process. The new city was designed with the former issues in mind. The new Aurelia's infrastructure would be carefully planned and implemented. The result was the first planned city in the world, and one that was highly efficient and organized.
After WWI, Aurelia enjoyed an era of rapid regrowth and the city became a modern marvel. Unlike many countries in the world, including the Sostian Empire, the Union promised freedom and opportunity for all. With much of the Union's territory wild and undeveloped, the Union offered a unique opportunity for immigrants to live in a country untouched by an authoritarian government. Chief Justicar Kendari took this unique opportunity to advertise and encourage immigration from other countries into the Union with the promise of achieving the Aurelian Dream, a vision in which each citizen is equal to one another with opportunity and freedom being guaranteed rights as opposed to luxuries only available to the rich. During this time, the Union and especially Aurelia saw the greatest increase in population in its history. In order to balance the influx of immigrants with the city's unfinished reconstruction process, the city began to offer placement in other cities around the Union. Cities outside of the Aure Region were hesitant at first, as a significant portion of their revenues were being sent to the capital to rebuild.
However, with the Union's focus on the advancement of science and technology under Chief Justicar Kendari, the atomic bomb was quickly developed and prepared for deployment. On May 3rd, 1953, Chief Justicar Kendari and the War Council approved the dropping of the bomb near a large operations base that the Sostian Empire had established on the Arches. The deployment of the bomb completely destroyed the forward base and all units stationed there. The deployment of the atomic bomb on Aurelian territory by the Aurelian Union set a precedent to the world that the Union had powers that greatly exceeded its mere numbers of soldiers. Horrified at the Union's resilience and newly acquired weapon of massive destruction, the Sostian Empire promptly called off the invasion. CJ Kendari used the newly acquired leverage from the atomic bomb to threaten the Empire to also rescind its claims to Selonia. The Emperor of the Sostian Empire refused. On June 1st, 1953, another atomic bomb was dropped this time near the Sostian capital of Amlin. The bomb detonated far offshore so as not cause damage to the city, but to send a message that the Union was not afraid of using the bomb. The Emperor rescinded the Empire's claim to Selonia, and WWI ended among incredibly hostile and stale intentions. The assistance provided to the Unified States of Selonia prompted a strong relationship with the Aurelian Union that remains steadfast today.